Come celebrate our 7th Season with us as we move to our permanent dance home in downtown Wauconda on Main Street this summer!
We are grateful to rent facilities in our communities to give back to the dancers in our communities!
We have volunteers who have decades of experience working and volunteering with children of all ages!
Uniforms, supplies, competitions, programs and more, we scope out who's the best so we can give the best experience for your dancer!
50% payment is needed to secure your spot on our teams, and the other half will be due in June. We anticipate teams to max out quickly, please check our website and Facebook page for updates on which classes will be filling and closing registration on once we've hit our max.
Miss Catherine, Founder and Director
Miss Catherine was born and raised in Chicago and has 3 decades of dance training from the heart of the City and the surrounding suburbs. Since the age of 3 she has been studying dance, performing all over the Chicagoland suburbs, competing for several years and sharing her love of dance with her commun
Miss Catherine, Founder and Director
Miss Catherine was born and raised in Chicago and has 3 decades of dance training from the heart of the City and the surrounding suburbs. Since the age of 3 she has been studying dance, performing all over the Chicagoland suburbs, competing for several years and sharing her love of dance with her community for over a decade. She has taught at park districts, dance studios in the Chicagoland suburbs, taught dance numbers for her church's musical theater program and implemented a worship dance program in Lake Zurich. She has spent 20 years working with inner city youth in the Kilbourn Park area, while also working with children in the suburbs, and for several years as a Director for an after-school youth program for children 3rd-6th grade in the Inner City serving children in the Kilbourn Park/Humboldt Park area. She has worked in the field of Accounting for 15 years and has a passion for dedication and commitment. “Ingenuity” is her motto!
She was accepted at the age of 3 to study under Mary Lou Troumanhouser (a student of Tommy Sutton), the former owner of The Dance Academy in Chicago. Since then she has performed all over Chicagoland, some of those places including The Copernicus Center, Navy Pier, The Children’s Museum, the opening of the Norwood Park Historical Society, and The Portage Theater. She won top in dance routines for Waucondafest has Talent in 2011, and was given the opportunity to perform at the Pritzker Theater in 2011 and Carnegie Hall. She has performed at festivals and shows all over the Chicagoland suburbs and competed with high honors in dance competitions with companies such as Starlight, Rainbow Connection, Footlites, Starpower and StarQuest, with the majority of those competing in Tap. She has studied Tap extensively (studying the sought-after Tommy Sutton curriculum), Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Lyrical and Hip Hop. After studying for over a decade at The Dance Academy in Chicago she moved to the Barrington/Wauconda area, and immediately got involved in the communities around her. She taught all forms of dance for several years at the Island Lake Park District and studied/taught at the former Dancer’s Pointe in Island Lake. At the same time, she traveled extensively to Chicago to study under teachers at The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Lou Conte Dance Studio, and several others. She has taken innumerable classes and workshops with the best for Tap. Her favorite teachers to study tap from have been Tre Dumas III, Lane Alexander, Phil Brooks and JaBowen Dixon. She has studied all forms of dance under teachers such as Mary Lou Troumanhouser, Jeanne Sok, Kathy DeMaira, Inaside Chicago Dance’s Nell Heflin, Dionna Pridgeon, Chicago Dance Crash’s Chris Courtney, Step Africa!’s Jakari Sherman, Chicago Movement Collective’s Melinda Wilson, private lessons with JaBowen Dixon and many more. She enjoys contributing to the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Dance Accepts Everyone, studies Music Theory in her free time, and loves to add to her extensive dance curriculum.
Continued study is the mark of a true artist. Performing is fun but the hard work behind the scenes is what she truly enjoys. Miss Catherine loves to bring the latest styles to her students, so she brings in amazing teachers to give the newest and best ideas, continues to study from her favorite teachers, taking workshops, networking with successful teachers and directors, and continuing her growth as a teacher and director, but also as a dancer. She truly enjoys serving the community and has been blessed to move into the 7th successful Season of our program. Ingenuity is her motto. Whether it's tap dancing on planks at local fests, dancing on the grass, carpet with tap masters or sand, "we can always make it work!", and now we get a dance HQ of our own on Wauconda's Main Street this Fall! Not only is she excited to pass her love of dance to the 3rd generation of dancers in her family, she is excited to continue giving back to the community she's been involved with for decades and has a passion to work with children and adults alike, training them in dance and expression and having them carry that with them through the years to open doors for them as they grow.
