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Atlanta Dance Connection

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"Education, Art, and Entertainment That Gives Back"


 


Who We Are

Artistic Staff

Director  

Allyne D. Gartrell
Founder, Executive Artistic Director  

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.


Le'Von Campbell
Company Manager

Le'Von Campbell

A native of Chicago, Le'Von began his professional dance training when he received a scholarship to join the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a trainee with the company. After much hard work, Mr. Campbell became a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's second performing company. Always striving to expand within the art of dance, Mr. Campbell later joined George Faison's Universal Dance Experience.

Mr. Campbell's extensive dance credits include performing with The Katherine Dunham Company, Morris Donaldson Dance Company, Rhondo Dance Theatre, Disney on Parade, Gene Marriancio Dance Company, Bryant Ballet, and Sesame Street Live. Mr. Campbell's Broadway and national touring credits include The Wiz with Stephanie Mills, Raisin with Virginia Capers, Timbuktu with the late Ertha Kitt, Pal Joey 78" with the late Lena Horne, and Donald McKayle's Evolution of the Blues. Le'Von was also featured in the Opera Enscolto and Amistad.

Over the past decade, Mr. Campbell has shared his gift of dance with several local dance companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as the Dallas Independent School District, Ardmore, Oklahoma School District, and the Atlanta Public School System. Le'Von also served as ballet master for Happy Nia Dance Theatre, Membership Coordinator for the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and Associate Artistic Director/Company Touring Manager for the renowned Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Currently, Le'Von serves as Atlanta Dance Connection's company manager and massage therapist.


dianne_grigsby

Dianne M Grigsby
Artistic and Horton Adviser

A native of Norfolk Virginia, Dianne attended Norfolk State University, before setting her sights on New York City in 1973, to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Her dreams were recognized after being seen by world famous director and choreographer Alvin Ailey. Dianne joined the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and toured extensively with the company until she was promoted to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, where she performed in Europe, Asia, Africa and several other countries. Dianne left her position at Ailey as Soloist, Assistant Artistic Director of the Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and full time faculty member at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, to become the Director of Orchesis Dance Company at Grambling State University in 1983.

For the past 35 years Dianne has directed and choreographed for the Orchesis Dance Company, leading them to national and international acclaim, with appearances in Japan, New York and California. Dianne’s choreography has appeared in Drumline the movie and in Denzel Washington’s Great Debaters, where she also appeared as a featured character. Dianne has been the Artist in Residence for the Louisiana Dance Foundation for 31 years, calloborating with Carol Anglin on over 100 works.

Dianne holds degrees from both Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech University. A member of the Black College Dance Exchange during her tenure at Grambling State University, Dianne also is a frequent guest and Master Instructor with Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Dianne is excited to assume her new position as Artistic & Horton Advisor for the ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION, an looks forward to an awesome and rewarding artistic journey.

Let’s Go LUMPS!




Alyseia_Darby

Alyseia Darby
Programs Director

Alyseia Darby’s professional career started at 17 years old with Of Moving Colors Dance Company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, directed by Garland Goodwin Wilson. The company performed, taught dance & toured statewide. She received a B.A. in Physical Theatre with a minor in Dance from Louisiana State University, where she started her aerial training. While at LSU, she was a featured dancer in many shows including two Debbie Allen Productions “All The Right Moves” and “Derek’s Song” and New Venture Theatre’s Productions of “Shout” & “The Color Purple.”

Post graduation, Alyseia relocated to Atlanta, GA in 2016 to start her new journey. She joined Element Circus Troupe, founded & directed by Derrin Moore, and is now the Principal Aerialist & Assistant Director, and she joined Atlanta Dance Connection, founded & directed by Allyne D. Gartrell, as is now the Principal Female Artists & Programs Director. Throughout her seasons, it has always been a mission to strive for excellence & consistency, lead with grace & strength, and to continue the legacy of sharing the gift of dance.




season 4

The Artists

COMPANY

Male Artists 
• Vic Davis 
• Ter'Schard Harris

• Delshawn Hickman 

Female Artists 

• Alyseia Darby 
• Raven Reid

• Kaleigh Woodruff

 


AP (APPRENTICE PROGRAM)

• Najah Braswell

• Christopher Jones 
• Ivory Gordan-Tate 


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

• Levon Campbell
• Allyne D. Gartrell

• Toshia Jackson

• Wesley Franklin

• Aaron Lewis

• Johnny Lewis

• Kelley Eley