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Guest Artists

Dance students have contact with working professionals both on and off campus. The department regularly engages guest artists to work with students to create pieces, conduct workshops and produce performances.

Guest Artists for 2018-19

Marcus Hayes

, October 21-28, 2018
Modern Dance and Dance History Residency

Marcus will be teaching dance classes and setting a new work for our students to perform in Chelonia 2019. He will also be visiting classes in theatre and religious studies and will be giving a public talk on West African Dance influences on Latin American Folk Dances.

Marcus Hayes is Associate Professor of Dance at Austin Peay State University (APSU) in Clarksville, TN, where he focuses on dance techniques, dance history and choreography. He received a dual Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre Arts: Dance from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Mills College in California.

Marcus joined the faculty of APSU in fall 2006. He is a past president of the Tennessee Association of Dance Board of Directors and serves a regional director for the American College Dance Association (ACDA) National Board of Directors. He performed and choreographed professionally with the Without Shoes Modern Dance Company and has taught dance for the Chicago Park District, the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Rockford College, and the School for the Rockford Dance Company.

Marcus’ research interests include identity politics in performance, formal issues in choreography, site-specific choreography and most recently the West African influences on the folk dances of Latin America. He is the author of a textbook, Introduction to Dance: A Guide for Understanding Dance as an Art Form, available through Great River Learning.

Profile for Marcus Hayes was last updated on Sep 10, 2018.

J’Sun Howard

, Workshop on Saturday, November 3, 2018
Guest Artist in Vogueing

J'Sun Howard is originally from Chattanooga, TN and has been making art in Chicago for the past twelve years. J'Sun's choreography has appeared in multiple venues around Chicago including Links Hall, Northwestern University, Sonotheque, Lincoln Square Theatre, Insight Arts/Center for New Possibilities, Epiphany Church, Rumble Arts, Patrick's Cabaret (Minneapolis, MN), and has been commissioned for the Chicago Academy School for the Arts. J'Sun's collaborative duet performance piece, Utopic Monster Theory, with poet Jennifer Karmin is documented in the first annual Emergency Index from Ugly Ducking Presse (2011) and has been presented in the biannual IN>Time Performance Festival. In 2009, J'Sun was selected to be a LinkUp Residency to deepen his artistic practice at Links Hall. In 2010, J'Sun was granted the Julius Margolin "Youth in Labor" Award to rally and protest at the gates of the School of Americas in Fort Benning, GA. In 2013, J'Sun was awarded a Distinguished Scholar Merit Scholarship to complete his undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute and will return to finish when his CDF project ends. J'Sun has performed for many choreographers including Asimina Chremos, Sara Wookey, Paige Cunningham, Selene Carter but most extensively with Darrell Jones. Curating Pooine's Cabaret this year with "acquiescings + hauntings" pushes J'Sun to continue seeking out emerging queer performance of color to promote their work, which can enrich Chicago performing landscape even more. J'Sun's literary work can be seen in the following journals: Chicago IRL, Inkwell, Danspace's Constellations and Influences, Garland Court Review, Storyglossia, 3rd Language, and forthcoming from Bird's Thumb.

Profile for J’Sun Howard was last updated on Sep 10, 2018.

Jess Pretty

, Spring 2019
Contemporary Dance and Hip Hop Residency

Jess will teach three courses: Hip Hop Dance Technique, Intermediate/Advanced Contemporary Trap Dance Technique and Choreography II. She will also choreograph a dance for Beloit students to perform in Chelonia 2019.

As a black female dancing body I am constantly investigating different methods of world building so as to have a self created limitless potential for possibility within a society where my body has been deemed one that is impossible. In navigating this possibility I am looking to reclaim the stakes attached to my dancing body which find their ways into my work by relentlessly going after feelings of the fantastic. Feelings of unbelievable swelling. Feelings of pleasure and multiple possibilities.

I want many things therefore I feel my work is rooted in a constant friction; moving back and forth between variant ideas and placings of movement and knowing. Friction finds itself inside of rhythm and directionality - two foundational components to my making - because friction can lead to surprises. And I love surprises.

A third foundational component is physicality which often finds itself serving as a reactionary tool to the rhythm and directionality. Physicality is valued in my work because of the ecstasy that it can build in the body. Ecstasy building is a deep part of my physical practice because of the myriad of states that can result from it. A swelling takes place in the body, in the mind, in the mood, in the meaning, in the relationships to other bodies and in the relationship to space. What is that feeling between moving bodies? That giving and taking of euphoria that is downright addictive to locate, tirelessly rubbing up against variant possibilities of the body as it folds into different times, spaces, and relationships to those around it.

What I’m building for myself and others through my work is something of a survival strategy; something of a method to the madness.

Profile for Jess Pretty was last updated on Sep 10, 2018.

Guest Artists for 2017-18

Andrea Markus

, November 13-19, 2017
West African Dance Residency

Andrea Markus will be on campus November 13-19, 2017 teaching classes and choreographing a new work for students to perform in Chelonia 2018. 

