Discover the artists and dancers at the heart of the MET Dance Company!
*Listed in Alphabetical Order
JESUS ACOSTA is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico. He studied at Sam Houston State University and has performed in pieces by Larry Keigwin, Lauren Edson, Kiki Lucas, Joe Celej, and Rennie Harris among others. Jesus has been working with MA Dance and Auxiliaries for eleven years teaching, choreographing, and judging all over the United States. He has been an adjudicator for The Iowa State Solo Championship and The Iowa State Team Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. He also works nationally with many high schools teaching and choreographing for their dance teams. His choreography has won national titles in jazz, kick, military, pom, lyrical, contemporary and has received Gala Status at Regional Dance America Festivals. Mr. Acosta has danced nationally in venues such as The Ailey Theater in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Paramount Theater in Boston, Massachusetts and The Rose Wagner PAC in Salt Lake City among others. Jesus has been a guest artist for Dangerous Lorraine’s Dance Theatre, Recked Productions, Rednerrus Feil Dance Company, and was a company member of The Kista Tucker Dance Company for two seasons. Jesus recently finished his third season with Hope Stone Dance Company in Houston, Texas and is a founding member and rehearsal director for NobleMotion Dance currently on their sixth season. Mr. Acosta is in his second season as a company member with METdance and teaches at many dance studios in Houston and the surrounding areas.
MIA ANGELINI is originally from Jefferson, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Point Park University with a BFA in Dance. While at Point Park, she performed works by choreographers such as, Doug Varone, Kiesha Lalama, Sidra Bell, and Garfield Lemonius. She also had the opportunity to dance in the International Choreography Competition as a part of the Jazz Dance World Congress. In the past three seasons with the MET, she has performed works by Kiki Lucas, Joe Celej, Peter Chu, Kate Skarpetowska, Larry Keigwin, Lauren Edson, Jason Parsons, jhon r. stronks, Sydney Skybetter, Jess Hendricks and Jane Weiner. Mia has also performed with the MET at the Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis, the Great Friends Dance Festival in Rhode Island, and the Inside/Out Series at Jacob's Pillow. Mia is excited to be in her 4th season as a part of the METdance Company!
KAYLA COLLYMORE is originally from Asbury Park, New Jersey. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University earning a BFA in Dance. She has had the opportunity to perform works by renowned choreographers such as Stefanie Batten Bland, Julie Bour, Jennifer Muller, Trisha Brown, Rhapsody James, Dwight Rhoden, and Brian Brooks. Kayla spent last year in Beijing, China creating, teaching, and performing with HouYing Dance Theater. While overseas she proceeded to branch off as a free lance dancer performing in the 2014 Beijing Fringe Festival, for Audi in the 2014 Chengdu Motor Show, a fashion show for renowned Chinese clothing designer Make, and at 798's Cafa Musuem as a part of Luo Wei's exhibition. She also took on the position as the founder and head of the Dance Department at Limai International School. Prior to living in China she danced with the Brian Brooks Moving Company, worked as an apprentice for Stephen Petronio Company during their 2012 Joyce season, and studied as a full scholarship student at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in the Movin' Commercial Dance Program under the instruction of Beyonce's team of choreographers and dancers. Kayla is ecstatic to join the Houston METdance just in time for their 20th season.
DWAYNE COOK began dancing at the age of three at The Houston Ballet Academy/J.C. Sanderson Elementary for the Performing Arts. He continued his training at Lamar Fleming Middle School Fine Arts Academy and was accepted into HSPVA. He joined Exclamation Dance Co. in 2006 under the direction of Kenneth Epting. Dwayne has also trained at the Ailey School, the School of American Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions, and received an apprenticeship for Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Dwayne is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he received his degree in Modern Dance Performance. Throughout his training, Dwayne has worked with such choreographers as Troy Powell, Earl Mosley, Christopher Huggins, Derrick Minter, Austin Hartel, Nathan Trice, Arthur Mitchell, Dudley Williams, Matthew Rushing, and Robert Battle. He is in his first Season with METdance.
SETH MCPHAIL began his dance training in Houston at San Jacinto College South. He went on to obtain a BFA in dance from Sam Houston State University where he studied under Jennifer Pontius, Andy Noble, Dionne Sparkman Noble, Erin Reck, and Jonathan Charles. After graduation, Seth danced at sea with Royal Caribbean Productions for two years where he performed the musical Hairspray. Professionally, Seth has performed with Hope Stone Dance and is in his 4th Season at NobleMotion Dance. This is Seth's first season with METdance!
BRITTNEY SMITH, TRANIEE
was born and raised in Bulverde, Texas, and started her dance training at the age of three at a small local dance studio. Throughout High School she continued her training at Collective Dance Artistry in Helotes, TX. Brittney attended Point Park University and received her B.A. with a concentration in modern. During her time at Point Park she had the opportunity to train under teachers such as Garfield Lemonius, Kiesha Lalama, Ruben Graciani, and Danielle Pavlik, and perform works by Mariah McLeod and Ron Tassone. She also was fortunate to perform in a student work choreographed by Sarah Hammond at the American College Dance Association conference in 2015. Brittney is thrilled to be dancing with the METdance this season.
