From IWU Magazine, Winter 2013-14 edition
A Spring in Their Step
Illinois Wesleyan interns jazz up dancewear company.
By KIM HILL
Alumnae working for Revolution Dancewear include (from left) Simone (Roos) Snook ’03,
Jenilee Houghton ’05 and Celeste Kelley ’13. A theatre major, Kelley was recently
hired for a full-time position after impressing
executives during her internship.
With the graceful confidence of a star ballerina, Revolution Dancewear LLC has leapt
forward with a strong lift from several Illinois Wesleyan alumni and student interns.
The Niles, Ill.-based manufacturer partners exclusively with dance studios and dance
schools to sell shoes, dancewear and costumes. Considered an industry leader in the
U.S. and Canada, the company recently acquired DanceDirect, Europe’s largest dancewear
“As our company expands and grows every day, I think it’s really exciting to see how
many members of the Wesleyan family we’ve chosen to help this successful company grow
even more,” says Jenilee Houghton ’05, a theatre major at IWU who is now Revolution
Dancewear’s senior director of creative development.
For two consecutive years, Revolution Dancewear LLC has hired IWU students as interns,
and in the past four years it has hired three Wesleyan alumni in full-time positions.
One of those alumni, Celeste Kelley ’13, worked for the company as a summer intern
and was hired full time in August.
Kelley, a theatre major, attributed her success at Revolution Dancewear to her rigorous
academic schedule at IWU. “Wesleyan prepared me for the working world in many different
ways. The first of which is that I learned how to juggle many different tasks at once,”
“Revolution Dancewear is a business that moves incredibly fast, and so each day is
a new adventure,” says Houghton. “Our interns work on a variety of projects, from
creating a digital fabric library to organizing a new workspace. It’s always been
important to me that our creative internship opportunities are rewarding and fulfilling.”
As an intern, Kelley was given the chance to run wardrobe for a weeklong photo shoot,
assisting the company with more than 1,000 photos of their dancewear products. “She
did such an amazing job that we offered her a full-time position in the production
department, and we were thrilled that she accepted,” says Houghton.
Another IWU intern for Revolution Dancewear was Caitlyn Trevor ’14, who is a majoring
in music with a minor in theatre arts at IWU. Trevor was interested in the costume
design side of business. “She spent time working through our design process, and we
even gave her the opportunity to try designing a costume for our customers,” says
Houghton. “She did such a great job that the costume was approved and can now be found
in this season’s costume collection.”
Houghton says this kind of initiative “speaks to the intelligence, creativity and
overall character that Wesleyan helps to develop in their students.”
Kinzie Schweigert ’15 contributed to this story.
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