Mari Jo Irbe
|Title:||Instructor of Dance|
|Office:||Ralph Arnold Annex 207|
Ms. Irbe, an accomplished performer, choreographer, and teacher, is originally from LaGrange, Illinois, and has called Chicago "home" throughout much of her career. She has been a featured performer with River North Chicago Dance Company (RNCDC), under the direction of both Sherry Zunker and Frank Chaves, for 15 years and has toured extensively, performing works by internationally acclaimed choreographers.
Ms. Irbe has danced with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and toured the United States and Mexico with the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre under the direction of Randy Duncan. In addition to her extensive modern and jazz background, Ms. Irbe has been a guest artist with Especially Tap Co., under the direction of Bruce Stegmann. In 1995/1996, she toured nationally with the DIFFA Fashion Show of Collection Rouge and performed with Sam Waston's "Wats on Dance". In 2001, Ms. Irbe received the "Ruth Page Chicago Dance And Music Alliance Dance Achievement Award". From August 2001 to April 2002, she danced for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' (RCCL) Adventurer Of The Seas production cast, under the direction of Harrison McEldowney and Sherry Zunker. In 2002, she not only came home to dance with her family, RNCDC once again, but became the company's Rehearsal Director (current). When she has time off of RNCDC, she serves as auditioner and rehearsal choreographer for installments of new production casts of RCCL.
Ms. Irbe also serves the dance community of Chicago as a volunteer, dancer, and committee chairperson for "Dance for Life" (a benefit to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and education, while promoting the art of dance). In addition, she does various commercial and industrial work throughout the city.
Ms. Irbe received her training at the Academy of Movement and Music, Jo's Footwork Studio, Salt Creek School of Ballet and Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre. She continues to choreograph, teach, and perform extensively throughout the metropolitan area, as well as the United States.