SOMMER and JASON BOWDRE, Owners/Directors of the Metropolitan Academy of Dance, have backgrounds in education and collectively have nearly three decades of instructional experience as public school teachers in the Cherry Creek and Douglas County School Districts. They each have earned Masters degrees in education, Jason's area of focus in Curriculum and Instruction and Sommer's focus in Special Education. Careers in education, parents of two dancers and being the son and daughter-in-law to Georgia Bowdre, founder of Metropolitan Academy of Dance, have provided Jason and Sommer with unique perspectives as owners. They understand the importance of quality instruction by highly trained teachers. They know that parents want their children to be involved in activities that are engaging, challenging, and of interest to them. They value a nurturing environment that makes the parent and student feel safe and cared for. They want their own children and the students of MAD to have positive social experiences that foster friendship development and teamwork through opportunities to work with others toward a common goal. They want to embed principles of healthy habits and the importance of staying physically fit in the minds of MAD students. It is the above core ideals that have made Metropolitan Academy of Dance successful for the past 35 years. It is Jason and Sommer's goal to preserve these ideals in order to continue to deliver quality dance instruction to all students at MAD.
GEORGIA LYN BOWDRE, Founder and Artistic Consultant of the Metropolitan Academy of Dance is a certified member of Dance Educators of America. Ballet is her passion, and she studied the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet extensively with Lalla Bauman (on scholarship), Larry Boyette, and others. Before founding the academy in 1986, she spent many years as a performer on television and stage with the Lalla Bauman Dancers. Georgia made several appearances at the Municipal Opera of St. Louis, the 12,000 seat premier outdoor theatre of the midwest. Other performance venues include Kiel Auditorium, Fort Leonard Wood, Boettcher Concert Hall, and the Admiral entertainment ship. She also performed with stars Dorothy Collins, Margaret Hamilton, and prima ballerina Patricia Bowman. Georgia taught ballet/pointe, jazz, and tap for more than thirty-two years, and she has choreographed numerous award-winning pieces performed by the Company. Many of MAD's students have gone on to pursue dance in college and to dance professionally. In addition, several students have been accepted to nationally known summer programs. Georgia is married, and she is the proud mother of three grown sons. She has three wonderful daughters-in-law, and she is thrilled to have seven grandchildren.
DANIELLE BEEMAN was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Danielle began dancing at the age of 3. In 2015 Danielle graduated from the University of Iowa, receiving her BFA in Dance, a minor in Communication Studies, with a specialization in American Sign Language. While at UI Danielle received the dance departments ICA Dance Scholarship, The Excellence In Performing and Communicative Arts scholarship, and was accepted into The Order of Omega honors society. Danielle was lucky enough to perform in works by many renowned choreographers such as George De La Pena, Alan Sener, Deanna Carter, Eloy Barragan, Michael Medcalf, Madeline Curry, Charlotte Adams, Melanie Swihart, Armando Duarte, Lisa Gonzales, Kristin Mars, and Ellie Goudie. In 2013 Danielle was selected as one of twelve dancers to join the universities elite touring company, Dancers in Company, where she performed 4 pieces throughout the Midwest, and was selected as a soloist. For Danielle’s final BFA performance she performed a solo work choreographed in collaboration with Ellie Goudie. The work was based off of her studies while at UI, encompassing Dance and Sign Language as forms of communicative movement.
In the past Danielle has attended workshops and intensives with River North Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Common Art Mutual Passion, and Lemon Sponge Cake. Currently Danielle dances professionally for Hannah Kahn Dance Company, teaches for Cleo Parker Robinson, is a certified yoga instructor, and is working on an intensive yoga program for members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
Danielle is thrilled to be teaching at Metropolitan Academy of Dance and is excited to watch her students grow, as we learn from each other.
