Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top 10 Choreographers

Photo Courtesy of Sophia Torres
Members of the Psophonia Dance Company

Few cities in the south boast as deep and varied a dance community as Houston. We could easily name our favorite 20 dancemakers, but we've kept the list to the top ten.

10. Sophia Torres of Psophonia Dance

Active as a teacher (at both the University of Houston and Houston Community College), Sophia Torres is co-founder and now sole artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company, a troupe she started in 1998 (co-founder Sonia Noriega has left the group). Working in an "athletic, visual, audience-friendly, and approachable" style, Torres laughingly admits that she's not only the choreographer for Psophonia, she's the janitor, costume designer, graphic artist and public relations rep.

Photo Courtesy of Hope Stone, Inc.
Hope Stone members in i scream
9. Jane Weiner of Hope Stone, Inc.

Dedicated to creating work that can be described as "off the wall" and "non-traditional," Jane Weiner has led Hope Stone, Inc. since 1997. Hope Stone serves as a dance company, community art outreach program, dance school and general gathering place for dancers, choreographers and fans that aren't afraid of seeing different sized and shaped bodies on stage. The above photo is from Weiner's 2013 production i scream.

Photo by John Ramspott
From The Liberated Accident
8. Sue Schroeder of CORE Performance Company

Sue Schroeder founded Several Dancers Core in 1980. That company became CORE Performance Company. Schroeder makes our list because of her continued collaborations with other choreographers, dancers, musicians and artists. One notable work is an evening-length dance version of Handel's Messiah featuring Houston conductor Antoine Plante and Mercury (formerly Mercury Baroque Ensemble).

Photo by Lynn Lane
Rednerrus Feil Rehearsal

7. Amy Llanes of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company

Founder/ choreographer for Rednerrus Feil Dance Company, Llanes recently teamed up with jhon r. stronks's " the sunlight" to present Venturing Out, a series informal performances featuring work from Houston area dancemakers and dancers. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Sam Houston State University. Llanes explained her company's name and her artistic philosophy during a 2013 interview with Houston Press writer Adam Castañeda. "Rednerrus is surrender spelled backwards and feil is a word scramble for life. As a choreographer, that is exactly what I try to do. My intention is to be completely open, vulnerable and surrendering of my innermost self for the creative process. Most of the works I create stem from a moment, idea or image from my own personal life or the persons immediately surrounding me."

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And I would add Harrison Guy of Urban Souls as well as Randall Flinn of AdDeum Dance. Both are great choreographers with very strong dance companies.


I would add Maggie Lasher of China Cat Dance. Her company regularly performs fire dance, and her last show had gorgeous costumes made from colored trash bags!

Jacqueline Nalett
Jacqueline Nalett

Add to list? Becky Valls, Harrison Guy, Jacqueline Nalett, Teresa Chapman, Toni Valle


I don't think any of the folks mentioned have had sold out shows in NYC the way Dominic has. Perhaps I don't get the critieria.

Olivia Online
Olivia Online

I wish we could have done a top 20 list, there are certainly enough choreographers out there doing good work that deserve recognition. (Dominic Walsh is a personal fave.) 


 I appreciate that HP has created this list-- hooray for all those recognized! But I'd agree with the other commenters: I'd expand the list to include Dominic Walsh, Lydia Hance, Jennifer Wood, and Amy Ell.  


No Lydia Hance? 

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