Kedric Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in January of 1996; he then moved to California in 2001 where he became interested in dance. He began training in ballet and tap in 2006 at Media City Ballet in Burbank, CA. In 2008, his family relocated to Henderson, NV, where he auditioned to be in Las Vegas Academy’s Dance Department. Kedric started his freshman year in the lowest level and with hard work, dedication and the support from the teachers at the school, progressed to the highest level in the Dance Department by senior year. He fell in love with many modern dance styles, but nothing felt more natural to him than Horton. Kedric was trained by Thomas DiSabato (Horton), Tara Foy (ballet), and Jeneane Huggins (Graham). During his sophomore year of high school, he was competing at Inspire Dance Company, directed by Robert Contreras. There, he progressed in improvisation, hip-hop, ballet training, and post-modern movement. After high school, Kedric suffered an injury from a motorcycle accident, putting him out of dance for a few years. He was longing to get back into dance and started training again, and over time, got his technique back. He was then referred to Contemporary West Dance Theatre where he has had the privilege to dance since June, 2018. Kedric is extremely grateful and blessed for the support from Bernard Gaddis, his family and dance teachers over the years.
Las Vegas, Nevada is an alumnus of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and currently pursuing a degree at NYU majoring in Dance and Social/Cultural analysis. Ms. Bea has trained throughout Las Vegas and attended preprofessional programs at the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre (CWDT), Ailey School, Hubbard Street, and Gibney NYC. Ms. Bea is in the process of creating choreography for dance film and is excited for her first season with CWDT.
Trinidad, Tobago is an alumnus of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, and currently attends the University of Nevada Las Vegas, pursuing a BFA in dance. Prior to attending Las Vegas Academy (LVA), Ms. Ferguson was a member of the Sharmila Dance Company in Dubai, UAE where she performed and trained in classical ballet, jazz, and contemporary. This is Ms. Ferguson’s first season with CDWT.
Samuel Gaines Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. Samuel began his dance training at Divine Dance Institute, where he studied various forms of dance such as ballet, Horton, Graham, jazz, West African, and tap. Samuel recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Business Management from Goucher College, and received honors in Dance. While attending Goucher College, he performed works by Christian Von Howard, Kevin Jenkins, Loni Landon, and Milton Myers. He also performed works by Alan Greig while studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. Additionally, Samuel has received summer intensive scholarships from Dance Theatre of Harlem and Pneuma Dance Project, and has performed with companies including Dance Iquail! and Sound Xpressed. This is Samuel’s first season with Contemporary West Dance Theatre.
Originally from Austin, TX, Ashley studied with the American Dance Theater, Tinka’s Dance Studio, Slavin Nadel School of Ballet, and Round Rock Repertory Dance Centre (RRRDC) in which she was part of the performing troupe ‘dantsers.’ Ashley attended Dean College as a dance major where she was a part of their Dance Team and three faculty directed companies. Upon transferring to the University of Houston she received her BA in Dance Performance. While at U of H, Ashley performed as a swing/understudy at the Alley Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, and for the Bayou City Concert Musicals as a dancer/ensemble in On The Town and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She has participated in the Texas Association Teachers of Dance (TATD) conventions, Alvin Ailey summer intensive, The Ailey School independent study program, and served as a Broadway Dance Center (BDC) summer intern. After spending two seasons with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company (DCDC2), she is proud to be a member of the Contemporary West Dance Theater.
