2023/24 Company Artists
Allan Bagley - Dancer
Allan began seriously pursuing ballet at the age 10 after being a competitive gymnast for five years. He is a Freshman at the University of Louisville where he will be pursuing a triple major in mathematics, philosophy, and economics . Hailing from Louisville, he received most of his training at the University of Louisville Dance Academy and currently trains with Bluegrass Youth Ballet. Allan is excited for his third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Kate Cox - Dancer
Kate is a fourth year medical student at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine pursing a specialty in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology with a minor in Dance, training in ballet, modern dance, and choreography. She previously trained with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for twelve years and attended the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts in 2014. She has danced with Allegro Dance Project since its inception, and is elated to dance with them again prior to starting residency.
Allegro Dance Project wishes to acknowledge Kate's 10th Anniversary season and thanks her for sharing her talent, kindness, creativity and passion with us on and off stage these past 10 years. Her artistry and total embodiment of a character/theme are remarkable, the way she shines and interacts with everyone she meets is so generous and her dedication to dance is a true inspiration. Kate truly embodies and models all aspects of our organization's mission and we couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments.
Congratulations on 10 beautiful years!!
Joseph Edmonds Jr. - Dancer
Joseph "JoJo" Edmonds, Jr is a 2022 cum laude; college & career ready graduate of the Carter G. Woodson Academy! While balancing dance and football, Joseph has been a recipient of many academic, leadership/character awards throughout his high school career. Joseph attends the University of Kentucky majoring in dance with a minor in arts administration. Although JoJo has been dancing way before he can remember, he began his formal training 10 years ago with Lexington Dance Factory. He started in an all-boys' hip-hop class but quickly jumped right into dancing competitively. He trains in all genres of dance, but his favorites are hip-hop and contemporary. He has won many awards performing, but he is most proud of winning the title of Mr. Dance of the Bluegrass and the Interview Award in 2021. JoJo went on to compete in the Dance Masters of America competition where he was awarded the Gene Wright Scholarship for best lyrical Mr. Dance performance. JoJo loves everything dance and is really excited to be blessed with the opportunity to dance with Allegro Dance Project for his third season.
Desean Elliott - Dancer & Choreographer
Desean was Mr. Dance of the Bluegrass in 2016 and was a convention instructing assistant for Bellamoxie from 2017-2019. He has taught for many competition studios throughout Kentucky and is currently an instructor for Upgrade dance company. He is an award and national winning choreographer for competitions such as Platinum dance, Showbiz, KAR Dance competition, and Jump dance convention. Specializing in contemporary turns and leaps, Desean has trained all over the country in all styles ranging from Ballet, jazz ,hip hop, and acrobatics. This is his third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Grace Estill - Dancer
Grace is a rising senior in high school. She currently trains and performs with Bluegrass Youth Ballet. She attended The Governors School for the Arts (GSA) for dance in 2022. She has also attended summer intensives with Chicago Repertory Ballet and Kentucky Ballet Theatre. This is her second season with Allegro Dance Project.
Lydia Fletcher- Dancer & Aerial Artist
Lydia grew up in St. Louis, MO and has been dancing since she was two years old. She trained with various dance studios, her high school dance team, and AshleyLiane Dance Company’s Junior Training program. She continued to explore movement through gymnastics and cheerleading, eventually beginning aerial arts in 2016 at Sora Aerial Arts after moving to Lexington to attend the University of Kentucky. At UK, she studied biotechnology and gender and women’s studies, in addition to performing with the Department of Theater and Dance. Since graduating, Lydia has joined local Lexington contemporary dance company, The Collected Few Dance Project and Louisville based modern dance company, Ambo Dance Theatre. This is her fourth year as an aerialist and third season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Tess Fowler- Dancer & Choreographer
Tess has been dancing with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for eleven years and has attended summer intensives at Alma Dance School and Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance. They are a rising senior in the SCAPA ballet program at Lafayette High School where they are also a violist in the Lafayette Orchestra and a new member of Lafayette Theatre. Tess assisted in their middle school special education class for three years and is an instructor for our Inclusive Dance Outreach Program. This is their sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Isabelle Hayden- Dancer
Isabelle has been dancing since she was about 18 months old, starting with baby ballet, and eventually making her way up to the pre-professional level. She attended SCAPA as a ballet major from 4th-9th grade and then finished her high school career with a homeschool co-op. She has received dance training from Bluegrass Youth Ballet, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Gotta Dance Studio, and has attended summer intensives with Louisville Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. Currently, she is attending the University of Kentucky and studying to become an Elementary Education Teacher. She has taught ballet at Bluegrass Youth Ballet and currently teaches dance at Rising Stars studio. This is Isabelle's seventh season with Allegro Dance Project.
