Meet the professional teaching artists of Hubbard Street’s Youth Dance Programs

Hubbard Street’s Youth Dance Programs are taught by experienced teaching artists with backgrounds that include professional careers with Hubbard Street’s main company, as well as advanced degrees in dance and education.

Our amazing faculty has a rich history of teaching dance in Chicago and throughout the world, providing a dance education experience unique to our Youth Dance Program. Our teaching artists will work with each student, setting session and annual goals for each class. This individual assessment strategy will challenge, engage and inspire students from the moment they step into our studios.

Erin Barnett

Dancer, Choreographer Erin D. Barnett is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She began her formal training at age 6 at Mayfair Academy, then continued her training at Joel Hall and with Homer Bryant. By age 9, Erin focused her attention to classical ballet under the tutelage of Larry Long at the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance. In 1987, Erin was selected as the first African American "Clara" in the Chicago Tribune Charities Production of the Nutcracker at McCormick Place. Ms. Barnett received a BFA in Theater Arts from Howard University in Washington D.C. Upon graduation, she performed and toured internationally with Garth Fagan Dance and Philadanco, and Armitage Gone Dance! After a three year run as "Sarafina" in Disney’s The Lion King in Las Vegas, Erin returned to Chicago to teach and share experiences with young dancers.

Jamie Brunson

Jamie Brunson was raised in Sumter, South Carolina. She received her BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College, and subsequently earned an MA in Dance Education from New York University. She has performed with the Freed Spirits Dance Company, Kaleidoscope Dancers, and Jennejohn Dance. She has taught at Alvin Ailey, the 92nd Street Y, and has taught in several New York City public and private schools as a teaching artist. Since moving to Chicago, Jamie has taught master classes at Families Together Cooperative Nursery School and with several local youth groups.

Mai Claypool

Mai Claypool was born in Saitama, Japan. She trained at Kishi Ballet studio, The Matsuyama Ballet School in Tokyo, Japan, The Joffrey Ballet School and Steps on Broadway in NYC under the direction of Yoko Kishi, Yoko Morishita, David Howard, Finis Jhung, Michael O’Brian, Francesca Corkle and Eleanor D'Antuono. She has received awards from ballet competitions, such as the Hope Award and Achievement of Excellence. She has turned her passion for dance towards teaching and spreading the joy of dance. She has been teaching ballet, pointe, variations, modern and contemporary at several schools in New York, Illinois, Florida and Japan. Mai is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher in levels Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and pursuing a BA in Dance Education from University of Bath in England.

Maliwan Diemer

Maliwan began her formal training with RAD certified teacher, Ng Siew Fong. By the age of thirteen she had been invited to study and perform with Indiana University's Ballet Theater, where she trained with Violette Verdy, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Jacques and Virginia Cesbron, Leslie Peck and Doricha Sales, along with notable guest choreographers and directors. A long time instructor for Indiana University's Pre-College Ballet Program, Maliwan also spent a year as Associate Instructor for the African American Dance Company under the direction of Iris Rosa. She is now on faculty at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, the Chicago High School for the Arts and Chicago Ballet Arts, where she also serves as Performance Project Director. Maliwan has worked with the University of Chicago's UBallet and has taught company class for DanceWorks Chicago. She is a professional ballroom dancer, competing in Latin and ballroom. Maliwan holds a MA in arts administration and a BSOF in ballet and political science, magna cum laude, both from Indiana University.

Kaitlin Flynn

Kaitlin Flynn is recent graduate of Ohio University, completing a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography on multiple scholarships and talent awards. Kaitlin has performed the work of Nathan Andary, Travis Gatling, Tresa Randall, and Xan Burley and Alex Springer (The Median Movement). She performed Christine Cali’s SUSPECT at the 2014 ACDFA East Central Conference and performed her first solo work, The Sweet Escape at the Paramount Theater in Ashland, Kentucky and will be continuing the work at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as part of the 2015 New York Jazz Choreography Project in October. Kaitlin has collaborated with several artistic organizations including The Thomas Studio of Performing Arts (Pittsburgh), Dance Studio M (Cleveland), and Ashland Youth Ballet. She has studied at Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Jazz Dance World Congress, and completed internships with Chicago Human Rhythm Project and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. A native of Pittsburgh, Kaitlin has trained with local companies Attack Theatre, The Pillow Project, Pittsburgh CLO and on scholarship at Point Park University's International Summer Dance. She is currently a teaching artist at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and a performing artist with SPOKEN, as well as creating and performing her own contemporary jazz work.

