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Bryant Williams

Guest Artist

Originally from San Francisco, Mr. Williams has toured the world performing in concert dance, Broadway shows and commercial work. Mr. Williams has performed in the Tony Award winning Broadway shows “Aida” and “contact." He has also danced for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Company C Contemporary Ballet, and the Ailey School, where he trained on Fellowship for four years. While at the Ailey School, he was also the recipient of a 2002 ARTS Award Fellowship. Other awards include "25 dancers to Watch" from Dance Magazine and "Dancer of the Year" from the Chicago Dance Awards. He later spent three years as a director and creator of multi million dollar production shows for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.  His teaching and choreography credits include International Dance Festival (New York City, NY), University of Buffalo, Giordano Dance Center, Ketchikan Theatre Ballet (Ketchikan, AK), Dance Educators of America (East Coast Nationals), Grier School Gala (Pennsylvania), In Motion School of Dance (Bermuda), and now at Crescendo Conservatory where he is the director of the jazz department.

Caitlin Pettijohn

1st Year Company Member

Caitlin received much of her early training at the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, D. C. where she had the thrilling and terrifying honor of meeting and being co-taught by Miss Mary Day. In 1999, she and her family moved to Idaho. There, despite the lack of population density, she was blessed with many wonderful and encouraging teachers at Festival Dance Academy. She continued her addiction to dance in college. At UMKC she received a wealth of performance opportunities and was able to perform in such works as Balanchine's "Serenade," "Valse Fantasie," and Phillip Jerry's "Our Town" as Rebecca Gibbs. During her time in college she performed in Matthew Powell's "The Red Shoes" for the Crossroads Ballet Festival. After graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance (Ballet and Modern emphasis), she was accepted into Störling Dance Theater where she has lived happily ever after. She just completed her seventh season and has enjoyed many featured rolls including The Bride in "Butterfly," The Prostitute in "Prodigal Daughter," and Mrs. Walker in "Underground." She is enjoying the opportunity to perform with VidaDance for her first season. 

Kirstie McDermott

Associate Artistic Director, 
4th Year Company Member & Choreographer 

Kirstie began her dance training at Blue Springs Ballet at a young age. After graduating high school, she received both dance and academic scholarships to attend Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Dance. During her time at Stephens, Kirstie studied both ballet and modern techniques under the direction of Elizabeth Hartwell, Jan Miller, and Deborah Carr. She danced for four years with Störling Dance Theater and currently dances with City in Motion. Kirstie has also enjoyed performing East Indian dance with Gurukul Dance Troupe, as well as teaching dance classes for local studios. This is Kirstie's fourth season with VidaDance and her second season as Associate Artistic Director.

Krystal Bryan

4th Year Company Member & Choreographer

Krystal began her dance training at Jo Noth’s White Oak Dance Academy in Blue Springs, Missouri. After graduating high school, she received both dance and academic scholarships to attend Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Dance. While she was at Stephens, she had the opportunity to choreograph many of her own pieces, one of which was chosen to be taken to the American College Dance Festival. Krystal has been a member of professional modern dance company City in Motion for six years and has also enjoyed being a part of Gurukul, a professional East Indian dance company. She has choreographed pieces for City in Motion as well as VidaDance. This is Krystal's fourth season with VidaDance.

Amanda Moder

1st Year Company Member

Amanda fell in love with ballet during childhood. She trained with Allegro School of Dance and Music in Rochester, MN, where she performed many roles including Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker." In college, Amanda danced on the Creighton University Dance Team for two years, including traveling and performing with them in the NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 games. Amanda earned a minor in Dance and a minor in Biology along with her Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Medical Dietetics (nutrition), and went on to become a registered dietitian. Amanda has danced as a company apprentice with Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre, performing at Project Dance in Paris 2016 and in New York City 2017. She has experience teaching ballet and training with various studios including Misty's Dance Unlimited in La Crosse, WI. Amanda currently works as a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee, and promotes nutrition in the community through TV and public speaking. She loves empowering dancers to fuel for success in a healthy and body-positive way that allows them to be their best self. Amanda is also a published author at Brio Magazine, where she writes faith-focused nutrition articles for teen girls. Amanda is passionate about the importance of the art of dance and its power to share joy, tell stories, and inspire. She is extremely honored to be dancing with VidaDance and thankful for the wonderful and positive community it fosters. 

Breanna Carter

3rd Year Company Member & Choreographer

Breanna began dancing at Heart of America Dance Centre at a young age where she studied all different kinds of dance. She started off with the Homeschool Program which led to HADC'S Youth Ballet and Competition Dance Team, where she was cast in many lead roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker." She began teaching dance to special needs students while in high school, and then started teaching at two other studios. She then decided to go straight from high school into a professional dance career, and performed with various companies including Victory in Motion and as a soloist with Störling Dance Theater. She is thankful to be a part of VidaDance because she loves what it stands for: that everyone can dance and have a great time in doing so. This is Breanna's third season with VidaDance.

Joseph Pilgram

3rd Year Company Member

Joe started his dance training with Paul Chambers at the age of 19. He earned a BFA in dance from UMKC under the direction of Mary Pat Henry, Catharine Plavcan, Paula Weber and DeeAnna Hiett. Joe has performed with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company for several years and with Störling Dance Theater in its production of Underground. He has performed the choreography of Bill T. Jones, David Parsons, Donald McKayle, Sean Curran, Milton Myers and Shapiro & Smith and many more. Currently Joseph is a Network Engineer but sends his thanks to VidaDance for the opportunity to work with them and wants to express a special thank you to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Joseph’s wife and four kids, his friends and family for their love and support! This is Joe's third season with VidaDance.

