Our Extraordinary Staff

Heart & Sole Dance is dedicated to pursuing and teaching excellence as a way of life. Whatever your goals and level of interest, from the rich social environment to the demanding path of the competitor, Heart & Sole Dance has something to offer, and we promise that your journey will be fun!

Our instructors have trained with the best and bring varied and extensive experience to the studio. From national level competitors to local experts, the standards at Heart & Sole are held higher than other studios and you can expect nothing but top quality and lots of joy in every lesson.

Maren Oslac – Owner, Lead Instructor

Maren, is a national level Ballroom, Swing and Country instructor, competitor and judge. After 10 years of traveling extensively across the country earning top placements and an exceptional reputation, she retired in 2008, to allow her to develop and grow the local dance community. Her passion for teaching and her desire to share her love of dance led her to open her own studio in Tinley Park, IL, start the Illinois Ballroom Teacher College, and bring the internationally acclaimed program Dancing Classrooms to the Chicago area.

Maren carries with her a host of wins and titles in Country, Latin, Ballroom, Hustle and Swing, including more wins than she can count in her favorite arenas, Strictly Swing and Jack & Jill competitions. For 4 years of her competition career, she had the privilege of competing in the Open Classic division of West Coast Swing with Jason Miklic. Together, they consistently placed in the top 5 in the nation throughout their partnership! Check them out on You Tube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbe52piPoVY

Jeff Sanchez – Instructor
Jeff began dancing in 2001 and quickly found that he loved the challenge of it. He danced pro-am with Maren for several years before becoming a professional part-time instructor. His full time job was working in the Financial Trading industry as a IT expert. In 2012, Jeff decided that he’d had enough of the high pressure Financial Trading world and decided to make his life long hobby of archery into the successful BowDoc Archery brand. (BowDoc.com).

Jeff brings patience and an uncanny ability to analyze any pattern or problem in dance. Teaching is really rewarding to me, says Jeff, one of the best things is to see someone light up when they’ve gotten a pattern, or understand a concept.

Lynzi Scholz – Instructor
Lynzi says that she was born dancing, and it’s certainly in her blood. She studied in dance and theater in London, and then moved back to the states where she became a ballroom dance instructor in Ohio.

Lynzi found her home with Heart & Sole Dance in 2009, and hasn’t looked back. Lynzi is an expert in Ballroom, Country and Swing and has competed in all three disciplines. She is currently competing with her students in Ballroom and Country, and has climbed the ladder in her own WCS competition incredibly very quickly.

Nicki Cacciato – Instructor
Hooping and dancing her way through life, Nicki is the most recent addition to our instructors. Nicki started with HSD in 2012 as a part time instructor teaching our youth classes. Although she may look like one of the kids, she is an accomplished dancer and instructor and quickly became an essential part of the studio.

Nicki is now at the stdio 5-6 days a week. She continues to teach the youth classes, and now the adults have the benefit of her skills as well. Many of her students have started competing this past year and are doing extraordinarily well. When Nicki’s not dancing or teaching, you’ll find her working with her hula-hoop

Erik Binter – Instructor

Erik began studying ballroom dance in 2003 and has worked with most of top U.S. and international professionals. Erik is an Open Amateur Standard Ballroom Champion and has experience teaching and competing with students at all ages and levels. In addition, his choreography has received recognition in multiple venues. Erik’s training goes well beyond ballroom, latin and swing and includes ballet, modern, contact improvisation, and kinesiology.

Riley Wimes – Instructor
Riley has been with Heart & Sole Dance since Maren opened the studio in 2008. He was instrumental in HSD becoming the success that it is today and will always hold a very special place at the studio. Riley bring a varied background with him which serves him well as an instructor.

Riley is known for his Swing, Lindy Hop, Salsa, teaching ballroom to youth and his fitness! He is an unstoppable machine!


Monica Smaniotto – Studio Manager
Monica is the person that makes everything run smoothly at Heart & Sole Dance! Because of Monica, and her staff, our instructors can focus on what they do best, teach! She takes care of scheduling, phone calls, payments and everything behind the scenes to allow everyone else to relax and have a good time! Make sure you give her a smile and a thank you for taking such good care of everything!

Sharing her knowledge and the joy of dance with students is one of the most fulfilling aspects of Maren’s dancing career. Thrilled with the opportunity to offer something for everyone to the local Tinley Park community, Maren shares, …our instructors are qualified to work with everyone from raw beginners to advanced dancers and competitors, I wouldn’t have it any other way!