Founder and Artistic Director
Andrea Cerniglia (chu-NEEL-ya) (she/her) began dancing at an early age while growing up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. Dance has always been a large part of her life and her training ultimately led to a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Much of Cerniglia’s exposure to modern dance came during her collegiate years; she quickly fell in love with the form for its endless freedom and ability to give the audience such a powerful and visceral experience.
Currently a contemporary artist based in Chicago, IL, Andrea is a performer, choreographer and seasoned educator. She is the founder and artistic director of dropshift dance, dedicated to a collaborative and investigative studio practice and pushing the boundaries of movement and expressivity in performance. Andrea’s collaborative relationships outside of movement, include the realms of dance film, visual art and installation piece, and musical composition. Her work engages viewers in a visual, aural, and human experience offering immersive and interactive practices. Andrea holds her Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago, and utilizes many layers of Rudolf Laban’s framework and Irmgard Bartenieff’s Fundamentals within her pedagogy and creative practices. She is a long-time collaborator and teaching artist with Zephyr Dance with whom she performed from 2004 to 2013. Her work has been shown internationally in Vancouver, BC as well as locally at Defibrillator Gallery, Links Hall, The Hairpin Arts Center, I AM Logan Square Gallery, The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, Hamlin Park and Holstein Park, Chicago, IL. She has performed at such Chicago venues as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Dance Center of Columbia College, Harold Washington Library Theater, the Athenaeum Theater, and the Ruth Page Center for the Performing Arts. Andrea has also performed across many cities in Tuscany, Italy, throughout the United States, and in New York City at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Space, the Cunningham Studio Theater, Mulberry Street Theater, and Triskelion Arts.
Andrea has been a part of residency and master class work within the elementary grade levels as well as at such colleges as Columbia College Chicago and Illinois Wesleyan University. She has been designing movement curriculums for pre-primary and primary classrooms at Casa Dei Bambini Montessori of Mayfair as a dance education consultant since 2018. She has taught and designed arts integrated curriculum in the Chicago Public schools through various arts integrated education programs uniting classroom curriculum with dance. In the spring of 2009, she was named Artistic Director of the Dance Foundation Youth Company Chicago, a dance group providing opportunity and scholarship to Chicago’s underserved youth founded at Fisher Dance Center, now R&B Dance, where she continues to support dance education and appreciation.