ORIGINS DANCE ACADEMY FACULTY
Jennifer Sullivan - Director
Jennifer Sullivan is originally from Northwest Indiana, which gave her the opportunity to train in Chicago at Hubbard Street and Giordano’s. She then moved to Los Angeles, California after graduating high school, where she successfully worked as a dancer and choreographer for 14 years.
Her diversity in the art has led her to many avenues of the industry, including industrials for Jafra, AAA, Tarbell Realtors, IAM.COM and Disney. She can be seen in feature films, such as Beautiful Directed by Sally Fields and Rock Star, with Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg. Her television credits include It’s All Relative, The Practice, MTV’s The Andy Dick Show, and Nikki on the WB. Jennifer was part of the creative team for the Grand Opening Ceremonies of Disney’s California Adventure and choreographed Disney’s Fantasy Christmas in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. She has had the privilege to work with celebrities such as, Christina Aguilera, Nicholas Cage, Minnie Driver, Andy Dick, and Bjork.
Her regional theater credits include the role of Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street and Will Rogers Follies. She also performed for the world renowned Michael Curry Design at the Los Angeles Opera in “Bluebeard’s Castle” and “Ariadne auf Naxos”. Jennifer choreographed the Celebration of Sovereignty for Morongo, Casino, Resort, and Spa in Palm Springs and a “Sports Pack” commercial for DirecTV.
Jennifer is the Director and Owner of Origins Dance Academy, which is an award winning nationally acclaimed studio. Her excitement for sharing her knowledge and experience of “the art of dance” to dancers of all ages and background is evident in her teaching and leadership of ODA.
Rochelle Avery - Troupe Director/Assistant Director/Instructor
Rochelle, originally from Chicago, Illinois, started her training at a neighborhood studio. Her education then continued at DanceSpace, formerly the home for Chicago Dance Medium and Lou Conte, home of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. To continually further her education she has attended numerous dance conventions and seminars. She has performed at numerous Chicago land functions, such as, Taste of Chicago, Ditka's Restaurant Club and UIC Pavilion, just to name a few. She appeared in the motion picture "Red Heat" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi and was a dancer at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hills, Illinois, where she performed Las Vegas Revue Shows. She has taught Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Modern and Lyrical to children throughout the Chicago land and NWI area. Rochelle LOVES teaching and watching her students grow as dancers and individuals and is ecstatic to be part of the Origins family and to bring her educational talent to our dancers.
Trisha Madura - Troupe Assistant/Instructor
Trisha discovered her passion for dance at the young age of 3 with her experience in jazz, lyrical/contemporary, hip hop, ballet, and pom. She grew up training and competing in Northwest Indiana, including on Origins Dance Troupe! Trisha continued to pursue her career as a collegiate dancer in Grand Rapids, MI, as a 4-year member and 2-year Captain of the Davenport University Dance Team. As Captain, she led the team to the program's first ever National titles, capturing 2-National Titles at NDA Collegiate Nationals, in Daytona Beach, FL. Trisha received various award-winning honors as a dancer, including 2x All-American Dancer, "Most Spirited Dancer", "Veteran of the Year," and Scholar Athlete. She started as a Dance Instructor and Head Dance Team Coach at the age of 19, including traveling the country leading dance camps through the National Dance Alliance. Trisha has since trained with NBA dance teams, worked for the high-energy 'Pride Crew' of the Chicago White Sox, and continues to train and educate in the evolving dance world of hip hop, lyrical, and dance team. Trisha's love for dance continues to grow through her choreography, teaching various styles to students of all ages, and sharing what she is most passionate about to the Origins Dance Family!
Brooke Batinic - Instructor
Brooke grew up dancing and competing in Northwest Indiana, winning many national awards. During high school, she attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she studied under Joffrey’s Ballet Masters and Hubbard Street Jazz and Modern instructors. At the age of 18, Brooke moved to New York City on scholarships to Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center. She spent three years in the city, performing industrials and studying under Mia Michaels, Ray Leeper, Suzy Taylor, and many other industry greats. In 2001, Brooke moved to Orlando to work at Disney and also began her teaching career. During her years in Orlando, she taught full time with Raskin Dance Studio and Deltona Dance Academy, choreographing many nationally award winning pieces. Since moving back to Indiana in 2008, Brooke has gotten married and is thrilled to have taught at a few studios in the area. Origins is a special place for her, since Jennifer Sullivan is her childhood best friend.
Christina Blazo - Social Media Admininstrator/Curriculum Coordinator/Instructor Christina started her dance career when she was 3 years old studying ballet, tumbling and tap at Patti’s All-American in Dyer, IN. In high school she discovered dance was her passion. As a Munster High School dance team member, she received Junior Solo State Champion, National Champion in the Pom Division and Large Ensemble State Champion.
In addition to dance team, Christina furthered her training at M2 Dance Center in St. John, IN training in jazz and turns and leaps and performed with the award winning Indiana Danzforce team at the NDA National Championship. After graduating high school, Christina moved to Indianapolis to study Psychology at the University of Indianapolis and was a member of the UIndy Dance Team during her freshman year. Christina graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2008 with a concentration in Occupational Therapy; minor focus in American Sign Language. She received her Master’s Degree in December of 2009 in Occupational Therapy. After graduation, Christina moved back to Schererville, IN to begin her career as an occupational therapist. Christina started her work experience working with pediatrics at a outpatient clinic. She is currently working at a IL hospital in the NICU and at St. Catherine’s on the Rehab floor with adults. Outside of work and teaching dance, Christina enjoys working out at Crossfit and doing yoga. She also loves spending time
with her family and friends. Favorite dance move: Calypso.
Reese Rettig - Instructor
Reese has been dancing at Origins for 8 years and a member of Origins Dance Troupe for 7 years, earning several scholarships and awards. She is a senior at Crown Point High School and a Varsity Dance Team member who earned her varsity letter as a freshman, as well as Rookie of the Year honors. Reese has been an assistant instructor and substitute at Origins since 2019 and danced on the Wheeler Middle School Dance Team. Taking honors, dual credit and AP level courses, Reese is a Scholar Athlete, Kiwanis Scholar, Crown Point Scholar and earned High Honor Roll recognition with a GPA of 4.0 or higher her freshman year. Reese is in her third year of teaching at Origins. She is excited to share her talent, experience and passion for dance with the students of ODA.