Bianca Abarca is a NYC movement based artist. Raised in North Carolina, she discovered dance after five years of gymnastics training. Bianca studied the Graham Technique at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte under the direction of Kim Jones. She went on to study at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary in NYC. Performed works include choreography by Gretchen Alterowitz, Kim Jones, Audrey Baran and Melissa Word. Currently, her focus is in creating technologically augmented movement and sonic based works.
Joey Bee is an episodic and autobiographical artist working across multiple disciplines to unapologetically expose perceived shameful private moments to the public. Her work forces the audience to confront uncomfortable topics such as; sexual trauma, substance abuse, mental illness, and female sexual agency. She works across mediums and disciplines; however, there is always a trace of her body present in the work.
She holds an MFA in New Projects from Columbus College of Art & Design and a BFA in Modern Dance Performance & Choreography from Ohio University. She has studied with Carmen Winant, Fierce Pussy, Simone Forti, and Marina Abramovic et al. Her work has been shown in galleries, theaters, bars, and warehouses across the American Southeast and Midwest. Joey developed STEAM curriculum for Nashville based ASET Academy for Arts 501(c3) as well was a teaching assistant for Visual Literacy and for Junior Studio Critique at CCAD. She has also guest lectured on Porn, Art, and Eroticism in the graduate program at CCAD.
Joey Bee lives in Columbus OH with her two cats, Maya Deren the Kitty and Hazel. When she isn’t in her studio she enjoys roller skating, live music, telling jokes, and doing impersonations (all of which sound like a hybrid Cookie Monster/Yoda).
Kylie Hester grew up in Chester, VA and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Richmond in May 2017 with a dual degree in Business Administration and Dance. Throughout her college experience, she performed works by choreographers such as Norbert De La Cruz III, Stephanie Martinez, Starr Foster, Alexandra Damiani, Nathan Trice, and more. Kylie also interned in arts administration positions with the Tuloy Foundation in the Philippines, American Dance Festival, and Charlotte Ballet. In April of 2016, she received the Student Choreographer Award from Starr Foster Dance Project and presented her work, 10, 2, and 4, in the 14th Annual Richmond Choreographers Showcase. Soon after moving to Charlotte, NC in May 2017, Kylie began working and performing with Megan Payne and Baran Dance. Although her path has since taken her back to Richmond, VA, she looks forward to continuing to collaborate with both Charlotte and Richmond-based artists. When she's not dancing, you may find her coordinating weddings at The Barns of Kanak, a Richmond wedding and event venue. She also enjoys ice cream, traveling, and hanging with her dog, Dallas.
Kate relocated to Charlotte 10 years ago, and soon after she met Audrey Baran who'd ultimately introduce her to the dance community and her second family. As a Baran Dance contemporary company member and contributing choreographer the last 7 years, Kate has performed in the Democratic National Convention, North Carolina Dance Festival, Tobacco Road Dance Productions, Hollins MFA Thesis Presentation, LadyFest, Wine & Dance, etc., and many bi-annual Baran Dance shows. Kate served as co-director of apprentice company BD2 for a few seasons and has taught jazz, contemporary, and hip hop classes across Charlotte, including Open Door Studios, Charlotte Ballet, and NC Dance District. Outside of Audrey and Baran Dance, Kate has trained under and performed for various choreographers and groups in Charlotte, but most recently it's Megan Payne who's deeply impacted Kate's dance career and evolution as a student and performer, both on stage and in front of the camera.
Sam is a Charlotte-based arts marketer and dance artist. In 2017, she graduated magna cum laude from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BSBA in Marketing and a BA in Dance with a concentration in Performance, Choreography & Theory. She’s performed prestigious works by Martha Graham and Paul Taylor and performed on the renowned stages such as the Joyce Theater in NY and the Knight Theater in NC. She’s spent summers training at Torino, Italy, Key West, and at Martha Graham Contemporary Dance on full scholarship. In 2015, she conducted undergraduate research to reconstruct a lost 1962 work entitled “Tracer” for choreographer, Paul Taylor, presenting at five undergraduate symposiums and performing in the work. Sam is the digital marketing manager for Charlotte Ballet and a freelance designer working with local emerging companies. Sam also works with choreographer Sarah Council.
Audrey Baran is a dance performer, maker, and educator based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds a BA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a MFA in Dance from Hollins University. As the founder and artistic director of Baran Dance & apprentice company BD2, she is dedicated to broadening perceptions and accessibility of contemporary dance in the Southeast. Audrey has presented work through the National Dance Educators Organization Conference, Bill Evans Somatic Dance Conference, North Carolina Dance Festival, Tobacco Road Dance Productions, Triangle Dance Project, Ladyfest CLT, Charlotte Dance Festival and numerous self-produced productions. She was the 2019 UNCC Department of Dance Distinguished Alum, an inaugural recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council, and has received awards and nominations for her work from the Movies by Movers Festival, the Charlotte Emerging Dance Awards, and the Carolina Arts & Theatre Awards. She is an Adjunct Lecturer in Dance at UNC Charlotte and on the teaching faculty of Charlotte Ballet Academy and Open Door Studios. Audrey is also a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level, and thrives on sharing her love of movement and mindfulness throughout the Queen City and beyond.
Hanna is a Charlotte-based aerialist and dancer. She majored in dance at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte and Piedmont Dance Conservatory, where she received most of her technical training and discovered her particular passion for release technique. In 2009, Hanna attended NC Governor's School at Salem College, where she first explored movement and choreographic practices outside of the classical realm she had always known. After a brief hiatus from dance to get her degree at Chapel Hill, Hanna made up her mind to move back to her hometown of Charlotte to find her place in the growing city and its blossoming arts community, where she lives, works, and dances today.
Since returning to Charlotte, Hanna has had the privilege of being an artist-in-residence at Goodyear Arts in 2015. She has toured with NC Dance Festival in Eric Mullis's "Phasings" and has shown her own work at BOOM Festival and as part of Triptych Collective's Snug Harbor residency, among other venues. When she isn't dancing, Hanna works as a software engineer, models, and hangs out at AerialCLT, where she trains and performs on silks, lyra, trapeze, and most recently, sling.
Paige Keller (Charlotte, NC) began her dance career at Birmingham Dance Theatre and later, Rhythm Dance Studio upon her family moving to North Carolina. Following her graduation from University of South Carolina, she gained her JD/MBA in Charlotte. In 2014, she joined Baran Dance Company. Since this time she has performed in TEDxCharlotte, local Women’s Showcases, Loose Leaves, NC Dance Festival, Hollins University MFA Thesis Performance, and Tobacco Road workshops.
Brittany Skala is a freelance artist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She holds a BA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she trained till 2014. During her time at UNCC, Brittany performed in a variety of notable pieces including the 2011 reconstruction of “Primitive Mysteries” and a Dance.Draw project piece choreographed by Sybil Huskey and Melissa Word, “The Angled Angels Assembly.” Brittany also performed as a repertory ensemble dancer in a piece restaged by Christian von Howard.
Since her graduation, Brittany has continued to move and collaborate with artists such as Megan Payne, Eric Mullis, Caitlyn Swett and Audrey Baran. She has performed in multiple seasons of Charlotte’s LadyFest, the Charlotte Dance Festival and the North Carolina Dance Festival.
Outside of the studio, Brittany is the founder and owner of Wellness With Bee where she works as a Body Confidence and Self-Love specialist; helping women to connect to their bodies and build confidence through love.