Richard Smith is the Owner and Director of 360° Dance Festival and the Artistic Director of Inaside Chicago Dance. Smith was on the faculty at The Giordano Dance Center for six years and the Joel Hall Dancers and Center for three years. He has been affiliated with internationally touring Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, River North Chicago Dance Company, and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. He attended East Carolina University, in North Carolina, where he worked on a BFA in Dance Performance. The university allowed him to work with Mia Michaels, Mark Dendy, Katiti King, Frank Chaves, Alan Arnett and Tomi Overcash-Galaska.
Sarah Ford Hardy is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of the Youth Performing Arts School. While attending YPAS, she received her training in ballet, modern and jazz, as well as lyrical, tap and hip-hop at other local studios.
Sarah trained at the Joel Hall Dance Center and Columbia College in Chicago IL, the Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, CA and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. She has performed with numerous dance companies such as Inaside Chicago Dance, Midwest Dance Collective, DanceWerks Dance Productions, The Joel Hall Dancers and The JADD Co. Sarah has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with artists such as Wierd Al Yankovic, Soulja Boy, Hannah Ford Welton and Joshua Welton of Counter Culture, 3rd Eye Girl and Prince. Sarah was a member of the Joseph Allen Decker Dance Company where she assisted Mr. Decker for two seasons. She was a featured dancer in the movie Dreams and choreographed for Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out Tour in Chicago.
Sarah is currently residing in Illinois where she is teaching and choreographing all over the Chicagoland area. She spent eight years choreographing and performing with Inaside Chicago Dance and just completed her sixth year as the company’s Youth Training Program Director and 9th year as the Summer Intensive Director. She enjoys teaching dancers of all ages, styles and levels and has recently been on the faculty of Dance Olympus, Dance Masters of WI, One Family Festival and 360 Dance Festival.
This past summer, Sarah and her husband Marcus incorporated as Sarcus Entertainment, LLC and created Sarcus Dance Company. She is really excited to embark upon her new adventure as the Assistant Director of 360 Dance Festival and work alongside her good friend and mentor, Richard Smith.