• Biography

    Chicago native Elisa Montalvo is based in Shanghai, China where she is a choreographer for Shanghai Disney. Since arriving in the Middle Kingdom in 2012, Elisa has served as a resident teacher and choreographer for China's first private modern dance company, Jin Xing Dance Theater and has choreographed for China’s first two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. Additional television work includes choreographing for Dancing with the Stars, and performing in the live finale of China’s Got Talent, Season 5. Elisa's commercial choreography can be seen in promotions for Sephora, Casio, Honda, Land Rover, Martell and Bacardi.


    In 2018, Elisa had the opportunity to choreograph commercials for Huawei and Taobao. Her choreography was seen in movie theaters across China with the release of《你美丽了我的人生》, a movie SYTYCD China, Season 2 champion, Gulmira, starred in. In addition to teaching and creating across China, Elisa has been invited to travel to the Philippines as well as Kenya and Ethiopia to teach workshops, choreograph and judge competitions. On her second trip to Nairobi, she was invited to choreograph, teach and perform as part of a "Dance for Peace" festival promoting unity though diversity and through art.


    In the United States, Elisa’s professional dance credits include performances with Beyoncé for Oprah’s Farewell Spectacular, Jennifer Hudson, Aubrey O’Day from Danity Kane and working as an assistant choreographer for and performing with the Black Eyed Peas for the viral “I Gotta’ Feeling” flash mob. She carries with her a wealth of training, teaching, choreography and professional performance credits in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, hip hop and contemporary styles of dance. Elisa holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Chicago.

  • Choreography and Performance Reels

    2017-2018 Projects

    SYTYCD China, S2 (中国好舞蹈)

    Studio Choreography

    Early Choreography (2009-2013)

    Early Performance Reel (2006-2013)

  • Shanghai Disney 


  • "Beauty and the Beast" Broadway Musical

    June 2018- Present

    Currently the Resident Choreographer for the Walt Disney Grand Theater which is home to the Mandarin production of the Broadway Musical "Beauty and the Beast."

    Mickey's Storybook Express

    June 2016-Present

    Created the choreography for the spectacular daytime parade that transports fantasy, romance, music and merriment throughout Shanghai Disneyland. This performance travels along the longest Disney park parade route and brings Shanghai's Magic Kingdom to life with joyful energy and story telling! Performed up to twice a day, the performance includes 7 Floats, 1 Grand Puppet and over 100 performers! As of March 2018, more than 15 million guests have enjoyed this parade.

    Summer Blast Castle Show

    Summer 2017-2018

    Co-choreographed the party that kept our guests cool all summer long. With satellite stages to engage guests all summer, guests have the chance to adventure through an exotic rainforest, surf the waves in Hawaii, and explore the deep sea with beloved Disney characters .

    Duffy and Friends Show: Feat. Stella Lou

    Spring 2018-2019

    Directed and choreographed the show to welcome StellaLou to Shanghai Disney and to share in the joy of dance and following your dreams!

    SHDR Grand Opening Events

    June 2016

    Tomorrowland Starlight Celebration

    Choreographed a hip hop number to the song "Immortals" from the movie Big Hero 6. The piece included 10 Disney dancers, 2 dancers from SYTYCD China and finished with Baymax and Chinese pop sensation- Momo Wu (吳莫愁).


    Grand Opening Gala and Dedication

    Worked as an Assistant Choreographer for these historic performances. Assisted staging 600+ choir members and rehearsed the "Spark" and "Snow White" sections of the Gala. For the Dedication, created and taught final "arm-ography" for the 200+ Operations cast members and performers prior to staging them in front of the Enchanted Storybook Castle.

    Talent Audition Tours

    October 2014- Present

    Toured with Disney across China as the Choreographer to audition dancers, musicians and actors for the park and to audition kids for the first Mandarin production of The Lion King. Photos and video clips of me teaching dancers at our first audition in 2014 were featured on the front page of local newspapers (also available online) and on the evening news .


    We might be coming to your city soon so be sure to check http://disneyauditions.com/audition-calendar/ for a chance to be a part of the magic!

    Shanghai Tourism Festival

    September 2014 + 2015 + 2016 + 2017

    Choreographed the production number for all of Shanghai Disney Resort's appearances in the annual Shanghai Tourism Festival opening parade. Each performance featured more than 24 dancers and your favorite Disney Characters!

  • This section will be updated soon with more recent creations. In the meanwhile, you can click here to view a summary of the shows and events I have choreographed for Shanghai Disney Resort.



