- RESIDENT CHOREOGRAPHERS -
Founder Courtney G. Holland is a native of Miami, FL and studied accounting at Howard University. In late 2015, Courtney founded The Gallery Dance Collective. Muse Contemporary Dance Theatre was later conceived in 2016.
Beginning at the age of two, she progressively trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and pointe at the Edwin Holland School of Dance. During 2009, Courtney served as captain of the Howard University Bisonette Dance Ensemble, a competitive dance team whose emphasis is placed on jazz technique and performance. Under her leadership, the team performed at various venues throughout the District of Columbia. Courtney then choreographed the team’s jazz routine for Universal Dance Association’s (UDA) Collegiate National Championships; Howard University was the only Historically Black College/University to qualify in the semi-finals and compete at the national level.
Prior to founding The Gallery Dance Collective, Courtney spent her time in Prince George’s County and Frederick, MD as an instructor and competition team choreographer, where she taught ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. Her choreography has received elite regional and national recognition. Courtney also serves as a professional adjudicator for nationally renowned dance competitions.
Kendra Oates discovered her love for dance and the performing arts at the tender age of 5. Starting her dance studies in ballet and African dance, Kendra quickly discovered that dance was not only a way for her to express emotion, but also an outlet for her creativity.
Kendra has studied various disciplines of dance including, ballet, modern, hip-hop, jazz, acrobatics, African, and tap. While most of her dance studies were at her home dance studio, Christina Cultural Arts Center, in Wilmington, DE, Kendra received supplemental training at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the New York Institute of Dance and Education, Freedom Dance Theater, The Ailey School, and Eleone Dance Theater.
Kendra relocated to Washington, DC to attend Howard University in 2005. While at Howard, Kendra joined the Bisonette Dance Ensemble, where she danced throughout her academic career. During her last two years as a Bisonette, Kendra held the positions of Captain and Co-Captain; Kendra also spearheaded and co-founded the Junior Bisonettes Dance Ensemble, a free dance program for young girls, in the DC area, ranging between ages 5 and 12. The program promoted dance education, sisterhood, and building positive self-esteem for the participants.
Kendra has been passionate about dance all her life and believes that the arts, particularly dance, are vital to growth, development, and living a healthy lifestyle. Dance has been an integral part of Kendra’s life and she could not be happier to develop the next generation of talent and share her love of dance with all future students.
Raised in Augusta, GA, Barbara D. Caldwell was bitten by the dance bug at the tender age of 7. Promptly beginning her journey into the world of performing arts, she began her training at Cutno Dance Studio where she studiedAfrican, jazz, modern, ballet, tap, and hip-hop.
She continued her journey and fine tuned her talents during her time at John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. Barbara’s legacy at Davidson Fine Arts lives through honors such as recipient of the Letter and Leadership in the Arts Award and the Ruth St. Denis Award, Barbara was also an Honor member of the International Thespian Society. Through these honors, she was afforded the opportunity to attend the Governor’s Honors Program, held at Valdosta State University, and travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, performing in the world renowned International Fringe Arts Festival. In 2008 and 2010, Barbara expanded her directorship/choreographic involvement, as she helped spearhead Much More than Music and Take Two, two shows, produced by Augusta natives, primarily focused on exposing the masses to Blacks in the performing arts.
While attendingHoward University, she devoted her free time and her love for dance to the Howard University Bisonette Dance Ensemble. During 2009, Barbara served as co-captain and helped lead the team to the Universal Dance Association’s Collegiate National Championship. After receiving a BBA in Marketing in 2011, Barbara continued to spread her wings throughout the District of Columbia metropolitan area. Barbara served as a dance instructor in Prince George’s County, was member of Capitol Movement, and a member of darlingdance, a project-based modern dance company. Barbara currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA, where she continues to enhance her artistic craft.
Christine is a native of Miami, FL. A graduate of Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, she then matriculated into Winston-Salem State University, where she graduated with a concentration in Computer Graphics and Animation.
Christine began dancing at the age of 3, along with siblings Courtney and Curtis, where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe. Adding depth to her involvement in the performing arts, Christine also studied musical theater in, both, middle and high school. Christine is a three-time NAACP ACT-SO regional gold medalist; this achievement granted her the opportunity to compete nationally in Detroit, Orlando, and New York City.
Passionate about paying her gift forward, Christine offers her time to the North Miami Police Department’s youth outreach program, PAL, where she serves as a dance instructor. Christine was also the choreographer for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Jack and Jill of America, Miami Chapter. While in North Carolina, Christine was a member of the A.R.T.S. Dance Company, where she served as president from 2012 – 2014. She also continued her instructional endeavors; Christine regularly taught tap and hip-hop in Winston-Salem and is presently a resident choreographer for the dance program at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School and the Edwin Holland Dance Ensemble.
Christine is able to connect with her students because of her creative nature and easygoing spirit. To date, Christine is working on her graduate degree in 3-D Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design.
Curtis Holland is a native of Miami, FL and currently based in New York City. Curtis’s past credits include Head Over Heels, Guys and Dolls (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and So You Think You Can Dance (Season 10). In April 2016, Holland debuted on Broadway in Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, directed by George Wolfe and choreographed by Savion Glover. Curtis has, since, been cast in Mary Poppins (Paper Mill Playhouse), Newsies (The Muny), and the Broadway production of Mean Girls.
Pioneer C. Winter is a Miami-native choreographer, dancer, and producer of Pioneer Winter // Collective. He is co-director of RIFT Blackbox and the curator of transmedia performances for FilmGate Interactive Media Conference. Winter also directs LEAP (Leaders of Equality through Arts and Performance), a free dance and creative communication program for queer-identifying teens and their allies that focuses on teaching how to use the arts for activism and social change.
Winter began studying with Edwin and Gaile Holland, followed by Miami City Ballet with further training by Michael Langlois, and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA). Pioneer Winter has presented work for the International Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, as a speaker/choreographer for TEDxMIA at New World Symphony, MiamiDade College, Museum of Contemporary Art – Plaza, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Perez Art Museum of Miami (formerly Miami Art Museum), Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Miami Beach Convention Center, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, WPBT2’s Art Loft, Tigertail Production’sScreenDance Miami, Knight Foundation’s Random Acts of Culture, Bass Museum of Art, Art Wynwood, Deering Estate at Cutler, American College Dance Festival, Art Live Fair, Frost Museum of Art, O Cinema, Florida Dance Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, FilmGate Interactive Media Conference, and Triskelion Arts, NYC, among others.
Pioneer also works in film; he believes that a multichanneled introduction of medium to the audience fosters greater absorption.