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.
My fiancé and I have taken dance classes with Jessica at Windy City Wedding Dance for about 3 months in preparation for our wedding. Neither of us knew how to dance at all and we are so excited and feel confident in our dance for our upcoming wedding. The weekly classes are a lot of fun in the midst of the hectic wedding planning. Jessica is very patient and has a great way to teach the dance moves that make us feel confident with our routine. I appreciated that she helped us choreograph a dance that wasn’t too hard – but also will look very special. These classes are great both for prepping for a wedding or other event – but also just to have a fun “date night” activity.
Words can’t express how much of a JOY it was to work with Jessica for our Wedding “1st dance”. She has an Amazing personality and she is a Great instructor. She is very down to earth and no matter how horrible of a dancer you think you are she can make you look like you’ve been a “Ballroom Dancer” your entire life. In just 4 lessons, Jessica turned our “Two Left Feet” into a Spectacular Wedding Dance and on our Wedding Day…we felt as if we were dancing on air and as if there was no one else in the room but the two of us. Jessica you are AMAZING and THANKS for Everything!!!
My mom insisted that we should take dance lessons before our wedding so she signed both my dad and I up and my fiancé and I up. We were a bit hesitant to do this, but Jessica was absolutely amazing! She worked it out so we could split up the lessons and helped us figure out a dance for both songs that we had chosen. We not only learned our dance, but had a lot of fun with her as well. After we did our dances at our wedding my mom immediately said it was the best money she spent on our wedding. We were thrilled with everything and will recommend Jessica to all of our friends!
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.