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Choreographer Kevin Iega Jeff Shares His Favorite Things

The Juilliard-trained dancer and coconut oil devotee gives us a peek at a few of his personal treasures.

Jeff at the South Shore Cultural Center   Photo: Petya Shalamanova

A Juilliard-trained dancer, Kevin Iega Jeff, 57, expresses himself in movement. But when he’s not stepping to a beat, the artistic director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater takes solace in stillness. Ahead of the company’s Valentine’s Day–themed performance in Skokie on February 4, the South Shore resident shares where he finds tranquility—and sublime pasta.

My signature style

Simple. I like Simon Cowell: He always wears T-shirts and pants but looks nice, crisp, and clean.

Favorite Chicago meal

Pasta shells with salmon from Pizza Capri in Hyde Park.

Best dive bar

Club Escape. It caters to a mix of gay and straight clientele.

Anti-aging secret

I eat a tablespoon of coconut oil every day, and I also put it on my skin.

Store I spend the most money at

Whole Paycheck—I mean Whole Foods. I decided, in my life, the things that I would spend money on are what I eat, travel, and personal care, be it spiritual, physical, or medical.

Local institution I admire most

Studio One’s dance school.

Most romantic place in Chicago

Along the lake in Jackson Park on a summer night.

Best workout

I’m big on yoga. Yirser Ra Hotep is my instructor. He teaches a form called Kemetic Yoga both here and abroad.

App I use the most

Uber. I live on the South Side, and before Uber you couldn’t get a cab.

Words to live by

“It comes with relaxation.”

Whiskey & Gingerale candle

Whiskey & Gingerale candle by Chicago Candle Co.

“On a wintry day, it gives me the sense of being by the fireplace.”
$28, Market by Foxtrot, 2229 N. Clybourn Ave.
Photos: Courtesy of vendors




“I can talk on the phone, watch movies—they really kill time fantastically.”
$200, Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan Ave.


NikeLab tapered track pants

NikeLab tapered track pants

“Why go through life uncomfortable?”
$200, Nike, 669 N. Michigan Ave.


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