Miss Christine, Head Coach
We are proud to have Miss Christine as our Head Coach since our founding in 2018. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old, starting her training in the heart of Chicago at The Dance Academy by learning from teachers such as Sharon Girten, Jeanne Sok and Kathy DeMaira. After moving to the Barrington/Waucond
Miss Christine, Head Coach
We are proud to have Miss Christine as our Head Coach since our founding in 2018. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old, starting her training in the heart of Chicago at The Dance Academy by learning from teachers such as Sharon Girten, Jeanne Sok and Kathy DeMaira. After moving to the Barrington/Wauconda area she studied at the Village of Island Lake’s Dance program and the former Dancer’s Pointe in Island Lake. She has studied Poms, Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop. She was a cheerleader in the Wauconda Bulldogs Cheer program and an All-Star Cheerleader at Cheer Fusion. She has danced and competed with the former Premier Poms in Barrington, and has coached Rec Cheer and Poms. She helped found the Wauconda Bulldogs Men of Cheer and their choreography (2012-2017), and in addition to doing choreography for our Bulldogs Spirit Teams she jumped right in and choreographed our first Bulldogs Spirit Poms and Dance Parent/Family Routine for our Windy City Bulls Game performances in 2018 and 2019! She has brought our Teams over 20 Championship wins, and a State Championship win in the short time we have been in the community! She has been a Pre-K/K Teacher for 3 years and currently is in school to finish her ECE Director’s Degree. She works at a local, family-owned business in the heart of Wauconda, lives in Wauconda, and loves the lake life and volunteering in the community! We are so excited for our 7th Season with Miss Christine, she loves meeting all our new dancers, making our girls laugh, and bringing her passion for teaching children and love of dance to everyone!
Miss Kelly, Assistant Coach
Miss Kelly has been studying and performing dance for 15 years. She has also done cheer but soon found that dance was her passion. She started when she was in 6th grade, all the way through High School competing and beyond. She has studied Open Dance, Poms, Hip Hop, Lyrical and Contemporary, and continues to
Miss Kelly, Assistant Coach
Miss Kelly has been studying and performing dance for 15 years. She has also done cheer but soon found that dance was her passion. She started when she was in 6th grade, all the way through High School competing and beyond. She has studied Open Dance, Poms, Hip Hop, Lyrical and Contemporary, and continues to take classes outside of her work schedule to keep up with her dance skills and further her knowledge to her little ones who are so eager to learn! Her favorite go-to dance style is Lyrical/Contemporary. When she is not dancing, she is a school nurse. She also works as a pediatric nurse on her weekends off at Lutheran General Children's Hospital. She has been with Bulldogs Spirit since the very beginning and each time she comes to practice and sees her dancers hit those milestones (like landing double turns!) with excitement it makes her remember why she is doing what she loves to do!
Miss Nicole, Assistant Coach
Miss Nicole has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and has studied the styles of Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap and Poms. She has 4 years of experience being on competitions teams and 2 years in high school as well on poms teams. While attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she continued s
Miss Nicole, Assistant Coach
Miss Nicole has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and has studied the styles of Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap and Poms. She has 4 years of experience being on competitions teams and 2 years in high school as well on poms teams. While attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she continued studying dance and taking classes there as well. At UW-Milwaukee she was also part of a Dance Living Learning Community (LLC). The Dance LLC was a community of students living in the same area that were majoring or minoring in dance. They took classes together and collaborated to perfect routines. Besides coaching our girls in dance, she has a 5-year-old of her own who has been dancing for our teams now for 3 years. She has worked with children including working as a teacher’s assistant with students who have IEPs, volunteering at a horse shelter that helps children and adults with disabilities learn how to ride, and volunteering at a local preschool. We absolutely LOVE having Miss Nicole coach our dancers!!
Open to all girls and boys in public, private and homeschools in all communities, Bulldogs Spirit Poms and Dance is a non-profit organization promoting the importance of sportsmanship, commitment, determination, teamwork, self-confidence, enthusiasm and team spirit, a passion for the art of dance, and the value of community service in our area youth.
"Dance Big, Dream Big, Care Big!"
Q. When was Bulldogs Spirit Poms and Dance founded?
A. The groundwork and funds were being laid out in 2017, and finally implemented in 2018.
Q. What grades/ages is this program reaching out to?
A. In Fall 2018 we had Princess Poms, and in Spring 2019 we quadrupled in numbers to add ages 4-8th Grade. We are proud to have children from eight different towns from surrounding areas for the last 6 Seasons to come together to learn dance and have a great time! We love having girls from towns all over coming to enjoy dance and performing! We plan on expanding even more in Fall 2021!
