23/24 SEASON

Dance Project and the NC Dance Festival are pleased to announce the 2023-24 Season Artists. Artists featured here will be performing in various locations across NC as part of the NC Dance Festival programming this season. 

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Renay Aumiller

Presenting in the Van Dyke performance space in greensboro, oct 27

Renay Aumiller (she/her) has presented her dance works across the United States, United Kingdom Sweden, Canada, Serbia, and Pakistan as the founder/artistic director of RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances, with whom she has also produced eight full-length dance productions in Durham and Hillsborough, North Carolina. She has performed for choreographers based in Chicago, Florida, New York, North Carolina and has toured Taiwan, Cambodia, and Italy with internationally acclaimed improvisation artist, Kirstie Simson. Renay has enjoyed guest residencies at numerous universities and studios across the United States and China and has presented her research in dance education in national and international conferences. Her education includes earning an MFA in Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in Dance Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She is an Associate Professor of Dance at Elon University, a Registered Yoga teacher (RYT-200), and a Franklin Method® Educator (level 2).

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ShaLeigh Comerford

Presenting at Goodyear Arts in Charlotte, Oct 6-7

ShaLeigh Comerford is an Irish & Native American choreographer and the artistic director of ShaLeigh Dance Works, a dance-theatre company based in Durham, NC and founded in 2005. Her work is driven by a desire to uplift powerful stories and voices that address the human condition in relation to inequalities and forces of erasure. Her work stresses our instinctive human need to connect regardless of race, class, age, ability, or gender. She is a graduate of Hollins University with a Master’s degree in Visual and Performing Arts. ShaLeigh began her formal dance training on scholarship with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre and the American Dance Festival and continued her training in NYC and at P.A.R.T.S in Brussels, Belgium. In 2011, she was personally invited to train in the Gaga movement language with Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel for their inaugural teacher training program. ShaLeigh was a principal dancer with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre where she performed and toured with the company from 2000-04. She performed leading roles with the Virginia Ballet Academy and guest roles with the Carolina Ballet and Cirque USA. She has also apprenticed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and has performed with Keigwin & Company, Tina Croll & Company, the Dendy Dance Theater, Carolina Ballet, Martha Clarke, Rosie Herrera, as well as a restaging of Batsheva Dance Company’s Minus Sixteen and an Official Music Video for Blind by Christian Loffler. ShaLeigh’s choreography and commissions have been presented throughout the United States and abroad. She is a recipient of the 2018 Ella Pratt Fountain Emerging Artist Award and an awarded winner in the 2013 Tokyo Experimental Festival of Sound, Art & Performance. ShaLeigh currently serves as Adjunct Instructor of dance at Elon University and Washington & Lee University. She is a member of the statewide North Carolina Arts Accessibility Learning Cohort as well as the UpROOTing Ableism workgroup for Alternate ROOTS. She is also Founder and practitioner of ShaGa Movement.

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James daniels

Presenting at The artist bloc, greensboro, nov 11

James Daniels is a poet, writer, educator, and music artist. He uses word and sound to craft experiences, stories, and characters that center the beauty of people—especially those in the healing process. Through creative peacemaking, restorative education, and authentic expression, he creates art and spaces that challenge others to love their authentic selves, establishing lasting peace and joy.  For more information and to keep up with James’ performances, workshops, and events, follow him on Instagram or Twitter @sol_lxve or visit

2022 NCDF artist, Joy Davis

Joy Davis

Presenting with eric mullis at Goodyear Arts in Charlotte, oct 6-7

Joy Davis is a dance artist, advocate, educator and performer. She is a Senior Countertechnique® Teacher; and founded joyproject in 2005 as a platform for creation, collaboration and production, having created numerous independent works and commissions. She co-founder of the dynamic duo, The Davis Sisters, alongside multi-disciplinary artist Alexander Davis; together they received a Schonberg Residency at The Yard and were commissioned for numerous projects by the Boston Center for the Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Wesleyan Center for the Arts, amongst others. Joy received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College and has taught worldwide, including Boston Conservatory at Berklee since 2016, as a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University, as a Guest Teacher at The Juilliard School, and at festivals including One Body One Career Countertechnique® Intensive, American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. She was a 2022 Goodyear Arts Resident in Charlotte, recipient of the North Carolina Choreographer’s Residency, and is Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance at Davidson College.

