Danielle began cultivating a love for dance as early as three years old, but started a serious study of ballet in 2001 at the age of 9 at Inland Pacific Ballet Academy. Over the years at Inland Pacific Ballet, Danielle was afforded many opportunities to perform in their productions of, “The Nutcracker”, “Giselle”, “Little Mermaid”, “Cinderella” and excerpts from “Dracula” at the IPB “Gala”. Her summer intensive studies include Inland Pacific Ballet, The School of American Ballet in New York, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, and Ballet Austin. While at San Francisco Ballet’s 2008 Summer Intensive, Danielle was invited to study with them for the 2008-2009 school year. While attending the summer program of The Pacific Northwest ballet summer of 2010 she was accepted with a scholarship into the Professional Division of their school for the 2010-2011 school year and was able to perform in many of their productions. After attending a summer at Ballet Austin in 2013, she was invited to stay as a trainee with the company 2013-2014 where she was able to perform with Ballet Austin II, and Ballet Austin. Danielle is excited to be performing with the Austin dance project this season.
Zeke Zimmerman has studied the art of tap dance for 19 years in Austin, TX. He’s had the pleasure of studying at Tapestry Dance Company under a number of talented tap dancers such Acia Gray, Nicholas Young, Jason Janas, Matthew Shield, and many others. He is a graduate of the McCallum Fine Arts Academy where he majored in dance. He also apprenticed with Tapestry’s Professional Company from 2014-16 seasons where he appeared in the shows “Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Tap Nutcracker” and “In Your Shoes” under the direction of Acia Gray, and has performed in the 2015 Soul to Sole festival. He has performed and collaborated with a number of Austin musicians and groups including Tina Marsh & The Creative Opportunity Orchestra, Dr. James Polk and Centerpiece, Alex Coke, Randy Zimmerman, and many others.
Sarah Sofia Cantoran
Sam is an Austin native who found his passion for dance when he was 10 years old. He spent 6 years training at a local studio and competed on a pre-professional dance company. During these years Sam attended many dance conventions and competitions and received numerous awards including 2 National titles and 4 Regional titles. He has also received scholarships from Jump, 24 Seven, Radix, Hollywood Connection, the Streetz, NYCDA, Tremaine, Velocity, WCDE, Adrenaline, NRG, Revive, and AMDA. In addition, Sam received scholarships to train at Steps on Broadway, the EDGE PAC, Complexions, Summer Dance Sessions, and Trans4m.
Sam is a versatile dancer who is trained in Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, Ballet, Ballroom, and Tap. He has learned from many top professional choreographers and helped teach young dancers of all ages and levels. Sam has had the opportunity to travel across the country as a Company Assistant to the faculty touring with 7 national dance conventions including Adrenaline, Revive, the Streetz, NRG, Tremaine, the Pulse, and Dance League. He is currently on faculty at NEXT GEN Dance Intensive.
Sam is passionate about creating. His choreography has won several Judge’s Choice, Technique, and Choreography awards at Jump, NUVO, Showstopper, Platinum, Celebrity, and Top 10 Dance Challenge. One of his biggest honors was winning the National Title of Teen Mr. Adrenaline in 2016 with his Self-Choreographed solo. In 2017, another of Sam’s solos won 1st Overall at Nationals at Dancearchy Ultimate Dance Challenge. He creates pieces for other dancers as well and has choreographed college dance solos that have been accepted into Marymount Manhattan, Julliard, University of Arizona, and USC Kaufman. Another very proud moment came in 2018 when one of his students won 1st Overall at Rainbow National Dance Competition with the solo he choreographed for her.
Upon graduation Sam plans to study Dance and Statistics in college. When he’s not dancing, Sam enjoys listening to music, playing with his 2 dogs, traveling, spending time with his friends and family, and serving in his community.
Jesee Smart is originally from Chicago, IL. She has studied dance for more than 20 years under various professionals including Lisa Boehm (Ballet), Frank Boehm (Jazz), Randall Newsom (Ballet, Graham Technique), Judith Chitwood (Ballet, Horton Technique), Paula Frasz (Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre), Karen Williamson (Ballet, Modern), Lila Dole (Spanish), Danny Herman (Broadway Jazz, Tap), Rocker Verastique (Broadway Jazz), Kenney DeCamp (Jazz, Performance), and Joel Hall (Jazz).
Jesee moved to Austin in 2006 after graduating from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management (Human Resources) and a Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Education. She currently choreographs and performs in and around Austin, including multiple performances per year at the Georgetown Palace Theatre. She is the Company Manager for the Youth Performance Company at the Palace as well.
Jesee taught ballet, pointe, modern, tap, and jazz for ten years prior to moving to Austin. She was a founding member of the award winning competition group “Petite Feet” with DancEncounter in Geneva, IL. While attending Northern Illinois University, Jesee was the director and producer of Art for Life, an AIDS benefit concert including all of the visual and performing arts. It was associated with Dance for Life in Chicago to benefit those artists living with and dying from AIDS.
People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. I did not choose. I was chosen to be a dancer, and with that, you live all your life.
Originally from Orlando, Fl, Laura graduated from University of South Florida with her B.F.A. in modern dance performance in 2015. During her college career she had the opportunity to travel to France to study, dance, and choreograph in the USF Dance in Paris Program and the International Dance Festival in Trinidad and Tobago. After graduation Laura continued her training in summer programs with Robert Moses Kin, Repertory Dance Theatre, and Bodytraffic. During her remaining time in Florida she was a member of Red Right Return Dance Company where she performed at the annual Orlando International Fringe Festival. She then traveled to Maine to collaborate with Susan Douglas Roberts, Artistic Director of wildgoosechasedance, and dancer Alex Masi to launch its choreography project of the summer. Laura recently moved to Austin from Bloomington, IN where she collaborated with Stephanie Nugent Dance. Since moving to Austin she has performed in projects with Blipswitch, NunaMaana, Jennifer Sherburn’s 11:11:08, and Empty Maps Collective in this years Revolve: Movement Display.
Chris Barfield has been dancing since the age of 10. Starting off at Stephanie’s Dance Studio One in Katy, Texas, he moved to Austin and started dancing at Joyce Willet’s School of Dance. He had been dance under Quinton Weathers’ direction at The Dance Spot from 2007 to 2008. He has also had training from Cheryl Copeland while attending The Dance Spot. He has had formal training in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop and a little salsa. Chris has received scholarships from Tremaine Dance Convention and was in the highest scoring small group dance at Hall of Fame Challenge in Austin in 2008. At the age of 12, he was asked by Arletta Howard-Logan to play the part of Mowgli in the ballet version of “The Jungle Book” as well as a featured dancer in Randal Marks’ “Jazz and Tango” a few years later. He has also been active in the musical theatre department at his school, performing in musicals such as “Seussical,” “Les Miserables,” and “The Boyfriend.” Some of his acting skills have been put to use in plays such as “The Fisherman and the Mermaid,” “Pinocchio,” and “Teen Drama,” the latter being a special new play for UT Connections.
Chris recently graduated from film school in California where he also worked as a choreographer for the Buena Park Youth Theatre. He choreographed productions of “Guys and Dolls”, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.