Meet the Artists of Allegro Dance Project
2020 Company Dancers
Kate is a Senior in the University of Kentucky Honors College, majoring in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology and minoring in Dance. She trained with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for twelve years where she performed roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy and the title roles in both The Little Mermaid and Arabella's Journey. She attended the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts in 2014 and received additional training during summer intensives with Cincinnati Ballet and Kentucky Ballet Theatre. She continues to expand her training by attending the American College Dance Association Conferences each spring during her undergraduate career. Next fall, she will begin medical school at the University of Kentucky. Kate assists with our weekly Adaptive Dance classes and this is her sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Hillary is a Senior ballet major in the SCAPA program at Lafayette High School. She has been training at Bluegrass Youth Ballet for thirteen years and has received additional training at Cincinnati Ballet, attended Pittsburg Ballet Theatre's summer intensive on partial scholarship and attended the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts last summer. Hillary is also a member of the Lafayette Dance Team and this is her fourth season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Ainsley Thomas is a Senior at Lafayette High School. She is a contemporary dance major at SCAPA and has been training at Bluegrass Youth Ballet for twelve years. She is a part of Lafayette Theatre and has participated in several shows. Ainsley has been featured as lead roles in Alice in Wonderland, Dia de los Muertos, and The Nutcracker. She is excited for her fourth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Rio started taking dance classes when she was five years old at a recreational studio in Lawrenceburg, KY. Since then she has trained in several studios in Louisville, Kentucky, enhancing her ballet, contemporary and modern dance techniques. She performed for two years in the nationally recognized Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. Through invitation she attended the Northern Ballet’s summer intensive in Leeds, England in 2017. Rio first performed with Allegro Dance Project back in 2015 and is very excited to be back for a third season again this year.
Born and raised in Saint. Petersburg, Florida, Amos began his professional training at the Academy of Ballet Arts and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts. Prior to AMDA College and Conservatory of Performing Arts-LA, Amos received his BFA in dance performance from The Boston Conservatory. While at the conservatory, he performed many works by world-renowned choreographers. Amos has been seen as “Thad” in NBC’s Hairspray LIVE!, The 50th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Gotham, LOVE, and many more. You can next catch him traveling the world in Hairspray on Royal Caribbean’s ‘Symphony of the Seas’. Amos would like to thank God, his family, his agents and his friends for the immense amount of support! Amos performed with Allegro Dance Project back in 2016-2017 for GROW and we are delighted to welcome him back again this season.
You can follow his journey on social media! IG: Amosoliver90
Lindsey has been dancing for about eight years and found a home at Bluegrass Youth Ballet where she first discovered ballet, and later, contemporary dance. She attends Lafayette High School as a Junior, where she continues as a pre-engineering student and orchestral viola player. She is excited for her third season with the Allegro Dance Project!
Megan is an upcoming freshman at Lafayette High School where she is on the Dance Team and takes part in the SCAPA program as a contemporary dance major. She has danced with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for the past 11 years, where she has danced the lead role in the Sorcerer's Apprentice and Clara in the Nutcracker. This is her third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Marian trained in classical ballet for five years with Bluegrass Youth Ballet. She has since graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's in Kinesiology with plans to pursue a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and is currently a personal trainer with Proof Fitness. This is her second season with Allegro Dance Project.
Gwendolyn has danced with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for 12 years. She attends Lafayette High school as both a SCAPA ballet major and as a Pre-Engineering student. She was also the first chair flute in the Lafayette Symphonic band and played flute in the Allegro Dance Project band for our summer 2019 performances of "Look Both Ways". This is her third season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Isabelle has been dancing for thirteen years and has received the majority of her training and support at Bluegrass Youth Ballet. She attends Bluegrass United and will be a Junior in the fall. She has received additional training at Kentucky Ballet Theatre and has attended Summer Intensives with both Louisville Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. She has performed in the Ballet Under the Stars Pre-show for several years. This is Isabelle’s third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Jayson is from Paterson, NJ and began his training at Dance World Academy. He has received additional training at Steps on Broadway, BDC, and The Ailey School and attended Point Park University as a dance major. He has attended summer programs at Dance Place, Orlando Ballet 2, and Boston Ballet all on full scholarships. Jayson has danced professionally with NCDT (now Charlotte Ballet), Lexington Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Company C Contemporary
Ballet, James Sewell Ballet and has also performed around the world on cruise lines as a dancer and aerialist. He is a resident choreographer with MidState Ballet, Sarah Berges Dance, and teaches masterclasses and adjudicates dance competitions around the country. Jayson just returned from performing in the Cannes Dance Festival in Cannes, France and is looking forward to joining Ballet Co. Laboratory in the Spring as a guest artist. This is his first season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Natalie attends Lafayette High School in the SCAPA Dance Program and the Pre-Engineering Program. She has been dancing with Bluegrass Youth Ballet since the age of three and has danced the lead role of Clara in the Nutcracker. This is her second season with Allegro Dance Project.
Quinlan has been dancing at Bluegrass Youth Ballet for six years, where she most recently danced the roll of Clara in the Nutcracker. She is a student at Lafayette High School and is in the gifted and talented program for visual arts, which is her favorite thing to do other than dance. This is her second season with Allegro Dance Project.
Tessa has been dancing with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for eight years and has received additional training at the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance summer intensive and the Alma Dance School summer intensive.
