Graduate Assistants

Evvie Allison

Teaching Assistant

Evvie Allison

Evvie Allison believes that choreographing and performing are inherently political acts in that they can reflect humanity, envision utopia, and expand our modes of perceiving and knowing. She makes dance for stage and for camera and is deeply engaged with questions about how we make what we make. Allison is a 2016 fellow in Choreography from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her choreography has been presented by Danspace Project (New York City), Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center (New York City), Movement Research at the Judson Church (New York City), Center for Performance Research (New York City), Brooklyn Arts Exchange (New York City), Bushwick Open Studios (New York City), NYU: Center for Ballet and the Arts (New York City), Research Project at OuterSpace Studios (Chicago), and American Theater Company (Chicago); has been featured on NOWNESS; and has been supported by residencies at Chez Bushwick (New York City), The Next Festival of Emerging Artists (New York City), Tofte Lake Center (Ely, Minnesota), and the Maggie Alessee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee, Florida). In addition to her work for the stage, she loves working in film and has appeared in a number of music videos, most notably David Bowie’s "Blackstar." Allison also identifies as an artist advocate and is a co-founder of FREE ADVICE, a nonhierarchical co-mentorship platform for dance artists that looks to transparency and sharing as radical tools for democratizing access to resources in the dance field.

Charli Brissey

Teaching Assistant

Charli BrisseyCharli Brissey is an interdisciplinary artist who works choreographically with various technologies and materials, including bodies, cameras, objects, instincts, and ecosystems. They are invested in movement practices to reveal strategies for bodies to coexist sustainably, with a particular interest in nonhuman agencies and interspecies entanglements. Their work is significantly influenced by the experimental video and performance pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Steina Vasulka, Joan Jonas, and Vito Acconci, and has been presented in various galleries, conferences, film festivals, and performance venues nationally and internationally. These include the National Queer Arts Festival (San Francisco), Movement Research at Judson Church (New York City), the Eye Film Institute (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center (New York City), Center for Performance Research (New York City), the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (Vancouver, British Columbia), Zurich Moves! Dance Festival (Zurich, Switzerland), the Arts in Society Conference (Budapest, Hungary), the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Seattle), the Queer Publics Symposium (Urbana, Illinois), the International Conference on the Image (Berkeley, California), and others. They received a BFA in dance and choreography and an MFA in kinetic imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University. Brissey is currently an MFA candidate in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Elliot Emadian

Teaching Assistant

Elliot EmadianElliot Emadian is an artist coming to Illinois after completing his Bachelor of Science in mathematics at Washington and Lee University in 2017. While in school, he danced in the W&L Repertory Dance Company, as well as with Progeny Dance, and worked as a freelance dancer/choreographer. Outside of W&L, his work has been presented at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, New York, the Richmond Dance Festival, and the American College Dance Association regional conferences at Towson University, West Virginia University, and the University of Maryland, College Park. His work Bravados was selected for the regional gala concert at ACDA in 2016. He is invested in the intersection of dance and theatre arts and has choreographed for productions of Dracula (Lexington, VA), Macbeth (Richmond, VA), and The Last Five Years (Lexington, VA). While at W&L, Elliot was a summer research scholar with Professor Jenefer Davies researching aerial dance technique and is now well versed in swinging from a rope suspended from the roof of a building. Elliot is also a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor society in mathematics, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Beta Kappa.

William Ervin

Teaching Assistant

William ErvinWilliam Ervin is a native of Franklin, New Jersey, and will graduate with a BFA from Montclair State University in 2017. He has trained in hip hop, vogue, house, ballet, and modern. At MSU, he performed works by Camille A. Brown, José Limon, Kevin Wynn, Sean Curran, Larry Keigwin, and Earl Mosley. He's performed at Alexander Kasser Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, and BAM with the Hearts of Men ensemble. Presenting his own choreography, he's performed at the Dumbo Dance Festival, Brooklyn Ballet, the Equilibrium Choreographer showcase, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance's "Choreographer's" festival, and Earl Mosley's Institute of the Arts.

Kaitlin Fox

Teaching Assistant

Kaitlin FoxKaitlin Fox is a dance educator, performer, and choreographer. Originally from north of Chicago, Fox has spent the last seven years performing, creating, and dancing across the country. During her undergraduate studies at Columbia College Chicago, Fox trained in ballet, jazz, modern, West African, hip hop, and improvisation until completing her Bachelor of Arts in dance in 2010. Upon graduation, she worked as an intern for Donna Uchizono Dance Company and Emily Faulkner/WindUp Dances in New York City. Fox worked with Chicago's The Inconvenience on multiple occasions as a performer and choreographer. She has taught children and adults for the last seven years in multiple forms of dance in Chicago, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, and Denver. Fox ventured into the world of musical theatre and worked as the sole choreographer on Lake Tahoe Community College's production of Cabaret and Stagedoor Theatre Company's youth program's productions of Elf Jr. and Shrek Jr. in Conifer, Colorado. Fox pursued her thirst for knowledge of the functional body and became an ACE certified personal trainer in August 2016 and works with clients of all abilities under her company KFOX Fitness. She believes that movement is an expression and modality of communication that connects us all and is available to everyone. She invites dancers and nondancers to share in the experience of bonding with one another through movement to grow, understand, and make sense of our experiences in this world. Fox is currently a first-year MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is a teaching assistant.

