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DCDC2 | Preprofessional

DCDC2 Preprofessional Company will operate from August - May

Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company

The Pre-Professional Ensemble

Founded in 1975, DCDC2 | Preprofessional Company provides opportunities for recent graduates and undergraduates to further their dance training and gain performance experience in a professional learning environment.

Rooted in the framework of DCDC’s arts culture, DCDC2 presents performances in traditional theatre and alternative venues. The ensemble plays an integral role in the organization’s outreach and education services as well as community engagement.

DCDC2 participates in DCDC’s established university partnerships providing opportunities to engage in collaborative programs with the University of Dayton, Wright State University, and Central State University.

The company has performed throughout Miami Valley, Midwest Ohio, Northeast, and East South-Central regions. In 2019, the ensemble was chosen to present at the OhioDance Festival in Columbus, Ohio. DCDC2 has cultivated dance artists for DCDC professional company, and maintains an impressive record of successfully transitioning dancers into other national, and international dance companies and productions.


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.


Ariana Alvarado

Ariana Alvarado (Westerville, Ohio) is a sophomore dance major at Wright State University. Her early training began at Leap of Faith Pre-Professional Dance Company. She was featured in several community theatre productions that include “Legally Blonde” and “Big Fish.” During her freshman year at WSU, she
had the opportunity to choreograph and perform a solo work in the dance department’s Emerging Choreographer Fall Concert and in the guest choreographer work “Ricochet” by Kiki Lucas in the Spring Concert. During the summer of 2022, she performed at King’s Island in the production of “Off the Rails.”

Kaylah Alexander

Kaylah Alexander (Houston, Texas) received her BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University in May 2022. Her early training began under the direction of Sherese Campbell. She has performed with Houston City Dance Company and in several SHSU productions. Alexander has created original choreography for the SHSU undergraduate showcase “Dances @ 8” as well as presented her film “ARE YOU OKAY” in DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceChance and at the Carnegie Vanguard Theatre Company. She has had the honor to learn and work with a variety of acclaimed dance artists that include Joshua Manculich, Francisco Graciano, Donald Shorter Jr., and Dionne Noble.

Taylor Arrington

Taylor Arrington (Erie, Pennsylvania) received her early training at Erie Dance Theater, under the direction of Nathaniel Johnson. She continued her training at Sovereign Ballet under the direction of Christina Maria Adelhardt. She attended summer intensive at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Alonzo King Lines and Complexions Contemporary Dance. Taylor received her BFA in dance with a double concentration in ballet and modern in 2021 from Marymount Manhattan College. She is versed in classical ballet, modern dance (Graham, Horton, Nikolais), jazz, hip-hop and improvisation techniques. She has performed works by well-known choreographers like Sidra Bell, Christian Von Howard, Earl Mosely, John Heginbotham, Tami Stronach, and Case Brock.

Janae Broadnax

Janae Broadnax (Royersford, Pennsylvania) began her dance studies at Dance Depot competing in dance competitons throughout the East Coast. She has performed at Disney World, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, The Wells Fargo Center, Conwell Dance Theatre and in the Montgomery County area. She has attended summer intensives at Koresh Dance Company, Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Kimberton Dance Academy, as well as the Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team camp. She received her BFA in dance from Temple University in 2020.

Neviah Dallas

Neviah Dallas (Washington, DC) Her dance training includes The Washington School of Ballet and Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She received her BFA in Dance from University of the Arts in 2022. She is versed in the techniques of Vaganova Ballet, Horton, and West African Dance. She has studied with notable dance artists, teachers, and choreographers that include Kim Bears-Bailey, Artistic Director with The Philadelphia Dance Company/PHILADANCO, Sidra Bell, Master Lecturer – UArts, and Adjunct Professor at Ball State University, Tommie-Waheed Evans, 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Choreography.

Brooke Gist

Brooke Gist (Chicago, Illinois) received her BFA in Dance from Ohio State University. During her tenure there, she served as a class representative and Department of Dance Student Ambassador in 2022, performed with the OSU Ensemble and MFA Film Project. In addition, she traveled to multiple states and abroad with the dance department to Paris and Brazil in 2022. She attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. She attended summer intensives Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, New York University, Joffrey Contemporary, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Abraham in Motion. She performed at The International Association of Blacks in Dance and Ohio Symphony Opera.

Gelline Guevarra

Gelline Guevarra (Sacramento, CA) professionally danced with BBmoves for four seasons, TwoPoint4 Dance Theatre for two seasons and Diablo Ballet. In 2018, she debuted her first work under her own company, GGProjects, in addition to graduating from California State University, Sacramento. Ms. Guevarra received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and in Deaf Studies. During her time at CSUS, she worked and trained with renown choreographers such as Raja Feather Kelly, Lula Washington, Michel Kouakou, Gary Masters, Li Chiao-Ping, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, and Christine Cali. In addition, she extensively trained at intensives with Elisa Monte Dance and Bates Dance Festival.