She uses one of her elective classes at school to help in the middle school special education room, where she helps the students with their science, accompanies them to speech therapy, and loves to see them every day. She also assists with our weekly Adaptive Dance Classes and this is her second season with Allegro Dance Project.
Reese has been dancing with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for twelve years, where she has danced the lead role of Clara in the Nutcracker. She attends Lafayette High School as a SCAPA Ballet major and as a pre-engineering student. This is her second season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Aerial & Circus Artists
Company Dancer & Pole Artist
Amberly is a dancer, aerialist, and choreographer living in Louisville. She attended Purdue University where she earned a minor in Dance, and Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as Bellarmine University where she earned a Master of the Arts in Teaching. She is now the full-time Dance teacher at Noe Middle School and has also presented works with her own company, Ambo Dance Theatre, for venues such as Voices HeaRD, Fund for the Arts Opening Night at Churchill Downs, and the Louisville Dance Series. Additional credits include Blackbird Dance Theatre (2015-2016), the 6th No Borders Project (2018), and Suspend Productions (2016-present). This is her fourth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Aerial Silks & Aerial Ladder Artist Jacey has been training in the aerial arts for ten years and teaching aerial arts to children as young as three years old for seven years. Her speciality is Lyra, but her first apparatus was aerial silks. She is currently a sophomore at Spalding University where she is majoring in Social work. This is her first season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Aerial Straps Artist
Elias is a third generation circus performer. Born in Cuba, he began training at the age of five at the National Sport Institution before moving to the United States in 2012. His talents include: acrobatics, aerial straps, Chinese Pole, fire eating and spinning, stilt walking, unicycle, juggling, clowning, rolling globe walking, singing and playing guitar. He is the owner and coach at Cirque Skills Aerial Arts School and this is his first season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Jolene Davis- Violin
Jolene is a violinist, pianist, arranger, composer and educator with 35 years of stage experience. Her past performance venues include Walt Disney World, Sea World, Once Upon A Stage Dinner Theatre, Florida Symphony Orchestra, Candlelight String Quartet, Orlando Community Theatre, BJ and Disney recording studios, National Dvorak Festival (Spillville, Iowa), Rollins College Baroque Ensemble, Stetson University Orchestra, The Sunshine Pops and more. She has performed on stage with numerous talents including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Bob Hope, Jack Jones, Liberace, Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Patti Page, Nancy Wilson ... as a touring freelance musician. Jolene also taught and directed children’s theatre programs in Springfield, Ky. Jolene is proud to perform musical services for churches, weddings and as a therapeutic musician for Music That Heals (New York). This is her sixth year as a composer and violinist for the Allegro Dance Project.
Marcus Wilkerson- Percussion & vocals
Marcus is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and percussionist from Louisville, KY. When he's not working on musical projects, he spends the majority of his time making his product Jūn Bug Probiotic Honey Soda which is growing widely popular across the region. Check out the website kentuckyjunbug.com to see what "the buzz" is all about! . Marcus Wilkerson's "rock-n-soul" style is influenced by jazz, world music as well as the seminole folk, gospel and soul songs of his and his parent's generation and even a bit of hip hop. This is Marcus's sixth season with Allegro Dance Project and he also provides music accompaniment for our Inclusive Dance Outreach Program.
Keenan Ray- Bass
Keenan grew up in Bowling Green, KY where he began studying the guitar at age 14. After stints of performing in cover bands, indoor percussion ensemble, and talent shows throughout high school, he moved to Lexington to study at the University of Kentucky. Since then, he has performed and recorded with multiple bands including local acts The Footsteps, Much Obliged, and Damned African Descendants. This is his first season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
DeBraun Thomas- Guitar & Vocals
DeBraun grew up surrounded by many different musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area and began playing in music clubs with father's bands at the age of 15. In 2009 he moved to Lexington,KY to attend the University of Kentucky. After graduating in 2012 he has been focusing on music in addition to working at the local NPR affiliate WUKY. Since 2013, DeBraun has been performing his original music as the DeBraun Thomas Trio. His influences range from artists like Jimi Hendrix to Otis Redding and he describes his music as Rock N Soul. He released his first solo album, All My Colors are Blind, in 2015 recorded at Shagri-La Productions by Duane Lundy. DeBraun is an accompanist for our Inclusive Dance Outreach program & Adaptive Dance classes and this is his sixth season performing and composing with Allegro Dance Project.
Thomas Usher- Music Director, Percussion & vocals
Thomas is a musician from Hoover, Alabama. He graduated from Berea College where he studied percussion with Tripp Britton. Thomas has performed with The Studio Players and in Kentucky Conservatory Theatre's Winterfest and Summerfest, with numerous bands and provides live music accompaniment for Allegro Dance Project's Inclusive Dance Outreach program. This is his fourth season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Christian Hayden - Saxophone & Keyboard
Christian has been playing the Saxophone for four years and the piano for seven years. He is a piano major and band minor at SCAPA where he will be a Eighth grader in the fall. He plays saxophone for The Groove Merchants Jazz Band, and he played in the Tri-State Gold Honor Band this year. He loves Jazz music and in addition to Piano and Saxophone he also enjoys playing the drums in his church worship band. When he isn’t playing music he can be found on the pitching mound enjoying his other love, baseball. He was chosen as a member of the 13u Western Little League All-Start District Team This is his third season performing with Allegro Dance Project.