She is from Kingston, Jamaica.  She received her MA in Dance Education from New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. She also studied dance at Ballet School New York, Ithaca College, Dance New Amsterdam and The Limon Institute. Andrea has traveled to Guinea, West Africa to study dance and drumming with members of the national companies Les Ballets Africains de Guinea and Ballet Djoliba.  She has performed with the Alpha Omega 1-7 Theatrical Dance Company, performing dance works by George Faison, Eleo Pomare, and more. Andrea has also danced and co-directed Magbana Drum & Dance NYC, a West African-based performance group of percussionists and dancers. She has taught dance to students in grades preK-12 as a teaching artist for CREATE! Young Audiences of New York, ArtsConnection, and currently for Alvin Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs.  Andrea on the faculty member at Marymount Manhattan College, New York University, and The Ailey School.

Profile for Andrea Markus was last updated on Aug 14, 2017.

Kate Wallich

, January 21-28, 2018
Dance and Dance Church Residency

Kate Wallich will be on campus to teach classes in modern technique and Dance Church, give a public talk and to choreograph a new work for our students to perform in Chelonia 2018.

Kate Wallich is a Seattle-based choreographer, director, and educator – named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2015. She received her training from Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a BFA in Dance Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts.

Kate’s work has been commissioned and presented nationally and internationally by leading dance companies, performance institutions, universities and galleries including On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle Theater Group, Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Whim W’Him, RAWdance, Northwest Dance Project, University of Utah, Springboard Danse Montreal, Toes For Dance, The Frye Art Museum and Henry Art Gallery among others. She was a Visiting Artist at University of Washington, University of Oregon, Cornish College of the Arts and University of Utah. Kate has created three evening-length works with her company The YC: Super Eagle (Velocity Dance Center, 2014), Splurge Land (On the Boards, 2015) and Industrial Ballet (Velocity Dance Center/Seattle Theater Group, 2016) in addition to short-form site-specific works On Perspective (Seattle Art Museum/Olympic Sculpture Park 2014), Tennis Court Ballet (Rauschenberg Residency, 2015) and Peach Lawn Chair (Belltown Seattle Rooftop, 2016). Kate has received awards, grants and support from 4Culture, Artist Trust, The Glenn H. Kawasaki Foundation, Velocity Dance Center’s Creative Residency & AIR, On the Boards Performance Production Program, The Rauschenberg Residency, MANA Contemporary, Seattle Magazine's “Spotlight Artist Award” and NCCAkron’s “Dancing Laboratory”. She regularly sells out Seattle’s largest venues and leads packed classes through her own brand of movement technique including her popular community-focused class Dance Church.

In 2016, Kate created Studio Kate Wallich, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating a community of artists and the public through dance-based, design-forward experiences. The organization supports the work of The YC and Dance Church, and in 2017 launched the start of YC2 — a platform for dancers to exercise creative agency while receiving consistent training, contracted rehearsal, and performance opportunities — in partnership with Velocity Dance Center.

For more information, visit or follow on social media: @katewallich, @dance_church, @theyc.

Photo by Stefano Altamura.

Profile for Kate Wallich was last updated on Aug 30, 2017.

Guest Artists for 2016-17

Katy Pyle

, October 24-November 5, Fall 2016
Ballez Residency

During the 2-week residency, Katy will hold open *Adult Ballez classes for the entire campus community, as well as teaching scheduled dance classes within TDMS. Ms. Pyle will be workshopping material with Beloit students and will be creating a work to be performed in Chelonia 2017.  She will be a Weissberg Speaker and will give a public talk discussing questions such as:  “How are current identities named? How are they constructed and represented, especially through movement and performative signatories? Are present identities in threat and conflict with historical ones, and with each other? Are we repeating historical patterns of conflict, that Nijinska characterized in the 1920s? What is the legacy of satire, camp, humor and self-derision in queer performance?”

Ballez's newest project is "LesBi(s)ches" which will investigate, resurrect, destroy and re-imagine the 1924 satirical queer feminist ballet Les Biches, originally created by Bronislava Nijinska for the Ballet Russes. Set in an environment that mirrors Nijinska’s sexually permissive 1920s Parisian salon culture, this new work will satirize the present-day queer performing arts and social scenes in New York City.

The project also seeks to engage scholars and the performing arts community in a conversation exploring contemporary trans, gender non-conforming, and queer identities in relation to lesbian identity as it has been historically constructed. This Ballez will be a satirical response to the current culture, parallel to the ways Nijinska’s ballet satirized 1920s Paris.

*Adult Ballez is an open dance class - accessible to all bodies and with no previous ballet experience required - that explores the conscious and subconscious ways that we perform our identities, for ourselves and in relation to one another. The class focuses on the ways we internalize the racist, classist, heteronormative ideals of our society by observing the feelings (typically of shame) that arise when we engage with the form of ballet, which most often upholds those cultural ideals. We work to disentangle old belief systems through embodying the very movements that created them. Essentially the class is a beginner level ballet class with a lot of PLAY, self-reflection, and the propagation of inclusivity and support for each other. 