Sydney Baker started dancing at the age of five at Parker Dance Academy. Trained in a multitude of styles, she fell in love with tap dance at an early age while studying with Beverly Pinkerton. Sydney attended many masterclasses with tap dancers Professor Robert Reed and Barbara Duffy growing up. Continuing her tap education, she travels annually to New York City to attend tap festivals such as Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival, and The Big Apple Tap Festival. Attending festivals has provided her with opportunities to study with master teachers such as Brenda Bufalino, Katherine Kramer, Ted Louis Levy, Ali Bradley, and Sam Weber, among others. Sydney has been performing with Tap 24.7 for the past 3 years and it has taken her to her places such as Arizona, Seattle, and Detroit. She is honored to learn from such tap dance legends, which affords her the opportunity to pass down this rich, American art form in a meaningful and methodical way. She hopes to instill a love of dance in her students while teaching them the technique and discipline of the art of tap dance.
ALEXANDRA BELL has been dancing since the age of 3 and trained at Encore Dance Studio (formerly Dance Movement). She studied there until she transitioned to an instructor. In addition, she has participated in summer intensives at Ballet Austin, American Ballet Theatre, and The Rock School for Dance Education, Justin Giles’ SoulEscape intensive, and the EDGE Performing Arts Center. She was a finalist at the Denver Ballet Guild Scholarship Competition (2004, 2006). She has danced in the Aurora Dance Arts production of “The Nutcracker” in the roles of Ginger Snap, Flute, Clara, and Sugar Plum Fairy. As a young dancer, she won numerous scholarships at dance conventions and competitions including LA Dance Magic’s “Performer of the Weekend”, Miss Teen Onstage America, and many Top Overall High Scores. She was a member of the professional Boulder Ballet Company for their 2011 and 2012 seasons. Her teaching experience began in 2005, and she has choreographed many concerts and competition pieces, which have won choreography and technical precision awards. In addition to working with the Encore dancers full time, she has taught at Mountainside Dance Academy, the Boulder Ballet School, Metropolitan Academy of Dance, and dance2b Studio. Alexandra deeply values safe and efficient technical training and hopes to instill a love and fire for the art of dance. She is so excited to be a part of the MAD family again!
ANTOINETTE DEGEORGE has extensive training in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical and Breaking. She began dancing professionally in 2006 as a member of the MLS Colorado Rapids Cheerleaders and then with the Denver Nuggets Mob Squad Hip Hop and Breaking team from 2007-2009. In 2007, Antoinette was a dance instructor for the Universal Dance Association where she taught high school and college Level dance camps in Colorado and nation-wide. In 2008, Antoinette helped launch Dance2Live, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on utilizing dance as a medium to lead a positive and healthy lifestyle, which she still proudly leads today. Throughout her career, she has performed with such artists as Coolio, Digital Underground, Tone Loc, The Sugar Hill Gang, DJ Vajra, Montel Jordan and Vanilla Ice. Antoinette has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Erika Edwards grew up in Lone Tree, Colorado, and starting dancing at the age of 6 with the Metropolitan Academy of Dance. She danced with Metropolitan until she graduated from Highlands Ranch High School at 18. She joined the Highlands Ranch Varsity Poms team her sophomore year of high school and performed with them at State and National Competitions until she graduated. After high school, Erika decided to go to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance where she got a BFA in Dance with a double emphasis in ballet and modern. While she was there she had the distinguished honor to perform works by Paula Weber, DeeAnna Hiett, Gary Abbott, Edgar Anido, as well as Serenade put on by the Balanchine Trust. While at University she also competed with her collegiate Dance Team where they received second place at Nationals. After college, Erika was offered a contract with the Bruce Woods Dance Project, a contemporary company in Dallas Texas, where she performed tw o seasons with them. In 2015 Erika started dancing with Royal Caribbean and has recently finished her fourth contract. She has traveled all over the world from Alaska to Sydney to Hong Kong to London performing all styles of dance including fosse, contemporary, ballroom, and musical theatre. Traveling and performing for people all over the world is her passion and she is very excited to share that passion with students!