Kyla Gibson is a 21 year-old dancer who has been dancing since she was 2 years old. She began her dance education at Norma’s Dance Academy. She continued her dance training at Eagles Landing Dance Center for twelve years. She has trained in all forms of dance, but her most favorite genres are contemporary, hip hop and ballet. In addition to her training at various Master Classes and Workshops, she has also attended the Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy Summer Intensive (2009 and 2015). In 2015, she was also selected to be a dancer at the Special Olympics held in Los Angeles, California. Kyla has performed in various dance competitions, danced in the Scream Tour 2012 in Orlando as well as the Left Eye Music Fest in 2013. She has performed at the infamous Trumpet awards in 2017, which was televised. In 2016, Kyla was selected to represent her high school at the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for dance. After graduating from Woodland High School, Kyla attended The University of The Arts located in Philadelphia. While she was there, she was able to train from directors and teachers from veteran companies such as Philadanco, Ballet X and Eleone Dance Company. Since then, she has become a company artist in The Atlanta Dance Connection, directed and founded by Allyne D. Gartrell. While in the company, she attended the International Association of Blacks in Dance where she received full tuition scholarships as well as company artist offers. Now, she is headed for The Contemporary West Dance Theater, as a company artist.
Las Vegas, Nevada is a senior at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, majoring in dance. Mr. Gutierrez made the decision to pursue concert dance after attending the 2020 Contemporary West Dance Theatre, two week summer intensive. CWDT completely shifted his experience. Mr. Gutierrez has worked with numerous teaching artists and choreographers throughout Las Vegas and nationally. Upon graduation (2021), Mr. Gutierrez plans to attend a four year University/BFA program. This is Mr. Gutierrez’s first season with CWDT.
Santa Cruz, California is a senior at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, and began her formal dance training at the age of three at Capitola Dancenter, where she studied classical ballet, jazz, and tap. Ms. Hatfield continued her studies with the International Academy of Dance, where she began her Pre-Professional training. Upon moving to Las Vegas, Ms. Hatfield began her training at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theater. Ms. Hatfield later joined the West Las Vegas Arts Center Performance Ensemble, and received the opportunity to study with Stephan Reynolds, Janine Beckles, Hanifa Jackson, Don Bellamy, Claude Alexander III and Avree Walker. This is Ms. Hatfield’s first season with CWDT.
Sophie Henning is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, where she received her training through The Omaha Academy of Ballet and Creighton University. While in Omaha, Sophie performed as a dancer with Ballet Nebraska II and a contemporary dance company, Maya Taylor Dance. Sophie received additional training from Kansas City Ballet, The Rock School, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Austin. Sophie recently graduated with a BFA in dance performance and choreography from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. While at university, she performed works by Christopher Huggins, Ray Mercer, Gregory Dawson, and Kirven Douthit-Boyd. This is Sophie’s first season at Contemporary West Dance Theatre.
Growing up in Dallas, Texas; Jacquelyne began dancing at the age of three and hasn’t stopped since. In her younger years she studied all styles of dance and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Upon graduating from Booker T, she then went on to earn a BFA degree in dance studies with a concentration in Jazz from Point Park University in 2015. From there she worked as dancer for Holland America Cruise Lines, under RWS Entertainment for a couple of years, prior to joining Vegas! The Show located at Planet Hollywood. This is Jacquelyne`s first year dancing with Contemporary West Dance Theater and she is more than thrilled about it!
Angelica Luna studied dance at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and Summerlin Dance Academy. Ms. Luna received her BFA in Dance from Point Park University in April 2018. Ms. Luna had the honor of performing in Cirque De Soleil’s benefit production, One Night for One Drop, choreographed by Andrew Winghart and Alexander Ekman. Ms. Luna has also performed works choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, Jose Limon, Gregory Dolbashian, Lucinda Childs, Jason McDole, Garfield Lemonious and Keisha Lalama. Ms. Luna is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and love for dance, continuing her training, and pursuing future creative endeavors. Ms. Luna is excited to begin her first season with Contemporary West Dance Theatre.
Albuquerque, New Mexico is an alumnus of Del Sol Academy of the Arts, and began his formal dance training at K.O. Knudson Middle School. In 2016, Mr. Pedraza joined the pre-professional dance company, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater 2 (CWDT), where he continued his training in modern, classical ballet, and contemporary. Mr. Pedraza attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and in 2020 accepted an apprenticeship with Contemporary West Dance Theater. Mr. Pedraza is excited for his first season with CWDT.