BRETT WORTHERSPOON, TRANNIEE is originally from Detroit, Michigan, Brett began dancing at Allard Academy of Dance in 1995. In 2004 he performed in “The Nutcracker” with the Moscow Ballet at The Fox Theater, and in 2006 with The Joffrey Ballet at The Detroit Opera House. After graduating high school from Arts Academy in the Woods as a dance major, he began at Oakland University, earning his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. On a dance scholarship, he worked with Laurie Eisenhower, Stephanie Pizzo, Thayer Jonutz, Ali Woerner, Gregory Patterson, Christina Tasco, Alicia Cutaia, Iris Wilson, Kendra Portier, Jill Zmijewski, Sean Hoskins, Bryan Strimpel, and Chin Ying. In May of 2013, Brett performed with Eisenhower Dance, in the production of “Aida” at the Detroit Opera House and in September became a member of Oakland University’s Repertory Dance Company. In 2014 he became a member of Patterson Rhythm Pace, Directed by Gregory Patterson. Brett completed is Bachelors of Fine Arts summer of 2015 and this is his first season with METdance.
MARLANA DOYLE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the METdance Company is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana has been dancing with METdance for the past fifteen years and was a major part of the MET’s reorganization in 2003. As the Artistic Director, she has tried to keep the diversity and versatility of the dancers and choreographers a part of the overall artistic vision of the Company. She and the Company are members of Dance Source Houston, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Dance USA. Marlana has represented METdance by attending both Annual Conferences for Arts Presenters and Dance USA as an Emerging Leader for the last eight years. She was awarded the Dance USA Leadership Mentee Fellowship for the institute of training through Dance USA in 2012. She has also served on many grant and organizational panels for the Houston Arts Alliance. Marlana has helped book National tours for the company in Boston, New York City, California, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Texas. Most recently the company has performed to standing ovations at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out in 2012 and 2014 as well as the 17th Annual Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, CA, Dallas Dance Festival and Austin Dance Festival. As a dancer she has worked with many talented choreographers and enjoys still performing with the company. While directing the professional company is her main focus, Marlana also fills her time overseeing the MET too youth company, METdance Center, choreographing, teaching and judging in Houston and throughout the United States. She lives in Sugar Land TX with her husband Ben and 2 year old daughter.
JOE CELEJ, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, is a New York City based creative artist whose career spans nearly fifteen years of professional concert dance performance, choreographic investigation, and passionate instruction and mentoring of students. Joe began his relationship with METdance, then called Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, as a dancer in 2001, and worked with artists such as Robert Battle, Kate Skarpetowska, Peter Chu, Mario Zambrano, and Eddy Ocampo. During this time, Joe served as Resident Choreographer of METdance, creating several works for the company including audience and critic favorite, What More? (2005). In the fall of 2005, Joe relocated to New York City and performed for over eight years with the internationally touring/acclaimed concert company Elisa Monte Dance. As a senior company member and soloist, Joe performed extensively throughout the US (including multiple Joyce seasons) and Europe with EMD, most notably meeting and performing for the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg. Through the EMD choreographic initiative, Joe enjoyed collaborating and creating six works for the company, and was honored to have his Joyce Theater choreographic premiere in 2011.During this time, Joe continued his relationship with METdance as a guest choreographer, creating new works including ForeverFleeting (2007) and primed (2014), guest faculty, and served on the company’s advisory board. Joe is incredibly honored to be appointed Associate Director of METdance beginning in its 2015-16 20th Anniversary Season. Joe is a master teacher throughout the US and Europe. He has been a guest teacher/choreographer at a variety of educational institutions including Steps on Broadway, SUNY Buffalo, Rice University, Salve Regina University, the High School for Performing and Visual Arts Houston (HSPVA), Episcopal High School, St John's School, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. Joe is proud to have been a teacher/mentor to dancers performing with LA Dance Project, Lar Lubovitch, Ballet Hispanico, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Radio City Rockettes, and Disney, as well as current students/graduates of the Juilliard School, Point Park University, NYU, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Buffalo, Chapman University, University of Arizona, SMU, and many other secondary educational institutions. Joe is an honored recipient of a 2010 Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award from the US Department of Education. Joe graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Buffalo, where he was a performing and creative arts honors scholar and supplemented his training with scholarships to Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, The Edge, and the Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Joe’s commercial credits include Levi Strauss and Company, Wal-Mart, and the City of Houston. As an independent artist, Joe has presented his choreography at numerous venues including the Reverb Dance Festival/APAP, the Dance Gallery, the Pink Ribbons Project, the Big Range Dance Festival, the Great Friends Dance festival, Zodiaque Dance Company, Extensions Dance Company, Dance Harlem, American Dance Guild, Vision of Sound, Dumbo Dance Festival, The Tank, Pushing Progress Showcase Series, Cool NY Dance Festival, and the Solar Powered Dance Series. Joe’s most recent endeavors include presenting his new commission, tonight, we dream together for the Island Moving Company of Newport, RI at the Great Friends Dance Festival this past July, and co-creating a new digital comic book, Drawn In: The adventures of Jamo Lady and Magners Man with co-author Clymene Baugher. www.joecelej.com