Meet the Dancers

Adrian Ciobanu (Co-Director)

Adrian Ciobanu was born in Cluj, Romania where he graduated from the Liceul de Choregrafie, Octavian Stroia with honors, under the direction of his father, Florin Ciobanu. He worked with the Romanian Opera Ballet for one year then moved to the Hungarian Opera Ballet for five years, where was promoted to Principal dancer. He toured throughout Europe including France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, and the Czech Republic. In 1996 Mr. Ciobanu became a member of the Sarasota Ballet, dancing major Principal roles and creating many roles as well. His repertoire includes many major classical and contemporary ballets by such choreographers as Robert North, Alberto Alonso, Katherine Posen, Steven Mills, Todd Allen, Ament Istvan, and others. Since 2002 Mr. Ciobanu has been teaching and coaching for the Sarasota Ballet School, Dance the Next Generation, and local and regional schools such as Brandon Ballet, The Dance Center: Brandon, Fl., West Florida Ballet, St. Petersburg, Fl., Florida Ballet Arts, Alyson’s in Bradenton, Fl. In 2003, Mr. Ciobanu was promoted to Principal of Academy, Sarasota Ballet, where he has doubled the number of students and increased the budget significantly since his direction. He has staged full-length productions for the Academy, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, La Boutique Fantasque, Paquita, and others. In 2008 Mr. Ciobanu was promoted to Ballet Master of Sarasota Ballet and worked extensively with the Academy. He worked with such stagers and choreographers as: Hans Van Manen, Monica Parker, Alexander Grant, Dominic Walsh, Sandra Jennings, Joyceanne Sidimus, Julian Moss, Andre Prokovsky, Gilles Maidon, Jackie Hollander, Donald Mahler, Margaret Barbieri, and others. Adrian has been the Co-Director of Uptown Dance Centre and Uptown Dance Company for the past seven  years.

Edward DeShane

Edward DeShane was born in San Diego, California but was raised in Mississippi where he started dancing at the age of 14. He grew up dancing at Ballet Magnificat and trained there for 8 ½ years. He danced professionally with Ballet Magnificat for half a season. Most of his training consisted of ballet though, he has some experience in jazz, tap, and modern. In 2012, he started attending Belhaven University to fine tune his movement ability and artistry in ballet and modern. In his time there, he performed works by faculty members Erin Rockwell, Emily Wright, Laura Morton, and Caleb Mitchell. Also, in his time at college, he performed choreography set by Bobby Wesner, Steve Rooks, and Betsy McMillan. In the past he had the opportunity to work with Inlet Dance Theatre, and was a guest artist with Ballet Aviv. During the past two summers he participated with summer training at Ad Deum Dance Company and Rubberbandance. Along with that he attended Peridance and Paul Taylor winter intensives. Most recently, he graduated from college with the class of 2016 and earned his B.F.A. in Dance. This is Edward’s first season with Uptown Dance Company and he is looking forward to what this next year has to offer.

Marlon Grigsby

Marlon Grigsby is a native of Baton Rouge, LA, where he began his dance training at the Dancers’ Workshop. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he performed and choreographed for the LSU Dance Ensemble. He danced with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, Of Moving Colors Dance, and Movement Workshop Group (NYC) in Racine D’or. He has had the pleasure of working with Sandra Parks on several projects including NYC Dance Arts Festival and Crossroads in Boston, MA. He is excited for his second season with Uptown Dance Company!

Amy Phillips

Amy Phillips started her classical ballet training in her native city of Hong Kong at the age of 3. Since then she has also been trained in jazz, modern and contemporary. She had performed with Hong Kong Ballet in La Fille Mal Gardée, Coppélia, and The Nutcracker. Before moving to Houston from Portland, OR, Amy performed as a soloist in many studio ballet productions including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Enchanted Toy Shop. She has also performed with several Portland-based companies — Polaris Dance Theatre, PDX Dance Collective, Agnieszka Laska Dancers and Kinetic Images Dance Company. She served as a fellow choreographer for PDX Dance Collective, and as rehearsal assistant for Kinetic Images. Amy is delighted to return for her forth season with Uptown Dance Company.  In additional to dancing with UDC, Amy also works as Grants Manager for the company, and teaches ballet at Uptown Dance Centre.

