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is a 2001 graduate of Columbia College, Chicago.  There she received a B.A. with a major in dance, but more importantly discovered her instinct for combining image with motion.  She began creating work that was driven by a unique movement language and steeped in a peculiar and rich sense of visual space.  Since then, Rachel has formed a company named "The Humans" and has been Artist-in-Residence at the Hamlin Park Theater since 2004.  With gratitude for all involved, she is proud recipient of four, consecutive Illinois Arts Council Awards.  In 2007,  she was chosen as an Artist-in-Residence at the Canal Chapter Gallery in NYC where she spent five weeks creating a movement-based installation titled "Let's kill our sadness".  In 2008 Rachel was awarded a three-week residency at The Atlantic Center for the Arts under the mentorship of Susan Marshall.  In 2008, she and fellow dancer  Precious Jennings performed their duet "who I am (who I am not)" at Judson Church in NYC as part of the Movement Research works-in-progress showings.  This duet was also part of "The A.W.A.R.D Show!"( produced by the Joyce Theater in NYC and the Dance Center of Columbia College) and a self-produced, shared evening at Links Hall,Chicago.  In 2011, Rachel was chosen as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, and she presented an evening-length work titled "Paper Shoes", which was the genesis of her fascination with an episodic form.  She spent 2014 creating "my my gray sky", an excerpt of which was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with the full workco-produced in a shared bill at the Dance Center of Columbia College, Chicago. 





Since 2010, Kato has been an artist-in-residence at the Hamlin Park Theater under CMC's Dance Shelter Program.  She is an award-winning, Chicago-based dancer, choreographer, improviser, and teacher originally from Yokohama, Japan, and is recipient of a 2023 USA Artists Fellowship; a 2022 Esteemed Artist Award from the City of Chicago; a 2021 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship; and a 3Arts Award, among other honors.  Her most recent, celebrated work ETHOS is a multi-year project that explores Awareness, Acknowledgement, Affirmation, Allowance, and Action--it is an aesthetic and physical inquiry about an ideal ethos of humanity and how it is perceptible through dance.   Previous works include The Incidents, selected for Best of Dance 2014 (Chicago Tribune).  Since 1998, she has been an Artistic Director of Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape (AUH) and has presented and performed her works extensively in the U.S., Japan, and Europe, including at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT; Dance Theater Workshop, NYC; Joyce Soho, NYC; WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater, Brooklyn, NY; Musee d'art Modern et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tahito Art MeetingFestival, Fukishima; the Chicago Jazz Festival; and beyond.  She has studied dance anatomy under Irene Dowd since 2007.  In additional to classical ballet and modern dance, she also studied Tai Chi, Noh Theater, and Butoh  with master Kazuo Ohno, one of the founders.  She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan and a Certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, Wesleyan University.  Gravitating toward an eastern and Japanese view of nature, Kato's dance work seeks the way of being and illuminates the dignity of life, in response to contemporary society.

Emeritus Artists-in-Residence:  Cindy Brandle, Atalee Judy


Currently a contemporary artist based in Chicago, IL, Andrea is a performer, choreographer and seasoned educator. She is the founder and artistic director of dropshift dance, an experimental dance company dedicated to a collaborative and investigative studio practice and pushing the boundaries of movement in performance. Andrea’s work has been shown internationally in Vancouver, BC as well as locally at Defibrillator Gallery, Links Hall, The Hairpin Arts Center, I AM Logan Square Gallery, The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, Produce Music and Dance Festival, Hamlin Park and Holstein Park, Chicago, IL. She is a long time collaborator and teaching artist with Zephyr Dance with whom she performed from 2004 to 2013. Andrea holds her Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago, and utilizes many layers of Rudolf Laban’s framework and Irmgard Bartenieff’s Fundamentals within her pedagogy and creative practices. She has performed at such Chicago venues as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Dance Center of Columbia College, Harold Washington Library Theater, the Athenaeum Theater, and the Ruth Page Center for the Performing Arts. Andrea has also performed across many cities in Tuscany, Italy, throughout the United States, and in New York City at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Space, the Cunningham Studio Theater, Mulberry Street Theater, and Triskelion Arts.