Profile for Katy Pyle was last updated on Aug 8, 2016.

Kelsa "K-Soul" Robinson

, January 16-22, 2017
Hip-hop residency

Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson is a dance artist and educator with deep experience and training in the underground house, Hip-Hop and street dance communities.  Kelsa is a member of Venus Fly, an internationally known all-styles crew. 

She has performed and served as a guest artist at venues including: B.Supreme (London, UK), B-girl Be (Minneapolis, MN) J.U.I.C.E. Hip-Hop Dance Festival (Hollywood, CA), and Pritzker Pavilion (Chicago, IL).  Kelsa is a lecturer at The Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago where she teaches technique, pedagogy, dance studies and community cultural development courses.

Kelsa dedicated much of her career to working at the intersection of activism, community building and the arts.  Since Spring 2013, she has been co-curator of The B-SERIES, a biannual festival celebrating hip hop culture and bringing the grassroots hip hop and street dance communities into verbal and embodied dialogue with students, faculty and staff. 

From 2005-2011, Kelsa developed and managed Culture Builds Community, an initiative that won Cityfolk theGovernor's Award for the Arts in Ohio (2009) in Community Development & Participation.  As a consultant for the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago, Kelsa Developed the evaluation project for LISC/Chicago’s 3-year pilot program, Building Community Through the Arts (BCA), for the New Communities Program, Quality of Life neighborhood planning process.  

Kelsa holds a bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master of urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Profile for Kelsa "K-Soul" Robinson was last updated on Sep 9, 2016.

Daniel "BRAVEMONK" Haywood:

, January 16-22, 2017
Hip-hop residency

Daniel "BRAVEMONK" Haywood: Dancing since the youthful age of 3yrs old, Daniel Haywood, known as BRAVEMONK in the Hip-Hop community, is an eclectic, passionate and energetic soul, whose dance was inspired by Gung-Fu (Martial Arts), his older siblings and various street dance styles. As an Artist, Performer, Choreographer and Educator BRAVEMONK has traveled throughout the U.S. and Internationally speaking, judging, hosting, dancing and teaching at many cultural Hip-Hop events.

He has worked closely with the University of Hip-Hop, Temple of Hip-Hop, Urban Arts in Action Movement, Hip-Hop Congress, the Universal Zulu Nation and the U.S.A. States Department. Over the last 18+ yrs BRAVEMONK has dedicated his energy towards understanding the origins, developing concepts and mastering the foundations of Hip-Hop’s cultural dance form known as B-Boying/Breakin, while also focusing on Freestyle, House, Hip-Hop, Choreography, Movement, Music, Health & Fitness through BRAVE MOVEMENT™ & BRAVE MOVEMENT DANCE™. 

BRAVEMONK, viewed as a Cultural Ambassador and leader in the Hip-Hop community, is a member of Chicago’s legendary and internationally recognized breaking crew, Phaze II – Crosstown Crew (Est. 1982), as well as a founding member and leader of Awesome Style Konnection (A.S.K.), a Chicago-based all-elements crew, and F.E.W. Collective which joined artist activists from across the City to create social change through the arts in Chicago and overseas.

BRAVEMONK is also a founding contributor & the Co-Host of Power Style Radio an Internet Radio Show & AM Station for Bboys/Bgirls, Urban Dance & Hip-Hop Culture, and an Advisory Board member of the Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP) a Non-Profit that seeks to investigate, preserve & present oral and corporeal histories of theatrical dance in Chicago and its vicinity.

Profile for Daniel "BRAVEMONK" Haywood: was last updated on Sep 9, 2016.

Sam Hertz’10

, February 13-18, 2017
Music and Dance Residency


Sam and Maryanna will be working with Beloit dance and music students – the week will culminate in a collaborative performance on campus.

Samuel Hertz’10, Beloit College alum and composer and performer, received his MFA at Mills College, where he studied composition and electronic music with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, and Zeena Parkins. He continually collaborates with numerous dance companies and performers throughout the United States, and his work has been seen/heard at ACUD MACHT NEU (Berlin, Germany), Bains::Connective (Brussels, Belgium), Apiary Studios (London, UK), Center for New Music (San Francisco, CA), Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, CA), Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (San Francisco, CA), ACRE-TV (Chicago, IL), Jack Straw New Media Gallery (Seattle, WA), Harvestworks (New York, NY), The Uncreativity Festival (Minneapolis, MN), and WBEZ Radio (Chicago, IL), among others. Samuel has worked as lead technical assistant to, and performed with Morton Subotnick, Alvin Curran, and John Driscoll. In June, his commission by the OpusCentrum Ensemble will premiere at the Art & Science Days Festival in Bourges, France, and he will begin a residency and research period on multi-channel surround sound at Elektronmusik Studion in Stockholm, Sweden. Samuel is currently part of two working groups as an artist-researcher for the Anthropocene Curriculum in association with Haus der Kulturen der Welt/Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin, Germany), and his work is released on the Nebularosa record label (London, UK).

