video by matt harsh
The Urbana Dance Company teaches dance and performance that enriches people’s lives and builds confidence and connection. Our goal is for students to build and strengthen their relationships, gain self-awareness, become empowered community leaders, and develop an appreciation for great artistry and imagination.
The Urbana Dance Company teaches from the perspective that human beings are eager for new information, new insights, new experiences, and new skills. Allowing this inherent attitude to flourish is the key job in the promotion of learning at Urbana Dance Company. The students must feel good about themselves, know they are cared for by the instructor, and feel accepted and secure in the learning environment. Instructors are encouraged to have a relaxed, aware, and eager attitude to help create a dynamic learning environment.
KATE INSOLIA // Artistic Director // Instructor
Kate Insolia has been performing, choreographing, directing and teaching dance for over three decades. Kate has extensive experience in working with both adults and children, and for the last 10 years has taught dance classes, designed curriculum, directed, and choreographed for schools and local dance communities here in Champaign-Urbana. Centered in her teaching philosophy is the goal of having students build and strengthen relationships, community, self-awareness, and confidence. Drawing upon her Lakota heritage, her practice invites awareness of our relationship to native land. Kate is also a teacher and leader for Re-evaluation Co-counseling, an organization committed to ending racism, caring for the environment, and backing young people. Re-evaluation Co-counseling is a process whereby people of all ages and all backgrounds can learn how to exchange effective help with each other in order to free themselves from the effects of past distress experiences. Ms. Kate received her B.A. in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
JAYLEN DE'ANGELO CLAY // Instructor
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jaylen De'Angelo Clay is a graduate of Alabama StateUniversity and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He trains in ballet, modern, jazz,ballroom, hip hop, West African, heels, step, and tap dance. In college, he performed worksby Robert Battle, Gary Jeter, Michael Medcalf, Dinita and Kyle Clark, James Atkinson,DeShona Pepper Robertson, and Sidra Bell. Jaylen was also a part of Eleone DanceTheater and Delaware Mid-Atlantic Ballet. Jaylen is excited to be attending the Universityof Illinois to continue his studies in dance to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree.
DOMONIQUE ARNOLD // Instructor
DoMonique Arnold has been belly dancing since 2004 and began her teaching practice in 2013. She has been trained in American Cabaret style belly dance, and currently maintains her practice by studying Urban Fusion style. Urban Fusion Belly Dance is where traditional Belly Dance styles (Egyptian/Arabic and more) meets Urban Dance styles and combines elements of (Hip/hop, African, and Dancehall/Reggae and more) style dances. She believes that the art of belly dancing is nourishing to practice for all genders and attempts to culturally situate her teachings as much as possible. DoMonique recieved her BA in Latin and her MSLIS from the Graduate School for Library and Information Science. She works full-time as the Librarian at University Laboratory High School where she manages the collection and creates programming, including an annual belly dance class as part of Agora Days.
CATRINA CHOATE-HERETOIU // Instructor
Catrina Choate-Heretoiu is a somatic practitioner and dance educator who works with recovery and learning through movement. She is the co-founder of Soma Studies which includes online/live somatic classes and is the creator of Soma Ballet - Pure Joy!, Soma Ballet Barre, and Soma Stories for Soul Journeys.
While young, she trained at the prestigious School of American Ballet and then continued to dance professionally with Miami City Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Miami Contemporary Dance Company. Catrina thrived in her performance career but she also understood movement from a healing perspective and chose to nurture an academic and somatic path.
Catrina has a B.A. Degree in English Literature from Florida International University, an MFA Degree in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and is certified in The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. She has taught all levels of ballet and Feldenkrais at many conservatories throughout the U.S. and Europe such as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Dance Department, Northern California Dance Conservatory, and Sacramento Ballet.
Throughout Catrina’s life, movement has been the trusted language of communication and she understands that a somatic conversation through movement can reveal unexpected experiences that can promote learning, growth, relief, and ultimately connection.
NIA RONEE´ KHAN // Instructor
Chicago native, Nia Roneé Khan, is moving into her senior year as a dance major at the University of Illinois. She trains in ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop, and West - African. Nia has attended The Joffrey Ballet Summer Dance Intensive, The Strobel Excelon Step-Up Scholarship program, and the Debbie Allen Los Angeles Summer Dance Intensive. She has performed works by Darrell Moultrie, Alfred Dove, Endalyn Taylor, Rahiem A. White, Tia Pruitt, Ohad Naharin, Michael Smith, Erica Lynette Edwards, Luis Vazquez, and others. She is a certified yoga teacher through Dance at Illinois, is involved in political activism on her campus, and working to start developing research in the near future. In the future, she plans on auditioning for a modern or contemporary company and later teaching.
