Company Apprentice Taylor Bennett is from Aiken, SC, in her third season with the company. A senior at the College of Charleston double majoring in Dance and Early Childhood Education, As a dance major, Taylor has performed in faculty and student works since she arrived in Fall 2019. In Spring 2021 and 2022, Taylor choreographed for the student dance concerts Finding Place and Wanderlust. For the past two summers, Taylor worked at Camp Ballibay, where she taught, choreographed for dance concerts and musicals, and assisted setting Annex Dance Company repertory on the campers while the company was in-residence. Taylor stays involved with the dance students of the Lowcountry through her instruction with Dance Moves of Charleston.
Company Member Jordan Maria Benton was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She attended Charleston County School of the Arts as a dance major. Jordan is a graduate of The College of Charleston, double majoring in Dance and Theatre, with lighting concentration. Through this program she has performed many historical works. Jordan has been working on videos in order to inspire a new form of artistry in collaboration with story telling and dance. Her latest works- “Glory Comes” with music from the motion picture Harriet; “Selah” with music from Kanye West and “Freedom” with Music by Ranky Tanky, Marcus Amaker’ “Subversive Film” and Wade Davis a “World Renown Cellist” –CNN. This is Jordan’s first season with Annex Dance Company.
Administrative Intern and Company Apprentice Claire Natiez is a double major in Arts Management and Dance, with a concentration in performance and choreography. From Greenville, SC, Claire is in her third season with Annex Dance Company. At the College of Charleston she has performed in both faculty and student works. Her choreography was presented in the 2020 and 2021 student dance concerts and her piece The Art of Losing was selected to be restaged for the Department’s fall dance concert and represent the College at the American College Dance Association’s Southeast Conference in 2021-22 academic year.
Company Member Sydni Shaffer, from Hampton, SC is in her fifth season with Annex Dance Company. Sydni attended the College of Charleston as a Dance Major with Concentration in Performance and Choreography. While a student at the College of Charleston, she performed with the company in Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s Stelle Di Domani series. In 2018 during her senior year of college, Sydni joined the company as an apprentice, then later as a company member in 2020. In addition to working with Annex, Sydni is an instructor for Dance Moves of Charleston where she teaches modern and choreographs for the Dance Moves Youth Company. One of Sydni’s favorite things about being a member of Annex Dance Company is the opportunity to work with local public schools through Engaging Creative Minds, an organization that facilitates arts integrated learning in our community.
Company Member Margaret Winterstein is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has been training in dance for over 20 years years, spending her summers attending dance intensives in New York and California. Margaret received a B.A. at the College of Charleston in Dance and Theater in 2018. While in school, Margaret was an apprentice with Annex Dance Company. Since then she has been serving as the Artistic Director of Baylor School’s dance program as well as teaching middle school curricular dance in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She also was a member of the Pop Up Project, a professional adult dance company, training and performing around Chattanooga. Margaret has now returned to Charleston and is an instructor at Dance Moves of Charleston and a choreographer for the Dance Moves Youth Company. Margaret is excited to be dancing with Annex in her first season as a company member!
Company Member Bethany Willis is a native of Charleston, SC. After graduating from the College of Charleston with a BA in Psychology and Dance, concentration in performance and choreography in December 2019, she joined the company as an apprentice. This is Bethany’s third season as a company member. Beginning her dance training at Metro North Dance, Bethany trained in the Cecchetti method of ballet for 11 years and passed Cecchetti Exams 1-6. After this experience, she started training at the Robert Ivey Ballet Academy in the Vaganova method, beginning in 2013. While in high school, Bethany was able to take classes and perform with Annex Dance Company through a collaboration with the Robert Ivey Ballet. Bethany has studied ballet and modern dance under the mentorship of Carroll Thompson, Michael Wise, and Olga Wise. Bethany continues to serve the lowcountry’s dance students as she currently teaches at Robert Ivey Ballet, Summerville Home Education Enriching Programs, Lowcountry Christian Co-op, and House Theater.
Production Manager Brice Flowers is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a BA in Dance, concentration in Performance and Choreography. Having worked with the company during the 2018 and 2019 Maymester residencies at the College of Charleston, Brice is now in her third season with Annex Dance Company. During the 2019 residency, Brice’s choreography was selected to be presented at Piccolo Spoleto. In addition to dancing with Annex, Brice is a Manager at Dance Moves of Charleston, and a choreographer for the Dance Moves Youth Company.
Company Administrator Genese Gee-Schmidtke is came to the Charleston community from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This is her second year with the Annex Dance Company. A teacher of the fine and performing arts for over 11 years, with students ranging from K-12 to adult collegiate learners, she is eager to step back into an administrative role for Annex. When not with Annex Dance Company, Genese teaches for the College of Charleston in both the Theatre and Dance Departments, and her own fine and performing arts program called OurCornerArts. Through this program students discover their inner truths and actively display their positive creativity through productions for social change and community awareness.