Featured Alumni

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   Chris Mauro is a proud SIUAC alum, who started back in 2009, where he took several dance classes, as well as performed in the Theatre Troupe “Act 1.” Since graduating college in 2014 from Nazareth College of Rochester, where he was a Musical Theatre major, Chris has been working all over the country and even all over the world. He started his career doing regional theatre in Pennsylvania, doing some new works, as well as performing in some classics, like Children of Eden (Abel). From there Chris booked a few national tours, traveling all over the United States, with the touring children’s theatre company ArtsPower, where he spent 3 toursplaying the villains in the shows "Four Score and Seven Years Ago" (Sgt. Hitchborne), "The Monster Who Ate My Peas: (The Monster), and "Chicken Dance" (Mac the Duck). Now living in NYC, Chris began working at the World Famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square where he performs as a singing waiter. Since getting hired there, Chris has gone on to perform on 2 different cruise ships, The Viking Sun and The AIDA Mar, as well as a few off Broadway shows right in NYC, Unspoken Conversations (Frank Wedekind) and Yosef (Reuven). He even got to tour through China with the Nickelodeon TV show production of Paw  Live (Mayor Humdinger). Chris will become a proud member of Actor’s Equity this year as he returns to one of his favorite regional theatres, Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake, Colorado, where he performed in The Full Monty (Dave), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Inspector Pinckney) and Annie (Drake) in 2018. Chris really wants to thank

 

"SIUAC, as it was the first place that really helped him hone his skills and helped nurture his love for the arts. The whole Colombo family had a part in helping getting him there and they truly helped him discover his passion for performing, which he will forever be grateful for. Love you all."

CHRIS MAURO

Alexis Spencer

Certified theraputic recreation specialist for assisted living

 

Danced for 15 years

 

Former Miss SIU

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   Life Enrichment Manager, Waltonwood Cotswold Senior Living Lexi Spencer became a member of the Waltonwood Cotswold family in December 2018. She began as a Life Enrichment Coordinator for Memory Care. Her passion for seniors and dedication to excellence inspired her to pursue new opportunities within the community, and as of June 2019, she is embracing a new role as the Life Enrichment Manager for Assisted Living. Lexi is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and a graduate from the Recreational Therapy program at East Carolina University. She has previous experience working with seniors at the Salisbury VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC and Cypress Glen Retirement Community in Greenville, NC. Lexi is committed to providing a high-quality Life Enrichment program that will both encourage residents’ personal growth and fulfill their needs.  

  

   Lexi was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She danced for 15 years, and was a member of the SIUAC family for the majority of her dance career. She is Also a Former Miss SIU. She relocated to North Carolina in 2015 with her family. She enjoys music and dance, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.* 

Shelbie Colombo

BFA in Theatrical Production and design with a minor in dance from Fredonia State University.

3 Years at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Company - properties artisan.

5 years at Geva theater as a Stage Operations Manager, Assistant
Charge artist, and Properties Artisan.

 

3 Years designing sets at Wheatland Chili High school.

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      Since graduating high school, Shelbie went off to Fredonia State University. There she achieved a BFA In Theatrical Production and Design with a Minor in Dance. While attending collage she was able to gain skills such as upholstery, sowing, painting and drawing techniques, and a knowledge for design in both
construction build and overall aesthetic for setting the scene. After graduation she went off to her first professional job with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare company as a Properties Artisan which she worked at for three summers. Some of her other summer work included working for Bay street theatre on Long island as a carpenter. In 2015 she started her first year at Geva Theatre Center as a Stage Hand. Over the past 5 years at Geva she had a multitude of positions such as Stage Operations Manager, Assistant Charge artist, and Properties Artisan. Always working different departments sometimes simultaneously is just one of the reasons she loves her job. Along with her time at Geva she works for Local 25 which is the Union house for company’s all over Rochester including the Auditorium Theatre, Eastman Opera Shop, The Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Kodak Theatre, and CMAC just to name a few. With them she can work with productions, Bands, and Artists from all over the country. Being a Freelancer in the arts allows her to work on many different projects. 2020 will be her third year as the Set Designer for Wheatland Chili High Schools Musicals where she gets to teach children things she has learned from this industry.

What has allowed her to grow and thrive in this business all started with the love and support from her parents along with both her sisters, Cori and Danielle, who were her mentors and teachers. Without growing up with her time at SIU, where she was pushed and trained, she never would have had the guts or passion to go into this unique field. She couldn’t be prouder to have been apart of Strike It Up and she can’t thank the SIU family enough for what they did for her.

