Dance Houston’s
15th Annual Celebration of Dance
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 8:00 p.m.
Discovery Green
Houston, TX


This program is sponsored by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts through the Texas Commission on the Arts, The William and Natoma Pyle Harvey Charitable Trust, the Houston Endowment and Dance Source Houston.


WELCOME & REMARKS by MCs Samantha Taborda, Shamond Powell and Floyd Worsley


The Crown by JDF Elite Dance Academy
Rise Up by Ellis Paige Dance Company
Whip It! by KIPP Spirit Dance Ensemble


String Theory by Open Dance Project Inc
Reconstruct by Social Movement Contemporary Dance
Hit The Road Jack by Inertia Dance Company
Suite Nostalgia: I. Cookie Jar II. Nana’ Closet III. Martini Time by NobleMotion Dance
When We Take Flight by Houston Metropolitan Dance Center Inc.
Doundounba by Intuitive  African Dance and Drum Culture
Untitled by Mnemosyne International
Joy to the World by Rising Stars Academy of Dance & Performing Arts
Seong Moo by Korean Culture Learning Center
Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam) by Bharatha Darshana
New Work by Fly Dance Company




The Crown by JDF Elite Dance Academy


DANCERS: Avery Holbrook, Madison McClain, Ashlee Solomon

MUSIC: “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Billie Ellish

DESCRIPTION: The dance portrays 3 sisters of royalty vying to be the next in line for the throne. The piece shows their struggle and the games people will play to achieve what they want at any cost.


Rise Up by Ellis Paige Dance Company

CHOREOGRAPHER: Kennison Mcgrew and Eva Estrada

DANCERS: Abigail Wade, Aubree Stevenson, Sabrina Rodriguez,  Eaden Oluwa, and Ekomobong Iden

MUSIC: “Rise Up- Andra Day” by

DESCRIPTION: Hello! We are a local kids competition team and we compete all over Texas! We started off just teaching in a small daycare center to kids who could not afford dance lessons. Now we have a location we teach at on Highway 6 with over 15 students on our competitive team. These kids are amazing! We work so hard to win at everything we do and we would be honored at the opportunity to perform and grow our studio. This routine is dedicated to a close friend of ours who almost lost her life in a tragic car accident. Reminding her she can rise above anything life throws her. We hope to dance for you guys!


Whip It! by KIPP Spirit Dance Ensemble

CHOREOGRAPHER: Miss. Jessica Smith



String Theory by Open Dance Project Inc


DANCERS: Alisa Mittin, Jaime Garcia, Alonzo Moore, Brittany Thetford Deveau, Stacy Skolnik, Taylor McAnulty, Davis Stumberg, Seth McPhail, Tehillah Hartmann

MUSIC: “”String Theory I. Partials” & “String Theory II. Timeless” by Pierre Jalbert” by Pierre Jalbert

DESCRIPTION: Superstring theory is the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create every particle and force in the universe. This piece premiered at The Hobby Center in September 2017 in collaboration with Musiqa. Special thanks to  composer and friend Pierre Jalbert and to the dancers for their invaluable contributions.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Open Dance Project is an ensemble-driven dance theater company dedicated to developing and presenting world-class dance theater experiences in Houston and serving as a cultural resource through engaging and enriching education and community programming.

DIRECTOR: Annie Arnoult is the founding artistic director of Open Dance Project where she directs the company’s professional performance season and oversees the company’s extensive dance education work in partnership with Young Audiences Houston and the Houston Arts Access Initiative. Arnoult was recently named one of the “25 to Watch 2018” by Dance Magazine, citing her “keen attention to detail” and was a 2017 recipient of Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for the development of the critically acclaimed ‘Bout a Stranger, deemed one of the “most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades,” by Nancy Wozny in Dance Magazine.


