New Dance Partners.

New Dance Partners

September 27, 2013 - December 6, 2020 | In-Person and Virtual Events

Free


All performances were commissioned and premiered by the Midwest Trust Center at JCCC.


Sep. 27 and 28, 2013

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Kansas City Ballet

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

Autumn Eckman, Choreographer

Never Wake a Sleepwalker

Music selections from Alexandre Desplat, Ustad K.T. Kahn and Kronos Quartet

Dancers: Adriene Barber, Demetrius McClendon, Holly DeWitt, Katie Jenkins,

Melissa Tyler, Michael Tomlinson and Miyesha McGriff 

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen and Brad Cox, Artistic directors

KT Nelson, Choreographer

Lisa Choules, Costume designer

When the Landscape Falls Away

Music selections from cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud

Dancers: Mark Gieringer, Betty Kondo, Jennifer Owen, Preston Swovelin,

Latra Wilson and Jeff Wolfe

Kansas City Ballet

William Whitener, Artistic director

Jodie Gates, Choreographer

Keep Me Wishing in the Dark

Music selections from J.S. Bach

Dancers: Sarah Chun, Rachel Coats, Arielle Espie, Travis Guerin, Aisling Hill-Connor,

Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye, Nadia Iozzo, Geoffrey Kropp, Jill Marlow, Charles Martin,

Yoshiya Sakurai, Angelina Sansone, Tyler Savoie, Josh Spell

Burke Brown, Lighting designer

Michael Uthoff, Artistic advisor

Sep. 26 and 27, 2014

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Kansas City Ballet

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

Robert Moses, Choreographer

Laura Powell, Costume designer

The Heart Thieves

Music selections from Michael Manring

Dancers: Jessica Higgins, Alessandra Perdichizzi, Kevin Tate, Maleek Washington, Caroline Fogg (apprentice) and John Swapshire (apprentice)

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Artistic director

Penny Saunders, Choreographer

Lisa Choules, Costume designer

Ghost Light

Music selections from Alexandre Desplat, Mark Mothersbaugh, David Hirschfelder, Traffic Quintet and J.S. Bach

Dancers: Rachel Coats, Bob Deskins, Brett Taylor and Jeff Wolfe

Kansas City Ballet

Devon Carney, Artistic director

Amy Seiwert, Choreographer

Christine Darch, Costume designer

Concertino

Music selections from Arcangelo Corelli

Dancers: Sara Chun, Whitney Huell, Laura Hunt, Angeline Sansone, Michael Davis, Liang Fu, Travis Guerin and Geoffrey Kropp

Scott Bolman, Lighting designer

Michael Uthoff, Artistic advisor

2014 New Dance Partners film

Sep. 25 and 26, 2015

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Oklahoma City Ballet

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

Gregory Dawson, Choreographer

Laura Powell, Costume designer

twisted metal

Music by Damacio Payomo and Gregory Dawson

Dancers: Wilson “Dynamite” Brown, D.J. Duncan, Caroline Fogg, Kaylin Horgan and John Swapshire

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Artistic director

Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Choreographer

Lisa Choules, Costume designer

La Locura

Music by Henri de Bailly, Diego Ortiz, John Playford and Antonio de Cabezon, performed by Jordi Savall, Montserrat Figueras and Hespèrion XXI

Dancers: William Cannon, Betty Kondo, Felicia McBride, Demetrius McClendon and Dmitry Trubchanov

Oklahoma City Ballet

Robert Mills, Artistic director

Brian Enos, Choreographer

Dayna Brown, Costume designer

Speaking in Spheres

Music by Lera Auerbach, Johan Paul von Westhof and Gabriel Prokofev

Dancers: Seth Bradley, Daina Gingras, Amanda Herd-Popejoy, Miki Kawamura, Autumn Klein, Walker Martin, Alvin Tovstogray and Richard Walters

Burke Brown, Lighting designer

Michael Uthoff, Artistic advisor

Diane Bulan, Stage manager

2016

No program due to building remodel

No program due to building remodel

Sep. 22 and 23, 2017

Störling Dance Theater
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Kansas City Ballet
Event Website

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling Enna, Artistic director, choreographer, costume designer

Tobin James, Associate artistic director

Heather C. Gray, Choreographer

In perpetuum

Music by Ezio Bosso

Dancers: Emily Berger, Tiffany Best, Chelsea Brown, Sandra Cartensen, Ivy Ericson, Courtney Garrett, Rhiannon Grimes, Breann Lane, Caitlin Pettijohn, Jillian Sivewright, Alexandra Wilson and Jordan Wooten

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

DeeAnna Hiett, Co-artistic director

Jennifer Archibald, Choreographer and costume designer

an artist?

Music by Estas Tonne, Ben Frost; Voice: Marina Abramović

Dancers: Caroline Dahm, Sarah Frangenberg, Kaylin Horgan, Omar Román De Jesús and Gavin Stewart

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Artistic director

Kameron N. Saunders, Choreographer

Lisa Choules, Costume designer

Facade

Music by Franz Schubert; String Quartet in C Major, D. 956: II Adagio

Dancers: Darwin Black, Lloyd A. Boyd III, Megan Buckley, Felicia McBride and Emily Mushinski

Kansas City Ballet

Devon Carney, Artistic director

Matthew Neenan, Choreographer

Lisa Choules, Costume designer

The Uneven

Sections from Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, The Concerto Project Vol. IV

by Phillip Glass

Dancers: Danielle Bausinger, Kaleena Burks, Elysa Hotchkiss, Taryn Mejia, Emily Mistretta, Angelina Sansone, Sarah Joan Smith Humberto Rivera Blanco, Michael Davis, Charles Martin, Lamin Pereira dos Santos, Gustavo Ribeiro and Cameron Thomas

Burke Brown, Lighting designer nm

Michael Uthoff, Artistic advisor

Sep. 21 and 22, 2018

Owen/Cox Dance Group
Störling Dance Theater
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Kansas City Ballet
Event Website

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Artistic director

Darrell Grand Moultrie, Choreographer

Anastasia Rendina, Costume designer

Vibes to be Caught

Music by Duke Ellington; Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart; Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton; Quincy Jones and Juan Tizol

Dancers: Megan Buckley, Yazzmeen Laidler, Charles Martin, Felicia McBride, Demetrius McClendon and Christopher Page-Sanders

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling Enna, Artistic director and choreographer

Lauri Stallings, Choreographer

Margaret Ann Dinkins, Fashion designer

Silent Dance #5

Dancers: Emily Berger, Tiffany Best, Chelsea Brown, Sandra Cartensen, Ivy Ericson, Courtney Garrett, Rhiannon Grimes, Breann Lane, Caitlin Pettijohn, Jillian Sivewright, Alexandra Wilson and Jordan Wooten

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

DeeAnna Hiett, Co-artistic director

Christian Denice, Choreographer

Christian Denice and Laura Powell, Costume designers

Fragment

Music by Kyrie and Pater Noster (Gregorian Chants); “Autohoaxer” and “We Must Repeat” by The Black Dog; “183 Times” by Greg Haines; music arranged by Christian Denice

Dancers: Caroline Dahm, Sarah Frangenberg, Kaylin Horgan, Martell Ruffin, Gavin Stewart

Kansas City Ballet

Devon Carney, Artistic director

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Choreographer

Susan Roemer, Costume designer

Tulips and lobster

Music by Purcell, Albinoni, Lambert, Locatelli and Vivaldi

Dancers: Kaleena Burks, Lilliana Hagerman, Taryn Mejia, Emily Mistretta, Liang Fu, Enrico Hipolito, Javier Morales, Lamin Pereira dos Santos, James Kirby Rogers and Cameron Thomas

Burke Brown, Lighting designer

Michael Uthoff, Artistic adviser

Sep. 27 and 28, 2019

Störling Dance Theater
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Kansas City Ballet
Event Website

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling-Enna, Artistic director and choreographer

Catherine Meredith, Choreographer

Mona Störling-Enna, Costume designer

Fly Girls

Music by Josephine Baker and Dinah Washington with Max Richter (Audio recordings: Amelia Earhart and Louise Thaden)

Dancers: Tiffany Best, Alex Smith, Ivy EuDaly, Heidi Loubser, Laura Fiatte, Ashley Moehlenhof, Alexandra Wilson

The Ninety-Nines

Dancers: Emmi Aldridge, Brigitte Benyei, Rhiannon Grimes, Rachel Johnson, Danielle Palomino, Caitlyn Pettijohn, Brianna Wheeler and Andrea Wolfe

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Artistic director

Gregory Dolbashian, Choreographer and music

Hollie Hermes, Costume designer

Assembly

Music, composition and arrangement by Gregory Dolbashian (featuring samples from Loscil and Peter Martinez)

Dancers: Elysa Hotchkiss, Emily Mushinski, Laura Jones Wallner, Michael Davis, Demetrius McClendon and Christopher Page-Sanders

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

DeeAnna Heitt, Co-artistic director

Frank Chaves, Choreographer and costume designer

Silently Screaming

Music: “Autumn Day” by Ólafur Arnalds; “Porz Goret” by Yann Tiersen; “Market Diktat Song” by Jean-Phillipe Goude

Dancers: Caroline Dahm, Kaylin Horgan, Tristian Griffin, Trey Johnson, Kelsey Matsch and John Swapshire

Kansas City Ballet

Devon Carney, Artistic director

Myles Thatcher, Choreographer

Susan Roemer, Costume designer

Umbra

Music by Marc Mellits, New Music Detroit and Scanner

Dancers: Kaleena Burks, Emily Mistretta, Courtney Nitting, Marisa DeEtte Whiteman, Gavin Abercrombie, Lamin Pereira, James Kirby Rogers and Cameron Thomas

Burke Brown, Lighting designer

Michael Uthoff, Artistic adviser

Sep. 18 – 21, 2020 New Dance Partners: The Virtual Retrospective

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Störling Dance Theater
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Kansas City Ballet
Event Website

Four choreographers and four local dance companies look back on past premieres of works in contemporary and modern dance. All were commissioned and premiered by the Midwest Trust Center at JCCC.

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

Robert Moses, Choreographer

The Heart Thieves (2014)

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling-Enna, Artistic director and choreographer

Catherine Meredith, Choreographer

Fly Girls (2019)

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Founder and artistic director

Gregory Dolbashian, Choreographer and composer

Assembly (2019)

The Kansas City Ballet

Devon Carney, Artistic director

Matthew Neenan, Choreographer

The Uneven (2017)

2020 New Dance Partners film

The original film showcases four local dance companies who participated in New Dance Partners over the years. It also shines the spotlight on each company’s artistic director and showcases the choreographer who worked with them with interviews conducted during the “pandemic pause” by Michael Uthoff, New Dance Partners’ Artistic Advisor and Artistic Director of Dance St. Louis.

Dec. 4 – 6, 2020 New Dance Partners: The Ultimate Collaboration

Owen/Cox Dance Group
Störling Dance Theater
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company
Ensemble Iberica and Melinda Hedgecorth
Event Website

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Jennifer Owen, Founder and artistic director

Caili Quan, Choreographer

Keeping Time

Music by Stacy Busch, Inward Findings; New Zealand; and Hope for You

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling-Enna, Artistic director and founder

Rosie Herrera, Choreographer

Maria

Music by Buffalo Brown

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Mary Pat Henry, Artistic director

Micaela Taylor, Choreographer

bts

Music by Pan Sonic, Samuel Barber, sound effects composed by Micaela Taylor

Ensemble Iberica and Melinda Hedgecorth

Julia Hinojosa, Choreographer

Tal como eres (just as you are)

Music by Beau Bledsoe, performed by Ensemble Ibérica

Dancers: Melinda Hedgecorth (Kansas City)

Other Artistic Contributors

Michael Uthoff, Artistic Advisor, New Dance Partners
Burke Brown, Lighting Design

2020 New Dance Partners film

Kansas City Ballet

Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet is a 30-member professional ballet company under the leadership of Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. The company’s mission is to establish the company as an indispensable asset in the community through exceptional performances, excellence in dance training and quality community education programs for all ages.

The ballet is home to Kansas City Ballet School, which offers professional training to more than 2,000 students. Through the professional company, second company (KCB II and Trainees) and community service programs such as Reach Out and Dance (ROAD), the ballet seeks to nurture and develop artists, audiences and students in values inherent in the creativity, diversity and joy of dance. The ballet’s home is the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity. Their resident company status at the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has positioned Kansas City as a destination for dance.

Owen/Cox Dance Group

Owen/Cox Dance Group’s mission is to create new music and dance collaborations, present high-quality contemporary dance performances with live music, and to engage a wide audience through affordable live performance, education and outreach programs. Founders Jennifer Owen and Brad Cox bring together some of Kansas City’s most talented artists to perform contemporary dance with live music. With diverse backgrounds ranging from the Bolshoi Ballet and Leningrad Chamber Orchestra to Alvin Ailey and Dave Brubeck, these dancers and musicians form a highly skilled and multifaceted corps. The collaborative results speak for themselves: fresh and vibrant new works that are classical in form but contemporary in expression.

Oklahoma City Ballet

Since its founding in 1972, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city’s professional ballet company, boasting talented dancers from around the world. As the resident dance company of the Civic Center Music Hall, the company produces four main-stage productions per season in Oklahoma City in addition to touring across Oklahoma and surrounding states. Oklahoma City Ballet also offers dance classes for all ages and skill levels through The Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School as well as multiple community engagement programs to encourage artistry and athleticism in students across the state.

Störling Dance Theater

Mona Störling-Enna moved to Kansas City in 1995 to launch her vision of a dance company made up of diversely skilled artists. With beauty and story as her skillset, Enna and her background in dance, painting and design, set out to enrich the community with stories and visions that would inspire others with specific concepts of relationships, community and hope. The company is housed at The Culture House in Olathe, where its Conservatory of the Arts welcomes more than 800 students per week to study dance, theater, music and art from Kansas City’s top professionals.

Störling Dance Theater’s first major work, “The Prodigal Daughter,” premiered at the Kansas City Lyric Opera in 2001 and was chosen as one of the top 15 productions for the year by The Kansas City Star. Besides a collection of beautiful repertory work, Störling Dance Theater became known for its narrative works, including “Sower,” “Butterfly,” “Her Last Prayer” and “Suspended Grace.”