Profile for Sam Hertz’10 was last updated on Aug 8, 2016.

Maryanna Lachman

, February 13-18, 2017
Music and Dance Residency


Sam and Maryanna will be working with Beloit dance and music students – the week will culminate in a collaborative performance on campus.

Maryanna Lachman is a dance maker and curator based in Oakland, CA. She received her BFA in performance and choreography from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, she has presented numerous solo and group choreographies. She is a co-curator of the annual FRESH Festival and a visiting artist at Whitman College, Green Street Studios (Boston), and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC). In addition to touring Snake Talk, Lachman has worked as a collaborative performer in works constructed by Christine Bonansea, Jess Curtis/Gravity, Jesse Hewit, Kathleen Hermesdorf, and Sara Shelton Mann. She attended ImPulsTanz as part of the danceWEB in 2012, and was in residency at Lake Studios, Berlin and Bains: Connective in Brussels last year. Lachman is one of the seven women of SALTA, a collective of dance curators in the East Bay. Lachman is invested in community organizing, in creating trans-disciplinary platforms for discussion surrounding practice, and making cultural space for dance experiments to flourish.

Profile for Maryanna Lachman was last updated on Aug 8, 2016.

Guest Artists for 2015-16

Ben Law'05

, September 28 - October 4, 2015
Modern Dance Residency, Beloit College Alum from Chicago

Ben Law will be our guest artist at Beloit College from September 28 - October 4, 2015 teaching classes and choreographing a new work on Beloit students for them to perform in Chelonia 2016, the TDMS department’s mainstage dance concert! 

Ben Law’05, Beloit College Alum, performs and teaches integrated modern dance, a form that combines contemporary modern release technique with the Feldenkrais Method. His focus in making works has been on how to create a form of art that uses what we know about how the body, neurology, empathy, thinking, and learning influence everything we do. He also focuses on awareness of the habitual constraints we impose on ourselves in movement and dance-making to find ways to effortlessly pass through these unnecessary barriers to creating compelling art.

He is currently a collaborator with Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak and Kate Corby & Dancers, a company member of CDI/Concert Dance Inc., and adjunct lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University. He has worked on a duet project with Jessie Marasa called Make Ends Meet, which first premiered at The Leopold Group‘s Archipelago. He previously worked with Lucky Plush ProductionsMordine and Company Dance TheaterJulia Rae AntonickHedwig DancesThe Dance COLEctive, and James Morrow. He performed Tino Seghal‘s Kiss at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2008 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009.  He also works improvisationally and has performed in several of Chicago’s curated improvised dance/music series, including collision_theory, curated by Rachel Damon and Dan Mohr, and Dimensions & Extentions, curated by Mike Reed and Jessie Marasa.  He also created a piece for Peep Show: The instant choreography project.

He was recently named one of 5 Chicago Dancers to Observe by Lauren Warnecke in art intercepts. Warnecke said about Ben: Sumptuous mover, gentle spirit, and all around nice guy Ben Law has been delighting us for several years, but has been popping up more frequently in festivals and freelance engagements. Particularly known for his keen improvisation skills, Law’s ongoing collaboration with Jessica Marasa appeared last year in Archipelago, a showcase of solos and duets produced by The Leopold Group, and again last summer in a project close to my heart: season four of PRODUCE. Most recently, Law performed in back-to-back performances at Links Hall with Kate Corby & Dancers and Mad Shak, reminding us just how beautiful it is to witness him move.

Profile for Ben Law'05 was last updated on Aug 21, 2015.

Nic Gareiss

, January 20-26, 2016
Irish Vernacular Dance Residency


Nic Gareiss will be our guest artist at Beloit College from January 20-26, 2016 teaching classes and choreographing a new work for Beloit students to perform in Chelonia 2016 with live music performed by Beloit College students!

Michigan-born dancer, musician, and dance researcher Nic Gareiss has been described by the Irish Times as “the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being,” and "the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. His choreographic work re-imagines movement as a musical activity, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions to weave together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration. He has concertized internationally for over ten years with many of the luminaries of traditional Irish music, including Frankie Gavin, Dervish, Buille, Solas, Martin Hayes, Liz Carroll, The Gloaming and The Chieftains. Nic holds a degree in Anthropology from Central Michigan University and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick.  His MA thesis based upon ethnographic work with LGTBQ competitive step dancers was the first piece of scholarship to query the experience of sexual minorities within Irish dance.  His present research seeks to illuminate discursive formations of national identity, gender and sexual orientation via ethnography and embodied practice.

Profile for Nic Gareiss was last updated on Sep 27, 2017.

Guest Artists for 2014-15

TU Dance

, August 31-September 6, 2014
Modern Dance Residency


TU Dance will be teaching classes and restaging a TU dance repertory work on Beloit students for them to perform in Chelonia 2015, the TDMS department’s mainstage dance concert! 


