Jillian Godwin began dance training in Indianapolis at Dance Magic Performing Arts Center and graduated from Broad Ripple High School, Center for the Performing and Visual Arts. She has also trained at Chautauqua Institution School of Dance in Chautauqua, New York, and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in Detroit. Jillian attended River North Chicago Dance Company’s summer intensive in 2010 and 2012, where she was accepted on scholarship. She trained with Frank Chavez, Sara Bibik, and Laura Wade. Most recently, she was named one of Indy's top ten most intriguing artists in 2012. She also had the honor of sharing the stage with Michael Feinstein, Liza Minnelli, and Rita Moreno at the 2013 Encore Awards Celebration held at the Palladium. She has also spent time at the Graham School in NYC in 2015 and 2016 on scholarship during their winter intensives. Jillian's mother Donna, even in spirit, continues to feed her drive and passion for art, as well as her father Gregory, the DK family and David H. This is Jillian’s 15th DK season.
Jillian is sponsored by Miriam & David Resnick.
Mariel Greenlee,originally from Vestal, NY, received her BA in Dance from Point Park University. She studied in New York City at The Martha Graham Center for Dance, Dance Space (DNA), STEPs, the Paul Taylor School, the Joffrey Ballet School and the David Parsons Workshop. She also has worked previously with Robert Battle, Margo Sappington, Beth Corning, Keisha Lalama, Susan Stowe and others. Mariel received the Individual Artist grant from the IAC in 2007, and in 2010 she was awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Mariel teaches ballet and modern dance locally. She also choreographs many plays at places such as the Pheonix Theater, IRT, Indy Summer Stock Stage, The University of Indianapolis, Marian University, Zach Rosing Productions, Phoenix Rising Dance Company and various music videos, competitions and galas. She would like to thank the incomparable Andrea Wilson, PT and the team of Dr Peter Maeir for their great care regarding her recent hip surgery. "I would not be here without them." Also a very special thank you to her fiancé Virgil Lungu for his great patience, love and unwavering support. This is Mariel’s 13th DK season.
Mariel is sponsored by Sarah Cannon.
Caitlin Negron began her dance training in her hometown of Fort Wayne, IN at Fort Wayne Ballet. She continued her studies at Southern Methodist University and graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Dance Performance and Anthropology. Other training includes the Martha Graham School, Thodos Dance Company, American Ballet Theater and Richmond Ballet.Caitlin is a co-founder and currently serves as the executive director of The Indy Convergance, a non-profit that cultivates interdisciplinary projects and utlizes artists in community development. Caitlin is also a BASI certified pilates teacher and teaches classes throughout Indianapolis. She was a recipient of the 2015 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the 2015/16 Individual Artist Program Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. This is Caitlin’s 10th DK season.
Caitlin is sponsored by Bazbeaux Pizza.
Timothy June is originally from Enfield, CT. His dance training began at New England Dance Conservatory. Timothy continued studies at Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Martha Graham School and at Butler University where he received his BFA in Dance Performance. He has danced for Ballet Arkansas, Indianapolis Opera, and American Cabaret Theatre, as well as other guest artist appearances. Outside of DK, he has also had the privilege of performing works by choreographers such as Thaddues Davis, James Kudelka, Susan McGuire and George Balanchine to which he received coaching from Violette Verdy. In addition to performing, he enjoys teaching dance and Pilates throughout the Indianapolis area. This is Timothy's 10th DK season.
Timothy is sponsored by Peter Slaymaker & Tim Garnett.
Brandon Comer began his dance training at The Dance Refinery in Indianapolis and graduated from Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN, where he was very active in the musical and theatre department. He competed in ESPN's National Hip Hop Competition, performed at local theaters, and was a part of The Young Tanzsommer Arts Festival which included a tour of Austria, Germany and Italy. Brandon is thankful for all the opportunities DK has given him and would like to thank David and the rest of the company for their guidance and support. This is Brandon's 9th season with DK.
Brandon is sponsored by William Moldenhauer and Lawrence C. Hunter II.
Aleksa Lukasiewicz originally from Novi, Michigan began her serious dance training at Geiger Classical Ballet Academy. She continued her studies at Butler University where she graduated in 2011 with honors and a BFA in Dance Performance. Aleksa's training also includes summer intensives such as Hubbard Street and a two month study abroad trip to Lithuania. She also has a passion for teaching and loves educating the next generation of dancers through DK Kids. Aleksa would like to thank her family for their love and support, and she would also like to thank David for the wonderful opportunity he has given her. This is Aleksa's 7th season with DK.
Aleksa is sponsored by Anne & Rod Scheele.
Emily Dyson received her BFA in Ballet Pedagogyfrom the University of Oklahoma, where she performed with Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She began ballet training in Houston, TX with Gilbert Rome and Victoria Vittum and was later inspired by Austin Hartel to study modern. She trained with Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffery, Washington School of Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. Emily enjoys teaching around the city and passing forward her love of dance to younger students and she thanks her family and friends for their endless love and encouragement. This is Emily’s 7th DK season.
