Our Teachers


LarisaLarisa Kitaychik, Co-Owner, Director, Piano/Keyboard Teacher

Larisa was born in Moscow, Russia. At the age of 7 she was accepted to the Moscow School of Music, which she graduated in 1986. After 12 years of the extensive piano education, she received a degree in piano performance and chamber ensemble. While studying at the Moscow School of Music, she performed as an accompanist for vocal and chamber concerts.

In 1995 she graduated from the Moscow University with a Master of Fine Arts  in Music Education. Larisa has been teaching piano for over 20 years both in Russia and in the U.S. Her students won multiple local, state, and international competitions. She also teaches music to kids with special needs. In 2010 she completed a graduate program at Northeastern Illinois University with a Masters degree in Special Education.

Larisa has worked as a private piano teacher in Chicago since 2002. She is a member of the Illinois Music Teacher Association,  Music Teacher National Association, and the National Association of Special Education Teachers. Larisa is a certified  “Musikgarten” teacher and teaches “Musikgarten: at the keyboard” classes as well.


MilaMila Ryk, Co-Owner, Director, Art Teacher

Mila Ryk is a 3rd generation artist born in the Ukraine, and immigrated to United States in 1991. She studied at the Art Studio of Associate Professor of Fine Arts Leon Oks.

Mila is the sole proprietor/owner of Art & Beyond Studio, Inc., in Morton Grove, Illinois, since 2003. Mila is listed with the Cambridge Who’s Who Registry as an Honored Member and qualified for publication in the 2007-8 edition of the Cambridge Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals. In November of 2009 her artwork has been published in the Best of America Oil Artists, Volume II book. Also Mila’s art was listed in the International Dictionary of Artists 2011. In 2014 her work have been published in the Living Artists of Today: Contemporary Art. vol.II.

Mila Ryk is founder and published of Art & Beyond publications which include Art & Beyond Magazine printed and Online, and fine art books Living Artists of Today: Contemporary Art.

She’s teaching art for more then 10 years for kids and adults. Mila is a teaching instructor for North Shore Senior Center.


SaraSara Maslanka, Artistic Director, Ballet Teacher

Sara grew up in Skokie, Illinois dancing from a young age at a local ballet studio. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Pedagogy from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters of Science in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. During her studies, Sara had the opportunity to participate in both artistic works and dance-based scientific research. Since moving back to Chicago, Sara has been teaching, performing and choreographing. She hopes to continue researching the benefits of dance participation in the community. Sara has been working and performing with Chicago Danztheatre since October of 2014.




Lana Kebets, Piano/Keyboard Teacher, Orchestra and Choir Instructor

Lana is a highly motivated professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Music Performance and Education. Born in Belarus, she graduated from Lida School of Music, Lida College of Music, and Belarusian State Academy of Music with a bachelor’s degree. Her experience includes teaching piano, directing instrumental ensembles, and performing as an orchestra and choir conductor on different stages.

Since her immigration in 2015, Lana successfully continues her work as a piano teacher in Chicago area. Working with both children and adults, Lana provides a safe and optimal learning environment to maximize student’s unique potential.




Jacqueline Mendoza, KinderDance, Pre-Ballet I and II, Creative Movement

Jacqueline grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago where she started dancing the age of 3. Continuing on her dance journey she studied at various Chicago and suburban studios before she eventually started teaching at age 17. Jacqueline decided to take her passion to the next level at Northeastern Illinois University where she focused her studies on Early Childhood Education and graduated with a minor in Dance Education. While attending NEIU she studied ballet, modern, contemporary, performance styles dance compostion, and 3 styles of Spanish dance with Rachel Burton, Venetia Stifler, and Irma Suarez Ruiz. Jacqueline has had the pleasure of teaching for the NEIU Prepratory dance program for 8 years and teaches at several studios in Chicago and suburbs. Jacqueline still takes ballet and of Spanish dance  several times a week because she believes a dancers work is never done, her hope is to impact her students lives as much as her teachers have for her and to make others get excited about dance.


