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Michelle Reid Photography

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Elijah Richardson


Elijah Richardson, originally from San Jose, California, started training with a focus in musical theatre, classical choir, and figure skating throughout his public performing arts schooling. He went onto receive the Musco Scholarship for the Arts and earned his BFA in Dance Performance and a Minor in History from Chapman University in 2018. Supplemental training include intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, BODYTRAFFIC, and Zion Dance Project.


Upon graduation, Elijah joined DanceWorks Chicago for three seasons, where he humbly performed and taught nationally and internationally. At DWC, he was closely mentored by director Julie Nakagawa, and given the opportunity to take on more creative and administrative responsibility in various roles as a lead contributor on social media design and marketing, peer mentor, restager. Most notably, Elijah produced and curated "An InterVIEW Series with DanceWorks Chicago Alumni," a showcase of over two dozen short films highlighting previous company members' experiences and current life updates during the global lockdown.

Elijah has had the privilege of originating roles in works by many choreographers including Shannon Alvis, Charissa-Lee Barton, Hanna Brictson, Ron de Jesus, Rubén Graciani, Sean Greene, Will Johnston, Vincent Hardy, Rebecca Huang, Alex Ketley, Joshua Manculich, Stephanie Martinez, Julianne O'Brien, Crystal Michelle Perkins, Wade Schaaf, Bobbi Jene Smith, Kia Smith, and Ido Tadmor. Additionally, his repertory includes works by George Balanchine, Alejandro Cerrudo, Christian Denice, James Gregg, Ohad NaharinChristian Spück, and Demis Volpi. Elijah was also fortunate to be a rehearsal assistant to Joshua Manculich in new creations and the restaging of his repertory at Collage Dance Collective in 2019 & 2020. 

His choreography has been performed at Chapman University, Evanston Dance Ensemble, Trifecta Dance Festival, The Rooted Space, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, South Chicago Dance Festival, Loyola University Chicago, Zion Dance Project, and Second City Dance Ministry. In addition, his dance films have been screened in many festivals including Flatlands Dance Film Festival, Iowa International Screendance Festival, Inaugural Big Muddy Screendance Fest, and four times at the Mobile Dance Film Festival.

As a multifaceted educator, Elijah has frequently taught classes in contemporary, modern, jazz, and improvisation. His affiliations include University of Chicago's TAPS Program, Chapman University, James Madison University, Western Michigan University, University of Michigan, Northern Illinois University, Sam Houston State University, Zion Dance Project: Summer Series, The Cambrians Winter Intensive, Common Conservatory, Chicago Movement Collective, DanceWorks Chicago (Dance360 Program), Virtual Dance Lab (Lucky Plush Productions), and studios across the Chicagoland area.


Elijah seasonally travels as a national competition adjudicator through Confirmed Talent Agency. He also humbly serves in the dance ministry at Second City Church in Chicago, co-creating film and stage performances, including two full-evening concerts, ushering in the presence of God. 

Elijah continues to freelance as a guest artist, previously working with Anaheim Ballet, The Cambrians, Symbiosis Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Collage Dance Collective. He has been dancing with South Chicago Dance Theatre since 2021.

Elijah was recently named "25 to Watch in 2023" by Dance Magazine.

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