• Kirsten Uttich
  • Jennifer Pfaff Yonally
  • Kurt Schweitz
  • Aimee Chase
  • Isaac Stauffer
  • Sara Anderson
  • Emily Broeker
  • Bailey Caves
  • Chris Matthews
  • Anabel Watson
Kirsten Uttich

Kirsten Uttich

Company Member, Rehearsal Director

Kirsten began training with the Jensen School of Performing Arts at the age of 3 in her hometown, San Jose, Calif.  She came to Illinois by way of college, receiving a BS in Fitness and Sport and a Minor in Dance at Millikin University.  Since her move to Chicago in 2009, she has danced with Cartier Collective (dir. Julie Cartier) and joined in multiple works with Dance Chance Chicago, Audible Odyssey, and Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (dir. Billy Siegenfeld).  Her favorite part about living in Chicago is the abundance of opportunities to support other dance companies and fine arts organizations on a regular basis.  This is Kirsten’s eighth year as a performing dancer and her third year as Rehearsal Director.  Some of her favorite shows include We Will Tap You, Liaison, Tightwire, Changes, and Tidings of Tap.  You can see her choreography in CTT’s 2016 – 2017 season, premiering “Cheers” in Tidings of Tap!  Thanks to Mom, Dad, Buzz, and Zach, and family for being the best!

Jennifer Pfaff Yonally

Jennifer Pfaff Yonally

Company Member, Business Manager

Jennifer Pfaff Yonally (Woodbridge, VA) fell in love with dance at the age of 7.  Originally aspiring to be a ballet dancer, Jen trained intensively under Ann Boyle at Dance Etc. School of the Arts.  The wealth of the arts in the Washington DC area afforded her the opportunity to take master classes & residencies from many well-known ballet companies that toured through the area.  She even had the opportunity to perform on the Kennedy Center stage!  Fascinated with all aspects of dance, Jen decided to learn the ins and outs of running a dance organization by receiving her B.S. in Dance Management from Oklahoma City University.  This is where Jen discovered the uniquely expressive abilities of tap dance to tell stories, covey emotions, and conjure beautiful rhythms. Upon graduation, Jen moved to Chicago and became a founding dancer of Chicago Tap Theatre, and as Business Manager, has been an integral part of the company’s development.  She was also integral in successfully developing the dance program at the Beverly Arts Center, serving as Dance Coordinator from 2004-2010.  Not content to keep her feet still, Jen recently received her MBA with a Certificate in Accounting from North Park University and is excited to continue pushing CTT to the next level of innovation and excellence.

Kurt Schweitz

Kurt Schweitz

Music Director

Kurt Schweitz has become one of Chicago’s most sought after bassists, “whose handsome tone anchors a billowing technique”, as stated in a recent review by Neil Tesser, author of “The Playboy Guide to Jazz”. While best known as a jazz bassist, Schweitz is a multi-genre multi-instrumentalist and composer having been playing various musical instruments since age 4. After moving to Chicago to pursue a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Chicago, Schweitz quickly become an active member of Chicago’s burgeoning music scene and has also performed internationally on stages in London, Paris, NY, at the Aberdeen Jazz Festival in Scotland, and Beijing, China. Back home, his schedule has included over 2,500 performances at venues such as the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Jay Pritzker Pavillion at Millenium Park, the South Shore Jazz and Heritage Festival, Meet the Composer, Chicago Humanities Festival, Asian-American Jazz Festival, and Milwaukee Jazz in the Park Festival. Locally, he can regularly be found at Chicago’s many jazz clubs and on dozens of local jazz and rock recordings. Schweitz regularly performs with jazz, rock, and classical groups, and his music uses these influences to contemporaneously unfold the deep roots of these musical genres into a cohesive whole. He has received an Individual Artist grant from the Illinois Arts Council and a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to write, perform, and record original music.

Aimee Chase

Aimee Chase

Company Member

Aimee Chase began dancing at the age of four at Miller’s Dance Studio in Aurora, Colorado. Throughout her years there as a competitive dancer, she had numerous opportunities to perform all over the U.S. and on cruise ships. Miller’s trained her to be a well-rounded dancer, but she was always very passionate about tap. She attended tap intensives learning from some of her biggest inspirations. After high school, Aimee attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a member of the CU Express Dance Team for two years. She graduated with a degree in Integrative Physiology to pursue a career in healthcare, and currently works for Athletico Physical Therapy.  Since moving to Chicago, she is incredibly happy to have found her dance family and is thrilled for this opportunity to dance alongside such exceptional talent at CTT!

 

Isaac Stauffer

Isaac Stauffer

Company Member

Isaac Stauffer, from the green fields of Iowa, grew up dancing since the age of 3.  His childhood training took place at Stairway to the Stars, who brought in many guest artists.  He furthered his education at the University of Iowa where he received a BA in Dance and Elementary Education.  In addition to spending time with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City, Isaac had the opportunity to work with many award winning choreographers all throughout his collegiate career.  He was also privileged enough to restage famous works by artists such as Louis Falco, Gerald Arpino, and Twyla Tharp.  Towards the end of his time at Iowa, he was able to perform on a multi-city tour from the Dominican Republic, all around the US, and concluded his work right here in Chicago upon moving to the city.  Once he arrived here to continue his dance career, Chicago Tap Theater’s innovative and advanced style really intrigued him as he received the honor to guest artist in CTT’s LoveTaps (2014).  The thrill of performing to live music has brought him back time and time again as an apprentice, touring apprentice, and now as a company member, where he excitedly returns for his fourth year with Chicago Tap Theatre!

