PHOTO BY BRIAN GUILLIAUX
Jaime Borkan is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and studied at Extensions Dance Company. Borkan has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Odyssey Dance Theater, as well as with C5, Create With No Limits, and Royal Caribbean International. She was a company member of Chicago Repertory Ballet and an apprentice at Peridance Contemporary Dance Company in New York. Borkan graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business Administration from The Ailey School/Fordham University. She has worked with many artists including Jessica Lang and Hope Boykin. Borkan joined Bruce Wood Dance in January 2019.
Alex Brown is originally from Snellville, Georgia. He received the Refiners Award for outstanding improvement and a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Belhaven University in 2020. During the summers, Brown trained at Kansas City Ballet. When he is not dancing, he works as a personal trainer at the YMCA in Plano and McKinney. Brown joined Bruce Wood Dance as an apprentice in August 2020 and has performed in works by Bruce Wood, Gregory Dolbashian, Kimi Nikaidoh, and Joy Bollinger.
Jillyn Bryant, a Dallas native, began studying dance with Kathy Willsey and Megan Willsey–Buckland at the Academy of Dance Arts (ADA). She is a graduate of Point Park University with a BA in Dance and a minor in Business Management. During the summers, she trained at Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory, and The Juilliard School. Bryant is on the faculty at ADA and has taught at Moving Forward Dallas and College of Southern Idaho’s Summer Dance Intensive. Bryant joined Bruce Wood Dance in September 2016. She is currently the company’s education outreach coordinator.
Aaron D’Eramo began studying dance at Tyler Junior College at the age of eight. He continued his training at the Ballet Academy of Texas in Dallas and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Program. A Meadow’s School of the Arts scholarship recipient, D’Eramo received a BFA with Departmental Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Dance Performance and BA in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in May 2019. He has performed with Ballet Dallas, Dallas Neoclassical Ballet, North Central Ballet, among others, and at DIFFA: Dallas. This is D’Eramo’s first season with Bruce Wood Dance.
SOFIA DOWNING ORTEGA
Sofia Downing was born in Honduras and raised in Mandeville, Louisiana. She received a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida and a Certificate in Dance Medicine and Science. While at USF, she performed at the Beijing International Creative Dance Seminar. She has continued her training at SALT Link, Peridance Contemporary Dance, Ballet Hispanico. Downing has performed with Tampa City Ballet, Trainor Dance, and iKADA Contemporary Dance. This is her first year with Bruce Wood Dance.
Stephanie Godsave is from Allen, Texas, and began studying dance at PDT Dance Arts at the age of two. She furthered her training at many intensive programs including American Ballet Theater, Hubbard Street, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Godsave is the 2017 National YoungArts Foundation winner in Modern/Contemporary dance and a 2017 semi–finalist for United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She graduated in 2021 from Purchase College’s Conservatory of Dance/State University of New York. This is her first year with Bruce Wood Dance.
Lauren Hibbard is from Atlanta, Georgia. She began her training at Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education under the direction of Sharon Story. Hibbard attended Texas Ballet Theater School Professional Division in 2014 and became a trainee with TBT in 2015, dancing in works by Ben Stevenson and Ohad Naharin. In 2016, Hibbard joined Avant Chamber Ballet and performed choreography by George Balanchine, Katie Cooper, and Kimi Nikaidoh. She teaches dance at Texas Ballet Theater School in Dallas. Hibbard joined Bruce Wood Dance in September 2018.
Weaver Rhodes was born and raised in Texas. He received his training at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and earned a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2012. Rhodes has danced with Dance Heginbotham, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Mettin Movement Collective, Kevin Wynn Collection, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, and was featured in Isaac Mizrahi’s The Magic Flute. Additional performance credits include Robert Battle, Greg Dolbashian, Larry Keigwin, Jessica Lang, Dwight Rhoden, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, and Pam Tanowitz. Rhodes joined Bruce Wood Dance in August 2019.
Matthew Roberts is an Ohioan who graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2013 with a BFA in Dance & Choreography. He has danced with Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet Company, Awakening Movement, Molissa Fenley, among others. He has presented his own choreography in New York and Ohio. His passions extend to writing, but his love for the relationship of storytelling and art is what keeps him endlessly enthralled with choreography. He is determined to hone his creative vision and share his voice. He joined Bruce Wood Dance in August 2019.
Megan Storey is a native of Oklahoma. She graduated with Special Academic Distinction from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in dance as Outstanding Senior. She also studied at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival contemporary dance program in the summer. Storey teaches contemporary, jazz, and body conditioning at The Dallas Conservatory in Dallas where she is also a Youth America Grand Prix Coach. In Fall 2017, she joined Bruce Wood Dance as an apprentice and became a company member in 2018.
Elliott Trahan is from Lafayette, Louisiana. He graduated in 2019 from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Dance. During this time, he worked with Hawkinsdance, performing at the Tucson Museum of Art and across the region. He attended summer programs at River North Dance Chicago and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Trahan has performed at the José Limón International Dance Festival and DUMBO Dance Festival in New York, and internationally at the Kiel International Festival for Dance in Germany and the Bolzano Dansa International Dance Festival in Italy. Trahan joined Bruce Wood Dance in August 2019.
Cole Vernon, originally from Sonoma County, California, has performed nationally and internationally with DanceWorks Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, and Ballet Hispánico. Vernon graduated summa cum laude earning his BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona in 2013. He has worked with artists from the Balanchine Trust, Larry Keigwin + Company, Ann Reinking, and Gary Chryst and participated at the Springboard Danse Montreal. Vernon has enjoyed teaching and assisting choreography at Ballet Memphis, Point Park University, The Big Muddy Dance Company, and Boston Conservatory of Dance. He joined Bruce Wood Dance in January 2019.
Seth York was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri where he began dancing at the age of seven. He studied at the Dramatic Truth School of the Arts. York performed with Ad Deum Dance Company under Randall Flinn's direction and danced in works by Steve Rooks, Durell Comedy, and Flinn. He has also trained with Alicia Graf Mack, Steve Brule, and Richard Bowman. His performing credits include Ad Deum Dance Company, Open Sky Arts Collective, Ballet Brazos, Störling Dance Theatre, and Lawrence Dance Theatre. York joined Bruce Wood Dance in August 2018.