TU Dance, led by Alvin Ailey veterans Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, has quickly become a leading voice in the Minnesota dance scene.  Founded in 2004, TU Dance has garnered audience and critical acclaim for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic and generous.  Modern dance, classical ballet, African based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to provide opportunities for audiences, whoever they are, to experience the connective power of dance.


Toni Pierce-Sands
Prior to forming TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Tanz Forum in Germany, Company Rick Odums in Paris, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was a featured soloist in such signature pieces as Revelations.  Toni has also appeared in the Twin Cities as a guest performer with Ragamala Music and Dance Theatre, Shapiro & Smith Dance, VocalEssence, Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, and Robin Stiehm’s Dancing People Company.  Her command of the Horton Technique has led her to teaching posts throughout the United States and Europe.  Toni teaches dance at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Director of University Dance Theater.  In 2004, she was awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dance.  TU Dance founders Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands were named “2005 Artists of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune; and recently opened the TU Dance Center, a professional school and training program.

Uri Sands
Uri Sands’ choreography has received national recognition for his fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism.  A native of Miami, Uri performed as a principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, with Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, and as a guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.  His recent choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  In addition to several film and television credits, Uri has taught dance extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  He was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2004 and 2011, a 2005 and 2010 Princess Grace Award in choreography and, most recently, a Joyce Foundation Award (2011).  Uri was named “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, as well as “Best Choreographer of the Year” in 2006 and 2011 by City Pages.  TU Dance founders Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands were named “2005 Artists of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune; and recently opened the TU Dance Center, a professional school and training program.

Profile for TU Dance was last updated on Aug 21, 2015.

Helen Simoneau

, January 20-28, 2015
Modern Dance Residency

Helen Simoneau will be a guest artist at Beloit College, teaching classes and choreographing a new work for Beloit students to perform in Chelonia 2015, the TDMS department’s mainstage dance concert!

(photo by Steve Davis)

Helen Simoneau is a native of Québec, Canada. Her company, Helen Simoneau Danse, is based in both NC and NYC. She had the honor of taking 1st Place for Choreography at the 13th in Stuttgart, Germany, and winning The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: NYC. Simoneau has been selected to choreograph for Springboard Danse Montréal, the Swiss International Coaching Project (SiWiC) in Zurich, the Bessie Schönberg Residency at The Yard, Bates Dance Festival’s Emerging Choreographer Program, and the American Dance Festival’s Footprints series. Her works have been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and has toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States. Simoneau is a Bogliasco Fellow, a North Carolina Arts Council Choreographic Fellow, and a Fall 2013 resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC.

Profile for Helen Simoneau was last updated on Aug 21, 2015.

Guest Artists for 2013-14

Nandhini Ashok

, September 1-14, 2013
Classical Indian Dance Residency

Nandhini is a Bharatanatyam dancer, performer, choreographer a multitalented personality and the founder of Shree Paavitra Arts Academy. She has been under the tutelage of different renowned gurus and is specialized in the Tanjavur style of dance. She has completed her Visharad and her master’s degree in Bharatanatyam. She is also well versed with Carnatic music, Tanjore Painting and Stained glass Painting. She is highly conscious of her social needs of the community, her endeavours for fund raising programmes has been highly appreciated and recognized by many International organizations including the Rotary Club. She not only believes in performing herself but also provides a forum to artists to help promote their talent and pursue a career. She conducts through the academy different festivals like ‘International Dance Day’ and a seven day ‘Dassera’ music and dance festival.


Smt. Nandhini believes in giving voice to every student’s different ideas and concepts so, generally her ‘arangetrams’ are thematic and not the usual ‘margams’. She has choreographed on more than 300 songs and ballets like ‘Kaavyam’, ‘Madhurya Bhakti’, ‘Bhaktibhavam’, ‘Body, Mind & Soul’, ‘Evolution of Life’, ‘Nature’, ‘Nachiketa’, ‘Jeevan Mukti’, etc.. The latest performance was on the subject of ‘chakras’. This production was launched on the 16th of March in Mumbai.


Smt. Nandhini likes to experiment and innovate with Indian classical art forms and to evolve with the present and future socio – cultural trends, keeping the basic ethos intact.


Smt. Nandhini believes that one should understand the meaning behind a dance, where you can see poetry in motion.

Profile for Nandhini Ashok was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Catey Ott Thompson

, 2013
Responder for the December Dance Workshop Performance

Catey spent 14 years dancing, performing, choreographing, and teaching in NYC. Ott received a MFA and BFA in Dance from UWM. She has studied ballet with Christine Wright at 890 Broadway in NYC for 10 years.  She danced in the companies of Heidi Latsky, Allyson Green, Soundance, Gotham Group Dance and Eun Jung Choi.  She understudied and performed with Bill Young and Sean Curran.  Since 2007, her dance company, Catey Ott Dance Collective, has performed at Danspace Project, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Solar One, Dance Conversations at the Flea, DUMBO Dance Festival, WAXworks, Green Space, 92Y, Fridays at Noon and Sundays at Three, CoolNY Dance Festival, BAX, Hatch, UWM, DanceNOW RAW, Panetta Studio, Local Produce, owanathon, Gowanus Arts, and MCDC salon series. She produced a season at DNA in 2009 and in 2010. She has produced 5 concerts of her choreography at Danceworks in Milwaukee, and has performed with Danceworks Performance Company, Wild Space, and Milwaukee Dance Theatre. She had a baby boy in 2011 and is thrilled to be back living in Milwaukee in 2012.