Gabriel Garyeazon is a 7 year Denver trained and based dancer. He is currently trained in Step, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Poms, Majorette and Hip Hop and pushing to learn more! He has trained with Rangeview Highschool, Local studios and dance teams such as JC Step Agency and Denver Elite Dance. Some of his accomplishments have been being labeled as gifted and talented in dance from Aurora Public Schools as well and receiving their performing arts scholarship! Gabriel views dance as a healing modality that can cure mental and emotional disturbances, a form of somatics. His goal is be able to create more spaces like this for healing in the community and eventually for the masses with the intention of simply communing, diving deep into ourselves and liberating ourselves and one another through music and movement!
AMY MACKALL started dancing at the age of 4 with Aurora Dance Arts and by the age of 8 she was part of their performing company, JAMM. She competed in many competitions such as; Showstoppers, Footloose, Starlight, Showbiz and Jump. She also performed at Nursing homes, malls and shopping centers throughout the community. She made the switch to Metropolitan Academy of Dance at the age of 12 and fell in love with it. She was part of their Performing Company which lead to numerous performances and competitions. She performed around the country at the Atlanta Olympics, the Orange Bowl Halftime show, Disney World and the Carnival Cruise Ship The Ecstasy. She won a scholarship to be a Caravan Kid Dancer and a partial scholarship to the New York City Dance Alliance. She also played many parts in the Nutcracker including; Gingersnap, Clara's party guest, Flowers and Snow Queen. Amy started teaching here at MAD when she was 16 years old and continues to share her love of dance with our students. She is very versatile and teaches all genres of dance from our very young beginners to our advanced Company members. She also designs curriculum and instructs our summer camps. Amy considers teaching our children to be her greatest accomplishment in dance.
Deshawn Royale is a Denver-based dancer trained in many styles of dance. He does everything from ballet, contemporary/modern, jazz, and acro, to his favorite style, hip hop. He has trained with some of the top dance studios in Denver and now choreographs, teaches, and dances in community events and various shows. Royale finds that dance is his escape from harsh circumstances and bad days. A release of negative energy and an intake of positivity and love.
Brandon Welch is a mover, teaching artist and creator. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with a semester on exchange at the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts. His performance career includes being a company member of Momix Dance Illusionists, Doug Varone and Dancers, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, 3rd Dance/Theater, JK-CO and Gibney Dance Company. During his time with Doug Varone and Dancers, Brandon participated in Dance Motion USA’s cultural diplomacy program to South America and performed in Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera. Additionally, Brandon has performed works by Twyla Tharp, Zvi Gotheiner, Stephen Petronio, Hilary Easton, Reggie Wilson, Joanna Kotze and Ohad Naharin.
As an educator, Brandon has taught contemporary dance in Armenia, Argentina, Peru, Singapore, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey and across the United States. Additionally, he has facilitated movement workshops in a variety of unique education settings including New York City and Chicago public schools, Pennsylvania prisons and jails, shelters for vulnerable populations and health recovery groups. Brandon is passionately committed to utilizing movement as a catalyst for social change and served as Founding Executive Director of Awakening Movement from 2013-2020.
Courtney Williams is originally from Centennial, Colorado and recently relocated back to Colorado from Minnesota. She attended Metropolitan Academy of Dance from ages three to 16, where she was a member of the Senior Company, participated in several competitions and intensive workshops on a yearly basis, as well as performance opportunities to the 2008 Orange Bowl, New York City, and a Royal Caribbean cruise. She was heavily involved in musical productions at Arapahoe High School, including Quilters, Beauty and the Beast, as a dancing napkin, and Cinderella, like Cinderella. Courtney attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD, and was a member of the dance team The Augustana Vikettes, serving as captain for her junior and senior years. She graduated from Augustana in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, accompanied by minors in English, History, and Communication Studies. In her free time, she loves to read, listen to true crime podcasts, cheer on the Minnesota Wild, and spend time with family and her puppy, Luna.
Courtney has been dancing for 26 years and teaching for the past six years in Fargo, ND, where she choreographed several award-winning dances for multiple competition teams and served as the musical theater and tap instructor at Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN. She has participated in teaching conventions and workshops across the country and coordinated performance opportunities around the community and with Dance the World at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. This is Courtney's seventh year teaching and she is beyond excited to continue to have the opportunity to share her passion for dance with her students, this time at the studio she grew up at!