Having accrued more than four decades of inimitable experience in the field of performing arts, Jan J. Heyn-Cubacub has garnered a laudable reputation as a dancer, choreographer and educator. The daughter of a professional tap dancer, she studied ballet while coming of age and has always been possessed of a natural aptitude for the visual arts. She enrolled as an art student at Northern Illinois University in 1974. Quickly realizing that her talents were stronger than what the school’s fine arts program could support, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub transferred to the University of Illinois, where she attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance in 1978.
From 1976 until 1978, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub found success as a dance captain at Marriott’s Great America theme park in Gurnee, Illinois. She subsequently became an assistant director for Joel Hall Dancers between 1978 and 1983, and a principal dancer for Urban Gateways from 1979 to 1981. Ms. Heyn-Cubacub began teaching in 1980 as an instructor for the Discovery Center of Chicago, where she remained until 1996, and taught for the Chicago Heart Association, the Federal Reserve Bank and Chicago Alternatives throughout the early 1980s.
Ms. Heyn-Cubacub would serve as a director and choreographer for Rasterdans between 1981 and 2012. During this time, she explored other types of movement as an assistant instructor at the Chinese Gung Fu Institute of Chicago, where she taught from 1995 until 2000. Most impressively, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub is the 1996 Wu- and Sun-style Chinese Tai Ji National Champion.
Since 1984, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub has excelled as the owner of Heyn-Cubacub Originals, during which she has created an award-winning multimedia body of work alongside her husband Arturo Cubacub, a multimedia artist in his own right. Moreover, she has choreographed and performed in nine experimental films, including “Turning Breath,” “Black Cat” and “Orbit,” released in 1981, 1983 and 1986, respectively. The recipient of numerous film festival awards and selections, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub was notably bestowed with a 1987 Columbus Video Festival Best of Fest Award, a 1984 second prize award from the American Film Institute, and a bronze medal at the 1983 International Film and TV Festival.
In 2006, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub completed a Master of Arts in Teaching from Chicago Concordia University, whereupon she became an arts and movement instructor for Chicago Public Schools. She is passionate about working in porcelain and known for her large-scale mosaics, art dolls and traditional paintings on porcelain, including Christmas ornaments. To remain aware of developments effecting her field, Ms. Heyn-Cubacub is a member of the Illinois Art Education Association and the Illinois Dance Education Organization. Outside of her professional circles, she takes great satisfaction in watching the growth of her child, Sky, into a full-fledged multimedia artist and designer of Rebirth Garments, a gender-neutral clothing line.