Profile for Catey Ott Thompson was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Kelsa Robinson

, January 20-25, 2014
Spring 2014 Courses and Hip Hop Intensive

Kelsa is a freestyle dancer who honed her skills within Chicago’s house music scene and the underground street dance community. Her original style blends intricate footwork and the hard, raw aesthetics of Chicago jackin’ with the sensual and undulating qualities of Latin and Afrodiasporan dance forms. In 2006, Kelsa became a member of Venus Fly Trap, the first female all styles crew in the U.S.A. Kelsa is also a community cultural development and arts education specialist who has been creating, managing and assessing programs and curriculum that utilize the arts and culture to build healthy, vibrant communities and empower individuals to reach their fullest human capacities.  Kelsa holds a bachelor degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and a master of urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kelsa has performed and served as a guest artist at venues including: El Portón de Sánchez(Buenos Aires, Argentina), B.Supreme/Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England), B girl Be (Minneapolis, MN), Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, OH), and J.U.I.C.E. Hip Hop Dance Festival/Ford Amphitheatre (Hollywood, CA). In 2006 she won First Place in the Upstyles Battle at City vs. City/International Breakdance Event in Chicago, IL.

Kelsa has been teaching house, street dance, hip hop and Brazilian samba since 2003. As an instructor, she emphasizes technique, improvisation skills, and the historical/cultural contexts of these dance forms, while guiding her students to find their individual voices within the movement.  Kelsa also serves as a teaching artist for Changing Worlds where she develops and implements curriculum that teaches literacy and social emotional skills through the artsto at risk youth in Chicago.

Profile for Kelsa Robinson was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Guest Artists for 2012-13

Linda Lehovec

, Aug 29-30, 2012
Modern Dance residency

Linda will teach classes in modern dance technique.

Linda Lehovec, associate professor in dance at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, holds a BFA degree from The Juilliard School and an MFA degree from the University of Illinois. She has performed in the works of contemporary choreographers Joe Goode, Ralph Lemon, Stephen Koester, Bill Young, Sara Hook / David Parker, and Tere O’Connor. Her choreography has been presented in California, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, Canada and Korea. Linda has been awarded two fellowships in choreography from the Illinois Arts Council and recently completed her Hatha Yoga teacher training through the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. Linda directs the BFA program for Dance at Illinois in addition to teaching ballet, modern dance technique and yoga.

Profile for Linda Lehovec was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Jesse Zaritt

, Sept 3-14, 2012
Modern Dance residency

Jesse will teach classes and create a piece for students to perform in Chelonia 2013.

Jesse Zaritt received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ The American Dance Festival (2008). Jesse has recently taught at the University of the Arts (PA), the American Dance Festival (NC), Hollins University (VA), Pomona College (CA), and the University of the Americas Puebla (Mexico) as well as at festivals in Japan, Korea, and Russia. He has performed his solo work in Russia, Korea, Germany, New York, Japan, Mexico and Israel. His solo ‘Binding’ is the recipient of three 2010 New York Innovative Theater Awards: Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Solo Performance, and Outstanding Performance Art Production.  From September 2008 through June 2011, he was an artist in residence at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan as part of LABA, a laboratory for new Jewish culture. He has created choreography for the Seminar HaKibbutzim College and the Acco Theater Festival (Israel). Jesse was the recipient of a 2006-2007 Dorot Fellowship in Israel which enabled him to study the relationship between political conflict and choreography.  Jesse was a performer with the Shen Wei Dance Arts Company (NYC/2001-2006), and the Inbal Pinto Dance Company (Tel Aviv/2008). He currently dances in the work of Faye Driscoll and Netta Yerushalmy. Jesse graduated Cum Laude in 2000 from Pomona College (CA).

Profile for Jesse Zaritt was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Angeline L. Holmes

, Jan 20-26, 2013
Hip Hop, Alexander Technique, and Dance History residency

Angeline will spend a week on campus teaching classes in hip hop dance as well as offering workshops and lessons in Alexander Technique. She will also give a lecture on the role of hip hop in dance history.