Emily is sponsored by Sherrie & John Knighton and John R. Moran.
Missy Thompson began gymnastics training at age three, continuing for thirteen years as a competitive gymnast. She also studied modern dance, ballet and jazz at Rhythm Nations Studio in Euless, TX. Missy is a graduate of the Indiana University Modern Dance program and has attended the Martha Graham summer Dance intensive in New York. Through colorguard, she has performed with top organizations such as the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and Zydeco Color Guard. Missy also has choreographed movement and dance for the marching field for many programs in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, and a Junior Corps in Quiberon, France. This is Missy’s 5th DK season.
Missy is sponsored by Pat & Danielle Havens.
Stuart Coleman began training in 2005 under Keith Lee in Lynchburg, Virginia. He joined Virginia School of the Arts where he trained and performed until he graduated high school in 2010. He graduated cum laude from Butler University with dance departmental honors in 2014. Stuart has attended programs with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Ballet West. He has performed repertory by dance pantheons such as Talley Beatty, Paul Taylor and Nacho Duato. His choreography has been featured in concerts produced by Dance Kaleidoscope, Phoenix Rising Dance Company, Ballet Theatre of Indiana and Butler Ballet. The Arts Council of Indianapolis named Stuart a Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellow in 2015. This is Stuart’s 4th DK season.
Stuart is sponsored by Doug Dilling, United Real Estate Indianapolis.
Phillip Crawshaw is an Indianapolis native and a graduate of Anderson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Family Science and Psychology with a minor in Dance Performance. While at Anderson University he began his training in dance as well as participated in numerous dance, musical theatre, opera and choral performances. He has previously danced with Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre and Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. Phillip also enjoys teaching dance and choreographing around the Midwest. This is Phillip's 5th DK season.
Phillip is sponsored by Virgil Chan & Robert Gowen.
Paige Robinson grew up dancing in the Chicago area, studying primarily at Dance Center Evanston, Chicago Ballet Arts, and Giordano Dance Center. Following high school, Paige spent two years in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program. She then performed Peter Pan and The Nutcracker, and toured Scheherazade with Eugene Ballet Company under Toni Pimble’s direction. While living in Oregon she also danced with Polaris Dance Theatre in Portland, OR and participated in Northwest Dance Project’s LAUNCH: 10 project, working under Sarah Slipper and Lucas Crandall. This is Paige's 2nd DK season as an apprentice.
Paige is sponsored by Stan & Sandy Hurt.
Cody Miley was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Texas when he was thirteen. After graduating high school he attended McLennan Community College in Waco, TX where he began his dance training. He transferred to Sam Houston State University and received his B.F.A. in acting and directing. He is a founding member of Nicolay Dance Works led by the artistic direction of Dana Nicolay and has had the opportunity to perform in several concert dance pieces as well as dance festivals including, the Houston Fringe Festival, the Bailando Dance Festival and the 2015 Dance Gallery Festival in New York City. He also enjoys acting and has been in many theater productions. This is Cody's 2nd season as an apprentice.
Cody is sponsored by Virgil Chan & Robert Gowen.
Marie Kuhns received her BFA from the University of Oklahoma in modern dance performance under the direction and guidance of Austin Hartel, while performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. She grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, and trained at the Conservatory of Dance along with New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe. She has had the opportunity of working with world renowned choreographers such as Jessica Lang, Carla Maxwell, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Raimondo Rebeck. She enjoys teaching dance and spreading the love of performing arts to different communities. She is forever grateful for the constant loving support of her friends and family. Marie was a trainee last season, and this is her first season as an apprentice.
Marie is sponsored by Cathy & George Korinek.
Manuel Valdes began gymnastics training at the age of five in Dallas, TX and continued as a competitive gymnast for 12 years. He began dancing at Dallas Black Dance Theater and went on to receive his BFA of Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma under the direction of Austin Hartel and Roxanne Lyst. While performing with Contemporary Dance Oklahoma he not only had the pleasure of performing works by his professors, but also Ilya Kozadayev, Sonia Dawkins, Raimondo Rebeck, Jose Limón, and Alvin Ailey. Manuel has attended intensives with Paul Taylor American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BODYTRAFFIC and SALT. He is forever grateful for all the love and support from friends and family. This is Manuel's first year as an apprentice.
Manuel is sponsored by Gerald & Dorit Paul.
Hailey Meert is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and began her dance training with the New American Youth Ballet. She graduated from Mercyhurst University with a BA in Dance and Nutrition. While at Mercyhurst,Hailey was a member of The Mercyhurst Ballet Theatre for two seasons. Last season, Hailey worked with Thodos Dance Chicago. She has performed works by artists such as José Limon, Melissa Thodos, Brian Enos, Jimme Orrante and George Balanchine. Hailey has attended summer intensives at The Houston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet. This is Hailey's first season as a DK trainee.
Hailey is sponsored by Tim & Mary Greist.