Christine Hallinger, originally from Virginia, recently graduated from Radford University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While at Radford, she held several soloist roles in the Nutcracker and original works from faculty and students. Upon graduation, she received the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award from the Department of Dance. In 2022, she worked professionally as a dancer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in OktoberZest, where she was featured in the pas de deux. She has also attended winter intensives with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and GroundWorks DanceTheater. She has trained under and performed works by James Robey, Amy VanKirk, Inessa Plekhanova, Deborah McLaughlin, Rachel Rugh, Ji-Eun Lee, and Deana DeHart. Christine is very excited to be joining West Virginia Dance Company this season!
Emily is a technically trained dancer and performance artist from Saint Albans, West Virginia. Her journey in dance took off at Academy of Arts at January’s in Charleston, and later continued with the Dance Program at West Virginia University. In 2019, Emily worked with Theatre West Virginia as a Dancer and Soloist, performing in Annie, Hatfields and McCoys, and Paradise Park: The Musical. Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and Psychology from West Virginia University in May of 2021. Emily joined the West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC) for their 2021-22 season, where she performed in various works from renowned choreographers such as Toneta Akers-Toler and Gerri Houlihan. WVDC has been an important part of Emily’s artistic growth, offering her a platform to pursue her passion for dance and participate in the West Virginia arts community. Emily is ecstatic to be joining WVDC for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Nash Dawson is a theatre and dance performance artist originally from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of West Virginia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. Nash has performed the works of Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Maureen Mansfield Kaddar, and others. As a choreographer, Nash has choreographed his own pieces that were featured in concert venues and theatrical productions at WVU. Regionally, Nash has worked with The Prizery theatre in South Boston, Virginia as an actor/teacher and with Blue Gate Musicals in Shipshewana, Indiana as a dance captain. This year, Nash has been able to explore his love for teaching dance at Academy of Arts at January’s in Charleston and Legacy Dance Co in Beckley. This is Nash’s second season with WVDC and he is thrilled to continue creating art in this beautiful state of West Virginia.
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
Sarah Walker, a native of West Virginia, is a performing and teaching dance artist. Sarah is excited to be returning to the West Virginia Dance Company for the 2023-2024 season. Previously, she has performed 4×4 by Gerri Houlihan and Suite West Virginia by Toneta Akers-Toler amongst other works with the company. Prior to joining the company, Sarah attended Point Park University and West Virginia University where she graduated with degrees in dance and multidisciplinary studies. There she performed Esplanade by Paul Taylor as well as original works by Maureen and Yoav Kaddar and General Hambrick. Growing up, Sarah trained at Momentum Dance Center and Morgantown Dance Studio where she participated in several productions including Peter Pan and The Nutcracker. She was also given the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Garfield Lemonius, Jason McDole, Keisha Lallama, Kelli Hodges, Mollie Mock Kaufman, and Dan Karasik. Outside of performing, Sarah has had the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion for dance with students ranging from beginner to advanced levels and spanning all age groups. Sarah is grateful for the growth and cultivation of her artform that working with the West Virginia Dance Company and teaching has brought her and looks forward to all that is to come!
Guest Artist – Katie Jo Fulks
Katie Jo Fulks is a performer, arts administrator, and researcher originally from Huntington, West Virginia. A graduate of Elon University, she holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and a BA in Arts Administration. Katie has performed in works by Christal Brown, ShaLeigh Comerford, Casey Avaunt, Jen Guy Metcalf, and in Elon musical theater’s production of 42nd Street.
Katie performed with Theatre West Virginia in 2021 and returned in 2022 as dance captain. As an arts administrator, she focuses on event management, marketing, social media management, and grant writing. As a researcher, Katie specializes in Soviet Union ballets and the use of ballet choreography as political propaganda. Through Katie’s work on and off stage, she strives to emphasize the power and necessity of art. Website: katiejofulks.com
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 – Lauren McBarron
Lauren McBarron is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BFA in dance with concentrations in performance, choreography, and business administration from Slippery Rock University in 2021. While at SRU, Lauren performed works by various choreographers, including Martha Graham, Bill Evans, Lindsay Fisher Viatori, and Grady Bowman. In April 2021, Lauren was honored to receive the Outstanding Dance Production and Technology Award from the SRU dance faculty. In addition to dance, Lauren is passionate about technology, dance on film, music, and teaching. This is Lauren’s second season dancing with West Virginia Dance Company, and she is excited for what this year has to offer!
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.