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Sarah Walston

ARTISTIC TEAM

Director

Performing Artist

Sarah Walston is a professional dancer and choreographer currently based out of Tampa, FL. Sarah is the Director and Founder of ATLAS Modern Ballet, a new professional performance company serving the Tampa community. She also performs and creates works in the Tampa Bay area as a freelance artist. 

 

Sarah graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida in 2015. At the University of South Florida, she had the privilege of working with and performing works by choreographers such as Alonzo King, Maurice Causey, Robert Moses and Jennifer Archibald among many other guests and faculty members. In addition to her USF training, she has participated in many professional training programs across the country including, the Ailey School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, ArchCore40 and BalletX, as well as studying abroad in Paris. 

 

After graduating from USF, she spent five seasons as a company member at Florida Dance Theatre where she performed and created new repertory presented by the company in Lakeland and on tour. At Florida Dance Theater she performed principal roles in original narrative ballets and The Nutcracker, as well as in contemporary works by company directors and guests such as, Jerry Opdenaker and Gregory Dolbashian. Following her time at FDT, Sarah was a member of Tampa City Ballet in Tampa, FL for two seasons as a performer, guest choreographer, and company class instructor.

 

Over the past few years her choreography has be presented in multiple festivals and showcases both across the United States, and internationally. She also has choreographed for Florida Southern College's Dance Department, where she is Adjunct Ballet and Modern Faculty. Sarah has graduated Summa Cum laude this past Spring from Jacksonville University with her MFA in Choreography.

COLLABORATING DANCE ARTISTS

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Baylie Dockins

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Baylie Dockins began her dance training and competitive career at Dance In Motion in Abilene, Kansas. At the age of thirteen Dockins switched her focus from competitive training to classical ballet under the direction of Mara Klenda. She has attended many prestigious summer intensives including Kansas City Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet. After graduating high school, Dockins relocated to Tampa, Florida where she joined Tampa Ballet Theatre. During her time there she danced multiple Principal roles including Tinkerbell in Tampa Ballet Theatre's world premiere of "Peter Pan" as well as, Odile/Black Swan in Tampa Ballet Theatre's first production of "Swan Lake". Dockins has also performed with Brandon Ballet of Brandon, Florida as a Principal Professional Artist in productions such as "Nutcracker" and "Giselle". Outside of performing professionally, Dockins serves as Lead Ballet Instructor, Assistant Competition Director, and Choreographer for Just Dance Academy - champions of multiple national awards, and travels with Prestige National Talent Competition as a judge and convention teacher. Most recently, Dockins has become adjunct faculty for the dance program at Pinellas County Center of the Arts at Gibbs High School, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Caitlyn Elie-Gowan

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Caitlyn Elie-Gowan (Choreographer / Dancer) originally from Miami, FL is a graduate of The University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance with a Modern concentration. While she attended USF, she presented her own works and had the honor of working with many choreographers such as Yaniv Abraham who works under Ohad Naharin with the Batsheva Dance Company, Robert Moses from Robert Moses' Kin, Andee Scott, Erin Cardinal, Bliss Kohlmyer, Jeanne Travers, MerryLynn Morris, Julien Desplantez, Catherine Dénécy, Clint Lutes, and Kevin Quinao. Caitlyn is currently residing in Tampa, FL as a freelance artist & dance instructor. Also, she has worked with Jeanne Travers and Moving Current Dance Collective as a project-based dancer here in the Tampa Bay Area. As she progresses, she is focusing on developing her own movement/teaching vocabulary and working towards choreographing her own works, performing, and educating.  

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Drew Travis Robinson

Black Background

Raised in Largo, Florida, Drew Travis Robinson started his foray into dance with various genres at the Tutterow Dance Academy. This gave him the tools necessary to gain acceptance into the Dance program at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School where he received the Arete Award, honoring him for being a rare force of creativity and vision throughout PCCA. On scholarship at the University of Arizona, Robinson choreographed and set multiple works annually, was welcomed as a frequent guest at Artifact Dance Project, was an Ambassador of Dance for African American Student Affairs receiving Chaka Khan, was selected by Colin Connor to perform at the Jose Limon International Dance Festival and assisted in the research and development of various projects involving motion capture for dance preservation. Robinson was honored to perform various leads as well as choreograph during his time at Florida Dance Theatre before taking an offer at Tampa Ballet Theatre and later working with Tampa City Ballet. While his competition years gave him versatility, Robinson is most at home with modern. He has taught modern and more as a university employee, received the Gertrude Shurr Memorial Award for his exemplary abilities, and was invited by the Limon Dance Company to reprise an old role before then being invited into the fold. Drew is now adjunct faculty at PCCA, giving back to the community that raised him, and part of Prestige National Talent Competition & Convention. 