Reconstruct by Social Movement Contemporary Dance

CHOREOGRAPHER: Elijah Alhadji Gibson

DANCERS: LaRodney Freeman, Britney McGarity, Andrew Junek, Vincent Calleros, Kharma Grimes, Ke’Ron Wilson, Steffani Lopez, Layzabeth Gonzalez, Elena Giannuzzi

MUSIC: “G. Song” by Kronos Quartet

DESCRIPTION: Set to the classical composition of Terry Riley, and played by the Kronos Quartet, this work suggests a solution of reconfiguring  an idea(s) and/or values of a person or group of people.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Social Movement Contemporary Dance (SMCD) promotes social consciousness through creative arts and community engagement. SMCD focuses on presenting work that reflects the historical ramifications of social injustices, oppression, and discrimination against all peoples and their impact on contemporary social ideas and values.

DIRECTOR: Elijah Alhadji Gibson, Founder and Artistic Director of SMCD, received his MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a focus on dance history, pedagogy, and choreography and graduated from Sam Houston State University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. In 1999, he joined the world-renowned Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, touring nationally and internationally, performing work by the late Gus Giordano, Margo Sappington, Billy Seigenfeld, Christopher Huggins, Mia Michaels, Liz Imperio, Randy Duncan, Mark Swanhart, Tony Powell, Ron De Jesus, Alberto Arias, and Davis Robertson, among many others.


Hit The Road Jack by Inertia Dance Company

CHOREOGRAPHER: Amberly Altamirano & Christopher Thomas

DANCERS: Brenda Almanza, Gabriel Arebolla, Chris Cavasos, Erin Gim, Knoa Overton linzy, Euriah McQueen, Kamryn Mckinney, Kennedi Taylor, Jalon Turner, Fiama Villagrana-Ocasio, Jordan Williams , Brianna Dorantes, Hue Le, Elena Lohmann, Olanga Materanya, Andrea Minotti, Arnol Nolasco, Kaiya Williams, Lamaya Whitnake, Samantha Farmer, Gabriela Hernandez, Zoe Ly, Benjamin Loni, Ryan Sacks, Isaiah Thompson, Giuliana Velez

MUSIC: “Throttle – Hit The Road Jack” by Throttle

DESCRIPTION: This is the elite performing ensemble representing the Westside Dance Program. Inertia aspires to create the total theater experience that is satisfying to the most existential mind while also being compelling to the general audience. This performance was recently performed for the Aga Khan Foundation Walk.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Howling from Westside High School in the Houston Independent School District, established in 2000, The Inertia program is dedicated in developing young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. Through all elements of dance education, Inertia stresses excellence in the classroom and the total development of each student: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical.

DIRECTOR: Originally born in Brownsville Texas, Ms. Altamirano is an alumni from Sam Houston State University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts. While completing her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography, she apprenticed for NobleMotion Dance and performed works choreographed by Elijah Gibson, Manuel Vignoulle, Revolve Dance Company, Recked Productions and Bliss Kohlmyer. She also appeared as a Vegas Finalist for Season 10’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and was also awarded “Fan Favorite” for RGV’s annual Dancing with the Stars event. Upon graduation Altamirano had the privilege of performing as a company member with NobleMotion Dance and founded NobleMotion’s pre-professional 2nd company, NMD2.


Suite Nostalgia: I. Cookie Jar II. Nana’ Closet III. Martini Time by NobleMotion Dance


DANCERS: La’Rodney Freeman, Joshua DeAlba, Allie Durbin, Brittany Thetford Deveau, Seth McPhail

MUSIC: “”Indifference” by Cafe Accordion Orchestra, “Almost in Your Arms” by Sophia Loren, and “Music Makers” by Esquivel” by

DESCRIPTION: A playful look at childhood memories, Suite Nostalgia is a charming trio of works that somewhat innocently pokes fun of human behavior.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: NobleMotion Dance (NMD), one of Texas’s premier dance companies, is recognized for their intense physicality, unique collaborations, and jaw-dropping performances.  Founded in 2009, NMD’s “cutting edge” programming has garnered national exposure receiving over 50 positive reviews and its accolades include being named “Houston’s Best Dance Company” and a feature on ABC’s primetime TV show American Crime. The company tours nationally and has performed in a wide array of venues. NMD is celebrating its 10th anniversary and offers a broad repertory that ranges from intimate to technical wow. For more information, please visit us at

DIRECTOR: Andy Noble and Dionne Sparkman Noble are long time collaborators who have been entertaining dance audiences for over 20 years. Together they direct the Houston based dance company NobleMotion Dance and serve as professors at Sam Houston State University. Notably, Andy and Dionne collaborated with Academy Award winner John Ridley to create choreography for the Emmy Award Winning ABC TV show American Crime. Their work has been presented at New York’s The Alvin Ailey Theater, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C to name a few.


