Instructors

ANNOUNCING THE INSTRUCTORS OF 2016!

        ELIJAH GIBSON              KRISTI BURRIS    Heather Brown           HEATHER BROWN

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PAST INSTRUCTORS

 

Harrison McEldowney Harrison has created original dances for special occasions of the 97th Birthday Celebration of noted dance historian, critic, and friend Ann Barzel, the Finale for Dance Chicago’s 10 Year Anniversary, a work to open the 10th Anniversary of Dance for Life, and for the past three years original pieces for Dance for Life. This includes in 2010 the first time in its 19-year history an outside choreographer has been asked to create its world-premiere finale. His choreography may be seen on dance companies around the world including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, River North Chicago Dance Company (his work was featured as well on both companies’ nationally televised specials and a HSDC2 special aired in Europe), DanceWorks, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, the Cerqua/ Rivera Art Experience, Ballet Met, Louisville Ballet, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, American Repertory Ballet, Configurations, Omaha Theater Ballet, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Harrison is the inaugural recipient of the Prince Prize and has received the Ruth Page, After Dark, and Choo-San Goh Awards for choreography. He choreographed the 35th Anniversary Tour of American Bandstand and directed the Australian Tour of More Dirty Dancing. Harrison has done film, television, concert dance, Broadway, off- Broadway, the West End, Carnegie Hall, and danced in the Barcelona Olympics’ Closing Ceremonies. He has also worked with stars Sammy Davis Jr., Van Johnson, Chita Rivera, Dorothy Lamour, rap artists Salt n Pepa and Nell Carter (a televised special from LA’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion), Carol Channing, Debbie Reynolds, and collaborated with or worked for directors and choreographers Alan Johnson, Sam Mendes, Mark Medoff, and Rob Marshall. He was chosen to collaborate with Ben Vereen on an original musical for the star. He choreographed for and was a featured actor in the Indie film Vanilla City and he starred in the revival and re-imagining of the Ruth Page ballet Billy Sunday for both stage and the televised documentary of the same name, earning an Emmy nomination for his performance. He served as one of the directors of the John G. Shedd Aquarium’s multi- species show Fantasea and made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut as choreographer. Harrison is a Creative Director for Chicago’s Under the Radar and Wilson Dow Group.

Julie Cartier (Wauwatosa, WI) Artistic Director, choreographer, teacher, dance fanatic. Julie has invested her last 25 years to all things dance. Julie first came to Chicago via the concert dance scene, performing with some of Chicago’s finest dance companies including Chi-town Jazz Dance, The Lynda Martha Dance Company, and River North Dance Company. She also dabbled in musical theater, trade shows and the like, and became a founding member of Especially Tap Chicago, one of Chicago’s oldest & most successful tap ensembles. In 2000, Julie took over leadership of the group as Artistic Director. Julie’s diverse background has presented her with a wide range of theatrical projects both as performer & choreographer. She has performed with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and on a lark performed on The Today Show! She has recently choreographed for Celebrity Cruise Lines newest ships and continues to create new work for companies throughout the US. Julie started Soul-2-Soles Youth Tap Company at Dancenter North in Libertyville and continues to teach for some of the finest studios in the Chicagoland area and abroad, including a 10 year stint at Barat College, Dancenter Evanston, Danceworks of Milwaukee, Gus Giordano’s Dance Center, and the Lou Conte Dance Studio. Julie’s latest voyage, The Cartier Collective allows Julie to finally present her true voice thru the fusion of rhythm & movement. After years of directing Especially Tap Chicago along with her rich & varied background as an independent jazz dancer & choreographer for both concert dance & musical theater, Julie has decided to push the parameters by blending her two loves, the pulse of rhythm dance  & the  beauty of movement together within the same energy.

Lindsey Leduc (Southbridge, MA) Lindsey began training with Terri Gordon in Sturbridge, MA. At 13, she became a Trustee Scholar at Wilbraham Monson Academy for her dance ability, exposing her to knowledge and cultural diversity that shaped and inspired her. On scholarship, she graduated cum laude from Hofstra University with a B.A. in Dance and Community Health. While in New York, Lindsey performed in many projects including Robin Becker Dance, her choreography was showcased in the ACDF gala, and she earned her Actors Equity performing off-Broadway under Tony Award winner Hinton Battle. Lindsey came to Chicago on scholarship to Giordano Dance School, was promoted to Giordano II and is in her sixth year with GJDC. Her choreography has been featured in Dance Chicago, and she has set works on Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Dance Crash and two works on Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Lindsey is on Faculty at The Joffrey Academy and teaches regularly throughout the Chicagoland area and travels nationally to work with Youth Companies and High Schools. She has also been on Master Faculty for Jazz Dance World Congress Kids Jazz.

