KJ Dahlaw (Nevada)
Katie Jean Dahlaw is the dance maker/founder of the Great Basin Movement Project. KJ moved to Reno in June of 2013 to embark on an urban homesteading project, as well as a new job as adjunct faculty of dance at UNR. She lived in Chicago from 2003-2013 (with a short stint in Bloomington, IL, where she started the Prairieland Movement Project). While in Chicago KJ had the opportunity to dance with Matter of Reaction Movement Project, Mordine and Co. Dance Theatre, choreographer Samantha Allen, Renegade Dance Architects, Elements Contemporary ballet, and apprenticed with the Chicago Ballet. KJ is curious about being human; what it means to be a people connected to a particular place; the stories we tell ourselves; and how the human community can fully integrate into the more-than-human Earth community. KJ is currently a grad student in St. Mary's College of CA MFA Dance program and dances with Rosie Trump, With/Without Dance and Kristin Heavey of Element Dance Theater.
Chelsea Harkelroad (Chicago)
Chelsea was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She studied Dance Education and Secondary English Education at Hope College in Holland, MI before moving to Chicago to teach dance. Chelsea is a dance instructor at Hamilton Elementary. She has professionally performed with Joel Hall Dancers, Laboratory Dancers, drop shift dance, InSync Dance Theatre, and dANCEpROJECT, Neumonon Dance Experience, and Matter Dance Company. She is the artistic director and choreographer for [undefined]movers. contemporary dance company. Chelsea has also started a new journey of exploring the world of yoga. She is Rainbow Kids Certified and has her 200-hr RYT from the beautiful Marianne Wells Yoga School.
Denita Inez (Chicago)
Denita Inez is known for her energetic style and dynamic musicality. Denita focuses on dance as an accessible form of entertainment and self exploration. She created Denita Inez Dances to cater to people wanting to have more access to dance in their daily lives. It has been in operation since 2010.
She is currently on staff at Lake Forest Dance Academy, Dancing with Class, and May I Have This Dance. Denita is director and an artist for Desueño, a performance art and dance based company. She has danced with Chicago Dance Crash, Modern Clave, and Noumenon Dance Ensemble. Denita is known as one of the top dancers in Chicago for Latin dancing. Having won numerous contests, Denita is revered for her musicality and unique movement style and especially for her ability to use classical dance styling within the realm of Latin dance.
Denita received her her Bachelors of Science in Dance at Wayne State University. She has also attended various training intensives including Deeply Rooted and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
While in college, Denita was affiliated with the Detroit Opera. After dancing in two operas, Denita became a member and Technical Director for the Civic Dance Ensemble for the Detroit Opera House. She danced in works by Rosa Mercedes, Samantha Shelton, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Jeff Iega, Gil Mata, Richard Amaro, Lisa McCall and Raymond Robinson.
Her early training included working with Veronica Jacobus and Gina Ellis. From those ladies she learned to incorporate fitness and performance into her movement philosophy. Denita is a licensed Zumba fitness instructor and enjoys encouraging others to be healthy and happy through dance.
Sandra Kramerova (New York)
Sandra is a Slovak born and New York crafted dance artist passionate about rigorous corporeal expression and visceral experience. Bridging her interest in total theatre with raw presence she practices fluidity, surprise, muscular precision and emotional intimacy. As a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College with an MFA in Dance (2014-2016) she has been immersed in practices of contemporary dance, physical theatre, improvisation, and somatics. She is interested in collision, urgency, challenge, and effort. Sandra received her BFA at University of Performing Arts in Slovakia (2006-2009) and participated in Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s International Dance Program in Israel (20010-2011).
Ela Olarte (Chicago)
Ela was was born in Davao, Philippines and raised in Chicago, IL. She received a B.F.A in Choreography from The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in 2012. Throughout college, Ela had numerous opportunities to work with world-class guest artists at The Dance Center stage and danced as a company member for the former Hip Hop Connxion Chicago. She received additional training from the American Dance Center and Visceral Dance Center's Professional Scholarship Program, as well as the summer intensives of River North Dance Chicago, Choreographic Initiative, Ballet Lab Chicago, Same Planet DIfferent World,The Dance COLEctive and The Joffrey Ballet. As a freelance artist, Ela was featured in dance films Spectrum and Continuum. Other professional credits include Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances 2016, Canival Choreographer's Ball, Choreographic Sponsorship Event 2014/15 and Visceral Dance Chicago's, Within 2015.
Stephanie Unger (California)
Stephanie comes to us from Oakland, California. Stephanie spent some time in Chicago before moving to California and we are very happy to welcome her back for the festival. While in Chicago, Stephanie danced for Innervation Dance Cooperative, Alliance Dance Company, and Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago). She still shares her love for dance, but is now focused on writing for the arts and raising her two beautiful children.