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

The Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company has been hailed as one of the most exciting and captivating troupes in the Midwest. Wylliams/Henry has been spotlighted in Dance Magazine’s critic’s choice issue of “favorite picks across America” and in the National Endowment for the Arts 2008 Report. Presented by the company each season are works by internationally acclaimed choreographers such as David Parsons, Dwight Rhoden, Donald McKayle and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, as well as classics by some of the 20th century’s greatest masters such as José Limón, Hanya Holm and Anna Sokolow.

New works expressing important social issues from the Holocaust to racism are a hallmark of the company. Performances provoke thought and speak to the human spirit. WHCDC is known for its beautiful, athletic style in a repertory ranging from the lyrical to the avant-garde. The troupe uses conventional and nontraditional spaces – often in partnership with community organizations – to introduce contemporary dance to new audiences. Wylliams/ Henry connects with a broad spectrum of individuals in both urban and rural communities, while presenting the most powerful and uplifting works from the rich archive of American modern dance.

Wylliams/Henry is proud to call Kansas City home and is honored to be artists-in-residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. The company has been honored by acceptance to the artist touring roster of the Missouri Arts Council, as well as the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Mid-America Arts Alliance touring programs.

Michael Uthoff, Artistic and Executive Director, Dance St. Louis
Artistic Advisor for New Dance Partners

Michael Uthoff

Michael Uthoff, internationally renowned artistic director, choreographer, teacher and dancer, assumed the post of artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis on July 1, 2006. He was born in Santiago, Chile, to former dancers Ernst Uthoff and Lola Botka, both members of the Jooss Ballet and founders of the Chilean National Ballet. He started dancing after high school and a year later, arrived in New York to attend the Juilliard School of Music, School of American Ballet and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He danced with the José Limón Company and was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. In 1972, Uthoff established the Hartford Ballet in Connecticut. For the next 20 years, as artistic director, he developed the company into a national institution that toured throughout the U.S. He commissioned works by new and established choreographers and created more than 100 ballets for the company. In 1992, he became artistic director of Ballet Arizona, a post he held until 1999.

From the time he created his first dance for the Joffrey Ballet in 1967, his ballets have entered the repertory of companies across the world. His large-scale works include “The Nutcracker,” “Coppelia,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Awakening,” “Dias de Muertos” and “Romeo and Juliet.” He has directed opera and choreographed for opera companies internationally and has served on the Board of Dance/USA and panels of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Uthoff’s career as guest teacher, choreographer and artistic advisor includes the government of Chile, Shanghai Ballet of China, California Ballet of San Diego, Portland Opera Performing Institute, Andanza Dance Company of Puerto Rico, Ballet Estable of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his own Michael Uthoff Dance Theatre, which premiered in 2003.

In January 2012, he received the prestigious Excellence in the Arts award from the Arts & Education Council in St. Louis. Uthoff also received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and he holds an honorary laureate degree from Saint Joseph College in Hartford. He received the Chilean North American Institute’s Distincción Ernst Uthoff Award for his distinguished 40-year career and outstanding contributions to dance. Uthoff continues to choreograph and teach nationally and internationally.

Choreographers

Jennifer Archibald (2017-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Jennifer Archibald

Jennifer Archibald is the founder and artistic director of the Arch Dance Company and program director of ArchCore40 dance intensives. She is a graduate of The Alvin Ailey School and the Maggie Flanigan Acting Conservatory, where she studied the Meisner Technique. Archibald has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Ailey II, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet II, Ballet Nashville and worked commercially for Tommy Hilfger, NIKE and MAC Cosmetics, as well as chart-listed singers and actors. She was recently appointed as the first female resident choreographer in Cincinnati Ballets’ 40-year history.

Archibald’s works have been performed at New York’s City Center, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Aaron Davis Hall, Jacob’s Pillow Inside|Out Stage and Central Park’s Summerstage Mainstage. In 2013, she was awarded a Choreographic Fellow for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle. She also is Joffrey Ballet’s 2015 Choreographic Winnings recipient. She also choreographed “Seven,” a biographical work about Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, commissioned by St. Louis-based MADCO Dance Company.

In 2015, she was appointed as guest faculty lecturer to develop the Hip-Hop dance curriculum at Columbia/Barnard College. She’s also been a guest artist at Fordham/Ailey, Purchase College, Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of South Florida, Goucher College, Columbia College Chicago and Bates College. She also was an acting lecturer at the Yale School of Drama.

Frank Chaves (2019-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Frank Chaves

After 23 years as artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, Chaves retired in December 2015. He produced more than 20 original works for the company. He credits his early experience as a musician and his Cuban heritage for his work’s musicality and passion. His past work, mostly jazz and contemporary, required considerable ballet technique.

As a performer, he danced with Ballet Concerto of Miami, New York’s Ballet Hispanico, Giordano Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where he worked with choreographers Twyla Tharp, Margo Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Parsons and Lou Conte. In 2000 – in honor of the company’s 10th anniversary – he received a Ruth Page Dance Achievement Award for Mission, co-created with Sherry Zunker, co-artistic director emerita of River North. He was also recognized with a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation for Tuscan Rift. He was named “Chicagoan of Year in Dance” by The Chicago Tribune in 2014.

For more than 10 years he dealt with a degenerative spinal cord disease, syringomyelia, which has no known cause and no known cure. After his second surgery in 2010, things deteriorated quickly and he ended up in a wheelchair indefinitely. He says the one thing the disease cannot take away is his imagination and that as he has that and music, he can continue to create.

Gregory Dawson (2015-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Gregory Dawson

This former Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer received a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College. In 2007, he formed dawsondancesf (DDSF) as an outlet for his choreographic goals and vision. Shortly after, he created “Which Light in the Sky is Us” for Company Contemporary Ballet (nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for choreography) and became the assistant director of the California State Summer School of the Arts’ dance department in Southern California.

In the fall 2011, Dawson became artistic director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project (formerly David Taylor Dance), where the Denver Post named him “the best choreographer in Denver.” Soon after, he received a CHIME grant that partnered him with choreographic mentor Elizabeth Streb for one year. In 2013, DDSF re-established its presence in San Francisco with the world premiere of “fabbrica materasso d’argento” at Zaccho Dance Theatre.

Dawson created “birds eye view,” (a collaboration with the Richard Howell Quintet) for the 2014 Black Choreographers Festival, which received an Isadora Duncan Award in 2015. Also, ddsf presented “MONOCHROME” at the BAN7 Festival 2014 in San Francisco. The Zellerbach Foundation funded ddsf-premiered work intrinsic motion project, and in 2015, ddsf completed a five-week residency at California State Summer School for the Arts summer intensive at Cal Arts, where Dawson was assistant to the chair. That spring, ddsf premiered “Intima,” produced by Al’myra Communication, which collaborated with Ali Kaaf on visuals and Ashraf Kateb on music. 

dawsondancesf made its debut in New York City in the Fall of 2014 at Baruch College. Dawson continues to teach and choreograph for all the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Educational Programs.

Christian Denice (2018-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Christian Denice

Christian Denice’s professional dance experience includes Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago, Company E, Montgomery Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC and BJM Danse in Montreal, Quebec. Denice teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago HS Pro program, Lou Conte Dance Center and Visceral Dance Center.

He is the contemporary instructor for the Joffrey Ballet Trainee program and has created new works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, the Chicago High School for the Arts, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, METdance Houston, and Modern America Dance Company.

Denice is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida’s Echo Choreographic Competition and the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy’s Winning Works Choreographic competition. He dances for a Chicago-based project company, the Cambrians. In April 2016, he directed and choreographed a short dance film entitled “The Watchers,” filmed by Salt Lake City-based videographer Bryce Johnson.

Gregory Dolbashian (2019-Owens/Cox Dance Group)

Gregory Dolbashian

Gregory Dolbashian was born and raised in New York City. He made his professional stage debut at age 8 with the Glimmerglass Opera Company and in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of “Einstein on the Beach.” He received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance.

Dolbashian debuted his company, The DASH Ensemble, in December 2010 at The JOYCE SoHo. The company has gone on to perform at The JOYCE Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Guggenheim Works and Process Series, Central Park Summer Stage and Jacob’s Pillow, as well as toured across the U.S. Awards include winner of The Pretty Creatives Competition for Northwest Dance Project and The Hubbard Street 2 International Choreographic Competition, second place in Ballet Austin’s New American Talent competition, the audience prize at DanceNOW at Joe’s Pub in 2014 and again in 2017. Company commissions include Atlanta Ballet, TU Dance in Minnesota, Zenon Dance Company, Ballet Austin, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, St. Louis Ballet, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Dallas, Northwest Dance Project in Portland, Oregon, Dance Ethos in Pennsylvania and for St. Louis Ballet.

Dolbashian has received commissions from American Dance Festival as a featured choreographer in The Footprints program and the City of New York. He has created multiple works for principals and soloists nationally and internationally, including Jefrey Cirio, Daniil Simkin and Hee Seo. College commissions include the Juilliard School, NYU Tisch, SUNY Purchase, DeSales University, The Hartt School, Point Park, Fordham/Ailey, Long Island University, University of Hawaii, Florida Southern College and James Madison University. Dolbashian teaches workshops and creates work all over the country at competitive studios and professional training programs that include LINES Ballet, E.M.I.A, Mid Pacific Institute, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and MOVENYC.

As a soloist and performer, Dolbashian has performed in multiple DASH repertory shows. His solo work was also presented at American Dance Festival in his one-man show, “Awkward Magic” In addition to his choreography, Dolbashian, alongside fellow choreographer Loni Landon, is the co-founder of “The PlaygroundNYC,” a choreographic initiative that was voted “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine.

Autumn Eckman (2013-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Autumn Eckman

Autumn Eckman is assistant artistic director and resident choreographer of Giordano Dance Chicago. She received her classical training from the Houston Ballet Academy under Clara Cravey and Steve Brulee, and from the late Tom Pazik of the Atlanta Ballet. In 2000, Eckman began her performance career as a Giordano company member in Chicago. She has also danced with companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ron De Jesus Dance, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Lucky Plush Productions, State Street Ballet (Santa Barbara) and the Cangelosi Dance Project.

Eckman has created several works for the Giordano main and second companies and has been commissioned by Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Illinois University, KRESA, State Street Ballet, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, State Street Ballet, Contemporary Dance South, Inaside Chicago Dance, Momenta, NoMi LaMad and the Vittaca Dance Project.

She was awarded Dance Chicago’s “New Artistic Voice” in 2009 and named a “Standout Choreographer” in the Chicago Tribune in 2010. She’s also dedicated to training dancers in ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary dance and has been a full-time dance instructor at Northern Illinois University. She is also on faculty at several Chicagoland area studios. She has recently been a guest at the Florida Dance Festival, State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara and Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Washington, and the guest jazz instructor at the Bates Dance Festival in Maine.

Brian Enos (2015-Oklahoma City Ballet)

Brian Enos

Originally from San Francisco, Brian Enos is the artistic director of The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, and has been choreographing since age 14. When he was just 18, and still a student in the Houston Ballet Academy, he was invited by artistic director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., to create his first work for The Houston Ballet. He has gone on to create works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Met, Nashville Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet and DanceWorks Chicago, among others.

Enos was named “Best up and coming choreographer” by the Houston Press and was also a winner of the annual Hubbard Street 2 International Choreographic Competition. As a dancer, he spent several years performing with The Houston Ballet before embarking on an eight-year career as a dancer and choreographer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Through his choreography, Enos hopes to inspire and entertain audiences, as well as the beautiful and dedicated dancers he is so fortunate to work with every day in the studio.

Jodie Gates (2013-Kansas City Ballet)

Jodie Gates

Jodie Gates is a woman with incredible performing experience who brings to her own creations the power of all those who touched her as an artist. Her vision will make you discover the dancers of Kansas City Ballet as you have never seen them.

Jodie Gates has had a remarkably wide-ranging career as an innovative choreographer, director, educator, producer and dancer. She is recognized as a leader in the dance field for her choreographic work for professional companies, the creation of the Laguna Dance Festival and for directing educational programs at the university level. Gates has most recently been named the director and vice dean for the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in Los Angeles.

She has established herself among the elite in neoclassical dance choreography, creating more than 40 works over the past decade. Characterized by vivid articulation of balletic vocabulary, rich musicality and a warm sense of humanity, her work has been called “visually compelling, powerful, beautiful,” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “richly textured and profound” by the Orange County Register. American Ballet Theatre has recognized Gates for her choreographic excellence after being named the Altria/ABT Fellow; she is a 2012 recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works (NEW) Program for her ballet “Embellish” and has been honored by the American Association of University Women for her achievement in the arts. She has recently created new choreographic works for the Staatsballett Berlin in Germany, Ballet West, Colorado Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, American Ballet Theatre II, CorbinDances, BalletX, The Juilliard School, Washington Ballet and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

Gates has toured internationally as a choreographer, master teacher and dancer. She has danced as a principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and as an international guest artist. Gates has been a featured artist in television programs from the PBS Great Performances series and can be seen on video as the principal performer in “Billboards,” the Joffrey Ballet’s rock-ballet by the musical artist Prince. Gates has been highlighted as a principal ballerina on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, and invited to dance at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration and as a principal performer at several international festivals and television events.

She is responsible for teaching, staging and producing William Forsythe’s ballets worldwide, including productions at the Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Zurich Opera Ballet, La Scala, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. She is also a guest master teacher for professional dance companies internationally and is a Professor of Dance at the University of Southern California.

Gates is the proud founder and artistic director of the award-winning Laguna Dance Festival, based in Southern California. This non-profit organization has received national attention from Smithsonian Magazine, Pointe Magazine and Dance Magazine. The festival serves the community by offering diverse educational opportunities and presenting performances at venues throughout Laguna Beach.

Heather C. Gray (2017-Störling Dance Theater)

Heather C. Gray

Heather Gray began her early training with Jacqueline’s School of Ballet under the direction of Jacqueline College. She later studied on scholarship with The San Francisco Ballet School. During her training, she was invited to become a member of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Holland. She performed many works from renowned artists such as Marius Petipa, Frederick Ashton, William Forsythe, Hans Van Mannen, Rudi van Danzig, Krystoph Pastor and Ted Brandson. Most of Gray’s professional career was spent performing Principal and Soloist roles in Contemporary and Classical Repertoire. Gray then joined Ballet West as a Soloist under the direction of Jonas Kage. One of the highlights of her career was dancing the pas de deux in William Forsythe’s “Artifact.”

