Jonathan St. Clair
JONATHAN ST. CLAIR is an Urban Arts Specialist, employing dance, music, spoken-word, comedy, motivational speaking, and visual art, in his performances and innovative educational experiences with youth. Known as “InLight” to the international dance community, Jonathan’s career includes 24 years of experience performing and 19 years teaching, in the Chicago/Midwest region, nationally, and internationally. Jonathan has served as a US Cultural Envoy with the US State Department to Morocco, Algeria, and Pakistan, and has worked independently performing, teaching, curating, and participating in cultural exchanges in Uganda, India, Malaysia, Canada & China. Mr. St. Clair first joined the faculty of HPSD in 2006, adding breakin to the school’s curriculum. Sourcing his experience performing and teaching, he developed several methods to empower people of all ages using art as a catalyst to bolster self confidence and a healthy self image, develop critical thinking skills, social skills, leadership skills, and be an influential advocate of healthy lifestyle practices, while delivering professional level artistic training.
Having participated in outreach dance programs since 3rd grade, being exposed to African, Afro Carribean styles, Jonathan fell in love with Breakin after seeing kids doing swipes in an assembly and after seeing the movie Beat Street it became a serious pastime. Through dance Jonathan was constantly exposed to incredible opportunities that changed his life and as a teenager he noticed that many of the people he grew up with got into major trouble in life from simply not having anything better to do. Dance, having been such a positive force in his life, in 2001 Jonathan began working to create oases in resource deserts throughout the south side of Chicago by conducting outreach programs, sharing dance in schools, community organizations, parks, and churches in “disadvantaged” communities. In 2002 Jonathan co-founded and served as director of the Stick and Move Dance Crew, a company of Bboys and Bgirls specializing in breakdance, acrobatics, choreography, popping, locking, power tumbling, improvisation, and comedy. Stick and Move maintained an active performance schedule through 2012, with clientele ranging from the NBA to major artists such as Master P and Lil Romeo, booking concerts, music videos, commercials, tours, dance theater bills, national festivals, countless colleges and universities, and more. Some highlights include battling across America, winning BET’s Annual National Dance Competition “Spring Bling/Revamped” in 2005, The Finding our Folk Tour in 2006 where the crew traveled to several cities where the Hurricane Katrina evacuees were placed and used dance and music to help to lift their spirits, and winning a competition to represent America at the World Expo in Shanghai China (2010), to name a few.
In 2009 Jonathan began concentrating primarily on international opportunities, engaging in a dense schedule of performing, teaching, competing, judging competitions, and speaking across North America, Asia, and Africa in events ranging from black tie affairs with leader in government, concerts with international musicians, tours, and proscenium stage performances, workshops and classes in studios as well as with amazing grass roots organizations in rural villages to beautiful communities in slums without running water. After years of traveling, Jonathan took root again in Chicago, and was welcomed back to HPSD in 2014, with his brand of youth development through dance, steadily growing and expanding the breakin program. In 2017 breaking was integrated into HPSD’s annual production of the Nutcracker using Hiphop/Breakdance instead of violence as a model for peaceful innovative solutions to conflicts.