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Gaspard&Dancers is an inclusive and diverse dance company founded upon a shared passion for versatile movement that is physically inventive, emotionally dynamic, and inspiring to people of all ages and backgrounds. Through the creation of repertoire, performances, lecture demonstrations, workshops, short and long-term residencies within the North Carolina community and around the globe, our main purpose is to expand the perspectives and creative potential of all who see and share in our world.


Gaspard&Dancers was founded in 2009 by former Pilobolus dancer Gaspard Louis. The company produces an annual performance season at Duke University in Durham, NC and has recently been presented at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City, Cape Fear Stage in Wilmington, NC, Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, Bermuda, and across North Carolina as part of the NC Dance Festival.

Artistic Director

Gaspard Louis is the Founder and Artistic Director of Gaspard&Dancers (G&D). He received a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University and continued his dance studies on scholarship at Gus Giordano’s in Chicago and Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in New York. Following his studies, he joined the New York based company called AllNations where he performed traditional dances from many parts of the world for US troupes across the globe. Subsequently, he performed and traveled worldwide with Pilobolus Dance Theater. He collaborated on the choreography of nine major dance works with the company and taught master dance classes both nationally and internationally. Gaspard received an MFA in Dance from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival Program and became the Director of ADF’s year-round creative movement outreach program which provides free dance classes to youth in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill community of North Carolina. His passion for dance has continued to lead him to work with local dancers and musicians. Additionally, Gaspard has been a guest teacher at Duke, Elon, and North Carolina Central Universities.

Dancers & Staff

Mia Crider (Holly Springs, North Carolina) trained at Holly Springs School of Dance (HSSOD) and Holly Springs High School. As of May 2024, Mia has earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a minor in Business, graduating summa cum laude from Montclair State University. She has performed in works by Christian von Howard, Brandin Steffensen, Maxine Steinman, Michelle Manzanales, Shen Wei, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Abdel R. Salaam, Doug Varone, Gaspard Louis, and Jenna Riegel. Mia has returned to HSSOD to set choreography and teach a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary. For the past three summers, Mia has attended the American Dance Festival Summer Dance Intensive to grow her technique and further her knowledge.

Alexis Cruz-Castro (Caguas, Puerto Rico) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Montclair State University in spring 2024. He attended CoDa21, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, School for the Performing Arts, and Ballet Forte, where he trained in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Musical Theater. He has performed in Democracy by Doug Varone, Caught in the Rapture by Tommie-Waheed Evans, Pippin directed by Peter Flynn, Without Home by Yusha Marie-Sorzano, Jump, Jive, & Wail by Christian von Howard, and With Wine and Sugar by Maxine Steinman. He choreographed La Espera and Adiós, presented in Montclair State University.

Khalid Dunton

Khalid Dunton was born and raised in Washington DC/Maryland. In 2020, Dunton completed his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance as well as a Minor in Business from Montclair State University. Dunton has performed with dance companies such as Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater(2021), McKoy Dance Project(2022), and Carolyn Dorfman Dance(2021-2023). During 2021, Dunton worked as a professional dancer in the iconic Black Iris Project which received a New York Emmy Award for WILD: Bird of Paradise. Dunton has had the privilege of performing works by Martha Graham, Stacey Tookey, Juel D. Lane, Bill T. Jones, Carolyn Dorfman, Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith, Maxine Steinman, Christian von Howard, Earl Mosley, and many more. Dunton has performed in numerous spaces such as the Joyce Theater, Alexander Kasser Theater, Bryant Park, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), UTC Fine Arts Center and more. Showcasing his diversity, Dunton had the opportunity to work with celebrity artist Todrick Hall, featured as a dancer in his music video WIG. Dunton has trained and worked in the commercial dance industry alongside Dana Foglia, James Alonzo, and Yanis Marshall.