Following her career with Ballet West, Gray joined Alonzo King Lines Ballet, where she toured Africa and Asia with the company. One of her projects includes a newly commissioned work for the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Through 2013, her choreographic works won high honors at the Regional Dance America Festival and were selected for the National Choreographic Plan. Gray also was selected as the outstanding choreographer for the Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competitions in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2016. In 2017, she was awarded Outstanding Teacher.

Rosie Herrera (2020-Störling Dance Theater)

Rosie Herrera

Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in Miami. She is a graduate from New World School with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has been commissioned by The Miami Light Project, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Hispanico, Jose Limon Dance Company, Moving Ground Dance Theater, Houston Met Dance, New World Symphony and the American Dance Festival (ADF) in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018. Her company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, has been presented by the Northrop Dance Series, New World Symphony, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami Light Project, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Texas A & M University, Duncan Theater, The Annenberg Center, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Dance Place, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, The Yard at Martha’s Vineyard, Alys Stephens Center, Wilson Center at Cape Fear University, The Rialto Center, Gotham Dance at Skirball and Focus Dance at The Joyce as well as by The American Dance Festival at the Joyce NYC in 2016 and 2018.

Rosie is also a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano and performs with the Performers Music Institute Opera Ensemble as well as works as an independent director and creative consultant throughout Miami. With over a decade of experience in both dance and cabaret, she has collaborated on productions with Walter Mercado, Pig Iron Theater, The South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, New World School of the Arts, The University of Central Florida, Six Floor Ensemble, Zoetic Stage and the New World Symphony as well as with the interdisciplinary performance ensemble/avant-garde cabaret Circ X. She has also collaborated with filmmakers Adam Reign, Lucas Leyva, Jonathon David Kane, George Echevarria and Clyde Scott to create original short films and music videos.

Rosie is a 2016 USArtist Sarah Arison Choreographic Fellow, a 2010 and 2018 MANCC choreographic fellow, a 2014 Bates Dance Festival Artist in residence, a 2016 Bessie Schoenberg Fellow and a 2011 and 2016 Miami Dance Fellow. She was awarded a Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship for her work with Ballet Hispanico in 2013.

Julia Hinojosa (2020-Ensemble Iberica and Melinda Hedgecorth)

Julia Hinojosa

Julia Hinojosa is a contemporary Spanish dancer and choreographer from Chicago, Illinois, whose work is rooted in cultural tradition and identity. She is the Principal Dancer of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Español Youth Company.

Julia is an honor graduate from Northeastern Illinois University with an Associate Degree in Dance. In 2010 she earned a master’s degree in Arts Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago. She began her formal dance training in 2000 with Dame Libby Komaiko at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). Additionally, she studied in Madrid, Spain at the Amor de Dios Flamenco Dance Academy and trained extensively with artists Carlos Rodriguez, Jose Barrios, Paloma Gomez, Raquel Gomez, Juan Mata, Ana Gonzalez, and Carmela Greco, to name a few.

In 2013, she made her choreography debut at the Chicago Dancing Festival’s The Art of the Solo show held at the Museum of Contemporary Art which featured her original work "Ensueños de mi Caribe." Her works have also been presented at Old Town School of Folk Music, Taste of Chicago, Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, and on tour to cities in Florida, Pennsylvania, and throughout cities in China.

As a performer, Julia has executed lead roles in Ensemble Español repertoire such as "Nuevamente Vivir," choreographed by Paloma Gomez, and in Ron De Jesus’ "Mil Clavos" in 2014. She has performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Dance for Life, Going Dutch Festival as well as nationally and internationally in Poland, China, and Spain as a dancer with Ensemble Español.

Catherine Meredith (2019- Störling Dance Theater)

Catherine Meredith

Catherine Meredith’s work has been commissioned by Santa Monica College, Mercyhurst University, Kent State University, The University of Akron, Ohio Northern University, Verb Ballets and the Dancing Wheels Company and presented at The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), AVAYAVA Festival (India), American Dance Guild (New York City), White Wave DUMBO Dance Festival, TED Talks, Dance St. Louis, HATCH Series at Jennifer Muller/The Works, Playhouse Square, Cain Park, Ohio Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pavilion-Nautica and at The American Dance Festival (North Carolina).

Throughout her performing career, Meredith has worked in television, film, musical theater and on the concert dance stage touring nationally and internationally with Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, Verb Ballets, Karen Reedy Dance Company and The Glue Factory (Corningworks). She has performed in works by Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Talley Beatty, Paul Taylor, David Rousseve, David Parsons, Shapiro & Smith, Beth Corning and Hernando Cortez, with principal roles in Heinz Poll’s “Bolero,” Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring,” Ulysses Dove’s “Vespers” and Dianne McIntyre’s “In the Groove and Over the Top.”

She has been on faculty at Slippery Rock University, Joffrey Ballet (New York City), Brooklyn Music School, Pineapple Studios (United Kingdom) and Cuyahoga Community College. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the American Dance Festival/Hollins University and is a board member of OhioDance.

Robert Moses (2014-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Robert Moses

Since founding Robert Moses’ Kin in 1995 in San Francisco, choreographer Robert Moses has created numerous works of varying styles and genres for his highly praised dance company. His work explores topics ranging from oral traditions in African-American culture (“Word of Mouth,” 2002), the life, times, and work of author James Baldwin (“Biography of Baldwin,” 2003) and the dark side of contemporary urban culture (“Cause,” 2004), to the nuanced complexities of parentage and identity (“The Cinderella Principle,” 2010) and the simple joys of the expressive power of pure movement (“Toward September,” 2009).

Moses has worked collaboratively with numerous artists and organizations, among them Julia Adam, Margaret Jenkins, Alonzo King, Sara Shelton Mann, Joanna Haigood, SoVoSo, Marcus Shelby, Keith Terry, Frank Boehm, Will Power, Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble, Bill Morrison, Ann Galjour, David Worm, Kid Beyond and Youth Speaks. Since 2008, he has composed original scores for several of his dances. In addition to his work with Robert Moses’ Kin, he has choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey 2, San Francisco Opera, Philadanco, Cincinnati Ballet, Eco Arts, Transitions Dance Company of the Laban Center in London, African Cultural Exchange (UK), Bare Bones (UK), Oakland Ballet, Moving People Dance and Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company.

He also has choreographed for film, theater and opera, with major productions for the Lorraine Hansberry Theater, New Conservatory Theater, Los Angeles Prime Moves Festival (L.A.C.E.) and Olympic Arts Festival. Since 2005, Moses has been Artist-in-Residence and Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University, where he has been on the dance faculty since 1995. Moses has been a returning guest artist at the Northwest Dance Project and a mentor with Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME). He conducts movement and performance workshops internationally for artists of African descent with State of Emergency Limited in the United Kingdom.

Darrell Grand Moultrie (2018-Owens/Cox Dance Group)

Darrell Grand Moultrie

Darrell Grand Moultrie is one of America’s most diverse and sought-after choreographers and master teachers. A recipient of a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, he is one of the few choreographers working in the theatre, modern, ballet and commercial dance genres simultaneously. Moultrie has created and staged multiple works for The Juilliard School, Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Ailey 2, Sacramento Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Tulsa Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Smuin Ballet. He has taught and choreographed at The Ailey School B.F.A at. Fordham, Point Park University, CalArts, New York University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College and Boston Conservatory.

Grammy Award-winning recording artist Beyoncé selected Moultrie as one of her choreographers for her “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour. He also has collaborated with Tony Award winners Savion Glover and director Diane Paulus, who tapped Moultrie to choreograph the original musical “Witness Uganda” at the American Repertory Theater. He choreographed the new “Opera El Publico” by Federico Lorca at the world-famous Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain. He also co-choreographed the new Off-Broadway musical “Invisible Thread.”

As a performer, Moultrie was in West Side Story in Milan, Italy, at the world famous La Scala Opera House. He has also appeared on Broadway in the smash hit musical “Hairspray” and was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning musical “Billy Elliot.” Moultrie is a proud New Yorker, born and raised in Harlem, and a proud graduate of P.S. 144, Laguardia High School, and The Juilliard School.

Matthew Neenan (2017-Kansas City Ballet)

Matthew Neenan

Matthew Neenan began his dance training at the Boston Ballet School with noted teachers Nan C. Keating and Jacqueline Cronsberg. He later attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York. From 1994-2007, Neenan danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet in numerous principal roles in the classical, contemporary and Balanchine repertoire. In October 2007, Neenan was named Choreographer-in-Residence at the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Neenan’s choreography has been featured and performed by the Pennsylvania Ballet (totaling 17 commissions), BalletX, The Washington Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Met, Colorado Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Milwaukee Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet (OKC Ballet), Juilliard Dance, among many others. He has received numerous awards and grants for his choreography from the National Endowment of the Arts, Dance Advance funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Choo San Goh Foundation, and the Independence Foundation. In 2006, Neenan received the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute’s Fellowship Initiative Award.

In 2008, he received a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, marking his fourth time to receive the PCA fellowship. In October 2009, Neenan was the grand-prize winner of Sacramento Ballet’s Capital Choreography Competition and was also the first recipient of the Jerome Robbins NEW Program Fellowship for his work, “At the Border,” for Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2005, Matthew co-founded BalletX with fellow dancer Christine Cox. BalletX had its world premiere at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival in September 2005 and is now the resident dance company at the prestigious Wilma Theatre.

KT Nelson (2013-Owen/Cox Dance Group)

KT Nelson

KT Nelson, artistic director for (formerly) Oberlin Dance Company, joined the company in 1976. Nelson has choreographed more than 60 works. In 1986, she choreographed and directed the company’s first full-length family ballet, “The Velveteen Rabbit,” which has since been performed annually in the Bay area as well as toured nationwide, reaching an audience of more than 350,000.

Nelson has been awarded the Isadora Duncan award four times – in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 and 2012 for Outstanding Choreography and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Her collaborators have included Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Hoyle, Kim Turos, Gina Leishman, Shinichi lova-Koga, Max Chen, Zap Mama, Barry Steele and Marcelo Zarvos. In 2008, her work “RingRounRozi,” in collaboration with French-Canadian composer, Linda Bouchard, was selected to be performed at the Tanzmessa International Dance Festival. In 2009, Nelson was one of three artists selected for Austin Ballet’s New American Talent Competition. In 2012, she created new work for Western Michigan University as part of its Great Works Dance Project.

In addition to her work as a choreographer, Nelson served on the Zellerback Community Arts Panel from 2005 – 2011, ran the summer dance department for Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University 2003 – 2006, founded the ODC Dance Jam (youth dance company) in 1997, and partners with Brenda Way directing the ODC Dance Company. Nelson has been awarded the Daisy Award and the California Educators Artists Award. Over the last 25 years, she has played a major role in defining and implementing ODC’s ongoing as well as project-based outreach programs. She has mentored with the Margaret Jenkins Chime Project and continues to mentor emerging artists in the Bay area and abroad.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (2018-Kansas City Ballet)

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

The Colombian-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has been active as a choreographer since 2003. In that same year, she was hailed “rising star of the Dutch dance scene” (NRC newspaper) and only seven years later, the Temecula Performing Arts Examiner wrote: “Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry.”

Ochoa has carved for herself the position of an award-winning and sought-after choreographer who has created works for more than 50 companies around the globe, such as the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Dutch National Ballet, Djazzex, Ballet de Genève, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gothenburg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, BJM-Danse Montreal, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ballet National de Marseille, Saarbrucken Ballet, Jacoby & Pronk, Chemnitzer Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Morphoses Wheeldon Company, Whim W’Him, IncolBallet de Colombia, Finnish National Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza Madrid, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Nacional Dominicano, Ballet Saarbrucken, Augsburg Ballet, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ballet Moscow, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, West Australian Ballet, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Ballet Nacional Chileno, Ballet Staatstheater am Gartnerplatz Munchen, Ballet Manila, Daniil Simkin Intensio Project, 59°North Stockholm, Cincinnati Ballet, Silicon Valley Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, English National Ballet, Ballet Black, Tulsa Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Estonian National Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Ashley Bouder Project and Dance Theater of Harlem.

Among the honors her work has received; “Broken Wings,” created for English National Ballet was named one of 2016’s best premieres by Dance Europe and other newspapers; and was nominated for a Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

Caili Quan (2020-Owen/Cox Dance Group)

Caili Quan

Raised on Guam, trained in New York, and a dancer with BalletX since 2013, Caili has choreographed for BalletX, konverjdans, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, DanceWorks Chicago’s ChoreoLab, CelloPointe, and St. Paul’s School. With BalletX, she has performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Penny Saunders, and Trey McIntyre and danced at Jacob’s Pillow, Vail Dance Festival, Central Park SummerStage, Belgrade Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater, and the Kennedy Center during DEMO by Damian Woetzel. Her duet Fancy Me was performed at the Vail Dance Festival in 2018. She served as an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU in Summer 2019. Caili choreographed and edited a short dance film 100 Days, a virtual commission for The Guggenheim’s Works & Process. This summer she choreographed Love letter, a dance film inspired by Guam’s culture and people for BalletX’s virtual platform, BalletX Beyond.

Kameron N. Saunders (2017-Owen/Cox Dance Group)

Kameron N. Saunders

Kameron N. Saunders is a graduate of UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. He graduated from Metro Academic & Classical High School while doing his dance training at COCA (Center of Creative Arts). There he studied ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop and choreography as a part of their Pre-Professional Program. His performance experience includes UMKC’s Conservatory, Webster University and two of COCA’s student dance companies. Suanders is currently a principal dancer with Afriky Lolo, a West-African dance company in St. Louis under the direction of Diadie Bathily. He has also performed as a guest artist with Störling Dance Theater in Kansas City.

Saunders has worked with renowned artists such as Alicia Graf Mack, Anthony Redd Williams, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Sally Bliss, Christine O’Neal, Kirk Peterson, Michael Uthoff, Jon Lehrer, Kate Skarpetowska, Kirven J. Douthit-Boyd, Edgar Anido, Ray Mercer, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Gary Abbott, DeeAnna Hiett, Lara Teeter, Lee Nolting, Frank Chaves, and Ron K. Brown. He has choreographed for UMKC, Washington University, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, MADCO, and COCA. Kameron has presented several of his works at festivals including Modern Night at the Folly in Kansas City, APAP in New York City, Spring to Dance in St. Louis, and Deeply Rooted Dance Company’s Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase in Chicago.

