Graduate Assistants

Evvie Allison

Teaching Assistant

Evvie AllisonEvvie Allison is a dance artist, writer, teacher, and advocate whose work asks questions about how we make dance. She is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Choreography and a 2019-20 Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellow. In New York City, Allison's work has been presented by Danspace Project, Gibney, Movement Research at the Judson Church, the Center for Performance Research, and the Center for Ballet and the Arts, among other venues, and her music video choreography has been featured on She has also choreographed for the theatre, including acting as assistant choreographer to Annie-B Parson Off-Broadway. As a choreographer, Allison has been supported by residencies at Chez Bushwick, the Next Festival of Emerging Artists, Tofte Lake Center, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and PLAYA. In addition to making her own dances, Allison has performed extensively in projects ranging from David Bowie's Blackstar music video to George Balanchine's The Nutcracker to experimental work with choreographers like RoseAnne Spradlin and Kim Brandt. Allison's advocacy projects include the co-mentorship platform FREE ADVICE and dancer-owned business guide the Dancers' Pocketbook Directory. She is also a founding steering committee member of Dance Artists' National Collective, a growing group of freelance dancers organizing for safe, equitable, and sustainable working conditions. Allison's writing has been published in Dance Magazine, Critical Correspondence, and Movement Research Performance Journal. She received her Pilates mat certification from the Kane School and recently taught as part of the Body Conditioning staff at the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive in New York City.

Bevara Anderson

Teaching Assistant

Bevara AndersonBevara Anderson is a 22-year-old professional dancer from Washington, DC. A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Temple University, she is currently tackling her master's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Anderson began dancing at a young age, studying at studios such as Dance and Bodyworks, Expressions, Dance Institute of Washington, and Jones-Haywood. While in high school, she studied under Charles Augins, Katherine Smith, Melvin Deal, and Sandra Fortune-Green with a focus in ballet, Horton, and West African dance. During this time she also studied at the Ailey School's summer intensives and traveled to participate in the International Association of Blacks in Dance, where she was featured in the first issue of Black Dance Magazine. In her senior year, she performed at the Kennedy Center for a Duke Ellington School of the Arts 40th anniversary show with the singer Ledisi and was the main role in Mike Malone's Black Nativity. While at Temple University she became the president of the all-styles company D2D: Dare to Dance and traveled to Europe, where she lived for a summer and presented work. Now at UIUC, Anderson is furthering her higher education in dance and continues to create work to challenge what "Home" means.

Jaylen Clay

Teaching Assistant

Jaylen ClayA native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jaylen De'Angelo Clay is a graduate of Alabama State University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He trains in ballet, modern, jazz, ballroom, hip hop, West African, heels, step, and tap dance. While in college, he performed works by Robert Battle, Gary Jeter, Michael Medcalf, Dinita and Kyle Clark, James Atkinson, Kathryn Swords Thurman, Kavin Grant, DeShona Pepper Robertson, and Sidra Bell. Jaylen was also a part of Eleone Dance Theater and Delaware Mid-Atlantic Ballet. Presenting his own choreography, he has showcased works at the Dance Canvas Emerging Choreographers Festival and the NAACP Martin Luther King Day Conference. Jaylen strives for excellence in the performing arts. He is an Alvin Ailey ambassador and the recipient of the Susan B. Glazer Award, Tim Redovian Scholarship, Harlequin Dance Scholarship, and Live Mas Scholarship. Jaylen is excited to be attending the University of Illinois to continue his studies in dance to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree.

