Emily Ashburn, 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.
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.
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 a performing artist and choreographer with Hot Crowd.
Camryn Babcock, originally from San Francisco CA and now recently residing in beautiful Chicago, 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. Camryn then went on to dance in San Francisco for several years with Printz Dance Project directed by Stacey Printz, as well as several free-lance companies in the bay area. She has also been fortunate to have training and attended summer intensives at Ballet San Jose, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, ODC, and Hubbard Street. She also was honored 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. Camryn is so excited to be going into her second season dancing with Hot Crowd!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
Dancer Body Shots by M. Reid Photography
Dancer Head Shots by Lumosco Photography (virtual photoshoot)
Devon Lloyd, from Naperville, IL, attended Western Michigan University (WMU) where she performed in guest works by 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.
When she was not dancing, Devon devoted her time to leadership. She was a four-year member of WMU’s LEAD-Corps which focused on undergraduate and graduate level diversity and development workshops. By her final year at WMU she produced over 20 event workshops on campus and two 3-day retreats in Battle Creek, MI. Devon graduated in 2016 summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a certificate in leadership.
Devon has had a large passion for teaching dance technique since graduating high school in 2012. She 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 with her third season dancing for Hot Crowd and also serve as the company's Social Media Content Creator.