  • Press

  • Disney Audition Tour

    Photos and video clips of me teaching dancers at Shanghai Disney's first audition were featured on the front page of local newspapers (also available online) and on the evening news.

    Shanghai Daily

    May 2014 I had the pleasure of sharing some of my experiences working with SYTYCD China (Seasons 1 and 2) for Shanghai Daily.

    You can read the full article here!

    Dance Spirit Magazine

    I had the honor of sharing my journey with So You Think You Can Dance, China, Season 1 with October 2013 edition of Dance Spirit Magazine.


    To learn more and to watch a video I created in conjunction with this article, check out DanceSpirit.com!

    Oprah Magazine

    For Oprah's 24th Season Premiere and in coordination with the Black Eyed Peas, I was an assistant choreographer for the viral flash mob that included over 20,000 participants.


    This event was featured in a special publication of the Oprah Magazine, "Behind the Scenes of 25 Incredible Years.


    Check out Oprah.com to see the epic performance as well as get a chance to learn the dance that took over Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

    The Quest (Fall 2014)

    Excited to share how my early education helped shape the path that I am on. Be sure to read the article here or check out the full fall edition of the Quest here (I am on page 2 and 7!)

    Tianjin Daily, Etc.

    "I want to see a person dancing, not a machine."

    Tianjin Daily Online published an article sharing what I look for in dancers auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, China and a special dancer who caught my eye in Season 1.


    Similar articles has been shared on multiple online platforms all over China including KanaNews, China Daily, Sina and many, many more.


    CREATIVE Projects


    choreographing and dancing with joy

  • Huawei P20 Commercial

    Shanghai, China | Fall 2018

    Choreographed a commercial for Huawei's international campaign for their P20 phone.

    Taobao Commercial

    Shanghai, China | Fall 2018

    Choreographed a commercial for Taobao's China-wide campaign for their 2018 Maker Festival.

    Millennium Dance Complex

    Shanghai, China | January 2018

    It was a joy to perform with my brother and showcase a piece of choreography for the official opening of MDC China.



    Counting Stars

    Shanghai, China | June 2014

    After a rainy week in Shanghai, while preparing for the finale of SYTYCD China, Season 2, the sun finally came out! San Yang (finalist), Suan Fu Bo (partner) and I decided to take 15 minutes and film part of our piece outside. Although you will see a much more polished routine when the finale airs, we had a joyful time dancing in the sunshine!

    Postulate One

    Shanghai, China | December 2013

    I directed and choreographed a "Ride My Bike Around the World" Flash Mob to to welcome journalists Morgan and Chris of Postulate One to Shanghai. These journalists spent 22 months riding their bicycles from Paris to Shanghai traversing 24,000 km through 22 countries.The flash mob featured 20 dancers from 7 countries; United States, China, Ukraine, Spain, Russia, Germany and France. Check out PostulateOne.com to read more about their epic adventures!

    You'll Find A Way

    Beijing, China | April 2014

    In the audition round for SYTYCD China, Season 2, a jazz funk dancer from Beijing asked me to choreograph a jazz solo for him. He knew working with me would be risky in that he would only have two days to rehearse a piece of choreography in an unfamiliar style but decided he wanted a challenge and wanted to learn. After he got cut from the show, the solo was something he wanted to continuing working on and eventually film

    Chicago Dancing

    Chicago, IL, USA |  2009 - 2015

    Dani Deal's Music Videos - Featured Dancer

    Pocket (2012) & Poppin' Bottles (2009)


    Dancing in Chicago Based Choreographers' Choreography

    Calm Down Chor: Krista Ellenshohn, Video: Jack Chen (2015)

    King Sh!t Chor: Susan Skrzymowski, Video: Andrew Phan (2014)

    Float Chor: Leila Henry, Video: Xavier Cunningham (2013)

  • My Quantitative siDe

  • Stutland Volatility Group (Chicago, IL)

    Winter 2011- Spring 2012

    I had the pleasure of working with SVG on a project to develop rule-based models/strategies on how to trade gold (moving buy-write, fixed buy-write, non-overlay, leveraged, non-leveraged) using gold options as well as other benchmarks.

    University of Chicago

    Fall 2007-Spring 2011

    -AB'11 Mathematics and Economics

    -September 2009-June 2011: Graham House Assistant Resident Head, Max Palevksy





  • contact

    Contact me here for any inquiries related to choreography, performance, workshops or creative development.

    Can't wait to create with you soon!