Jenai Cutcher

Resume posted by Jenai Cutcher in Arts and Culture.

Desired position type: Full-Time
Location: Chicago Illinois, United States


Artistic and Executive Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Digital Archivist, Educator, Filmmaker, Writer


Master of Fine Arts, Dance and Technology, The Ohio State University, 2009

Presidential Fellow

MFA Thesis: Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, feature-length documentary

At the mid-point of the 20th century, tap dance was rarely produced due to factors including the rising popularity of television, the invention of bebop, and the Civil Rights movement. Consequently, stars of vaudeville stages and MGM pictures suddenly found themselves repairing cars or managing theaters for a living. These were mostly African American men, hoofers with names like Sandman and Honi, who had all but slipped into obscurity until several artists, primarily white females seeking their own creative voices, found these aging dancers and created a resurgence of tap within the American concert dance landscape. 

Bachelor of Arts, English, cum laude

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2000

Emphasis on Twentieth Century American literature



Executive & Artistic Director: Chicago Dance History Project — 2015-present

  • CDHP is a 501(c)(3) digital, community-based archive:
  • Create original primary source materials by conducting oral history interviews and producing public events
  • Oversee the accession, curation, digitization, and presentation of collected materials
  • Curate exhibitions and create video excerpts from original research
  • Develop organizational partnerships
  • Manage staff, contractors, and interns
  • Direct development, communications, board management, finance, human resources
  • Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities Council, Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Farley Family Foundation, PERT Foundation, Gray Family Foundation, Morrison-Shearer Foundation, Society of American Archivists

Archival/Oral History Consultant — 2019-present

American Folk Art Museum, Mark Morris Dance Group, Yale University

Dance Artist — 2003-present (selected)

  • Original choreography presented nationwide
  • Performer as a soloist and with Brenda Bufalino, Cintia Chamecki, Michelle Dorrance, Barbara Duffy, John Giffin, Savion Glover, Derick Grant, Kristina Isabelle, Katherine Kramer, Mable Lee, Max Pollak, Lynn Schwab, Nicole Stanton, Tony Waag, Mark Yonally
  • Videodances screened at Anthology Film Archives, Arts Club of Chicago, Experimental Sound Studio, Guggenheim Museum, In/Motion Dance Film Festival, Wexner Center for the Arts, Yale University

Educator — 2000-present (selected)

  • Adjunct Professor – Northwestern University (IL), The Ohio State University (OH), Salve Regina University (RI), Educational Center for the Arts (CT)
  • Faculty – Steps on Broadway (NYC), Peridance (NYC), Chicago Park District (IL), United National International School (NYC), Columbus Dance Theatre (OH)
  • Guest artist – Alternative Speakers Bureau (NY), American College Dance Festival, Cia Brasileira de Sapateado (São Paulo), CultuCuba (Havana), Hofstra University, Neighborhood Music School (CT), OhioDance Festival, Providence College, Radford University, Southern Illinois University, University of Richmond, Tanzhaus (Dusseldorf)

Journalist: Writer, Director, Reporter — 2000-present (selected)

  • Books, single author – Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance, Bob Fosse, Gotta Dance: The Rhythms of Jazz and Tap
  • Documentary, feature-length – Thinking on Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance
  • Contributor – The Village Voice, Dance magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Heritage Coalition, International Tap Association Journal; Columbus Alive 
  • Conference Presentations – Digital Futures presented by the Art Institute of Chicago, Dance Studies Association, Documenting Jazz, National Dance Educators Organization, Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association, Yale Technology Summit


  • Archiving
  • Choreographing
  • Directing
  • Editing
  • Interviewing
  • Project management
  • Tap Dance
  • Teaching
  • Video Production
  • Video post-production
  • Writing


    Dancing, Documenting, editing, Event Planning, Grant Writing, Interviewing, producing, project management, Public Speaking, Teaching, Writing

Groups & Associations

    Chicago Area Archivists, Chicago Dancers United, Dance Studies Association, National Dance Educators Organization

Spoken Languages