Originally from Ontario, Canada, Lizzie MacKenzie is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and is the founder and director of Extensions Dance Company and Extensions Dance Center in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to teaching at Extensions, she is on faculty at the Hubbard Street Dance Center and the Chicago Public School for the Arts. Her professional career included 6 years with the River North Dance Company, where she enjoyed touring and sharing the works of many great choreographers with audiences around the world. Prior to River North, Lizzie performed with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for 5 years.
Lizzie has worked with some of the biggest names in contemporary dance including Mia Michaels, Liz Imperio, Randy Duncan, Ron De Jesus, Davis Robertson, Tony Powell, Frank Chaves, Lauri Stallings, Kevin Iega Jeff, Harrison Mceldowny, Sidra Bell and Robert Battle.
In addition to her time touring with concert dance companies, Lizzie is a member of AGMA and has enjoyed dancing in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Welcome Yule!” holiday show for 15 years. Lizzie also has appeared with Lehrer Dance, LEVELdance, Chicago Repertory Ballet and Ron De Jesus Dance.
Lizzie attended Springboard Danse Montreal, where she studied under Alexandra Wells, Amy Shullman, Andrea Miller, Margi Gillis and Laurence Lemieux.
Most recently, Lizzie appeared as “Victoria” (The White Cat) in the Paramount Theater’s production of CATS under the direction of Shawn Stengel and the choreography of Harrison Mceldowney. She has also worked in the world of musical theater as an assistant to the choreographer for Drury Lane Oakbrook’s production of West Side Story. Lizzie has taught all over the world with numerous organizations, including the Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of Amaerica (DMA) and Chicago Dance Connection. Lizzie recently joined the faculty of Regional Dance America (RDA) and she has enjoyed teaching at Northwestern University, East Carolina University, Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. Her jazz class was listed in Dance Spirit Magazine as one of the top 3 dance classes in Chicago. In August of 2002, Lizzie was featured on the cover of DANCE magazine. Her choreography can be seen on various professional companies, collegiate dance programs and youth dance companies. She has received countless awards for her choreography including the “New Voice” honor from Dance Chicago in 2006, the “Choreographer Of The Year” from Dance Chicago and the Cliff Dwellers Foundation in 2007 and she was a finalist in the “AWARD Show” for the Chicago region. Her choreography has been recognized and awarded by various competitive organizations including Youth America Grand Prix, New York City Dance Alliance, American Dance Awards, International Dance Challenge, Headliners, Hall of Fame Dance Challenge, Showbiz Dance Competition and Co Dance, among others.
Lizzie’s students have gone on to various professional careers in dance including collegiate dance programs such as The Juilliard School, Ailey Fordham BFA, New York University, Boston Conservatory, University of Arizona and Point Park University.