Announcing the TAPS winter quarter Dance Master Class Series!

Technique, Movement, and Personal Expression
with Kevin Iega Jeff

Friday 2/8, 4:30p-6:30p


Bartlett Rehearsal Room
Capacity: 20 students | sign up here

Emotional memory may be stored in one's spirit, mind, and body. How do we access and engage this trinity in creativity that’s expressed throughout the body? In this interactive session, director, dancer, choreographer, and educator Kevin Iega Jeff explores the relationship between dance technique, movement, and personal human expression.

Contemporary Bharatanatyam: Unwinding

with Pranita Nayar​

Friday 2/15, 4:30p-6:30p

Bartlett Rehearsal Room

Capacity: 20 students | sign up here

Students learn complex movement sequences using hand gestures, geometric body positions, and precise rhythms (adavu and jathi)—all leading up to a melodic excerpt: the Thillana. In the second half of the class, students will apply Pranita’s contemporary methodology, Unwinding, to the Thillana. While students experiment, rework movement vocabulary and improvise, they are jolted out of their comfort zones. Laksha Dantran and Ashwaty Chennat will join Pranita as additional instructors.


Movement Improvisation

with Meghann Wilkinson

Friday 2/22, 4:30p-6:30p
Bartlett Rehearsal Room
Capacity: 20 students | sign up here

Open to dancers, actors, movement-curious beginners, or people who dance secretly in their bedroom, this 2-hour workshop is centered around the art of in-the-moment decision making through movement. Games, playful exercises, mindfulness practices, and compositional structures allow participants to hone their mind/body connections and develop kinesthetic awareness. The class offers a safe atmosphere for experiments with potentially humorous, strange, or virtuosic outcomes, and participants will leave with a toolkit for starting choreography, becoming more present in their bodies, and developing a solo improvisation practice for research, performance, or fun. Come prepared with comfortable movement clothing and a notebook or journal.


KEVIN IEGA JEFF founded New York's acclaimed JUBILATION! Dance Company in 1982 and directed the company until 1993. Currently, Iega is co-founder and artistic director of Deeply Rooted Productions/Dance Theater in Chicago and collaborates on a range of professional and community-engaged projects across the country and around the world. His work has been featured in several films, including Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, and in the Broadway shows Comin’ Uptown and The Wiz. In 2005, Iega was named as one of the Juilliard School’s 100 Outstanding Alumni in celebration of the school’s centenary anniversary. Among his other awards are those from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Council for Culture and Arts, the BTAA Best Choreography Award, and the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Grant.


PRANITA NAYAR is an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, company director, curator and producer, whose work has been embedded in Chicago’s dance community for over 30 years. She is currently Executive Artistic Director of Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, an arts and cultural organization that supports innovation within performing arts traditions. Over the last several years, Pranita has been developing a methodology to modernize classical Indian dance. In 2016, she was recognized as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, where she developed a deconstructive process: Unwinding.

MEGHANN WILKINSON has been a collaborating ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions since 2004. Other performance credits include The Arrow with The Neo-Futurists and projects with Peter Carpenter and Mordine & Company. Meghann was Assistant Choreographer for Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire, Movement Director for Walkabout Theater’s Crow, and she has been a guest choreographer for numerous festivals and dance programs. She organized for the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance and the Society of Dance History Scholars and has taught at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Lucky Plush.  Meghann is currently a part-time faculty member in the dance and theater programs at Columbia College Chicago.


Announcing Weekly Dance Technique Classes for Winter Quarter


These non-credit bearing classes are free to University of Chicago students, and will be held weekly throughout winter quarter (Week 1- Week 10). First come, first served. The dance technique classes are geared toward students with an intermediate level of experience within the form being taught. If you have questions about whether the class is a fit for your level of experience, contact Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance and Lecturer in TAPS, at

Attendance policy
Space is limited, so there will be a strict attendance policy. If a student misses more than two classes, their spot will be given to the next student in line on the waiting list. Attendance at the first or second class is mandatory!

Clases & Sign-up forms

Intermediate Contemporary
Tuesdays, 3:30-5:00p, Ida Noyes
Instructor: Kara Brody

Sign-up form

Intermediate Hip-Hop
Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00p, BARS
Instructor: Brave Monk

Sign-up form

Intermediate Ballet
Thursdays, 3:30-5:00p, Ida Noyes 

Instructor: Elizabeth Luse

Sign-up form

About the Instructors:

KARA BRODY is a native of Detroit, Michigan, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne State University with a BFA in Dance. While in Detroit, she performed works by Doug Varone, Dwight Rhoden, Trey McIntyre, Steffanie Batten Bland, Eddie Taketa, Katte Hutter, Ron de Jesus, and others. In 2014, she was nationally recognized for her performance in Rhoden’s Hissy Fits by ACDA/Dance Magazine, and she toured to Seoul, South Korea in 2015 with ArtLabJ for the New Dance for Asia International Festival. Kara relocated to Chicago in 2016 and she is in her third season as an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions. She also performs regularly with Khecari and The Cambrians, recently performed in Brendan Fernandes’ Art by Snapchat at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and her collaborative work with Amanda Maraist has been presented at Links Hall and High Concept Labs. Kara has been on faculty at Visceral, Dovetail Studios, Brighton Dance Festival, The Dance Place LTD., The Cambrians’ Winter Intensive, and Actors Gymnasium, and she teaches regularly for Lucky Plush Productions’ company class. Kara offers a contemporary movement class based in modern technique with a focus on the ways that momentum, weight, and gravity influence the movement experience.

DANIEL "BRAVEMONK" HAYWOOD is an artist, choreographer, performer, and dance educator based in Chicago. He is a leader in the Hip-Hop community who regularly travels throughout the US and internationally as a guest speaker, performer, choreographer, host, judge, and teacher at many Hip-Hop and related events. His credits include the International Cultural Festival of Contemporary Dance in Algiers, The Hip-Hop Theater Festival at the MCA, the film Dreams released by Lionsgate Films and a feature in the anthology Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Dance, 1970-2010. BRAVEMONK is a member of Chicago’s internationally recognized breaking crew Phaze II Crosstown Crew, co-founding director of BraveSoul Movement, a founding contributor and previous co-host of Power Style Radio, and an advisory board member of Chicago Dance History Project. BRAVEMONK’s movement vocabulary is rooted in African American urban vernacular dance forms including Breaking, Hip-Hop social dances and house. He also draws on his training in martial arts and other embodied Afro-diasporic movement languages. BRAVEMONK is a 2017 recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award and is on faculty at Hubbard Street Dance and the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago.

ELIZABETH LUSE is originally from Orlando, Florida, and she holds a B.S. in Ballet Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Leslie Peck, Violette Verdy, and Guoping Wang. Since moving to Chicago in 2005, Elizabeth has danced professionally with Winifred Haun and Dancers, Nomi Dance Company, Dance in the Parks, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her guest appearances include Ballet Quad Cities, Madison Ballet, Ron de Jesus Dance, and Emily Stein Dance. Currently, Elizabeth is in her fifth season as an ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions, where she has originated roles in three nationally-touring dance-theater works. Alongside her performance career, Elizabeth teaches ballet and modern dance throughout the Chicagoland area. She is currently on faculty at Joffrey Academy of Dance (since 2013), and has also been on the faculty at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Center, Dovetail Studios, and The Actors Gymnasium. Elizabeth is also a regular teacher for Lucky Plush’s community class and she teaches master classes across the US through Lucky Plush’s touring program.