Hip Hop Company Assistant Director
Alicia started dancing at a very young age, she began dancing with a baile folklorico group in middle school. She officially joined The Conservatory dance studio at the age of 17, where she would train in Jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. Alicia competed with the studio’s Performance Company and once she turned 18 she joined the adult dance company and began her teaching career at the conservatory. Alicia Later joined the Colorado Dance Collective in 2010 where she danced as a principal dancer for the hip hop company. Later she began training in Denver, CO. She Joined a hip hop company at From The Top Dance Center in Denver, they showcased for Monsters of Hiphop and performed at many events around Colorado. Alicia taught hip-hop classes at The Dance Factory in Greeley, she choreographed solo routines for the competitive dance company. She has trained at Millennium Dance Complex Denver and joined their professional Dance company. She taught classes at Millenium for 2 years. Alicia is currently training and expanding her knowledge In dance.
Hip Hop Company Director
Armando has been dancing since the age of three and believes that expression through the body comes before any other form of expression and is the most primal. Armando's dance roots start in ballet folclórico and being part of a traditional danza group in Mexico. Armando and his family then moved to the USA in search of the American dream. With exposure to pop culture at that time in the early 90's, Armando quickly became a fan of breakdancing and hip hop culture. Gravitating to the likes of Michael Jackson music videos and programs on tv such as Live In Color. Armando, much like many other Hip Hop dancers, began to work on his own style and moves at home on the kitchen floor. Spinning on the floor and attempting new tricks and moves that would impress others at school dances. Getting into high school Armando became part of an a male dance group. They choreographed their own routines and performed during school assemblies and went on to dance throughout the state of Colorado. This is also where Armando started teaching his own classes at the age of 15. In his college years Armando applied at a local dance studio and within a year grew into teaching the advanced classes and competition routines for the studio. Going on to win multiple first place awards, Armando felt like he found a home. Armando began to travel to LA to learn from master teachers and also attend conventions to gain more knowledge on teaching fundamentals and how to groom a dancer. Armando is one of the founding members and teachers of the Colorado Dance Collective for 10 plus years. Armando now finds himself asking how he can be more than a teacher and establish culture and creative direction within the dance community in northern Colorado. Armando has also been the Hip Hop dance teacher at The University of Northern Colorado and has had a great time contributing to their recognized theatre department. Armando is energized by the wide spectrum and diversity that Hip Hop dance culture presents. It is an art form that provides inclusivity and access. Armando believes that class is just as much about the student as the teacher. In Hip Hop each person brings something to the dance circle and it is honor to participate in discovering that within each dancer. In class Armando will use hip hop foundations to explore creativity, courage, identity and self awareness. Dance is something that will come up in everyone's life and becoming more comfortable with body movement is a must. As much as Hip Hop has its foundations and structure it is also a social expression to help humans interact. In Armando's class students will be asked to think critically about who they are and what they represent in order to leverage their ability and give it value. With over 30 years of dance experience and 18 years teaching Armando looks forward to participating and sharing his knowledge. Armando earned a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Northern Colorado. He currently lives in Greeley, Colorado, and is deeply embedded in creative leadership throughout the community. His art studio space contributes to the revitalization of Downtown Greeley and he serves on the Greeley Creative Arts District Board. Armando is on the Think360 artist roster, an agency that places working artists in schools for workshops, residencies and performances.
Swing Company Director
Ayn Blanton is the swing company director. Having started swing at age 12 at their local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Ayn quickly took to the dance and started dancing every week, taking master classes and going to workshops taught by world renown instructors Evita Arce, Michael Jagger, Shauna Marble, and Joe DeMers. Ayn competed at workshops like Lindy On The Rocks and Lindy Diversion, started teaching swing dance classes at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for their swing dance club. Ayn moved to Greeley in 2015, where they taught swing classes at University of Northern Colorado's swing dance club. In 2016, Ayn found Colorado Dance Collective where they joined the ballet and tap companies. In late 2016 Ayn began teaching swing classes at Colorado Dance Collective and in 2017 the swing company was founded. Ayn has been teaching and choreographing for the swing company as well as performing with the ballet company ever since.
Tap Company Director/Jazz Company Director
Brynne began dancing at age 4 and grew up training and competing in all styles at The Greeley Conservatory of Dance with a focus in Ballet, Tap, and Hip-Hop. This studio prioritized Ballet technique as the foundation of all movement and styles of dance. The Ballet program Brynne grew up training in was lead by Ballet mistresses with retired experience in national and international professional Ballet companies. She trained primarily under the Cecchetti method curriculum and spent 5 evenings a week and every Saturday in a bun and tights for the duration of her middle school and high school years. This school of dance also valued strong performance skills as well as certain values that can be instilled from performing in the competition world. Brynne placed regionally and nationally with her competition team and as a soloist from 2004-2009. She also performed as a member of the studio's 'tour' company, which toured and performed for Colorado's communities from 2002-2007. The primary focus of The Conservatory's training was to facilitate and instill creativity from within and raw self-expression through movement in the upbringing of its dancers. Growing up in this type of training environment instilled a work ethic and confidence that has led to success in all facets of her life. After graduating high school, Brynne attended Colorado State University and majored in Human Development & Family Studies to prepare for further studies in Occupational Therapy. Throughout college, Brynne found her home and community within the Colorado Dance Collective. She danced as a Principal member in the Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip-hop companies from 2010 - 2015. She then transitioned into other roles within the collective as a Board member as well as Director. In 2016, Brynne began her journey as Director of the Tap Company, and is currently beginning a new chapter as Director of CDC's Jazz Company. During undergraduate studies, Brynne also discovered her love for teaching dance and currently has 9 years experience teaching all styles of dance to all ages at all levels. Brynne began assisting then instructing at The Dance Factory in Greeley, Colorado in 2012, and is now beginning her sixth year teaching at Dance Starz Studio in Johnstown, Colorado. This studio has become Brynne's heart and home for teaching and creating as it has given her a safe space to create without boundaries. It is a space that values work ethic, self-respect, and creating movement from within. Brynne is also still training and performing herself as a Principal member of Dream Project Dance Company, a professional female dance company based out of Denver. She is currently in her sixth season with this company and has performed as a Principal dancer in the company's past three productions. In addition to its seasonal productions, Brynne has performed and creatively contributed to a number of philanthropic projects, short films, and live performances through Dream Project Dance Company since 2013. Outside of the studio walls, Brynne is beginning her career in Occupational Therapy as an inpatient therapist in the hospital setting in Northern Colorado. Her passions and priorities include family, adventures and celebrations with friends, skiing, music, concerts, and traveling this world.