Penny Saunders (2014-Owen/Cox Dance Group)

Penny Saunders

Penny Saunders graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995. Later that same year, she began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet while continuing to train with Elisabeth Carroll. Saunders made her way out west in 1999 to join Ballet Arizona, where she continued to dance the traditional ballets as well as many neoclassical and contemporary works. Saunders was introduced to Moses Pendleton in 2001, which led her to tour extensively with MOMIX Dance Theater for the next two years before moving on to New York City in 2003, where she became a founding member of Cedar Lake Ensemble.

In 2004, Saunders joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where she danced to works by Jirí Kylián, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Bruce, Doug Varone, Aszure Barton and Alejandro Cerrudo, among many others. It was during this time in Chicago that Penny began to pursue her choreographic interests by participating in the company’s annual Inside Out choreographic workshop. In 2011, Saunders won the National Choreographic Competition that gave her the opportunity to create a piece for Hubbard Street’s second company. Before her departure from Chicago, Saunders premiered a new work on Hubbard Street’s main company.

Amy Seiwert (2014-Kansas City Ballet)

Amy Seiwert

Amy Seiwart enjoyed a 19-year performing career dancing with the Smuin, LA Chamber and Sacramento Ballets. As a dancer with Smuin Ballet, she became involved with the “Protégé Program,” where her choreography was mentored by the late Michael Smuin, and she became Choreographer-in-Residence there upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. Her work is in the repertory of Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Smuin, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville and American Repertory Ballets, as well as Robert Moses’ Kin.

Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the “Top 10” dance events of 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Twice she has worked with dancers from New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute at the invitation of Peter Martins. She also directs Imagery, a contemporary ballet company that collaborates with artists of other disciplines and is committed to experimental work from a classical base. Collaborations include works with visual designers Marc Morozumi and Matthew Antaky, composers Daniel Bernard Roumain and Mason Bates, media designer Frieder Weiss and spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Katarzyna (Kate) Skarpetowska (2015-Owen/Cox Dance)

Kate Skarpetowska

Kate Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and received a bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School in 1999 under Artistic Director Benjamin Harkarvy. In 1992, at age 15, she was the youngest cast member of the Broadway show “Metro,” directed and choreographed by Janusz Józefowicz.

Skarpetowska was a member of The Parsons Dance Company, where she performed lead roles in the company’s repertory, including the iconic “Caught.” She has danced for The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, performing at venues such as New York City’s City Center, Washington’s Kennedy Center and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. Over the years, she repeatedly appeared as a guest artist with The Battleworks Dance Company and the Buglisi Dance Theater. In 2007, she was one of two featured dancers during the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.

In 2008, she toured Italy with “Why Be Extraordinary if You Can Be Yourself,” a show by Daniel Ezralow. Her choreography has been performed by Richmond Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Big Muddy Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, Patricia Kenny Dance Collection and various universities.

In 2009, she co-designed and co-directed “Romeo and Juliet” for The Gunter Theater in Greenville, South Carolina. Skarpetowska is a freelance teacher holding workshops throughout the world. She has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Key West Modern Dance, Greenville Fine Arts Center, NJDTE and Peridance among others. She resides in New York City.

Lauri Stallings (2018-Störling Dance Theater)

Lauri Stallings

Atlanta-based conceptual artist and choreographer Lauri Stallings has fostered an expanded practice that includes public choreographies, place building and co-dreaming with many communities. Stallings works as an artist and organizer and her practice aims to develop live art activities and strategies that advance the idea of public as a genesis and subject for deep spiritual change.

Originally trained as a ballet dancer, Stallings shifted the focus of her practice in 2008 to address the immediate social, economic, and spatial needs of the American South. Stallings’ work has been funded by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Creative Time, MailChimp, Possible Futures, Artadia, MOCA GA Fellowship, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, Georgia Council for the Arts-NEA, Atlanta Beltline Urban Development, Lubo Fund, Cheney Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and South Arts. Her work has been commissioned by and presented at venues such as Central Park, Center for Civil and Human Rights, High Museum of Art, Art Basel: Miami, City Center, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Chattahoochee River National Park, Harris Theatre, DMAC, Atlanta Contemporary, Zuckerman Museum, Hudgens Center and Swan Coach House Gallery, and internationally in England, Germany, Canada, and Netherlands.

She has been Artist-in-Residence at Georgia Institute of Technology and Atlanta Ballet. She is a Bogliasco Fellow, and a 2011 Rome Prize nominee from the American Academy of Arts. Stallings is the inaugural recipient of Emory College Center for Creativity and Arts Award, and Flux Projects debut artist. Stallings is the 2018 Hudgens Prize awardee. She has been making site-specific music and movement installations with Maestro Robert Spano since 2011. She considers these deep collaborations internal maps to orient people and artists towards various states of reawaken. 

Stallings is the founder of the non-profit glo platform, a female-led experimental nomadic platform grounded in the belief that a community of neighbors helps make the strong resilient community in which we all deserve to live. The body of her collaborative work in the South began alongside hip-hop artist Big Boi of Outkast, first generation Dungeon Family artists Big Rube and Sleepy Brown, and Janelle Monae’ and Wonderland Arts Society. Stallings has collaborated with visual artist Daniel Arsham for Hourglass exhibition. Stallings graduated cum laude with a BFA in performance from Point Park University and completed a long performance career as a dancer with Hubbard St. Dance Chicago.

Micaela Taylor (2020-Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company)

Micaela Taylor

Micaela Taylor is a professional dancer/choreographer/ Artistic Director of The TL Collective. She is the recipient of the Inaugural Springboard EMERGE Choreographic Award and recently named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch,” 2019, and Dance Magazine cover May 2020. She is trailblazing in the city of Los Angeles and beyond.
Alongside the launch of The TL Collective, Taylor has been commissioned to choreograph and teach by BODYTRAFFIC, Springboard Danse Montreal, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, B12 Festival Berlin, Carlos Acosta’s Acosta Danza, and more. Taylor's work has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Broad Stage, Ford Amphitheatre, The Barclay Center, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and more. Her quirky style of facial expressions and athletic theatricality sets her work apart. SNAP, a commissioned work created for BODYTRAFFIC set her mark as a choreographer that transcends one style of dance. She formed a new movement style called Expand Practice, which allows individuals to expand their mind, body, and narrative.

Myles Thatcher (2019-Kansas City Ballet)

Myles Thatcher

Myles Thatcher is a choreographer and current dancer with San Francisco Ballet. Over the past nine years in the company, he has created “Otherness,” “Ghost in the Machine,” “Manifesto,” and “In the Passerine’s Clutch” for San Francisco Ballet; “Frayed” and “Foragers” for The International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize; as well as works for New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet School.

Thatcher has choreographed for the San Francisco Symphony’s multimedia production of “Le Martyre de saint Sébastien” and the feature-length movie “High Strung Free Dance.” Thatcher was selected by Alexei Ratmansky to participate in the 2014–15 Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative, where he studied closely with Mr. Ratmansky for the yearlong program. Thatcher’s “Manifesto” and “Ghost in the Machine” were nominated in 2016 and 2018 for an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.

Gavin Abercrombie (KCB) began his training with Antelope Valley Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School. He trained at San Francisco Ballet School and Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company before joining the main company. He has performed in Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room,” Val Caniparoli’s “Lady of the Camellias,” Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Tulips and Lobster,” Septime Webre’s “The Wizard of Oz,” George Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations and Diamonds,” Devon Carney’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Sleeping Beauty” and Stanton Welch’s “Play.”

Emmi Aldridge (SDT) began her dance training with the Homeschool Dance Program and continued her education with Störling’s Artistic Development Program, directed by Kathleen Schuler. Aldridge also was a guest artist with Störling Moves Dance Collaboration.

Caroline Arnold trained on scholarship at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy and continued her training at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. While at Indiana, she had the opportunity to study with distinguished professor of ballet Violette Verdy and with Michael Vernon, chair of the ballet department. She enjoyed dancing principal and soloist roles, including the Lilac Fairy, Arabian pas de deux and as a soloist in “Waltz of the Flowers,” George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” and “Concerto Barocco.” Arnold was the recipient of an Indiana University Music Dean Scholarship, a Music Faculty Award and the Kenneth C. Whitener Award for Ballet Excellence.

Adriene Barber (WHCDC) was a scholarship student of Dance Theater of Harlem and the Ailey School. An Ailey/Fordham BFA graduate, Barber has performed works by Sean Curran, Earl Mosely, Helen Pickett, Jennifer Muller, David Parsons, Martha Graham and Milton Myers. Barber also performed in “Memoria” with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was an ensemble member of Bailiwick Chicago’s production of “Aida” and a member of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.

Danielle Bausinger (KCB) attended San Francisco Ballet School and joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2006, where she performed as Myrtha in “Giselle” and 3rd Movement Principal in “Symphony in C.” With Kansas City Ballet, she has been featured as The Queen of Hearts in “Alice (in wonderland),” Sanguinic in “The Four Temperaments,” and Milady de Winter in “The Three Musketeers.”

Shannon Benton (SDT) began dancing at a young age, studying at Dance Theatre of Lynchburg and Virginia School of the Arts. She attended Liberty University where she founded Divine Call Dance team and began teaching and choreographing. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications: Advertising and Public Relations. After graduation, Shannon continued her dance training at The Ailey School and Dayton Contemporary Dance 2. She made her professional debut in Houston, Texas, with Ad Deum Dance Company.

Brigette Benyei (SDT) is a Kansas City-based dancer. She attended UMKC, where she received a BFA in dance performance and choreography and joined Störling in 2018.

Emily Berger (SDT) began training at Dramatic Truth School of the Arts and studied ballet and modern under the direction of Liz Dimmel, Peggy Ply and Tobin James. She went on to perform with Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater, as well as with Marc Wayne’s Maxxas Dance Theater. She received her bachelor’s from UMKC, studying under artists such as Paula Weber, DeeAnna Hiett, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Jamal Story, Mary-Pat Henry and Ronn Tice.

Tiffany Best (SDT) also is a faculty member of The Culture House Academy of Performing Arts and teaches artist development and dance and musical theater. She has taught and danced throughout Chicago and Denver.

Darwin Black (OCDG) graduated from Newark Arts High School under the direction of Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson. He trained with Nancy Turano at the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and went on to study at Alvin Ailey American Dance as a fellowship student under the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship. He began his professional career with the Miami Contemporary Dance Company and later joined Sacramento Ballet. He also danced with Pascal Rioult Dance Theater and as a freelance artist for Alaska Dance Theatre, Lustig Dance Theatre, Montgomery Ballet, Nimbus Dance Works and Momix. Black later joined TU Dance under the leadership of Toni-Pierce Sands and Uri Sands, where he danced world premiere works by Uri Sands, Francesca Harper, Kyle Abraham, Gioconda Barbuto and Katrin Hall. His first original choreography work for the Saint Paul Ballet, “OFF THE BASE,” premiered at The Cowles Center in March 2017.

Humberto Rivera Blanco (KCB) began his ballet training at the National School of Ballet of Cuba. In 2014, he joined the National Ballet of Cuba under the artistic direction of Alicia Alonso, where he danced in many ballets such as “Giselle,” Paquita,” “Don Quixote,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Majismo.” Upon moving to Miami in 2015, he studied at The Art of Classical Ballet under the direction of Magaly Suarez and performed roles in “Le Corsaire” and “The Nutcracker.”

Beau Bledsoe - Artistic director, guitars, oud (Ensemble Iberica)'s performances have been described as “pointedly musical” by Paul Horsley of The Kansas City Star. This stylistically eclectic musician performs and records classical music, jazz and folkloric music from around the world as he seeks to integrate different musical cultures with diverse audiences. With his many varied projects and ensembles, Beau has performed extensively throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, South America and North America. In addition, he has produced fifteen recordings under his recording label Tzigane.

Beau is currently artistic director and founder of Ensemble Ibérica which explores the music of Spain, Portugal, and the colonial Americas while educating the public about Iberian cultural influence.

Lloyd A. Boyd III (OCDG) trained at Cleveland School of the Arts in Ohio. He attended summer intensives at The Ailey School, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Greer Reed and Perry Mansfeld Performing Arts School and Camp. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has worked with choreographers Bill T Jones, Susan Jaffe, Juel D. Lane and Larry Keigwin. In 2014, he was part of the international tour of Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Boyd has danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theaters second company (Ailey 2) and recently finished the spring session of Broadway Dance Lab with Josh Prince.

Seth Bradley (OKCB) began his training with Natasha Bar and Angie Kimple in New York and studied for two years on full scholarship at Florida’s Harid Conservatory. He was awarded a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School, where he studied with Lola De Avila, Parish Maynard, Jorge Esquival and Jefrey Lyons. While there, Bradley danced in Helgi Tomasson’s “D’Isoline” and “The Nutcracker.” With OKC Ballet, he has danced in Margo Sappington’s “Cobras in the Moonlight,” Robert Mills’ “Pushing Pennies” and “Swan Lake.” Seth enjoys teaching at The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet as an American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum-certified teacher.

Chelsea Brown (SDT) began training at The Culture House Academy of Performing Arts and graduated from its artist development program. She received a scholarship to study as a dance major at Oral Roberts University and graduated with a bachelor’s in dance performance. She has kept an active schedule of instructing dance at the Kansas City Ballet School, as well as private tutoring.

Winston “Dynamite” Brown (WHCDC and OCDG) started dancing at Smith Sisters Dance Studio and continued his training at the Missouri State Ballet and UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he received his bachelor’s, and The Center Dance under the mentorship of Tyrone Aiken. Brown has participated in intensive programs with Kansas City Ballet, Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet pre-professional program, Ailey summer intensive as a three-time fellowship recipient, and the Ballet and Modern programs at Jacob’s Pillow as the inaugural recipient of the Lorna Strassler Award. He has worked with the WHCDC, Deeply Rooted Productions, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, TU Dance, CorbinDances, Sean Curran Company, Ben Munisteri Dance Projects, Taylor2 and most recently, Pilobolus.

