Nicolay Dance Works

Dana Nicolay

Artistic Director

Dana Nicolay photo

About Us

The Search for the Soul
Dancing Toward Spiritual Center

Dance as an art form provides me with the most immediate — and the most fleeting — exploration of my humanity. It presents an instantaneous four-dimensional read of the inner experience and the outer situation of the mover. That immediacy and the vast complexity of implications that arise from every posture, gesture, and movement quality — interpreted through the matrix of the surrounding social interplay — give dance an unmatched capacity to formulate, represent and express meanings regarding the human condition. Dance inherently merges the subject and the object, the viewer and the mover, in the lived experience of the moment.

Nicolay Dance Works is an embarkation on a journey of exploration and reconstruction with a very special group of young artists. Each of these dancers brings unique life experiences, talents and insights to the effort, that illuminate the works in beautiful and unexpected ways. In reanimating works from the past we are finding new meanings in these times and these new bodies. As we create new works we will build on this process to engender new meanings drawn from our collective experience together.

I hope you will be enriched by the experience of our offerings.

Dana Nicolay, Artistic Director

Dana Nicolay, Artistic Director | Nicolay Dance Works

Dana Nicolay drawing on his international background in ballet, contemporary dance and Laban Movement Analysis, strives to create dances that speak clearly and truly of human experience. His body of nearly 50 concert works has produced numerous awards and recognitions from organizations such as the American College Dance Festival Association, Regional Dance America, and the Mid-America Dance Network. He pursues an active free-lance career as a teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator. He holds the MFA in modern dance from TCU, is a Certified Laban/ Bartenieff Movement Analyst and holds the rank full professor of dance at Sam Houston State University.

Robert ClarkRobert Clark

Robert Clark earned his B.A. in Dance Performance from New Mexico State University. During his career he has worked with international and nationally recognized choreographers such as Eddy Ocampo, Bill Evans, Eddy Oroyan, Carl Flink and Dana Nicolay. His career has taken him from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, the Twin Cites and now Huntsville, Texas. Over the last three years Robert has begun pursuing lighting design and has lit music, dance and theater experiences including Hot Chelle Rae, Skillet, Afterimages, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Robert is now in his first year as a graduate student at Sam Houston State University and has recently been honored with the opportunity to dance for the Nicolay Dance Works.

Randi ColleyRandi Colley

Randi Colley currently studies dance at Sam Houston State University. Previously she trained with Scott Conway, Roxanna Pena and Buddy and Susan Trevino at the San Antonio School for the Performing Arts and with Trinette Singleton, Diane Orio, and Willy Shives at the Joffrey Workshop Texas. Her studies include ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance as well some flamenco and highland dancing. She is a former member of San Antonio’s Alamo City Dance Company (ACDC) where she performed contemporary works such as Suite Sinatra, Quatre Contempora, and Salute to Gershwin, as well as classical works such as Paquita, Les Sylphides, and Pas de Quatre. At SHSU she has performed in faculty and guest artist’s works ranging from classical ballet to theatrical tap and modern. She enjoys solving a calculus problem or two when not pursuing her passion.

Rachael CoxRachel Cox

Rachel Cox is majoring in Dance Performance at Sam Houston State University. She has studied classical and contemporary ballet with S-W School of Dance and Ballet Lubbock, and performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, Carnival of the Animals, Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Rachel spent her summers training with LoneStar Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and the Kirov Ballet. While at SHSU, she has had the opportunity to work with guest artists Gerard Theoret and Gregory Nuber, along with several of SHSU’s dance professors. In addition to her love for performing, she is also passionate about teaching young girls ballet at Studio C Dance Academy in Huntsville. After obtaining her degree, Rachel would like to dance for a contemporary ballet company.

Kaylee DeMetrotionKaylee DeMetrotion

Kaylee DeMetrotion is a Dance Performance major at Sam Houston State University. She currently resides in Allen, Texas with her parents and two brothers. She has been dancing since she was four years old. She trained for nine years at The Dance Movement in Plano, Texas including five years on their Elite Dance Company. She has tested through grade six in the ballet technique of the Cecchetti method. She has also been trained in tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, improv, ballet, and modern. She has danced professionally in Dallas and New York City with the Positive Space dance company. Her long term goal is to perform on a professional level.

