17th Annual Modern Dance Festival at the Modern
Artist Bios

Allana Lindgren Allana Lindgren – guest lecturer June 10: Motherwell and Modern Dance: Activating Creativity through Automatism

Allana Lindgren, PhD, is the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. She has published in a variety of journals and collections, including The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, Dance Research Journal, Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, American Journal of Dance Therapy, and Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Co-edited publications include Canadian Performance Documents and Debates: A Sourcebook (2022), Moving Together: Dance and Pluralism in Canada (2021), The Modernist World (2015) and Renegade Bodies: Canadian Dance in the 1970s (2012). She is also the Dance Editor for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.

James Klosty James Klosty – recorded video interview June 17: Re-Assembling The Past and Pondering The Future: Merce Cunningham’s “Assemblage”
James Klosty is a photographer and an actor/singer who still pays his equity dues even though he has not performed in anything for a long time. He was a member of the inaugural class of NYU’s professional theater MFA program. He first saw the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in London in 1964 and the experience changed his life. In 1975, Dutton published Merce Cunningham, which was the first book ever to appear on Cunningham. In 1975, Klosty’s Cunningham photographs received one-man exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery and the International Center of Photography. Merce Cunningham was republished in 1986. In 2014, Wesleyan University Press published his book John Cage Was. In 2018, Damiani published Greece 66, a collection of his photographs of Greece. Merce Cunningham Redux was published in 2019 by PowerHouse Books (distributed by Simon & Schuster) in honor of the 100th anniversary of Merce Cunningham’s birth. This reimagined version greatly expands on the original publication, with an additional 140 pages of photographs, many not previously published. Featuring duotone printing in a beautiful, hard bound volume, Merce Cunningham Redux includes photos documenting the making of “Assemblage.” The Hudson Review noted: “These aren’t the careful poised pictures you see in glossy magazines, but a sweaty record of effort and elusive reward. The people dancing might be about to exit off the stage. You can feel them breathing. The camera must have been a friend of the subjects, waiting on the sidelines to catch their moments of hilarity, levitation or stress.” Today, Klosty is primarily an organic gardener who grows at least one dozen varieties of potatoes every year.

(photo by James Klosky)

You can purchase Merce Cunningham Redux through several sources. Find references at:

LaCentheah Cece Bagley LaCentheah "Cece" Bagley (Dallas) – dancer / choreographer, July performances

LaCentheah "Cece" Bagley (Dallas) is a Booker T. Washington HSPVA alum. She has trained in many genres of dance including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, West African and Afro-Cuban. Cece has performed in many venues in Dallas and its surrounding communities. She has recently completed her third year of college working towards her future career goals. Cece is in her fifth season with Beckles Dancing Company.

Loris Anthony Beckles Loris Beckles (Dallas) – choreographer, July performances

Loris Anthony Beckles is the Artistic Director of Beckles Dancing Company and Executive Director of ARGA NOVA DANCE. Loris holds a BA in Dance from Adelphi University and also studied dance at New York School of Ballet and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. He has danced with the ALVIN AILEY REPERTORY ENSEMBLE (now Ailey II), ELEO POMARE DANCE COMPANY, JOAN MILLER DANCE PLAYERS, CAPITOL BALLET and the SYRACUSE BALLET THEATRE, among others, in NEW YORK and on tour in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Mr. Beckles has taught in New York City, cities across the U.S., in Europe and the Caribbean. He has choreographed for several companies, including the ALVIN AILEY REPERTORY ENSEMBLE. A 1997 Dallas Morning News review referred to his work as "... daring" and "gorgeous". And he won a 1997 Leon Rabin Award for Outstanding Choreography for "HAIR" at the Deep Ellum Opera Theatre (DEOT). Mr. Beckles has served as Facility Manager for DEOT and coordinated their New Dance Meets New Music and A Month of Dance festivals. In the summers of 1997 and 1998, Loris taught "at risk" students at AileyCamp in Kansas City, MO. Previously, he was artistic director of the BLUE MERCURY DANCING COMPANY in New York for over ten years. He has taught Ballet and Modern Dance at Park Cities Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Modern/Jazz to youngsters at South Dallas Cultural Center, and Jazz Dance at Dream Catcher and Infinite Bounds in Plano.

