Founder, Executive Artistic Director — Allyne D. Gartrell
A native of Atlanta, GA, Gartrell brings thirty years of experience to the art of dance. A graduate of the Dekalb Center for the Performing Arts in Atlanta. Allyne also attended Florida A&M University and Florida State University, where he excelled in Instrumental Music and Dance. As a dancer, Allyne has worked with Joel Hall Dance Theater, Ballet Wisconsin, City Ballet Theatre, and, for seven years, he was one of the Lead Male Dancers for the Internationally known Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, where he served as Company Instructor and Rehearsal Director for DCDC II.
While at DCDC, Allyne performed ballets of Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove, and Donald Byrd, to name a few. His Broadway credits include The Wiz, A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, and his most notable performance as Crown in the National Touring Production of Porgy & Bess. Allyne also served as Assistant to the Tony Award-Winning Choreographer Hope Clark for the production of Porgy & Bess, which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Arts.
Over the past two decades, Allyne has worked as Principal Male Dancer, Rehearsal Director and Resident Choreographer for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. In 2006, Allyne became Director of DBDT II, Dallas Black Dance Theatre's2nd Touring Company. Under his direction, DBDT II elevated its artistic value and was able to establish a National Touring Season. Collaborations with the Allen Civic Orchestra in Peter & the wolf and the Dallas Symphony in Carnival of the Animals became staples of the Season! Allyne is a highly recognized Master Dance Instructor in the country-known for his high energy, & physically demanding ALLYNISM and Contemporary Ballet Classes. His pulsating choreography has been featured on several dance companies and Universities including, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, DBDT II, Milwaukee Dance Connection, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Morgan State University, Spelman College, City College of San Francisco, and Grambling State University. In 2006 Allyne choreographed Primary Movements, a Contemporary ballet in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with original scoring by classical composer Jonathan Bailey Holland. Primary Movements became the official kick-off for Dallas Black Dance Theatre's 30th Anniversary Celebration.
In 2010, The ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION, Atlanta's Ambassadors of Dance Company, under the direction of Mr. Gartrell, made its debut in Georgia. Addressing the need for an artistic outlet for young artists, the CONNECTION'S mission is to present quality art, entertainment, and education in the field of Concert Dance. In 2004, Allyne was recognized for his contribution at-risk youth in the mid-west by Senator Russ Fiengold and was awarded the 2004 AKA Trail Blazer Award for Outstanding Community Service. Currently, Allyne is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Atlanta African American Dance Community, and for the past fifteen years he has serves as Scholarship Chairman for the Black College Dance Exchange, a coalition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Allyne is the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Edition of Who's Who in the Arts, awarded the Dallas Black Dance Theatre 2009 Artist Award, and in December of 2009, Allyne was featured in Dallas Modern Luxury Magazine as one of The New Iconoclasts for 2010. Under Allyne's leadership, the ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION has taken its place as one of the leading professional dance companies in the SOUTH! In 2011 the company received the Outstanding Community Partner Award for Dance Education and the 2011 Phoenix Award presented by Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta. In celebration of 5 Years of Artistic Excellence, May 22, 2015, was Proclaimed ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION DAY by the Atlanta City Council. Currently Celebrating 9 Season of Artistic Excellence, The ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION, has been selected with 25 Black run organizations around the country to receive the Influencers Grant from the International Association of Blacks in Dance & the Mellon Foundation.