Q. What info do you have on requirements like games and practices?
A. We will not be dancing/performing for any weekly games. We will be participating in community events and performing at special events. On top of getting the chance to compete and learn with fantastic volunteers in the community with an amazing amount of dance/poms/performing backgrounds, we want the girls to have the opportunity to perform. As for practices they will be indoors. For the start of Fall 2020 we started outside due to Covid protocols. We have partnered with Volo Sportsplex, Village of Island Lake, Wauconda Post 911, Wauconda Township, local schools and other facilities in past/present for our practices.
We have recently secured a location on Main Street in Wauconda but we will still continue to use other facilities (as other programs do) within the area, especially if we have a larger team and choreography needs more space. Each Season and each group will be unique. We don't do "what's best for business", we do what's best for YOUR DANCERS and what the community asks for, always aiming to give the All-Star experience without the All-Star cost.
Q. Who are you members with?
A. The IRCA and Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, since the very beginning of our organization!
Q. Who are you working with for uniforms/dresses and spirit items? We want quality!
A. And you will get it! :) We partner with several big name distributors to get the best quality at the best price!
Q. Will there a be a no-bullying policy?
A. Absolutely. We have a no-tolerance policy, and the parent/guardian who is registering their child will sign this confirming that they, AND their child, are aware that if this policy is not followed, they will be removed from the team with no refund. These will be teams that are encouraging, uplifting and working together. We are a no-drama, no-bullying, no-clique organization, and want our dancers to get the best experience out of Bulldogs Spirit Poms and Dance. Save the drama for Dance Moms! ;)
Q. How do you plan to keep prices so low?
A. We are a non-for-profit. That is what we stand on, and we are not going to charge any more than what is needed to get the best quality items for your girls, to go to competitions with a wonderful organization, and our volunteers are just that - volunteers. They get no money, no commission; they truly enjoy giving back to the community. We have chosen to keep this a non-profit as a service to the youth in the community that we hope all children and adults can enjoy. Most our staff has grown up giving back and it is their passion. Most of our volunteers have professions in the community and all of them work with youth, and want the girls and boys in the surrounding communities to make friends, have a no-drama, bully-free zone that they can enjoy dance, perform, and learn how to become the best they can be, inside and OUTSIDE of the studio.
We solely rely on donations and sponsors to cover any additional costs we may need. All the info of what it costs you is on our flyer, as we are very determined to keep all info open and transparent to anyone who has questions. Any donations are gratefully accepted. And remember, if you bring in a $500 sponsor your registration fee is waived!
We do not offer refunds as all of our expenses are paid for immediately at the beginning of the seasons.
Q. Is dance experience required for your program?
A. No, we are mixed-level teams that are recreational status.
Q. What is taught at class?
A. Foundations of Jazz and Ballet (Cecchetti Method) are a must, so that will be a big part of class along with learning their routine. The little ones will have more activities in class such as tumbling, learning rhythm/music with instruments and much more. In Spring we do Tap and Jazz for Princess Poms and in Fall we do Ballet and Jazz for Princess Poms.
Q. Are all the events that the dancers can go to required?
A. No, but we hope they take advantage of being out in the community to perform and give back! We want our dancers to have as many opportunities as possible, we want to have a lasting impact on the community when we give back AND wonderful memories/experiences for our dancers!
Q. Scheduling - How does it work?
A. We take care of everything! Parents run around a LOT, and we keep our schedule as consistent and up-front as possible. We don't like surprises (unless it's fun event or two!). We try to plan the whole season's class schedule (and most of our events) ahead of time so it's ready to give to you when you register your dancer. We sometimes use a few different facilities throughout the season to help with costs (this has been tough during Covid!), so we want to make sure parents have all the info immediately. We know parents are tired of last-minute changes, and entire weekends wrapped around activities. We don't want that either! We want you to have all the info you need so you can plan accordingly. The only thing that could be "last minute" is a special event or two we may want to sign up for, and those are always fun, but those are optional to our dancers. (Most of our events are discussed and signed up for before the season starts) But we do hope they take advantage of them, we want to give the All-Star experience without the All-Star cost! :) Our classes this Fall don't start before 6pm. Why? Not only do our teachers have full-time jobs but we get that you may too. Not everyone can rush their kids home to grab dinner and make class, or run through the drive-through as they go through the motions. It's hard. Lots of our families have two full-time working parents, we have single parents who run everywhere, and we want to make sure everyone can get home, enjoy some family time, then come practice with their Poms family :) We have Mommies, Grandmas, and Aunties all involved in our organization so we know family time is the most important. THEN your dancers get to see "their girls", as they like to call them :)
