Caroline Calouche, Artistic & Executive Director
Caroline Calouche has created contemporary and aerial dance work for numerous programs including Dance Department in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Winthrop University, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD)and Contemporary Ballet Dallas. She has received several grant awards to further her artistic vision with her company, Caroline Calouche & Co. She believes in continuous learning and experiencing the world will help not only develop you as an artist but as a person too. Her dancing roots began in the little town of Gastonia, North Carolina and branched out to Fort Worth, Texas at Texas Christian University where she had the pleasure of working with Li-Chou Cheng, Elizabeth Gillaspy, Susan Douglas Roberts, Kerry Kreiman and Fernando Bujones. From there she studied in Europe at SEAD in their post-graduate choreography program receiving training from Susan Quinn, Joao da Silva, Andrew Harwood, Libby Farr, Keren Levi and Ori Flomin. In 2007, Caroline began her aerial dance training and has worked with Susan Murphy, Elsie and Serenity Smith, Kevin O’Connor and Amy Ell. Caroline is also certified in the BASI Pilates Method, Gyrokinesis and Nimble Arts Silks Foundation Level 1. She is the founder and director of the Charlotte Dance Festival. (www.charlottedancefestival.org). www.carolinecalouche.com
Kaila Dockal is a graduate from Winthrop University with her B.A. in Dance with a Concentration in K-12 Teacher Certification. For the past 23 years, Kaila has studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, modern and lyrical. She has taught at Fascinating Rhythm Studio, Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center, and New Attitide Performing Arts Center. Kaila is the current dance teacher at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, SC. Kaila became interested in aerial arts while participating in the Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center's Summer Intensive program. Kaila has the pleasure of continuing her professional dance and aerial career with Caroline Calouche and Co. and is excited for what is to come.
Javier Gonzalez (4th Season) began his career in dance in 2008 studying hip-hop and various Latin Style Dances. In 2009 He became a company member of Ballet Folclórico de las Americas and LeColours Latino Dance. He was the principal dancer for the modern department at CPCC Dance Theater from 2010 to 2015. He has also danced with ECHO Contemporary Dance Company and the Moving Poets of Charlotte as well as a guest dancer for Carnaval Carolina, Charlotte’s largest Latin festival. He has been a backup dancer for Latin artist including Las Fenix, Jorge Celedon and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. On the side Javier enjoys teaching dance to Latin girls preparing them for their quinceañeras celebrations. Javier is a faculty member at the Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center.
Conner Hall has trained with the Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance since a young age. During high school, she attended the North Carolina Governor's School for contemporary dance. Upon graduation from the University of North Carolina Asheville, she proceeded to dance professionally for the Asheville Ballet and for Lindsey Kelley Dance. After performing an acrobatic dance routine for Asheville Aerial Arts in 2015, she decided it was time to take her dancing into the air! Since then, she has been training dance trapeze, lyra, and pole at Empyrean Arts in Asheville, NC. More recently, she has picked up training duo trapeze with longtime friend and dance partner, Alan Malpass. Conner is honored to be part of the Clara's Trip cast.
Alan Malpass currently lives in Asheville and takes pride in his work as a group fitness instructor and aerial arts instructor. He is well known in the performance and fitness communities for his compassion and fun-loving personality. He chose to live in the area to attend Western Carolina University where he graduated with the school's first Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater Performance degree. After graduation, he moved to Asheville to continue his work with Ann Dunn and the Asheville Civic Ballet. He is a founding member of Asheville Aerial Arts.
Byron McDaniel is originally from Columbia South Carolina where he began training in classical ballet at the age of five. He later was accepted into the Governor’s School of the Arts in Greenville South Carolina under full scholarship. Since then Byron has traveled around the world as a professional dancer and aerialist for Celebrity Cruise lines. Byron Is now in school full time for physical therapy and is very excited to be working with Caroline Calouche & Co.!
Phillip McRorie (1st Season) began his dance career at the age of 18, studying modern, ballet, jazz, and pointe under the dance faculty of Appalachian State University and SG Ballet/Western Carolina Youth Ballet. While in school, he was fortunate enough to perform in and choreograph works of various styles with the Appalachian Dance Ensemble, Momentum Dance Club, SG Dance Theatre, and Verge Dance Collective. After graduating in 2018, Phillip relocated to Asheville and began working with the Asheville Ballet, directed by Ann Dunn, as a resident choreographer and dancer for their 2018-2019 season. While with the company, he was able to create two new modern works for their season. In addition to this, Phillip has taken master classes and workshops with Koresh Dance Company, Jessica Lang Dance, Yin Yue, and Ailey II. After moving to Charlotte, Phillip has began practicing bodywork and working in dance full time, and is excited to begin dancing with Caroline Calouche & Co.!
Carolina Quirós Otárola (1st Season) began her dance life at age 6 at the Conservatory of Castella in Costa Rica taking classes in ballet and creative movement. She graduated from this institution in 2005 with a Bachelor in Media Education and a Medium Art Technician with an emphasis in Dance- Ballet and Piano. She graduated from the School of Dance at the National University of Costa Rica. She has danced professionally with the National Dance Company of El Salvador and "Metamorfosis" directed by Sol Carballo Bolaños, where she developed as a dancer and aerialist. She now lives in Mooresville with her husband and two children.
Photo: Ronny López
Megan Raferty (1st Season) is from Lake Charles, LA. She is a graduate of St. Louis Catholic High School and Louisiana State University. She was a member of St. Louis Sweethearts for four years where she served as captain her senior year. During her freshman year of college, she attended the University of Houston where she was a member of the Cougar Dolls Dance Team. After transferring to Louisiana State University, she performed with the LSU Dance Ensemble and was a member of the physical theater club. Megan has trained in dance for 20 years. She studied at Glenda Moss Academy of Dance, the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, and Broadway Dance Center. She has won numerous scholarships and awards through Dance Masters of America and Showtime International competitions. Megan is very excited for her first season with Caroline Calouche & Co.
Joseph Nguyen (1st Season) grew up with a martial arts background. His Kung Fung transferred over to ballet where he had his first taste of stage performance. He quickly acquired a dance position with Legends in Concert, world's largest tribute show, in Myrtle Beach. He studied aerial silks and minored in trampwall with Conceptual Arts. He has recently set foot back on land after sailing to the Bahamas performing as a dancer aerialist. His love for the entertaining could be seen on stage and behind the scenes.
Sarah Small (8th Season) began as an aerial student with Caroline Calouche & Co. in 2011. She has trained dance and circus arts with Jen McQueen, Ukoiya Mastin, April Skelton, Susan Murphy, Tanya Burka, Maria Caruso and Pauline Legras. She is currently a dance major at Central Piedmont Community College under the instruction of Clay Daniel and Tracie Chan. Sarah has been performing in musical theater since the 5th grade, and also has spent much of her formative years as an oboist, pianist, vocalist, and percussionist. Sarah is a faculty member at the Charlotte Cirque & Dance Center as well as a performer for Elevate performance company.