is a born dancer.  She began taking lessons at the age of 3 and has been movin' & groovin' her way through life ever since.  She grew up having impromptu dance parties and performances whenever an opportunity presented itself. In 2006 she graduated with a BA in Dance from Denison University. In 2007 she moved to Chicago, where she continued sharing her love of movement with others through teaching.  Jen embraces a teaching style that provides a loving environment encouraging individual creativity, an engaged classroom, and development of courage and leadership skills.  Her lessons are based on Anne Green Gilbert's Brain Compatible Dance Education, movement themes from Laban Movement & Bartinieff Fundamentals, and utilize teaching techniques from the book How to Talk so Kids Can Learn by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  These methods overlap with Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.  To learn more about Jen, you can visit her website at  . To find out more about the benefits of creative dance you can visit:




recently graduated from New York University with a BFA in Dance and English and is new to the Chicago area. She is currently working as a professional freelance dancer in Chicago. Robin has been working with children for the last five years of her life in various capacities during which she developed a deep passion for children's education and development. She strongly believes that introducing kids to music and movement early on will help develop healthy habits and cultivate creativity as well have so many positive benefits to them and their academic and personal growth. She cannot wait to work with your children!








began studying  martial arts in the form of Goju Ryu Karate, at the age of 14; a practice he studied and competed in for 4 years. He studied Yang Style Long Form (Tai Chi Chuan) with Hubert Lui at Columbia College Dance Center for five years, and later taught this form at CCC.  His other notable teachers include George Ling Hu, Grandmaster Shang Deng Shang, Grandmaster T.T. Liang and Master Jian Hua Guo.  In recent years Daniel has begun to learn Ba Qua Zhang and Xing Yi Chuan, which together with Tai Chi Chuan are the three martial arts that make up the “Internal School” of Chinese Martial Arts.  He has experience teaching a broad spectrum of people, young and old, infirm and athletic, including a group of psychologists on retreat at The Samuel A. Kopp Center, and therapists at Lydia House here in Chicago, (which is a home for troubled teenagers).            





has been a member of the Chicago Moving Company since 2009.  She has also performed with The Humans in collaboration with Rachel Bunting,  Ayako Kato, K.J. Holmes, Amelia Charter, Julia Rae Antonick, and in various improvisational performances.  Teaching in the Theater Department at Columbia College Chicago has brought her to study acting practices and theories utilizing vocal and physical  directives in developing how we come to work and create.  The last few years her practice and research has been in Body-Mind Centering (tm) and, in the last year, diverse theater practices such as Lucid Body Technique and Grotowski-based practices.  Her creative work is driven by collaboration and the development in clarity of relationship with those she works with--as mirrored by the physical, energetic, and vocal body.  She is a certified Massage and Thai-bodywork practitioner, as well as a a Certified Yoga teacher.  Precious is recipient of a 2015-16 LinkUp Residency at Links Hall, Chicago, to research, develop, and present a new, innovative work in movement-based arts.  Precious Park School Districts, Instructor Ballet, Creative Mhas been a senior teacher with the Chicago Moving Company since 2007.  She has led Creative Movement classes for children and currently teaches Yoga (adults) through the company's partnership at Hamlin Park.  Additional teaching credits include:  Adjunct Faculty, Columbia College, Chicago - Body Movement 1 & 2; Mindful Practices, Instructor – Yoga (K-12); Oscar Mayer, Chicago Public School, Instructor - Yoga/Creative Movement (K-12); and Evanston and Oak ovement (youth).  Precious is a Certified Yoga teacher (Moksha Yoga) and holds a Certificate in  Bodywork and Massage from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.





is a native of Taiwan, a mover, thinker, wonderer, and a Movement Pattern Analyst. Chih-Hsien has been with Chicago-based contemporary dance company Khecari since 2013, working intently with the company in their in-depth artistic and sociological inquires. Chih-Hsien’s movement language reflects a rich cultural bearing from traditional Chinese ethnic dances and martial arts to a vast array of somatic integrations such as contact improvisation, Alexander Technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and the Feldenkrais Method. She creates circular worlds of kinesthesia, juxtaposition, and reflection, elucidating the subtlety, complexity, and fluidity of living. Chih-Hsien has been a Links Hall resident, a Thawalls performing artist, Moving Dialogs panelist, adjunct at Cornell College and The University of Iowa, and has performed with Chicago Moving Company, Mid-to-West Dance Collective, Synapse Arts, Project Bound, WC Dance Company (Taiwan), 30 Dance Theatre (Taiwan), Kate Corby & Dancers, Bodies in Urban Spaces, Amsterdam-Berlin-Chicago project, and The Inconvenience. Most recently, Chih-Hsien dove into a series of emotional and inclusive inquiries through movement solo work and collaborations with her partner Ben Law. They will be at Ragdale for an 18-day intensive residency in summer 2018. In addition to her dance endeavors, she works as a dance/movement therapist, EMDR therapist, and licensed professional counselor for diverse populations, helping people on their healing journey for integration. 






