ARTISTS

EMILY ASHBURN // DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

Originally from Edwardsville, Illinois, Emily attended daily dance classes at her hometown studio, Premiere Performance, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Western Michigan University in May 2015.  While at Western, Emily performed works by Ohad Naharin, Loie Fuller, and worked with artists such as Gabrielle Lamb, Lauren Thompson Hall, Monique Haley, Jackie Nowicki, KT Nelson, and faculty member Carolyn Pavlik in their processes of creating original works performed in WMU’s Winter Gala Concert.  In addition to performance, Emily enjoys choreography.  Her solo, Corey’s Promise, was accepted and performed at the 2014 regional American College Dance Association conference.   She also received the Shawn Coyle Hunnicutt Scholarship for Excellence in Choreography.  Emily was awarded a grant by The Ramon Zupko Enrichment Fund to produce an original ballet, “Who Killed Mr. Mason?”.  She was named the WMU Department of Dance 2015 Presidential Scholar.  After graduating, Emily has recently made the move to Chicago to pursue a career in modern dance performance and explore all that the Chicago dance community has to offer.  She has danced with multiple Chicago-based companies, free-lance projects, and is currently focusing on the success of Hot Crowd.

CAMRYN BABCOCK // DANCER

Dancer, Camryn Babcock, originally from San Francisco CA, is now residing in Chicago. She began her professional dance career in 2012, when she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. At Cornish she performed in over 20 shows and worked with renowned choreographers such as Danny Buraczeski, Pat Hon, and Robert Battle. She has also studied at various summer intensives including; Ballet San Jose, Hubbard Street Dance, ODC, and The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. These intensives gave her the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Alex Ketley, Bobbi Jene Smith (excerpts from Ohad Naharin) and KT Nelson. In Seattle, she was an original company member of dance company Ashani Dances with director Iyun Harrison. After, Camryn then danced in San Francisco for several years with Printz Dance Project directed by Stacey Printz as well as several free-lance companies in the area. She was able and privileged to perform in the last Printz Dance Project spring season show which debuted at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Camryn has also been fortunate to perform at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with Kevin Jenkins Co. and has been hired for several commercials and music video dance jobs in the last few years. She also follows her passion of teaching jazz to youth programs and choreographing for competitive dance teams. Alongside dance, Camryn has fulfilled her passion for health by becoming a certified Massage Therapist with a focus on injury prevention and sports massage.

ERIN CORCORAN // DANCER

Erin Corcoran, originally from Plainfield, Illinois, is currently residing in the great city of Chicago. Erin graduated from the University of Iowa pursuing her BFA in Dance and BA in Health and Human Physiology- Exercise Science. At the University of Iowa, she performed in over 50 pieces and was present in 18 shows. While In Iowa, Erin was able to work with many renowned dancers and choreographers such as Mario Zambrano, George De La Pena, Autumn Eckman, Nicolas Leichter, and Ramon Flowers. In addition to being a new company member with Hot Crowd, Erin is also a company member with Still Inspired. Previously, Erin was with Inaside Chicago Dance and performed in Inaside’s fall and spring concerts of the 2017-2018 seasons. Erin’s other professional experience includes performing with The Cedar Rapids Opera House, Kayle and Co, City of Ballet Iowa, The Kate Jablonski Statement, and performances around Chicago as a free-lance dancer. Erin also had the chance to work alongside many established directors such as Wade Schaaf, director of the Chicago Repertory Ballet, and Terence Marling with Hubbard Street 2. Erin Has been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel with professional companies and perform nation- wide in places such as New York, California, and Wyoming. Erin is currently in her third year as a jazz and contemporary choreographer at Raise the Barre, and she has been fortunate enough to teach master classes for BravO! Nationals Dance competition this past summer. Along with dance, Erin is a trainer at a fitness studio called Studio Lagree where she teaches Pilates based classes on a Mega-reformer. This is Erin’s first season with Hot Crowd and is beyond excited to be dancing with them!

SAM CROUCH // DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

Sam Crouch is a dancer from Charlotte, Michigan, now residing in Chicago, Illinois. In 2016, he graduated from Western Michigan University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. Through WMU he has performed with Western Dance Project, the traveling ensemble of WMU’s Department of Dance, and has worked with renowned guest artists and choreographers such as Eddy Ocampo, James Gregg, and WMU faculty members David Curwen, Carolyn Pavlik, Monique Haley and Jeremy Blair. During his time at WMU, Sam had the pleasure of performing Ohad Naharin’s Excerpts from Minus 16, staged by Michal Sayfan; Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi, staged by Willy Shives; Antony Tudor’s Continuo, staged by John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow; and Lew Christensen’s Con Amore, staged by Leslie Young. Outside of WMU, Sam has had the opportunity to guest perform with Wellspring Cori Terry and Dancers in their 2014-15 season and perform at many dance festivals, including Detroit Dance City Festival, Brighton Dance Festival, and Motor City Choreographer Collective. Here in Chicago, Sam is currently working with Aerial Dance Chicago, Grit dance, and is starting his third season with Hot Crowd.