He is the founder of the André R. George Association (ARGA), dedicated to Dance and Related Arts and Issues. He is also the founder and coordinator of the annual South Dallas Dance Festival at the South Dallas Cultural Center, which has had increasing success. Loris has been a frequent collaborator with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth in a variety of capacities, including choreographing for the CD/FW company and being a founding member of the Barefoot Brigade collective of North Texas artists who collaborated to produce festivals and outreach events, primarily in Dallas. The Beckles Dancing Company has appeared in many previous years of the Modern Dance Festival at The Modern.

Jerry Bywaters Cochran Jerry Bywaters Cochran (1936-2022) – dedicatee, July performances

Jerry Bywaters Cochran was born and raised in Dallas, TX, growing up in a family whose foundations were the arts.  Her father Jerry Bywaters was a well-known visual artist and director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts who also taught at Southern Methodist University and her mother Mary McLarry Bywaters was a musician.  Jerry learned at an early age the importance of the arts in our lives.  In her early years studying at Juilliard, her teachers included famous choreographers such as Martha Graham, Anthony Tudor, Louis Horst, and Doris Humphrey.  Upon graduation, Jerry received the outstanding Juilliard graduate in dance award from the American Guild of Musical Artists, followed by a Fulbright Fellowship to study with Marcel Marceau in Paris.  Jerry chose to return to the Southwest to perform and teach. 

Through a Rockeller Foundation Grant, Jerry taught movement to the actors of the Dallas Theater Center and was a member of the company. For ten years, she directed a school in Dallas devoted exclusively to modern dance training.  In 1968, she inaugurated the modern dance program at Texas Christian University where she taught for 17 years, developing the BFA and MFA degrees in Modern Dance.  As part of her Associate Professorship, she choreographed two major works each year.  Many of Jerry’s students have gone on to work with professional dance companies, universities, and colleges of all sizes. 

Jerry thought dance in worship was a very powerful way to pray and she danced in many church denominations worship services for forty years.  Jerry and her husband Calloway (a pianist and attorney) established two scholarship endowments: The Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran Scholarship for Excellence in Modern Dance (TCU), and, at Juilliard, The Jerry Bywaters Cochran Scholarship in Dance (in Honor of Martha Hill). Jerry was a longtime member and proponent of the Dance Council of North Texas (originally the Dallas Dance Council). The Dance Council awarded her the annual “Mary” award (named after her mother, Mary McLarry Bywaters) for her lifetime contribution to dance in 1992.  She also received a lifetime achievement award from the TCU dance alumni for her contribution to the development of the Department of Ballet and Modern Dance. 

Jerry served as a member of the CD/FW advisory board for many years, and she and Calloway were generous contributors to the organization’s educational and community outreach programming.  (Aside:  Calloway became infamous for creating an informal group called “SOTs”  Spouses Of Terpsichore.) Jerry was very proud of her children Mary and Robert for their many achievements – her daughter in the field of dance and her son in the realm of poetry – and not just as artists, but as educators in the arts, sharing their knowledge and love for the arts with younger generations.

Mary Cochran

Mary Cochran (1963-2017) – dedicatee, July performances

Mary Cochran was a renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher born and raised in Dallas. The granddaughter of visual artist Jerry Bywaters and musician Mary Bywaters, her father Calloway was a pianist and attorney, her mother Jerry was a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, and her brother Robert is a poet.  Mary started her dance training with her mother Jerry Bywaters Cochran at the age of 5, and never stopped. 

A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts high school program, Mary was briefly a student at Juilliard before she was invited to join the Nikolais Dance Theatre, and later became a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 12 years.  She toured the world many times over with both companies.  In addition to being frequently featured as a soloist in the Taylor company, Mary also served as a representative for restaging Taylor’s works on other companies and for university and performing arts high school programs.  Her first marriage was to composer and musician Bruce Adolphe, with whom she collaborated artistically, and her second marriage was to fellow Taylor company member Thomas Patrick. 

