"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

- James Baldwin
SIERRA HERRERA, from Long Beach, California, began her formal dance training at Center Stage Dance Academy under the directorship of Leslie Clifford. She pursued dance at Orange County School of Arts, graduating with the Director’s Achievement Award in 2013. Sierra is a 2017 graduate of the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, where she performed works by Sidra Bell, Alexandra Beller, Ana Maria Lucaciu, Sarah Mettin, and Doug Varone, and was recognized with the Durst Dance Merit Scholarship. Sierra studied with some of Korea’s most influential choreographers at the Korea National University of Arts in Seoul including Hyoseung He, Chan Ho Sin, and Dong Gu. Additional training includes American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and BODYTRAFFIC. Sierra joined DanceWorks Chicago in September 2018.

“We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”

- Maya Angelou
JADE MONET HOOPER, from Riverside, CA, began her training at Bre Dance Studio under the direction of Clifford Breland. As an attendee of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Summer Program, she was recognized with the Homer Avila Scholarship Award, given to a one dancer in the program. Jade attended California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a BFA in Dance and Minor in Maths and Sciences in 2015. After graduation, Jade moved to Chicago to join Hubbard Street 2. She has had the honor of working with choreographers including Lawrence Blake, Julie Bour, Alejandro Cerrudo, Shannon Guillen, Ihsan Rustem, and Robyn Mineko Williams. Jade joined DanceWorks Chicago in October 2017.

"The boy stood up shakily, and looked once more at the pyramids. They seemed to laugh at him, and he laughed back, his heart bursting with joy. Because now he knew where his treasure was."

- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
CAMERON LASATER, from Austin, TX, started his training at the Ballet Austin Academy’s Boys Scholarship Class. Cameron attended The Ailey School (New York City) as part of the Scholarship Program and Certificate Program. In 2016, he graduated from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program (San Francisco), where he was a scholarship recipient. Cameron danced with dawsondancesf, under direction of Gregory Dawson, for the 2016-2017 season Les Vérités. Now he is thrilled to be welcomed into another strong, creative, and unique dance community as a part of DanceWorks Chicago! Cameron joined DanceWorks Chicago in October 2017.

“When we share what we were brought here to give, we are in alignment with our highest, most powerful selves."

- Jen Sincero
RACQUEL MAR, from Clarkston, MI, began her training at multiple studios in southeast Michigan including Spotlight Dance Works under the direction of Liz Schmidt. She trained in many dance styles and performed works by choreographers Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall, and other notable artists.  In 2017, Racquel graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from University of California, Irvine, where she had the privilege to work with distinguished choreographers including Charlotte Griffin, Molly Lynch, and Tong Wang.  Racquel had the tremendous honor and opportunity to study with legendary Donald McKayle as a member of the UCI Etude Ensemble. In addition, she was selected by Lar Lubovitch to perform his Legend of Ten during her senior year. Racquel has expanded her artistry and dance training through attendance at summer programs with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.  Following graduation, she had the pleasure of training at b12 Berlin Workshop with multiple teachers and choreographers from all over the world. Racquel joined DanceWorks Chicago in October 2017.

"It doesn’t matter how high you can lift your leg, just sit, and open your eyes and open your heart."

- Mikhail Baryshnikov
ELIJAH RICHARDSON, from San Jose, California, grew up with a versatile training as a figure skater, actor, and singer before immersing himself in dance. In 2018, he graduated cum laude from Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in History. Elijah was a featured soloist in faculty pieces by Sean Greene, Dale Merrill, Julianne O’Brien, and Ido Tadmor and has worked with Backhausdance, Jess Harper & Dancers, Capitol Dance Company, and Anaheim Ballet. Elijah has trained on scholarship at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, BodyTraffic, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Interested in the creative process, Elijah choreographed works at Chapman and was selected to show dance films at festivals in New York and Arizona. He is humbled and ecstatic to be a part of this new community. Elijah joined DanceWorks Chicago in September 2018.

"We all know we have a finite period of time. I just feel if I’m going to be alive, I want to be challenged – to be as immortal as possible. The path to that isn’t an easy way, but it’s a rewarding way."

- Frank Ocean
IMANI WILLIAMS, from Atlanta, Georgia, started dancing as a junior in high school and developed his passion at Sugarloaf Performing Arts. After graduation, Imani accepted a full scholarship at Joffrey Ballet School’s (New York) Jazz and Contemporary Program directed by Michael Blake, where he had the honor of dancing in works by Jennifer Archibald, Bradley Shelver, Matthew Powell, Nathan Trice, and Kevin Wynn. He has worked with former prima ballerina Margo Sappington, Tony Award-winner Chet Walker, and choreographer of Rent, Marlies Yearby, and performed pieces by Emily Bufferd, Lane Gifford, Tyler Gilstrap, and Sekou McMiller. Imani was featured in Joffrey Ballet School photos by Lois Greenfield and was selected to showcase his choreography at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. Imani spent two seasons with Florida Dance Theater and one season with Giordano II. Imani joined DanceWorks Chicago in September 2018.