When We Take Flight by METdance


DANCERS: Sinclair Davis, Andres De Blust Mommaerts, Risa D’Sousa, DaMond Garner, Genene McGrath, Elizabeth Sutton, Dwain Travis, Paige White

MUSIC: “Beautiful Mechanical”

DESCRIPTION: When We Take Flight was originally created for the Dancers Responding to AIDS’ (DRA) Fire Island Dance Festival in 2013.  Kyle Abraham has described his quality of movement as a “post-modern gumbo” that is inspired by all types of dance forms.  The work is inspired by Ryan Lott’s musical score, the natural backdrop of the ocean at its original outdoor staging, and the supportive community that comes together for a great cause.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: METdance, founded in 1995, strives to educate, entertain, and inspire its audiences through a diverse curation of repertoire that spans a full range of emotion, content, and collaboration. Based in Houston, TX, USA, METdance’s passionate performers and choreographers come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and instill the company’s work with a complete spectrum of emotionality and physicality. From comedy and humor to poignant and dramatic, from fierce athleticism to detailed minimalism, METdance is committed to presenting works that speak to every audience member regardless of their background, age, sex, or experience with dance. In this way, METdance is proud to be a leader in diversity and vitality of content.

DIRECTOR: Marlana Doyle, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the METdance Company is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana has been dancing with METdance for the past sixteen years and was a major part of the company’s reorganization in 2003. Under her direction, Marlana’s artistic vision has taken the company to new levels of excellence and growth while holding tightly to the company’s long tradition of diversity and versatility in its dancers, choreographers, collaborators, and content.


Doundounba by Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture

CHOREOGRAPHER: Moustapha Bangoura, Tracie Jackson

DANCERS: Tracie Jackson Chanelle Matthews Tarami Readus Minkah Readus Ola Madzimoyo

DESCRIPTION: Traditional West African drum and dance rhythms will be performed and taught, including the traditional meaning and cultural significance.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn basic techniques on traditional African drums and learn dance movements of the rhythms.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Intuitive has offered performances and classes in traditional West African drum and dance  throughout Houston and Texas since 2007.  We strive to preserve the important historical and cultural influences of this art form.  West African drum and dance rhythm meanings are a vital part of our presentation, including their current cultural significance. Information regarding services can be found on the following sites:, Facebook:  Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture, Instagram:  Intuitive African Dance

DIRECTOR: Tracie Jackson  was introduced to West African dance over 19 years ago, has performed this art form for the past 13 years with several companies including Kumbuka and Tekrema Art and Culture of New Orleans, Louisiana; Kuumba House, Wonlande and Intuitive African Dance and Drum Culture of Houston, Texas.  Tracie’s performances include those at Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony; Wortham Theater; Discovery Green; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; the Bayou Arts Festival; the Children’s Museum of Houston; and Rice University.  Tracie has taught West African dance for several schools and dance companies including, Prairie View A.M. University; Dance Houston; Crowd Pleasers Dance; HCC; Klein Oak Dance Club; Project Row Houses; and the Haven Center.


Untitled by Mnemosyne International

CHOREOGRAPHER: Kristina Koutsoudas

DANCERS: Kristina Koutsoudas

MUSIC: “Hawal Hawal” by Zina Daoudia

DESCRIPTION: A traditional, lively and engaging Moroccan Romany dance performed for entertainment at cultural celebrations and festivals. The dancer’s mastery of complex, fast, rhythmic hip work is matched by her energetic, charming, charismatic personality that connects and elevates the audience with her joyful spirit.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Engaged in both traditional research and innovating choreography, Mnemosyne International (MI) dance company,  preserves, interprets, and presents traditional dance of the East and Mediterranean, especially women’s traditional dances, for contemporary audiences.   In existence for four years, Memnosyne has recently been awarded a grant for research into the ritual and cultural dance traditions of Greece.