After serving as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and at Mills College, she was the director of the Taylor 2 company for two years and went on to become the Chair of the Department of Dance at Barnard College where she started the Barnard Project with Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts) pairing professional choreographers and dance students in collaborations that culminated in an annual performance. Another of her initiatives, Sugar Salon, created with Marissa Beatty and Williamsburg Art nexus, supported and highlighted choreography by women. Mary completed a master’s in choreography and performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Mary’s ties to CD/FW included creating Demiurge, an original work for the company, and making guest appearances as a soloist in her own works and solos by other choreographers in concerts at Ed Landreth Auditorium and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.  Mary was a thoughtful advocate for advancing the programs and platforms for dance education in ways that would create better ties between academia and the professional world.  She was also an advocate for interdisciplinary works emphasizing new collaborations and the interrelationship of the arts.  Ultimately, Mary found the world to be a fascinating place full of possibility.  She was interested in all of the arts and was happy to help other artists on their own journeys.

(photo by Milton Adams)

Heather Coder Heather Coder (Godley) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Originally from Del Rio, Texas, Heather Coder earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University in 1990. While at TCU, Heather studied under and performed works by Ellen Page Shelton, Susan Douglas Roberts, James Truitt, and David Hochoy. Heather was a Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth company member during its first season, including performing in Kerry Kreiman’s “Echoes” at the company’s premiere performance at the Dallas Morning News Dance Festival and currently serves on the CD/FW Board of Directors. Over the years, she has returned to dancing in various performances associated with the Modern Dance Festival at The Modern including a special version of Twyla Tharp’s “The One Hundreds: Phrases 1-100” and Lori Sundeen Soderbergh’s “Chakra Dance” and “Peace Chain.” This August, Heather continues her position as an Educational Diagnostician as she begins her 27th year as an elementary school educator. She is a grandmother of two girls and has been active in the sport of Ironman triathlons. Heather has just begun an adventure in the dance form of Belly Dancing.

Doug Ferguson Doug Ferguson (Fort Worth) – composer, July performances

Doug Ferguson was born in New Orleans, LA in 1954.  He received a BA in Religion from Texas Christian University in 1972, in addition to postgraduate apprenticeship in radio and electronics, music composition and general imagineering.  He is currently composing music for two separate albums to be released this coming winter.  Doug is retired and resides in Fort Worth..

Ann-Marie Heilman Ann-Marie Heilman (Fort Worth) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Ann-Marie Heilman is a professional movement artist who brings her passion for freedom and wholeness into everything she does, especially in home-educating her precious ones, Zoey, Phoenix, and Sydney. Ann-Marie’s training began with the Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet, then with the Kilgore College Rangerettes as a Lieutenant and Swingster. Afterwards, she received her BFA in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University. Ann-Marie has had the opportunity to dance with many artists and companies throughout the years including Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth for 15 seasons+, Dallas Dance Company, Open Sky Arts Collective, Starmakers Dance and Performance Camps, and Ka Pa Hula O' Manulani. She also was on tour with Dance Revolution for 9 years, as a choreographer, teacher, and performer, as well as trained and poured into its Ingredients Dance Company and Training Program. Many wonderful partnerships with colleges and ministries have allowed Ann-Marie to release her unique insight into the connections between, spirit, body, and mind, including Christ For the Nations, Youth With a Mission, Adjunct at TCU, Shady Grove Church, Forerunners for the Arts, and Pointe 121. Ann-Marie is the founder and creator of Movementology and has been teaching it as a live seminar for 20 years+. She is excited to expand the message by getting it into written form soon to be published! Movementology discusses the Theology of Movement and how to partner with God in your Body.