Angeline L. Holmes, BFA graduate in Dance ’98 - University of Illinois and an MFA in Dance ’09 – University of Illinois, is also a certified teacher in the Alexander Technique – trained by Alex and Joan Murray. She has been an instructor for Modern Dance, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop Improvisation at the University of Illinois and the Springer Cultural Arts Center in Champaign, IL. She has appeared in over 20 productions at the St. Louis Muny Opera - often as a featured dancer. Favorite roles include “Topsy” in The King and I, and Martha Cox in “High School Musical”. In addition to her love for dancing, Holmes has many other interests, which have led her to appear on TV shows such as NBC’s “American Dreams”, Disney’s “Even Stevens”, and numerous TV commercials. Interested in working with large casts, her MFA thesis work included 37 dancers and was performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in March 2009. Concert Dance performance credits include Dr. Cynthia Oliver’s “Whisper to Shout”, Renée Wadleigh’s “Split Second”, and Rebecca Nettl-Fiol’s “Paper Song” and her very own thesis work “Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It.” She most recently danced in a new work by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol “In the String Room” with original score by Toby Twining at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts. Holmes currently resides in Los Angeles where she teaches the Alexander Technique and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Profile for Angeline L. Holmes was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Guest Artists for 2011-12

West African Dance Residency with Andrea Markus

, October 31 - November 13, 2011

Andrea Markus will spend two weeks with our students teaching classes, speaking with the community, visiting area schools and choreographing a dance for our students to perform in Chelonia 2012. Andrea Markus was born in Jamaica, West Indies. She received her masters degree in Dance and Dance Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Ms. Markus is currently a teacher of African-based modern dance in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. In addition, she is the principal dancer and co-director of Magbana Drum & Dance NYC, a West African-based performance group of percussionists and dancers. Ms. Markus has performed with the Alpha Omega 1-7 Theatrical Dance Company, based in New York City, performing dance works by George Faison, Eleo Pomare, Marshall Romaine, Andy Torres, Leni Wylliams, Gary DeLoatch, and others. She has also traveled to Guinea, West Africa to study dance and drumming with the masters of the national companies Les Ballets Africains and Ballet Djoliba. Ms. Markus has taught West African dance to students in grades K-12 as a master teacher for CREATE! Arts in Education Program, Young Audiences of New York, and for the outreach program of Magbana Drum & Dance NYC. Professor Markus received her B.A. from Ithaca College and her M.A. from New York University.

Profile for West African Dance Residency with Andrea Markus was last updated on Aug 21, 2015.

Kate Corby ’99

Modern Dance Residency

Kate Corby will spend one week with our students teaching classes and choreographin a new work for our students to perform. Kate is a contemporary choreographer, performer and educator. Her dance theater works have been performed extensively in Chicago, as well as in New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and internationally in Canada, Mexico, Taiwan and Hungary, where she carried out choreographic research as a Fulbright fellow. Corby is currently an assistant professor of dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches composition, improvisation, contemporary technique and somatics. She re-established Kate Corby & Dancers with Chicago-based dancers Erin Kilmurray, Emily Miller and Anna Normann in 2009. The company was San Francisco-based from 2001-04, performing at the Cowell Theater, ODC Theater, Dance Mission and Venue 9, among other venues. From 2007-09 Corby directed the LIVE ANIMALS Performance Collective in Chicago, showing work at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Links Hall, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse and Around the Coyote Gallery. Corby received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007, where she was also an instructor. In addition to teaching master classes nationally and internationally, Corby has served on the faculties of Beloit College, the Pedagogy Department of the Hungarian Dance Academy and the Dance Center of Columbia College.

Profile for Kate Corby ’99 was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Guest Artists for 2010-11

Natya Dance Theatre

, September 29-30, 2010

Natya Dance Theatre (NDT), under the artistic leadership of a Hema Rajagopalan, is amongst the most critically acclaimed and culturally treasured Indian dance companies in the United States. Founded in 1975 and based in Chicago, IL, the highly innovative work of NDT offers profound and subtle expressions of humanity’s deepest questions and values in the context of our present-day lives. Rooted in Bharata Natyam, one of the great classical dance forms of India, NDT preserves and perpetuates Bharata Natyam in all its classical rigor, and moves the art form in innovative directions to foster cultural exchange through dance. NDT’s contemporary interpretations incorporate dynamic body movement, rhythmic footwork, hand gestures and facial expressions to convey meaning and emotion that create rasa, the aesthetic experience that transforms the audience.

At the core of its mission, NDT believes that dance is a powerful means of cultural exchange. This is accomplished by multi-faceted programming, including a professional touring company that performs throughout the country and internationally, a 32-year-old dance school, an outreach program, and a series of presentations featuring the finest Indian performing artists of various genres.

Hailed by The New York Times as, “Admirably precise… animated… sensual… exceptional… triumphant… daring,” audiences and critics worldwide have recognized the artistic excellence of the NDT Company. Recent celebrated performance highlights include: in 2008, the Company performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble before an audience of 13,000 in Chicago’s Millennium Park; in 2005, NDT was the first US company ever to appear at the prestigious World Music Institute in New York City; and In 2002, NDT was the only dance company selected to create an original work for performance at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. NDT is a six-time recipient of the Chicago Reader “Critic’s Choice.” In 2003, NDT was the first Indian dance company to receive the prestigious Chicago Dance Award, and is a 2004 recipient of the Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award from Columbia College Chicago. NDT was featured in 2005 in The Chicago Dance Project, a 13-part series produced by PBS, and in 2006 in Arts Across Illinois CenterStage on WTTW Channel 11.