Mauriah Kraker

Teaching Assistant

Mauriah KrakerMauriah Kraker is an improviser, mover, and maker exploring processes that desire contradiction—the creation of perhapses, despites, glories, and not quites. Her way of seeing the world is shaped by travel and loss, walking the land, looking at place[lessnesss], and social constructs of the city. She has created projects on printing presses in Germany, underpasses in the Midwest, outdoor skating rinks in Taiwan, in Bangkok's zombie buildings, and in the Italian Alps. Her solo work has been presented at the 92nd Street Y, Center for Performance Research (New York), WTF Gallery (Bangkok, Thailand), INOVA–Institute of Visual Arts (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), and the Nature, Art, and Habitat Residency (Bergamo, Italy). She is currently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing her MFA in choreography and performance.

Charlie Maybee

Teaching Assistant

Charlie MaybeeCharlie Maybee is a music and dance artist hailing from Woodbridge, Virginia. He received his BFA in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014 and moved to Champaign, Illinois, where he was an adjunct instructor, production manager, space coordinator, and accompanist at the University of Illinois Department of Dance as well as the director of dance arts for the Champaign Park District until 2016. He has since been accepted into the University of Illinois MFA Dance Program, where he is currently researching his own creative process in creating art work where tap dance is the central focus and how to integrate tap dance into the scope of contemporary art.

Chloe Nagle

Teaching Assistant

Chloe NagleChloe Nagle is a performer, dance maker, teacher, and third-year graduate student in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received a BFA with honors in performance and choreography from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2015 and is excited to be continuing her education at UIUC. She is currently training to become a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Nagle has performed her choreography at Danceworks Milwaukee, In Touch Milwaukee, the Bates Dance Festival's Young Choreographer’s Showcase, and informal showings at the American Dance Festival. As a performer, she has worked with choreographers in academic contexts including Ping Chong, Reggie Wilson, Deb Loewen, Rebecca Stenn, Keely Garfield, Stephen Koplowitz, Luc Vanier, Elise Frost, and Li Chiao-Ping. She also performed in Trisha Brown's Set and Reset: Reset as an undergraduate at UWM, reset by Melinda Myers.

Kendra Portier

Teaching Assistant

Kendra PortierKendra Portier is a performer, teacher, and dance maker based in New York City. Direct from Ohio, Kendra trained and performed with BalletMet and received a BFA with honors from Ohio State University. A member of David Dorfman Dance since 2010, Portier continues to perform with Vanessa Justice Dance and Race Dance, is on the faculty at the Gibney Dance Center, and is a first-year MFA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work(s) as both teaching artist and dance maker are under the moniker BAND, which has been a guest artist at numerous dance programs and festivals and has been presented by a Tisch School of the Arts Dance Residency (New York), a Bates Dance Festival Emerging Choreographer Residency (Maine), Gowanus Loft (New York), CRAWL (New York), Gowanus Arts+Production (New York), Arts by the People (New Jersey), Dixon Place (New York), Triskelion Arts (New York), A.U.N.T.S (New York), RoofTop Dance (New York), and Dance New Amsterdam (New York).

Leah Wilks

Teaching Assistant

Leah WilksLeah Wilks is a choreographer, teacher, and performer from Durham, North Carolina. She holds a BA in environmental studies from Vassar College, where she also danced as a member of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater. While in Durham, Leah performed as a member of Renay Aumiller Dances, real.live.people.durham, and the Department of Improvised Dance and directed the multimedia dance company VECTOR with visual artist Jon Haas. She has taught at North Carolina State University, the Carolina Friends School, 9th St. Dance, the Living Arts Collective, the University of North Carolina–Greensboro, Elon University, and the American Dance Festival and spent any spare time she had, while in North Carolina, helping organize the Durham dance scene as a founding member of Durham Independent Dance Artists and the arts nonprofit Culture Mill. Currently, Leah is a second-year MFA candidate and teaching assistant in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is pursuing her interests in composing soundscores; finding new physicality through duration, repetition, and inverting; and examining the intersection of queer theory and her classroom practices.