City Nation is a performance dance company born from the idea of creating a positive environment for dancers where they learn respect and recognition for their peers and are consistently encouraged to find contentment in sharing their passion for dance with others.
City Nation Studios offers a variety of invitation-only programs for competition dance. Auditions are held annually in August, and our season runs from September through June.
Former director of Work In Progress, Chris first honed his performance skills working with DJ Too Kool Chris and built his technical foundations under the guidance of Karlo Familiara and Suave at Hip Hop Connxion, Angelina Grima and Karlo Familiara at Design and a variety of instructors with The Puzzle League and the Chicago Onyx Dance Alliance (CODA).
Today, as Director of City Nation Studios, Chris enjoys sharing his experience with a new generation as they embark on their journeys through the world of dance.
A former member of performance company Same Planet, Different World, Connie dances with Jay Fagan in Sibling Rivalry and is the former artistic director of Footwork Dance Ensemble Company at Jo's Footwork, Western Springs, Ilinois.
Jay Fagan is amongst the most sought after Tap Masters in the industry and is known as one of the most fun teachers and entertaining performers of today.
Entering his third decade of international dance experience, his mastery of rhythm tap has been performed, taught and choreographed worldwide. He was trained by the very best in the business and is a decorated performer who has shared the stage with an impressive
list of talented dancers.
Jay has taught throughout Chicagoland for over 20 years. Beyond his tap mastery, he has studied and still teaches all mediums of dance. His choreographic works have consistently placed within all top-ranking national competitions.
Kayla began her career when she was seven years-old and is currently a dance major at Columbia College in Chicago. Though she was initially self-taught, she later sought more formalized training in hip hop, ballet, contemporary, urban hip hop, modern, West-African and more.
Kayla works with dancers of all ages teaching at Triple Threat Divas Pom & Dance Studio in Oak Forest, Illinois and City Nation Studios.
Amber began dancing at Legacy Dance Ensemble in 2010 under co-founder, Donn Lusung. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop styles for 8 years and competed with City Nation Studios
for 5 years. Amber is eager to grow as a teacher imparting her knowledge and experience to future generations of dancers.
A late bloomer in the world of dance, Donn was 18 years-old when he began to explore the art form more seriously. Since then, he has undergone rigorous training and attended many conventions all while developing a style of his own. Donn has taught in studios and at workshops throughout Chicagoland, and even formed a successful, competitive hip hop team in Anchorage, Alaska.
Although no longer living in the Chicago area, Donn's heart and soul remain with City Nation.
Like many artists, Chris Zarate's career has been a long and winding road.
Read the complete story of Chris's journey to The City Nation here.