SAM FINK // DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

Sam Fink, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, currently residing in Chicago, earned her BFA from Southeast Missouri State University’s Conservatory of Dance. During her time at Southeast, she performed renown works by José Limón, Larry Keigwin, Sam Watson, Gus Giordano, and an original work by Jennifer Archibald. Sam has danced alongside companies through their intensive summer programs such as The Big Muddy Dance Company, Keigwin and Company, LeeSaar The Company, Jennifer Archibald’s ArchCore40, The Seldoms, and with various dance artists of the Seattle area in Velocity Dance Center’s Strictly Seattle. She has performed with Leverage Dance Theatre, Jamm ‘n Honey Dance Collaborative, Cattywampus Dance, and is currently dancing with Simantikos Dance Chicago, with whom she traveled to Missouri, Iowa, Toronto, and Italy in summer 2017. She is also a teaching artist with Chicago Dance Institute and continues to create, produce, and collaborate around Chicago. Sam is thrilled to be dancing with Hot Crowd again in its third season. 

BRITTANY LATTA // DANCER

Brittany Latta, originally from Wheaton, IL, received her BA in Dance at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has trained intensively in ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop, fusing the techniques together to create a unique style. Her Holistic Health Care minor compliments her dance portfolio by providing a unique understanding of movement mechanics in the human body, creating methods in approaching performance through a mind body connection to herself, and those around her. Throughout her undergrad, she was lucky enough to work with renowned dancers and choreographers of different styles, including Gabrielle Lamb and Rennie Harris, as well as WMU faculty members David Curwen and Monique Haley. Brittany choreographed for a production where she was able to collaborate with composers and poets, which have further supported her dance endeavors. Brittany was also a company member with WMU’s Hip Hop ConnXion Michigan under the direction of Annie Franklin. All of these experiences contributed to Latta becoming a well-rounded dancer and living up to her holistic views on movement. Post grad, Latta has had the opportunity to train as a scholarship student at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago, IL under the direction of Nick Pupillo. When she’s not in training, you can find her doing freelance projects and performances around the city, or teaching at local dance studios, striving to use dance as a base for inspiration and change in the community.

DEVON LLOYD // DANCER

Devon Lloyd, a current resident of Naperville, IL, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University (WMU). While at WMU she performed works by international choreographer Ohad Naharin, Peter Chu, Eddie Ocampo, and Rennie Harris. Devon has had the honor of performing Professor Carolyn Pavlik’s work “The illusion has been just a dream” at the 2016 American College Dance Association’s National Competition at Washington D.C’s Kennedy Center. Devon has performed at multiple festivals throughout the Illinois and Michigan area as a freelance artist along with company member of Hip Hop Connxion, Michigan Branch and Western Michigan’s Western Dance Project. Devon is a veteran instructor for Universal Dance Association (UDA). She works with high school, all-star, and college dancers at both the national and international level. Devon teaches throughout the suburbs instructing and choreographing for both studios and teams.  She is a proud judge and two year Legality Official for USASF. Devon is beyond grateful to join Hot Crowd as they embark on their new season! 

AMANDA FITZPATRICK // GUEST ARTIST

Amanda Fitzpatrick received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University. She began dancing at a young age and her passion for the movement of the human body began to increase during her years at Western Michigan University working with world-renowned dancers and choreographers including Peter Chu and Batsheva Dance Company. She craved the knowledge of how the body functioned and went on to further her education in kinesiology and exercise physiology. Amanda now works in Corporate Wellness where she is able to share her passion for living a healthy lifestyle with business professionals in downtown Chicago. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and Group Exercise Instructor. Amanda enjoys combining elements of dance and strength training to create exercise programs that allow her clients to move their bodies better, become stronger and more confident and gives them the tools they need to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.

IZZABELLA IRWIN // GUEST ARTIST

Michigan native, Izzabella Irwin graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.A. Dance and B.S. Biomedical Science. During her time at WMU, she was able to perform and aide in the creative process with guest artist, Gabrielle Lamb as well as faculty member, Carolyn Pavlik. Participating in Zupko and Luscomb grants, she was able to work collaboratively with choreographers, videographers, costume designers, musicians, actors and directors to create multiple full length shows. Since graduation, she has been able to train as a scholarship student with Visceral Dance Chicago for two semesters, under the direction of Nick Pupillo. Recently, she has returned to Chicago from Panama City, Panama where she worked for the nonprofit, Movement Exchange, teaching dance abroad. Izzabella looks forward to continuing her passion for collaboration, choreography and performance with Hot Crowd. 

ELLEN VIERSE // GUEST ARTIST

Ellen Vierse graduated summa cum laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a BFA in Modern Dance, after which she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she danced with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, and ANNONYArts. While in St. Louis, Ellen had the opportunity to perform works by Jennifer Medina, Uri Sands (TU Dance), and Jennifer Huffman Olivas (Diavolo). Now in Chicago, Ellen currently dances with Project606 Dance and has performed in Thodos' New Dances as well as in independent works by Hanna Brictson and Sarah Olson. Most recently, she was featured in two original dances for camera choreographed by Ela Olarte. Ellen is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of Hot Crowd!