Megan Buckley (OCDG) received training from Alexandra Ballet School and pre-professional company in St. Louis. There she performed ballets by Marek Cholewa and Rosanna Rufo. She attended summer intensive workshops at American Ballet Theatre, Kansas City Ballet under the Todd Bolender Scholarship, and Glenda Brown’s Choreography Project. Buckley then trained at the Joffrey Ballet’s New York Trainee program and Nashville Ballet School on scholarship. She went on to dance professionally with Milwaukee Ballet 2, Portland Ballet in Maine, Verb Ballets in Cleveland and Alexandra Ballet. Her Favorite roles include Kitri in “Don Quixote” and Daniel Precup in “Spartacus.” She won first place at the National Society of Arts & Letters-Saint Louis chapter.

Kaleena Burks (KCB) was trained by Magda Aunon and Magaly Suarez and spent summers at the School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin, Miami City Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In 2005, she was awarded first place in the pre-professional division of the American Ballet Competition and was invited to perform in the International Ballet Festival of Miami. Burks has danced with Cincinnati Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet and the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. With Kansas City Ballet, she has been featured as Myrtha in “Giselle,” Elegy Girl in “Serenade,” and Dew Drop in “The Nutcracker.”

William Cannon (OCDG) has danced with BalletMet, Hubbard Street 2, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and BalletX. He has performed works by George Balanchine, Christian Spuck, Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, Jiri Kylian and Cayetano Soto. He has also enjoyed working on projects with BalletNext, Gabrielle Lamb and Twyla Tharp in New York City.

Sandra Carstensen (SDT) studied with Elisa Schroth, performing soloist roles in “Ahavah: A Christmas Mystery” and was part of Ekklesia Dance Company’s “Queen Esther.” She trained in Störling Dance Theater’s artist development program.

Sarah Chun (KCB) began her training at the Northwest Dance Academy in Chicago and later trained at Faubourg School of Ballet. She has placed first and second in the Youth American Grand Prix in Chicago and received scholarships from Houston Ballet for three consecutive summers. She was accepted to Chicago’s Joffrey Academy of Dance on scholarship where she performed the principal role of Aurora in “The Sleeping Beauty.” She received a scholarship to Jacob’s Pillow, where she performed in “Flames of Paris.” With OKC Ballet, she performed the principal role of “The Firebird,” was a soloist in “Coppelia” and Alan Hineline’s “Junctures” and was the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.” With Kansas City Ballet, her favorite roles have been as Dew Drop in “The Nutcracker,” 2nd Movement in Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s “Mercury” and in “Carmina Burana.”

Rachel Coats (KCB) received her primary instruction from Tony Catanzaro, as well as at the Mencia Pikieris School of Dance and New World School of the Arts. She spent her summers on scholarship at the School of American Ballet and Boston Ballet. Coats has performed with the Nashville Ballet and Boston Ballet and has received awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters and ARTS–NFAA Foundations. Some of her favorite roles have included Desdemona in “The Moor’s Pavane,” the title role in Firebird, the Stripper in “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” and Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.” In 2013, Coats was part of the first Kansas City Dance Festival, where she performed works by Ma Cong, Salvatore Aiello and Anthony Krutzkamp.

John Currey – percussion (Ensemble Iberica) is a freelance percussionist with more than 20 years' experience as an in-school presenter and clinician. John specializes in Modern dance accompaniment and has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Western Europe. Teaching credits include at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Graceland College, and Pittsburg State University. John currently directs the Mexican marimba quartet, Sol de Chiapas.

Caroline Dahm (WHCDC) began training in the Los Angeles area and furthered her training during summers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Orlando Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and River North Dance Chicago. Caroline graduated with a bachelor’s from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and has danced professionally with Kansas City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Quixotic and WHCDC, performing premier works by Robert Moses and Gregory Dawson. She was featured in Gregory Dawson’s “Twisted Metal” in the Dance USA National Conference Opening Gala Performance held at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in June 2017.

Michael Davis (KCB) began his ballet training at the Marya Kennett Dance Centre in New York with summer courses at The Rock School for Dance Education in Pennsylvania, where he was accepted into their year-round residency program on a merit scholarship. Upon graduating, he joined Oregon Ballet Theatre and danced under the direction of Christopher Stowell and Damara Bennett. He has performed in George Balanchine’s “Valse Fantaisie,” “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” “Serenade,” “Allegro Brillante” and “Symphony in C,” as well as Val Caniparoli’s “Lambarena.”

Bob Deskins (OCDC) has spent the majority of his career in Montreal as a soloist with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He has also danced with Oregon Ballet Theatre, BalletMet Columbus and Tersicorps Theatre of Dance. Some of his favorite experiences have included working with Mats Ek and performing as the Prince in his “The Sleeping Beauty,” performing Romeo in James Canfeld’s “Romeo and Juliet,” creating new works with Stephan Thoss, Didy Veldman, Andrew Skeels and Mauro Bigonzetti, and the extensive work he has done with Ohad Naharin. 

Holly DeWitt (WHCDC) began her training at DanceWorks Conservatory in Kansas City. She received her bachelor’s from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and went on to study on scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Other training includes Milwaukee Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow and Springboard Danse Montreal. DeWitt’s professional credits include Kansas City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” Deeply Rooted Dance Theater 2 and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. She has performed works by Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Edgar Zendejas and Dwight Rhoden. She has performed in Royal Caribbean’s “Hairspray” with roles as Amber and Tammy and has also become a featured aerialist on the high seas.

Coleen Dieker – violin (Ensemble Iberica) started playing piano when she was four years old and violin when she was seven. She has been singing all her life. After many years of classical training, she attended Berklee College of Music for two years and studied piano performance, improvising, listening, arranging and recording. As a genre-hopping music fiend, she enjoys a diverse career of collaboration, performance and recording. She has since worked with many local and national artists and enjoys taking on new challenges and projects.

Makenna Dowling (SDT) she trained in ballet and modern dance under Christina Noel-Adcock, Lisi Elsey, Lisa Rebik and Ashi K. Smythe in Denver. She graduated from UMKC, where she trained under Gary Abbott, Mary Pat Henry, DeeAnna Hiett, David Justin, Ron Tice, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Tobin James and Paula Weber. She also has a bachelor of arts in English literature from UMKC.

DJ Duncan (WHCDC) began dancing at age 10 at Touch of Class Dance Studio in Harrisburg, Illinois. He studied at Webster University in St. Louis and attended Hubbard Street Dance Chicago intensive. He has performed works by Michael Uthoff, Antony Tudor, Kameron N. Saunders, Dawn Karlovsky and RAWDance.

Ivy Ericson (SDT) began her ballet training under Oleg Dedogryuk and Michelle Rodenbeck in Denver. She completed Störling Dance Theater’s artist development program, performing works by artists such as Mona Enna, Kathleen Schular, Marc Wayne, Hannah Anderson and Tobin James.

Arielle Espie (KCB) trained with the Gulfshore Ballet School in Ft. Myers, Florida and attended a winter term at the School of American Ballet in New York City. There. She received four years of training with instructors Kay Mazzo, Susan Pilare and Suki Schorer. Espie originated a role in William Whitener’s “Mercy of the Elements” and danced the role of Helena in William Whitener’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She has performed featured roles in “Paquita” and “Le baiser de la fée.” She was one of 10 students invited to train exclusively with Ethan Stiefel at the Stiefel and Stars program. She was also named the Lisa and Richard Perry Scholarship recipient (2009-2010) during her final year at the School of American Ballet.

Ivy EuDaly (guest artist; Störling Moves Dance Collaboration) began her ballet training at Colorado School of Dance and Classic Dance Academy. She studied under Störling’s artist development program and trained under Mona Störling-Enna, Kathleen Schular, Marc Wayne, Hannah Anderson, Suzanne Ryan-Strati and Tobin James. After dancing and teaching in Paris for two years, she performed with Störling Dance Theater and then Störling Moves Dance Collaboration. She has studied at Bill Evan’s Teacher Institute (BETI) in New Mexico, as well as under the directors of National Dance Institute (NDI) New Mexico.

Laura Fiatte (SDT) received a bachelor’s from the University of Hartford as a dance pedagogy major, where she was instructed by Peggy Lyman, Katie Stevinson-Nollet, Hilda Morales, Susan Brooker and Adam Miller. Fiatte has had many lead and supporting roles with Störling Dance Theater, including Corrie in “Underground,” in “High Heel Shoe Blues,” and the lead wife in “Suspended Grace.” She also has performed with Kansas City Contemporary Dance and Seamless Dance Theater.

Caroline Fogg (WHCDC) was taught under the direction of Patrick Frantz of the Paris Opera Ballet and received intensive training with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Orlando Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She performed at the opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2012 and 2014.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music.

Sarah Frangenberg (WHCDC) graduated Magna Cum Laude from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. While at UMKC, she danced with UMKC’s Wind Symphony at the Beijing Modern Music Festival and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She has traveled the nation with DanceMakers, Inc., dance convention as an original member of their company of assistants, The Collective. She has taught and performed with Kathryn McCormick from “So You Think You Can Dance” and starred as Emma in the feature film “Lift Me Up.” She also has been a counselor and assistant at Camp Protégé, a dance camp in Calgary, Canada, under the direction of Stacey Tookey. Frangenberg has performed with Seamless Dance Theater and Heartlines Dance Company and she produced, choreographed and directed her own show, “Agape,” in Wichita to raise donations for a local charity, The Lord’s Diner.

Liang Fu (KCB) received his dance education from Beijing Dance Academy in China. He has danced with Singapore Dance Theatre and Universal Ballet Company and was a senior soloist with Cincinnati Ballet. He’s performed at the Gala of Benois de La Danse Competition at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and won first prize at the 10th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition in Tokyo in 2005. Fu has had many leading roles such as Prince Desire in “The Sleeping Beauty,” Albrecht in “Giselle,” James in “La Sylphide” and Cavalier and Snow King in “The Nutcracker.”

Courtney Garrett (SDT) trained at Colorado Ballet Dance Academy, Denver School of the Arts, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, the University of Arizona, and UMKC. She received her bachelor’s degree from UMKC and joined Störling Dance Theater after graduation.

Mark Gieringer (OCDC) is a graduate of UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. At UMKC, he performed principal roles in works by choreographers Josh Beamish and Bernard Gaddis, and in original works by Gary Abbott and Ray Mercer. He has been a principal dancer in Antony Tudor’s “Dark Elegies” and “Continuo.” Other roles include Elegy Man in George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and Puck in Benjamin Britten’s operatic setting of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Gieringer was a soloist in “Carmina Burana,” choreographed by Paula Weber for The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and a principal in DeeAnna Hiett’s “Without a Word” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Daina Gingras (OKCB) attended the prestigious Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida, and graduated valedictorian. Under scholarship, she studied under Ethan Stiefel and Susan Jaffe at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While there, she performed principal roles in “Paquita,” Ethan Stiefel’s “The Nutcracker” and George Balanchine’s “La Source.” She also performed soloist roles in works by James Kudelka and Susan Jaffe. Gingras received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance with a ballet concentration. Upon joining OKC Ballet, Daina was featured in Matthew Neenan’s “Exurgency.”

Tristian Griffin (SDT and WHCDC) completed his bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University (TCU), where he was the recipient of the Nordan Fine Arts scholarship. While at TCU, he studied with Li-Chou Cheng, Elizabeth Gillaspy, Dr. Jessica Zeller, Dr. Suki John and Dr. Nina Martin. Griffin has danced professionally with Störling Dance Theater, Garth Fagan Dance and Company E. He has also taught in various settings, including classes for underprivileged children at H.A.L.O. (Helping Art Liberate Orphans) and Vicki Silverman’s Em’s Spotlight.

Rhiannon Grimes (SDT) graduated from Belhaven University. While there, she worked with choreographers Nicole Marquez, Cynthia Newland, Caleb Mitchell, Brittany Nunez, Erin Rockwell and Laura Morton-Zebert. She also performed in Donald McKale’s “Songs of the Disinherited” under the instruction of Stephanie Powell. She has performed Randal Flinn’s “Amazing Grace” from the Ad Deum Dance Company repertory.

Travis Guerin (KCB) was accepted to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s graduate program at age 17 and then was invited to study at the San Francisco Ballet School. He was part of the first season of Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company. Along with his passion for dance and performance, Guerin loves to choreograph and has had works premiered with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s graduate program, the San Francisco Ballet School and Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company.

Lilliana Hagerman (KCB) climbed up the ranks from trainee to company member at the Orlando Ballet Company. While in the Orlando Ballet Second Company, she won the silver medal for senior contemporary solo and top 12 for senior classical at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in 2012. She has performed roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Devon Carney’s “The Nutcracker,” Girl in Pink for Jerome Robbin’s “Interplay,” Tinkerbell in Devon Carney’s “Peter Pan,” Mrs. Hutchinson in Val Caniparoli’s “The Lottery,” and featured roles in Helen Pickett’s “Petal” and Mathew Neenan’s “The Uneven.”

Craig Hall (KCB) trained at the School of American Ballet and danced with the Los Angeles Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. He has enjoyed dancing in George Balanchine’s “Prodigal Son,” “Serenade,” “Kammermusik No. 2,” “Western Symphony,” “Piano Concerto No. 2” and Val Caniparoli’s “Vivace.”

Jeremy Hanson (WHCDC) began dancing at the age of 2 at Stephanie’s School of Dance (owned by his mother). Over the years he danced at many dance conventions and dance competitions. In 2015, Jeremy began his pursuit in becoming a more versatile and technical dancer through strict ballet training at COCA (Center Of Creative Arts) in St. Louis, Mo. The following year he was invited to attend the summer and year-round program at The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., where he furthered his ballet training.

In 2017, Jeremy enrolled in the day program at Kansas City Ballet School where he was given opportunities to dance with the Company. The following year he became a trainee with their Second Company where he would dance with the Company on a consistent basis. Ending his year in Kansas City, he was fortunate enough to travel to Moscow, Russia, where he would perform the role Toto from "The Wizard of Oz" choreographed by Septime Webre on the infamous Bolshoi Stage. He then pursued the opportunity to dance with Louisville Ballet as a Company Artist for the 2019-2020 season.

Jeremy is currently a freelance artist in Kansas City, Mo., where he is performing with a number of different artists and companies, including his first season with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company.

Victoria Hay (SDT) began her dance training with The Children’s Ballet Theatre and The Happendance School in Michigan. She attended UMKC, where she was performed George Balanchine’s “Concerto Barocco,” along with choreography by Gary Abbott, Mary Pat Henry, DeeAnna Hiett, Ron Tice and Paula Weber. Victoria graudated with a BFA in dance performance and choreography.

