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Allyne D. Gartrell

Founder,Executive Artistic Director

A native of Atlanta, GA, Gartrell brings twenty five 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 Directorfor 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 Choreogpher 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 Thaetre. 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 contemproary ballet in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with orginal 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 Premiere Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of  Mr. Gartrell made it's debut in Georgia.  Addressing the need for an artistic outlet for young artist, 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 to  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 recepient 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 Luxuary Magazine as one of The New Iconoclasts for 2010. Under Allyne's leadership the ATLANTA DANCE CONNCETION  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 Proclamined ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION DAY by the Atlanta City Council!

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Torrance Smith

Artistic Assistant

 

A native of Milwaukee, WI, Torrance began his studies in dance under the direction of Sandra Jordan, in the Dance Exchange Summer Intensive. After much hard work, Torrance auditioned for the Milwaukee School of the Arts and was accepted into the Dance Major program, where he would study Ballet, Modern Jazz and African Dance. Little did Torrance know that he would meet his mentor Mr. Allyne D Gartrell.

 

Always striving to expand and grow within the art of dance Mr. Smith attended Milwaukee Ballet on Scholarship, DANCE WORKS CONTEMPORARY and studied Traditional African Dance with KO-THI Dance Company under the direction of Ferne Y Caulker.

 

After graduating from MSA, Torrance moved to Atlanta to pursue his dream of dancing and working directly with his mentor. In August of 2013 Mr. Smith joined the ATLANTA DANCE CONNECTION, Atlanta’s Ambassadors of Dance. Torrance has danced the ballets of Christopher Huggins, Richard Freeman-Carter, Kevin Jackson and also worked directly with Michael Jackson Jr. and Sean Aaron Carmon, of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

In 2016 Torrance was appointed Artistic Assistant to Mr. Gartrell. Traveling and teaching all over the country, Torrance has worked with Florida A&M University, Morgan State University, Grambling State
University, Middle Tennessee State University and Dance Connection Palo Alto, CA.  Currently in his 5th Season with ADC Torrance is the recipient of the 2017 Directors Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication. Torrance is also a member of the Artistic Team of the Tri Cities Dance Department and a Faculty Member of the Norma’s Academy of Dance.