Dancers at the conference
Pas de Deux Photo supports dancers by providing modeling opportunities and training through our conference. At the conference, dancers have opportunities to model indoors and outdoors. Dancers work with conference speakers and photographer attendees throughout the weekend. The weekend is warm and encouraging. Dancers have the chance to connect with other dancers from across the country in a supportive and fun environment.
Unless their professional performance schedule conflicts, Houston Ballet principal dancer Melody Mennite Walsh will be talking to our Pas de Deux dancers about becoming a professional dancer. Martha Graham principal Lloyd Knight will lead a master class. Melody and Lloyd will also be posing for the Pas de Deux conference photographers.
Pas de Deux Photo believes that dance photographer is a collaborative effort between a photographer and a dancer. Dancers should be prepared with multiple poses and ideas and be ready to work independently with photographers
Dancers for the 2022 conference can apply online starting March 15. The 2022 Pas de Deux dancer application closes on August 31, 2021. Accepted dancers will be contacted in late September with details about participating in the conference.
Dancers are selected and supported by our Creative Dance Directors, Jessica Garrett and Alexa Culclasure. At the conference, dancers are provided morning warm-up classes, Master classes and workshops on posing and using professional photographs for auditions and on social media. This year, Pas de Deux is expanding its vision to include additional learning experiences for dancers.
Dance parents wishing to accompany their dancer on photo sessions, lunch and presentations can purchase an Observer Badge. The Observer badge allows parents to view the sessions for which their dancer is modeling. Dancers attend warmups, dancer-only social events and Master classes independently.
PC: Ron McKinney
PC: Heather O'Steen
About our Dance Creative Directors
Jessica Garrett, Dance Creative Director
Miss Jessica began her love for dance while being a part of the competitive show choir ‘Swingsations’ Her love grew while attending Lincoln College on a dance scholarship and being a part of their dance company, Dance Force. Jessica graduated from Lincoln College with her A.A. in Liberal Arts and was awarded the Dance award for outstanding achievements in dance. She then went on to graduate from Columbia College Chicago with her B.A. in Dance. While attending Columbia, Jessica worked for Youth Guidance of America teaching dance in their extended day program at an inner city school in Chicago. Miss Jessica has been sharing her love for dance in the Chicagoland area for the past 10 years. In addition to teaching she also travels to various high schools throughout the country to choreograph show choirs and musicals. Musical choreography credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wiz, The Music Man, Grease, Cinderella Jr., Annie, Seussical, Totally 80’s and Once on This Island. Jessica’s choirs have won numerous awards including Best Choreography in 2011.
Jessica spent her summers performing at Six Flags Great America for 7 seasons where she served as the Dance Captain for 6 years. Miss Jessica continues to share her love for show choir by adjudicating competitions in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Jessica opened Dynamic Perception Dance Company in October of 2012, and has been sharing her love ever since. She has led the DPDCo Dancers to multiple first overall awards, best choreography, best use of staging and props, and a very special award given by one of the stars from "Dance Moms" for Best Sportsmanship & backstage etiquette. The Company was also awarded the prestigious Top Studio award for receiving the overall highest scores amongst other studios in attendance in 2014 & 2016. DPDC was also awarded the ADCC studio of excellence award in 2015. Miss Jessica is thrilled to begin her 9th year with DPDC, and can't wait to see what the future brings.
Alexa Culclasure, Dance Creative Director
Miss Alexa began dancing at age three and never wanted to stop! In the early years, she trained at various studios in central Georgia. She was a company member of the Middle Georgia Youth Ballet and participated in the Nutcracker of Middle Georgia for nine years. Alexa consistently traveled during the summers to train at various programs such as: South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Orlando Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Nashville Ballet, and Bates Dance Festival. She earned her BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance from Texas Christian University, where she graduated magna cum laude and performed in works by established artists, such as Carrie Hanson, Susan Jaffe, Loretta Livingston, Sarah Gamblin and many others. While studying at TCU, Alexa served as the Co-Director of Community Outreach and Public Relations for the Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society.
She performed professionally as a company member of Kim Robards Dance and served a guest choreographer for Life/Art Dance Ensemble. She is a certified Purre Barre instructor and certified Personal Trainer, as well. Alexa is thrilled to continue to be a part of the Dynamic Perception Dance Company faculty and the wonderful Chicagoland dance scene!