What Moves You? @ Dorian Rhea


Dorian Rhea: Choreographer/Dancer
Chicago, IL

What Moves You? 
“Movement is very philosophical to me. The wonder of having agency over your body. The gift of being able to feel and create forces in the universe is powerful. I move to honor that gift and inspire others to find that undeniable power within themselves. What moves me? Breath. ”


About Dorian
My name is Dorian Rhea. At age 22, I have been an active artist in the Chicago community for the past seven years. I’ve performed and choreographed pieces for musical festivals like Lollapalooza, television shows like Windy City Live, Broadway’s West Side Story, Disney’s Mag Mile Lights Festival, Common’s AHH! Fest, Chance The Rapper’s TipFest & even for President Obama himself. My works have been featured at venues such as The White House, The Chicago Theater, The Harris Theater, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Previously an instructor for Gallery 37’s After School Matters hip-hop program (Chicago’s leading organization in providing job training for the arts to teens), The Joffrey Ballet, & The American Rhythm Center, I have taught workshops at Roosevelt University, Chicago State University, & Wilbur Wright College, to name a few. From working with charitable arts programs in high schools across the city, to facilitating performance training with the non-profit organization ‘The Happiness Club’, I continue to push for universal art education in as many ways as I can. I am currently teaching Hip-Hop Culture and Creative Movement classes at the Brooklyn Music School. I have studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, & aerobic dance fitness, with tap being my longest trained principle, and I continue to train as a developing teaching artist whenever possible. My goal is to make the transition from homebound artist to borderless philanthropist during my time in New York. The arts and social activism are very important to me and I feel that my extensive training and research in these fields have best prepared me to continue down the path of educating and enlightening, while simultaneously being educated and enlightened.

What Moves You? @ J’royce Jata


J’royce Jata: Artist
Jacksonville, Florida

What Moves You? 
“What inspires me changes much like the moon. I’m inspired by different moments of life. Recently I’ve been led to transfer my emotional and mental anger/frustration regarding the intersections of being a queer artist of color in America into positive acts (movement) of healing.”

Originally from the coast of Florida I moved to New York about 4 years ago at 19 years old with $20 dollars and a lot of persistence. I studied Jazz & Contemporary at Joffrey Ballet School before booking my first national tour, Memphis as the Male Swing, followed by Fame as Tyrone Jackson. I just want to change the world with my art.

For more: @jroycejah / jroycejata.com

What Moves You? @ Nancy Paris

Being in a field where it’s hard to make a living, and living in a city where it’s difficult to “make it”, I am so happy to have recently met Nancy, our featured artist this week! She’s a native New Yorker but has been able to travel the world as a dancer and choreographer. I was immediately impressed by her background, experience, and knowledge about the history and community of dance. She’s a force to be reckoned with, having had a solid and dynamic career, and I admire her passion for story-telling and dedication to dance. With all this knowledge, I had to ask her to join the WMY? project!

Nancy - Shadows1

Nancy Paris: Dancer & Choreographer
New York, NY

What Moves You?
Anyone exhibiting kindness towards others. Music – I need it to function. Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanuts. Wine, preferably red – but whatever you have open.

Nancy’s extensive dance background includes training at The Juilliard School, American Ballet Theater, and The Martha Graham School.  She was a leading performer in Canada’s Contemporary Dancers and the Rod Rodgers Dance Company in New York, and was featured in production shows at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Cafe Versailles in NYC. Nancy has performed and taught internationally, was a guest artist of the Mexican government for an International Modern Dance Festival in Mexico City, and has taught at leading dance academies in New York City, Stockholm, Osaka, Toronto, and Montreal. In 1992, Nancy began her work as a choreographer, creating shows for Harrah’s Atlantic City, The Mirage Las Vegas, and industrial shows for Pepsi International, Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Diageo, and GE. In 2011, Nancy and her husband, filmmaker Charles Yurick, created and toured They Called It Rock – a show featuring a mash up of Latin ballroom, jazz, contemporary dance, and Classic Rock music. They are currently developing two projects: Radio 930 a Broadway-style book musical, and dance show 33⅓ – Legendary Music In Motion. Other projects together include the film documentary Never Stand Still – Dancing at Jacob’s Pillow and the 2011 US Tennis Opening Night Ceremony televised on ESPN.

Check out more about her latest show here.
Far left photo credits @ Lois Greenfield.