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EDe Staff

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Christina Ernst

Artistic Director

Christina Ernst began her dance career in Switzerland where she grew up and performed with the Zurich Opera. Afterward she danced for two years in the city of Cologne, Germany. Since living in the States, she has been Co-Artistic Director of ernst-watson dance, an international touring company, a dancer and choreographer of Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble and the Chicago Moving Company. She has developed choreography for numerous companies, including Dance Kaleidoscope, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Goodman Theatre. She has received many grants for her choreography and won the Seven States Choreography Competition. Christina spent 20 years as an Artist-in-Residence with Urban Gateways and has taught extensively at area dance schools, colleges, and universities, including 21 years at Dance Center Evanston and 10 years at Evanston Township High School. She started working with the Evanston Dance Ensemble in 2000. She continues to explore new projects and is grateful for her creative life.


Rachel Molinaro

ede2 Artistic Director

has been active in the Chicago arts community as a performer, choreographer, administrator and educator for nearly 10 years. After receiving her dual degrees in dance and international studies from Northwestern University, Rachel has danced professionally with companies such as Striding Lion and The Leopold Group and currently creates her own work as an independent artist. Rachel recently joined the Senn Arts High School staff as their Fine & Performing Arts Program Coordinator and she sits on the board of directors for Project Bound Dance. 


Rachel has led a variety of arts schools in program development and outreach, including acting as Dance Program Director at Music House School of the Performing Arts and was the founding manager of Dovetail Studios, where she also led dance and fitness classes. 

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Paula Sjogerman

Company Manager

has been working in the nonprofit world for 40 years. She was the Executive Director of Gaia Theater, a touring children’s theater, for ten years and the Managing Director of CircEsteem, Chicago’s Youth Circus. She has worked as a freelance grant writer and nonprofit consultant for

many organizations including Little City Foundation, ArtsConnect, and Health Connect One. Most recently, she created a new arts organization, Vaudeville Chicago, which serves medical institutions with entertainment. In addition, Paula is an actor, director, and acting teacher and

co-founded Thin Ice Theater, a theater company for homeschooled youth.


Erin Bates

ede2 Assistant Director

is a dancer, videographer, and photographer based in Chicago. Erin grew up at Dance Center Evanston, was in Evanston Dance Ensemble for six years, and is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University’s BFA dance program. Erin understudied for a work by Yin Yue alongside Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and was a member of Western Dance Project under the direction of Whitney Moncrief. In the summer of 2020, Erin danced as an apprentice with Dance in the Parks for their first ever virtual season, and is returning as a full company member for summer 2021. Erin will be dancing with Inaside Chicago Dance beginning this fall. Erin is excited to be returning to DCE to teach!

Béa Rashid


graduated from Northwestern University majoring in theater with a concentration in dance. She has choreographed for numerous professional companies, including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago

Opera Theatre, and Light Opera Works. In 1994, Béa opened Dance Center Evanston, and in 1997 started the Ensemble. Béa has collaborated with composer and husband, Steve Rashid, on numerous projects, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and “Leonardo” from Body of Work. Béa and Steve recently opened Studio5, Evanston’s newest performing arts venue. Béa is the recipient of the 1999 Evanston Mayor’s Award for the Arts, and the 2017 Nonprofit/Public Service Person of the Year Award from the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. Béa is the Co-Chairman of the Midwest Committee of the Cecchetti Council of America and holds the highest level Diploma certificate.

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