Tiffany Ramey

Tiffany Ramey was born in West Melbourne, Florida; raised in McDonough, Georgia contributes her formal training in dance to The Georgia Youth Baller under Magdalena Maury and Jonsie Pollock. Tiffany was given the opportunity to perform several classical ballets such as Serenade, La Bayadere, and The Nutcracker annually, as well as work with several contemporary choreographers such as Armande Duarte and Sherone Price. Tiffany is a graduate cum laude from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in music. Her professional dance experience includes Founding Member of Refuge Dance Company, Atlanta Georgia, Guesting with Atlanta Festival Ballet, Guesting with Light of the World Ballet of Syracuse, NY for their international tour to China, and most recently Ad Deum Dance Company where she was a member for five years. While dancing for Ad Deum, Ramey had the privilege of working with many notable choreographers and teachers: Steve Rooks (former principal with the Martha Graham Company for ten years), Bill Wade (director of Inlet Dance Company), Kenny Jazek (in the award-winning musical Cats and a regular on FAME), Freddie Moore, Hope Boykin, Matthew Rushing (from the Alvin Dance Company), Durell Comedy, Logan Kruger (both from the Jose Limon Dance Company), and Ryan Corristan (former dance from the Doug Varone). Tiffany is excited to be joining the Uptown Dance Company family this season.

Katie Trevino

Katie Trevino has been dancing since she was fourteen. She started dancing at local studios in League City, TX. She received an Associate of Arts Degree in Dance at San Jacinto College South in 2008. She was a part of the San Jacinto College Dance Performing Arts Company for two years and participated in the American College Dance Festival. She received a scholarship to the Bill Evans Workshop in Brockport, NY, the Joanna Friesen scholarship from the University of Houston Dance Faculty, and a scholarship to the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. She was a part of the UH Dance ENSEMBLE company for two years and the Young Audience Touring Company. She earned her B.A. Degree in Dance in 2012 from the University of Houston. She has guest performed in two of FrentiCore’s shows; there is no answer as to why me: A Dance Tribute to David Rakoff in 2013 and Quench in 2014. In the past year, Katie has created a Pre-Professional Company, Artistic Edge, which she is the Artistic Director. They have performed in FrentiCore’s Fringe Festival 2015 and Project Dance Houston in 2016. She is now in her fourth season with Uptown Dance Company and continuing with Artistic Edge in their second year.

Ruben Trevino

Ruben Nicholas Trevino started his dance training in high school as a break-dancer and tumbler with Y.E.S. Dance Company where he had the opportunity to perform in Los Angeles and Guatemala. Y.E.S. Dance Company competed in many competitions and received many rewards in first place and in High Gold. Ruben graduated magna cum laude from Sam Houston State University in May of 2012 with a B.F.A. in dance performance.  While at Sam Houston, Ruben trained under the direction of Jennifer Pontius, Jonathan Charles, Andy Noble, Dionne Noble, and Dana Nicolay. He has participated and performed at the American College Dance Festival Association gala selection concert twice. He has danced in numerous faculty, graduate, and student concerts. Ruben was also selected and given the opportunity to perform in a guest artist residency piece that was choreographed by Jane Weiner from Hope Stone Dance Company. Since relocating to Houston, he has performed with Karen Stokes Dance, ChinaCat Dance, Bayou City Productions, Jonathan Charles, Ashley Horn, FrenetiCore, Kingwood Dance Theatre, Sandra Organ Dance Company, and NobleMotion Dance. Since dancing with Uptown Dance Comapny, Ruben has been training under the direction of ballet masters Florin Adrian Ciobanu and Alex Pandisico. Ruben has had the opportunity to take master classes and perform choreography set by ballet masters Tina Bohnstedt, Krissy Richmond, and Alex Pandisico from Houston Ballet. This is Ruben’s 3rd season with Uptown Dance Company.

Erica Wyckoff

Erica Wyckoff has been a Company Member with Uptown Dance Company since 2011. Her classical ballet training began with the Houston Ballet Academy under the Artistic Direction of Ben Stevenson and Academy Principal Clara Cravey. During her time as an academy student with Houston Ballet, she was chosen by Mr. Stevenson to dance in special presentations of “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty” and the professional companies annual production of the Nutcracker performed at Jones Hall and The Wortham Theater Center for many years. She continues her classical ballet training with Uptown Dance Company’s Artistic Director Beth Gulledge Brown, Co-Artistic Director Adrian Ciobanu and Ballet Master Alex Pandiscio. Ms. Wyckoff began her jazz training with the Delia Stewart Jazz Dance Company and performed in its junior company. She has also performed with Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Sandra Organ Dance Company, Psophonia Dance Company, Texas Dance Theater, Houston Grand Opera , Theater Under The Stars and Hope Stone. Performance venues include the Brown and Cullen Theaters at the Wortham Theater, Zilka and Sarofim Hall at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, The Miller Outdoor Theater, Southern Methodist University Meadows Dallas, Cullen and Moores Opera House at the University Of Houston, David Adickes’ Sculpture Works, Diverse Works Arts Space, Stude Concert Hall in the Shepherd School Of Music at Rice University, Barnevelder Movement Arts Space, Eisemann Theater Dallas, Sam Houston State University, Houston Community College Tomball, Northwest and Heinen , Match Theater Galveston Island Outdoor Amphitheater and The Kaplan.

Banner Photo: Bill Klemm
Headshot Photos: Bill Klemm