Melinda Hedgecorth (Ensemble Iberica), now residing in Kansas City, has been living the last 14 years in one of the capital cities of flamenco dance: Sevilla, Spain. Surrounded by artists and experts, she has studied, performed and taught flamenco, gaining experience onstage with local musicians in performances at flamenco clubs, cultural centers and tablaos. Since returning to KC she has lectured at Kansas University, been selected to participate in Artist Inc and as a resident at Charlotte Street Foundation and received an Inspiration grant from ArtsKC. She teaches Flamenco dance classes to both adults and children and organizes Festivals, Recitals and Tours to bring the Culture of Sevilla, Spain, to sister city Kansas City.

Amanda Herd-Popejoy (OKCB) began her training at the Doran-Vossen School of Dance in Yukon, Oklahoma, and went on to train at The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet. She has also studied at Ballet Austin, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater in New York City and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. Amanda performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Kent Stowell’s “The Nutcracker” and also performed Sonia Dawkins’ “Cu Ture” in DANCE This Seattle. She danced with Ballet Austin II, where she performed in Stephen Mills’ “The Nutcracker” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as well as Thaddeus Davis’ “The Monologue Project” and Dwight Rhoden’s “Salsa Pit.” She has also been featured in Nicolo Fonte’s “Left Unsaid,” Margo Sappington’s “Cobras in the Moonlight,” as a soloist in “Paquita,” as Clara in “The Nutcracker,” and Matthew Neenan’s “Exurgency.”

Jessica Higgins (WHCDC) received her dance training at Raleigh School of Ballet. She has attended Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, NC Dance Theatre and Paul Taylor’s summer dance programs and graduated from Wright State University while performing with Dayton Ballet. Higgins has danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, Verb Ballets, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Battleworks, Covenant Ballet Theatre, Albano Ballet, Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre, Forces of Nature, Ballet Noir, Neville Dance Theatre and the Berlin Wall Project. She also trained with Philadanco’s first company.

Aisling Hill-Connor (KCB) trained with Ballet Austin Academy and North Carolina School of the Arts, where she worked with Melissa Hayden, Warren Conover and Nina Danilova. She performed in a variety of ballets including George Balanchine’s “Western Symphony,” Ton Simon’s “Fractal Course,” “The Nutcracker” and her personal favorite, “Intermezzo” by Eliot Feld. With Kansas City Ballet, Hill-Connor has performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s “Agon,” “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” Val Caniparoli’s “Lambarena” and Jerome Robbins’ “Afternoon of a Faun,” as well as soloist roles in “Handel Trio” by Alonzo King and “The Dying Swan.”

Enrico Hipolito (KCB) began his training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School on a full scholarship. He attended summer programs with Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet. In 2012, he was part of a summer exchange program to The Royal Dutch Ballet to represent Pacifc Northwest Ballet. He trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for two years through the male scholarship program and then joined Ballet West II. He has performed works by Twyla Tharp, John Cranko, Stanton Welch, Nicolo Fonte, August Bournonville and George Balanchine.

Naomi Holkeboer (SDT) trained with Ballet Nebraska II and Motion 41/Ballet Nebraska Repertory Ensemble as a soloist. She apprenticed with Dramatic Truth Dance Theatre and completed Störling’s artist development program before being accepted into Störling Dance Theater. She’s perform in “Underground” and “Child of Hope,” along with other works directed and choreographed by Mona Störling-Enna and Tobin James.

Kaylin Horgan (WHCDC) graduated from both CAPA High School and Point Park University. She worked with iconic artists such as Camille A. Brown, Antonio Brown, Crystal Frazier, Christopher Huggins, Sidra Bell, Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Terrence Greene. Horgan was a founding member of Dance Magazine’s 2012 “Top 25 to Watch,” August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble directed by Greer Reed, and a former member of Pearlann Porter’s Pillow Project.

Elysa Hotchkiss (KCB) received a full scholarship to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s graduate program. She then joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a company member and was promoted to soloist eight years later. She has performed such roles as Gamzatti in “La Bayadere,” Mercedes in “Don Quixote,” Myrtha in “Giselle,” Russian Girl in “Serenade,” the lead in Dwight Rhoden’s “Carmina Burana,” Lady Capulet in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo et Juliette,” the Sugar Plum Fairy in Terrence Orr’s “The Nutcracker,” Flora in “Dracula” and the principal pas de deux in Balanchine’s “Agon.”

Whitney Huell (KCB) attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities under Stanislav Issaev and Robert Barnett and spent summers with Boston Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She earned bachelor’s degrees in ballet performance and psychology from Indiana University before joining Ballet West under the directorship of Adam Sklute. Huell enjoyed performing featured roles in “Paquita,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “Petit Mort” and Balanchine’s “Jewels” and “The Four Temperaments.” In 2011, she was featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” and was also featured in the September 2012 issue of Pointe magazine.

Laura (Wolfe) Hunt (KCB) trained at the Alabama Dance Theatre. She attended and received scholarships to Joffrey Ballet School, Ballet Academy East, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She also trained at Ballet Academy East under the direction of Darla Hoover, where she took classes with instructors from New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Hunt has attended the ballet program at Jacob’s Pillow and performed in the season opening gala. Her favorite roles include Kitri and Amour in “Don Quixote,” Swanhilda in “Coppelia,” Mirliton and the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker” and Peasant Pas de Deux from “Giselle.”

Nadia Iozzo (KCB) received the RAD Solo Seal Award before training at Alberta Ballet. She has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Who Cares?,” Trey McIntyre’s “The Naughty Boy” and Yuri Possokhov’s “Firebird.” She has had soloist roles in Jerome Robbin’s “Moves,” Paul Taylor’s “Company B” and Peasant Pas de Deux in “Giselle.” She can be found on Bravo TV in the Joni Mitchell/Jean Grand Maître production “The Fiddle and the Drum” and in the CBC TV special “The Secret of the Nutcracker.” In 2008, Iozzo hosted Creating Dance for a Cure, a fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. She also teaches for the Kansas City Ballet School.

Katie Jenkins (WHCDC) began her training with Graves Talent Company. She was a scholarship recipient to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City and the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. She started her professional career with WHCDC and has worked with choreographers such as Milton Myers, David Parsons, Donald McKayle and Kevin Iega Jeff, among others. She has been a member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, City Dance Ensemble in Washington, D.C., TILT Contemporary Dance Company in Maui and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver. Jenkins graduated on scholarship with a bachelor’s degree from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Rachel Johnson (SDT) trained with Ballet Nebraska II and graduated from Störling’s artist development program. She also teaches at The Culture House.

Trey Johnson (WHCDC) began his training in dance at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) in St. Louis under the direction of Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd. He graduated from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and while there, performed works by Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine, Gregory Dawson and Kevin Iega Jef. He is a member of the International Dance Council and performed at the festival in Athens in 2018. Johnson has completed intensive training programs at the Martha Graham School in New York and the Kansas City Ballet.

Miki Kawamura (OKCB) started her training at the age of 10 in Sapporo, Japan, continuing at Pacific Dance Arts in Vancouver, Canada, before joining Eugene Ballet/Ballet Idaho. She has danced with City Ballet of San Diego and Charleston Ballet Theatre and as a guest artist in the Flower Festival in Genzano for Evenings of Russian Ballet, Snow Pas de Deux for the Iowa State Center Nutcracker and in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Very Merry Pops. She has performed as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” Sugarplum Fairy in “The Nutcracker,” principal in George Balanchine’s “Valse-Fantaisie,” Principal in “Paquita” and “Napoli Divertissements,” Swanhilda in “Coppelia,” Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake,” Caroline in Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden,” the title role in “Carmen,” Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” and works from Gerald Arpino, Margo Sappington and Nicolo Fonte. She has created roles in new works by Jessica Lang, Alan Hineline, Matthew Neenan and Robert Mills. She is a faculty member of The Dance Center of OKC Ballet and an ABT-certified teacher.

Autumn Klein (OKCB) attended Houston Ballet Academy and performed with Houston Ballet II and Houston Ballet. She has received scholarships from Houston Ballet, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and Texas A&M University. Klein has earned numerous awards, including first place at the Youth America Grand Prix in Denver. She also received Presidential and Congressional medals for volunteer service and studied biochemistry and genetics at Texas A&M. Klein has been featured in August Bournonville’s “Napoli Divertissements,” Antony Tudor’s “Lilac Garden” and Margo Sappington’s “Cobras in the Moonlight.”

Betty Kondo (OCDG) trained at the Maryland Youth Ballet and began her professional career with the Orlando Ballet Company under the leadership of Fernando Bujones. She performed with Kansas City Ballet in “Nine Sinatra Songs,” “Company B,” “As Time Goes By,” “Frescoes from the Little Humpbacked Horse,” “Dark Elegies” and “Rodeo.” Kondo has performed with the Eugene Ballet Company as a principal dancer where she was featured in many of Toni Pimble’s works, such as “All You Need is Love,” “Concerto Grosso” and “Dark Side of the Moon.” Her favorite roles there included Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Lead Female in Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain.”

Geoffrey Kropp (KCB) spent summers training on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet and The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, where he was accepted into their year-round program. Kropp joined Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s professional division and performed several ballets, including “Prodigal Son,” “The Merry Widow,” “Carmina Burana” and “The Nutcracker,” as well as the lead in “Paquita.” Since joining Kansas City Ballet, he has danced featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Todd Bolender, Yuri Possokhov, Bruce Marks, Jerome Robbins and Anthony Tudor. Some of his favorite roles include Albrecht in “Giselle,” leads in George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?,” “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux” and “Serenade,” and Ben Stevenson’s “End of Time.” Kropp has also performed with the National Choreographers Initiative, Kansas City Dance Festival, ARC Dance, Owen Cox Dance Group and UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Anthony Krutzkamp (KCB) began his formal training with Petrus Bosman and David Keener. His first company was Kansas City Ballet where he was cast as the Cat in Todd Bolender’s reconstruction of Balanchine’s “Renard.” He became a principal dancer with Cincinnati Ballet at the age of 23. He has performed classical roles such as Prince Desire in “The Sleeping Beauty,” Prince Charming in “Cinderella,” Siegfried in “Swan Lake,” Shakrier in “1001 Nights” and Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet.” He has also had the lead in works by George Balanchine, including in “Jewels, Theme and Variations,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Tchaikovsky pas de deux” and “Chaconne.” His contemporary works include ballets by Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, Adam Houghland and Darrell Grand Maultrie. As an international guest artist, Krutzkamp has performed “Flames of Paris,” Don Jose in “Carmen,” Solar in “La Bayadere,” Cavalier in “The Nutcracker,” Siegfried in “Swan Lake” and Franz in “Coppelia.” Krutzkamp holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Northeastern University in Boston. He also the co-artistic director of the Kansas City Dance Festival.

Yazzmeen Laidler (OCDG) trained at New World School of the Arts, Mrs. Traci Young Bryon’s Young Contemporary Dance Theatre and The Ailey School summer intensive. She received her BFA from University of the Arts and was a company member of Eleone Dance Theatre. She has worked with choreographers Christopher Huggins, Dwight Rhoden, Doug Varone, Peter London, Anthony Burrell and Tommie Waheed-Evans. She is a former company member of Ailey II.

Breanne Lane (SDT) began her training under Tiffany Case in the Cecchetti method at Celebration Ministry of Arts and under Oleg Dedogryuk in the Vaganova method at Colorado School of Dance. While dancing in the Störling Dance Theater’s artist development program, she performed works choreographed by Courtney Kierl-Bourman, Marc Wayne, Mona Enna and Suzanne Ryan Strati.

Heidi Loubser (SDT) (guest artist; Störling Moves Dance Collaboration) received her early training at Brighton School of Ballet in Michigan and graduated from Störling Dance Theater’s artist development program. She has studied with Ad Deum Dance Company, Ballet Magnificat and was on scholarship with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Inlet Dance Theatre. She recently performed with Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement in Denver. Through Störling Moves, she has performed throughout Germany and in Project Dance Paris.

Jill Marlow (KCB) began her training at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, New York, under the direction of Timothy Draper. She studied at American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Indiana University and has performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. Marlow has danced in “La Bayadere,” “Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” “Who Cares?,” “Lambarena,” “Concerto Barocco” and particularly “Chaconne,” which was performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Some of her most notable roles have included Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet,” Lilac Fairy in “The Sleeping Beauty,” Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella,” Titania in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Stomper in Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room,” Waltz Girl in Balanchine’s “Serenade,” Marie in Val Caniparoli’s The Nutcracker, as well as featured roles in Adam Hougland’s Mozart’s Requiem and K281 and Ma Cong’s “Angeli.” She holds a bachelor’s in health promotion/education with a focus in community health from the University of Cincinnati. She also is company manager of the Kansas City Dance Festival.

Charles Martin (KCB) received his primary ballet training from Penny Askew at the Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy. He also studied intensively at the American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School in New York and Glenda Brown Choreography Project in Austin and Kansas City. He has performed with the Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre and had guest performances with Allegro Ballet of Houston and toured Austria with Remix Dance Group. Martin has also had 11 choreographic works selected for the Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival concerts and received special recognition from the Monticello Foundation for two. With Kansas City Ballet, he has had soloist roles in Brahms’ “Paganini,” “Piano Concerto #2,” “Lambarena,” “Concerto Grosso,” “As Time Goes By,” “Nine Sinatra Songs,” “A Solo in Nine Parts,” “The Moor’s Pavane,” “Common People,” as the Friar in “Romeo and Juliet” and as Huck Finn in William Whitener’s “Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in 3 Acts.”

Walker Martin (OKCB) received the majority of his training from Penny Askew at the Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy, where he danced with the Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre. He attended New York City’s Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive and American Ballet Theatre’s NYC Summer Intensive numerous times, where he was named a National Training Scholar on more than one occasion. He continued his studies at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, where he danced with Houston Ballet in “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella.” Walker went on to dance with Ballet Quad Cities. He is certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.

Kelsey Matsch (WHCDC) began her training at The Arvada Center of Performing Arts and received a BFA from the UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. She danced professionally with WHCDC before joining the inaugural year of Hubbard Street’s professional program under the direction of Alexandra Wells; she later apprenticed with them. Kelsey worked with and performed works by Ohad Naharin, Marco Goecke, Peter Chu, Alice Klock, Lior Lazarof, Elia Mrak, Kameron N. Saunders, Rena Butler, Gary Abbott and Kevin Iega Jef. She attended Springboard Danse Montréal and worked with choreographer Jenna Pollack in Boston.

