THE COMPANY

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Devon Lloyd

Operations Executive & Dancer

Devon Lloyd is a dancer, teacher, and content creator from Naperville, IL and received her BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University. Originally a Jazz and Tap dancer, undergrad showed her a new love of modern dance. Her strong attack to movement and overall strength fuel her drive to break movement norms. During her time at WMU she worked with artists Peter Chu, Eddie Ocampo, Rennie Harris, and international choreographer Ohad Naharin. She also performed multiple works by professor and mentor, Carolyn Pavlik, that showcased at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Post undergrad Devon continued to dive into the world of education. Solidifying techniques and movement patterns have made her a versatile and sought after choreographer and technique consultant. Since 2012 Devon has been an instructor and judge for Universal Dance Association and frequently travels around the U.S. to teach and judge. Devon currently teaches at Plainfield Dance Academy, Rise Dance Center, and LOVV The Dance Studio, as well as throughout the Midwest by guest teaching, setting choreography, and judging in both studio and dance team circuits.

 

Devon is happy to be back for another season dancing and serving as Operations Executive, Co-Director, and Media Manager for Hot Crowd. Thank you to Emily Rayburn and the Board for this new opportunity.

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Brittany Latta

Rehearsal/Programs Director & 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 distinctive understanding of movement mechanics in the human body, creating methods in approaching performance through a mind body connection to herself and those around her. While in undergrad she worked with renowned choreographers and dancers Gabrielle Lamb and Rennie Harris as well as WMU faculty members David Curwen, Whitney Moncrief and Monique Haley. At WMU she choreographed for a grant production where she was able to collaborate with music composers and poets, which have further supported her dance endeavors. Post grad Brittany trained as a scholarship student at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago, IL under the direction of Nick Pupillo. In 2017 Latta joined Hot Crowd under the direction of Artistic Director, Emily Ashburn. While working with Hot Crowd she has been lucky enough to work with dancers and choreographers of different styles, including Joseph Hernandez and Jessica Miller Tomlinson to name a few. When Brittany is 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.

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Kyra Laster

Dancer

Kyra Laster is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Chicago, IL. She is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University where she received a BFA in Dance and a BBA in Marketing. During her time at WMU, Kyra participated in numerous Department of Dance concerts where she has performed works choreographed by faculty, peers and by guest artists, BAIRA and Mike Esperanza. Kyra was a 2021 Company Member with Dance in The Parks Chicago where she performed works by Joe Musiel, Lauren Blane Bogren, Ashley Deran and Emily Loar and was chosen to present her choreography at the 2021 Alluvion Dance Chicago’s choreography showcase and Detroit Dance City Festival. She served as Artistic Director of Hip Hop ConnXion Michigan, a branch of the professional hip hop company based in Chicago, for two years where she set choreography on the company multiple times, directed two videos and performed throughout the midwest. Kyra is currently a Program Officer for ArtLab J and Detroit Dance City Festival where she assists in planning the festival and handles marketing. Additional training includes Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Intensive, University of Illinois Summer Intensive and Ruth Page Choreography Intensive. Kyra is excited for her first season with Hot Crowd!

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Lindsey Scouten

Dancer

Lindsey Scouten is a Virginia native. She is a 2019 graduate from George Mason University where she had the opportunity to learn from artists such as Susan Shields, Roger Jeffrey, Ethan Brown, Christopher d’ Amboise, Caroline Rocher, Jean Emile and more. During her four years she also had the opportunity to study Nacho Duato’s, Na Floresta, and perform an excerpt of Mass, by Doug Varone in their annual Gala Fete. During her freshman year she was awarded the “Emerging Freshman Artist Award,” with scholarship. Upon graduation she has had the pleasure of working with Company Danzante, Merce Cunningham Trust, Visceral Dance Chicago, RawArts Dance Company, Meadows Dance Collective, Alluvion Dance Chicago and Joel Hall and Dancers. Lindsey is excited to be joining Hot Crowd for her first season with the company. 

Haley Tarling

Dancer

Haley is a dancer, choreographer and teacher located in Chicago, IL.  She is a graduate of Point Park University with a BFA in dance and a BA in psychology.  While there, she worked with artists such as Kiki Lucas, Maree ReMalia, Jason McDole, Pearlann Porter and Kiesha Lalama.  In addition, in 2019 she had the opportunity to perform a work by Caili Quan through DanceWorks Chicago’s ChoreoLab.  Her earlier training consisted of dancing as a member of Extensions Dance Company, under the direction of Lizzie MacKenzie, where she performed works by Eddy Ocampo, Christian Denice, Garth Johnson and Jared Baker.  Most recently, she had the opportunity to dance in two music videos for the band Course, choreographed by Lizzie MacKenzie and Jackie Nowicki, as well as numerous projects with Sydney Jones.  She was the Emerging Choreographer for Young Dancers Initiative's 2021 partnership with Brighton Dance Festival, has presented work at Dance Chicago, Trifecta Dance Festival and was commissioned by Simantikos Dance Chicago.  As an artist, she strives to embody expansion, authenticity and grit, while telling stories that reflect human experience through the metaphor of intellectual ideas.  Haley is elated to dance as a guest artist with Hot Crowd as part of their fifth season!

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Lauren Janney

Dancer

Originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, Lauren received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a music minor, from Western Michigan University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in May of 2021. Lauren trained in many styles of dance including ballet, modern, and jazz with the faculty from WMU. During her time there she worked with renowned guest artists such as Mike Esperanza, Jackie Nowiki, Brian and Shana Baira, and Brendan Duggan. She also spent two weeks training and dancing in residency with Yin Yue and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company from New York. After graduating, Lauren moved out to the Chicago suburbs to continue her dance journey. She joined Alluvion Dance Chicago as a Performing Apprentice back in November of 2021. During her time in the company she has performed in pieces choreographed by Johnny Huntoon, Morgan Cutler, and Jessica Miller Tomlinson, as well as opportunities to be a part of the company dancers choreography. Lauren has researched anatomy and kinesiology to understand how the body moves as a dancer and to find new approaches to teaching and choreography. She also has the background of theatre and music to thank, for it has played a huge part in her life and heavily influenced her knowledge in the arts.