Cesar G. Salinas (Canby, OR)  As an inner-city student, Cesar began his formal studies in dance with Zohar School of Dance, under the direction of Ehud Krauss in Palo Alto, CA.  He moved to Oregon where he studied at Willamette Ballet under Deborah Higginbotham. Cesar went on to further his training at the University at Buffalo, where he graduated with a BFA in Dance. The summers of ‘04 and ‘05 he received a scholarship to the Giordano Dance School and later joined Giordano II. Cesar is a faculty member at GDS teaching youth, teen/adult, and mentoring the Junior Companies.  In August ‘07, Cesar was honored to be on the cover of Dance Magazine as well as a Master Teacher at the Kids Congress and in ‘09 on Master Faculty of Jazz Dance World Congress. This is Cesar’s fifth season with GJDC.

 

Jessica Chapuis (St. Louis, MO) Jessica Chapuis began her dance career by studying and performing at tap festivals in her hometown of St. Louis, MO and throughout the Midwest. From early on she had the privilege to share the stage with such tap greats as Derick Grant, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker, Henry LeTang, and Jimmy Slyde.  After graduating with a biology degree from Boston University, Jessica performed as a cast member of Imagine Tap!, a dance musical choreographed and directed by Derick Grant.  Jessica has since established herself as an internationally acclaimed, Chicago based artist. She currently dances with two professional companies; BAM!, the resident performing ensemble of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project directed by Lane Alexander and Kristi Burris, and Chicago’s newest tap company, Jus’LisTeN, directed by Tre Dumas. www.jessicachapuis.com   Stephanie Paul  Stephanie is a Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and ensemble member of Be the Groove, a Chicago based rhythmic performance and education ensemble. In addition to working with BTG, Stephanie also teaches dance at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, and Lake Forest Dance Academy. She has been on faculty for the Chicago National Association of DanceMasters and has choreographed for Ohio Northern University, Northwestern University and the Evanston Dance Ensemble. Her love of theater has also led her to the nationally acclaimed Albany Park Theater Project, with whom she is a Resident Artist and Co- Director. She has also worked with Lookingglass Theatre’s LAB program as a choreographer and composer. Stephanie’s performances have been described by the Chicago Tribune as “beguiling and passionate,” and the Chicago Sun-Times noted her work as “brilliantly percussive.” Her approach to dance and music instruction is founded in the usage of rhythm as the means of motivating development of ensemble and individual self-confidence.   Heather Brown Heather Brown (St. Peters, MO) Heather Brown is in her 5th season as a principle company member of BAM!, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s performing tap ensemble under the direction of Lane Alexander. Through BAM!, Heather has had the opportunity to perform at The International Dance Festival in Beijing, China, at the Barcelona Tap Festival in Barcelona, Spain and throughout Chicago and the Midwest in such venues as the Harris Theatre and the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millenium Park. Heather teaches tap master classes, private lessons and workshops as a guest artist around St. Louis and Chicago. She has also had the opportunity to teach tap classes at the Tap Studio in Chicago, in Reus, Spain, in Barcelona for Tap on Barcelona – The International Tap Festival, and at Dance Masters of Wisconsin. As an individual artist, Heather has also also performed at The Joyce Theatre in NYC with the NYC Tap Festival, and in St. Louis as a soloist with a percussionist and in different venues in St. Louis including local jazz clubs and as a guest artist with local dance companies. She was the first tap choreographer asked to create a world premiere for Webster University. She graduated from Webster University in St. Louis where she received her B.A. in Marketing and a minor in dance.   Lindsay Shepherd (Fairfax, VA) Lindsay  graduated from East Carolina University with a B.F.A in Dance Performance,  concentration in Jazz and has been teaching for 11 years. After dancing with Holland America Cruise Lines, she moved to Chicago and became a member of Joel Hall Dancers II jazz company. She joined The Cartier Collective in 2005 and now also currently dances with Winifred Haun & Dancers. Her contemporary jazz choreography has been showcased in Dance Chicago’s “Best of New Dances” 2005, and was the American College Dance Festival Association National Gala winner in 2003. She is very grateful to be able to blend her passions for tap, modern, and jazz.