2020 Spring Senior Thesis Concert

Join Us on Zoom

Friday, May 1, 7pm central daylight time

Zoom Meeting ID: 992-3472-9133

Password: DAI

Alternative forms of the seniors' original thesis projects have been rebirthed: The evening will include documentaries, dance for cameras, and video documentations.


Taylor AdamsTaylor Adams hails from the ever-twinkling valley of Las Vegas, Nevada. There, she began her choreographic journey at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts under the direction of Jeneane Huggins. In 2019, Adams spent six months training in Gaga and learning choreographic techniques at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. There, she performed works at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv by Ohad Naharin, Noa Zuk, and Roni Chadash. Adams will graduate with her BFA in May 2020.


(Photo by Ell Emadian MFA '20)

Michelle BurnsMichelle Burns is a BFA candidate in the Department of Dance and a psychology minor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began dancing under the direction of Rachel Brady at the Creative Dance Studio in Alton, Illinois. Burns has recently received her yoga teacher certification with Linda Lehovec and has performed in works by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Linda Lehovec, and Renée Wadleigh. She is the president of the Krannert Center Student Association and loves spending her time working on dance films.


(Photo by Ell Emadian MFA '20)

Nina CrouchelliNina Crouchelli began her lifelong journey with dance at the Dance Center of LaGrange under the direction of Robin Hill. It was there where she found her passion for movement. She is currently a candidate for a BFA in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she has danced in works choreographed by Jennifer Monson, Linda Lehovec, John Toenjes, Renata Sheppard, and Roxane D'Orleans Juste. Life after graduation will find Crouchelli integrating dance with her love for science and education.


(Photo by Ell Emadian MFA '20)

Mary Kate FordMary Kate Ford hails from Louisville, Kentucky. She is pursuing a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she has received several awards including the 2019 undergraduate Image of Research grant. While at Illinois, Ford has performed in choreography by Roxane D'Orleans Juste, Ell Emadian, Linda Lehovec, Jennifer Monson, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Kendra Portier, Endalyn Taylor, and Renée Wadleigh. She has created her own works including Honey Heart, which she premiered in Studiodance II in 2019. As a toddler, Ford used a bright red lipstick to carve an image into her parents' tan carpet. Her current choreographic interests liken this childhood memory as it exists in the crosshairs of visual art and dance as a way to frame art in the sinew and dregs that stick together multiplicities of lived experience.


(Photo by Ell Emadian MFA '20)

Lindsey JenningsLindsey Jennings was born and raised in the small-town cornfields of Mount Sterling, Illinois, where she became an enthusiastic doer of all things from a young age—nothing has changed. She carried this energy to the University of Illinois, immersing herself in a multitude of artistic and academic opportunities. She has cherished the many roles she has played at the university, such as teaching in the Creative Dance for Children program, writing and researching with the Office of Undergraduate Research, and working with incredible artists such as Kendra Portier, Abby Zbikowski, Jennifer Monson, and many more. She plans to relocate to New York City after graduation and cannot thank her Dance at Illinois family enough for their time together.


(Photo by Ell Emadian MFA '20)

Madeline MellingerMadeline Mellinger, originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a candidate for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance at the University of Illinois. Mellinger has performed in works by Renée Wadleigh, Linda Lehovec, Charli Brissey, and Leah Wilks while at the U of I. She also performed in Jennifer Monson's ditch at the River to River Festival in New York City in June 2019. Mellinger plans to move to New York City after graduation to continue performing and collaborating with other artists in the dance field.


(Photo by Wilder Troxell)

Symone SanzSymone Sanz is a fourth-year BFA candidate at the University of Illinois in the Department of Dance. She is an experienced artist in performance, improvisation, and choreography and strives for specificity in physical expression. In 2019, she spent several months in Perth, Western Australia, where she had the opportunity to second with the Sydney Dance Company. Sanz plays with the depth in meaning and the necessity to express an honest history that resides within the dancer. Her work has been presented throughout southern California, Perth, and Champaign. Sanz has worked with artists Jennifer Monson, James Vu Anh Pham, and Lauren Langlois, among many others, and enjoys documenting dance in her spare time.


(Photo by Stephen Heath)

Danner SelfDanner Self studies dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and expects to graduate this spring with a BFA. Self's passion and love for dance started at age three, when she attended her first dance class. She went on to dance competitively at age five and started teaching and choreographing at age 14. After graduation, Self plans to move to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in commercial dance.


(Photo by Rachel Venegas)

Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith, hailing from northwestern Illinois, is a BFA candidate in the Department of Dance. For two years, she attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she trained with and performed in works by Kate Corby, Jamie McHugh, Carol Teitelbaum, Christopher Walker, and Jin-Wen Yu. After transferring to the University of Illinois, she performed in works by Linda Lehovec, Leah Wilks, Mauriah Krauker, Rachel Rizzuto, and Evvie Allison. Being a part of the Dance at Illinois community has inspired Smith's involvement in programs that promote environmental sustainability. She hopes to explore ecology further through dance in the future.


(Photo by Kristine Smith)

taylor-jeremy3-250x250Jeremy Taylor, a native of Chicago, is a graduating senior in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has performed in choreography by Melanie Bales, Omri Drumlevich, C. Kemal Nance, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Endalyn Taylor, and Danzel Thompson-Stout. In 2019, Taylor won the Department of Dance's Lisa Carducci Award for overall excellence in choreography and performance. He later originated a dancing role in August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, made his professional debut in Rennie Harris's LIFTED at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and performed in his first international venue in the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble's 26th season of dance in Kingston, Jamaica.


(Photo by Latosha Pointer '19)

Brianna UndzisBrianna Undzis is a graduating senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is pursuing a BFA in dance and a BS in physics. While at the U of I, she has performed in various faculty works, including Tuning the Turn by Jennifer Monson and In Conversation by Linda Lehovec. Undzis has danced in Roxane D'Orleans Juste's restaging of Psalm by José Limón. She has also participated in solar physics research during an internship at the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colorado. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to further her studies in physics while continuing to dance wherever this takes her.


(Photo by Latosha Pointer '19)