It was renamed to the All City Jr. Ensemble Español. Today the program has reached further heights and has been renamed the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Youth Company. These talented dancers, grades 5th through college, are selected annually via auditions. Being in the EESDYC also includes NEIU scholarship opportunities. Once selected, these dancers and their parents sign contracts, which require the highest standard of behavior, dance discipline and academic achievement.
These children become role models in their schools and communities and aspire to be like the professional dancers. Currently there are 18 youth in the EESDYC representing nine Chicago communities including: Albany Park, Bensenville, Evanston, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Irving Park, Logan Square, Rogers Park, and Roselle. EESDYC students have performed with the professional company and international guest artists from Spain for such festivals as the American Spanish Dance & Music Festival at the auditorium of Northeastern Illinois University, the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, the world renowned Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Symphony Center with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and this season at the premiere engagement of Global Rhythms on our 35th anniversary at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. These students are also provided with extravagant travel opportunities, for instance, the grand finale of the Ensemble Español 30th anniversary season in 2006 included an international exchange tour to Poland as the guests of Warsaw University celebrating the university’s 190th anniversary. Many past EESDYC students have also continued on to professional dance careers, for instance, former company members Evelyn Sánchez and Katherine Freeland were selected to join the professional company for the Poland & China tours. Youth company members often become Ensemble Español company apprentices and often perform with the main company nationally and internationally.