John Hopkins John Hopkins (Lubbock) – composer, July performances

John Hopkins has been playing music since childhood, when he started in piano, Hammond organ, Solovox, violin and drum machine.  He holds a BS in Mathematics with related studies in computer science and Russian language from Texas Christian University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  His multiple careers have included software development for Stavewriter for the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument; serving as the lead staff musician for the TCU School for Classical and Contemporary Dance; composing and producing albums for music for dance and assisting in producing albums for other composers; working on research in quantum statistical physics and teaching astronomy laboratory sessions at TCU; tutoring students in mathematical subjects such as statistics, calculus and physics; serving as a senior systems engineer on the Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin; working on Macintosh platform software development for 10 years with the SU5 Group, Inc.; and working as a technical analyst in F-16 structural engineering for General Dynamics, where he met his wife Darlene.  John was an active church musician at Trinity Lutheran Church Fort Worth for over 20 years where he functioned as interim and substitute organist, handbell director, and director of Munesu Marimbas (a Zimbabwe-style marimba band).  He has performed on many acoustic instruments including piano, harpsichord, recorder, banjo, mandolin, accordion, djembe, and drum kit and his experience with electronic music includes experimentation with software such as Garage Band, Sibelius, Audacity and Supercollider.  John has participated in several jazz projects, including the Ipanema Jazz Ensemble, and has played violin and piano for the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra.  He created music for dance at TCU SCCD for twenty years and has collaborated with CD/FW for a variety of outreach projects, including “Dance Delivered” educational outreach programs in area public schools and performances at the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He recently started a new chapter, leaving TCU and Fort Worth to join his wife, Pastor Darlene, for her first call at Shepherd King Lutheran Church in Lubbock. His hope is to spend time in composing and performing, learning more about piano maintenance, and accompanying a few Ballet Lubbock technique classes for good measure.

Stephanie Howell Stephanie Howell (Dallas) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Stephanie Howell is a life long resident of Dallas, TX. She attended Mary Lois School of Dance at a young age where her love of dance began. From Mary Lois School of Dance, she went on to study the art of dance at Collin College where she joined Collin Dance Ensemble. She later went on to Sam Houston State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a minor in Secondary Education. After college, Stephanie came back to Dallas, joined Beckle's Dancing Company and returned to Mary Lois School of Dance as a dance instructor and front desk personnel. She now serves as a substitute for the Dallas independent school district as she prepares to teach in the fall.

Suzie Jary Suzie Jary (Fort Worth) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Suzie Jary is a native of Fort Worth, Texas who started dancing at Margo Dean School of Ballet at age 5. She performed with Ballet Concerto, Casa Manana and the Fort Worth Opera in her teenage years. Suzie had a professional musical theatre career that included Dinner Theatre, Off-Broadway, NYC Workshop, Summer Stock, National Tours and dancing at the famous Monte Carlo Sporting Club in Monaco. Suzie performed on Broadway in the 1980s in Gower Champion’s ‘42nd Street.’ Afterwards, Suzie earned a Master of Social Work and is in the counseling field as an LCSW-S and a Board Certified Psychodramatist. Since returning to Fort Worth from New York City in 2008, she danced with CD/FW in Twyla Tharp’s "The One Hundreds: Phrases 1-100"; performed Dance Worship Services with Ballet Concerto; and has emceed and tap danced at Arts Fifth Avenue. Currently, she is faculty at Weatherford College teaching social work and addiction studies and serves as a Board Member of Ballet Concerto. In 2014, Suzie received the Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas, for her 20 years of counseling work with Career Transition for Dancers in NYC.

Breanna Kimbley Breanna Kimbley (Arlington) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Breanna Kimbley received a BFA in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University (2004), where she performed in works by guest artists: Sabrina Castillo, Leah Cox, Christian von Howard, Nina Martin, and Caryn Heilman. She attended the American Dance Festival in the summer of 2002. Following graduation, she danced with CD/FW from 2005-2009 performing in works choreographed by Kerry Kreiman, Amy Jo Myers, Tina Mullone, and Jovien Ng. She taught for the CDFW school and Dance Delivered educational community outreach program (2005-2009). Breanna completed a Teacher Certification Program and earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University-Commerce (2011). She has taught academics in the elementary classroom including 1st-6th grades over the past 10 years. She is currently teaching at the Leadership Academy at Mitchell Boulevard in FWISD. She is happy to be rejoining CD/FW for this performance and celebration of art and dance.

William Meadows William Meadows (Austin) – composer, July performances

For over four decades, William Meadows has worked as a composer, sound designer and audio engineer with dance companies, musical groups and his own multi-media performances. His work has been featured on the radio and at music festivals and concerts across the country. He is the resident sound designer and composer for Blue Lapis Light aerial dance company in Austin, and has worked with Forklift Danceworks, Austin Shakespeare, and Austin Dance India among many others. Meadows has been a composer, collaborator, and coconspirator with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth since its inception.

