ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Annie Arnoult (Artistic Director/Choreographer) is the founding artistic director of Open Dance Project where she directs the company’s professional performance season and oversees the company’s extensive dance education work. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago where she was the artistic director of Chicago’s Striding Lion Performance Group, garnering acclaim for the company as a “new center of gravity for indie dance in Chicago.” Arnoult was named one of the “25 to Watch 2018” by Dance Magazine, citing her “keen attention to detail” and was a 2017 recipient of Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for the development of the critically acclaimed ‘Bout a Stranger, deemed one of the “most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades,” by Nancy Wozny in Dance Magazine.
Arnoult’s creative work is deeply informed and influenced by her 25 years as an artist teacher and integrated arts education advocate in Chicago Public Schools, HISD, and surrounding districts. Arnoult is the director of Hunter Dance Center in the Heights and has been a guest artist/teacher at universities, festivals, conferences, and institutes throughout the U.S. Arnoult is a Certified Cecchetti Ballet teacher and a member of the National Dance Education Organization. Her research and choreography has been presented regionally and internationally. She has served on the dance faculty of Northwestern University and The School of Theatre and Dance at University of Houston.
In addition to performing in her own work, Arnoult is a member of Houston’s Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, under the direction of Lynn Lane, and has danced for Meghan Durham, Ashley Thorndike-Youssef, XSIGHT! Performance Group, Lucky Plush Productions, Peter Carpenter, Asimina Chremos, and Billy Siegenfeld’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Joshua de Alba has been dancing and choreographing in Houston Texas for nearly 5 years. Originally a native of Central Florida, Joshua received his Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Northwestern State University in 2016. While his training focused largely on classical modern, ballet, and jazz. Joshua has also worked as a choreographer, actor, singer, musician, aerialist, stage combatant, and even as an event coordinator. Joshua’s choreography has received awards at the American Dance Festival, and has the distinct pleasure of teaching 8 different nationally competitive programs across the country. Recent professional credits include Houston Grand Opera, Cirque la Vie, The Theatre Under the Stars, Hope Stone Inc., and NobleMotion Dance. Joshua is thrilled to back for his third season with Open Dance Project!
Sonia Engman is a choreographer, performer, educator and certified personal trainer. Modern dance, ballet, and street and styles are the basis of her movement knowledge. Sonia received her B. A. in Dance and Arts Management in 2016 from the University of New Mexico. She has performed in productions like the Young Choreographer’s Showcase in NYC, in principle roles in productions like Shira Greenberg’s Nutcracker on the Rocks, Amazon Prime’s Nutcracker Party and ensemble work including a multidisciplinary work in the Alps of Austria. Sonia has taught dance in KC, TX, NM, MT, AZ, and MO. She has choreographed for the University of New Mexico and e2 Dance Company in Kansas City. Sonia relocated to Houston in 2019 to begin an adventure in search of opportunity and growth. Sonia is now a company member with Open Dance Project and Hip Hop and House dance crews, Assorted Flavas and The Lockin’ Keez.
Atticus Griffin started dancing at age 18 in his hometown of Burleson, Texas at Studio C Dance. He continued his training at Texas State University, and later the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. While he was in college he began working as a freelance dancer, performing with multiple dance companies such as Ballet Concerto, Chamacos Dance Company, Dance Theatre X, NobleMotion Dance, and other guest performances. His most notable appearance was in the inaugural cast of Ventana Ballet in Austin, Texas as the Nutcracker in “The Watchmakers Song”. During this time, he was also teaching dance at James Bowie High School to the Marching Band and Color Guard students, where he eventually became the Director of the Color Guard. These experiences led him to Open Dance Project as a dancer and teacher. This is his first season with the company.
Madelyn Manlove is a San Antonio native who began her dance training at the age of three and trained with Collective Dance Artistry since its opening under the direction of Ashley Lopez. After high school, she attended The University of Texas at Austin where she received a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Kinesiology. While completing her undergrad, she studied with Charles O. Anderson, Erica Gionfriddo, Gesel Mason, Andrea Beckham, Tina Curren, among others. This is her first year both with Open Dance Project and Hunter Dance Center. In addition, she is also an Advanced Lagree Fitness trainer and is looking to continue her passion for Lagree in the city.
