Artists for 2022 Season

 
 
Kaleigh Dent  is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. She has been a part of works created by choreographers like Endalyn Taylor, Linda Lehovac, Olga Ĺ˝itluhina, and Jennifer Monson. Her recent performance experience includes dancing in Intensity. Transcendency. (2020) and Love, Loss, Lingering (2021) by Ginny Ching-Yin Lo with Identity Performing Arts . She has choreographed and performed in her own work Surfin' (2021) for Inaside Dance Chicago Virtual Choreography Competition and continues to choreograph for Echo Modern Dance Collective and Rivet Dance Company. She has been teaching dance for the past 4 years at various studios in Illinois and continues to create and perform as the opportunity arises. Kaleigh is very excited to dance and perform with Identity this season!
 
   
 
Juan Enrique Irizarry  was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He began formal dance training at the age of 17 through Joffrey Ballet and Cutlure Shock Chicago. In 2015, he obtained a BA in Anthropology/Sociology with a Dance Studies minor from Knox College. Juan is currently a dancer with Sildance/Acrodanza and a freelance dancer/choreographer/instructor. He has danced/choreographed with Innervation Dance Cooperative for four years. He has also been a part of multiple projects and companies, include but are not limited to, Knox College's Alumni Artists Residency 2020, Modern Marvels, Movement Revolution Dance Crew, Pandora's Box Dance Crew, and Back & To the Left Productions. As a versatile dancer, he has trained in various dance techniques, styles, and had a work-study position at Visceral Dance Center for five years. He maintains dynamic energy and passion for exploring dance and provides an anthropological and sociological influence through his teachings and career.
   
 
Mollyanne Nunn  learned her BFA in Musical Theatre from Columnia College Chicago.  She is currently a 1st company member of Ardent Dance Company. She was recently seen in Mama Mia (Music Theater Works), A Chorus Line (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), Can-Can, The Musical (Porchlight), and Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theatre Project). Other recent credits include Hairspray (Paramount), Rent, Hair (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), Swing, The Wizard of Oz (Little Theatre on the Square), Next to Normal (Towle Theatre). The Crystal Spider (Haven Theatre), and Within (Visceral Dance Chicago). She teaches Ballet, Tap, and Musicial Theatre at Dovetail Studios.
 
 
 
   
 
Hanley Simpson  is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, where she began her dance training at the age of three under the direction of Joseph and Maria Giacobbe at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance. She also trained under the direction of Kenneth and Kimberly Beck at the Myra Meir School of Ballet, where trained privately with Kimberly Beck. She trained over the summers with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Staibdance, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, and New Orleans Ballet Association, honing both her contemporary and classical technique and artistry. Hanley graduated at Florida Southern College and with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography and minor in Business Administration in May 2019. Hanley then moved to Chicago to pursue a professional dance career. In August 2019, she had the opportunity to return to Florida Southern College to rehearse and travel with the Dance Program to Becket, MA to perform Awaken choreographed by Melissa Rector at Jacob’s Pillow Inside Out. 
   
 
 
Amelia Harris  grew up in the greater Washington DC area and discovered dance through her middle school drama club. At the age of 16 she moved away from home to attend the Joffrey Ballet School of New York City. There she studied classical Vaganova technique as well as Arpino/Joffrey repertoire. She attended summer programs at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and the Parsons Dance Company. Amelia attended the Univeristy of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Ballet and a certificate in Global Health Studies. Her choreographic debut, Les Grotesques (2018), was selected to be produced and presented in CCM's annual Choreographer's Showcase. After  moving to Chicago in 2019, Amelia then became a founding member of Echo Modern Dance Collective where she continues to perform and choreograph. She has been involved in a series of film projects in collaboration with Purus Motus that have been presented in Reverb: A Film Festival (2021/2022).
   
 
Audrey Hartnett  is a Chicago based artist involved in both performance and dance writing. Originally from the suburbs, she served as a founding member on the production team for the non-profit showcase, "A More Meaningful Movement," through Flourish Dance Academy in 2017 and 2018. Audrey moved to Chicago to pursue her BFA in Dance, graduating from Columbia College Chicago 2021. There she explored her love of ballet through the Renegade's "Nutcracker" (2019) as Sugar Plum Fairy and "Cinderella" (2019) as Cinderella. Through Columbia's Dance Program, she performed in several student and facutly works including a solo performance thesis: "That Piece with the Couch." (2021) choreographed by Paige Cunningham Calderalla. She has been a company member of Meadow Dance Collective since 2020. Audrey premiered her piece "Unearthed" in 2022, making her choreographic debut as a freelance artist.
 
   
 
Tiana Thompson  is from Tokyo, Japan, and is a graducate of Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Dance and English with a minor in African Studies and the African Diaspora. Tiana has performed works by notable choreographers Alysia L. Johnson, Connie Shiau, Sarah Cullen Fuller, Amy Wilkinson, and Sandra Kaufmann. Tiana was a company member with Alluvion Dance Chicago for 2021 season and has presented work for the company as well as the Simantikos Summer Chicgo Dance Fest. She has also performed at the Going Dutch Festival in Elgin, IL. Additionally, Tiana has collaborated with various film makers in the Chicago community to produce dance films. She worked with students in Columbia College Chicago as well as students from Flashpoint Chicago on the film. She has been featured in Iris Templ's music video.Tiana is excited to continue her journey as a performer and to foster collaborative relationships. 
 
   
 Josephine (Joey) Castillo - Guest Artist is originally from Dallas, Texas and started her dance education under the direction of Kirt and Linda Hathaway at Hathaway’s Academy of Ballet. Joey went on to George Mason University where she received her Bachelor Of Fine Arts in 2019. At GMU she had the opportunity to performed works by Donald Byrd, Doug Verone, Yin Yue and many other inspiring artists. After moving to Chicago Joey joined Alluvion Dance Chicago where she continues to choreograph and perform. This season she will be performing as a guest artist with Identity Performing Arts under the direction of Ginny Ching-Yin Lo.
  
Mackenzi Bolyard-Pizana - Guest Artist is originally from Akron, Ohio, where she began her technical dance and acrobatics training, under the direction of Judy Bourn with Bourn Academy of Dance. Her training has extended learning Luigi and Fossi styles of jazz, Graham modern techniques, and tap and vocal performance in music theatre. Professionally, Mackenzi danced and trained in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Since moving to Chicago in 2020 to further pursue her career, Mackenzi dances as a main company member with the Chicago Honey Bear Dancers and works as an independent acrobat. For the past 13 years she has also worked as a choreographer, dance educator, and ambassador for various studios across the country teaching jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, technique, strength and conditioning. Mackenzi also works locally for Activ8 Dance Company, as a dance team coach, a faculty member.