GUEST ARTISTS

Arden Lapin

2022-2023 Guest Artist

~Bio coming shortly~

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Megan Wolter

2022-2023 Guest Artist

Megan grew up in Libertyville, IL and began her dance training at Dance Academy of Libertyville. Megan is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University where she received a BA in Dance. During her time at Grand Valley she was given the opportunity to work with various faculty and guest artists such as Melissa Barak, Yoshito Sakuraba, Wallie Wolfgruber, Paul Singh and Brian Enos. Megan was selected as a recipient for the Upper Division Dance Scholarship, Alexander Calder Honors Scholarship and the Excellence in a Discipline Award. Megan presented her solo work, “CENTERofATTENTION” at the American College Dance Association and was selected for the Gala Concert. Megan is currently in her fourth summer as an instructor for Universal Dance Association and was recently hired as an Assistant Dance Coach at Libertyville High School.

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Carly Liegel

2022-2023 Guest Artist

Performer, choreographer, and teacher Carly Liegel grew up training at the Kehl School of Dance in Madison, Wisconsin; it was there she discovered the power of her voice through movement and performance. She graduated with her BFA in Dance and minor in Exercise Science in the Spring of 2021 from Indiana University-Bloomington. At IU, she performed works choreographed by Juel D. Lane, Beatrice Capote, Erik Abbott-Main, Elizabeth Shea, Selene Carter, and Twyla Tharp. She was also heavily involved in student groups; teaching, choreographing, and directing many theater and dance events.

Upon her first year in Chicago, Carly danced as a company member with Alluvion Dance Chicago. She's performed works by Jessica Miller Tomlinson, Johnny Huntoon-Starcher, Morgan Cutler, Alyssa Simpson, and Joey Cast, and soon will perform in Mariah Eastman's Navigating the After. In addition, her choreography has been showcased in Detroit Dance City Festival, Inaside Choreography Competition, and Alluvion Dance Chicago's Emergence. 

Carly is a certified member of Dance Master’s of Wisconsin and Chicago National Association of Dance Master’s, having teaching proficiencies in ballet, jazz, and tap. She is also a certified yoga instructor and trained Dance for Parkinson's Disease instructor. She led a Dance for Parkinson’s Disease group in Bloomington for two years, and hopes to lead a new group in Chicago. Currently, she teaches yoga with CorePower Yoga, teaches jazz and does administrative work for the Joffrey Academy of Dance Chicago, and will be teaching for the Rooted Space come fall 2022. Carly is extremely excited to join Hot Crowd as a guest artist this season.

CHOREOGRAPHERS

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Jessica Miller Tomlinson

Choreographer 

As a young dancer, Jessica apprenticed with NC Dance Theatre under the direction of former New York City Ballet principals Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. Tomlinson graduated from the University of NC School of the Arts with a BFA in Contemporary Dance. Upon moving to Chicago she collaborated with Lauri Stallings (formerly of Hubbard Street and current Artistic Director of gloATL)  and performed with her company NANDANSE. Jessica served as a dancer, choreographer, rehearsal director and teacher for Thodos Dance Chicago from 2005-2017, where she performed and toured both nationally and internationally. During her time at Thodos Dance Chicago,  Jessica continued developing her own work through the New Dances Performance Series, with multiple works becoming part of the company’s repertoire.

     Jessica Miller Tomlinson Choreography has been commissioned or produced by the Chautauqua Ballet Company, NC School of the Arts, Aerial Dance Chicago, Alluvion Dance Chicago, Hot Crowd, DanceWorks Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, The Joyce Theater Foundation, The Inconvenience Performance Group, The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Idaho Dance Theatre, Regional Dance America, Columbia College of Chicago, Washington and Lee University, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival , Forum Dance Theatre, Moonwater Dance Project, Take Up Space Dance Festival,  Nomi Dance Company, Dance in the Parks, The Dance Gallery Festival, Visceral Dance Chicago, The UnEarth Virtual Arts Festival, Common Conservatory, Nebraska Contemporary Dance Theatre, Eisenhower Dance Company, The Harvest Dance Festival, The HSDC Youth Ensemble, Northern Illinois University, SHIFT DANCE | FESTIVAL Albuquerque, Dance For Life, and Thodos Dance Chicago. She has collaborated with Dance For Life's Our Voices Dance, Jacqueline Stewart/ JAXON Movement Arts, local band District 97, Joshua Manculich and the Andy Warhol Silver Clouds Exhibit at the MCA.

     Jessica most recently was a Faculty member for the Hubbard Street Youth Dance Program, as well as The Joffrey Academy of Dance, where she taught Contemporary for the Joffrey Studio Company and Trainees.  She served as Adjunct Faculty at Northern Illinois University for two years. Jessica currently serves as the Ballet Mistress for Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, as well as Rehearsal Director for South Chicago Dance Theatre. She is currently Faculty at Alma Dance School, Pure Vibe Dance Center, and The Rooted Space.

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Sam Crouch

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, their traveling ensemble, 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. In Chicago, Sam was privileged to work with The Lyric Opera Of Chicago, Dance In the Parks, Aerial Dance Chicago, Grit Dance, also travelling to work with, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Zikr Dance Ensemble Quixotic Fusion, and Wellspring Cori Terry and Dancers. He is very excited to continue as an artist and choreographer with Hot Crowd.