FEATURED ARTISTS: dance community chicago

artists: courtney wallace + heidi childers
photo: allison glenn
tshirt: :2:37am: tm + detroit demo + hat

Dance Community Chicago Bio:
Dance Community Chicago is a dance industry-related organization aimed at connecting communities, developing dancers and enhancing exposure. In 2008, Jason Laws, in an attempt to cultivate community amongst all members and organizations in the dance industry of Chicago. Jason was shortly joined by Courtney Wallace and Melissa Hughes, later named his Associate Director and Director of Public Relations respectively, with a shared passion to improve the Chicago's dance community they began to create an active network of dancers and dance-related organizations, innovative programming aimed at building well-rounded dancers, and credible opportunities to further dancers’ careers. An interest began to grow and soon the team was joined by Heidi Childers, Director of Operations, Chirstina Rodriguez, Special Projects Manager, and Lauren Lopez. Dance Community Chicago has continued to grow by holding DanceFam Community Classes, getting involved in hosting movie premiers and helping the community through DanceFam exchange programs. DCC would love to see more people get involved with them!! Come be apart of the movement for movement!!!

Courtney Wallace Bio:
Courtney has always been a performing artist however, she did not begin dancing until she went to college in 2006. She began taking beginner hip hop classes as a form of exercise during the summer months, but that exercise quickly grew into a passion. Over the next year she began taking more classes all over the midwest. In February of 2008 she joined Hip Hop ConnXion, a suburban based dance company. And in October of 2008 she joined NonStop Dance Productions, 2008 Hype Champions. She is currently still a member of NonStop, while also serving as the Associate Director of Dance Community Chicago, a dance-industry non-profit. Courtney is currently getting her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine as well as teaching nutrition and fitness to children with the Otis Wilson Foundation.

Heidi Childers Bio:
Heidi didn’t get heavily involved in the dance scene until she moved to Chicago for work in 2006. Although she danced on and off growing up in Texas, her experience was limited to more classical and established styles of dance – jazz, ballet, and modern. Dancing with a student organization in college gave her a taste of the hip-hop styles and, shortly after arriving in Chicago, she auditioned for Culture Shock Chicago. She trained and performed with them for the next three years. The combination of dance and community service with Culture Shock inspired her to get involved with helping local dancers realize their potential and establish themselves as industry paid professionals. Her position as Director of Operations for Dance Community Chicago (also lovingly known as “DanceFam”) gives her the platform to do that, and it definitely keeps her hands full, as she hopes to establish wellness and resource programs for Chicago dancers in the near future. Heidi is also a full-time graduate student in applied exercise physiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and works as a teaching assistant and personal trainer.