Gwendolyn Hinkle- Dancer
Gwendolyn is a graduate of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts - Lafayette (Ballet Major) and the Lafayette Pre-Engineering Program. She attended the 2020 Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) in Dance, was a GSA Finalist in Instrumental Music and attended the 2021 Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP). She attends the University of Kentucky, where she is pursuing dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Dance. During her fourteen years with Bluegrass Youth Ballet, she performed a variety of roles including Clara, Arabian Lead, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Rapunzel in “Fifteen Dances.” She also played flute in the All-State Band and the Lafayette Wind Symphony. This is her sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Meredith King -Dancer & Aerial Artist
Merry has been performing professionally for over a decade. She grew up dancing in Berea, Kentucky with VHS tapes in her living room and found her way into every possible dance studio that opened its doors in the county. After moving to Lexington, Meredith danced in the pre-professional program at Bluegrass Youth Ballet, graduating in 2010. In the last 13 years, Meredith has lived on 4 continents, completed a PhD in Communication, and become a vegetarian (among other things). Though she has a full-time job teaching at the University of Kentucky, Meredith performs regularly. In the last year, Meredith has been cast in several commercials and as a background actor in a feature film, performed at Woodford Theatre in productions like "Guys and Dolls" (Adelaide), "Lend Me a Tenor" (Maggie), and The Music Man (Dance Ensemble), and she has traveled to perform aerials silks in cities like Louisville and Indianapolis. She recently completed the Steps on Broadway Summer Study Program in NYC for Musical Theatre. This is her fourth season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Quinlan King- Dancer
Quinlan trained with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for 9 years, performing lead roles such as Clara in the Nutcracker. She graduated from Lafayette High School's SCAPA program last spring as a ballet major gifted as well as being in the gifted and talented program for visual arts. Quinlan now attends Kent State University, majoring in fashion design. This is her sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Lindsey Long- Dancer
Lindsey has loved dancing since the age of eight and is an alumna of Bluegrass Youth Ballet in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. She continues dancing at The Ohio State University (OSU) as a rising Junior studying Environmental Public Health and Humanitarian Engineering. Through the OSU Dance she has studied Contemporary, Modern, African, Fan Dance and Ballet dance styles. She is also part of Momentum Contemporary Ballet, has developed work with a MFA student for the prestigious American Dance Festival, and has brought architecture into motion through a recent award winning “Zero Gravity” architecture project. Lindsey is also a Morale Captain for the “Buckeyethon” dance marathon student-led philanthropy. Lindsey adores working with the amazing adaptive dance kids and this is her seventh season with The Allegro Dance Project.
Hillary Lopez - Dancer
Hillary was born in Chicago Illinois and raised in Lexington Kentucky. She has been playing the cello for 9 years and the violin for 10 years. She has been training in ballet for 11years, starting with Bluegrass Youth Ballet's Valley park outreach program where she fell in love with music and dance. Hillary has performed in many community groups, such as African American Ballet Troupe for 2 years , La Tradition for 8 years , Central Music Academy for 10 years , Casa De La Cultura for 2 years and Tradition De Mi Tiera for 3 years. She has graduated from Lafayette high school a year early and will be joining the Navy this spring. This is her third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Brianna Mullins - Dancer & Choreographer
Brianna was born and raised in Lexington and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an Entrepreneurial Studies Minor from Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in May 2021. She has been dancing for over 22 years in the Kentucky and Ohio areas. She has trained, taught, and choreographed (through Dance Schools, NKU, and Professionally) a variety of dance styles: Contemporary & Classical Ballet, Jazz (NGCP- Basic level, Fosse, and Classical), Tap, Lyrical/Contemporary, Modern (Gaga, Horton, Lehman), Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, African, and Hip Hop (Jazz-Funk). She is a nationally certified Group Exercise Instructor (NETA) since 2017 with specialty certifications: Barre Fitness, Zumba, TRX, as well as the creator of Jazz Funk Fitness. She is working in Lexington as an Elective Dance Instructor and Adult Exercise Instructor with Bluegrass Youth Ballet, and a Group Exercise instructor with the YMCA. This is Brianna’s fourth season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Sabrina Murphy - Dancer & Aerial Artist
Sabrina is a Freshman at Lafayette High School where she will participate in the SCAPA (Voice) and Pre-Engineering programs. A dancer since age 4, Sabrina has danced with Kentucky Ballet Theatre and Bluegrass Youth Ballet. She is also a competitive Irish Step Dancer with the Kentucky McTeggart Irish Dancers, a member of the Sora Aerial Arts Jr. Company, and assists with our weekly Adaptive Ballet classes. Sabrina is thrilled to join Allegro for her second season!
