Instructor and Dance Camp Director
Rachel began dancing at the age of three and started dancing competitively when she was ten. During her childhood and teenage years, she trained under Lisa, Kim, and Lori Pendzimaz, among others. For eight years, Rachel competed with Jagged Edge Dance Company, studying ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theatre/character dancing. With Jagged Edge, she won various regional and national titles, both as a group dancer and as a soloist. Rachel was nominated for Dance America's Dancer of the Year Award three times, placing in the top ten in 2013. At Conant High School, she performed with the Varsity Poms and Varsity Orchesis teams. Continuing her dance career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rachel danced for the Illinettes dance team for four years, serving as captain her senior year. With the Illinettes, she had the opportunity to perform at all of her school's football and basketball games, parades, and other campus-wide events. During her four years with the Illinettes, she also participated in performances at Chicago Bears football games, basketball games at the United Center, a bowl game with her school's football team in Dallas, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. This past May, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, along with minors in sociology and Spanish. Rachel has been lucky enough to teach and choreograph for her high school and college dance teams, as well as for many dancers in the Chicago suburbs, including a production piece for the Pavilion Dance Connection performance companies. She has been directing and teaching summer dance camps here at the PDC for three years. Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her new PDC students and their families this fall!