Taylor Black is a senior in the dance and choreography department at VCU. She has a focus in choreography and dance film, and has created several works in both mediums of live performance and screen dance in her time at VCU. She has performed in faculty works by Scott Putman, Autumn Proctor Waddell, and Dr. Gaynell Sherrod, as well as various student works. Her piece adrift was selected to perform at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic South Division American College Dance Association (ACDA) in the formal concert as well as the gala performance. Taylor has also explored other mediums such as dance critique, business of dance, and sound design. She is a certified level I and level II EBAS (Elemental Body Alignment System) instructor, as well as a certified Thai Bodywork practitioner. Upon graduating in May, Taylor plans to move to Philadelphia where she will audition for local companies, take dance classes in the city, and work on building her portfolio with which she will be applying to graduate school with a concentration in choreography and dance film.
Ryan Davis, originally form Norfolk, VA., began dancing recreationally at the age of 14 and found his passion for it while he was a dance student at the Governor’s School for the Arts. After graduating, Ryan attended Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently an accompanist for the dance department. He also accompanies at the Richmond Ballet, University of Richmond, and continues to compose for artists around Virginia. Starting his professional dance career in 2012 with Virginia Ballet Theatre, then in 2013 with Todd Rosenlieb Dance, and was a company member in Starr Foster Dance from 2015-2018. He has studied at Bates Dance Festival in 2013, 2015, and 2017 working with David Dorfman, Bebe Miller, and Riley Watts. As well as performing, he is currently a teacher at Marianne Kelly School of Dance and has taught master classes and choreographed at Henrico School of the Arts and University of Richmond.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Elsie Neilson is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University studying to receive her BFA in Dance and Choreography. During her time at VCU she has performed in multiple Senior Project and Student Concert works, along with faculty pieces by Melanie Richards, Eric Rivera, Guest Artist Helen Simonaeu, Autumn Waddell Proctor, and Guest Artist Jenna Riegel, in addition to co-choreographing a piece that was accepted into the 2018 student concert. This past March she attended the 2019 Mid-Atlantic South American College Dance Association Conference as a performer in Zoe Wampler’s piece outsider(everywhere) which was selected to be a part of the closing Gala. Elsie has also attended multiple summer dance intensives including Princeton Ballet, BalletX, and Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute as a dance counselor. The summer of 2018 she attended the Bates Dance Festival on partial scholarship for a work/study position in technical production where she got to study dance with Michael Foley, Maree Remalia, Sara Juli, and Gesel Mason, in addition to helping with technical production for artists such as Nora Chipamuire and company, Rennie Harris’ PureMovement, and Riley Watts. Her experience in production also includes being a backstage crew member for the Brandywine Ballet Company. In addition to her dance studies, she has received her Teacher Certifications in the Elemental Body Alignment System Levels I and II, as well as her certification in Thai Bodywork. Elsie hopes to continue exploring multiple avenues of dance and combining restorative practices into her personal training and teaching.
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