Gabriella Billy, born and raised in St. Louis, started her dance training early on, under the instruction of Christine Kardell. Through out high school Gabriella became a student at COCA (Center of Creative Arts) where she joined pre-professional companies Ballet Eclectica and COCAdance. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Darrell Grande Moultrie, Camille A. Brown, Kirven and Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Alicia Graf Mack. She has also had the pleasure of learning repertoire from companies like Pilobolus and LeherDance. Gabriella is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has a love for teaching young aspiring dancers and is a faculty member at COCA. Gabriella is currently an apprentice Gyrotonic instructor and is working on her Level 1 certification as another way to share movement with others. Gabriella has had the pleasure of dancing with MADCO 2 for two seasons and is excited to be a member of the main company for its 47th season.
Daryon Kent began his dance training at Ms. Bridget's Conservatoire of Dance. He continued four years of training at Central Visual Performing Arts High School (CPVA) under the instructor Raymond Parks where he studied jazz, ballet, tap, modern, hip hop and contemporary dance. While attending (CPVA), Daryon performed in the 5th Annual St. Louis Fox Teen Talent Competition " The Dancing six" and was awarded 3rd place. Daryon also trained at Alexander School of Ballet under the Artistic director Alexander Zaharias and became a member with the company which he performed in several different major roles such as The Nutcracker, A Mid Summer Night's Dream, and Coppelia. Daryon received The Dance St. Louis Dance Career Award in 2014 along with several full scholarships to train at the following summer intensives: Milwaukee Ballet (2014) Cincinnati Ballet (2015) and Kansas City Ballet (2016-2017).Daryon has been a member with Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) since 2015 where he has performed the work of several choreographers: Gina Patterson, Jennifer Archibald. Cecil Slaughter, Nejla Yatkin, Be Be Miller, Christian Denice, and Lindsay Hawkins. In 2019, Daryon choreographed his first solo piece "Heart Ache" that he performed at the MADCO 2 showcase. Daryon also recreated a hip hop/modern version dance choreography of Alvin Alley piece called "Sinnerman" for Central Visual Performing Arts (CUPA), performed by (CUPA) students at the school opening showcase in 2019. Daryon was featured as a improv dancer in the YouTube video called "How can I Better Love You" created by music artist Lola Kristine. In 2020 Daryon performed in a contemporary ballet piece called "Chaos Magick", choreographed by Kevin Paul Hockenberry. In 2022 Daryon choreographed his second solo piece "Time Loop" that he performed at MADCO Dare to Dance showcase.
Katherine Kennedy is a St. Louis based professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer in her third season with the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO). Katherine grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, extensively studying ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and contemporary. She graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance and a BBA in management from Western Michigan University in the spring of 2019. Some of her career highlights include performing original choreography by Joshua Manculich, Monique Haley, Christian Denice, and Carl Flink and in restagings of works choreographed by Roni Koresh, Aszure Barton, and Lindsey Thomas. Katherine is passionate about sharing dance with her community and is thrilled to be performing with MADCO!
Gail Honeywell grew up in DeKalb, Illinois, where she started dancing at the age of 3. She started her serious training with the Rockford Dance Company at the age of 11. There she worked under Matthew Keefe and Brittany Fridenstine- Keefe. She performed in many ballets with the Rockford Dance Company, her most memorable being The Nutcracker as Clara. By 15 years old Gail started working towards her college degree. She attended Northern Illinois University for three years. There she studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and modern under the direction of Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, and Richard Grund. While in school Gail had the opportunity to perform in many ballets including, Swan Lake as a Cygnet, Raymonda Divertissements as Raymonda, Esmeralda as corps de ballet and Paquita as corps de ballet. During her final year of school, she performed a modern solo choreographed for her by Paula Frasz titled “Woman From the Holler”. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in May of 2017 at the age of 18. Gail has also had the opportunity to work with choreographers and teachers such as Autumn Eckman, Victor Ramirez, Peter Merz, Sarah Tallman and Dylan Crossman. After graduating college, she moved to Chicago Illinois to teach ballet and start her professional career. She moved to St. Louis in 2020 to dance with the Big Muddy Dance Company as a Convergence Trainee. This will be Gail’s second season dancing with MADCO after dancing with MADCO 2 for one season. She is thrilled to be joining the main company this year and to continue to share her love of dance in a non-judgemental welcoming environment
Born and raised in Saint Charles, MO, Maddie graduated from Lindenwood University,
May 2020, earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ballet. Her training in
ballet, pointe, jazz and tap primarily came from Dance Connection PAC from the age of
five to her highschool graduation. In her junior year of highschool, Maddie began to
further her ballet training at The Saint Louis Ballet School, where she trained under Lisa
Wolsberger, Lori Wilson and CiCi Houston. She also received the opportunity to perform
in a few of Gen Horiuchi’s professional ballets. At Lindenwood, Maddie choreographed
a few of her own pieces as well as performed in the dance program’s Fall, Winter and
Spring dance concerts. She has performed works choreographed mainly by Janet
Strzelec, Tricia Zwiere, Tracy Dupre and Amy Gammon, in addition to guest
choreographers Kate Harpootlian, Nick and Zack Betty-Neagle and Frankie Baron.