Erin Steeley

4th Year Company Member & Choreographer

Erin started dancing at an early age at Maxine’s Studio of Dance in Southern New Jersey. In 2003 Erin was accepted into the Vineland Regional Dance Company where she received the opportunity of training under Kimberly Chapman, Daniel Marshall, Jeffrey Gribler, and many other great teachers. With the Vineland Regional Dance Company she had the privilege to travel all over the United States to perform and train. She attended summer dance programs such as Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company, Craft of Choreography, and the Rock School of Dance Education. She attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City where she received the opportunity to perform in works such as Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, George Balanchine’s Serenade and works by Paula Weber, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Mary Pat Henry, and many more talented choreographers. Erin graduated with a BFA in Dance and a minor in business during the summer of 2014. Also in 2014, Erin joined Störling Dance Theater, where she is still performing. Erin is the Johnson County Campus Administrator for the Kansas City Ballet School, as well as on faculty for the school. In 2015 Erin joined local Kansas City company, VidaDance, where she performs and is a company choreographer. 

Mallory Gittemeier

1st Year Company Member

Mallory, a Saint Louis native, began dancing at the age of three and has been a dancer/aerialist/choreographer in the Kansas City area since 2010. Mallory received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, with an emphasis in Ballet, and a Bachelor's of Arts in Mathematics from Webster University. While in St. Louis, she started her professional career with MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) as a guest dancer and aerialist and as a dancer with Dances of India in Bharata Natyam technique. Since moving to Kansas City, Mallory has become a dancer with City in Motion Dance Theater, Kacico, Gurukul Indian Dance Company, and as an aerialist with Voler Aerial Academy. As both a Dancer and Aerialist, Mallory has been selected to perform at many festivals, theaters, and colleges across the United States including the Heartland Men's Chorus' Abbacadabra, 38th Annual Bachathon, Sling Dance Project in Austin, TX, JCCC Performing Arts Series, The Kansas City Fringe Festival, The Pitch's Artopia, The Kansas City Zoo fundraiser events Jazoo and Earthly Evening, and Pythian Castle. Mallory has had the opportunity to choreograph for the Kansas City Women's Chorus and presented choreography at Project Dance in Times Square, New York City. She also works as a Data Specialist, math tutor, and loves spending time with her fiancé and their six fur-baby pets. 

John Weaver 

3rd Year Company Member

John's journey in dance starts in the world of music. He has always loved music, and the world was rarely silent around him. The music in his head always found its way out, whether it was a hum, a whistle, or a beat of the foot or fingers. At the age of five, he began piano lessons, and he continued these through high school. During high school, he began to realize music was not just something he loved and enjoyed as a hobby, but it was an essential form of expression for him. John always enjoyed anything involving music, musicals, dance, figure skating, etc., and always assumed it was primarily because of music. Eventually, he realized that he enjoyed them just as much for the beauty of expression in movement as the beauty of expression in music.
So, for a variety of reasons, including exploring something new, learning expression in movement and fitness, John began taking ballet and modern classes at The Culture House in 2014. Since then, he has participated in Störling Dance Theater's production of "Underground" and The Culture House's production of "The Snow Queen." This is John's third season with VidaDance.

Jami Robben

3rd Year Company Apprentice

Jami is a high school senior who started gymnastics at age nine and moved on to dance a few years later with Eagles Gymnastics’ dance fusion, training mostly in lyrical and jazz. She is a student at VidaDance Studio, has danced with her high school dance team for two years, and competes regularly in regional competitions. She has placed in the top five overall in every competition she has ever entered, including first overall. She has also received a Perfect Showmanship Award and has been invited to compete in TOP Starz Performance Group with Talent on Parade Nationals for three years in a row. She is a budding choreographer, who has set a piece on VidaDance company members for National Dance Week Kansas City as part of its Catalyst program. She will be attending the University of Missouri in fall 2018 and is planning to obtain her degree in journalism, and maybe eventually open up her own studio. Jami began her apprenticeship with VidaDance in December 2015.

Talaessa Bice

1st Year Company Memeber

Talaessa trained at The Culture House Academy of the Performing Arts and graduated from its Artist Development Program in 2010. Her studies were extensive and included Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Corporal Mime, Physical Theatre, Lyrical, Contemporary, Latin Social, as well as several different styles within the Hip Hop Culture. She began working as a professional dancer in 2008 as a guest artist for Storling Dance Theater and as a corp member of Maxxas Dance Theater. In 2013 she relocated to Austin, TX where she worked as both performer and choreographer for Crash Alchemy, and as a dancer for Diverse Space Dance Company. While in Austin, Talaessa pursued West Coast Swing and Latin Social Dance working as an instructor for Go Dance. She competed with Go Dance’s West Coast Swing Team in 2014, directed by Gary McIntyre and Susan Kirkland. During the summer of 2014, she began traveling and worked as a guest instructor for Ballet Lubbock’s summer intensive as well as a youth mentor for Judith Patterson’s: United States Performing Arts Program at UCLA. In 2015 Talaessa toured with On the Fly Productions, an aerial/dance performance company featured on the hit reality show "Fake Off: Season 2." She is also very excited to have both choreographed and performed her own work for Fran Spector Atkins of Spector Dance in Monterey, CA and to have co-choreographed the finale of Percussion Pointe, a collaboration between Ballet Lubbock and Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Talaessa now permanently resides in Kansas City, KS while maintaining her coastal relationship with Los Angeles, CA researching the art of film and its current relationship to movement and dance.