Shauni Reutz

BA in Musical theater and a Minor in Dance From the University of Northern Colorado

Won the Jimmy Awards In NYC

Workshops/Concept album Recordings

Check out her Single "Brave Girl" on Itunes and Spotify or her website: www.Shauniruetz.com

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Shauni has a BA in musical theater and a dance minor from the University of Northern Colorado. She is currently working on her EP album and another single with her production team in Chicago. She has a music video out for her first single, “Brave Girl”, found on any music platform. She has been involved in the making of many new musicals in NYC. She has done industry readings, as well as concept albums and cast albums for a variety of shows. She has been portraying the role of Lizzie Shuffleup through the journey of the show “The Imaginary”, created by Joshua Betancourt (SIUAC ALUMNI) and Trent Jeffords. This is where she was reminded of her true passion; recording. While living in NYC, Shauni has had the pleasure teaching workshops for schools with no access to the arts, she has competed in vocal competitions like “Rising Star Competition: 2” and “New York’s Got Talent: Season 2”, and had the opportunity to be in several vocal shows. Out of these competitions she was asked to be a musical guest at NY’s first Monday Night Live! She debuted her first single at her self-produced show, “Brave Girl” in Times Square with an amazing team of people by her side. She has her next show in the works with brilliant artists and team members. Shauni is lucky enough to be closely connected to her Jimmy Awards family near and far and as she continues her journey in NYC and beyond, she is extremely grateful for her roots in Rochester, NY…where it all started.

Listen to Her single Here!

Danielle (Colombo)  Joseph

Performance Certificate From AMDA in NYC

Studied Voice at Eastman's Community School

Director of Music and Theater at Strike it Up! Artistic Center

Lead Singer of the " Pop Show Band"

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Danielle graduated from AMDA in New York City as a Musical Theater Major. Her theater training was under Terry Ralston, Catherine Cox, and Even Papas (original Broadway cast members). She was one of twenty students selected out of the top colleges on the East Coast to perform in the Broadway Rising Stars Showcase held at New York City Town Hall. She has been studying Voice for the past 20 years, 4 of which she spent studying at the Eastman Community Music School under Cecile Saine. She has danced for 20 years at local dance studios and continued her dance training while in college at AMDA. She was a member of the Webster Schroeder Show Choir for 4 years and has won several awards for best Soloist in a Show Choir (NYC Show Choir Competition, Festivals of Music Competition in Toronto). She also participated in NYSSMA solo-fest for 7 years, all county choruses, Area All-State, the Christmas Pops Concert at Eastman and was a featured soloist in the New York State Conference All State women's Choir. She also has a great love of theater, some of her favorite roles include: Batboy the Musical (Mrs. Taylor), Urine Town (Soupy Sue), The Wiz (The Wiz), Seussical (Gertrude), The Green Rose (Rose), and Joseph and the Amazing Techno-Colored Dream Coat (Narrator), Donna Lucia in Nazareth College’s Production of Where's Charley. Danielle also coaches many students on their auditions for college and local shows.  She has directed and written a lot of the Summer Theater Camp productions at SIU. In her spare time, she is the lead singer in the Pop Show Band, writes and records her own music, and has performed the National Anthem for the past 10 years at several Local/National Sporting events.  .

Nicole Stein

BS in Psychology from Syracuse University

 

Professional Nanny

Ballet education out reach Through the Lincoln Center in NYC

Nicole graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors degree in psychology. While at SIU, she joined Orange Pulse Dance Troupe where she was selected two years in a row as a student choreographer served one year on the executive board as Artistic Director. After graduating, she worked for the YMCA of Greater Rochester as a School Age and Preschool Programming Director for the East side Branch. After taking a leap of faith and moving to NYC, Nicole decided to transition to private in-home childcare, currently working as a full time professional nanny.

 

*This past fall, she was selected to join the internship program at American Ballet Theatre, interning in the Education and Outreach department where she was given the opportunity to help create ABT kid’s programming during the fall ballet season at the Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. Nicole hopes that someday she can melt her experience in child care and her passion for dance and the arts together to create a future dream career! *

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Skylar Smith

Current Dance Major

 At Slippery Rock

in Pennsylvania

 

SIUAC Faculty Member

&

Guest Choreographer

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Skylar has been dancing since she was two years old. She trained until she was 18 at her home studio, Strike It Up Artistic Center. After graduating from Wayne Central High School Skylar went to Slippery Rock University to study dance. She is a part of the BFA program where she currently studies Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Kinesiology, Laban Movement Analysis, Afro-Colombian, and Composition. She has studied the Graham technique in a rendition of Martha Graham’s “Celebration” and recently traveled to Italy to study the dance world further last summer.

 

*Skylar has been a faculty member at Strike It Up Artistic Center since 2016 setting pieces on competition students and teaching Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Acro, and Ballet over the summer.*