Erkert, Jan | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Erkert, Jan

Historical Note:

Jan Erkert is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and author. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1969 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, and taught at Columbia College in Chicago as a professor of dance from 1990 to 2006. In 2006, she joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a professor and as head of the Department of Dance.

In 1979 she moved to Chicago to join the Shirley Mordine & Company dance company, then founded and headed the Jan Erkert and Dancers (JE&D) dance company, where as Artistic Director, she choreographed over 70 works. The JE&D company closed in 2000, but Erkert returned to the stage in 2003 with solo performances and collaborations with other groups, including the Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture.

Erkert's book, Harnessing the Wind: the Art of Teaching Modern Dance, was published in 2003 by Human Kinetics. Erkert has recieved numerous awards, including two Fulbright awards, multiple fellowships, and other recognitions.

Sources: Faculty profile, Chicago Dance History Project, personal website (
Note Author: Maia Perez, Kelda Habing

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