Jessica Marasa is founder of The Watering Can and works to cultivate opportunities for herself and her community to repeatedly give and receive their interest in dance and performance. Chicago has served as a place of discovery and collaboration for Jessica since 2006 where she continues learning from and performing with Chicago’s remarkable artists including Kristina Fluty, Ayako Kato, Onye Ozuzu and Molly Shanahan. At the onset of 2014 she began creating, producing and curating her own work and the work of others to nurture her interest and investment in improvisation. This opened her path to include ongoing collaborations with master musicians Hamid Drake, Mike Reed and Ryan Packard and has taken her work to the venues Links Hall, Hamlin Park, Stage 773, Signal Ensemble Theatre and Outerspace Studios. Jessica is currently studying the practices of Body Mind Centering and Vipassana Meditation and feels honored to be a participant and contributor to the life of dance in Chicago. Recently her efforts have been included by Laura Molzhan as one of the “Dance Top 10 for 2015” in The Chicago Tribune and by Newcity as one of their “Players 50” for 2017.




is a interdisciplinary dance-maker, performer, improviser, and teacher who finds it important to deeply listen to the body.  She is a part of an improvisational performance collective and collaborative project with dancers and musicians based in Chicago and New Orleans called The Instigation Orchestra with the Djasporas, and led by Steve Marquette (guitar) and Marie Casimir (dancer/writer)--where Jasmine works with and for creatives of color, providing professional resources and building community across geography,  Jasmine teaches adult yoga at CMC, worked as Resident Technician (Performance Project), and performed as part of CMC's 2019 Echo Project, Echo 3.












is a dancer, singer, photographer and writer.   She has been teaching Yoga (for adults) with the Chicago Moving Company for 10 years, and has performed recently with Posterchild Art, The Humans, and in her own work in the 2015 D49 Festival.  She recently spoke on a panel of young adult cancer survivors at the MCA on the topic of using creative arts to cope with the cancer experience. She is a full time Certified yoga and meditation instructor.   







is deeply grateful to have been mentored for over eight years by Chicago Moving Company founder Nana Shineflug in her original Conscious Body method.  A long-time dancer and meditator, Lissa, a native of Cleveland OH, began her dance training at age 4, with Ellen Donahue, a local dance teacher, before moving on to study with Charles Nicoll and Ian Horvath, founders of the Cleveland Ballet, and Kim Tritt, of the College of Wooster, under whom she discovered modern dance and the joy of choreography.  Since coming to Chicago, Lissa has performed with Kast and Company, Doug Wood’s Modern Ballet Workshop, and as a guest artist with the Chicago Moving Company. She has also created and performed numerous sacred dance works commissioned by universities, churches, spiritual centers, religious orders, and retreat houses across the U.S., as well as worked with parishes to introduce congregational movement into liturgies.  In 2013, Lissa was selected by Nana to teach her Conscious Body Modern Dance and Qi Gong classes for the Chicago Moving Company.  She is also in the process, in collaboration with Sarah Gottlieb, of editing and completing posthumously Nana’s book on the Conscious Body method.  Lissa is known for her insightful and playful teaching  style. Trained in Gurdjieff movements and practices as well as the Conscious Body method, Lissa brings to her teaching a unique combination of the physicality of movement with a practice of joyful inner attention. Her students  report an increase in energy, body consciousness, knowledge of the muscular, skeletal and energetic structures, authentic self-expression, and JOY.





is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher.  Her choreographic practice uses athletic inquiry and associative rigor to make dances with driving physicality often influenced by the imagery produced in her practices of photography, layered media and video work.  Her work has been presented by Fringe Arts, Philadelphia; The Current Sessions (NYC), Festival International de Teatro Susan Alexander (Mexico), Fleet Moves Dance Festival (Cape Cod), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (IL), The Domestic Performance Agency (NYC) and extensively in Chicago with institutions such as Links Hall, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Chicago Dance Crash, and The Inconvenience.  She has performed nationally and internationally with artists including The Seldoms, Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, Khecari Dance Theater, The Moving Architects, The Space/Movement Project, Julie Mayo, Eric Handman, Stephanie Acosta, Nico Brown, and Erin Kilmurray.  Currently she is also dancing with Abby Zbikowski.  Young received her MFA from the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.




Affiliated Composers

    Barry Bennett

    Stone Damon


Photography:  Ashley Deran, Eddie Eng, William Frederking, Joanna Furnans,

Daniel Guidara, Jeremy Handrup, Ralph Kuehne, R. Nakazawa, Jeremy O'Donnell,

Carl Wiedemann, Jessie Young


Founder:  Nana Shineflug















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