Joey Hernandez is the artistic director of Resilience Dance Company (Rockford, IL) a pre-professional mentorship program. He is a first generation college graduate receiving his B.A. in Dance and Health& Society from Beloit College where he has been privileged to return as a visiting instructor for the Dance Department and Upward Bound Program. Currently Joey can be found as the associate lecturer of Hip-Hop at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to his position with U-W Milwaukee he was on faculty at Millennium Dance Complex Chicago. In his career, he has studied under the direction of Chris Johnson, Robert Lewis, (Xtreme Dance Force, America’s Best Dance Crew), Cedric Gardner (So You Think You Can Dance, Step Up 3-D), and many others.On Scholarship he has studied with Inaside Chicago Dance, Urban Jamm Dance Convention and Dupree Dance Tour. Performance credits include: Carnival Los Angeles, The Millennium Experience, The Miss Illinois Pageant, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and many more. Joey has had the privilege to set pieces for: Chicago’s Choreographers Carnival, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, SueMo: A Dance Experience, Madison Contemporary Vision, and Beloit College’s Repertory Dance. Joey has contributed guest classes at the Athletic Garage (Pasadena, CA) and award winning choreography for many dance studios and high school dance teams across the United States. In addition, to being a featured instructor for Dance Masters of Wisconsin. Joey has the great fortune to be a judge for Applause Talent, Shake the Ground and StarQuest Dance. In his most recent venture Joey has started an open in studio workshop series titled “Dance-4-Change”, to promote advocacy, awareness, and raise donations in support of the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America. (CCFA.Org).
Kendra Jorstad is currently the artistic director and founder of jorsTAP Chicago. Originally from Newark, IL, Kendra graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Dance Performance and an emphasis in jazz dance. She moved to Chicago and began her career with the Joel Hall Dancers. During that time, she also performed with Rasa Dance Theatre and became an original member of Chicago Tap Theatre. Kendra was the rehearsal director and dancer for Chicago Tap Theatre for nine seasons. She choreographed many pieces for the company as well, receiving critical acclaim. Performance credits include Dance Chicago, Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Lollapalooza (with the Polyphonic Spree), Ravinia, Duets for my Valentine, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and other Chicago Tap Theatre performances in Chicago, France, Cincinnati, Pennsylvania, and NYC. Teaching credits include the Omaha Dance Teachers Association workshop, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Des Plaines Dance Idol, Wisconsin Dance Masters Workshop, suburban high school orchesis/dance programs, and numerous studios in the Chicagoland area. She is sought after for her innovative approach to choreography and unique take on technique, incorporating a full body approach where the movement of the upper body sometimes contradicts the lower body-a challenge for many dancers.
Joshua Manculich – born in Windber, PA – started dance at the age of fourteen. He had the pleasure of performing with Thodos Dance Chicago, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Pursuit Productions, Jaxon Movement Arts, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, and The Pillow Project. Brought up in a small-town, he is thankful for the numerous inspiring mentors and creative artists that guided his pursuits as a dancer, choreographer, and person.
Josh’s choreographic work exists in conceptual frameworks, and his choreography has been toured internationally by DanceWorks Chicago, Eisenhower Dance, and The Ohio State University. In 2015, Josh was nominated for a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship by The Big Muddy Dance Company for which he eventually created “Lyra” through support of the Princess Grace Foundation. Other choreographic adventures include: Collage Dance Collective, Dancing in the Parks, Eisenhower Dance, Grand Valley State University, Interlochen, Metdance, Piel Morena Contemporary Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Western Michigan University.
Josh has also served on the modern and jazz faculty for Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and as ballet faculty for Southern Association of Dance Masters. His teaching focus is centered around contemporary dance technique, rooted in somatic practices, yet informed largely by improvisation and his love of music. Josh holds a B.A. in Dance and Psychology Minor from Point Park University and a M.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University. He also holds certifications in Pilates. Josh’s creative research begins in the contemporary dance classroom and spokes outward, investigating how emotional and psychological commonalities are rooted in physical experience.
He is looking forward to joining the dynamic Department of Dance at Sam Houston State University. This year, he is also excited to be commissioned by Santa Barbara Dance Theater, The Big Muddy Dance Company, and his former home, Point Park University.