Kristina Lee, Dancing With Stars/Ballroom Teacher

Kristina Lee is a professional ballroom dancer. In her dance career Kristina became an Irish dance champion competing at the nationals and representing the United States twice at the world championships.
Kristina has toured with several well known dance companies and has been honored to dance professionally with several Grammy winning bands. She has preformed on national and international television and to live audiences exceeding seventy five thousand.
Kristina’s students have won numerous scholarships, championship and top student awards while dancing with her at prestigious competitions.
Kristina has won top teacher multiple competitions and is currently ranked 5th top Latin teacher and 4th top Ballroom teacher at the United States Dance Championships.
Here are some of the awards Kristina’s students have achieved competing and training with her:
Top overall newcomer, bronze, Silver, and Open students
Top overall Gentleman
Dance sport series top students
Top solo award

Scholarship and championship wins in: Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, and Open while dancing Standard, Latin, smooth, and rhythm.
Top gentleman four years in a row at the United States Dance Championships.
Multiple scholarship and championship finalists at the United States dance championships
2nd place National pro/am classic show dance champion.
Ohio Star Ball Silver amateur Latin championship/scholarship winners
Ohio Star Ball 1st place solo
Multiple Ohio Star scholarship and championship finalists
3 time Unforgettable Award

Kristina teaches students of all levels and ages. Her students have been as young as 4 as well as students in their 90’s. She has enjoyed teaching dance and etiquette to young cotillion groups. She has choreographed many wedding dances and Kristina is also proud to be a T.A.P.S (the Alzheimer’s project) certified teacher. Being a T.A.P.S teacher Kristina has received specialized training to teach dance to those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.



JohnJohn Chambers, Voice Teacher

John Chambers has been a professional singer/actor in Chicago for the past 15 years.  A member of Actors’ Equity Association, he has been featured in numerous productions at Drury Lane Oak Brook, Theatre at the Center, Court Theatre, Light Opera Works, and Shakespeare on the Green.  An honors graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in vocal performance, Mr. Chambers has ten years of experience teaching theatre and voice throughout Chicago and the northern suburbs.  As a freelance director, he has staged productions of Into the WoodsShe Loves MeGuys & Dolls, and several musical revues.



CatherineCatherine Caffarella, Dancing With Stars/Ballroom Teacher

Catherine Caffarella began dancing at the age of 6. For 10 years she was one of the leading members of the ballroom dance theater in Sevastopol, Crimea. She has toured most of Europe, Ukraine and Russia with regular show performances and various ballroom dance competitions in all disciplines. In 2000, together with her partner, became champions of Ukraine and Crimea in International Standard ballroom program in their age category. In 2001 she moved to the United States where she continues to participate in professional showcase divisions. Catherine loves the thrill of competition and the discipline of practice. She appreciates the hard work put in by dancers of all levels and shares her passion of dancing with everyone around her.


EmmaEmma Lehtman, Piano Teacher

Proficient in piano performance and passionate about music education, Mr. Lehtman achieved a bachelor’s degree in piano pedagogy, performance and concertmaster, music history, and theory in Kiev, Ukraine in 1974. She later went on to achieve a master’s degree in piano pedagogy and performance at the State conservatory in Saratov (Russian Federation), witch she graduated in 1979. After immigrating to the US she continued her music education in Verhoog Piano Institute, Evanston, Il. 1989-1994.

In 1974, Ms. Lehtman began working as a piano teacher. In addition to her piano instructions, she served as a piano accompanist for the State Drama Theater in Ukraine and Olympic gymnastics team. Since 1987 Ms. Lethman has taught piano in US. She specializes in teaching adults, conveying to them a love of music. She also offers adult students customized unique learning experiences to enrich their everyday lives. An expert in piano pedagogy and jazz improvisation, Ms. Lehtman teaches students, organizes and aids in rehearsals for piano recitals, and conducts master classes. Many of her students have gone on to achieve amazing things- including one student who became a musical director for a Chicago theater and another student who went on to perform on Broadway.

Ms. Lehtman is a member of NSMTA since 1987, CAMTA since 2011, and Cambridge “Who’s Who”

Rhythm & Beyond  is seeking dependable highly qualified Teachers to add to our team for the following positions on the contract bases:

  • Dance Instructors/Substitute Teachers
    Creative Movement
  • Piano Teacher
  • Guitar Teacher

Please send your resume and cover letter for consideration.