Joel Hall Master Class & Legacy Event

Event Type
Event Description


The Logan Center for the Arts and the Dance Program of the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies at University of Chicago is pleased to announce a celebration event in honor of the 70th birthday and living legacy of Joel Hall, world-renowned choreographer and teacher of American urban jazz dance.



5:30-7:15p    Urban Jazz Dance Master Class with Joel Hall

7:30-8:30p    Legacy Event & Discussion

8:30p  Toast to Joel’s 70th birthday with wine & cheese



Urban Jazz Dance Master Class with Joel Hall

Performance Hall Stage | Sign-Up Form

*Bring a yoga mat, if you have one. Some will be provided.

Experience Joel Hall’s world-renowned style of Urban Jazz Dance—one of the last true Jazz dance styles available in the 21st century—developed and refined over 45 years of teaching. Class begins with Joel Hall's floor barre, a codified technique that focuses on strength, flexibility, and longevity, and moves into phrase work in Joel’s iconic style. Learn directly from this dance master and Chicago treasure, and be part of his legacy.



Legacy Event & Discussion with Joel Hall

RSVP recommended

Join jazz dance legend Joel Hall on his 70th birthday for a video presentation and moderated conversation in celebration of his extensive contributions to the field. Over the past year, the Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP) has been working with the Joel Hall Dancers & Center (JHDC) to curate, digitize, and present the Joel Hall Dancers Legacy Archive. After a brief introduction by Julia Rhoads, Director of Dance at UChicago, this special event will begin with an CDHP-curated video that showcases each decade of Joel’s prolific career, followed by a conversation about Joel’s living legacy with CDHP Executive and Artistic Director Jenai Cutcher, JHDC Artistic Director Jacqueline Sinclair, and the guest of honor, Joel Hall.



Wine & Cheese in the Performance Hall Lobby

Join the Logan Center for the Arts and the Dance Program of the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies in raising a glass to Joel Hall in honor of his 70th birthday!

Joel Hall has achieved an international reputation for developing a unique urban jazz dance style. Incorporating jazz, modern, funk, ballet, and street dance, Joel’s innovative and continuously evolving dance style is appealing, relevant, and approachable. ​Joel’s company, the Joel Hall Dancers (JHD) has a rich, 40-plus year history, beginning with the company’s inception in 1974. Now over 4 decades “young” — JHD continues to dazzle audiences in venues throughout Chicago, the country, and the world with its substantive sociological content and engaging aesthetic style. Over the years, Joel Hall has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including lifetime achievement awards from the Jazz Dance World Congress, the African American Arts Alliance, and The Chicago Dance & Music Alliance. He has received the Katherine Dunham Award, two Merit Awards from the Black Theater Alliance, is profiled in The History Makers series online, and has served as one of Mayor Harold Washington’s international ambassadors for the arts.



Jenai Cutcher is the founding director of Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP), and received the 2019 Ruth Page Award for her work with CDHP. Her creative practice spans the page, the stage, and the screen and includes dancing, choreographing, teaching, and researching histories of dance. She has performed with tap dance artists such as Brenda Bufalino, Michelle Dorrance, Barbara Duffy, John Giffin, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, Max Pollak, and Lynn Schwab, and her choreography has been presented throughout the country. She has written articles for several dance publications including Dance magazine and the Village Voice, three dance books for children, and Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance. Her first feature-length documentary, Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, explores the work of the women who resurrected and revolutionized the art of American tap dance and continue to pioneer the field. Jenai has a BA in English and MFA in Dance, both from The Ohio State University. In addition to directing CDHP, she teaches tap dance at Northwestern University and is an artist-in-residence with Chicago Park District.

Jacqueline Sinclair has been as a member of the Joel Hall Dancers for nearly thirty years, where she has originated roles in many of Hall’s acclaimed works and toured nationally and internationally with the company. She has also performed in the works of Sarita Smith-Childs, Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Ray Mercer, Troy Powell, James Morrow, William Gill, Joel Valentin-Martinez and Jarrett Rashad Kelly. After several years as the company’s Rehearsal Director she was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director. Today she serves the organization as Artistic Director and Executive Director. Jacqueline recently codified the Joel Hall Jazz Dance Method: Breathing Floor Barre LLC. After studying and performing the method throughout her performing career she is excited to launch a teacher’s certification program through Joel Hall University. Ms. Sinclair holds a BA in Dance from Columbia College of Chicago, a secondary teacher’s certification from Northeastern Illinois University and an MA in Theatre from Northwestern University. She is currently Director of Dance at Maine South High School.



Running Time
3 hours
Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary