Chanel Smith A Provo, Utah native, Chanel’s pre-professional training in classical ballet began in Lindon, Utah with the Utah Regional Ballet under the direction of Jacqueline College. During her time with URB, she studied classical and contemporary ballet repertory and had the privilege of performing on national and worldwide concert tours. In 2010 Chanel received her BA in dance with a minor in molecular biology from Brigham Young University. While studying at BYU, she toured and performed as a soloist for the University’s ballet company, Theatre Ballet, under the direction of Shani Robison. In conjunction with her Theatre Ballet membership, Chanel performed works by Anthony Tudor with direction from Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner and studied in workshop courses of ballet technique with Summer Lee Rhatigan and Finis Jhung. Also in 2010, Chanel completed her certification as a Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA) through the Integrated Movement Studies (IMS) program held at University of Utah under the mentorship of IMS core faculty members Peggy Hackney, Janice Meaden, Ed Groff, and Cadence Whittier.
In May 2012, Chanel graduated from Hollins University with a Post Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in dance. As a student at Hollins, Chanel’s academic research focused on integrating her knowledge of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) with Bartenieff Fundamentals to develop a curriculum for ballet study based on somatic principles and Laban theory.
Additionally, she worked to incorporate her LMA experience in her choreographic process and madegroup and solo works that were presented at Hollins University and the American Dance Festival (ADF). Along with Hollins Dance Department Director Jeffery Bullock, other mentors in that process where prominent dance artists including William Forsythe, Amanda Miller, John Jasperse, Mark Hiam, Sara Procopio, and Jillian Pena. Chanel attended the ADF six-week school in Durham, NC as a student with the Hollins PBC program, was awarded an artist scholarship to return in 2012.
Chanel joined the Halestone Dance Studio teaching staff in 2010 and was appointed as Ballet Director in 2011 when Halestone expanded its facilities and programs to include a full course of study in classical ballet. Halestone became the practice ground for Chanel to used her research of integrating LMA and somatic principles to the ballet curriculum she developed. With the ballet students of Halestone, Chanel had the opportunity to put the ballet curriculum into action each year to create elaborate 20 minute ballets for the Halestone's year end recitals. These ballets incorporated all levels of ballet students and sometimes including even the littlest creative movement students. This rich choreographic experience gave Chanel the skills to continue choreographing with the youngest of students to professional level dancers. At that time, Chanel also served as the Artist in Residence for The Community Dance Connection Theatre (The CDCT), Halestone’s Company in Residence under the direction of Nancy Saylor. In this role, Chanel performed with the company in the Moving Art's Initiative, which connected students of Lilburn Downey Middle School with professional dancers and performance experiences. Also as Artist in Residence, Chanel produced with the company multiple Rockbridge Art Project (RAP) performances, choreographed, performed and developed the Ballet Project for both Halestone dancers and the Rockbridge community.
In June and July of 2013, Chanel served as Teaching Assistant to Peggy Hackney and Janice Meaden on the IMS faculty at the University of Utah. In May (2014), Chanel performed and choreographed for the James Madison University, France Summer Abroad program under the direction of Agnes Carbrey. She then spend her summer directing the Halestone Summer Conservatory and choreographing programs for Synetic Theater Summer Camps in Washington, DC. Later that year Chanel moved to Washington DC to perform and choreograph.
In 2015, Chanel partnered with Company | E and director Paul Emerson to begin a youth dance program, The Company | E Movement Center, in Washington DC. Chanel served as Studio Managing Director of the Movement Center. With the dedicated staff of the Movement Center, Chanel was able to create a full studio education program in two years with over one hundred students. In 2017, Chanel directed the Movement Center youth program in its main stage year end performance of the Jungle Book. This performance was part of Company | E's professional dance company's season and was performed at the Kennedy Center. Yes, all one hundred students (age 3 - 15 years old) performed alongside the professional dancers at the Kennedy Center! It was surely a first for the Kennedy Center to host such a large number of (amazing!) young students.
As a performing artist, Chanel performed with many Washington D.C. dance and theater companies including Company | E, Synetic Theater, fusiondance, Dissonance Dance Theater, K.G. Dance and UnevenLane. Also an independent choreographer Chanel produced a Spring Concert with K.G. Dance Theater.
Footnote: In 2009, Chanel made her national television debut as a semi-finalist in Season 5 of the popular reality show So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Click this link to see her perform for the show’s producer and judges – Nigel Lithgoe, Mary Murphy, and Adam Shankman – and watch her authentic reaction to being cut from the competition.