Eric Mazzie (KCB) studied at The Dance Theatre of the Southwest, home of the New Mexico Ballet Company. During summers, Mazzie trained at Ballet Chicago, The School of American Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Kansas City Ballet School. At 15 years old, he moved to New York City to begin training at The School of American Ballet, completing four years on full scholarship.

Felicia McBride (OCDG) attended summer intensives at Houston Ballet, The Chautauqua Institute, Tulsa Ballet and Ballet Austin. She has danced professionally with Hubbard Street 2, Ballet Austin II, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Hedwig Dances, Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and Chicago Repertory Ballet. She has performed works by Jiri Kylian, Matts Ek, Mauro Bigonzetti, Dominic Walsh, Stephen Mills, Alejandro Cerrudo, Maurya Kerr, Penny Saunders, Edgar Zendejas, Gabrielle Lamb and Robyn Mineko Williams. McBride was also a guest artist for three seasons with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens in its production of “The Nutcracker.”

Demetrius McClendon (OCDG and WHCDC) began dancing at age 15 with a hip-hop dance group at King College Prep, where he met his mentor, Pierre Lockett. He joined DanceWorks Chicago, touring nationally and internationally and performing works by Alex Ketley, Harrison McEldowney and Twyla Tharp. He has also been a guest artist with Deeply Rooted’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase (Chicago), DanszLoop Chicago and the Civic Ballet of Chicago. In addition, he performed in the 2013 Dance for Life finale under the direction of Randy Duncan and made his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s ballet “Parsifal.”

Michael McClintock - guitar, Cuban Tres (Ensemble Iberica) is a guitarist with a background in multiple styles of music including classical, flamenco, Brazilian and jazz. Since graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, Michael has continued his education at the Institute of the Superior Arts in Havana, Cuba studying the Cuban tres. In 2016, Michael and his wife, Cuban national, Dalida Barrios, created the project "Cubanisms," to increase awareness of Cuban culture in the USA. The project features a traditional Cuban musical ensemble and guided tours to Cuba.

Cubanisms released its debut album "Acento Cubano" in October 2017. Recently, Michael was invited to participate in the Jazz Plaza International Festival in Havana sharing the stage with Victor Goines and Ivan "Melon" Lewis. This concert will be released on the Cuban record label BIS music in 2019.

Miyesha McGriff (WHCDC) graduated from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and trained at The Kansas City Ballet School where she participated in “The Nutcracker,””Giselle” and many others as a student apprentice in the 2006-2007 season. She also trained at Complexions and the Alvin Ailey School in New York City, where she was a fellowship recipient. McGriff has performed with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and was a member of Dallas Black Dance Theater II.

Taryn Mejia (KCB) began her training at the Kansas City Ballet School and at age 11, was the lead Bon Bon in “The Nutcracker” and originated a role in William Whitener’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” As a teen, she trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City and performed the lead role of Waltz Girl in “Serenade” for the school’s workshop. She was an apprentice with the New York City Ballet and then joined the full company, performing many roles, including a principal in “Goldberg Variations” and soloist in “Brahms-Schoenterg Quartet.”

Mona Meng (KCB) received her professional training at the San Francisco Ballet School. She started her professional career at Alberta Ballet and went on to dance with Joffrey Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Universal Ballet of Korea. Meng has danced in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Swan Lake,” “Who Cares?,” “Serenade,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Carmen,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Don Quixote,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Flower Festival,” “The Merry Widow” and many more.

Emily Mistretta (KCB) was trained at Inland Pacifc Ballet Academy in Montclair, California, and Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance program. She was asked to join the Boston Ballet School and received a scholarship from Jack Rugheimer. She joined Boston Ballet II and was promoted to the full company a couple of years later. Mistretta has been featured in various works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, Florence Clerc’s “La Bayadère,” Michel Fokine’s “Les Sylphides,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” Jiří Kylián’s “Bella Figura,” “Wings of Wax, Tar and Feathers” and “Symphony of Psalms.”

Ashley Moehlenhof (SDT) began her training at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice and spent summers at American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Oberlin Dance Collective, Oklahoma City Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. Summer study included Roser Muñoz and Joan Boix at Centre de Dansa de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, where she performed Uwe Sholz’s “Santus Y Ave Verum” and performed Austin Hartel’s “Sunrise on Hatteras.” She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in ballet pedagogy and a minor in business and performed with Ballet Quad Cities.

Javier Morales (KCB) graduated from the National School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba, and danced at the National Ballet of Cuba until 2014. He participated in the Ballet Festival of Havana. During his time with the company, he had featured roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. Mr. Morales has danced in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. He danced the Corsaire pas de deux, among other works with the Classic Ballet of Sinaloa, Mexico. He was a principal in pas de deux Snow White, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Dracula, Don Quixote, and Spring Waters with Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theater.

Emily Mushinski (OCDG) studied at American Dance Center under the instruction of Kristopher Estes-Brown and Jennifer Tierney. She was a member of American Youth Ballet and performed lead roles in “The Firebird,” “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker.” She furthered her training at summer intensives with Joffrey Midwest, Boston Ballet, LINES Ballet, Ballet X and Trisha Brown Dance Company. Mushinski graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Purchase College where she was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award and studied at Codarts University for the Arts in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mushinski has performed works by choreographers George Balanchine, Trisha Brown, Adam Hougland, Gabrielle Lamb, Matthew Neenan, Taryn Kaschock Russell, Bettijane Sills and Manuel Vignoulle. She has taught dance locally and internationally through JUNTOS Collective, Panama Mission Foundation and India Gospel League.

Courtney Nitting (KCB) received training on scholarship to The New Jersey School of Ballet and The School of American Ballet. She guest performed with Eglevsky Ballet, Neglia Ballet and Tom Gold Dance before joining Pennsylvania Ballet II. With Kansas City Ballet, Nitting has performed featured roles in William Forsythe’s “In the Middle,” “Somewhat Elevated” and David Parson’s “A Play for Love,” along with Septime Webre’s “The Wizard of Oz,” Devon Carney’s “The Nutcracker” and Val Caniparoli’s “Lady of the Camellias.” She also performed in the Ballet’s New Moves, where she choreographed her work, “Men in Red,” and danced in Gary Abbott’s “Parallel Lives.”

Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye (KCB) began his training under the instruction of Andrei Bossov. He joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division and received the prestigious Arnold Spohr Scholarship. Nye participated in the Banff Summer Arts Festival, where he originated roles in Sabrina Matthews’ “Losing Ground” and Peter Quanz’s “Quanz by Quanz” and performed the leading role in Fernand Nault’s “Carmina Burana.” He began his professional career with Festival Ballet of Providence and the Eugene Ballet Company, where he performed soloist roles in several works by Artistic Director Toni Pimble. Nye joined Director Peter Anastos at Ballet Idaho and had three world premieres there, including Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “City Symphony” with music by Philip Glass. With Kansas City Ballet, he has danced in Jessica Lang’s “Splendid Isolation III,” Toni Pimble’s “Carmina Burana,” Margo Sappington’s “Common People” and as Drosselmeyer in “The Nutcracker.”

Tempe Ostergren (KCB) studied on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet in New York City and went on to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she danced numerous solo and principal roles. Some of her favorites were the Sugar Plum Fairy in Stowell’s “The Nutcracker,” George Balanchine’s “Divertimento #15,” Martin’s “Fearful Symmetries,” Stowell’s “Quaternary” and Caniparoli’s “Torque.” She performed with Boston Ballet, where some of her repertoire included Dew Drop and Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker,” Stepsister in Kudelka’s “Cinderella,” Effy in “La Sylphide,” Jumping Girl in Balanchine’s “Who Cares?,” Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” and soloist ballerina in Tharp’s “In the Upper Room.” With Kansas City Ballet, Ostergren performed the title role in “Giselle,” the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker,” Titania in Whitener’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Waltz Girl in “Serenade.”

Logan Pachciarz (KCB) began his training with Twyla Tharp’s dance ensemble Tharp! He toured across the U.S., premiering three new works, and continued his formal dance education at the North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Ton Simons, Fernando Bujones and Warren Conover. Pachciarz joined Boston Ballet II, then the main company where he worked with choreographers Rudi van Dantzig, Christopher Wheeldon and Ben Stevenson. His favorite roles with Kansas City Ballet have been Albrecht in “Giselle,” the title role in “Romeo and Juliet, the solo man in “Brahms Paganini” and Iago in The Moor’s “Pavane.” Pachciarz is co-artistic director of the Kansas City Dance Festival with fellow dancer Anthony Krutzkamp.

Christopher Page-Sanders (OCDG) received his formal dance training from the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. He is co-founder\artistic director of Nu-World Contemporary Danse Theatre, but has also danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Leah Glenn Dance Theatre and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.

Danielle Palomino (SDT) earned a BFA from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, spent three seasons with Seamless Dance Theatre and as an apprentice with Störling Dance Theater. She spent her summers training all over the U.S. with companies such as The Barton Movement, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Mam-Luft and Company and Royal Flux.

Alessandra Perdichizzi (WHCDC) graduated with a BFA from UMKC and apprenticed with WHCDC.

Lamin Pereira dos Santos (KCB) started dancing at Centro de Danca Rio and was hired by The Ballet of Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro to perform in Achcar’s production of “The Nutcracker” as a soloist. He was awarded a full scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and joined The Washington Ballet Studio Company, where he performed Prince Desire in “The Sleeping Beauty.” He performed leading roles with the Orlando Ballet as Romeo, Paris, Prince Sigfried, Escamillo and Don Jose and with the Kansas City Ballet, featured roles in “Giselle,” “Alice (in wonderland)” and “The Four Temperaments.”

Caitlin Pettijohn (SDT) received much of her early training at the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and at Festival Dance Academy in Idaho. While at UMKC, she performed in Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Valse Fantasie.” She was accepted into Störling after graduating with a BFA in dance.

Ian Poulis (KCB) has performed with Louisville Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Met and Ballet Internationale. He studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., under Vladimir Djouloukhadze, Anatoli Kucheruk and Adrienne Dellas Thorton. Poulis has performed notable roles in “Death in La Valse,” as Second Theme in “The Four Temperaments” and as a soloist in “Rubies” and “Allegro Brilliante.” He was a lead student in “Le Conservatorie,” Espada in “Don Quixote,” Bottom and Demetrius in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Rothbart in “Swan Lake,” the Wolf and Puss-n-Boots in “The Sleeping Beauty,” the Forban soloist in “Le Corsaire,” Frollo and Clopin in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and Drosselmeyer and the Snow King in “The Nutcracker.” He has also performed in Ballet Across America with Ballet Arizona at the Kennedy Center.

Gustavo Ribeiro (KCB) began his ballet training at Expressao e Arte Studio de Danca and graduated from Orlando Ballet School. He started his career with Washington Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre and was the youngest dancer to join Alberta Ballet where he performed featured roles. Ribeiro has received many top honors and dance awards in Brazil, the U.S. and Canada. He was a Youth America Grand Prix finalist and a TOP 12 in New York. He has performed many principal roles in “La Bayadere,” “Don Quixote,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker,” “Alice (in wonderland),” “Swan Lake,” “Le Corsaire,” “Happy Little Things” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

James Kirby Rogers (KCB) started his ballet training at the Academy of Ballet in San Francisco under the directorship of Richard Gibson and Zory Karah. He continued his training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under Susan Jaffe, Jared Redick and Mikhail Tchoupakov and with Houston Ballet II under Claudio Munoz and Sabrina Lenzi. Rogers was a fnalist at YAGP New York, where he danced the Prince Siegfried Black Swan Variation from “Swan Lake.” As a student, Rogers danced numerous principal roles, including the lead in “Allegro Brillante” by George Balanchine and the Father in John Neumeier’s “Yondering.”

Omar Román De Jesús (WHCDC) began his formal training at School for the Performing Arts in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He was a member of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico and won the Championship Cup and Gold Medal at the National Dance Competition in Puerto Rico. He received a scholarship to the Ailey School. He has presented his choreography at Baruch Performing Arts Center, Peridance Capezio Center, Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals, Ailey Citigroup Theater, the 14 Street Y and The Joyce Theater. His new work, “DANIEL,” was commissioned by Parsons Dance for the company’s 2017 Joyce Season as part of its initiative to support emerging choreographers through David Parsons’ GenerationNow Fellowship.

Martell Ruffin (WHCDC) began his formal dance training at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and was awarded scholarships to intensives at Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions. He received first place in the all-city NAACP ACT-SO Competition in 2011. Ruffin trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student and has performed works by Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Earl Mosley, George Faison, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Matthew Rushing, Jae Man Joo, Robert Battle and Alvin Ailey. Martell has also been seen in the “poison girl” Christian Dior TV commercial and an Urban Outftters commercial for music artist Samantha Urbani.

Yoshiya Sakurai (KCB) began his training in Niigata City, Japan. He took fifth place in the All JAPAN Junior Competition, Japan Grand Prix, received scholarships for Royal Ballet School and John Cranko Ballet School and attended Canada’s National Ballet School. There, he danced in Jiri Kylian’s “Sinfonietta” and “Evening Songs,” “Four Last Songs” and “Ein von rie” by S. Matthews. He also received Peter Dwyer Scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts and was a semi-finalist in Prix de Lausanne. At American Repertory Ballet, Sakurai performed several soloist roles, including the Prince in “The Nutcracker.” He joined the Boston Ballet II and danced in Balanchine’s “Rubies,” the Spanish Dance in “The Nutcracker” and numerous works by Jorma Elo. With Kansas City Ballet, he has performed in “The Nutcracker,” Peasant Pas De Deux in “Giselle,” “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” and the lead roles in Peter Martins’ “Les Gentilhommes” and Karole Armitage’s “Energy Made Visible.”

Angelina Sansone (KCB) attended the Harid Conservatory on scholarship and spent two seasons with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she appeared in Robert Altman’s 2003 film “The Company.” Following Joffrey, Sansone attended Indiana University before joining Kansas City Ballet. She has performed principal parts in “Apollo,” “The Concert,” “Lark Ascending,” “Afternoon of a Faun,” “Dark Elegies,” “Splendid Isolations III,” “Mozartiana,” “Giselle” and the title role in “Romeo and Juliet.” She also performed Ben Stevenson’s “End of Time” at the International Dance Festival of Colombia.

