Maria Hildebrand, of Spring Grove, PA, is a graduate of Radford University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in music. During her time at Radford she had the wonderful opportunity to study dance with danah bella, Amy VanKirk, James Robey, Deborah McLaughlin, Ji-Eun Lee, Inessa Plekhanova, Aleksey Plekhanov and many guest dance professionals. She had the privilege of performing “Continuous Relation” by Kyle Abraham with some members of his company, Abraham.In.Motion. Included among many concert dance performance opportunities at Radford; Maria was cast as an Angel in “Anything Goes” and as the character Forgiveness from Heaven in Lisa Loomer’s play, “The Waiting Room”. While at Theatre West Virginia she performed in “Annie,” “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s,” and “Paradise Park the Musical.” This will be Maria’s second season with the West Virginia Dance Company. Most recently Maria was a guest artist at the WV Governor’s School for the Arts and WV Governor’s Honors Academy with WVDC performing in both the concert and virtual film versions of the company’s latest work, “Souvenir: Diary 2020”. Maria is looking forward to connecting and creating this coming year with the upcoming guest choreographers and dancers starting in August 2021.
Kristina Lewis born and raised in Stow, Ohio, has been dancing since the age of two. She graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2021 Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, with concentrations in Performance & Choreography and Business Administration. During her time at SRU, she was fortunate to have studied with many brilliant artists, including Lindsay Fisher-Viatori, Jesse Factor, Jennifer Keller, Jaya Mani, Bill Evans, Jenna Riegel, and Ursula Payne. She also had the opportunity to study dance abroad in Italy with the SRU dance department in the summer of 2019. Also, in the summer of 2019, Kristina was blessed with her first professional position as a dancer with Theatre West Virginia and is returning as Dance Captain this summer 2021 season. Kristina is very excited to experience her first season with West Virginia Dance Company and cannot wait to perform, collaborate, and share her passion for dance!
Jax RF McAtee
Jax RF McAtee (They/He) is a Pittsburgh-based choreographer, director, and performance artist. McAtee holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, and a BFA in Theatre: Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. Born into the West Virginia hills, Jax spent their early years pursuing arts and performance in the form of dance, theatre, and instrumental music, followed by a nine-year stint of art-making in and around Seattle. After undergrad, McAtee took a few-year performance detour into the art of vaudeville/burlesque, becoming the initial conduit for their experimental performance aesthetic and interdisciplinary creation, as well as paving way for their ongoing freelance career as a director/choreographer and theatre/dance educator, working with all ages. Jax is beyond ecstatic to be back in their home among the hills, dancing as a member of WV Dance Company for the 2021-2022 season! Website: jaxrfm.com
Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Emily began concentrated training in ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary at the age of 15. Emily completed her undergraduate degrees in Dance and Psychology at West Virginia University in May of 2021. At WVU, Emily performed in multiple dance pieces and concerts, including Vervacious by Maureen Kaddar, as well as Esplanade by Paul Taylor. In 2019, Emily worked as a soloist and dance ensemble member with Theatre West Virginia, performing in shows such as Annie, Hatfields and Mccoys, and Paradise Park: The Musical, while working closely with Toneta Akers-Toler, Artistic Director of the West Virginia Dance Company. Emily has also worked as a dance teacher of multiple styles, and a choreographer for Academy of Arts at January’s. Emily’s choreographic works include pieces for the JADCO ballet Little Match Girl, as well as solo pieces for members of the JADCO Contemporary Dance Company.
Lauren McBarron is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BFA in dance from Slippery Rock University in 2021 with concentrations in performance and choreography as well as business administration. At SRU, Lauren had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Martha Graham, Grady Bowman, Bill Evans, and Lindsay Fisher Viatori. In April of 2021, she was honored to receive the Outstanding Dance Production and Technology Award from the SRU dance faculty. This will be Lauren’s first season with the West Virginia Dance Company.
Donald Laney graduated from the University, of California, Irvine, MFA in Dance. For 15 years he was Producing Artistic Director of the WV Dance Company. He currently is the Faculty of the Department of Theatre & Dance at Western Illinois University. Modern Dance Choreography; WVDC, James Madison University, Lees-McRae College, WV Wesleyan College, WVU, Charleston Ballet, Beckley Dance Theatre, Trillium Performing Arts. Musical Theatre credits: Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Marshall University, WV Wesleyan College, Theatre WV, Davis & Elkins College, Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Donald has served as the WV Governor’s School for the Arts instructor in Dance, from 2005 to present.
Guest Artist – Dane Toney
Originally from West Virginia, Dane graduated with a BFA in Dance from Point Park University, where he worked with numerous faculty members and guest artists, including Dawn Stoppiello of Troika Ranch and Doug Varone of Doug Varone and Dancers. He trained intensively with Toneta Akers-Toler, founder and artistic director of the West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC). Dane has spent 16 summers with Theatre West Virginia’s Outdoor Drama Company and has performed as a guest artist with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the WVDC. Dane is a recipient of the 2017 BRAZZY Award, which recognizes two exceptional Pittsburgh dancers each year in honor of Leslie Anderson-Braswell. Dane has been a company member with Attack Theatre since 2008.