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Tanya wideman-davis

Presenting with wideman davis dance residency, greensboro, sept 27-30

Tanya Wideman-Davis is the Co-Director of Wideman Davis Dance and is on faculty as Associate Professor at The University of South Carolina in the Department of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies.  With an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, she completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012).  Tanya has danced with many world-renown companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet NY, and as guest artist with Ballet Memphis, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and Quorum Ballet Amadora, Portugal.  Wideman-Davis has received multiple honors and grants for her work with Wideman Davis Dance and individually including: 2023 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)  Grant, 2022 Mellon Monuments Project Grant, 2022 Alternate Roots: Partners in Action Grant, 2021 South Carolina Arts Commission Fellow, 2021 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant, 2021 International Association of Blacks in Dance COHI/MOVE Cohort Grant, 2019 South Arts Momentum Grant, 2019 Alternate Roots Artistic Assistance: Project Development Grant, 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Grant, 2017 USC Provost Grant, 2013 Map Fund Grant, and 2011 Jerome Robins New Essential Works Grant. She has received international acclaim as “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” by Dance Europe magazine.  Tanya’s academic, choreographic research and lectures examine race, gender, femininity, identity, and location. She has contributed a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet titled Dance Theatre of Harlem: Radical Black Female Bodies in Ballet. She has a preprint chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Black Dance Studies titled, Choreographers in the Commons Sipping Coffee co-authored with Dahlia Nayar and Thaddeus Davis.

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Thaddeus davis

Presenting with wideman davis dance residency, greensboro, sept 27-30

Thaddeus Davis is Co-Director of Wideman Davis Dance and Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. His research, performance, creative, and community practices center on Southern Black experiences. His work questions spaces and environments that affect the intersection of gender, class, race, technology, and media’s ability to shape perceptions. As Co-Director of Wideman Davis Dance, he has received multiple honors and grants for his work, including the 2022 Mellon Monuments Grant, 2022 Alternate Roots: Partners in Action, 2022 and 2019 National Endowment for the Arts, 2021 International Association of Blacks in Dance: COHI | MOVE Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative, 2018 National Dance Project Grant, 2017 Provost Grant to support the creations of a research team for the development of Migratuse Ataraxia, 2013 Map Fund Grant to support the research and development of Ruptured Silence: Racist Signs and Symbol, Jerome Robins New Essential Works Grant (2011), University of South Carolina Arts Institute, Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Reading/Dance Collaboration, Balance: Homelessness Project (2009), Canvas: The Master Class (2010), Cultural Envoy to Portugal, U.S. State Department. 

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Lee edwards

Presenting at Goodyear Arts, Charlotte, oct 6-7

Lee (they/them) is an interdisciplinary movement artist, memory worker, and embodied storyteller working in dance, sound, video, and ethnography. Their practice takes shape through the use of performance, installation, improvisational and somatic techniques, collaboration, and writing. Originally from Mount Vernon, NY, Lee’s love of dance was first nurtured with family and friends at home, school, and church. Their formal training started at The Dance Theatre of Harlem School, after which they received their BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2015). Lee has performed with companies Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround, Putty Dance Project, Dancespora, KCBC, and Jo-Me’ Dance. They have worked with choreographers Michael Mao, Jasmine Powell, Raphael Xavier, and Joanna Kotze. Lee completed their MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis and Master’s Certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University (2022). They are a recipient of the 2021-2022 Kenan Institute of Ethics Graduate Arts Fellowship in Social Choreography and Performance. Lee is currently based in Durham, NC; exploring care as embodied practice, the prefix “re”, and spatial/temporal orientation as a person with overlapping and intertwined roots in the Northeastern and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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carol finley

presenting with courtney white at goodyear arts, charlotte, oct 6-7

Carol Kyles Finley (she/her) is a professor of Dance at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC where she also serves as Department Chair for Dance and Theatre and artistic director for Meredith Dance Theatre. Her works for stage have been performed in many venues on the east coast, in Ohio, Seattle, and numerous regional and national American College Dance Association concerts. Her works for camera have been screened in national and international festivals. She has served as guest artist at James Madison University, Florida State College Jacksonville, NC State University, Middle and High schools across North Carolina, and regularly teaches as a guest with the NC Governor’s School. Carol holds a degree in Graphic Design from NC State University and an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University.

