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ABOUT US

DCDC2

Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company 

The Pre-Professional Ensemble

Comprised of recent graduate and undergraduate dance students, DCDC2 is the next generation of dance artists under the umbrella of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, founded in 1968 by its founder, Jeraldyne Blunden, and currently led by Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Artistic Director.

Rooted in the framework of DCDC’s arts culture, DCDC2, like its parent company, presents performances in traditional theatre and alternative venues. The ensemble is integral to DCDC school and community engagement throughout the Miami Valley region.

DCDC2 participates in DCDC’s established university partnerships, which provide opportunities to engage in collaborative programs with the University of Dayton, Wright State University, and Central State University, which offer campus-wide activities and dance programs.

The ensemble has performed throughout Ohio's Miami Valley and the Midwest, Northeast, and South Central regions. In 2019, the ensemble was chosen to present at the OhioDance Festival in Columbus, Ohio, and showcased at the 31st International Blacks in Dance “Established Dance Companies” performance hosted in Dayton, Ohio.

DCDC2 continues to be a resource for new dancers for DCDC’s main company and maintains an impressive record of successfully transitioning dancers into other professional companies, Broadway, film, television, media, and graduate schools.

DCDC2  DIRECTOR

Shonna Hickman-Matlock

Director of DCDC2, performed as a principal dancer with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company from 1983–1995, touring nationally and internationally in South Korea, Russia, France, Germany, and Bermuda and has performed throughout the United States including the prestigious American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lincoln Center, New York Theatre and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She accepted the position of Director of DCDC2 in 2000 and in 2014 she was appointed Director of Education and Outreach Services. For three and half decades she has taught, performed, and choreographed modern dance works, developed education and outreach programs for the main company as well as other dance companies, performing arts schools, and universities. Under her leadership, numerous dance artists have transitioned into DCDC’s main company and other professional dance companies and dance productions.

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Kristin Allen
+ Kristin Allen

Kristin Allen (Salisbury, Maryland) trained and performed with Salisbury Dance Academy and Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre. She recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and a Theater minor from Radford University. During her tenure, she was honored with performing in faculty and guest choreographer works by James Robey, Amy Vankirk, Inessa Plekhanova, Ji-Eun Lee, Deborah McLaughlin, Rachel Rugh, Max Reed amongst others.

McKelynn Barber headshot
+ McKelynn Barber
McKelynn Barber (West Valley City, Utah) trained under the direction of Michelle Armstrong and Susan Wright at Ballet Center Utah. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Dance with a minor in Philosophy and Humanities from Utah Tech University in 2021. She had the opportunity to work with dance companies SALT, Repertory Dance Theater, Houston Contemporary Dance Company and SoulEscape. McKelynn served with the AmeriCorps program Artist Year as a Resident Teaching Artist and a community engagement  intern at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in
2022.
Chelsea Bogue
+ Chelsea Bogue

Chelsea Bogue (Ballston Lake, New York) Recently graduated from Manhattanville College with a BA in Dance and a dual minor in Spanish and Sociology. During her course study in Choreography and Dance Filmmaking, she discovered a newfound interest in creating works of art for the stage and/or film. Chelsea worked as an apprentice dancer with SHIFT, and Dance. Arts. & Media, as well as holding a current position as the Administrative Assistant.

Emily Bryan
+ Emily Bryan

Emily Bryan (Lima, Ohio) is a senior at the University of Dayton pursuing a dual degree in Pre-Medicine and Dance with a minor in Neuroscience. She was a dance artist with the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble from 2020 – 2023. She served as a guest artist with Onyx Contemporary Dance Company (OCDC) as a performer and guest choreographer in which her work “When A Heart Opens” was presented at OCDC’s fall and spring repertory concert and Regional Dance America Festival. Emily has taught at Dance Expressions, Miami Valley Dance Company, and The Arts Center. She was a former flutist and ultimate Frisbee player.

Maiya Caldwell
Maya Caldwell

Maiya Caldwell (Cincinnati, OH) was a gymnast, and soccer player before discovering her interest in dance and theatre. She trained with and later became teaching assistant for Jeaunita Olôwe in African Dance Forms. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a BFA in Dance in 2022. She completed a summer semester at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea studying Korean and Music and Anthropology, and is fluent in Korean. While there she danced with Motif Dance Academy. Maiya choreographs and dances in the Greater Cincinnati Area, contributing to local theatrical productions and modern dance projects.