Elliot Emadian

Teaching Assistant

Elliot EmadianElliot Emadian is a gender-nonconforming dance artist operating out of Urbana, Illinois. They began dancing at the ripe age of two, and their love of rolling on the floor and tie-dyed costumes continues to this day. They earned their BS in mathematics in 2017 from Washington and Lee University (W&L), where they performed and choreographed in nine W&L concerts, including an aerial dance performance. They have presented work at the Center for Performance Research in Brookyln, New York; the Boston Center for the Arts; Dogtown Dance Theatre in Richmond, Virginia; American College Dance Association regional conferences; and the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Their work Bravados (2016) was selected for the regional gala concert at American College Dance Association Midatlantic. Their solo Mouth to banana or banana to mouth . . . The gay one? (2016) was selected for both the Richmond Dance Festival and the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival. Elliot was a summer research scholar with Jenefer Davies researching aerial technique and is featured in her book Aerial Dance: A Guide to Dance with Rope and Harness (2017). Elliot investigates the intersections of spatial mathematics, pop media (under their stage name Elliot Reza), gender, sexuality, video, photography, theatre, and dance. Elliot is a teaching assistant pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

William Ervin

Teaching Assistant

William ErvinWilliam Ervin is a native of Franklin, New Jersey, and earned his BFA in dance from Montclair State University (MSU) in May 2017. He trains 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 the Alexander Kasser Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Hearts of Men ensemble. He has presented his solo choreography at the Dumbo Dance Festival, Brooklyn Ballet, and the State Farm Center and group work at the Equilibrium Choreographer showcase and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. In spring 2018 he set his new work Red Lining on Dance at Illinois students and most recently taught hip hop at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. He is currently working toward an MFA in dance at the University of Illinois.

Kaitlin Fox

Teaching Assistant

Kaitlin FoxKaitlin Fox is a dance artist and teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College Chicago with a focus in choreography. For the last eight years, Fox has worked in Chicago, New York City, South Lake Tahoe (California), and Denver. Fox is entering her second year of the MFA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received the 2018 Vannie L. Sheiry Memorial Dance Scholarship for outstanding performance and the Patricia Knowles Graduate Travel Award, encouraging her studies abroad at Ecole des Sables in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal.

Jacob Henss

Space Coordinator/DRK Manager

Jacob HenssJacob is a St. Louis–based movement artist and choreographer. He is a graduate of Webster University (2013–17) with a BA in dance and music. From there he danced with Modern American Dance Company (MADCO), where he was a MADCO2 member (2017–18) and later an apprentice (2018–19). During his time after graduation, he produced three evening-length works, The Other Sides, Conservation, and Non Cura. Alongside self-producing his choreography, he has set work on MADCO2, Karlovsky and Company, and Webster University and for the CommUnity Arts Festival.

Roxane D'Orleans Juste

Teaching Assistant

Roxane D'Orleans Juste<Roxane D'Orleans Juste is a native of Montréal and of Haitian origin. She won a Bessie Award in the performer category for Outstanding Sustained Achievement. Roxane performed with Eleo Pomare Dance Company (1981–83), Annabelle Gamson Dance Solos, and the Limón Dance Company (1983– 2016), where she served as artistic associate (2001–7) and associate artistic director (2007–16). The Canada Council for the Arts and the Foundation for Creation in Fine Arts continually support her initiative en Solo, a platform for her own choreography and specially commissioned works by internationally renowned choreographers. Roxane is the choreographer-in-residence of Coreoarte, a contemporary dance company based in Caracas, Venezuela. She also serves as co-chair of its board. An active master teacher, she stages and directs José Limón's dances for companies and ensembles worldwide. She also directs the Limón teachers' program in the United States, Europe, and Montréal. She instituted three educational programs: LINKS, Limón4Kids, and Limón4Kids—Saludarte for the Limón Foundation. Juste is a guest teacher for the Tanz Wuppertal/Pina Baush Dance Company in Europe and New York and for Essen University for the Arts. She taught at Marymount College from 2014 to 2017. Roxane graduated with a degree in humanities from Le College Sacré-Coeur and from Toronto's National Ballet School teacher training program.

