Founder and Artistic Director of Danse Integro ~ LFPAC
Modern Dance, Theatre, Ballet & Aerial Hammocks
Simonetta Pacek is a nationally known Catholic recording artist and well-known, founder director of The Little Flowers Troupe. Under her direction, The Little Flowers Troupe has become the area's leading Catholic performing arts group. Often referred to as "The Best Catholic Theatre in Chicagoland”, Simonetta's original dance choreography and other dramatic and comedic performances have found a large and enthusiastic following, translating into sell-out appearances attended by thousands. Simonetta also founded The Little Flowers Performing Arts Center (LFPAC), which trains tomorrow’s artists in theatre, acting, dance and music.
Simonetta has been deeply involved in Chicago's performing arts community since childhood, where her father and mother were both highly regarded music figures in Chicago's Lithuanian community. She danced with the Knights of Lithuania folk group as a child and teen and then studied ballet with Jaunutis (Jan) Puodziunas, a well known Lithuanian ballet teacher and choreographer. At University, she studied modern dance and choreography under Shirley Mordine at Columbia College in Chicago, where she graduated with a degree in dance/choreography.
After a break for marriage and children, Simonetta returned to teach Lithuanian Folk dance with the Knights of Lithuania Dancers, including the International Lithuanian Dance Festival Sokiu Svente, and became Director/Choreographer of the Amber Ball, the top, annual social event of Chicago area Lithuanians.
In 1997, she attended a retreat with Ven. Fr. John A Hardon, SJ and upon receiving spiritual direction that she “should write”, she returned home and began writing music for the first time. This eventually grew into a series of award winning and nominated Catholic recordings, including her popular debut album “Keep Your Eyes on the Beloved”, audiobook “King of the Golden City” (among others), and her 2 best-selling Rosary recordings with Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel CFR, which have been heard daily on Catholic radio nationally since 2003. She has appeared on EWTN television as well as Catholic radio. Her recording “America the Beautiful” has been featured on WLS-AM in Chicago. In 2013, she recorded a CD of sacred polyphony with her 4 daughters under the name Simonetta and Fourever titled “Ineffable”. She has had a chapter dedicated to her Eucharistic conversion story in David Pearson’s book, “No Wonder They Call it the Real Presence”.
Her defining work however, has been with Little Flowers Troupe and includes many original dance pieces combining ballet, modern and folk dance, often incorporated into original dramatic and comedic plays and performances in a dance and acting format she termed “dancicals”. These include popular performances such as “Remember Me”, “The King of the Golden City” and “The Conversion of Scrooge”, a take on the traditional Dickens tale, among others.
Simonetta also created a renowned Lenten Performance called “The Seven Last Words of Christ”, which features a live 50 voice choir, professional vocal soloists, an orchestra and a live, theatrical passion play with dozens of actors in professional costuming and sets. Performances of “The Seven Last Words” have been staged all over Chicagoland to sell-out crowds.
Her founding of The Little Flowers Performing Arts Center (LFPAC), is her response to improve the professionalism of the Catholic Performing Arts movement under her vision of beauty, discipline and virtue. Frankfort, IL is the new location of the LFPAC, and the center’s newly named dance school, Danse Integro.
Simonetta is excited about her new location in Frankfort: Danse Integro - Little Flowers Performing Arts Center (LFPAC). She will be embarking upon her 22nd year as Director, Performer and Theatre & Dance teacher at LFPAC.
Music & Aerial Hammocks
Anna Pacek has taught music for over 13 years and has a BA in Music. She studied piano performance, music education and both choral & orchestral conducting at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, North Park University’s School of Music and Lewis University. She also has over 13 years in both choral and orchestral directing/conducing, including masterworks: The Seven Last Words of Christ by Theodore Dubois, excerpts from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion among others. Anna has been a church organist and music director since 2005 and is currently the Director of Sacred Music at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena, IL. Music classes that she currently offers include private piano & private music theory lessons.
In addition to her music, Anna studied ballet and gained her training with Ken Von Heidecke of the Chicago Festival Ballet Studio. She has performed a number of roles with the Little Flowers Performing Arts Center, the Chicago Festival Ballet and others. Anna is an actor, dancer, as well as Silks Hammock Aerialist, and incorporates flow & strength training into her hammocks. She is also in the LFPAC Little Flowers Troupe and has performed in all company shows and performances since 1997.
Ballet, Aerial Hammocks & Music
Simonetta-Marie Pacek has been teaching ballet for over 10 years. She gained her ballet training primarily with Ken Von Heidecke of the Chicago Festival Ballet Studio, Faubourg School of Dance & Joffrey Ballet. She has performed both Solo and Demi-solo roles with the Little Flowers Performing Arts Center, the Chicago Festival Ballet and others. Simonetta is a Silks Hammock Aerialist as well as dancer and incorporates dance into her hammocks. Simonetta has been a part of the Little Flowers Dance and Theatre Troupe since 1997 and has performed in many of their performances. She also has been a ballet choreographer for A Time To Dance & LFPAC since 2008.
Aside from Dance, Simonetta is a professional musician specializing in voice and violin. She sings professionally in the Chicago area as well as teaches private music lessons. She is the Associate Director of Sacred Music at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. She is a choir director and specializes in Vocal Technique and in teaching children.
Ballet, Modern Dance & Ballroom
Helen Pacek began dancing at a very young age starting with Lithuanian Dancing. In 2006 she started her training in classical ballet with Ken Von Hedeckie and continued her training in ballet at Foubourg School of Ballet, American Dance Center, A Time to Dance, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. She also trained in traditional modern dance at Foubourg, Jo’s Footwork Studio, A Time to Dance, American Dance Center and Lou Conte Dance Studio. Her modern dance education has consisted of technical training with an emphasis on improv. She participated in a modern dance improv workshop at Lou Conte Dance Studio in 2015 taught by Eric Beauchesne. Her primary modern dance teacher, Simonetta Pacek, received her training at Columbia College from Shirley Mordine, who also taught with a strong emphasis on improv.
Helen started as a dance instructor in 2009 and has instructed ballet levels beginner-advanced, modern dance levels beginner-advanced, stretch classes, floor barre classes, movement classes for skaters and ballet for ballroom dancers. She has also worked with a variety of different students privately to refine and strengthen individualized skills pertaining to specific students personal goals. Helen started assisting choreography for performances in 2011 and choreographed her first performance piece in 2013. Since then she has choreographed and co-choreographed multiple pieces that were performed publicly.
Ballet & Aerial Hammocks
Mary Pacek is a Classical Ballet and Aerial Hammocks instructor. She received her Ballet training from Ken Von Heidecke Chicago Festival Ballet Company, Faubourg school of dance, American Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet.
Through her education, she now specializes in point work, strength and flexibility (in both Ballet and Aerial). Mary started as an instructor in 2010 and has taught beginner to advanced ballet, point work, floor bar/stretch, and variations. Mary was also trained in Theater, Modern Dance, and Flute, and has instructed in all three of these.