Sara Anderson

Sara Anderson

Touring Apprentice

From the age of 5, Sara Rochelle Anderson grew up dancing at Lynn Bassett’s Dance Factory in Greeley, Colorado. As a member of the studio’s competitive company, Sara had the opportunity to perform across the state, at Disneyland, and learn from some of the best choreographers from Los Angeles. A love of dance and the arts motivated her to attend Oklahoma City University where she recently graduated Magna Cum Laude and received a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Management. She has a passion for all styles of dance and has spent a summer with the Colorado Ballet as their Education and Outreach Intern and a summer in New York City, at the Broadway Dance Center, as a Professional Semester student studying theatre dance as well contemporary. She is extremely grateful for the love and support of her family and friends and is excited to be joining Chicago Tap Theatre for her first season!

Emily Broeker

Emily Broeker

Touring Apprentice

Emily Broeker grew up in Minneapolis, MN where she trained in a variety of dance styles at BallareTeatro, Saint Paul City Ballet, and Zenon Dance School. She obtained her B.A. in dance with distinction from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has performed professionally in Minnesota for ten years, working with companies such as Buckets and Tap Shoes, Flying Foot Forum, Eclectic Edge Ensemble, and Keane Sense Of Rhythm. She has also performed in work by Kenna Cottman, Karla Grotting, Erinn Liebhard, and Kaleena Miller. Emily continues her training by attending dance intensives for young professionals such as Nicholas Young’s Institute for the Rhythmic Arts in Chicago, IL. Passionate about dance instruction, Emily has been teaching dance at studios around the Twin Cities for seven years. In order to expand her knowledge of dance pedagogy, she regularly attends professional development trainings for dance instructors. She recently moved to Chicago to pursue new dance opportunities, and she is thrilled to be working with Chicago Tap Theatre for their upcoming season!

Bailey Caves

Bailey Caves

Apprentice

Bailey started her dance career at the age of two at Dancentre South in Woodstock, GA under the direction of Annie Day and Marcus Alford. She trained and performed a variety of styles at DCS such as: tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, African, and musical theatre.  While training at DCS, she performed at the Nutcracker of Cherokee County, BalletFest, Jazz on Tap Festival, Disney World, the Panoply Festival, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Having found her life passion in dance, she attended Oklahoma City University to pursue dance as a career. Bailey is a 2017 Magna Cum Laude graduate with a B.S. in Dance Management. She performed as a company member of the American Spirit Dance Company, directed by Jo Rowan as well as the OCU Pep Dancers, directed and led by Alana Martin. Bailey is ecstatic to be starting her first season with Chicago Tap Theatre as an apprentice and join such a talented and inspiring group of people.
Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

Apprentice

Chris started his dance career at Talent Forum in Libertyville at the age of 11. Through the past seven years he’s been a part of Footprints Tap Ensemble, a youth professional tap group, where he danced with many artists from around the nation, including Max Pollak, The Syncopated Ladies, and Chicago Tap Theatre. He now studies music education at Vandercook College of Music, while apprenticing with CTT to pursue and connect his passions for tap dance and music making. He has had the pleasure of creating choreography for both himself as solos and also group pieces for Footprints Tap Ensemble, and has performed with the Vandercook Symphonic Band and Choir along with solo performances on clarinet. Chris’ introduction to the full experience of Chicago Tap Theatre was in the reproduction of Changes (2016), where he got to learn and perform many entertaining and emotional pieces as an Alliange and got to work along with an amazing cast and crew. Chris looks forward to continuing to perform on the stage both as a dancer with Chicago Tap Theatre and as a musician at Vandercook, and is excited to see where his first season as an Apprentice at Chicago Tap Theatre takes him! He would like to thank his family for always being the best and most encouraging audience from beginning to end.

Anabel Watson

Anabel Watson

Apprentice

Anabel, originally from the Seattle area, spent her formative years studying tap dance primarily under Josh Scribner, and is a founding member of his company, the Alchemy Tap Project.  She has likewise trained with Seattle’s Becky Bloom, and has performed as a member of Tim Hickey’s 459 Tap Company and Jessie Sawyer’s Seattle Tap Collective. Anabel has been fortunate to perform solo pieces in selective showcases, many self-choreographed, at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival, and Tap City: The New York City Tap Festival, and to have been hired as a performer by organizations such as Teatro Zinzanni, Seattle and the Walla Walla Dance Festival, all fulfilling opportunities to engage with and feed off the energy and expertise of the vibrant international dance community. Anabel has shared her expression and love of tap through choreography for group and solo pieces in varied venues and has background studying hip-hop, flamenco, and ballet from well-known Seattle based dancers. Anabel spent the past year serving with AmeriCorps as a full-time math and English tutor, and is excited now to begin a new chapter in Chicago, apprenticing with CTT while studying in the DePaul University Honors program.