METdance Company and Center
METdance is a multi-functional dance organization that excels at entertaining and captivating audiences, instilling a passion and excitement for dance in its students, training the talented youth of Houston and preparing them for careers in dance performance, and inspiring children through the art of dance. For the past 22 years, METdance has been dedicated to enriching the communities of Houston while developing a nationally recognized concert dance company. Through its Founder and Executive Director, Michelle Smith, Artistic Director, Marlana Doyle, and Associate Director, Joe Celej, METdance has become a leader in diversity and vitality of arts presentation and instruction, and aims to continue serving the populace of Houston as well as representing the City of Houston and its dance community across the nation and abroad.
The METdance professional company strives to educate, entertain, and inspire its audiences through a diverse curation of repertory that spans a full range of emotion, content, and collaboration. Based in Houston, TX, USA, METdance performs throughout the United States and provides Houston viewers with a chance to see a vast body of repertory by some of the country’s most prominent contemporary dance artists including Robert Battle (Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Camille A. Brown (Bessie and Princess Grace Award winner), Peter Chu (Artistic Director of chuthis., Rehearsal Director for Netherlands Dance Theater 2), Larry Keigwin (Artistic Director of Keigwin + Co, choreographer for various Broadway Productions), and Katarzyna Skarpetowska (former dancer with Parsons Dance and Lar Lubovitch). METdance’s passionate performers and choreographers come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and instill the company’s work with a complete spectrum of emotionality and physicality. From comedy and humor to poignant and dramatic, from fierce athleticism to detailed minimalism, METdance is committed to presenting works that speak to every audience member regardless of their background, age, sex, or experience with dance. In this way, METdance is proud to be a leader in diversity and vitality of content.
The METdance Center offers both children’s and adult programs where anyone can enjoy the artistic and physical benefits of dance in a vast range of genres and modalities regardless of age or experience level. The METdance center currently serves over 1,000 students per week while providing a much needed home/space for many other local arts organizations. The MET too youth company, also based at the METdance center, provides young dancers with an intense program focused on preparing them for dance programs at universities and a professional career in dance performance; MET too alumni have achieved the highest levels of success with many attending top level arts institutions like the Juilliard School.
METdance Educational and Community Outreach aims to excite, inspire, and expose the art of dance to as many spectators as possible. Our educational outreach program, anchored by the company’s “Swing, Jive, and Pop into Dance!” interactive educational performance, engages over 7,000 students K-12 from a minimum of 15-20 schools each season through free performances at the Miller Outdoor Theater and in-school lecture demonstrations. In 2016, METdance has partnered with Young Audiences Houston to expand its outreach with 2 in-school residencies. The professional company also conducts master classes, workshops and residencies in private studio, high school, and university settings, both locally and nationwide. The dancers serve as teachers, mentors, choreographers, and most importantly, ambassadors for the company.
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