Company Members

Company Apprentice Taylor Bennett is from Aiken, SC in her second season with Annex.  A junior at the College of Charleston double majoring in Dance and Early Childhood Education, Taylor has been involved in the main stage productions since she arrived in Fall 2019. In Spring 2021, Taylor had the opportunity to choreograph for the student dance concert, Finding Place. During the Summer, Taylor was able to teach at Camp Ballibay, where she choreographed a dance intensive production piece and other dance concerts. Taylor stays involved with the dance students of the lowcountry through her instruction with Dance Moves of Charleston.

Company Apprentice 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 second 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.

Administrative Intern and Company Apprentice Claire Natiez is a double major in Dance and Arts Management, with a concentration in performance and choreography. From Greenville, SC. Claire is in her second season with Annex.  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 Asscoiation’s Southeast Conference in 2021-22 academic year.

First year Company Member Tara Rooks is a graduate from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), with a BFA in Dance, concentration in Choreography and Performance. During her time at UNCG she trained with Duane Cyrus, Janet Lilly, Michael Job, Maurice Watson, and others; performing works by Martha Graham, Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane. In 2018, she joined Theatre West Virginia performing in Paradise Park and Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. After graduation she worked in Melbourne, Australia at the Infinite Dance Studio as their jazz and acrobatics teacher. In 2020, she danced with the West Virginia Dance Company performing, Souvenir: Diary 2020.

Company Member Sydni Shafferis a graduate of the College of Charleston from Hampton, SC. She majored in Dance and minored in Psychology. She performed in the college productions Witness, Safe Harbor, and Chapel Moves 2018, as well as performances for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s Stelle di Domani series. This is Sydni’s third season with the company.

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 second 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 Hanahan Dance Ensemble

Administrative Staff

Company Administrator Genese Gee-Schmidtke is coming to the Charleston community from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. She has a Bachelors of Theatre and Education from Old Dominion University, with a Masters in Theatre. Genese has been a teacher of the fine and performing arts for over 10 years now, and is joining the College of Charleston Adjunct Faculty in January. Genese instructs her own fine and performing arts program called OurCornerArts, to help students actively display their positive creativity through productions for social justice and community awareness. This is Genese’s first year with the company, and she is eager to bring her talents and background to an administrative role for Annex Dance Company.