NDT has been presented at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage and nationally and internationally at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ravinia Festival, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the Avignon Festival in France, and the Music and Dance Festival in Madras, India, among other major venues.

Collaborations have included works with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lookingglass Theater, and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

Profile for Natya Dance Theatre was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Like You Mean It

, October 7, 2010
Workshops in Improvisational Performance

Like You Mean It 
Noelle Chun
Adriana Durant
Annie Kloppenberg

The Columbus, OH-based improvisational trio of dance artists performs and teaches workshops nationally. Audiences have heralded Like You Mean It’s simultaneous wit, humanity, oddity, and physical virtuosity.  The dancers first began working together regularly as graduate students at The Ohio State University and found their individual and collective ideas about improvisational performances yielded a dynamic, distinctive approach to group improvisational performance and teaching. 

Past & upcoming performances and teaching engagements include The Ohio State University, CM2, Agora Arts Festival, Sneak Reviews at Cleveland Public Theater Parish Hall, Ohio University, University of Akron, Oberlin College: (OH); Green Street Studios (MA), University of Wisconsin; Zenon Company Studios (MN), Southern Theater for Minnesota Fringe Festival, Epiphany Dance Experiment (Chicago), University of Michigan, Michigan Dance Project (MI), Triskelion Arts (NYC), Taffety Punk Theater (Washington DC).  Visit for more info.

Profile for Like You Mean It was last updated on Aug 21, 2015.

Arturo German Hernandez de la Mesa

, Oct. 24-Nov. 6, 2010
Residency in Capoeira, Salsa, African and more!

Arturo G Hernandez (aka Arturo De La Mesa) is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Professor Dan Lee's Academy of Tai Chi Chuan, Pacific Dance Academy, Performing Arts Center Annex, and came to dance with the Milwaukee Ballet Company a few years ago. Currently not on contract with MBC, Arturo is involved with Capoeira Nago Milwaukee, African dance through Ajula Dance Company, and Milwaukee Public Schools. A former dancer with City Ballet Theatre, other guesting includes Lake Shore Dance, Pastiche Dance Ensemble, Ritmo Caliente, and most recently dancing in "Isla y Tierra" at Waukesha's Civic Theater. 

Additionally, Arturo has done Spanish voice over work for companies such as Kohl's, Jockey International, Wild Horse Casino, Non-Box Studios, and Avicom Entertainment. On camera work for Fleet Farm, Power Ball Lottery, Taco Bell, Placas (KMEX, Los Angeles), and look for him in Strata Productions feature film, "No God, No Master".

Profile for Arturo German Hernandez de la Mesa was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Margi Cole and The Dance COLEctive

, February 21-26, 2011

The Dance COLEctive (TDC) is a modern dance company that aspires to challenge assumptions about how dance is presented, through the use of cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations, and inspired creative site-specific-works. Now in its 15th year, TDC conducts an annual season which includes residencies with universities, high schools and other dance organizations in two geographic regions of the USA; multiple master classes, workshops and lecture demonstrations in the greater Chicago area; an annual week-long summer intensive of classes; an annual concert and residency in Chicago proper; performances in traditional venues and site-specific choreography. Artistic Director Margi Cole has been recognized with many choreographic awards. TDC uses modern dance as a vehicle to introduce, challenge and engage its audience in a number of topics.  Through carefully designed residency activities the viewer has gained the knowledge and the desire to interpret our work in a meaningful way.

While at Beloit TDC will conduct a series of residency activities both at the college and in the community.  Many of those activities will be geared around the companies work Written on the Body.  A work for six dancers which uses the lives of the
Brontë sisters as a point of departure in its exploration of gender roles and stereotypes.  The hidden identities of authors, as well as the hardships they endured throughout their lives in Victorian England, provide the framework.  Cole interprets the Brontës' masculine and feminine personae, using movement images of power, strength, vulnerability and intimacy.  Music for the piece is by Kevin O'Donnell, costumes are by Atalee Judy and videoscape is by Michael Cole.

Profile for Margi Cole and The Dance COLEctive was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

The Space/Movement Project

, April 7, 2011
Residency and Workshop

About the Company
The Space/Movement Project is a Chicago-based modern dance collective. The group operates without a single artistic leader but several members sharing creative responsibilities and resources. Committed to artistic partnership, the group continuously explores ways to further their collaborative process. Since 2005, TS/MP has produced concerts at such notable Chicago venues as Links Hall, the Prop Thtr, Hamlin Fieldhouse, The Galaxie, and Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall and performed regionally in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. Visit TS/MP at

About the Workshop
This group composition workshop will introduce students to the unique methodology TS/MP has developed in their own collaborative practice. Company members will introduce participants to the various tools for developing new work as a group using existing material and original work. Following the workshop, the company will present a short performance of company work.

Profile for The Space/Movement Project was last updated on Aug 17, 2015.

Guest Artists before 2010

Past Guest Artists

Some of our past guests include:

Profile for Past Guest Artists was last updated on Oct 5, 2017.