Wislin Pauleus- Dancer
Wislin is a dancer/choreographer/ fitness instructor from Haiti. He has been dancing for 13 years, receiving his first dance training from Ramses Pierre. He enjoys both training and teaching a variety of dance styles: Haitian traditional dance folklore, Modern, Afrobeats dance, hip-hop, classical ballet, and ballroom. In Haiti, he was a professional dancer with the Haitian National Theater, instructed at Regine Mont-Rosier Trouillot (RMT) dance school and Joelle Donatien Belot's dance school, was certified as a Zumba instructor and had his own dance company, Haiti Creafo Dance. Wislin moved to the US in 2023 and is currently teaching Bachata dance at Bluegrass Ballroom. This is his first season with Allegro Dance Project.
Caroline Price - Dancer
Caroline grew up in Independence, KY and has been dancing since she was 3 years old, training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical. She has competed in many regional competitions and won numerous awards and accolades. She has been assisting and teaching classes for years, and first found Allegro as a volunteer for our Inclusive Dance Outreach Program. Now she is not only a company dancer but also an instructor. She absolutely loves teaching and helping others experience the joy of dance and the freedom of expression. She is a Junior at the University of Kentucky, in the UK nursing program. This is her third season teaching and second season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Megan Skinner- Dancer & Choreographer
Megan is a Freshman at the University of Kentucky. She has danced with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for the past fourteen years, where she has danced lead roles such as the apprentice in the Sorcerer's Apprentice and the roles of Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. She attended Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) for Dance in 2022. This is her seventh season dancing with Allegro Dance Project.
Leah Skinner - Dancer
Leah is a Freshman at Lafayette High School, where she is a Contemporary Dance major in the SCAPA program. She has been training with Bluegrass Youth Ballet for 11 years and recently danced the lead role of Estelita in Dia de Los Muertos. She is also a second degree black belt in taekwondo and is part of the African American Ballet Troupe in Lexington. This is her third season with Allegro Dance Project.
Hannah Tanaka-Holbrook - Dancer & Choreographer
Hannah has been studying at BCTC to obtain her Associates in the Arts degree. She spent two years living abroad in Japan studying the language and working at an international Saturday English school as a teaching assistant. Hannah has been dancing for 19 years. She has trained at Bluegrass Youth Ballet and with Black Bird Dance Theater, performing in the shows Ugly V3 and Potter-Tition. In the Fall of 2022 she became involved inthe BCTC theater program with acting classes that slowly lead to her first ever theater production in Shakespeare In Love, in which she took on three roles in addition to serving as assistant stage manager. This summer she is making her professional acting debut in Antagonist production performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which she will also serve as choreographer. She has been working at the YMCA in both membership and child development for the past year and is now a para educator at Lafayette High School. This is her fifth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Adrianna Watts- Dancer & Circus Artist
Adrianna began training at the age of 3, splitting her time between Bluegrass Dance Center and Excel gymnastics in Richmond. She won her first State all-around title at the Kentucky State gymnastics championships at the age of 5, and placed in the top 5 at Stage One dance Nationals that same year. Over the next ten years she expanded her training to include tap, jazz, modern, ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, pointe, acrobatic arts, aerial silks, and hand balancing. She has been a USAG regional qualifier, performed with the CRU Dance Spectacular company, has won 3 national titles in lyrical dance, tap and acrobatics and has traveled around the US and Canada studying circus arts. Adrianna will continue her education at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL this fall as a pre-med/biology student and Presidential Scholar. This is her sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Bella Watts - Dancer & Circus Artist
Bella Watts began her competitive dance career at the age of 10- winning her first National title that same year. She is known for her explosive leaps & jumps along with her impressive strength thanks to her extensive gymnastics and acro training. Bella has won countless state gymnastics titles and was a level 8 regional medal winner. She has been awarded multiple
convention scholarships including Titans of Dance and Stage One and won national titles in lyrical, acrobatics and contemporary dance. Bella has been a student demonstrator for both Acrobatic Arts and Alixa Flexibility training courses and has expanded her repertoire to include hand balancing, silks, straps and hoop. She has trained with some of the best artists in the US and Canada and enjoys sharing her knowledge as a private lesson instructor and acro instructor at Bluegrass Dance Training Center. This is her third season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Reese Willett- Dancer
Reese graduated in 2022 from Lafayette High School, where she was a student in the Pre-Engineering and SCAPA Ballet programs. Reese danced as a student of Bluegrass Youth Ballet for 15 years, performing lead roles such as Death in Dia de los Muertos, and Clara and the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker. She attended the 2020 Governor’s School for the Arts for Dance. She currently attends the University of Kentucky as a Computer Science major in the College of Engineering. This is her sixth season with Allegro Dance Project.
