Christopher Manning, Artistic Director, Principal Dancer

An Army child, Chris Manning grew up around the world. He began dancing hip-hop in the early 1980s and switched to Latin dance in the early 1990s. In 1997 he became a founding member of the Chicago Latin Street Dance Company and the senior instructor at the Latin Street Dancing School where taught until 2012. He became the artistic director of the Latin Street Dance Company in 2007.

In addition, Chris has studied many other dance forms under some of Chicago’s best instructors including: Idy Ciss (West African), William Gill (Jazz and Hip Hop), Rochelle Goff (Jazz and Hip Hop), Joel Hall (Floor Barre), Kirby Reed (Hip-Hop), and Dereque Whiturs (Ballet).

Chris is:

  • the 2003 Bailes Tropicales Champion
  •  the 2010 Barcardi Salsa Champion
  • a Second Place Finisher in the 2010 Chicago Salsa Open
  •  the 2011 Chicago Salsa Champion
  •  a Third Place Finisher in the 2013 Chicago Salsa Championship
  •  the 2013 Battleground Salsa Champion, and the 2015 Wisconsin Salsa Open Champion.

In 2012 Chris founded Inpiración Dance Chicago to give back to the community through dance, and in 2015 Inspiración won the Fashion Arts and Humanities Fete Humanitarian Award.

Outside of Inspiración, Chris is an academic, author, and martial artist. An associate professor of history at Loyola University in Chicago, Chris’ first book William L. Dawson and the Limits of Black Electoral Leadership was published in 2003. He is currently writing a manuscript on social justice movements in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina and a memoir provisionally titled, Army Brat.