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Chima “Chichi” Valavanis (nee Olujie) is a professional dance artist, dance educator and Pilates instructor with over a decade of experience training, performing and teaching in Australia and abroad. A BFA graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and The Ailey School, her studies have allowed her to pursue a diverse performance career in several dance genres. From classical ballet, modern and contemporary dance, to Brazilian Samba and West African, Chima is known for her long lines and dynamic performance. She has appeared in numerous concert dance and theatre productions, live stage shows and commercial work throughout Australia, Brazil and the United States. A few recent credits include LOcREaDO Dance Company, CAMILLA, B Wise, GLO, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Lucky Lartey, Laolu Senbanjo, Sabouné, Manu Crooks, Aryana Sayeed, The Empire Strips Back, Rolling Loud Miami, Rio Projekt, Imperio Serrano, and Sony Music. 

She has extensive training in the Lester Horton technique and was first introduced its history and pedagogy as a university dance major, by Ms. Veronica C. Combs. She fell in love with the technique and became committed to further her training with Mr. Iquail Shaheed, founder and executive artistic director of DANCE IQUAIL!, Philadelphia. Following the completion of her Bachelor Fine Arts (Dance), Chima was accepted into the Ailey School's independent study program with Horton as her main modern elective. There she refined her skills and developed a comprehensive knowledge and historical understanding of the technique. She is privileged to have studied under Horton master teachers Ana Marie Forsythe and Milton Myers, as well as Elizabeth Roxas, Carlos Dossantos, Marimba Gold-Watts and Guillermo A. Asca.

Chima is honoured to continue her professional development and study under Victor Talledos (of Victor Talledos Dance and Lines Dance Center, San Francisco) Alvin Rangel-Alvarado (of DCDC and California State University) and Horton master Cynthia Riesterer, an original student of James Truitte. 


Chima was invited to become the resident Horton teacher at NAISDA Dance College - the first institution in Australia to offer the Horton technique as an integral part of developing artist curriculum.


She is also honoured to be a resident mentor for Bangarra Dance Theatre, the LOcREaDO Dance Company, Dance Dr. Co and Lost All Sorts Collective.

Her teachers, mentors and fellow dancers serve as constant inspiration to preserve the integrity of the Horton technique and share its beauty with Australian dancers.

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