Meet The company
Rachel Andes is a native of metro Detroit. She is currently an honor student at Marygrove College, as a member of Marygrove College Dance Company. As a company member, she receives training in ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary from a variety accomplished artists. Rachel has attended the American College Dance Association festival as a member of Marygrove's dance company, where she was a part of two works that were accepted into the highly acclaimed Gala. Her professional experience includes performing at the DUMBO Dance Festival in New York City, the Alluvion "Emergence" Choreography Showcase in Chicago, as well as performing at the annual Michigan Dance Festival in Grand Rapids in both 2015 & 2016. In addition to these performances, Rachel has had the opportunity to perform in a plethora of settings around Detroit. This includes Detroit Dance Races, the Motor City Choreography Collective, and in the "Dance!" exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Rachel has previously performed with Pure Existence Dance Company as an apprentice during their 2015-2016 season. Currently, Rachel is in her second year with ConteXture dance Detroit, functioning as a dancer and as a Director of Social Media and Communications.
Elise Armstrong, from South Lyon, MI, began dancing with Melva Stelzer- Zavisa. In 2016, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marygrove College with a B.F.A in dance performance. During her four years at Marygrove, Elise performed with the Marygrove College Dance Company under the direction of Jordeen Ivanov- Ericson and Susan Panek. Throughout her 18 years of training she has had the privilege to study in New York City at the Joffrey Ballet School under Meg Paul and Davis Robertson, as well as Complexions Contemporary Ballet with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. Elise has had the opportunity to perform at many dance festivals all across the country including the American College Dance Festival all four years of college, Detroit Dance City Festival, Motor City Movement, Art X Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre and the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn New York. Elise is currently performing as a second year company member of ConteXture Dance Detroit under the direction of Tracy Halloran Pearson.
Natalie Cantalino grew up training at Noretta Dunworth School of Dance in Dearborn, MI. She now attends Wayne State University and is a second year in their dance program. She has been a part of WSU’s Company One, as well as has worked with many artists such as Meg Paul, Molly Shanahan, Dr. Biba Bell, and many others. Natalie has also modeled for both Jo + Jax and Dancewear Solutions. She is happy to be a chaperone for the Complexions Dance Summer Intensive 2017, as well as enjoying another amazing season with ConteXture this summer! Natalie joined ConteXture dance Detroit in 2016. She has been a part of many works with CdD including performances at Motor City Choreographers Collective, Eisenhower New DanceFest, Dance Race at Art Lab J, and many more.
Katelyn Colling started dancing when she was three years old at Dancer’s Workshop in St. Clair Shores, where she discovered her love of dance. In 2009, she joined Exodus Dance Company, a Christian-based ballet company, and in 2012 she joined her studio’s competition team. She attended many dance conventions and has had the pleasure of taking class from many well-known dancers and choreographers such as Tiffany Maher, Derrick Schrader, Tony Bellissimo, Marty Dew, Brooklyn Jai, and many more. She also received the Dancer’s Workshop Studio Scholarship and the Dancer’s Workshop Lea McDaniel Scholarship while dancing at her studio. Katelyn received a Marygrove College Talent Scholarship and is currently at Marygrove College pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. With the dance company at Marygrove she has had the honor of working with guest artists, Brian Hare, Levi Marsman, and Roger Jeffrey. As a member of the Marygrove College Dance Company Katelyn has been able to travel with to Oakland Dance Festival and the American College Dance Association. In 2017 she danced in the prestigious Gala Performance for ACDA. In 2016, Katelyn joined ConteXture dance Detroit as an apprentice. She was able to perform at Motor City Choreographers Collective, Flint, MI, the ConteXture Company Summer Concert, Detroit, MI, New Dance Fest, Rochester Hills, MI, DUMBO Dance Festival, Brooklyn, NY and the Detroit Dance Race. Katelyn has been a dance teacher at Dancer’s Workshop for the past four years and is eager to see where in the world her dance career will take her next.
Renee Dempsey spent two semesters at Grand Valley State University as a Dance and Art major and a member of the Laker Dance Team. She spent her time with the LDT dancing at many football games and basketball games until she discontinued her membership to pursue more artistic forms of dance. In her second semester, Renee danced with a student company called Momentum. While also invested in the GV Dance Department, Renee had the opportunity to work with guest choreographer Jesse Zaritt, along with the esteemed professors. After her first year of college, Renee moved back to the Detroit area and spent her summer dancing with ConteXture dance Detroit under the artistic direction of Tracy Halloran Pearson. She performed at various events in the Detroit area and one in Brooklyn, New York, the Dumbo Dance Festival. Later in 2016, Renee performed for choreographer Breanne Ranta at the Michigan Dance Festival for the prestigious Maggie Allesse Choreography Competition. Renee now dances at Wayne State University.
Dominique Denson’s heart, life, and soul was quickly filled with the love for dance at the young age of three years old, when she attended her first dance class. Dominique has trained locally and nationally in Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theater, Tap, Pointe, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern and Pom Pon. Dominique has danced competitively throughout her youth and won multiple titles at Regional and National level dance competitions. Dominique was named Dancer of the Year, and was consistently awarded and acknowledged for her outstanding passion for dance. She has worked with numerous choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Joey Arrigo, Josh Allen, and Misha Gabriel, as well as with the Rockets in New York City. In 2015, Dominique won the Title of the Distinguished Young Woman of Westland. Currently, Dominique is a second year member of the Contexture Dance Detroit Company under the direction of Tracy Halloran Pearson. In addition, Dominique is perusing a B.F.A. in Dance performance at Marygrove College.