Q. "Spirit Booster Events", how does that work?
A. Those are our special events we do throughout the year. Some events will become a staple from year to year, and some events our staff find as the year goes on. We have staff that have been working on special events and working in the community with children for decades, so you can be sure we are ALWAYS keeping our eyes out for new and exciting events for our dancers! ;) Our most favorite one is performing for the Windy City Bulls :)
Q. Do we need to fundraise/pay for fundraiser costs or "buyouts"?
A. NO. As of now, our registration costs only cover a small part of rent and insurance, and the rest has been covered by donations and fundraisers. We try to give a nice gift/prize for the dancer that sells the most items though! We are careful which fundraisers we choose (if any); we want to pick ones that have useful items and the less the kids have to sell, the easier for the parents ;) We've all been there! These fundraisers are also ALWAYS OPTIONAL. Your registration covers uniforms, bow, poms, trophies, competition fees and much more. And what's GREAT is your child brings home their uniform/costume to keep, along with a bow and poms. We're not going to charge you a fee and keep the uniforms/costumes. No fees, keeping uniform/poms/bow, practices that are easy on your schedule and at the same time keeping the quality! We've heard you and we want to deliver! :)
Q. What level are these classes?
A. These are mixed-level (multi-level) classes. Since we are a NON-TRYOUT team, we may have basic beginners to advanced. We do our best to highlight those skills in routines as best as we can. This depends on the size of the group, choreography, skill levels, etc. As the Season progresses we may add in harder tricks/skills/patterns in our routines. Even though we are a rec category, we have commitment agreements that need to be signed and followed, as choreography can change/evolve at any time and we need to make sure all dancers come to all practices ready to learn.
Q. Where do you go for competitions?
A. We have a few organizations we like to work with and we always take feedback from the parents as to which ones they like the most. Of course, winning is NOT always everything, we want our girls most importantly to learn, make friends, and grow closer together as a team while having fun. It's a special dance family that makes bonds that last a lifetime! But we do like to switch it up and try a few different competition organizations and sometimes we have opportunities to add more throughout the year if the parents like. Our parents have been instrumental in helping up choose competition organizations they truly enjoy going to. Each organization has something different to offer, and we like to have our dancers enjoy as many of them as possible!
Q. What's the difference between Fall and Spring Seasons?
A. When you compete in the Fall, you may get paid "bids" (paid registrations) to Spring competitions. If that happens, we keep Spring registration CLOSED and the girls that earned those bids can keep competing in the Spring to different championships. This is why it's crucial to sign up in the Fall as we haven't been able to open Spring registration for 2 years. Our girls have won so many bids in the Fall we continue doing their dance in the Spring (we've been able to teach a couple fun dances on the side as well for our Winter and Spring shows!), and that helps save cost majorly in the Spring because we have paid "bids". We may take on a competition through a dance competition circuit like Starbound, KAR or Showstopper because those are special ones that only run in the Spring. Spring is a much busier season for competitions normally.
Q. Covid - what are your guidelines?
A. Every building we've rented this past year has required masks. We're going to do the same in the Fall this year unless the State regulates otherwise. All through last year we were following CDC Guidelines, IHSA rules (though we are not IHSA, these were good guidelines to follow, like no dancers touching and hooking up for kicklines), and State guidelines. We always have extra masks and soap on hand, and thermometers if we don't self-assess in the Fall. We have sanitizing wipes/sprays as well. We are no longer doing lessons by Zoom. We know rules may continue to change so we always keep copies and stay on top of it :) One of our coaches and Co-Director is a Nurse and helps keep us up-to-date on all the guidelines as well :)
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve our organization so we can better serve our
Bulldogs Spirit Poms and Dance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit serving the community and is not affiliated with any school district, dance institution, park district, youth sports league, one town or township. Serving the Port Barrington, Wauconda, Island Lake, McHenry, Volo, Lakemoor, Lake Barrington, Crystal Lake, Cary, and surrounding areas. Open to all public, private and homeschooled girls and boys in the area.