Previous adjudicators we have had the pleasure of welcoming to ISDC
Connie Fagan-Sweeney has been dancing for over 28 years. She has advanced level mastery in the art of tap, jazz, ballet, modern and hip hop. She is on staff at Jo's Footwork Studio in Western Springs, IL and at the Dance Workshop in Orland Park, IL. Connie attended the NFAA in Madison, WI where she received a "platinum" in tap, and "honorable mention" in jazz. Connie has been on faculty for workshops/conventions such as CNADM, CDC, DMW, and STARQUEST. She has been a member of Matrix Dance Improv - modern, The Kirby Reed Ascension Project - jazz, Instruments of Movement - modern, and Rhythm ISS - an all female tap ensemble. She has performed with her brother, Jay Fagan, in "Sibling Rivalry," and was a member of Same Planet Different World - a modern company- for 9 years. This is Connie's 5th season as Artistic Director of Footwork Dance Ensemble.
Joanna Paul graduated with highest distinction from Indiana University with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a major in Contemporary Dance. While at IU, she performed works by Elizabeth Shea, Selene Carter, Gwendolyn Hamm, Dance Exchange and Martha Graham. She spent summers studying at the Laban Conservatory and American Dance Festival, and after graduation, The Limon Institute. Joanna has presented her choreography in the Indianapolis area with Motus Dance Theater and For the Glory of Movement. Since relocating to Chicago, she has worked as a dance artist with Perceptual Motion, INC, Matter Dance Company, and the roof-top site specific series, Wake Up! Waltz. Joanna currently performs with Project606 Dance. As an instructor she worked at Dance and Music Academy, Spotlight Youth Theater, Spotlight Youth Theater, Terre Haute Academy of Dance, Assistant Instructor Indiana University Pre-College Dance Program she gave ballet, pre-point, jazz, modern and children’s creative movement lessons and she has worked as a Dance/Movement Specialist at to develop curriculum and co-led classes for pilot Dynamic Music program.
Molly Vass began her dance training at the age of 3, performing and competing for many years before becoming a dance instructor and choreographer. She has appeared in numerous plays, musicals, show choirs, and dance teams throughout Northwest Indiana. She has taught high school dance teams across the U.S. while on staff with Fred J. Miller Summer Clinics and is a sought after choreographer for dance teams in Michigan and Indiana. She also trained at Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World as well as the Joffrey Ballet School’s jazz and contemporary summer intensive. Molly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hope College in Holland, MI, receiving a BA in English and dance education. While at Hope, she performed with Striketime Dance Company as well as Insync Dance Theater, serving as choreographer and tap rehearsal director. Upon graduation, Molly was the sole
recipient of the Florence Cavanaugh Award for demonstrating excellence in dance technique, choreography, performance, and teaching. She also received the Sandrene Schutt award for showing promise towards a career in teaching. She is currently pursuing all of her passions and staying busy by teaching English at VHS, performing as a company member of Jorstap Chicago, and teaching.
Crystal Chapman Judge, Tap
Crystal Chapman's award winning choreography has been seen all over the United States. Along with setting pieces for several dance companies, she has also choreographed Carousel, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Oklahoma! Crystal has performed in all aspects of theater. Her favorite roles include the lead can-can dancer in Gigi, Dream Laurey in Oklahoma!, and Phyllis in 42nd Street. She is fortunate to have danced on some of the great stages of the world, such as Lincoln Center with Tommy Tune, Ann Reinking, and Savion Glover and also at Radio City Music Hall with Bernadette Peters. She is pleased to have worked with Ben Vereen in his video Celebrating Life. Crystal is most proud to have had the opportunity to have worked with Chet Walker and Gwen Verdon in the pre-Broadway workshop of the hit show Fosse. Crystal is currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center in NYC.
Michael Lambert Judge, Ballet, Jazz
Michael Lambert is from Buffalo, NY, where he received his BA in Dance and Visual Communication from the University at Buffalo. Michael is currently an adjunct faculty member at both The University at Buffalo and Buffalo State College in addition to teaching at Walh Performing Arts Studios. Michael continues to teach Master Classes and judge around the country for numerous Chapters of Dance Masters of America and other national organizations. He is also a faculty member of the DMA Student Honors Intensive Program (S.H.I.P.), Teachers Training School (T.T.S), and DMA National Conventions. Michael is honored to serve as the National Director of DMA’s Miss/Mr. Dance of America Scholarship Pageant and as Chairman of DMA’s new College Outreach Program and College Forum at the National Conventions. Michael is also the Director of Chapter 8’s Jr. Membership program which he started in 2014. His performance credits include: Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Seas, Walt Disney World, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise lines, and alongside Olympic Gold Medalists in the “Azure” Underwater Shows at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas. Michael was invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage Series, the Jazz Dance World Congress, and at special events for Busch Gardens, Fisher Price, and Disney. He has appeared on “Live! With Regis and Kathy Lee” and performed at a special event in Miami featuring Faith Hill. Michael was also the model for the male dancer icons that decorate Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Orlando, Fl.