Kirsten GarnerKirsten Garner

Kirsten is a BFA student at Sam Houston State University majoring in dance. Kirsten was a member of The Becky’s Academy of Dance Company in Katy, TX for ten years before she joined the ballet company BalletForte at Fort Bend Academy of Dance in Sugarland, TX. With BalletForte, Kirsten performed in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and traveled to the RDA festival in Montreal, Canada. At Sam, Kirsten has had the opportunity to perform in multiple shows and had the opportunity to work with guest artist Maurice Causey. After graduating, Kirsten looks forward to continuing her dance career.

Timithy HolecekTimithy Holecek

Timithy Holecek graduated from New Mexico State University with a BA in Dance Performance and Production where he worked with several international guest choreographers. He has also worked as a guest artist for Noble Motion Dance in their Fall concert of 2013, Collide. He is currently attending Sam Houston State University to complete his MFA in Dance. His credits include a Gala adjudicated choreography at the American College Dance Festival hosted 2012 in Laredo, Texas and chosen as an alternate selection for the national conference held at the John F. Kennedy Center that same year.

Dene KiblingerDene Kiblinger

Dene Kiblinger is a freshman at Sam Houston State University pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. He began dancing at the age of 13 through breaking and hip-hop and once in high school he began classical dance instruction under Fayla Curry in the Klein Oak Dance Company. Through KODC he was able to work with and take class from many great artists such as Lauren Anderson, Company E, Dominic Walsh, Dawn Dippel, and many others. He also trained at Progressions Performing Arts where he was able to dance in their productions as lead roles in The Nutcracker and Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. Dene is very grateful to be able to work with the amazing faculty at SHSU and is very excited for his future in dance.

Brianna McCrayBrianna McCray

Brianna S. McCray is sophomore at Sam Houston State University pursing her B.F.A. in Dance. She graduated from G.W. Carver Magnet High School in Houston, Texas. She has performed with the Carver Dance Company, Aldine Dance Company, and Red Door Productions all under the direction of Sarita Salinas. She has studied ballet, jazz, modern, Horton, graham, African, and hip-hop. Brianna has performed at events such as Chevy’s 4th of July Freedom Over Texas Kid’s Stage, Groundbreaking and Opening Ceremony of the Houston Zoo’s African Rainforest, the Houston Thanksgiving Parade, Jewish Community Center’s Triple Play, Dancescape at Hobby Center’s Zilkah Hall, and much more. She has also had the opportunity to be casted in many shows in SHSU’s Department of Dance such as Spectrum, ROY.G.BIV, Senior Studio, Dances @ 8, and various Thesis concerts.

Cody MileyCody Miley

Cody Miley starts off this season as a founding member of Nicolay Dance Works. This will be his second year at Sam Houston State University as a Theatre Major. He made his debut at Sam Houston in the Spring 2013 Spectrum concert where he was in a piece choreographed by Dana Nicolay called, "Shaving the Stone." While at Sam Houston, he has had the opportunity to perform as a dancer with Bayou City Performing Arts Choir and Gay Men's Chorus of Houston in two of their season's productions, at Cullen Theatre as well as Miller Outdoor Theatre. He previously attended McLennan Community College in Waco, TX where he began his dance training with Jerry MacLauchlin. It was then where he discovered his passion for dance, after he performed in Waco Hall at Baylor University for Waco's annual Cotton Palace Pageant. After graduation, Cody plans on pursuing a career in performing arts whether it'd be Broadway, a cruise line or a dance company, every audience needs a story.

Alyssa MoralesAlyssa Morales

Alyssa Morales was trained in classical ballet under the direction of Chung-Lin and Enrica Tseng at Ballet Center of Fort Worth from 2008-2011. She was a member of Ballet Frontier of Texas as well as the Academy Dance Company at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts (FWAFA). She has had the opportunity to work with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater as their stage manager, and sound crew for NobleMotion Dance. Alyssa is currently a junior at Sam Houston State University where she is pursuing her BFA in Dance.