Shannon Grayson

Shannon Grayson (Teaching Artist) was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She began her professional dance training at Howard University, where she received a BFA in Dance. While at Howard, she received summer internships at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. She was on scholarship at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Jacob’s Pillow Jazz/Musical Theatre Program, Jacob's Pillow Choreographers Lab, and Nathan Trice Summer Dance Intensive. She continues to train and teach Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, and Tap throughout the city of Chicago as a faculty member of the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program, Principle Dance, The Gallery, and Dominican University.

Rebeca Griffin

Rebeca Griffin was born and raised in Mexico, where she trained professionally at the Instituto Real Flamenco, studying under flamenco choreographer, Betty Villarreal and performed with the Compañia Real Flamenco. At that time, Rebeca also co-directed the dance department of Escuela Cristiana de Artes, where she initiated a dance program focused on musical theater. Rebeca continues to choreograph and teach workshops in Mexico. While performing and teaching in Mexico, she graduated with Cum Laude recognition from the Universidad de Monterrey in 2008 with a B.A. in Human Resource Management and a concentration in Personnel Law. In 2010, Rebeca moved to Chicago to pursue formal dance pedagogy training at Columbia College Chicago, where she graduated Cum Laude. Upon graduation, she began working with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and East Bank Club as a teaching artist and ballet instructor, respectively. Most recently, Rebeca has performed the works of Paige Cunningham Caldarella, Pamela McNeil, Luis Segoviano, Maria Macsay and Ela Olarte.

Winifred Haun

Winifred Haun has been choreographer and artistic director of her own modern dance company since 1991. From 1985 to 1991, she was a soloist with the critically acclaimed Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, under the direction of Randy Duncan. Wini won three Ruth Page Award nominations and in 2000, she won the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Dance Community. Her work has been seen at many prestigious venues throughout Chicago, the midwest, Texas and Colorado, including: Athenaeum Theater, Ruth Page Center, Link’s Hall, Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Overture Center (Madison, WI), Epic Center (Kalamazoo, MI), St. Mary’s College (IN), Montrose (CO) Pavillion and in many non-traditional spaces, such as Cheney Mansion and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. Wini’s choreography has been commissioned by Chicago Ballet, Aerial Dance Chicago, MOMENTA, Oak Park’s Handel Week and many other Midwest and national groups. She has taught modern dance and dance composition at the Joffrey Ballet, Beijing National Dance Academy and at numerous festivals and workshops worldwide. Currently, Wini teaches modern dance at Hubbard St. Dance Chicago, Deeply Rooted Productions, and Legere Dance Center. She and her husband theoretical physicist, Stephen Parke, have three daughters and they reside in Oak Park, IL.

Kellyn Jackson

Kellyn graduated from Skidmore College with degrees in dance and psychology. She began her journey at Hubbard Street in 2010 and immediately fell in love with the well-rounded programs that go beyond the physical practice of dance. She teaches to help students cross the bridge between what they feel and what they express. Kellyn is also an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with Yoga Alliance. In addition to teaching, Kellyn co-directs The Dancer's Cooperative and performs with Kristina Isabelle Dance Company.

Mara Jacobucci

Mara Jacobucci began dancing at the age of 3 in Laguna Niguel, California. She attended ballet summer intensives across the country, and competed in the Youth American Grand Prix New York Finals in 2010. Mara is a graduate of Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music where she studied Ballet, Spanish, and Arts Administration. When she’s not teaching ballet, Mara loves biking, running, and exploring Chicago.

Anne Kasdorf

Anne has taught extensively throughout the Chicago area since 2005 and begins her second year in Hubbard Street's Youth & Family Program in the fall of 2013. She holds a BFA in dance performance & choreography from Ohio University. As a performer and teaching artist of Zephyr Dance for seven seasons, she worked with Project M2: Math in Motion, a program that paired math curriculum and dance to enhance academic understanding at CPS’ Oscar Mayer Elementary in addition to leading several other in-classroom, after-school and Chicago Park District residencies. Anne currently performs and choreographs with The Space Movement Project where she serves as Managing Director. As a freelance writer, she has contributed to the Not for Tourists Guide to Chicago, theurbaness.com, TimeOut Chicago and DanceSpirit.

Kristen Rybicki

Kristen Rybicki is a dance educator from Danvers, MA. She holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and a BA from Loyola University Chicago. She has danced the works of Sarah Cullen Fuller, Sandra Kaufmann, Amy Wilkinson, Rebecca Lemme, and Benny Simon, and was a member of Chicago-based hip hop crew Movement Revolution. She has taught for Hunter College Elementary School, NYU Kaleidoscope Dancers, KidsMakeDance Camp at The Yard on Martha's Vineyard, After School Matters, and internationally in Uganda. She is thrilled to be part of the Hubbard Street Education faculty.