Grace "Gracie" Harper

Grace “Gracie” Harper (Cincinnati, Ohio) is a sophomore BFA dance major at Wright State University where she was a recipient of the WSU Theatre Arts Talent scholarship. She has performed in the university performances that include Fall and Spring concerts, Emerging Choreographers, Arts Gala, During the Spring 2022 concert she was selected to perform in “Ricochet,” choreographed by Kiki Lucas. She has performed with Cincinnati Ballet in “Alice and Wonderland” and as the role of Clara in “The Nutcracker.” She has also worked professionally as a dancer in the Hallmark movie, “A Christmas Melody”, directed by Mariah Carey.

Alexandria "Alex" Kinard

Alexandria “Alex” Kinard (Louisville, Kentucky) graduated from the Youth Performing Arts School. She attended summer intensives at the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, The Alvin Ailey School, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Parson’s Dance Company where she was an apprentice in 2022. She received her BFA Degree in Dance from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is the first inaugural recipient of the Aaron R. White scholarship.During her time at UIUC she has performed in works by Donald Byrd, Endalyn Taylor, Dr. Curtis Kemal Nance, Linda Lehovec, Danzel Thompson Stout, and Bevara Anderson. She was a part of the original dance cast of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean” presented at the UIUC in 2020. Alex was a mentee in the Camille A Brown Mentorship Program (2021). She is certified in yoga and is a proud member of the Nu Delta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.

Owen Materne 

Owen Materne (Dayton, Ohio) began his formal training at Pontecorvo Ballet Studios in Dayton, Ohio. While in high school he performed with Gem City Ballet.  He attended The University of Oklahoma on a dance scholarship. During his time there he performed Amy Hall Garner’s“I Rise”, Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Likety Split” and 2012 Guggenheim Fellow Tommy Waheed Evans’ “Near Light” as well as a new work by Sidra Bell. He was a member of the Louisville Ballet Studio Company where he performed the dance works of “The Nutcracker” staged by Robert Curran, and“Contemporary Sleeping Beauty” staged by Adam Hougland, Resident Choreographer and Princess Grace Award: Choreography Fellowship - Ballet/Modern, 2006 recipient. Owen attended the summer intensives of the Kansas City Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance, Ballet Chicago Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Arizona Ballet and Point Park College. Owen is beginning his first year with DCDC2.

Sierra McCurtis

Sierra McCurtis (Dayton, Ohio) is the veteran of DCDC2. This is her third season. She graduated from Archbishop Alter High School, Dayton, Ohio. Her dance training includes jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and the unique dance styles of Kick-Line and Hawaiian at Miss Leslie School of Dance. She has taken master classes from the Radio City Rockettes, award winning dancer, choreographer and dance educator, Alvin Rangel, Tony-nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning (The Minstrel Show) Donald Byrd, including choreographer Anthony Burrell, featured on Lifetime’s hit reality shows Raising Asia and Dance Moms as well as season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance? Sierra is a freelance makeup artist who visually transforms people's' appearance for special events.

Lasana Murphy

Lasana Murphy (Buford, Georgia) received a BFA in Dance from Valdosta State University where she trained in classical ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap and aerial silk under the direction of Sarah Wildes Arnett, Associate Professor of Dance, Melissa Pihos, Professor Associate of Dance and Blair Andersen, Part-Time Instructor. Lasana also received a Minor in Deaf Studies. She performed in annual VSU dance concerts as well at the American College Dance Association Regional Southeastern Conferences at Kennesaw University and Florida State University where she had the privilege of presenting her dance work “Beyond Sound.” Alongside Melissa Pihos, Professor Associate of Dance, she earned her IMPROVment teaching certification, a movement class designed to help improve the quality of life for older adults and the cognitively impaired.

Natalie Nagy

Natalie Nagy (Bellbrook, Ohio) is a junior dance major at Wright State University. She began dancing at the age of three at Expanding Harmony Dance Studio under the tutelage of Melissa-Hauschild-Mork in South Dakota. She attended summer intensives Cincinnati Ballet, Koresh Dance Company, ChuThis Movement and Delve Intensive. She was a member of the South Dayton School of Dance pre-professional ensemble where she performed in The Nutcracker as the lead role of “Clara”. Additionally, she performed in choreographers DeShona Pepper-Robertson’s National Choreographic Award-winning piece FOTU, and Kimberly Jones’ "Cutting Ties" as well as works by Ray Mercer and Kiki Lucas. She is working towards BFA in Dance Performance and an Arts Management Certificate from Wright State University with a projected graduation date in 2024.

Megan Steinberger

Megan Steinberger (Delaware, Ohio) trained at Performing Arts Dance Centre. She received her BFA in Dance from Wright State University in 2022. During her tenure at WSU, she had the opportunity be cast in choreographer Ray Mercer’s She/Her and Pretty Is…, Gina Walther, and Ashley Pabst. She attended summer intensives Abraham in Motion, Ballet Chicago and Joffrey Ballet, and a master class with the Radio City Rockettes. Her performance experience includes Performing Arts Dance Centre where she performed at Chappelear Drama Center, Kalahari Resort, Disney Springs, and in the Bahamas. She is certified in level one acrobatics and worked with Autistic students.