(photo by Phil Hallmark)

Courtney MulcahyCourtney Mulcahy (Austin) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Courtney Mulcahy currently serves as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Collin College. She was a full-time Professor of Dance for many years prior, instructing in the areas of ballet, modern, ballroom, Pilates, world dance, and performance. She has served on the faculties of Collin College, Texas Christian University, Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M International University, and Tarrant County College. Courtney has performed professionally with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth for many years as well as Spectrum Dance Company, San Antonio Metropolitan Dance Company, Candela Latin Dance Company, and Ka Pa Hula O Manulani. Her choreography has been presented at ACDA conferences and at the University of Louisiana, Texas State University, Sam Houston State University, UT Dallas, and Tarrant County College. She holds an MFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University.

(photo by Nick Young)

Tina MulloneTina Mullone (Providence, RI) – performer / choreographer, July performances

Tina Mullone, a Texas native, holds a BA in Art History from the University of Oklahoma and MFA in Dance from Texas Christian University. She began her dance training under Fernando Schaffenburg in Fort Worth, TX. She continued to study at Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the University of Oklahoma. She performed and taught for JAADE Dance Theater, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth (CD/FW) and Beckles Dancing Company (BDC). Besides the Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex area and the community colleges, Tina taught at the Texas Ballet Theater School and Texas Christian University. She also taught dance at both Fort Worth and Dallas school districts for over 20 years. She performed with Kariamu and Company: Traditions and Bianca G. Harris Dance Ensemble (both companies located in Philadelphia, PA). She has performed in Germany, Mexico, New York City, Philadelphia, Louisiana, Virginia and Texas. Over the years, she has attended numerous dance workshops including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women Summer Institutes, American Dance Festival and the Katherine Dunham Institute. During her tenure as Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, she commuted from Louisiana to Texas to work with BDC and CD/FW (as Associate Artistic Director for the latter), co-directed M2 (M squared), a performance art duet, and served as a dance specialist for Louisiana A Plus Schools. She currently sits on the Arts Advocacy, JEDI and Nominations/Elections committees under NDEO (National Dance Education Organization) and the New England board for ACDA as Regional Director (American College Dance Association). As a board member, she is serving in her third year on the Equity & Justice committee. She is a certified Pilates mat instructor and at the Professional level of Umfundalai contemporary African dance technique, as well as a National Water Dance ambassador. Her accomplishments include 25 years and counting as a dance artist, performing at the Houston Fringe Festival with M2 and New Music on the Bayou, serving as a Dance Education specialist for International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), presenting at the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) & ACDA conferences, and participating on academic discussion panels at IABD and Texas Christian University. She currently teaches dance for Beckles Dancing Company. Her research includes deconstructing space and dance in African-American culture, Black feminist theory in art and movement, using dance as a decolonizing approach in education and spirituality in African Diaspora dance. She teaches in the Dance Department at Bridgewater State University as Assistant Professor. Like and follow M2 on Facebook and @tinimudancer

(photo by Jakari Griffith)

Brittany Padilla Brittany Padilla (Denton) – composer, July performances

Brittany Padilla is a music performer, composer, producer, and educator residing in Denton, TX. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Texas and a Masters of Education in Instructional Design and Technology from West Texas A&M University. She is currently a full-time dance accompanist and music educator at Texas Woman's University. She performs and composes in collaboration with local dance companies and individual artists around the United States for various workshops and festivals (ACDA, TDIF, MALCS etc.) as well as other colleges and universities in DFW (UTA, TCU, etc.) As a multi-instrumentalist, she plays and records an array of acoustic and digital instruments with emphasis on percussion and voice. Brittany works with Ableton Live, a software for producing music and is a certified Ableton Specialist through Berklee College of Music. CD/FW audiences may remember her past appearances with the company and other guest performers at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and other locations, including a site-specific, outdoor, traveling performance on the grounds of the Kimbell Art Museum.

(photo by Shuster Studios)

ClaudiaPOrcasitas Claudia P. Orcasitas (Fort Worth) – composer, July performances

Claudia P. Orcasitas is an adjunct assistant professor at University of Texas at Arlington and a dance educator at Terrell Academy for Stem and Visual & Performing Arts. Claudia is deeply invested in practicing ballet, modern dance and contemporary dance. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru) and completed her Master of Fine Arts in dance at Texas Woman’s University where she earned the Dr. Linda Caldwell Excellence in Writing award, the Experiential Student Scholars Award and the Mary Cartwright Brown Merrick & Hellen Baldwin Bauer Smith Scholarship for her outstanding academic performance and research practice. Claudia has choreographed and performed for Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth over many seasons, including for multiple festivals at The Modern. Since graduate school, Claudia continues to perform and choregraph at local and regional festivals and as a guest artist at select colleges and universities in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Her current primary academic research explores body, space and cultural identity as well as topics related to diversity and inclusion in dance.