Courtney Hedges describes herself as a jack of all trades: aerial silks, sling, trapeze, rope… and she’s a nurse! Courtney began her performance career in 2013 when she tried aerial silks for the first time. Since then, we can’t keep her out of the air. She joined Sora Contemporary Circus as a professional artist in 2018 performing at various gigs and theatrical productions. Her recent credits include The Dowager in Anastasia and Mrs. Gloop in Wonka! with Sora Aerial Arts. Courtney is also a wife, dog mom, and is always dreaming about her next career in the medical field. She is excited for her third season with Allegro Dance Project!
Justin Ramel - Vocals
A veteran of Lexington’s musical theatre community for more than twenty years, Justin Ramel is thrilled to work with Allegro Dance Project for a third season after initially jumping in for Shooting Glances. Performance credits include ten appearances in UKOT’s Grand Night for Singing, Winterfest’s Dreamgirls (Featured soloist/ Ensemble), Distilled Theater Company’s The Wiz at Woodland park( Tin man), KCTC's RENT (Seasons soloist), Hair (featured ensemble), Jesus Christ Superstar (Peter), and WCT’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor Track). Ramel’s debut Ep “Firesign” is currently available on all streaming platforms.
Cara Coppola - Vocals
Cara is a mom, writer, singer/songwriter, and Foster Parent Educator who lives in Lexington with her younger daughter Willow, who has multiple disabilities. Disability and Inclusion, motherhood, writing, books, and nature are all prevalent in her original songs that she’s put into her own genre, HymnFolk Blues, which is also the title of her new EP (on all streaming platforms). Growing up surrounded by the music of Nina Simone, Simon and Garfunkel and Frank Sinatra, combined with years of Suzuki viola lessons and eighteen years of Catholic choir have melted into her own sound, steeped in the blues of her reality of pushing a wheelchair through an inaccessible world, sprinkled with the folk sounds of her tree hugging soul, and resonating with the hymns she grew up singing in harmony with her sister and mother. She is currently planning a small single-mama style mini-tour of her EP this summer, follow Cara Coppola Music on Facebook for upcoming dates. This is her second season with Allegro Dance Project, both playing in the performance band and as an outreach accompanist.
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 sixth 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 tenth season performing and composing with Allegro Dance Project.
Christian Hayden - Keyboard & Drums
Christian is a piano major at SCAPA Lafayette where he will be a Senior in the fall. In addition to Piano, Christian plays the drums and the Saxophone. He loves Jazz music and enjoys playing the drums in his church worship band. Christian attended Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) earlier this summer for instrumental music. When he isn’t playing music he can be found on the pitching mound enjoying his other love, baseball. He is a member of the Lafayette High School Baseball team in addition to the KBA Prime Travel Team. This is his fifth season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Thomas Usher- Music Director, Percussion, acoustic guitar, keyboard & 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 seventh season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Alex Chadwell - Guitar & Keyboard
Alex is a musician, composer, teaching artist, facilitator, and administrator originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and currently based in Lexington, Kentucky. His work as a composer is centered around the notion of “genre-fluid” music. His music integrates non-musical and pre recorded sounds, innovative production methods, and storytelling. As a teaching artist, he has designed and facilitated residencies and classes with Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, the Center for Arts Education, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra, Highbridge Voices, the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers program, the New School's College of Performing Arts, and St. Nicks Alliance. He currently works as the Learning and Partnership Programs Manager at the Lexington Philharmonic. Prior to joining the Lexington Philharmonic, he worked as an administrator at The New School's College of Performing Arts. This is his second season performing with Allegro Dance Project.
Emma Browning - violin
Emma is a violinist who recently graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in Music Performance and Arts Administration. She grew up in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, and has been playing the violin for 15 years. Her background is in classical music and has enjoyed playing in orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout high school and college. She began at Allegro Dance Project as an intern, and now assists the outreach classes as a musician and plays in the performance band. Above all else, she strives to bring joy to others with the music she makes, and to bring people closer to the arts through her administrative skills, which is exactly what she loves about working at Allegro Dance Project!