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Katherine Acosta

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Katherine Acosta was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. She began her classical training with The Sarasota Ballet School before attending Booker High School for the Visual and Performing Arts program. She graduated from Florida State University Spring of 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance. While at Florida State, she had the honor of working with today’s leading choreographers; Jawole Willa Zollar, Gwen Welliver, Ilana Goldman, and Anjali Austin. In 2021, Katherine joined the Dance Theater of Harlem team where she was offered an internship position, there she was given the chance to meet art leaders, teachers, and gained work experience in the dance community. In addition, Katherine has trained with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Jacob Jonas the Company, The Sarasota Contemporary Dance, & Ballet Hispanico ChoreoLab. Katherine joined the Sarasota Contemporary Dance company as an apprentice for the beginning of their 17th season. She is looking forward to continuing her dance career with ATLAS Modern Ballet.

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Ruben Andrés Castillo Gomez

Black Background

Ruben Andrés Castillo Gomez is originally from Mexico City but in 2014 came to the United States on scholarship for the Idyllwild Arts Academy high school to major in dance. After graduation, he was accepted on scholarship to attend the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance where he trained with Stephanie Tooman, Kevin Wynn, and Joseph Marlborough to name a few. He has performed in works by Ana Maria Lucaciu, Annie Rigney, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Johannes Weiland, Jose Limón, and more. Ruben Andrés Castillo Gomez joined Visceral Dance Company as an apprentice for the remainder of their 2021-2022 season.

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Lilia L. Castillo Gomez

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Lilia L. Castillo Gomez is a native to the Tampa Bay area and growing up she danced with many studios in the Hillsborough county area including The Brandon Ballet and The Patel Conservatory. This past May, she completed her fourth and final year of training at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. During her time there she was able to study choreography and perform works by Trisha Brown, Doug Varone, Annie Rigney, and Ana Maria Lucaciu, to name a few. She is so excited to be performing with ATLAS Modern Ballet for their upcoming performance, Ghost in the Black Jacket.

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Troy Martin

Black Background

A Tampa native, Troy Martin began his dance journey at only eight years old at his hometown studio, Centerstage Dance Academy. After years focusing in hip hop, his interests broadened to include ballet and contemporary. Naturally, these genres led him to competitive dancing, where he found new inspiration on the stage, translating the language of dance for diverse audiences. Troy attended and graduated from the dance program at Blake High School’s School of the Arts, where he first discovered and began to nurture a passion for modern dance. This passion sent him down to Miami, where he continued to train at the New World School of the Arts. Due to COVID-19, Troy was forced to cut his academic training short and return home to Tampa in 2020. Nonetheless, he has continued to engage in performance and teaching alongside many talented peers at Centerstage Dance Academy, Song and Dance Inc., and the Tampa City Ballet. Today, Troy practices as both a freelance dancer and Reiki Master, and looks forward to continuing to create, collaborate, and help others feel inspired and balanced through dance.

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Cynthia Clark

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Apprentice

Cynthia Clark began her dance training at age nine at Gulf Coast Dancenter in Clearwater, Florida. During her time there, she was a member of their resident dance company Gulf Coast Dance Theater, where she performed various principal roles in Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. After moving to St. Petersburg, Florida, she continued her ballet training at St. Petersburg Ballet Conservatory and Guilfoil Dance Arts Center. She currently also attends classes at Tampa City Ballet. Cynthia has attended various professional training programs, including Atlanta Ballet Company, Complexions, Duncan Cooper, Alvin Ailey, and Peter Chu. Although her training had been primarily classical ballet, attending these intensives helped strengthen her love for contemporary and modern dance. She is currently attending school at St. Petersburg College and working toward a Chemistry degree.  

ATLAS is committed to upholding the highest respect and support for our performing artists and additional collaborators at all times. Diverse performers which bring forth their perspectives within each creative process are the lifeblood of the company. Their uniqueness is celebrated through the mission to uphold inclusive values and share art that is relatable amongst all audiences.