Our Chicago Dance Instructors Jessica Mays and Alesha Bales still train weekly under Blackpool World Champion Tommye Giacchino, and still compete and perform at events in Chicago. The Dance Instructors here at Windy City Wedding Dance are trained under the National Dance Council of America dance standards and DVIDA syllabus. All Dance Instructors are required to train weekly to ensure they keep up with their dance and teaching knowledge.
At 2 years old her mother sat her in front of the TV to watch the Olympic trials. It just so happened that gymnastics was the event being shown on the TV. Jessica didn’t make a peep for hours. Mom signed Jessica up for gymnastics, tap, ballet, and baton as soon as the dance schools would take her. Like many younger sisters, Jessica was more interested in what her older brother was doing so she moved on and explored other sports. Jessica attended college with a 4 year athletic scholarship to a Division 1 college and won a conference championship during her first year. Jessica went on to play semi professionally and then decided to retire. Jessica’s passion for gymnastics and dance resurfaced a little later in life and she began to train to be an instructor. She participated in an accredited training program through Divida called Ballroom University with Blackpool World Champion Tommye Giacchino.
Alesha puts a spin on things with a professional back ground in modern and concert dance starting her career in Madison Wisconsin. Alesha has managed multiple programs in the Chicago Arts and specializes in children and adult ballet programs. Alesha started to explore ballroom in her early 20′s and never looked back. She has a strong passion for helping others embrace dance and movement. Alesha has most recently participated as a featured dancer in a movie scheduled to release in December of 2013. Most recently she performed for our First Lady Michelle O’bama. Alesha also participated in an accredited training program through Divida called Ballroom University with Blackpool World Champion Tommye Giacchino.
Tommye Giacchino began her career in her mother’s dance studio where taking class every day was a way of life. After seeing a ballroom dance competition she was hooked. Winning numerous titles “United States Rising Star Champion,” US Open Cabaret Champion, Professional American Smooth finalists and Rising Star Champion, and the most prestigious, winner of “The British Open Invitational Exhibition Championship” known to most as Blackpool, Tommye have traveled the world to perform and coach ballroom dance throughout Asia, Europe and almost every state in the USA. In addition to working for world-renowned jazz and ballet companies such as Gus Giordano, River North Dance Company and The Joffrey Tommye has performed extensively with major symphonies such as The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Elgin Symphony and has been a featured artists and provided expert commentary on television programs around the world: PBS’s Championship Ballroom Dancing, “America’s Ballroom Challenge,” Eurosport, ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WGN and a soon to be released program on the TLC.
Ms Giacchino has been honored with numerous Top Teacher awards, as a highly recognized Pro/Am teacher at numerous competitions, and holds 5 NADTA championship Certifications. She works tirelessly to make Latin and ballroom dance accessible to everyone in the Chicagoland area by advising schools, festivals, and dance programs on curriculum as well as by offering teacher training and certification programs thru DIVIDA.
Tommye is an excellent dancer and instructor with many years of experience. Her co-instructors, Jessica and Alesha, “know their stuff,” and they’re committed to making their students look and feel good when dancing. Dancers of all levels will enjoy themselves and will learn as much as they want.