(photo by marioantonioLO photography)

Lori Sundeen Soderbergh Lori Sundeen Soderbergh (Dallas) – choreographer / dancer, July performances

Lori is a director, producer, writer, dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and actress. She has choreographed professionally since 1986 and taught dance for 15 years in Stockholm, Sweden.

Her works “Peace Chain”, “Chakra Dance” and “A Time to Dance” have previously been featured in Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth's Modern Dance Festival at The Modern. She has also previously choreographed for and performed with the CD/FW company for various projects, and participated in many of the Barefoot Brigade Dance Festivals which were co-produced by a collective of North Texas artists and companies.

Lori founded Over the Bridge Arts in 2017 and Burning Woman in 2018. She often explores social issues in her choreography, such as climate change, airport security, global pandemic, human rights and women’s rights. In the DFW area, her work has been shown at the Dallas Museum of Art, Sammons Center for the Arts, Bath House Cultural Center, Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Arts Fifth Avenue, Arts Goggle, Hip Pocket Theatre, Sanders Theatre, and many more settings. Lori received her B.F.A in Modern Dance from TCU and her M.A. in Dance History from the Laban Centre in London.


Jessica Thomas Jessica Thomas (Nacogdoches) – dancer / choreographer July performances

Jessica Thomas currently serves as Assistant Professor of Dance at Stephen F. Austin State University. She received her BFA in Dance from the University of North Texas and her MFA in choreography with a focus in interdisciplinary arts from Wilson College.  Along with dance, she is an active musician, poet, sound designer, and videographer.  Jessica is also a licensed massage therapist, yoga practitioner, and member of the Dance Studies Association.  She has performed professionally with companies such as Contemporary Dance Fort Worth, Muscle Memory Dance Theatre, and Backhaus Dance Company.  Jessica has premiered independent dance works at a variety of festivals and venues, including Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth’s Modern Dance Festival at The Modern, Brazos Dance Festival, Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, 254 Dance-Fest, South Dallas Cultural Center, Water Tower Theatre, The Wild Detectives, Bath House Cultural Center, and Sammons Center for the Arts.  Her screen dances, In Memorium, Vortex, and Underdeck, have premiered nationally and internationally. Jessica’s practice-led research fuels her interdisciplinary dancemaking and teaching practices, exploring the multifaceted realms of embodied knowledge through the lens of the dancing body, and has been presented internationally in Vancouver, Canada, and Exeter, England.  Jessica teaches dance film, modern and postmodern techniques, ballet, jazz, and dance improvisation, interweaving concepts from somatics, experiential anatomy, and integrated bodywork. Above all else, Jessica is enlivened by mentoring individuals in a way that experientially empowers and refines their autonomy as emerging dance artists while enriching their collaborative capacity as creative human beings.

(photo by Milton Adams)

Sherry Wellborn Sherry Wellborn (Haltom City) – dancer / choreographer July performances

Sherry Welborn holds a BFA in Ballet & Modern Dance (double major) from Texas Christian University, where she also served as adjunct faculty for 3 years. A long-active member of the Fort Worth dance community, Sherry has performed locally with various independent choreographers and performing groups including Ballet Concerto, Dian West, Shakespeare in the Park, Hip Pocket Theatre, TCU dance productions, New Works Project, and Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth. As a dance instructor, she has taught ballet, tap, and modern dance. She has worked in administration and accounting roles in the corporate world for over 30 years, and is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Council on Strength & Fitness. Sherry has served on the CD/FW Board of Directors for many years, and also brings her talents to the table in various roles at the Pilates Works studio in Fort Worth.

Seen here as “Head Angel” in Jerry Bywaters Cochran’s Day for Dancing. One of Jerry Bywaters Cochran’s “muses” of flexible body and joyous spirit, Sherry was “Head Angel” for many years.

(photo by Buddy Myers)