Anne Marie Loesch

Anne Marie Loesch began her training in Charlotte, North Carolina. She studied Humphrey-Weidman’s technique under Mary Ann Mee, dancer and demonstrator for Charles Weidman. Katharyn Horne provided Ms. Loesch with a thorough schooling in the methodology of Enrico Cecchetti. It was under these two talented women that Anne Marie began her professional dance career with Dance Central, Kinetyx Dance Ensemble, and Moving Poets Theatre of Dance. Since settling in Chicago she has worked with Paul Sanasardo, Against the Grain, For Dance, and Zephyr Dance. She has also been a teaching artist with After School Matter, Jane’s Place and Urban Gateways. Ms. Loesch currently teaches children's yoga at JCYS Lakeview, teaches dance at Hubbard Street and Studio North Academy of Performing Arts and performs with Momenta and Joel Hall Dancers.

Jessica Madden

A recent addition to the city of Chicago, Jessica Madden (Teaching Artist) is originally from Frederick, Maryland. In December 2012, Jessica graduated from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania with dual degrees in Dance and Elementary Education. She has experience teaching in both academic and dance settings, including one year of teaching in Hubbard Street’s Youth and Education Programs. Jessica is currently a full time Teaching Artist Fellow for Hubbard Street.

Beth McNeill

Beth holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Louisville. She danced with the professionally with the Louisville Ballet and Second Ave. Dance Co. She has taught ballet and modern dance at the University of Louisville, Columbia College Chicago, and Santa Clara University. She was a Teaching Artist for HSDC from 2003-05. Beth has spent the last few years teaching at the National Holistic Institute in California. In 2012, she trained to become a Certified Rolfer™ at the Rolf Institute® in Boulder, CO. She maintains a Rolfing® practice in Chicago. She is happy to be returning to HSDC’s Youth Program this year.

Sarah Olson

Sarah Olson, originally from Charleston, WV, studied at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, graduating magna cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a minor in Political Science. Upon moving to Chicago, Sarah has danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, NoMi Dance, and Inaside Chicago Dance. She has had the pleasure of performing choreography by Nick Pupillo, Eddy Ocampo, Autumn Eckman, Lizzie MacKenzie, Wade Schaaf, Paul Christiano, August Tye, and many others. Ms. Olson has choreographed for Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, NoMi Dance, Dance Chicago, RASA Dance Chicago, Dance Chance, and Chicago Freelance Dance. Sarah began teaching dance in 2004 and continues to learn every day from her students.

Trish Strong

Trish Strong was classically trained in the Cecchetti Method under the direction of Karla Harris and continued her education with Rory Foster and Rodney Irwin. After graduating cum laude with a BBA from the University of Notre Dame, Trish began teaching ballet in Chicago. She is a certified member of the Cecchetti Council of America having passed her Advanced Teacher’s Examination. Trish is also a certified instructor of the Ultra Barre℠ Method, a conditioning program designed to improve students’ joint stabilization, alignment, muscular endurance, and balance. Trish has always loved teaching young students and is happy to merge that love with her passion for ballet technique. Trish currently teaches ballet at the Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program and has been on faculty at the Academy of Dance, the official school of the Joffrey Ballet since 2009. She also continues to prepare students and teacher candidates for Cecchetti examinations and pursue her Cecchetti Teacher’s Diploma Certification.

Jumaane Taylor

Jumaane Taylor -a Chicago native- has been tap dancing since the age of 7. He began his training at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre where he currently teaches. He has had the esteemed opportunity to perform and study with Idella Reed Davis, Martin Dumas III, Jimmy Payne Jr., Sarah Savelli and George Patterson III. Jumaane made his professional debut with the group M.A.D.D. Rhythms founded by Bril Barrett. He now serves as Assistant Director of the company. Performing and teaching both locally and internationally, Jumaane traveled to Europe to perform Rasta Thomas’ “Tap Stars” which premiered in Germany. He was featured in "Dance Spirit Magazine" as One of the Top 20 Hoofers under 20 and in 2006, he was proclaimed in The Chicago Tribune as one of the top five dancers in Chicago. Taylor was apart of the ensemble for "Imagine Tap!" which was directed and choreographed by Derick Grant. He was also a principal dancer for a production entitled “Tap in2 Peace” directed and choreographed by Sarah Savelli and Ayodele Casel. In Chicago, the Bearded Hoofer is a tap instrumentalist in the band Sidewalk Chalk and Ernest Dawkins' Trio. All the while, recording tap on various albums and performing at music or dance events throughout the country and abroad.

Daniel "BRAVEMONK" Haywood

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 Co-Artistic Director of BraveSoul a dance company he co-founded and directs with artistic partner, Kelsa “K-Soul” Robinson. BRAVEMONK is also 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. Most recently BRAVEMONK is a member and mentor of brother crew and All style + Artist collective ALKEMY. 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.