Graduate Assistants

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.

Abby Williams Chin

Teaching Assistant

Abby Williams ChinAbby Williams Chin is a Chicago-based choreographer, dance artist, and founding artistic director of Cattywampus Dance. Her choreographic repertoire includes over 20 works, with her choreography being featured in See Chicago Dance's Dance Month, Dance Chicago's Choreographer's Showcase, the Take Up Space Festival, the JELLO Performance Series, the Simantikos Celebration of the Arts, the Full Circle Festival, the Delve Showcase, and the Bates Dance Festival among others. In 2015 she founded Cattywampus Dance, a modern-contemporary dance company that produces original evening-length works, performs in dance festivals nationwide, and shares the joy of dance with children in Chicago public schools. Chin has performed professionally with the Coincidentals, Jamm 'N Honey, Ascendence Dance, Sara Tourek, Jason Aryeh, and the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble. In addition to choreographing and performing, she taught dance classes and facilitated lecture-demonstrations in over 50 Chicago public schools. Chin received her BFA in dance performance and choreography and her BA in arts administration with a minor in communications from Elon University. She is currently pursuing her MFA in dance with a graduate minor in gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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.

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.

Ricardo L. de Jesús-Valentín

Teaching Assistant

Ricardo L. de Jesús-ValentínRicardo L. de Jesús-Valentín (Ricky) is a movement artist, teacher, and choreographer born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His artistic work seeks to use the vocabulary of modern and contemporary dance, the rupture of ballet, visceral experimentation in movement, and concrete performance actions to investigate through the body conceptual and formal concerns. From 2015 to 2019 he was part of the contemporary and experimental dance company Hincapié, directed by Petra Bravo. He has performed in the works of Petra Bravo, Viveca Vázquez, Florence Figols, Ana Sánchez-Colberg, Norberto Collazo, Cristina Lugo, Ángel Arámbula, and Francisco Centeno among many others. In 2019 he was part of the first edition of the Program of Independent Studies in Contemporary Art, Investigation, and Community of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico, where he developed Le Trina, or Bodily Elucubrations for a Manifectation. Ricky holds a BA in philosophy from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus (2013) and a BA in dance from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (2019). Currently he is working on his MFA in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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.

Ty Lewis

Teaching Assistant

Ty LewisBorn and raised in Houston, Texas, Ty Lewis is an independent movement artist, choreographer, teacher, and inspiring healer. Ty's professional training began in college, where she studied dance at San Jacinto College and Sam Houston State University, graduating and receiving her AA as well as her BFA in dance. During her time studying at these institutions, Ty had the opportunity to travel and expand her dance training further in New York City, San Francisco, Europe, and other major cities in Texas. After completing her BFA she returned to Houston, where she taught and performed dance and created and presented works for local schools (including institutions of higher education), organizations, and many other choreographic opportunities within Houston. Ty has had the opportunity to teach and share her enthusiasm for dance for more than eight years in movement styles such as modern, contemporary, improvisation, creative movement, jazz, ballet, choreography, and Pilates. In the fall, Ty will be embarking on a new journey by attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study and obtain her MFA in choreographic research and pedagogy. She wishes to continue to share her voice within her choreography, teaching, and performances in hopes of influencing movement as a source of expression, creativity, intelligence, and healing through physical practice and imagination.

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.