DIRECTOR: An historic dance performer/choreographer/scholar who hopes to redefine the boundaries of traditional  mystical dance, artistic director, Kristina Koutsoudas, M.A., was voted by the Houston Press as one of the “100 Creatives of Houston” for choreography.  Kristina has won countless awards for ground-breaking choreography, performance, and the teaching of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern dance from the Houston Arts Alliance, Rice University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston Clear Lake, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Dance Houston, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Jewish Community Center of Houston and many more.


I am Light by Rising Stars Academy of Dance & Performing Arts

CHOREOGRAPHER: Denisea Woodard & Adrienne Rowe

DANCERS: Jermya, Mia, Madisyn. Christopher, Demarcus, Dariente, Wilmeika, Jahzara, Tytiana, Madison, Harmani, Zaliyah, Trinity, Dejah, Denisea, Laila, Madison, Araceli, December, Cayce, Sydni, Jaelah. Jaidah, Makayla, Khylie, Kiana, Nadia, Bailey, Alyssa, Imanii, Averi, Courtlyn,  Trinity J, Adrienne,

MUSIC: “I am Light” by India Arie

DESCRIPTION: “I am Light” is a contemporary Lyrical piece performed by Rising Stars most passionate dancers. The message of the song instructs you to look past everything that has happened in your life and see yourself for who you really are.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Rising Stars Academy of Dance and Performing Arts consist of a dynamic group of dancers ages 6 and up under the leadership of Ms. Denisea Woodard. We are a nonprofit performing arts academy located in the Hiram Clarke area. These talented young ladies and gents have performed in a number of stage productions and showcases throughout Texas. They have also received multiple awards for First Place, Best Choreography and Best in Class, to name a few. Our most recent accomplishment is receiving an invitation to showcase our talents on stage at the Walt Disney World®  in Orlando, Florida of June 2019!

DIRECTOR: Denisea Woodard, also known by her students as Ms. D, is the founder and Artistic Director of Rising Stars Academy of Dance and Performing Arts. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Minor in Dance from Prairie View A&M University. Denisea has been dancing for over 18 years and has enjoyed being a part of both the Classic Dance Ensemble and Prairie View’s own Marching Storm Black Foxes. She is an experienced dance teacher in styles such as Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Liturgical style Praise Dance.


Seong Moo by Korean Culture Learning Center


DANCERS: Yun Hwa Lee, Seung Hee Park, Myoung Soon Ryoo

DESCRIPTION: It is a dance that expresses the silence and the classical appearance of Korea quietly by the dance of the woman monk. At first, a female monk dances alone. Then it develops into the drum dance, and at the last, two people finish dance with the kayagum playing.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: The Korean Culture Learning Center is a non-profit organization whose main purpose is to promote Korea to the mainstream society. The main activities can be divided into three categories. 1. Establish a Korean Pavilion in a different city so that many mainstream people can see it at any time. 2. Establishes and operates an educational center to inform the mainstream society of Korean words, writings, history, culture and tradition.  3. It introduces classical music, dance and costumes through various cultural events, showing the image of Korea with mainstream society.

DIRECTOR: Jong U Choe, director of the Korean Culture Learning Center, is a long term resident of Houston (35 years). While following his American dream, he has dedicated much of his life and passion to the Korean and Asian Communities. Since 2002, he was a member of the Korean Sports Association, and soon became it’s president in 2004, serving four 2-year terms. During that entire time, his other passion was to introduce many aspects of Korean culture to the community at large, through the KCLC organization. Most recently, the Korean government recognized his years of promoting Korean culture by awarding him with it’s Presidential Medal of Service.


Indian Classical Dance (Bharatanatyam) by Bharatha Darshana

CHOREOGRAPHER: Soujanya Madhusudan

DANCERS: Sushma, Kirthi, Raeshma, Vandhana, Sakshi, Esha, Vyshnavi, Dhriti, Adithi.