Assistant Wardrobe Attendant
Rachel Young was born in Southern California. As a young child, Rachel moved to Las Vegas where she was raised and began dancing at a local studio throughout her adolescence. Moving forward, Rachel started studying dance at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and graduated in fall of 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. While attending UNLV, Rachel received the Millennium Scholarship; Greenblatt Scholarship; UNLV Dance Scholarship and the Devos Scholarship acknowledging her hard work and devotedness to the College of Fine Arts. While attending UNLV Rachel was one of a few chosen by the department to travel and perform in Seoul, Korea. Right out of college Rachel began her professional career as an apprentice with The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre under the direction of Bernard H. Gaddis. Today Rachel is a full time company member with The Contemporary West Dance Theatre (formerly LVCDT) and Head of Wardrobe. Rachel has performed with CWDT through out all of Las Vegas, California, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Philadelphia to name a few. Rachel is also known for her abilities to design and execute costumes. Many of she and Bernards collaborations can be seen on the wonderful dancers of CWDT, as well as the beautiful dancers all through out Las Vegas. Rachel’s most treasured moments within the company are performing Ulysses Dove’s, “Vespers”, under Bernards guidance and Bernard’s duet entitled “Fractured” be set on she and another company member. Rachel would like to thank Bernard and the dancers of CWDT for the countless memories, beautiful moments and LOVE for the past years, plus many years to come.
Eddie began at Ballet Folklorico de Puerto Rico. He received scholarships to Harkness Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Mr.Otero has performed with the Ailey Company at the Metropolitan Opera House in "Memoria" and their City Center season later that year. Mr.Otero danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver, CO; Detroit City Dance Company, Danny Sloan Dance Company and with the Rod Rodgers Dance Company. Mr. Otero has also performed in West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Annie Get Your Gun, On Your Toes, Song and Dance, Starlight Express, Pirates of Penzance, Gypsy, Dreamgirls, Chicago the musical; Cats in Hamburg and Japan Tour of Fosse. He has choreographed and played the role of the MC in Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Mr.Otero has taught at Nevada Ballet School. Mr. Otero is honored to be a part of this amazing Dance Company. Thank you for their beauty, grace and Divine Blessings.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania is an alumnus of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, and currently enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada. Ms. Porter has trained in various techniques of dance, including classical ballet, modern, jazz, west African, hip hop, and ballroom. Ms. Porter was also a member of the Ballroom company at Las Vegas Academy, and an artist with the West Las Vegas Arts Center Performance Ensemble. Most recently, Ms. Porter received partial and full scholarships while attending the 2020 International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference & Festival (Philadelphia, PA), to continue her dance training at Lula Washington Dance Theatre, University of the Arts and The Radio City Rockettes in NY, NY. This is Ms. Porter’s first season with CWDT.
Rosemary Shahani grew up in the Los Angeles area training at California Dance Academy, primarily with Laurie LeBlanc and Randall Graham. She quickly became a very versatile dancer who excelled in multiple styles including ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, and Bollywood. She rose to perform roles such as Sugarplum Fairy, Snow Queen, and the principal role in Paquita with California Dance Ensemble, and also started to earn recognition for her choreography. Rosemary spent her summers training at Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Colorado Ballet where she was trained by Alonzo King, John Gardner, and Amanda McKerrow, and was able to perform ballets by Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor, and others. Rosemary has spent the past three years with Colorado Ballet where she performed in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and Septime Webre’s Wizard of Oz. Rosemary is thrilled to join Contemporary West Dance Theatre and looks forward to working with the amazing talent here.