Tyler Savoie (KCB) began his training at the Columbus Youth Ballet in Ohio under Shir Lee Wu and Young Ge Chen. Savoie was a finalist at the Youth American Grand Prix, where he received a scholarship to The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. During summers, he attended the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Stiefel and Students Workshop. After graduating from The Rock School, he joined the Washington Ballet Studio Company. While there, he performed in numerous ballets by Artistic Director Septime Webre, as well as works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Trey McIntyre and Lila York. He also danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet Fleming, where he performed several works by Artistic Director Christopher Fleming.

Jillian Sivewright (SDT) trained with Andrea Bedford at Northeast Missouri Bible College and helped develop the Worship Arts program at Heartland Christian College. She completed Störling Dance Theater’s artist development program and performed the lead in Imago Dei’s “Wellspring of Life,” choreographed by Mona Störling-Enna, and was a member of Marc Wayne’s Maxxas Dance Theater. She has performed in “Suspended Grace” and “Underground” and has danced the title characters in “The Little Match Girl” and “The Prodigal Daughter.”

Alex Smith (SDT) trained at the University of Iowa Youth Ballet, received her bachelor’s from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and graduated cum laude. While there, she worked with several guest artists including Cleo Parker Robinson, Kevin Iega Jef and Nilas Martin and attended summer programs with the Kansas City Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Contemporary Ballet, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre.

Sarah Joan Smith (KCB) began her training in Kiev, Ukraine. She continued at Columbia Ballet School with Anita Ashley and attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet. She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and following graduation, became a trainee with Boston Ballet. Smith joined Richmond Ballet’s second company under Stoner Winslett and Igor Antonov and performed in many ballets, including “Mozartiana,” “Valse Fantaise,” “Carmina Burana” and “Rite of Spring.” She was a featured soloist in “Don Quixote,” “The Nutcracker” and works by Val Caniparoli.

Josh Spell (KCB) trained at the School of American Ballet and attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He then danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet for 10 years. His leading roles included George Balanchine’s “Emeralds,” “The Four Temperaments” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream;” Todd Bolender’s “Souvenirs;” Val Caniparoli’s “The Bridge;” Nacho Duato’s “Rassemblement;” William Forsythe’s “One Flat Thing;” Ronald Hynd’s “The Merry Widow;” Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort;” Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo et Juliette;” Mark Morris’ “A Garden;” Brian Reeder’s “Lost Language of the Flight Attendant;” Jerome Robbins’ “Fancy Free;” Twyla Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs” and Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia.” He originated leading roles in Paul Gibson’s “The Piano Dance” and “Sense of Doubt” and Olivier Wevers’ “Shindig.”

Gavin Stewart (WHCDC) holds a BFA from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and has danced professionally with WHCDC, MOVE: the Company, Richmond Ballet II, Company E and Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance. Stewart was appointed Composer-in-Residence at Company E and has originated five evening-length works that have been performed in the U.S., Russia, Israel, Palestine and Cuba. He was the first Richmond Ballet II member to choreograph new works for both Richmond Ballet and Richmond Ballet II, and has presented choreography at WHCDC, Agora Dance, Company E and several festivals and educational institutions on the east coast.

John Swapshire (WHCDC) trained at Center of Creative Arts under the direction of Lee Nolting and Alicia Graf Mack. He made it through the Las Vegas round of “So You Think You Can Dance” and recently performed in China with the UMKC Wind Ensemble. Swapshire graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Preston Swovelin (OCDG) trained with the Pasadena Dance Theatre and Miami City Ballet on full scholarship under Cynthia Young, Lawrence Blake and Edward Villella. He is the recipient of various awards, including 2nd place for Hip-Hop at the USA Nationals. Swovelin has danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, Grand Rapids Ballet, Fort Wayne Ballet, Setsuko Kawaguchi Ballet in Japan and performed and choreographed in a collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil.

Kevin Tate (WHCDC) attended the Professional Performing Arts High School of NYC and is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Contemporary program. He has trained at Alvin Ailey, Creative Outlet, Pure Elements and Miami City Ballet. Tate made his off-Broadway debut in Tony Kushner’s “Caroline or Change” at the Public Theater in 2003, which moved to Broadway in 2004. Other theater credits include “Alice in Wonderland” and “Into the Woods” with Disney’s Musical Theater International. He has performed works by Brenda Daniels, Juel Lane, Jamel Gaines, Earl Mosley, Tina Bush, Adrienne Hurd, Clifford Williams, Daniel Gwirtzman, Larry Keigwen, Merce Cunningham, Vernard Gilmore, Susan Jaffe, Gabriel Forestieri and Aszure Barton.

Brett Taylor (OCDG) is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division. Upon graduation, he worked with BJM Danse Montreal, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet British Columbia and Wen Wei Dance. Taylor has performed works by Aszure Barton, Barak Marshall, Itzik Galili, Cayetano Soto, Wen Wei Wang, Mauro Bigonzetti, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, James Gregg and Andrew Skeels. Taylor also has performed in the musicals “Mary Poppins,” “The Producers,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as the music video “Love Again” by Kreesha Turner.

Cameron Thomas (KCB) began his dance training at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, New York, and became a trainee with the Rochester City Ballet. He received a scholarship to attend the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. Thomas joined Kansas City Ballet II in 2016 and was promoted to apprentice with the Kansas City Ballet the following year. With Kansas City Ballet, he has performed in Bruce Wells’ “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Devon Carney’s “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty” and George Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations.”

Michael Tomlinson (WHCDC) began his training at the Miller Marley School of Dance and received his bachelor’s degree from UMKC. While at UMKC, he performed works by Gary Abbot, Robert Battle and Joshua Beamish.

Alvin Tovstogray (OKCB) graduated from Dnipropetrovsk State Choreographic School under Viacheslav Volkov and studied at San Francisco Ballet School under Parrish Maynard and Jorge Esquel. He spent two seasons with The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company. His repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, August Bournonville, Septime Webre, Lucy Bowen McCauley, Margo Sappington, Matthew Neenan and Artistic Director Robert Mills. Tovstogray has received third place at the Istanbul International Ballet Competition (2010), bronze medal at World Ballet Competition Orlando (2011), and gold medal at Tanzolymp (2012).

Dmitry Trubchanov (OCDG) was accepted to the Academy of Russian Ballet (the school of the Kirov Ballet) at 9 years old. He joined Kirov Ballet Theater and traveled around the world. Trubchanov was invited as a guest artist to perform with Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea, during its tour to Taiwan. He has performed at the Stars of Kirov Ballet held in Innsbruck, Austria, and Syracuse, Sicily, the International Ballet Festival in Miami, Florida, and the International Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado. He was also a guest star at several gala performances in Fukuoka, Japan. He was part of the PBS documentary “Do Not Go Gently” about legendary Frederic Franklin, CBE. It was nominated for the best documentary at the Wisconsin Film Festival in 2007. He performed with the Cincinnati Ballet and Colorado Ballet as a principal dancer.

Melissa Tyler (WHCDC) trained and studied at the Lorraine Busch Dance Center, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Alvin Ailey School. She graduated with a BFA in dance performance and pedagogy from Howard University and was an apprentice/intern with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence: A Dance Company and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Tyler was a featured soloist and ensemble member in the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver for five seasons. She has also performed with Washington Reflections Dance Company in Washington, D.C., and has worked with Donald McKayle, Terrence Greene, Louis Johnson, Dianne McIntyre, Greer Reid, Nathan Trice, Neijla Yatkin, Ray Mercer, Sidra Bell, Christopher Huggins, Stephanie Powell, Jeffrey Page, Kathy Smith, Sandra Fortune-Green, Patricia Thomas, Virginia Johnson, Milton Myers, Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Gary Abbott and Cleo Parker Robinson.

Shacura Wade (WHCDC), born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, began her professional training as a student at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA). Wade attended Perry Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp in the summer of 2010. Shortly after, she graduated from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, followed by the University of Missouri-Kansas City; where she received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography.
In Kansas City, Shacura worked with Wylliams/Henry Dance Company, Störling Dance Theater, and The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. In 2017 Shacura eagerly entered the musical theater world as a dancer/actress/singer with "The Lion King, Rafiki Tour." Concluding her run with "The Lion King," Wade sets out to pursue greater dreams and opportunity as a freelance artist.

Molly Wagner began her training with Christina Noel-Adcock, spending summers with Jillana, Joffrey Ballet South, Kansas City Ballet and Ballet Austin. She graduated cum laude from UMKC with a BFA. While there, she was awarded first place of the National Society for Arts and Letters, as well as dancing Waltz Girl in Balanchine’s “Serenade.” Wagner went on to dance professionally with Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Montgomery Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theatre. She had featured roles in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Carmen,” “The Nutcracker,” “Carmina Burana,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Graduation Ball,” George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” and “Allegro Brillante.”

Sarah Walborn (KCB) began her training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. She apprenticed with the San Francisco Ballet and performed in many ballets with the company, including George Balanchine’s “Diamonds” and Helgi Tomasson’s “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote,” “Giselle” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” Walborn has originated many roles, including one of the twins in Septime Webre’s “The Great Gatsby,” and various roles in Webre’s “Alice (In Wonderland).” She has performed with the company in George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments,” Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster” and the staging of Anna-Marie Holmes’ “Le Corsaire” and “Don Quixote,” as well as Twyla Tharp’s “Push Comes to Shove.”

Laura Jones Wallner (OCDG) attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Dance and graduated from their high school Classical Ballet program. During this time, she also studied with Boston Ballet and Houston Ballet. After high school, she danced professionally with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet II and with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Since moving to Kansas City, she has danced extensively with Quixotic and with OCDG.

Richard Walters (OKCB) trained at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Warren Conover, Ethan Stiefel and Nina Danilova. He has also danced with Hubbard Street 2 in Chicago and in works by Alejandro Cerrudo, Norbert De La Cruz III, Merce Cunningham and James Kudelka.

Lanese Washington began her training at Smith Sisters Dance Studio. At Webster University, she trained with artists Maggi Dueker, Donna Patzius-Hill, James Robey and Michael Uthoff. As a member of the Webster University Dance Ensemble, she performed works by Leonard Cruz, Sally Bliss, Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner (restaging Antony Tudor’s “Continuo”), Maurya Kerr (former LINES dancer and founder of the company TinyPistol) and Monica Newsam. Her performance credits include Dancing in the Streets, The National Water Dance, BFA Concerts and James Robey Dance. Washington has spent her summer training with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Maleek Washington (WHCDC) was introduced to dance at Broadway Dance Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. After attending LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, Washington continued his education at The Boston Conservatory while dancing for Commonwealth Ballet. After college, he joined CityDance Ensemble, a company that performed works by Paul Taylor, Kate Weare and Alex Noreal. During his time with Citydance, Washington attended SpringBoard Danse in Montreal where he joined Jose Novas’s Company Flak for two seasons of European tours. His dance career is dedicated to his grandmother, the late Duella Smith.

Brianna Wheeler (SDT) graduated from Störling’s artist development program. She has choreographed many musical theatre productions in Kansas City area and Germany. She teaches ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance.

Marisa DeEtte Whiteman (KCB) began classical training at Seiskaya Ballet until joining Next Generation Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Pre-Professional Program. Whiteman then spent a year training privately before joining Kansas City Ballet as a trainee. Favorite ballets she has performed include Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room,” George Balanchine’s “Diamonds,” William Forsythe’s “In the Middle,” and Devon Carney’s “Romeo and Juliet.” She has performed at the Hermitage Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was featured in both the gala performance at Jacob’s Pillow and as a company dancer with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance.

Alexandra Wilson (SDT) began her formal training at DanceWorks Conservatory. She received her BFA from UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she earned scholarships all four years. She performed works by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine, and Jelone Vierra of Dance Brazil, and was a guest artist for Second Wind Dance Company in Virginia. Wilson has performed and choreographed twice for Young Tanzsommer in Europe. With Störling, she has danced featured and lead roles in “Underground,” “The Prodigal Daughter,” “Butterfly” and “Suspended Grace.”

Latra Wilson (OCDG) began her training at the Dance Factory under the tutelage of Pamela Erwin. She went on to study at UMKC, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She performed numerous works by DeeAnna Hiett, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Jennifer Medina and Rodni Williams. Wilson was a two-time fellowship participant in the Alvin Ailey summer intensive program and she performed at the Kennedy Center at the National College Dance Festival, Setting the Stage with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company.

Andrea Wolfe (SDT) began her training at Danceworks Conservatory and spent most summers at dance intensives, including American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Kansas City Ballet and The Glenda Brown Choreography Project. She received a four-year ballet scholarship to the University of Utah, where she graduated with a BFA in ballet performance and teaching. She danced professionally with Utah Contemporary Ballet, Spirit and Truth, Durham Ballet Theatre, Winston-Salem Festival Ballet and High Point Ballet.

Jeff Wolfe (OCDG) received his training at Houston Ballet Academy on scholarship and accepted into Houston Ballet’s second company. He went on to join BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, and spent several years freelancing across the U.S., dancing with the Montgomery Ballet as a soloist, River North Dance Chicago, Brooklyn-based Renegade Performance Group and Ron De Jesus Dance Company. Wolfe has also been a dancer and aerialist on the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas and has performed original works by Stanton Welch, Harrison McEldowney, Lauri Stallings and Randy Duncan. He was also won the Columbus Choreographic Project in 2008.

Jordan Wooten (SDT) attended The Culture House for training and went on to perform at Starlight Theater in “Les Misérables” and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in “A Christmas Carol.” He went to New York on full scholarship to attend Broadway Artists Alliance’s summer program and then studied dance at Missouri State University before joining the Nashville Ballet in their second company. While there, Wooten performed in many ballets, including Paul Vasterling’s “The Nutcracker,” “Peter Pan,” “Swan Lake,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Peter and the Wolf” as the Wolf.

 

Sponsors

  • Adrienne Kilbride
  • Arthur and Alma Yardley Endowment in the JCCC Foundation
  • Charles Nigro and Dr. Carol Green
  • G. Mark Sappington & David McGee
  • George H. Langworthy, Sr.
  • Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission’s Creative Economy Project Support, Kansas Department of Commerce
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works Arts Engagement in American Communities
  • Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Performing Arts. Commerce Bank, Trustee