Haley McElwee » Haley McElwee

Haley McElwee

Welcome Dancers! 
I am excited to be beginning my first year at BOYCP! This year, we are going to explore a variety of dance disciplines but, more importantly, we'll be focusing on skills that are transferable to all content areas and beyond that will contribute to our IB learner profile traits through dance as an athletic art. 
I am a Chicago-based dancer/choreographer/instructor and the Founder and Executive Director of Simantikos Dance Chicago. I currently live with my fiancé, Amar, and our dog Chole - which means "chickpea" in Hindi. In my free time, I love to travel, cook, and of course - dance! My current favorite band is "Jungle" (their music videos are AMAZING) and I find grocery shopping super relaxing.
I grew up on South Bend, Indiana and began dancing at a local studio, Debbie Werbrouck's School of Dance at age four. The studio quickly became a second home and throughout my adolescence, I furthered my studies and national experiences with workshops and masterclasses in the midwest and beyond (CNADM, Interlochen Arts Academy, Thodos, River North).
I graduated from Indiana University in 2015, where I performed and understudied works by Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Dayton Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, and Stephanie Nelson (with Dance Italia). Upon moving to Chicago, I danced professionally for various dance companies such as Innervation Dance Cooperative, Project 606 and as a guest artist in Reesie Davis' "Generation Black: An American Renaissance" at The Harris Theater. I began my professional modern dance company, Simantikos Dance Chicago in 2016. In the following years, I collaborated and presented work throughout Chicago, New York, Canada, and Italy. With my company, I also host ChiDance Fest and Choreo Kick-Off annually.  
Photo Credit: Brian Cooper
Though I taught dance throughout college in Bloomington, New York City, and Panama, I would attribute my career in dance education to my experiences teaching dance for NKO University of Chicago Charter School. There, I was lucky to be mentored by Sydney Chatman, who peaked my interest in arts learning under a social emotional learning lens and teaching as a "warm demander" - setting high expectations for students and scaffolding their learning to push them towards success in a supportive and warm way. I began my own community dance education program, Simantikos Dance Studio, in the Pilsen neighborhood which offers affordable and accessible dance instruction and partners with Galileo Scholastic Academy, Perez Elementary, Kidz Creative Corner, Lakeview Preschool Academy, and Twinkling Stars Preschool.
Now, having graduated from Loyola University with my Masters in Education (dance endorsement), I am extremely excited to be working with the students of BOYCP and continuing a supportive and encouraging environment for young artists to thrive in! 
Currently Teaching 
- Dance 1 
- Dance PE
- Dance 2
- Dance Team
- Orchesis 
Works Samples