Zoe Sloane was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and began her dance career at the age of two. While watching a dance program, Zoe became fascinated with movement and her mother took her to a friend who owned a local dance school. Zoe started dancing at the International Dance Education Academy under Karent Otjes, Heather Nelson, Stephan Reynolds, and founder Carol Sampson. During her years at IDEA, she learned ballet, jazz, and tap, while also dancing with the Royal Academy of Dance. In 2013, IDEA closed but Zoe still focused on ballet exams in the Royal Academy of Dance for the next year with Heather Nelson. She was accepted into the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts to further her dance training. Zoe also trained with the Contemporary West Dance Theatre under the direction of Bernard H. Gaddis, participating in their summer program and Dancer to Dancer program. In 2016, Zoe auditioned and was accepted into the second company of CWDT and in 2018, she was accepted to be an apprentice in the first company. Zoe is grateful for Bernard Gaddis and all the company members of CWDT for helping her improve her skills and making her dreams come true.
Las Vegas, Nevada is a senior at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts majoring in dance. Ms. Smith has studied and trained at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theater and the West Las Vegas Arts Center. Ms. Smith has also had the opportunity to work with various artists and choreographers from prestigious organizations including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Philadanco, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Disney’s the Lion King, Hamilton and Cirque du Soleil. This is Ms. Smith’s first season with CWDT.
Las Vegas, Nevada is a junior at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, majoring in dance. Mr. Vidaña received early training from local institutions including the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre. Mr. Vidaña was invited to join the West Las Vegas Arts Center Performance Ensemble, at which point he was introduced to the Contemporary West Dance Theatre. Mr. Vidaña is passionate about dance, and feels ecstatic at every opportunity he is able to be in a creative space. This is Mr. Vidaña’s first season with CWDT.
Las Vegas, NV began his early training at the West Las Vegas Arts Center, under the direction of Dr. Marcia Robinson. Mr. Walker is also a graduate of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Mr. Walker attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas as a dance scholar, representing the department in South Korea, Canada, Europe and though out the U.S. Mr. Walker became an artist with the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre (CWDT) under the direction of Bernard H. Gaddis, touring and performing works by Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Elisa Monte, Rennie Harris, Milton Myers, Zane Booker, Hope Boykin and many others. Regional: DreamGirls, Once on This Island, The Color Purple, Black Nativity (Las Vegas & Atlanta),Music Man, Spamalot, The Wiz, Cinderella, Matilda the Musical (Regional Premiere) & The Prince of Egypt the Musical (Dreamworks). Mr. Walker joined the cast of Donn Arden’s Jubilee! At Bally’s Las Vegas from 2015-2016. Mr. Walker is currently a cast member at Vegas! The Show, Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. Most recently, Mr. Walker joined the faculty at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts as a full time dance instructor and choreographer. Mr. Walker is excited to return to Contemporary West Dance Theatre as Rehearsal Director, Resident Choreographer and Program Director of the ARTSWORK pre-professional program.
Koura Wright was born in Ithaca, NY, but moved to Knoxville, TN at the age of 10. There she began taking ballet classes at Van Metre School of Dance with Amy Morton Vaughn and Jan Valenti, as well as Graham technique with Irena Lynn at Dancers Studio. She later attended Austin-East Magnet High School and studied Humphrey technique with Karen Duren, and Graham and Horton techniques with Kimberly Matibag. She also had the opportunity to attend summer programs with Randy Duncan and the Ithaca Ballet. In 2006 she attended the dance program at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and was also accepted as an alternate for the contemporary program at Jacob’s Pillow. Koura danced as a company member with the Ithaca Ballet from 2009-2010, where she performed as a Russian Candy in The Nutcracker and a Jewel Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. In 2010 she attended the summer intensive at The Ailey School and performed in a piece by Pedro Ruiz. After returning to Tennessee in 2011, Koura taught modern dance at Van Metre School of Dance until 2017, and danced with the affiliated company, The Appalachian Ballet Company. She danced many featured roles with the company including, “Big Lil” in Lil’ Lil and the Swing Singin’ Sax, The Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid, and the Arabian Soloist in The Nutcracker. In 2020, Koura graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Dance, where she was featured in works by Alia Cache, George Staib, Will Gill, and Colleen Barnes. This is her first season with the Contemporary West Dance Theatre, and Koura is also an instructor with the Artswork program.