Ballet East Dance Company
Celebrating 40 years of "bringing arts to the community and the community to the arts".
Angela Benz started dancing in Bakersfield, CA where she had the opportunity to perform in annual productions of The Nutcracker and competing around California. After high school Mrs. Benz received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from Eastern University in Philadelphia. During her time at Eastern, she studied abroad at Wesley Institute of Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia and performed with professional companies MM2 and Philadanco II, where she was under the instruction of the iconic Pat Thomas, Donald Lunsford, Milton Meyers, and Joan Meyers Brown. After college Mrs. Benz moved to Orlando, FL to be a character Performer at Walt Disney World. She then moved to Austin, TX where she has performed with local companies such as Afrique Gninze (3 years), Ballet East (2 years), and Chaddick Dance Theater (7 years). Mrs. Benz’ passion for dance has also taken her around the world, where she has trained and performed on 4 continents. Mrs. Benz is currently a wife, two time boy mom, VP of People at an Austin tech company, Leadership Coach, and is thrilled to be dancing with Ballet East this season!
TAYLOR DOMINIQUE CONALER
Taylor Conaler Taylor Dominique is a Visual Artist from New Orleans, LA. Embarking on her dance journey at a young age, her style of movement and creation has been influenced by the diverse movement genres of her life’s stops. Now in Austin, TX, Taylor had earned her BFA in Dance from Texas State University under the mentorship of Torens Johnson. As a performing artist, Taylor enjoys integrating her off-stage expression into the realm of movement.
ANA ESTRADA was born and raised in Veracruz, México. She started her professional training at Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, where her concentration was in modern dance. Upon graduation she joined Teoria del Vuelo Dance Company. Ana had the opportunity to teach a variety of classes in both Ballet Internacional Studio and Academia de Danza Valle. Years later, she moved to Austin Texas to pursue her dreams. This is Ana’s first season with Ballet East and is thrilled to be part of our dance family.
LUIS ORDAZ GUTIERREZ
LUIS ORDAZ GUTIERREZ A native of Mexico City, Luis moved to Austin at a very young age and flourished artistically under the tutorship of his mother; a trained dancer from the prestigious Bellas Artes in Mexico. Luis trained in a variety of artistic disciplines throughout his childhood leading to a concentration in visual arts and music. Years later at the age of 16, due to his talent and dedication, Luis landed his first professional role as co-founder and scenic director of ProyectoTeatro, Austin's leading Spanish-language theater company. Continuing to excel at a rapid rate, he moved up department by department until finally taking helm of ProyectoTeatro in 2007 as Artistic and Executive director; being 21 years of age. Luis has directed over 30 productions, and has had the opportunity to travel to New York City, Mexico, Panama, and Thailand. In 2011 he received the MACC Emerging talent award. His multi-faceted interest in the arts led him to partner with Ballet East in the 2012 summer production of “Hear Me, See Me”, which sparked him to hone his artistry in dance again. Since reigniting his passion for dance, Luis has worked with Ballet East Dance Company, Chamacos Dance Company, and Lotus Contemporary Performing Arts, as a dancer and actor.
CANDIS NICHOLE HARRIS
CANDIS NICHOLE HARRIS is a dancer and choreographer with a background in street jazz and various Latin dances. She began studying dance at the age of 14 and continued her formal training at New Mexico State University under the direction of Debra Knapp. She moved to Albuquerque in 2015, where she began her extensive training in Salsa and Bachata, performing with Enigma Dance Project and Mambo Magic. As a creative, movement is her connection back to her truest self and she is honored to share this space with all of you.
Cecley, a native New Yorker, began her dance training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem in their pre-professional division, while also attending summer intensives at the French Academie of Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and the Princeton Ballet. She continued her studies at Columbia University where she obtained a BA in Dance, captained the university's Latin Dance troupe, and performed works by Mark Morris, Adrienne Peck, and Chase Brock. Beyond dance, Cecley brings a unique perspective to her artistry with a background in Architecture and Urban Planning. These disciplines influence her creative approach, shaping the way she envisions the agency of bodies moving through space. Cecley is making her debut with Ballet East this fall and is thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic creative cohort.
Bradi grew up dancing in Utah at six years old. Her professional dance career began her senior year of high school with Salt Lake based, all-styles company, Underground Crew. Dancing and choreographing with Underground for seven seasons, she trained in a variety of styles including ballet, contemporary, tap, house, whacking, popping, and breaking. Bradi’s passion for fusing styles informs her improvisation, floor work, and award-winning choreography. Bradi’s commercial credits include performing alongside internet stars, The Hillywood Show, opening for a Mark Hamill Comic Con panel, performing at Pride festivals, choreographing commercials, and competing at World of Dance Championship competitions. Since moving to Austin, Bradi has had the pleasure of working with Ventana Ballet, Early Era Dance Collective, BLiPSWiTCH, and now Ballet East!
Maya started dancing at the age of eleven in San Antonio, TX, flourishing at Cynergy Dance Company with training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, and Tap. During this time, Maya danced competitively in regional and national competitions. She also completed Cecchetti Ballet examinations. In high school she was a three year member of the varsity dance team and served as captain her senior year. While attending Texas Tech University Maya was a member of Vitality Dance Company and Dancers with Soul Hip Hop group performing at annual showcases, and sporting and city events. She later graduated from The University of Texas at Austin where she completed her Bachelors of Science in Human Biology. Maya is thrilled to continue dancing with Ballet East; This is her first season with the company.
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