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gerri houlihan

Presenting in the Van Dyke Performance space, greensboro, oct 27

Gerri Houlihan studied at the Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991-1999 she directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, Florida. During that time, she was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. Ms. Houlihan serves on the Advisory Board for the American Dance Festival. She has been on the faculty of the ADF from 1981-1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in 17 international linkage programs in such countries as Korea, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia, Poland and Russia. She is the recipient of the ADF’s Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She was Co-Dean and then Dean of the ADF School from 2010-2015 and received her MFA from the Hollins/ADF MFA program. She recently retired from Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and is now Professor Emerita. Currently, she teaches at the ADF studios in Durham and is the Artistic Director of the Big Red Dance Project- a group of dancers age 35-78.


damien mathis


Damien Mathis earned a Bachelors in Studio Arts with a concentration in Painting and Modern Sculpting. He is a Marine Corp Combat veteran currently transitioning to Color therapy to help others with mental health His work includes various historic artists to show the correlation of creativity outside of the subconscious frame. His artwork is internationally purchased and exhibited from various collectives throughout the world. Some include the Harlem Fine Arts Collective, The Breakfast Club Detroit, and annual showings with the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association Conference Marketplace. His work is collected by many institutions and practices far and wide.

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Mandi Moore

Presenting in the Van Dyke Performance space, greensboro, oct 27

Mandi Moore is a choreographer, researcher, dancer, collaborator, and graphic designer. She holds a Master of Fine Arts – Dance Choreography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelors of Science in Education – Dance from Bowling Green State University. She has taught at various universities which include Stephen F. Austin State University, North Carolina State University, Elon University, and The University of North Carolina Greensboro. Mandi is also an executive board member for Theatre of Movement, and co-chair of the IADMS Promotions Committee.

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eric mullis

presenting with joy davis at goodyear arts, charlotte, oct 6-7

Eric Mullis is an NC-based artist whose work bridges the disciplines of dance, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and digital aesthetics. In 2020, he received a Fulbright scholarship to teach dance technology in Taiwan and, in 2023, received an Arts and Technology grant from the Knight Foundation to continue research on Motive Forces, a dance theater piece that centers on digital abstraction. Eric has published widely on contemporary dance–most recently, the book Instruments of Embodiment: Costuming in Contemporary Dance (Routledge 2022). He is chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department at Queens University of Charlotte and Director of Goodyear Arts, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting independent artists in Charlotte, NC. For more see

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Seema Kudur Viswanath

Presenting in the Van Dyke Performance space, greensboro, oct 27
and at the artist block, greensboro, nov 11

Seema Viswanath is an Indian classical dancer/educator/choreographer from NC. She is the artistic director of ‘Nritya MayaNanda school of Arts’, NC. She is born and brought up in south India. She is a seasoned classical dancer who has been learning not one but two Indian classical dances, that is Bharatanatyam and Kathak. A touring artist, Seema has presented solo as well as collaborative works, have worked being a part of dance companies in India & USA. She has performed in many festivals and have conducted master workshops. Spirituality through dance being her motto, she finds dance a way of living.

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Courtney white

Presenting with carol finley at Goodyear Arts in Charlotte, oct 6-7

Courtney White(she/her) is an Assistant Professor at Meredith College and an active part of the dance community throughout the triangle. Her work has allowed her to teach, perform, present, and produce work nationally and internationally. She has served as a guest artist at The University of North Carolina Greensboro, James Madison University, The University of Memphis, Dogwood Dance Project, and various Middle and High Schools in North Carolina. She earned an MFA in Choreography from The University of North Carolina Greensboro and a BA in Dance concentrating in performance and choreography from Meredith College.

Anna Williams

Anna Williams


 Anna Williams, AKA Drum Goddess, is a creative artist and female drummer. She began playing drums as a high schooler, at her church in Fayetteville, NC. She is a self-taught artist, with experience playing congos, bongos, and drum set. Since moving to Greensboro, Anna has played for numerous local artists and events, including as the house band drummer for The Artist Bloc. She started her own band, called the Aux Band, and has been the set drummer for the Poetry Cafe College Tour. Anna also works with kids, teaching music and drumming to give back and spread love through drumming.