Baran Dance Company

Baran Dance is a professional contemporary dance company based in Charlotte, NC. Founded by Audrey 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​ wide 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. ​BD2 ​focuses on contemporary technique, improvisation, and composition​ under the direction of Audrey Baran​, creating a holistic physical, intellectual, and creative training experience​​. These talented artists​ take​​ class with Baran Dance ​and perform​s​ in ​informal and main stage productions throughout the year​.


Company Dancers

Audrey Baran

- director, choreographer, dancer -


Hometown: Born in Jersey, raised in Monroe, NC

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

When I'm not dancing I like to: Practice + teach yoga, walk my dogs, and drink cheap wine + eat good food.

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.

Loz Gibbs

- Dancer -


Hometown: Mooresville, NC

Education: BFA in Dance, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2013 + Certificate IV in Business, Sydney TAFE 2015

When I'm not dancing I like to: Be outside enjoying the sunshine, making delicious food, and travel the world

Kylie Hester

- Dancer -


Hometown: Chester, VA

Education: Dance and Business Administration, University of Richmond, 2017

When I'm not dancing I like to: Spend time with my husband and puppy, travel, hike, and eat ice cream

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!

Kate Micham

- dancer + choreographer -


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.

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 + choreographer -


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.

Kenzie Smith

- dancer + choreographer -


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.