Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) will welcome four new company dancers in the coming season: Alexandria Best, Michele Dooley, Michael Garcia and Simone Stevens. Under the artistic leadership of recent appointee Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, these dancers join the company after virtually auditioning alongside 900 others.
“This has been a long and rewarding process. We have found four exceptional dancers who have tremendous skill and talent. All the new dancers who were selected this year transcended the virtual platform. Not only did they display amazing technical well-roundedness, but you could also clearly see their passion for dance and generosity of spirit,” Fisher-Harrell says. “As we lean into the future, I will always be interested in excellence. Excellence is how this company has maintained its reputation in the dance world. I am also interested in exhibiting a multitude of contemporary choreographic voices and thereby diversifying our roster of dance artists. I couldn't be more excited for the company.”
In her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, Alexandria Best trained in everything from ballet to hip hop. Her connection to Hubbard Street began as a participant in summer intensives and classes, where she built relationships with current company members.
“I am experiencing such a mass of anticipation as I prepare myself to truly bond with all the company members and take on all the amazing opportunities that I know HSDC will present from now on into the future,” says Best.
Michele Dooley first connected with HSDC through rehearsing in the Hubbard Street studio space while touring with Spectrum Dance Theatre in 2019. Upon looking up the company she was impressed by the artists and diversity of the repertoire. Dooley, who hails from Philadelphia, comes to the company excited for the journey ahead.
“I’ll bring myself: my experiences, my spirit, my nature, those attributes that are unique to my being,” Dooley says.
Michael Garcia is passionate about performance, choreography and teaching. A longtime fan of HSDC originally from McAllen, Texas, he is versatile a dancer who enjoys taking risks in his craft.
“Joining Hubbard Street is an absolute dream,” Garcia says. “It’s something that doesn’t feel quite real yet. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I will actually be dancing as a professional, but I am extremely grateful for the chance to be a part of this incredibly inspiring community,” he says.
Atlanta native Simone Stevens was introduced to HSDC through a YouTube promo for Alejandro Cerrudo's “One Thousand Pieces.”
“I must have watched that two-minute clip over 100 times my freshman year of college,” she recalls. Now, with a few more years of experience under her belt, she comes to the company with extraordinary skill, a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn.