Artistic Director, Choreographer Maria Blanco (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer and educator from Bloomfield Hills, MI. She enjoys combining social dance, theater and humor with her modern/contemporary dance training to push the boundaries of dance, what it means to be a dancer, and who can dance. She is on a constant journey to explore how improvisation can be used as a tool for both dancers and non-movers, changing the narrative of where dance is accessible, and whom it is accessible to. Maria received her B.A. in Dance and Sociology from Loyola University Chicago in May of 2018. After graduating, she co-founded LOUD BODIES Dance, a non-profit dance organization that combines dance and activism in collaboration with local non-profit organizations and artists in the pursuit of self-expression + radicalism. Maria presented her works at the American College Dance Association, Loyola University Chicago, The Greenhouse Theatre, Links Hall, The Athenaeum Theatre, Hamlin Park Fieldhouse in collaboration with Synapse Arts, Collaboraction’s Peacebook Festival, and Momenta Dance Company. She performed with Erin Kilmurray’s cast of “Search Party” at the 2019 Pivot Arts Festival, as Graffiti Pete in Visión Latino Theatre Company and Jedlicka Performing Arts’ production of “In the Heights” and “Hatorade Retrograde”, a musical by Lise Haller Baggeson. Last year, she premiered in a new evening length dance, cowboy extravaganza, titled "Sunset's That Way," choreographed by Alix Schillaci. She recently performed with The Fly Honey show at Thalia Hall this past September. Maria has worked as a teaching artist with Dance Church, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and Chicago Public Schools, The Old Town School of Folk Music, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University as a part of the Norris mini-courses program, and Free Mvmt Shop. In 2021, Broadway World nominated her as “Dancer of the Decade” for her role as Graffiti Pete in, “In the Heights”. She is ecstatic to begin her position as associate choreographer at Paramount Theater for their show, “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” this October.
Choreographer, Producer, Dancer Maddy McCarthy (she/they) is a Chicago-based producer, choreographer, and dancer with a BFA in Contemporary Concert Dance from Indiana University. While studying at IU she had the honor of working with decorated artists such as Bill T. Jones, Twyla Tharp, and Stefanie Batten-Bland as well as producing and choreographing her own shows. Since graduating, she has been working steadily on contemporary projects with various Chicago companies and choreographers, but most recently has found her dance bliss in showgirl and burlesque projects. She's increasingly interested in using dance to explore sensuality as well as finding new ways to use dance as a method to strengthen her relationship with herself and her body. Using a sustainable textile piece made from scraps of other handmade rugs, the dancers make real-time choices exploring the spectrum of safety/attachment to danger/dysregulation, and community/belonging to isolation/individualism.
Sarah Ellen Miller
Choreographer, Producer, Dancer Sarah Ellen Miller (she/they) is a choreographer, performer, writer, and bartender based in Chicago. Short list of performance credits with local choreographers include Erin Kilmurray, Joanna Furnans, Alix Schillaci, and Zac Whittenberg, but she’s been honored to work with many others. Her career in Chicago can be highlighted by extensive work with Alex Grelle and community on both Ordinary Peepholes and Grelley Duvall, participation in The Fly Honey Show, multiple personally produced dance films, and her directorial debut for Prop Thtr’s Rhinoceros Theater Festival. So far in 2023, Sarah has performed in Floor Show directed by Jesse Morgan Young and Erin Kilmurray’s Nightshade, as well as many Grelleverse productions, and worked with Remy Bumppo as a movement designer. You also may have seen her recently as Carlisle in Twilight: After Dark, a burlesque parody. If you want to see Sarah kick-ass at her other career, visit her at Logan 11 Bar & Kitchen. Follow her on social: @sarahellenmiller
Choreographer, Producer, Dancer, Designer, Rehearsal Director Alix Schillaci (she/they) is a performer, choreographer, director, and producer loose in the city. Her most recent work includes performances in Alex Grelle’s “Lady Di” and the burlesque parody “Twilight: After Dark”; production support for Erin Kilmurray’s works “Nightshade” and “The Function”; and set design for an upcoming short film by Dani Wieder. Schillaci has previously performed as a company member with Project Bound Dance and independently for dancemakers Darling Shear, Erin Kilmurray, Hannah Santistevan, and Sarah Ellen Miller, among others. She has also been a rotating ensemble member in The Fly Honey Show and Four Dimensions Ensemble. She is currently a jack of all trades for LOUD BODIES. With the support of a choreographic residency at The Rooted Space she premiered her first evening length work “Sunset’s That Way” at Links Hall in fall of 2023. Outside of dance, Schillaci designs and constructs costumes, sets, and props for various kinds of projects including theater, film, and commercials. To learn more about Alix and her work catch her after the show!