Margi Cole - Artistic Director and Founder
Photo by William Frederking
Margi Cole graduated from the Alabama School of Fine Arts, received a B.A. in dance from Columbia College Chicago and an M.F.A. in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She has taught and guest-lectured at numerous educational and professional organizations, including the Alabama Ballet, the American College Dance Festival, Ballet Tennessee, Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago, Lou Conte Dance Studio, the Joffrey Academy of Dance, the American Dance Festival and other institutions throughout Illinois, the Midwest and the Southeast. She is currently on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, where she has served as a lecturer and associate chair.
As a choreographer, Margi has been commissioned by The Alabama Ballet, Springfield Ballet Company, Sanspointe Dance Company, the Birmingham Museum of Art, Girls Preparatory School in Tennessee, Beloit College and Columbia College Chicago.
Margi has danced with well-known choreographers and companies, including Ralph Lemon, Joe Goode Performance Group, Liz Burritt, Stephen Koplowitz, Ann Boyd, David Rousseve, Bill Young, Douglas Nielsen, Peter Carpenter, Timothy O’Slynne, Paula Frasz, Colleen Halloran, Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, Mordine & Company Dance Theater, Renee Wadleigh and Ellie Klopp. In 2011, Cole traveled to Findhorn, Scotland to join 19 international performers participating in the Deborah Hay Solo Commissioning Project.
Awards and acknowledgements of Margi’s accomplishments include making the list of “Teachers Rated Excellent by their Students” in four consecutive semesters while on faculty at the University of Illinois. She has received two Choreographic Mentoring Scholarships from The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, two Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowships, a 2005 Chicago Dancemakers Forum grant and an American Marshall Memorial Fellowship (joining other leaders in their respective fields to represent the United States on a month-long tour of European countries). She won a Panoply Festival Choreography Award for Contemporary Dance in Huntsville, Alabama.
Margi is active in the Chicago dance community, serving on grant panels and in public forums as an arts administrator, dancer and choreographer. In 2011, she was integral in organizing the Dance/USA and Marshall Forum annual conferences in Chicago. She has been a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Consortium Member for two years, is a member of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship Selection Committee and served as a mentor during the Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances Project in 2014. She was named one of The Players in NewCity’s “Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago” in 2012 and recognized by Today’s Chicago Woman among its 2014 “100 Women of Inspiration.”
The Dance COLEctive aspires to challenge assumptions about how dance is presented, through the use of cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations, and inspired creative site-specific works.