Dat NguyenDat Nguyen

Dat Nguyen came from Vietnam and started dancing at age 20 under the instruction of Jilissa Cotten at Texas A M University Corpus Christi. He continued his training at Corpus Christi Concert Ballet and later at Butler Community School. He has twice served as counselor at Burklyn Ballet Theatre summer intensive program, where he had the opportunity to study with Arthur Leeth, John Gardner, Amanda McKerrow, Helen Starr, Alun Jones, Robert Mills, Julia Gleich and Thom Clower. He is pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance at Sam Houston State University. He is glad to be a part of Nicolay Dance Works.

Carina TorresCarina Torres

Carina Torres is pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University. A high school graduate from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Tx, where she joined a ballet folklorico company; LunaSol. At BTWHSPVA, she experienced many master classes by different choreographers and a variety of dance styles such as ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, world dance, musical theater, and contemporary. She has had the privilege of being cast in various SHSU Dance performances along with guest artist Gina Bolles Sorensen.

Thomas WilliamsThomas Williams

Thomas Williams is a Musical Theatre Major at Sam Houston State and will graduate this May with a BFA. While studying in the Department of Theatre and Musical Theater, he has performed in multiple productions including 'Hair' the musical and 'A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum.' He will be performing later this spring as Cliff, in the SHSU production of 'Cabaret'. He is extremely excited and honored to dance with Nicolay Dance Works and is looking forward to this opportunity to grow and perform. He is thankful for all that he has learned alongside these dancers as well as from Dana Nicolay and his wife Betty.

Elijah GibsonElijah Gibson, Guest Artist

Teacher and choreographer in demand, is from San Diego, California, where he attended San Diego School for the Performing Arts. Mr. Gibson is overjoyed to have joined the faculty of his Alma Mater at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography. He received his Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Mr. Gibson joined Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago in 2000 where he performed for eight years. He has worked with or performed the works of the late Gus Giordano, Margo Sappington, Christopher Huggins, Jon Lehrer, Mia Michaels, Liz Imperio, Randy Duncan, Tony Powell, Ron De Jesus, and Davis Robertson among many others. He’s also had the privilege of guest performing with Instruments of Movement, Cirqua Rivera Dance Theater, and Especialty Tap Chicago just to name a few. He has performed and taught throughout the United States as well as in Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Latvia, Spain, Ecuador, Canada, and Mexico. Mr. Gibson has served on the faculties of the American College Dance Festival Association, Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Leon Dance Arts NY, and Key West Modern Dance just to name a few. Dance companies have performed his choreography nationally and internationally such as Nomi Lamad, Inaside Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Jayson Tisa Dance Company, City Dance Company of Houston, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II, and Naway Dance Company, as well by university dance ensembles throughout the country. Upon his transition into teaching in higher education, he has been on faculty at Shenandoah University and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been fortunate to dabble in every aspect of he arts from dance, theater, and film.

MItchell CroninMItchell Cronin, Technical Director

J. Mitchell Cronin is delighted to be making his debut with Nicolay Dance Works. Mitchell has his BFA in Theatre: Design and Technology from Sam Houston State University, received training at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas, and is currently serving as the Interim Technical Director for the SHSU Department of Dance. Recent designs credits include The Pastry Prince with Houston Grand Opera's Opera to Go, Dance Spectrum: Vantage Point and ROYGBIV: Encompassing Bodies with SHSU Dance, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with SHSU Theatre, Texas Dance Improvisation Festival hosted at SHSU,  and Lilly’s Pure Plastic Purse with Mainstreet Theatre for Youth. More information available at

Mirannda LindbergMirannda Lindberg, Videographer

Mirannda E. Lindberg achieved her Bachelor's of Science in Dance at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she studied dance, choreography, lighting design and technical theatre as an undergraduate. She is currently studying for her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University where she has begun to expand her technical training through integrated technology studies including projection design, lighting design, dance for film, and stage design while dabbling in photography in her spare time. Mirannda is proud to be a part of Nicolay Dance Works as a videographer and looks forward to continue working with the company.