JOSEPH KIRBY// Instructor
Joseph Kirby is a choreographer, singer, and songwriter. He is self-taught in Hip-Hop and Lyrical dance. He has had the great opportunity to dance on Conglomerate, a dance team of the University of Ilinois at urbana-Champaign while he was attending school at Urbana High. He has worked on several local dance teams because Dance and Performance is his passion. He loves his home town of Urbana and looks forward to sharing all he has learned and developed with Urbana Dance Company this summer.
JULIAN MARTINEZ// Instructor
Julian Martinez is Artistic Director of Dance 2XS UIUC and ImagiNation. Martinez is in his Junior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His style is fluid, articulate, passionate and joyful.
"Julian’s a creative force and dedicated dancer with a passion for art and a talent for self-expression. He radiates an energy that welcomes all into his world and encourages those around him to live as freely and confidently as he does." - Connor Jones
LUZ GARCIA // Instructor
Instructor: Luzmarina (Luz) Garcia is a native of the U.S. – Mexico border region and has danced and played music since childhood. She focuses on Latin dance styles including cumbia, bachata, salsa, and merengue. Luz has taught for University of Illinois organizations and seizes the opportunity to engage with new students. Luz aims to make students smile while developing musicality, confidence, and cultural appreciation. She is currently a doctoral student at University of Illinois, where she studies judicial politics. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Communication Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois.
Assistant Lead: Alessandro Contento.
BRANDO MIRANDA // Instructor
It is my mission to inspire anyone around me to become a social dancer and have connected, deep, meaningful dances while at the same time understanding the mechanics of solid technique. It is my experience that the most fulfilling way to social dance is a combination of deep connection and awareness of good technique with space for the creative expression of music. It is my experience that one can co-create a dance experience with any lead and follow. For this reason, Bachata Sensual and Brazilian Zouk are my favorite dances. Bachata Sensual (made by Korke and Judith) is a dance tested and based on solid follow and lead principles of natural motions of energy and how to use this energy with your partner.
I’ve been dancing for the past 5 years every week at least 10 hours a week, training, learning from other instructors and testing everything I’ve learned on the social dance floor. I’ve also trained under the World Master program designed by Korke and Judith and certified to teach the official original Bachata Sensual. I’ve also attended multiple dance congresses learning from instructors around the world in Brazilian Zouk and (all) Bachata styles. I also founded the registered student organization (RSO) UIUC Bachata Sensual with the goal to spread the love of bachata and social dancing.
ANDREA AGUIAR // Instructor
Andréa Aguiar grew up dancing—ballet, modern, jazz, and tap dance-- at her mother’s dance studio in São Paulo, Brazil. She first experienced Israeli dancing as a teenager, during a 3-month stay in Israel. After a very long hiatus, her daughters brought dance back into Andréa’s life. Eight years ago, when Andréa took her daughter to audition for CU Ballet’s Nutcracker, she was also unexpectedly cast for the show. She resumed ballet classes and danced as a rat in The Nutcracker on the Krannert stage for three years. More recently, she and her two daughters got involved in Israeli dancing through the Israeli Folkdancing group at the Phillips Recreation Center in Urbana, and this has become a passionate mother-daughters activity. Andréa has been teaching Israeli dance as part of the PE curriculum at Campus Middle School for Girls. The goals of her classes are to provide students with some exercise while having fun, gaining body awareness, developing musicality and connecting with others. She hopes students will see dance as a tool for community building, and a form of art and self-expression that can be done and enjoyed by anyone who is interested in trying. When she is not dancing, exercising, or taking care of her family, Andréa works as a Neuroscience Research Faculty at the University of Illinois.
Elisandra Rosario // Instructor
Elise Frost // Instructor
Teddii Cooper // Instructor
Joe and Carlota // Instructors
Yuri Sohn // Instructor
Metered parking is available on the street and is free after 5pm.Bus stop is the parking garage by Lincoln Square Mall.
122 West Main Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801