Ballet Company Assistant Director
Laura started dancing when she was 8 years old with Movin' for the Lord Dance Company in Greeley, directed by Cindy Lundy. She focused on ballet with Movin' for the Lord, and toured with their traveling company. They performed for multiple local church productions, and performed at Ballet Magnificat! at their summer intensive program. At the same time, Laura started to dance with the Conservatory of Dance in Greeley. There she studied ballet, pointe, lyrical, and hip-hop and competed for a year with their competition company. She performed with the Colorado Dance Theatre (CDT) doing The Nutcracker Ballet for 5 years, performing multiple different roles. She also performed in CDT's Sleeping Beauty Variations production, traveling to local schools to perform the variations and educate kids about dance. Laura has also performed as a dancer for multiple local theatre productions including: Oklahoma!, Pippin, Babes in Arms, Anything Goes, Once Upon a Mattress, My Fair Lady, and Brigadoon. Most recently, Laura performed with a local performance company, Elluminate, helping to raise money for hungry communities in Africa. She finally got involved with Colorado Dance Collective in January of 2018. She is a member of the ballet company, helps assist and teach classes, and is now the assistant director of the ballet company. She is thrilled to be a part of this company and to now be serving as an assistant director. Not only does she love that CDC is an incredible company to be a part of as an adult dancer, but she loves how involved the company is in the community and that they continue to seek ways to fill needs in the dance community.
Hip Hop Company Assistant Director
Nathan Tran was born in Los Angeles and raised in Greeley, Colorado. After being exposed to the dance world through YouTube videos, tutorials, and a Las Vegas Jabbawockeez show, Tran began his dance journey at the age of 15. Once a timid and lost individual, he began to find his own sense of identity and community through the arts. His goal is to help others find their own identity and communities through the arts as well. Nathan Tran is a long-time member of the Colorado Dance Collective, having participated as a member, served on the board of directors, and is currently the Assistant Hip Hop Director. He is also a member of Denver dance crew Machinez Remainz. He has competed and performed in various events both local and abroad.: Hip Hop International, Breakin Convention, and more. Nathan Tran also had the opportunity to train under many pioneers and well-respected dancers and choreographers. His dance education includes workshops with notable dancers such as members of Jabbawockeez, Kinjaz, and the Electric Boogaloos (the creators and pioneers of the dance style popping).
Ballet Company Director
Wendy Sosa has been involved with dance for over 40 years. She grew up in New Hampshire and danced for most of her adolescent years in Boston. She started her training at the Nashua School of Dance and continued it at The Boston Ballet. She toured for two years with Jose Mateo's Ballet Theater of Boston. Wendy has been teaching since the age of 15 when she began her own summer dance workshop. She earned her Performance and Teaching Certification with the Hartford School of Ballet and her BA from the University of Northern Colorado. Wendy successfully completed Royal Academy of Dance examinations Primary through Intermediate. Along with RAD she has studied several other styles of ballet including Vaganova and some basic Cecchetti. She has had the distinct honor of performing in three original Balanchine ballet including Stars and Stripes, Serenade and Western Symphonies. Some of her lead roles include lead Spanish, Snow Queen and Dew Drop in the Nutcracker and Pigtail Girl in Graduation Ball. She has studied under several renown dance teachers including Arthur Leeth & Laura Young (Boston Ballet), Kirk Peterson (Hartford Ballet), Peggy Lyman (from the Martha Graham Company), Robert Barnet (Atlanta Ballet), Elina Mooney and Cliff Keuter to name a few. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Colorado Dance Collective (CDC) in Greeley. They are a nonprofit, adult repertoire company in Northern Colorado. She also serves as a board member for the CDC. Wendy teaches classes under her "Miss Wendy" moniker at the Greeley Warehouse in tandem with leading the Ballet Company portion of the CDC. Wendy has had the pleasure of not only training dancers but many other types of athletes and artists. She welcomes students from the local college's musical theater program to polish their dance skills and helps graduating high school seniors prep for dance team or pro team auditions. She has consulted on routines for gymnasts, ice skaters and baton twirlers. With so many wonderful studios in the surrounding area Miss Wendy has found her niche! Teaching and prepping older, adult dancers to move into the next stage of their careers is where she seems to shine.