Uptown Dance Company presents contemporary, diverse and innovative choreography created to expand the imagination of the dance audience. Incorporating multiple genres of performance expression into a single professional company, UDC strives to break boundaries and provide a unique place for dancers and choreographers to convey their passion for the art.
In 1999, international choreographer, instructor, and dancer, Beth Gulledge-Brown, recognized the need to supplement her students’ training and performance skills. She, therefore, formed a pre-professional dance company to provide a performing outlet for her advanced students. The company received its nonprofit status in 2004, and the skills and exposure of Gulledge-Brown’s students continued to grow with her vision. In 2008 Gulledge-Brown launched the professional Uptown Dance Company, a group made up of talented dancers from all over the US and around the world.
Uptown Dance Company fosters an appreciation of dance within the Houston community by offering family-friendly dance performances and educational opportunities. The company is known for producing exciting and innovative performances featuring versatile professional dancers with strong classical lines. The company also provides high-quality training opportunities for aspiring young dancers regardless of their financial means and serves the greater community through outreach performances and masterclasses.
Uptown Dance Company (UDC) fosters an appreciation of dance within the Houston community by offering family-friendly dance performances and educational opportunities. UDC consists of both a professional contemporary dance group and pre-professional dance ensembles, producing performances known for featuring exciting choreography and versatile dancers with a strong classical aesthetic while educating the next generation of dancers.
The professional group employs six resident dancers, plus guest artists. UDC is the only professional contemporary dance company in Houston that trains intensively in classical ballet. This distinguishes the aesthetic and physicality of the dancers and enables them to perform a broad range of dance styles, including contemporary ballet (en pointe), modern, and jazz works.
An equally vital component of Uptown Dance Company includes its pre-professional ensembles. These groups expose select middle and high school age students to the art of dance - regardless of their financial means - in a healthy, nurturing environment with high-caliber training classes and performances. Students have frequent opportunities to work with renowned local and national choreographers and master teachers. More than 25% of the students in Uptown Dance Company pre-professional division are on full or partial scholarship. In addition, UDC raises money to help further scholarship students’ dance careers, covering travel costs, costumes, choreography, and extra coaching for opportunities as the USA International Ballet Competition. Alumni have gone on to professional companies and top college dance programs, including: Orlando Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Met, Texas Ballet Theater, Ballet Arizona, Nashville Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Washington Ballet, University of Oklahoma, Butler University, Fordham University with Alvin Ailey, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.