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2017-18 Members and Guest Performers BIOS

Gracie Bailey, 2018 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance  

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Gracie trained under the directions of Densil Adams and Brittany Sisk at Preston Center Dance. In her fourth year at UGA, this is Gracie’s first season with CORE Concert Dance Company where she is currently serving as President. She was a member of CADE:NCE in 2016 -2017 where she performed in Spring Dance Concert, ACDA, and Spotlight on the Arts Gala. She performed at the 2015 Atlanta Ballet Fest for Alexandre Munz and has created movement for The Hugh Hodgson School of Music. She currently serves as President of the Young Choreographer's Series and has performed in Senior Exit and Emerging Choreographer's concerts in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Gracie is a recipient of the Department of Dance Virginia Carver Scholarship (2016), Young Choreographer's Series Scholarship (2017), Lucy Lampkin and Friends of Dance Scholarship (2017), and the Taylor Sessions Memorial Scholarship (2017).  This past summer Gracie worked as an intern for contemporary creative Wayne Mcgregor in London, England, and hopes to return one day. Gracie is excited for the opportunity to grow as an artist and train like an athlete as a member of CORE.

Kennedy Butterfield, 2020 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

Originally from Decatur, Georgia, Kennedy trained with Decatur School of Ballet before coming to UGA. She is a second-year student, currently earning her B.F.A in Dance and B.A in Anthropology. This is her first year as a member of CORE Concert Dance Company, and her second year as a member of CADE:NCE. In the 2016-2017 season at UGA, she performed in the Young Choreographer’s Series Senior Exit show, and also with CADE:NCE in Spring Dance Concert, Spotlight on the Arts Gala, and ACDA. She is looking forward to the opportunities to grow and perform with CORE this year. 

Madison Calderwood, 2021 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and BSEd in Athletic Training

Originally from Kingsland, GA, Madison received prior training at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL under the direction of Rhonda Stampalia, Debra Webb, Ellie Barrett, and Jennifer Turbyfill, and Lisa Allen's Dance Works in St. Mary's, GA under the direction of Lexie Fortenberry. Madison is a first year CORE Concert Dance Company member, where she currently serves as Vice President, in her first year at UGA pursuing B.F.A and BSEd duel degrees. Madison has performed in annual concerts for Douglas Anderson School of the Arts from 2013-2017 and in annual recitals for Lisa Allen's Dance Works from 2008-2017. She also starred as the Wicked Witch of the West in a local presentation of the Wizard of Oz in St. Mary's, GA for the St. Mary's Children's Theater in 2016. Madison is looking forward to becoming a stronger dancer and athlete through her experience in CORE. 

Kristin Jaspers, 2020 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and B.B.A. in Marketing


Originally from Huntington, New York, Kristin received prior dance training at Platinum Performance Dance Academy under the directions of Lora Ayala. Kristin is a first year CORE Concert Dance Company member. This is her second year pursuing her B.F.A in dance and her B.B.A. in Marketing. She performed in both Senior Exit and Emerging Choreographer's Concerts in 2016. She also performed in Spring Dance Concert 2017. Kristin is really grateful for the opportunity to be apart of this company and is looking forward to growing as an artist this year. 

Rachel Kelley, 2020 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and B.A. in Cognitive Science

 Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Rachel received prior dance training at Dance Arts   Centre Performing Arts Company in Suwanee, Georgia. Rachel is currently in her second year pursuing both her B.F.A. in Dance and her B.A. in Cognitive Science. This is her first year as a CORE Concert Contemporary and Aerial Company member, and she performed in Spring Dance Concert in 2017. Rachel has both taught and choreographed for Ridge Dance at Peachtree Ridge High School. She is looking forward to performing in CORE for the first time this year.                                                   

Alex Ozbilen, 2020 UGA Supply Chain Management & International Business

Alex Ozbilen, originally from Newnan, GA, is a second year student at the University of Georgia.  She is pursuing a degree in Supply Chain Management with a co major in international business. This is her second year participating in aerial dance with CORE. She has a background in gymnastics, cheerleading, and pole vaulting.  She started gymnastics when she was three years old, and stopped when she was in level nine at the age of sixteen. She went to Newnan School of Gymnastics, and her coaches were Lyumila Sorokina and Cricket. She then moved on to competitive cheerleading for two different teams, and took up pole vaulting during her senior year. Her previous experience with these sports has been a great aid in participating in CORE. She is looking forward to another exciting year of performing in an aerial dance production.

