Stephanie Martinez is an award-winning Chicago dance artist with over 30 years professional performing experience. Her 2009 choreographic debut, AviMar, for Luna Negra Dance Theatre’s 10th anniversary season, instantly secured her status as a sought-after dancemaker. She has since traveled the country as a master teacher and professional choreographer, setting works on dance companies and university departments, in addition to a slew of reputable ensembles local to her native Chicago.
Stephanie has created original works for Luna Negra Dance Theater’s 10th anniversary season at The Harris Theater, Thodos Dance Chicago, Same Planet/Different World, Ron De Jesus Dance, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash,and Visceral Dance Chicago. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy on Thodos Dance Chicago, as well as Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in remounting his celebrated work, Pulse, for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco. In Fall 2014, she received a "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color" award from The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and will be embarking on that commission in February 2015.
Stephanie’s choreography has been featured in college dance department galas across the country, including Columbia College, Northwestern University, Ball State University, Shenandoah University, Jacksonville University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Richmond.
- Master Teacher
With over 20 years of teaching experience, Stephanie has served as Jazz program director of the Ruth Page School of Dance, as well as on faculty at Lou Conte Dance Studio, Gus Giordano Dance School, and The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago's trainee program. After spending two years in New York City as head of the lower school dance department for the exclusive Spence School, Stephanie returned to Chicago, serving as guest master teacher for numerous world-renowned dance festivals and organizations, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, The Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress, Thodos Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Same Planet/Different World, Chicago Dance Crash, Elements Contemporary Ballet, and has traveled abroad to teach for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco and The Nanjing University in China. Stephanie has served as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University, Columbia College, Ball State University, and most recently completed a six-month residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
Stephanie has been a featured dancer on a stage, film, and television. After a 17-year stint with River North Dance Chicago, for which she merited a Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Performance, Stephanie joined the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a principal dancer for its productions of Manon and The Merry Widow, followed by the Marriott Theater's production of Swing, spent several seasons with Concert Dance Inc., performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance, Ron de Jesus Dance, Same Planet/Different World, appeared as a special guest performer for The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and was a featured dancer for Diana Ross's appearance in the 2006 World Cup opening ceremonies.