Winifred Haun began her formal dance training at the age of 10 at the Ellis-DuBoulay School of Ballet in Chicago. Ms. Haun attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale from 1981 to 1984, graduating with a B.A. in Theatre/Dance. While obtaining her degree, Ms. Haun choreographed several works for student and faculty dance concerts and musicals. Ms. Haun also served as dance captain and assistant director while performing in summer stock theatre productions in southern Illinois.
Ms. Haun was a member of the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre (JHCDT) from 1985 to 1991. She performed and taught with JHCDT while on tour in the US, Canada, Mexico and the middle east. Along with her dancing and teaching responsibilities, she was appointed Company Scholarship Coordinator in 1988. Ms. Haun eventually formed the scholarship group into a separate company, the Pilsen Dance Ensemble. The Ensemble performed the works of Ms. Haun and other JHCDT company members for four years. During her tenure with JHCDT, Ms. Haun danced several solos and received great critical acclaim for her dancing. In 1991, she won a Ruth Page Award nomination for Dancer of the Year.
Ms. Haun’s dancing and choreography have been presented and commissioned by several Chicago and midwest dance companies, including Chicago Ballet, Aerial Dance Chicago , Zephyr Dance, MOMENTA, Irreverence Dance + Theatre, Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, and Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble. Other dance organizations that have commissioned her work include: Without Shoes Modern Dance Co. (Rockford, IL), Patchwork Dance Co.(South Bend, Indiana), University of Nevada Dance Co., Illinois Wesleyan University Dancers, and Elgin Dance Theater.
Nominated twice for the prestigious Ruth Page Award for Choreography, Ms. Haun’s dances have appeared at the Athenaeum Theatre, Dance Center of Columbia College, St. Mary’s College, Ruth Page Theatre, Vaudeville Underground, Moming Dance & Arts Center, Harold Washington Library Theatre, Iowa Summer Dance Festival and Chicago’s NEXT Dance Festival. Ms. Haun has received many grants for choreography from the Oak Park Area Arts Council, the City of Chicago, Illinois Arts Council, and other midwest foundations.
Chicago’s NEXT Dance Festival, which grew to be the top producer of new and emerging Chicago dance artists, was the brain child of Ms. Haun. She spearheaded this annual event from 1994 to 2001. Ms. Haun won a Ruth Page Award in 1999 for Outstanding Contribution to the Dance Community for her work establishing and furthering the NEXT Dance Festival. In 2005, Ms. Haun was featured as part of HMS Media‘s Chicago Dance Project, which aired on Chicago public television.
Ms. Haun has taught modern dance and dance composition at the Beijing Dance Academy in China, Chicago Academy for the Arts, Dance Center of Columbia College, University of Nevada, Illinois Wesleyan University and at numerous festivals and workshops worldwide. She is currently a modern dance instructor at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, the studio of Hubbard St. Dance Chicago and Legere Dance Center.
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