Samantha Miller, 2018 UGA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance

Samantha Miller is originally from Johns Creek, GA. She received prior training on scholarship with Footprints Dance Alliance through high school. She spent her first two years of college at GC&SU training in dance under the direction of Amelia Pelton and Natalie King-Crews. She has danced with City Gate Dance Theatre in their summer intensive, as well as interned for DC Next & Dance Canvas two consecutive years under the guidance of director Angela Harris. Samantha is a fourth year transfer B.F.A candidate in dance. This is her first year as a CORE Concert member. Since transferring to UGA she has danced as a member of CADENCE, performed in the 2016 YCS show, and danced in the 2017 Spring Concert show. Samantha is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to train in aerial dance and looks forward to what this season will bring.

Olivia Byers, H. S. Apprentice

Olivia Byers, a Georgia Native, is graduating with honors in 2018. As a senior and honors student at Oak Mountain Academy, she is also presently dual enrolled and employed at The University of West Georgia. She has 11 years of versatile training in all forms of  dance that has earned her a level of apprenticeship member in the dance company Axam Dance Theater Experience for the past 3 years. Olivia also has a growing passion for the aerial arts in lyra, silks, and trapeze. She is currently training with Matt Gallacher and Akrosphere Aerial and Circus Arts. As an apprentice, she has performance experience in Atlanta and New York City. She has dance training with Performers Warehouse, Jimmy Locust, Dawn Axam, Ballet Institute of Atlanta, Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, and Douglasville School Of Dance. She completed summer intensives at Kennesaw State University (2017), Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Intensive in New York City (2016,2015), Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary South at UGA (2016), and Woodward Academy Dance Ensemble. She has worked locally in modeling for International designer Portia and Scarlett. Olivia has earned many academic and dance scholarships and received awards for leadership, merit, character, performance, and talent. In 2016, she was proudly inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and honored as a finalist to the Georgia Governors Honors Program. 

Guest Performers

Aviva Kasowski

Aviva Kasowski relocated to Athens last summer from New York City where she practiced aerial arts at Om Factory.  Last spring she choreographed and performed her first aerial sling solo to “Eet” by Regina Spektor.  She has studied with many top-tier performers including Amanda McDonald, Sylvana Tapia, Brenna Bradbury, and Nolan McKew.  An accomplished creative writer, her poetry and prose has appeared in Ninth Letter, Spillway Magazine, and other publications.  She is currently a PhD student in English and Creative Writing at UGA, where she teaches Freshman Composition.  In her spare time, she also practices at Canopy.  She is happy to be part of an aerial community at UGA and excited to fly with many talented young dancers.  


Mirna Minkov


Mirna Minkov received her BFA in Dance from the University of Georgia in 2015, where she was a performer with CORE Contemporary and Aerial Dance Company under the direction of Bala Sarasvati for four seasons. She has been featured in numerous contemporary and aerial dance performances with the company, including LIMS Mosaic @ Crossing Boundaries in 2013 and 2014, held at Dixon Place, NYC, NY and World Dance Alliance - Americas, Vancouver, B.C. While at UGA, Mirna also had the pleasure of dancing in works by Luis Piedra of Danza Abierta, based in San Jose, Costa Rica; Joanna Mendl-Shaw of the Equus Project, NY; and Charlotte-Boye Christensen of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Salt Lake City, UT.  She is excited to be performing with CORE as an alumni.

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