Frankie Lee III grew up in Raleigh, NC & is the founder & Artistic Director of FLEE DANCE, a two-time Isadora Duncan Award nominee, Webby Award winner & the 2022 Artist of Excellence Prism Award winner. He attended American Dance Festival (ADF) as a youth, then graduated from the High School & College Dance Program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After receiving his BFA in Contemporary Dance, Frankie continued training at ADF, Springboard Danse Montreal, The Merce Cunningham Trust, The Dance Company Experience, Shen Wei Dance Arts & Alonzo King LINES Dance Center. This Frankie started dancing with Gaspard&Dancers in 2014 & has also danced with Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet, dawsondancesf, Helen Simoneau Danse, Antonio Brown Dance, Justice Theater Project, Zaccho Dance Theater to name a few. Frankie is grateful to dance & share this opportunity.

Matthew Mancuso is originally from East Haven, Connecticut. He began his training at the age of eight at Gloria Jean’s Studio of Dance under the direction of Stacy Eastman. In 2023, Matthew graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he earned a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Entertainment Business. While at school, Matthew got to learn and perform repertoire from Sidra Bell and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He also was chosen to study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic at The National Theatre. Matthew most recently performed at the Carnival Choreographer’s Ball, New York City Fashion Week, Battery Park Dance Festival, and for Broadway Cares Red Bucket Follies at the New Amsterdam Theatre. He loves teaching and choreographing, as well as passing his love for dance onto the next generation.

Payton Primer is originally from Dallas, Texas, where she trained at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She was a Contemporary/Modern Dance Finalist in the 2018 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts competition. She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University/The Ailey School with three degrees: BFA in Dance, Anthropology, and International Studies with a concentration in Global Affairs. She has performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, Peter Chu, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Penny Saunders, Helen Simoneau, Ray Mercer, Yusha-Marie Sorzano, and Ethan Colangelo, among others. In 2022, she performed at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in the Ailey Spirit Gala. During university, she apprenticed with IKada Contemporary Dance Company and Jon Lehrer Dance Company. She has also performed as a member of Alison Cook Beatty Dance and the Taylor Outreach Ensemble.

Claire Schiffer was adopted from South Korea and grew up in Florida. She graduated from University of North Carolina School of the Arts high school program in 2021 and continued her training there, receiving her BFA in Contemporary Dance this spring. She has had the privilege of performing works by Robert Battle, José Limón, Trisha Brown, Igal Perry, Jim Vincent, Juel D. Lane, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Ashley Lindsey, Dwana A. Smallwood, Amyia Burrell, and Gaspard Louis. Elsewhere, she has worked with Jennifer Archibald, Sidra Bell, Betsi Graves, Antoine Vereecken, and Jon Lehrer. She has also trained with BODYTRAFFIC, A.I.M., Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and at The School at Jacob’s Pillow and UNCSA’s Professional Studies Program. In addition to dancing, Claire is a certified Classical Pilates Mat Instructor, held leadership positions in Student Government Association, and was the founder of the first Asian student organization at UNCSA, Asians Come Together. Claire is extremely grateful to be joining G&D this season.

Andréa Ward was born in Boston, MA where she graduated from the Boston Arts Academy in 2018. She is a graduate of Montclair State University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography as well as a minor in Business Administration. Immediately post-graduation, Andréa was accepted into the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company as a company apprentice and was promoted to a full-time company member within two months. During this time, Andréa pushed to maintain her training in the commercial dance field. She has performed and worked with many choreographers throughout the East Coast and has shared the stage with local and global music artists. Her dance training includes ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, heels, African, contemporary, musical theatre, and more. She has also attended and trained with institutions such as Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and Debbie Allen Dance Academy LA.

Evan Lee Wilkins is a North Carolina Native that now calls NYC Home. He is a Graduate of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts High-school program. And is a recent Graduate of Marymount Manhattan College’s BFA program. While attending university he had the opportunity to perform works by José Limón, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Ming Yang, Larry Keigwin, And Michale Mao. Evan is excited about returning to G&D for another season.

Board of Directors

     Steven Silverleaf
     Katherine Aarnott-Maheu
Natalie Dunn
     Wendy Vankleeck
     Robin Gallant
     Art Waber
     Linda Wishart
     Tanika Martin
     Anne-Lyne McCalla
     Gaspard Louis

Advisory Board

Jodee Nimerichter
Jim Finch
David Liu