Jakki Kalogridis

Teaching Assistant

Jakki KalogridisJakki is a performing artist focused on cross-media collaboration and partnerships with the inanimate. After touring with world-class drum corps and winterguards, they began working as a costume designer while completing a BFA in studio art with a minor in dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jakki taught colorguard programs across the state of North Carolina, cofounding an independent winterguard program focused on issues of social justice. In 2013, Jakki relocated to New Orleans, where they worked as a fashion and costume designer, creating work for private clients, dance companies, burlesque and drag performers, and award-winning musical artists. In 2016, they founded New Orleans Colorguard Arts, which offered programs teaching colorguard and dance through studio classes and workshops, a parading krewe, and stage recitals for local performers to showcase their talents. Their most recent works include an evening-length concert in collaboration with New Orleans band Loose Willis and a dance film in collaboration with musician Brad Webb and filmmaker Josh Brasted. Jakki continues to work in tandem with photographers, musicians, filmmakers, poets . . . to explore the relationship between bodies and costumes and inanimate objects, viewing them all as potential partners in creation.

Kayt MacMaster

Teaching Assistant

Kayt MacMasterKayt MacMaster is a performance maker. Based in New York City, she has studied and collaborated with artists such as K. J. Holmes, Johanna Stevens Meyer, Janet Panetta, Michelle Boulé, and Alexandra Beller in addition to making her own creative work. She has studied internationally with the Duende School of Ensemble Physical Theatre in Greece, the OBRA Theater Company in France, and the Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana, West Africa. MacMaster earned a BFA in dance from Oakland University and minored in creative writing. She has trained at the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory and is certified in special education with experience teaching dance and literacy in New York City public schools. In addition, MacMaster is a registered yoga teacher and a certified Ayurvedic holistic health counselor. She will be a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign beginning in the fall of 2019.

Sarah Marks Mininsohn

Teaching Assistant

Sarah Marks MininsohnSarah Marks Mininsohn is a choreographer, performer, and teacher from Maryland. She holds a BA in dance and sociology from Wesleyan University, where she trained in contemporary dance, composition, ballet, and improvisational forms. She was most recently based in Philadelphia, where she self-produced dance performances, led movement workshops, and taught young people. She has created work in spaces such as historic attics and outdoor baseball fields, playing with location to research surrealist alternatives to everyday interactions. Her pieces have also been presented at FringeArts, Leah Stein Dance Company, Headlong, Icebox Project Space, the Wesleyan University Zilkha Gallery, and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. She has performed in work by Headlong, Leah Stein Dance Company, and Dance Exchange. Sarah is thrilled to continue her explorations as a dance MFA candidate at the University of Illinois.

Rachel Rizzuto

Teaching Assistant

Rachel RizzutoRachel Rizzuto is a choreographer and performer fascinated by gesture, repetition, inherent autobiography, and text. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with degrees in dance and English, she spent nine years dancing for the Brooklyn-based company Mari Meade Dance Collective/MMDC. For the last three Valentine's Days, she has self-produced an interdisciplinary evening, super sad love scenes (or, love makes us all losers), an entirely non-self-effacing look at the hardships, hilarities, and heartbreaks of romantic relationships. With her project-based company, touche pas, she has choreographed a piece for a Brooklyn park that ruminates on the inner lives of medieval serfs and, most recently, created a work set entirely to the music of the Roche sisters. She has spent the last several years as an editor for Dance Teacher magazine and remains one of its contributing writers.

Danzel Thompson-Stout

Teaching Assistant

Danzel Thompson-StoutOriginally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Danzel Thompson-Stout is an emerging national and international street dance artist, teacher, choreographer, and community activist based in the Philadelphia area. Thompson is well versed in forms such as street dance styles (house, hip hop, popping, locking, etc.), Umfundalai (contemporary African technique), and modern dance techniques (Cunningham, Limón, Graham, and Horton). As an active dancer, he works for artists/companies such as Rennie Harris Puremovement, the Berry and Nance Dance Project, Kariamu Welsh, and Kingsley Ibeneche. Thompson also holds a BFA in dance from Temple University and is pursuing an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he is signed with Clear Talent Group (New York City), is a co-founder/artistic director of D2D: Dare to Dance, and is working on some personal projects. These projects consist of dance on film, collaborative community dance events, and exploring the crossovers between African dance and street dance styles.