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Richard Smith is the Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance. Richard's approach to teaching and directing is focused on alignment, manipulation of the body, strength and origination of movement. He believes that only truth, the constant work to master technique and the understanding of fundamentals of jazz that the dancer begins to tap into the emotional connection of dance. Only then can the dancer generate performance from a vulnerable place of truth, making the dancers' connection to the audience real and pure. It is this philosophy that keeps his fire burning for teaching and helping dancers reach their highest artistic level.

Smith was on faculty at The Giordano Dance Center for six years and the Joel Hall Dancers and Center for 3 years. He has been affiliated with internationally touring Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. He attended East Carolina University in North Carolina where he worked on a BFA in Dance Performance. The university allowed him to work with Mia Michaels, Mark Dendy, Katiti King and Frank Chaves, Alan Arnett and Tomi Overcash-Galaska.

After college Smith moved to Chicago to train with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He has since had the opportunity to work with great teachers and choreographers including the late Gus Giordano, Randy Duncan, Sherry Zunker, Elijah Gibson and Eddy Ocampo. He has had the privilege to perform regionally in Dance for Life and Dance Chicago. Smith has worked at the famous Goodman Theater and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Theater and the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Smith has appeared in the commercial for "The Wedding Singer" National Tour and for Phillips Magnavox. He has performed on stage with pop artists Kim English, Pat Hodge, Barbara Moran and Byron Stingly. He has also worked with Sir Elton John in his visit to Chicago. Most notably, Smith had the opportunity to travel and demonstrate for the late Gus Giordano.

Smith is a teacher of classical, lyrical and contemporary jazz, classical ballet and modern to all ages, finding a special connection with the pre-teen youth. In addition, Richard has had the opportunity to teach jazz at his very own East Carolina University, Western Michigan University, Elon University and Duke University. He is a regional and national adjudicator and teacher for Applause Talent Presentations, Kids Artistic Revue and Rainbow Connection in addition to teaching and choreographing for workshops, studios and companies throughout the US.

Richard Smith