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Co-founder & Artistic Director

Maria Blanco (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and sociologist from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Maria received her B.A in Dance and Sociology from Loyola University Chicago May of 2018. In collaboration with Yariana Baralt Torres, she co-founded LOUD BODIES, a dance company that combines dance and activism to provoke change and bring a voice to oppressed topics or communities. LOUD BODIES presented their first show this past March to bring awareness to period poverty at the Preston Bradley Center in collaboration with the Chicago Period Project. Maria has presented her works at the American College Dance Association, Loyola University Chicago, the Greenhouse Theatre, Links Hall, the Athenaeum Theatre, the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse in collaboration with Synapse Arts, and Collaboraction’s Peacebook festival. She has performed with Erin Kilmurray’s cast of SEARCH PARTY at the 2019 Pivot Arts Festival, as Grafitti Pete in Visión Lation Theatre Company and Jedlicka Performing Art's production of In the Heights, as well as the Prop Thtr's 2020 Rhinofest. Maria works as a teaching artist with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and Chicago Public schools, the Old Town School of Folk Music, and Free Mvmt Shop. This past fall, she was nominated for "Dancer of the Decade" by Broadway World for her role as Grafitti Pete in, In the Heights. She is currently co-producing LOUD BODIES’ second show, LOUD VOICES, and she couldn’t be more ecstatic!

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Yariana Baralt Torres


Yariana Baralt Torres (she/her) is a Puerto Rican dancer, choreographer and activist who obtained her BA in dance and sociology from Loyola University Chicago. She has had the privilege of performing with Mandala Dance Company in Italy, Hedwig Dances in Chicago, as well as for several freelance choreographers in Chicago. In 2018, she co-founded LOUD BODIES, a dance company that uses dance as a platform for social activism. Her works have been presented at Collaboraction, Synapse Arts, NEWDances, Links Hall, New Trier High School, Momenta Dance Company. Yariana also choreographed “In the Heights” for Vision Latino Theater Company in 2019, co-produced LOUD BODIES' "Legalize Menstruation" show in 2020 and 2022, and "LOUD VOICES" in 2021.


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