Upon her college graduation, Maddie danced alongside The Big Muddy Dance
Company as a Convergence Trainee under Dustin Crumbaugh. At the age of 15,
Maddie received her first teaching job as a student teacher at Dance Connection PAC.
She now holds a Master Teacher position and has been educating the students at
DCPAC in ballet and tap. This past year was Maddie’s first season with MADCO as a
Second Company Member. She is thrilled to continue growing and sharing her passion
for dance in this upcoming season as a Main Company dancer.
Annie Mae Mitchell was born in Lafayette, Louisiana to Gayle and David Higginbotham. She attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performing arts with a concentration in dance in May 2018. While earning this degree, she performed in State of La Danse in 2014 and 2017 and in Evening of Dance in 2018. Her choreography was showcased in Evening of Dance in 2017 and 2018. Work from this concert was presented at the 2019 ACDA conference for an adjudicated concert. Her performance career also includes two summers, 2016 and 2017, with the nationally touring performance ensemble, the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Her recent work includes performances with s.p.a.c.e. Lafayette for their seasons series titled Current-ly., itsaboutwomen, and itsavibe. The latter two of these three concerts also included Annie’s original choreography. She also collaborated with Basin Arts for their T.E.A.M, program which produced the installation Just Play and completed a short-term residency with Basin Arts during the Fall of 2020 through early Spring 2021. Annie is currently a fitness instructor at Pure Barre and is excited to be a part of Modern American Dance Company.
Cassie Callahan is originally from the Chicagoland area and has lived in North Carolina, Michigan, and now Missouri. Starting at the age of 3, she has danced for over 20 years, training in many forms of dance specializing in jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and modern dance. Throughout her training she has worked with many distinguished artists including Anthony Morigerto, Sonya Tayeh and Rena Butler. Cassie fell in love with sharing her passion for dance and began teaching in 2014. In 2021, she graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Business. Using her leadership skills during her time at WMU, Cassie was the Executive Director for Hip Hop Connxion, Michigan branch, the universities recognized SRO. She has been recognized for her choreography numerous times including having her works performed in Disney World and working with veterans creating the interactive pieces, Width of a Butterfly’s Wing and Remember Us. Post graduation, Cassie relocated to St. Louis and joined The Big Muddy Dance Company as a part of the trainee program and under the guidance of Brandon Fink, quickly establishing a passion for the city and its dance culture. Cassie is currently a main company member for the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) where she shares her passion and dedication in her first season. Never one to shy away from new opportunities, Cassie teaches students ages 7 to 18 at Renee Johnson’s Dance Studio along with teaching open classes and choreographing the Elevate Student Project for The Big Muddy Dance Company. Cassie follows the philosophy of using dance as an expression of a story, experience and emotion, sharing her contagious energy and passion for dance with all who know her.
PAIGE VAN NEST
Paige Van Nest is originally from St.Louis, Missouri and began her training at Arts in Motion School of Dance. She graduated from Webster University in 2019 with a BFA in Modern Dance and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship. Her training outside of Webster University includes Nashville Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, MADCO, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In addition to performing with Leverage Dance Theater, Paige has also performed in the KP Project and in summer residency projects with Jacob Henns as well as MADCO’s most recent performance of Revival 2.0. She looks forward to continuing her movement research in the St. Louis dance community.