Beth Gulledge-Brown – Artistic Director
International choreographer, instructor, and dancer Beth Gulledge-Brown began her lifelong relationship with dance at the age of three under the instruction of her mother. Her classical ballet training included celebrated teachers such as Joseph Giacobbe, Margo Marshall, Leo Ahonen, and Soilie Arvala. She studied jazz with Delia Stewart and Keith Cross, and later received scholarships with Broadway Dance Center in New York and Joe Tremaine in Los Angeles. Ms. Gulledge-Brown went on to receive her dance degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and has performed with many companies around the world, including U.C.T. Ballet Company and the CAPAB Ballet Company in South Africa, as well as Delia Stewart Dance Company, Texas Dance Theatre, and Joan Karff’s New Dance Group in the United States. Upon her return to Houston, Ms. Gulledge-Brown opened the Uptown Dance Centre. In 1999, recognizing the need to supplement her students’ training and performance skills, she 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. In 2008, Gulledge-Brown launched the professional Uptown Dance Company, a group made-up of talented dancers from all over US and around the world.
A talented and versatile choreographer, Ms. Gulledge-Brown has set choreography for multiple local projects and festivals, and has had her choreography performed internationally in Mexico, Costa Rica, Austria, and China.
Adrian Ciobanu – Co-Director
Adrian Ciobanu was born in Cluj, Romania where he graduated from the Liceul de Choregrafie, Octavian Stroia with honors. He worked with the Romanian Opera Ballet and Hungarian Opera Ballet, where achieved the status of Principal dancer. He toured throughout Europe including France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, and the Czech Republic. In 1996 Mr. Ciobanu became a member of the Sarasota Ballet, dancing Principal roles and creating many new roles as well. His repertoire includes both major classical and contemporary ballets by such choreographers as Robert North, Alberto Alonso, Katherine Posen, Steven Mills, Todd Allen, Ament Istvan, and others. In 2003, Mr. Ciobanu became Principal of Academy, Sarasota Ballet, where he doubled the number of students and increased the budget significantly since his direction. In 2008 Mr. Ciobanu was promoted to Ballet Master of Sarasota Ballet and worked extensively with the Academy, staging full-length productions. Mr. Ciobanu has been the Co-Director of Uptown Dance Company for the past eight years, where he also performs as a company dancer.
Alexander Pandiscio – Company Manager/Ballet Master
Alexander Pandiscio danced with the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Houston Ballet. As a member of Houston Ballet (2003-2010) he danced featured roles in works by Ben Stevenson, Stanton Welch, George Balanchine, and Jiri Kylian.
In 2014, Mr. Pandiscio graduated summa cum laude from Rice University with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and a minor in Business. He completed the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School, where he received the 2015 Betty Oliphant Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2018, Mr. Pandiscio completed the LINE program at Rice University, earning a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership.