• Kirsten Uttich
  • Jennifer Pfaff Yonally
  • Kurt Schweitz
  • Aimee Chase
  • Sarah Owens
  • Isaac Stauffer
  • Sara Anderson
  • Sylvia Borash
  • Davon Suttles
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 seventh year as a performing dancer and her second 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 2015 – 2016 season, premiering “Sweet Swingin’ Drummers” in Tidings of Tap and “Nerdy Language” in We Will Tap You!  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

Touring Apprentice

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!

 

Sarah Owens

Sarah Owens

Touring Apprentice, Development Coordinator

Sarah Owens is a native of Libertyville, Illinois, where she began her dance training at Talent Forum. Sarah was a member of both Forum Jazz Dance Theater and Footprints Tap Ensemble, as well as a Rehearsal Director for Footprints. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of the Sciences in Sport, Art and Entertainment Management. At Point Park she had the opportunity to perform works by Peter Merz, Nicolas Petrov, Justin Myles, Ron Tassone, Ron Hutson and Jeremy Czarniak. After graduation, Sarah moved to Denver, Colorado where she was a company member with both Kim Robards Dance and Life/Art Dance Ensemble. She has completed an apprenticeship with Lustig Dance Theatre, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and also performed as a member of moe-tion dance theater and Derling Dance Arts. Sarah currently dances with Inaside Chicago Dance and is thrilled to be joining CTT for her second season!

 

Isaac Stauffer

Isaac Stauffer

Touring Apprentice

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, a local dance studio, who brought in guest artists such as Kourtni Lind (SYTYCD) and Tyler Haydon (Tap Dogs).  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 guest choreographers all throughout his collegiate career, such as Deanna Carter, Carl Flink, Jennifer Kayle, and George de la Pena.  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 with Kayle & Company on a multi-city tour from the Dominican Republic, all the way out to Los Angeles and concluded his work with them 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.  Since then he has completed two exciting years with CTT, and is beyond thrilled to start his third full season with the company!

Sara Anderson

Sara Anderson

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!

Sylvia Borash

Sylvia Borash

Apprentice

Sylvia Borash, recent graduate from Brainerd High School in Minnesota, moved to the Chicago area in early September of 2016. Before residing in her new home, Sylvia grew up dancing and teaching younger kids at Music General, a local dance studio in her hometown. There, she started training at the age of three where she studied various styles of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and ballroom. She began performing solos when she was in the fifth grade and her love for tap dance flourished as she did her first tap solo. Through her home studio, she had the opportunity to perform pieces choreographed by Mike Minery. These tap solos have won her awards at different regional and national dance competitions including various first overall placement awards, National Teen and National Senior Miss Masquerade, National Senior Dancer of the Year, and the Slide Solo Showcase winner. Along with Mike Minery, Sylvia has taken class from choreographers such as Anthony Morigerato, Ayodele Casel, and Jason Janas. Currently, she is enrolled in online courses through Central Lakes College where she hopes to obtain her Associate of Arts Degree.  Sylvia is excited and honored to be an apprentice and can’t wait to see what this year has in store for Chicago Tap Theatre.

Davon Suttles

Davon Suttles

Apprentice

Davon Suttles is an Alumni of the Keane Sense of Rhythm’s Youth Tap Ensemble and a current member of their professional ensemble, over the past decade Davon has had many amazing opportunities to perform not only in the greater Twin Cities area including the Twin Cities Tap Festival, but also in the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Juba Master of Tap. Also being an actor Davon has had the great opportunity of working with the Children’s Theatre Company in their productions of Shrek the Musical and bare: a pop opera . Majoring in Musical Theatre at Columbia College Chicago, Davon dreams of finding a cohesive balance between his tap and acting career.