Illinois Youth Dance Theatre (IYDT) was founded in 2000, by Artistic Director Alyce Keaggy Brinkmann.  The not for profit, pre-professional dance company is committed to the art and education of dance. The junior and senior company members experience the joy of intense and focused dance at its highest possible training and performing level, quality performance settings, and the chance to work with renowned guest artists, professional sets, costumes, and instruction.

IYDT has provided influential arts exposure and education for the Chicago greater area for 18 years. Our production of “The Nutcracker” continues to bring nearly 100 dancers together for its grand classic annual event. IYDT provides guesting opportunities for professional dancers throughout the country twice a year.

In the spring of 2001, IYDT premiered the full length ballet of Paquita. Following this, each year has alternated between a classical full length production and a mixed repertoire bill in order to incorporate other genres into the performing experience. The company has performed such classics as “La Bayadère” (ACT III – Shades), “Cinderella,” “Giselle,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Swan Lake.” The company has also been fortunate enough to work with Susan Clark who restaged “Les Sylphides” with Milwaukee Ballet guest artists.  Additionally, in large thanks to The Illinois Arts Council and our dedicated sponsors, IYDT has been able to create new works for our aspiring young dancers. These works include both full length ballets of “The Little Mermaid” and “Joan of Arc” choreographed by Alyce Keaggy Brinkmann and IYDT faculty and mixed repertoire ballets including “Water to Wine,” “Besides Momentum,” “Passage,” “Isaiah 41:10,”  “Sonata,” and “Kibo.”

IYDT in collaboration with their training facility, Illinois Dance Conservatory, is committed to the cultural enrichment and education of the greater Chicago land area. Our students and company members have received scholarships to many universities, summer intensive and full year programs. These programs include Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Tulsa Ballet School, Alabama Ballet, Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory, Ballet West, The Rock, Royal Winnepeg Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School and Ellison Ballet.

Graduating IYDT and IDC members have joined Houston Ballet II, Milwaukee Ballet II, Columbia Classical Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash, Nomi Dance Company, Big Muddy Dance Company, Nomadic Limbs, Charlesville Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and Orlando Ballet.


Illinois Youth Dance Theatre (IYDT) is a not for profit dance company committed to the art of dance. IYDT promotes the opportunity for community engagement and public performing. Professional instruction, working with guest artists and the use of professional sets and costuming allows our members to experience the joy of intense and focused dance in a quality performance setting.