MUSIC: “Natesha  Kauthvam”

DESCRIPTION: Natesha Kauthvam is a beautiful descriptive poem and dance choreography is very traditional and classical. It is based on fast paced rhythmic patterns sounding with syllables such as ‘Dhim Dhim’ & ‘Gana Gana’. The formations have complex and intricate movements explaining the beauty of the cosmic dancer. The Cosmic dance depicts the continual cycle of creation and destruction or the regeneration of energy throughout the Cosmos. Metaphorically, scientists equate Shiva’s dance to the dance of subatomic particles manifesting as in the turn of seasons, in birth and death of all life.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Bharatha Darshana, School of Indian Clasical Dance And Music, is a  premier institute that is 30 years into founding and 10 years old in the USA. Soujanya Madhusudan, it’s artistic associate director, has been imparting the classical art forms in its pristine purity and training students to be well accomplished artists. She is a well acclaimed performing artist, experienced teacher,  creative choreographer with many awards and laurels to her credit.

DIRECTOR: At the forefront of a new generation of Bharatanatyam dancers, Soujanya Madhusudan represents the future of the ancient art form. Being a firm believer in maintaining the integrity of tradition, Soujanya explores her creativity without compromising on the classicism of the dance form.   Soujanya expertise is in Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form. She started her tutelage at the age of 3. She has 21 years of teaching and more than 25 years of performing experiences. She is the artistic associate director of a 30 year old premiere institute, Bharathadarshana, School of Indian classical dance and music, which is celebrating its 10th year in the USA.


New Work by Fly Dance Company


DANCERS: Brenden Winkfield, Adam Quiroz, Dennis Perez, Nate Reyna, Jafar Bryan, Joseph Rumbaut, Joe D. Castillo

DESCRIPTION: FLY’s performance style is called “theatrical hip hop” – “theatrical” because acting is an essential element of the style. FLY has been spreading their infectious “theatrical hip hop” around the world since 1992.  Notable performances include Washington’s Kennedy Center, Miller Outdoor Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Vail International Dance Festival, Lincoln Center and Bob Hope Theater

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Based in Houston, FLY Dance Company offers entertaining, clean-cut, fun concert performances as well as educational shows, workshops, and residencies available for booking locally, nationally, and internationally throughout the year.entertainment is custom-made from FLY’s extensive repertory. FLY offers fun, fast-action, educational shows scripted and designed to deliver entertainment, knowledge, and important social messages to school-aged audiences.

DIRECTOR: Kathy Wood has spent all of her professional life in the arts-first as a dance and art teacher in public schools then as a professional director/choreographer for her own dance companies. As a dance teacher, innovative music selection, choreography, props, staging, and costuming brought her recognition as a leader in her field. She was a founding member and president of the Texas Dance Educators Association.




Ad Deum
West University Dance Center

Bharatha Darshana
12680 Goar Rd
Houston, TX  77077
(832) 390-9757

Ellis Paige Dance Company
6030 Highway 6N
Houston, TX  77084
(281) 954-1794

Fly Dance Company

Houston Metropolitan Dance Center Inc.
2808 Caroline
Houston, TX  77004
(713) 522-6375

Inertia Dance Company

Intuitive  African Dance and Drum Culture
2932 Holly Hall
Houston, TX  77054
(713) 303-3935

JDF Elite Dance Academy
4325 FM 2351
Friendswood, TX  77546
(281) 993-4559

Korean Culture Learning Center
8831 Long Point Rd #301
HOUSTON, TX  77055
(281) 974-5398

Mnemosyne International
2051 Sul Ross Street
Houston, TX  77098
(832) 571-6900

NobleMotion Dance,
(832) 627-9664

Open Dance Project Inc
Hunter Dance Center
747 N Shepherd Dr. Ste 100
Houston, TX  77007
(832) 962-8982

Rising Stars Academy of Dance & Performing Arts
14114 Hiram Clarke Rd
Houston, TX  77045

Social Movement Contemporary Dance
1307 W. Clay St.
Houston, TX  77019
(773) 495-0501