Carly Hanson
+Carly Hanson
Carly Hanson (Lebanon, OH) began her training at Dancekids Studio under the direction of Denise Devery, where she was a member of the competition team for 13 years, later teaching and choreographing at the institution. She is a sophomore at Wright State University (WSU) pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance. During her tenure at WSU she performed at the Arts Gala as well as university Fall and Spring Dance Concert including the Emerging Choreographers Concert.
Fara Ling
+ Fara Shu Sean Ling

Fara Ling (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)  completed 13 years of RAD ballet training at Sri Wilayah Ballet Centre. She earned her BA in Dance and Minor in Exercise Science summa cum laude from Hope College in 2023. She received the DeLong Senior Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and the Kurtze-Wickersheimer Dance Performance Award. Through Visceral Dance Chicago’s summer intensive, Third Rail Projects’ Hope College residency, and the Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Fara worked with choreographers such as Nick Pupillo, Jennine Willett, and Zoe Scofield. Her teaching experience includes the Dayton Ballet School, Dayton Live Creative Academy, and Center Stage Academy of the Arts.  A published writer and former violinist, her choreographic collaborations with musicians and involvement in international student life continue to inform and enrich her pursuit of dance.

Hannah McGuffey 02
+ Hannah McGuffey

Hannah McGuffey (Dayton, OH) is a sophomore dance major at Wright State University (WSU). She intends to graduate with her BFA in Dance Performance in 2026. During her tenure at WSU she performed at the Arts Gala, University Fall and Spring Dance concerts including the Emerging Choreographers concert. Her training and performance experience include Dayton Ballet’s Junior Company, Gem City Ballet, Pontecorvo Ballet Studios, and Stivers School for the Arts. Some notable works that she has performed are: Myrtha in Giselle, Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, and the world premiere of Swing by Ashley Pabst. As a choreographer, she has created works on Gem City Ballet and WSU Dance Ensemble.

Victoria Stachelrodt headshot
+ Victoria Stachelrodt

Victoria Stachelrodt (Slippery Rock, PA) began her training at Lake Erie Ballet and Erie Dance Conservatory. Victoria was in Oil Region Ballet for four years, two of which she was a soloist. She graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from Slippery Rock University (SKU) (2022). During her tenure at SRU, she performed in BFA and 60x60x60 concerts. After graduating she was given the opportunity to perform Martha Graham’s “Celebration” at The Joyce Theater in Manhattan, New York. Victoria began choreographing with the Oil Region Ballet and teaching ballet and jazz at Fusion Dance Center in the fall of 2022.

Mandi Weitz
+ Mandi Weitz
Mandi Weitz (Dayton, OH) trained with Dayton Ballet School and was a member with Dayton Ballet II. She attended intensives at The GagaLab, Mutual Dance Theater, Cincinnati Ballet’s Collegiate and the American Dance Festival as a scholarship recipient. In 2022, she traveled to Panama as a dance diplomat with the organization Movement Exchange. Her choreographic endeavors include works for University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), American Dance Festival, and Dayton’s Art in the City. She has taught at Mutual Dance Theatre and currently teaches at Dayton Ballet School. Mandi will graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a BFA in dance and a minor in nutrition in Fall 2023. 
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Advancing the art of the next generation

Each year DCDC2 commissions at least one new work for their annual spring concert. Find out more below.

Guest Choreographer 2024

Building "TRUST"  

In 2024, DCDC commissioned a new work by Abby Leithart with support from the Allegro Fund of the Dayton Foundation. "Trust" premiered first at the WSU spring concert and sat alongside 5 other works for the DCDC2 concert IN FREEDOM.

+Abby Leithart Bio

Abby Leithart is originally from Gahanna, Ohio, and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia, as a dance teacher at Ballet Nova and teaching assistant at Immanuel Lutheran School. Before relocating to Virginia, she was the modern/contemporary teacher at The Milwaukee Ballet for the pre-professional program. She was also an active member of the Chant Claire choir in Milwaukee and continues to sing in her church choir. Due to her passion for creating, she has choreographed various solos and group performances nationwide. Miss Leithart brings sixteen years of dance teaching and eleven years of professional dance company experience to the classroom.

She was a Dayton Contemporary Dance Company member for five years before moving to Virginia and working with various companies in DC, including Company E, PrioreDance, S.J. Ewing and Dancers, and KyokoDansu. She has taught youth and adult classes at Judy Dollenmayer Studio of Dance (Gahanna, Ohio), City Dance Conservatory (Rockville, MD), Ballet Nova Center for Dance (Arlington, VA), Joy of Motion Dance Center (Washington, DC), Rhythm in Motion (Arlington, VA), Born2Dance Studio (Vienna, VA), Milwaukee Ballet (Milwaukee, WI), and master classes at DanceWorks (Milwaukee, WI), Episcopal High School (Houston, TX), Company E (Washington, DC), as well as in other countries during her travels. Miss Leithart received her BFA in Dance at Wright State University. She continued her training with additional summer intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Company, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and NW Dance Project. She was recognized with the Regional Dance America's Northeast Josephine Schwartz Award for a best-emerging choreographer in 2015. She has performed and taught worldwide in Azerbaijan, Russia, England, Cuba, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and in the United States at the Kennedy Center in DC, the Joyce Theatre in New York City, and Jacobs Pillow in Becket, MA.

This work depicts freedom that comes from a place of trust. Emmanuel is a name that means “God with us” and when our trust is placed in Him, we can then depend on those people that He has placed in our lives. “Without God we are isolated…In Emmanuel, however, none of us is alone”. – Carolyn Webber