Baran Dance Company

Baran Dance is a professional contemporary dance company based in Charlotte, NC. Founded by Audrey Ipapo Baran in 2012, Baran Dance believes that dance should be inspiring and accessible, not just for avid dance patrons, but for anyone seeking a visually awing experience. We create dances to make you feel, think, possibly cry, and maybe even laugh. Baran Dance seamlessly blends physicality and artistry, creating work that is available and appealing for all audiences, regardless of cultural, educational, or socioeconomic background. We move to move you!

In addition to our professional company we also have an apprentice company BD2, which is comprised of dancers age 12-18 who are selected by audition. Young artists from any school or studio are invited to audition, and train September – May under the direction of Audrey Baran and Kate Micham. BD2 has the opportunity to perform in venues throughout the year, including CDF’s Charlotte Emerging Dance Dance Awards and the Baran Dance spring concert. Dancers also have the chance to take class with Baran Dance company members and may perform in additional works.

Baran Dance is proud to announce the launch of our partnership with Our.BRIDGE, a non-profit enrichment program that focuses on the education and socio-emotional development of children who are new to our country and culture. We offer weekly dance classes in modern, ballet, and jazz to a group of students in this wonderful program, and will hold an in-studio performance on May 26th. We are in need of funds to provide shoes and costumes for these deserving young dancers. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Baran Dance.

Company Dancers

Audrey Baran

- Artistic Director, Co-Artistic Director / BD2, Founder, Dancer -

Hometown: Born in Jersey, raised in Monroe, NC

Education: BA in Dance, UNC Charlotte, 2003; MFA in Dance, Hollins University, projected 2017

When I'm not dancing I like to: Practice and teach yoga, drink wine and cook, walk my dogs, and play drums.

Kate Micham

- Co-Artistic Director / BD2, Dancer -

Hometown: Columbus, GA

Education: BA in Psychology, Berry College

When I'm not dancing I like to: See movies, eat sushi, hang with friends, go to shows, and play in the sun.

Lauren Bickerstaff

- Dancer -

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Education: Communication Studies and Spanish, UNC Wilmington

When I'm not dancing I like to: Cook for a crowd, travel, play piano, and make ludicrously specific playlists.

Carey French

- Dancer -

Hometown: Elon, NC

Education: Spanish and Education, Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!)

When I'm not dancing I like to: When I'm not dancing I like to: Teach, travel, hang out on the lake, and eat at Chick-fil-A.

Melissa Jesse

- Dancer -

Hometown: Born in Queens, NY, grew up in Sarasota FL

Education: BSN University of Florida 2001, Master of Science in Nursing University of Florida 2004

When I'm not dancing I like to: Do yoga, read, and spend time with friends, my husband, and two children.

Paige Keller

- Dancer -

Hometown: Born in New Orleans, grew up in Charlotte

Education: Degree in Finance with a Spanish minor from the University of South Carolina, and currently a student at Charlotte School of Law

When I'm not dancing I like to: Spend time with my friends and family, and enjoy a good bottle of wine!

Faith Mottershead

- Dancer -

Hometown: Laurenburg, NC

Education: BS Dance Education, UNC Greensboro, 2009

When I'm not dancing I like to: Watch Woody Allen movies and eat dark chocolate with hazelnuts, usually at the same time.

Megan Payne

- Dancer -

Hometown: Kitts Hill, Ohio

Education: BFA in Dance from Ohio University (2009), MFA in Dance from Hollins University (2012)

When I'm not dancing I like to: Read, watch movies, spend time with friends & family, search for records to add to my vinyl collection, and go on long country drives.

Morgan Shields

- Dancer -

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Education: Psychology, UNC Charlotte, 2008

When I'm not dancing I like to: Read, volunteer, work out, eat lots of guacamole, and watch NFL.

Brittany Skala

- Dancer -

Hometown: Downers Grove, IL

Education: BA in Dance, UNC Charlotte

When I'm not dancing I like to: Watch Netflix with my dog and spend time with family and friends.

Kenzie Smith

- Dancer -

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Education: Applied Mathematics, Appalachian State University, 2011

When I'm not dancing I like to: Read, paint, and stare off into space.