Kyrah Gradford. At 18 months old, while watching a production of “Sesame Street Live”, Kyrah told her mother, "I want to be on stage". She began dancing at age 3 at Freedom: Danz Xpressionz. She is a 4th generation dancer in her family, following behind her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. In her sophomore year of high school, she auditioned to dance for the Southfield High School Band, where she was assistant captain during her junior and senior year. This experience re-awakened her passion for dance. Kyrah is currently a junior studying dance at Marygrove College to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She is also a member of The Marygrove College Dance Company, where she has worked with Levi Marsman, Tracy Halloran Pearson and Roger Jeffrey. In the summer of 2016, she auditioned for ConteXture Dance Detroit where she was casted as an understudy. She was invited to audition again in May of 2017 and is now in her first year as a full company member.
Nicholas Gottron started dance at the age of 7 at Noretta Dunworth School of Dance, and since then dance has been a very large part of his life. He has worked with many people in the studio and trained in many different styles of dance. Nicholas arrived at Wayne State University with the intention of becoming a physical therapist, but soon after changed majors to dance after taking a few classes. He credits his growth as a dancer, and person, to the impeccable faculty at Wayne State University. Nicholas has worked with professors Meg Paul, Jeffrey Rebudal, Trey Mcintyre, Liz Schmidt, and students Samuel Horning and Adam McGaw, including many others. He has explored his capabilities as a choreographer through WSU’s program, which greatly strengthened his creative mind. He has performed works at ACDA Eastern Conference, ACDA National conference, WSU Spring Dance Concert and December Dance Concert, in addition to many other local performances. Over the summer of 2016, he worked with Contexture Dance Detroit and performed with them during his first season as a company member. Nicholas is very pleased with all of the experiences that he has been given through ConteXture.
Savannah Hawley, from South Lyon Michigan, began dancing under the direction of Barbrah Hatch and Melva Stelzer- Zavisa. During her 16 years of training Savannah also studied and performed through Joe Hall Dance Camp and the Detroit Piston’s Junior Automotion. During this time she also earned certification in cecchetti grade 1-4 by the Cecchetti Council of America. Savannah is currently in her fourth year attending Marygrove College as a Dance major. Her education works towards earning her Bachelors of Fine Arts. Her attendance at Marygrove College has earned her the Maggie Allesee Dance scholarship as well as a place in the National dean’s list years 2014-2017. During these years Savannah has danced under the direction of Jordeen Ivanov- Ericson and Susan Panek through the Marygrove College dance Company. This Company has allowed her to work and be casted by guest artist Brian Hare and Levi Marsman. She’s also had the opportunity to perform in the American College Dance Festival her sophomore and junior year of college; two ensembles she was in made it into the Gala at this convention. Savannah has also performed in the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn New York performing with Contexture Dance Detroit. Savannah is currently performing as a second year company member of Contexture Dance Detroit under the direction of Tracy Halloran Pearson.
Megan Stuart's love for dance started at a young age. Her passion grew as she received her B.F.A. in dance from Marygrove College, where she also graduated with honors. She is a founding member of ConteXture Dance Detroit, and is looking forward to another great season. Throughout her career, Megan has had the honor to work with many incredible instructors and choreographers including Kevin Iega-Jeff, Kiki Lucas, Meredith Dincolo, Brian Hare, and Jordeen Ivanov-Ericson. Aside from performing, Megan loves to spread her passion for dance through teaching. She has choreographed on the Marygrove College Dance Company, Arts Academy in the Woods Dance Company, as well as for several renowned studios in the metro Detroit area.
Kylie Vinitski, from Livonia, MI, grew up dancing at Debbie Felton’s Academy of Dance. There she competed and studied Cecchetti Ballet through grade 6. While at Churchill High School, she was enrolled in the CAPA dance program under the direction of Wendy Kwiatkowski. She is currently a Junior at Western Michigan University as a dance major with a minor in creative writing. Kylie is also an active member of the Lee Honors College and has made the Dean’s list three semesters in a row. At Western thus far, she has performed in multiple student works in the annual Orchesis concert and Graduating Presentation concert. She has performed in the annual Winter Gala concert in an original work by Monique Haley titled “Let it Move You,” as well as a restaging of “One” from A Chorus Line choreographed by Lindsey Thomas after the original by Michael Bennett. Kylie has participated in the American College Dance Association festival in 2016 hosted at Western Michigan University. She is the fundraising chair of Movement Exchange, a non-profit organization at Western that combines dance and service locally and internationally. She has travelled to Panama City, Panama two years in a row to share her passion for dance with at-risk youth. Kylie has spent her summers dancing with Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Hope College’s Cecchetti Ballet Intensive and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She has also studied with Complexions Contemporary Ballet with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. This is Kylie’s first year as a company member of Contexture Dance Detroit.