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Emily Rayburn

Founder & President

Emily Rayburn, originally from Edwardsville, IL, received her B.F.A. 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. While in school, her choreography premiered in several Winter Gala Concerts, Orchesis Concerts, and 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 moved to Chicago where she danced as a free-lance artist. In November 2017, Emily incorporated Hot Crowd. Since the company's inception, Emily's choreography has been performed in over fifteen dance festivals throughout the midwest and east coast. Hot Crowd has successfully created three evening-length productions showcasing the company's uniquely playful aesthetic. Emily continuously works to push the boundaries of Hot Crowd and find new means of success. 


La Mar Brown

Vice President

LaMar Brown is an arts manager, producer, dancer, and singer. He relocated to Chicago from Dallas, TX in 2014 in order to pursue his Master of Arts Management at Columbia College Chicago. He previously acquired his Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in music, dance, and business from the University of North Texas.

Upon completion of his Master’s degree, he served as the Company Manager for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago where he oversaw logistics for all artists, and domestic and international touring. He also assisted with main line producing for performances and choreographic creations and acquisitions. Prior to moving to Chicago, he was a Front of House Manager for the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, in which he managed the execution of performances and special events. This included events for touring Broadway productions, TITAS productions, and resident companies such as: The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and Texas Ballet Theatre.


LaMar currently works as a Box Office and Front of House Associate with Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL. He is excited to be on the board for Hot Crowd Dance and help the company fulfill its goals.


Brandon Waters


Brandon is extremely passionate about dance and the performing arts.  He firmly believes that art has the capacity to change lives and communities.  He studied Financial Economics at Brigham Young University Idaho with a minor in dance.  Brandon’s passion for dance inspired him to move from Idaho to attend graduate school in Chicago.  He holds a Master of Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management Degree from Columbia College Chicago.  He has worked in the arts community in Chicago in many capacities serving both the theater and dance community.