Taylor McAnulty is a choreographer/performer/teacher in her hometown of Houston, TX. Taylor has had the pleasure to perform with Open Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Annie Arnoult since 2014. Previously she performed with Psophonia Dance Company under the direction of Sophia Torres, along with performing in many festivals across Texas including “Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival” and “254 Dance Festival”. In 2014 she was a featured soloist in the original score of Robert Paterson “The Book of Goddesses”.
Lizzy McGoldrick is in her first season with Open Dance Project and co-manages the company’s social media. She grew up in Sugar Land, TX and began dancing in middle school at Fort Bend Academy of Dance. Lizzy went on to graduate with a BFA in Dance, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of North Texas. During her time there she studied under professors Shelley Cushman, Claudia Howard Queen, Mary Lynn Babcock, Robin Lakes, Erin Boone, Sue Collins, Whitney Geldon, Melissa Sanderson, Amiti Perry, and Reyna Mondragon. In addition to guest artists Miguel Gutierrez, Amy Tuley, Joshua Puegh, Lily Sloan, Jake Bone. Lizzy is a graduate of American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. She is in her second year on the Admin team of Hunter Dance Center and just completed her first year as the Aerial Administration Director.
Cameo Reneé, born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, danced at studios around the Kansas City area, and solidified her training at DanceWorks Conservatory. From there pursued a BFA in Dance and Performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and graduated with a double emphasis in ballet and modern. Studying under faculty such as DeeAnna Hiett, Mary Pat Henry, Gary Abbott, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon she was given the opportunity to work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Störling Dance Theater, and many more guest artists. Since relocating to Houston, Cameo has performed with Urban Souls Dance Company, been a Black Angel for Tobe Nwigwe, and is now entering her 3rd season with Open Dance Project.
Joseph Stevens was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, later relocating to San Antonio, Texas where he attended Tom Clark High School studying vocal performance as well as trained in dance for 4 years under Director Sarah Visel. He continued his studies at the University of North Texas earning a degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Dance under professors Shelley Cushman, Claudia Howard Queen, Mary Lynn Babcock, Robin Lakes, Erin Boone, Sue Collins, Karen Maclntyre, Whitney Geldon, and Lily Sloan. He serves as a dance educator at Hunter Dance Center and Cypress Dance Project. He is currently in his 6th season with Open Dance Project and 4th season with NobleMotion Dance.
Jaime Garcia Vergara is a dancer from Cali, Colombia. Jaime began his dance journey with a Colombian folkloric company in 2010 where he studied various dance styles such as Salsa, Paso Doble, and Rumba. From 2013-2015 Jaime became a member of FrenetiCore Dance Company where he began to receive his introduction to Ballet and Modern dance techniques. During this time Jaime was also able to work with many incredibly talented choreographers including Jane Weiner, Jennifer Salter, Rebecca French, Laura Harrell, Ashley Horn, and Annie Arnoult. While at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Jaime had the opportunity to work with Erin Reck, Jennifer Mabus, Dionne Noble and Joshua Peugh amongst other great choreographers. Jaime has a BFA in Dance and a Pilates Certification, teaches Latin, Modern, and Aerial at Hunter Dance Center and is in his fifth season with Open Dance Project.
Brenden Winkfield began his career on Long Island, New York. He began formal training of Tap Jazz and Ballet at local studios before settling into the well known competitive studio, David Sanders Dance Dynamics. There he broadened his studies into modern, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary. He also gained the oppurtunity to perform in multiple large-scale shows like The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. After eight years of intense competition in New York, he moved to Houston, Texas where he now resides. Brenden was then hired by Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines and Princess Cruise Lines as a dancer and performer on their entertainment fleets. He went on to perform as a tap soloist in Tokyo Disney’s Big Band Beat in Japan, and was a top an Academy finalist on season 14 of SYTYCD before settling down back here in Houston.