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Our Mission

The mission of Dimensions Youth Ballet is to provide pre-professional dance training and performance opportunities to dancers and to share our passion and the artistry of dance with the greater DeKalb area.

Board of Directors

Joanna Simek - President

JoAnna is a partner in BKD’s Chicago office. She focuses her practice in matters of federal and state taxation, serving privately-owned, middle-market companies primarily in the greater Chicago area. She has clients in many industries, including manufacturing, distribution, technology, retail, and professional services. JoAnna is a member of BKD’s Commercial Services Group, as well as an executive member of SKY, the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiative. JoAnna is a graduate of The Ohio State University and DePaul University. She serves on several committees for the Illinois CPA Society, including the Diversity Advisory Council and Tax Executive Committee. She is a Member At-Large of the AICPA Council and a frequent presenter on various tax topics. JoAnna is also on the Board of Directors at Chicago Youth Centers.

JoAnna grew up dancing ballet from the age of three, performing in many dance competitions and recitals. She has a passion for the arts and often studied both visual and performing arts in her education. Culture, heritage, and the arts are important to her, and she enjoys going to museums and seeing shows. In her free time, she enjoys traveling as well as spending time with her husband and two children. JoAnna got involved with DYB to support the greater DeKalb community and the beauty of dance. Dance can be a catalyst for developing strong bodies and minds and help young people accomplish great things!

Drew Simek - Treasurer
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Drew Simek is a Partner with Southcrest Consulting, a state and local tax consulting firm, and is based in the Chicago office.  He grew up in DeKalb, attended DeKalb High School and Northern Illinois University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.  Drew has worked in tax consulting for 15 years, formerly with PricewaterhouseCoopers before starting his own firm in 2015.

Drew is the brother of Dimensions Dance Academy Owner, Miranda Cordes and therefore DYB and DDA are very meaningful.   Having grown up in DeKalb, Drew has extensive ties to the local community and visits friends and family regularly.  Drew resides in Chicago with his wife and two children.

Ashton Bhardwaj - Secretary

Growing up in Sycamore, Illinois, Ashton fell in love with ballet at an early age. From ages five to eighteen she danced with the Beth Fowler School of Ballet where she loved to take classes, perform, and teach. This passion for dance followed her to Elizabethtown College where she earned her BA in International Business and participated in the college dance group,


In addition to dance Ashton has a passion for data. She has worked for 10 years with the most trusted and recognized name in the baby and children’s furniture industry, Delta Children, where she is currently a Senior Data and Insights Analyst.  Ashton is excited to return to the world of dance as the Secretary of Dimensions Youth Ballet. Ashton currently lives in St. Charles, Illinois, with her husband and two young sons. When not working she enjoys the theater, taking family bike rides along the Fox River, and trying new vegetarian recipes.

Melissa Beck - Board Member
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Melissa was born and raised in DeKalb. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Health and Human Sciences then went on to Northern Illinois University for a master's degree in physical therapy.


Melissa sees the value in giving back to the community in which she grew up. She participates in her children’s PTA, volunteers with Barb Food Mart and Lincoln Elementary School, and has served on the DeKalb Education Foundation as well as graduated from the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy. Melissa strongly believes that you should “love where you live” and has recently been planning local events like “Dancing Downtown” where Dimensions Youth Ballet dancers performed in local storefronts downtown. She hopes to continue planning fun events and fundraising opportunities for Dimensions Youth Ballet that will also benefit the community! 


Melissa has been a physical therapist for 15 years with Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists, a private practice physical therapy clinic in DeKalb. She treats a variety of conditions and ages and strives to help her patients meet their physical and wellness goals. Dancing as a child with 'Debbie's Dance Dimensions' allowed Melissa to value movement and strength, which has also been beneficial with her career in physical therapy. 


In her free time, Melissa enjoys camping, reading, cooking, being artistic and spending time with her husband and three young (dancing) girls. She is excited to begin a new adventure on the Dimensions Youth Ballet board and cannot wait to spread the news of Dimensions with the community!

Rob Feldacker - Board Member
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Rob Feldacker’s involvement with the world of dance began in his teen years, working the spotlight for performances at Merl Shef Studios where his sisters danced. Since he came to DeKalb in 2003, he and his family continued to participate in dance, first at Debbie’s Dance Dimensions and now under Miranda’s creative direction at Dimensions Dance Academy. 


 Rob’s goal with the Dimensions Youth Ballet is to share with others the gifts of joy, art, music, and movement that dance has brought to his own family (even if he only performs for Father’s Day recitals…). By providing access to the world of dance to as much of the DeKalb area as possible, Rob hopes to help insure a robust art community for the future.


Rob grew up in St. Louis and is a graduate of Grinnell College and Virginia Commonwealth University. He works in advancement and development for the Northern Illinois University Foundation.

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