GET TO KNOW JUKEBOXX
Stacy Letrice is a dancer, choreographer, instructor, mas band leader, and dance/movement therapist with over 20-years of local and global experience . She considers herself a medicine woman of movement who uses African and Caribbean dance forms as healing tools to maintain her happiness and follow her dreams. Like a jukebox, Stacy Letrice’s repertoire and expertise are diverse, wide-ranging, and seemingly without limit. Dance runs deep for Stacy Letrice and is where she feels most at peace and most at home.
The Chicago native began her dance journey at the age of eight after seeing an annual energetic celebration of African and African American dance called, Dance Africa. She first studied African Dance at Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago’s children classes, which were led by Vaune Blalock. She later continued her journey under the direction of Danny Diallo Hinds at Sundance Productions. Sundance developed her dance background by providing her with training in African drumming, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, Dunham, Caribbean, and West African dance.
In 1998, Stacy joined Muntu Dance Theatre for seven years before attending Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Sociology. While attending Kenyon, Stacy expanded her training abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa with Maxwell Xolani Rani.
After returning to Chicago in 2009, Stacy became a member of Ayodele Drum and Dance and joined the company on their first study trip to Bahia, Brazil. Former instructor, Danny Diallo Hinds presented Stacy’s first major teaching opportunity in 2010, where she taught at the National Cultural Foundation of Barbados Dance Program. In 2011, Stacy graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling. Soon after, she returned to her Muntu dance family as a performer and choreographer.
It was her passion for reggae, dancehall, and afrobeat styles that led her to become one of the principal dancers and dance coordinator at the Shrine Chicago; a concert venue and nightclub that existed in the South Loop for seven years. With the support of the Shrine, Stacy produced three successful events featuring Beyoncé’s leading dancers and well-known crews within Chicago. Stacy has also performed with artists such as Les Twins, MC Lyte, Lady Patra, Tarrus Riley, Elephant Man, Mystikal, Juvenile, Twista, Serani, Mr. Vegas, Kimberly Gipson, Wayne Wonder, Tiwa Savage, Banky W, Praiz, Charly Black, Sir The Baptist and Chaka Demus & Pliers.
While attending the True Jamaican Dancehall Camp in Australia in February of 2015, Stacy was noticed by Latonya Style, the creator of DanceJA School in Jamaica and one of the world’s most renowned instructors. Latonya describes Stacy as “the dancer with loads of passion, attitude, charisma, and style”. She appointed Stacy the official Chicago representative of her dancehall technique (Stylish Moves). Later that year, Stacy created her own dance brand, “Jukeboxx," dedicated to helping others pursue happiness through African and Caribbean dance forms.
Prior to meeting Latonya, Stacy received her first AfroDancehall teaching opportunity from Lady Sol Garcia ( a street dance professional from Chicago who is recognized globally as a Creative Director, manager, producer, and educator). Stacy has continued perfecting her Afro-Dancehall Fusion classes, which are currently on the rise around the world. This specialty style was premiered at the DanceJA School in Jamaica in 2015, presented in Australia at the second True Jamaican Dancehall Camp in February of 2016, sold out two master classes in Canada in 2017, and showcased in Chicago’s Choreographer’s Carnival in the spring of 2016 and 2017.
Most recently, Stacy works closely with Chicago’s own Pastor Charles Jenkins (Stellar Award Winner and Grammy Nominee) as his choreographer and dancer. In 2017, she was crowned Minnesota’s official Dancehall Queen after competing among other contestants from NYC, Europe, and the Midwest. And, her career continues to skyrocket with performances on mega stages including: One Africa Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Afropunk, and The Steve Harvey Show.
Stacy remains highly dedicated to using her dance and counseling experiences to provide healing, fitness, and positive outlets for children and adolescents who partake in After School Matters, the Chicago Park District, and Catholic schools within the Chicago area. Stacy is also currently focusing on her development as an instructor, choreographer, and performer. When asked why she dances, Stacy always replies, “I know there is a God because I feel him when I dance.”