Urbanity Dance exists to inspire, engage, and empower individuals and communities through the art of dance and movement. The Company’s hyper-athletic aesthetic aims to bridge the gap between concert and commercial dance. Known for its effortless curves and use of breath, Urbanity places a strong emphasis on the foundations of modern, jazz, and ballet, while also utilizing the highly detailed gesture work and hard-hitting articulation usually associated with hip-hop.
Urbanity was voted Boston’s Best by Improper Bostonian in 2013, announced Best of Boston by Boston Magazine in 2015, recently shortlisted for Bostinno’s 50 on Fire, and named a Top Ten Critics’ Pick by The Boston Globe.
The ensemble has presented at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Institute of Contemporary Art, and venues across New England, New York, Virginia, Texas and Florida.
In addition to the professional company, Urbanity runs a contemporary dance school for students of all ages and has numerous partnerships with schools, hospitals, and juvenile detention centers in the greater Boston community.
Betsi Graves, founder and director of Urbanity Dance, is originally from Kansas and Orlando, Florida, and moved to Boston in 2000. Her dance training includes studies in ballet, jazz, and modern dance under the direction of Gaymarie Tomlinson and later, performing with Southern Ballet Theatre, now Orlando Ballet. Graves is an alumna of Jacob’s Pillow Choreographer’s Lab (2006), Green Street Studios Emerging Artists Program (2008), and holds a BA in English from Boston College. As a choreographer, Ms. Graves has garnered grant support from Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Boston and Boston Dance Alliance. She is honored to be a leader within Boston’s rising cultural landscape, thrilled to be a part of the global community elevating contemporary dance and grateful to all supporters who have touched Urbanity over the years.
Meghan (Meg) Anderson hails from central Massachusetts where she began her early dance career. She continued her dance education at Dean College and graduated with her BA in Dance in 2012. Since graduation Meg has had the opportunity to dance in prestigious theaters such as the Ailey Theater, Jordan Hall, and the Paramount Theater. Recently Meg was honored to be one of the only two female dancers to ever perform Pilobolus’ famous founding quartet “Ocellus” alongside fellow Urbanity Dancer Jamie Lovell. Throughout her four seasons with Urbanity, Meg has had the pleasure of working with many notable choreographers such as Betsi Graves, Marcus Schulkind, Jaclyn Walsh, and Andy Noble. She has also had the opportunity to present her own choreography, collaborating with such organizations as Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Boston Children’s Choir and Emerson Dance Ensemble.
Dorothy Cherry was born August 5, 1994 and is a native of Atlanta, GA. There she trained at the Decatur School of Ballet in Decatur, GA starting at the age of 4. She continued to train in Decatur up until attending Tri-Cities High School with an acceptance into the dance magnet program. At Tri-Cities she worked such artists such as Camille Brown, Dawn Axam, Bridgette Moore, Juel Lane, and more. After graduating she received a scholarship to the Boston Conservatory, and graduated with her BFA in Dance at The Boston Conservatory in May 2016. There she worked with Danny Burcheski, Dwight Rhoden, Uri Sands, Darrell Moultrie, and Andrea Miller; as well as the faculty of the conservatory: Marcus Schulkind, Adrianna Suarez, Denise Pons, Tommy Neblett, Jimmy Viera, Leslie Woodies, and more.
Alexander Davis is a graduate of Keene State College where he received a BA in English: Writing and a BA in Theatre and Dance: Choreography and Performance, under the mentorship of William Seigh. Alex has performed and presented his choreographic work at conferences, concerts, festivals, in open fields, art museums, abandoned buildings, street corners, walkways, gardens and (most recently) his mother’s kitchen. Alex is a member of Urbanity’s Second Company and has worked with a variety of artists including Betsi Graves, Jessica Muise, Cynthia McLaughlin, Rebecca Stenn, Marcia Murdock, Jennifer Pollins, Candice Salyers, Andy Noble, and Monica Bill Barnes. Alex is also an accomplished arts administrator, fiber artist, sexual consent educator, and a mediocre comedian.
Haley Day grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After training for several years as a competitive gymnast, Haley found ballet and began her exploration of the dance world. She graduated from the University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2013 with a BFA in Dance Performance with a dual emphasis in ballet and modern techniques. During college, Haley had the pleasure of dancing as a guest artist in the corps of Kansas City Ballet’s nutcracker; she was also a guest artist for Western Oklahoma Ballet Theater and a dancer in Owen/Cox Contemporary Dance Group in Kansas City.
Katie Grenier grew up in central Massachusetts where she acquired in-depth dance training throughout her younger years. Katie continued her dance education at Dean College where she earned her BA in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography along with a minor in Psychology. She has had the utmost pleasure in learning from and working with artists such as Kristina Berger, Jeremy Ruth Howes, William Evans, Jessie Jeanne Stinnett, Yury Yanowsky, and Cheryl Madeux. With the 2018/2019 season being Katie’s first with Urbanity, she has now been working very closely with Betsi Graves and fellow Urbanity dancers and faculty. Katie also teaches throughout Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island as both a weekly instructor and guest teacher at various schools of dance. Katieis endlessly grateful for her ability to dance and share her art in the capacity that she does, and to continue her career with the inspiring artists of Urbanity Dance.
Frederick Moss is a graduate of Morehouse College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While studying at Morehouse, he began his dance training in various styles and has worked with choreographers/creators such as Dianne McIntyre, T. Lang, Okwui Okpokwasili, Jawole Zollar and Ntozake Shange. A Boston transplant, Frederick has been dancing with Urbanity Dance since 2017, and is an active member of Connections Dance Theater, a local dance collective. In addition to exploring his passion for movement and performance, Frederick is pursing a PhD in chemistry at Harvard University. Ultimately, he hopes to use dance as a vehicle for science education.
Jacob Regan began his dance life at sixteen when he transferred to Northwest School of the Arts, in Charlotte, NC. From there, he continued his study of modern dance at East Carolina University, where he found a love for choreography and improvisation. Jacob has performed in works by David Dorfman, John Dixon, Patti Weeks, and Teal Darkenwald. He has attended the summer dance programs of Doug Varone and Dancers and Bill Young. Jacob recently moved to Boston to pursue dance and is now a member of Prometheus Dance. He is also working with Zoe Dance and Contact Improv Boston.
Chun-Jou “Dream” Tsai is a native of Taiwan, with extensive knowledge of dance performance, choreography, education, and acting. Her prolific career includes touring internationally with the Lan Yang Dance Company, commercial work as lead actress/dancer in music videos, and performing with the Pascal Rioult Dance Company during their summer intensives. She has received numerous awards for her choreography and performance since 2005 as well as funding to attend the prestigious American Dance Festival and Vienna International Dance Festival (ImPulsTanz). Dream accepted a full scholarship in 2010 to attend the Case Western Reserve University MFA in Contemporary Dance program where she continued to receive accolades for her work. After coming to Boston in 2013, she joined Urbanity Dance, Luminarium Dance, LCTC Lorraine Chapman Dance and Penumbra: Movement with performances at the Boston University Dance Theatre, Dance Complex, Green Street Studios, and Boston Contemporary Dance Festival. In 2015, Dream was invited to perform in NYC SPARKS Dance festival, YOUR MOVE Dance Festival in NJ and Dancing in Streets by Somerville Arts council. Dream passes on her deep knowledge and love of this art form to her dance students each day.
The kids were all very engaged - and really wanted the program to continue all day. The teachers as well thanked me for bringing the group in- they were impressed with how they kept the kids engaged - and brought them back when they became too chatty -and how respectfully they chatted with all the kids so they all felt that their comments and questions were important...This is a great group - for all age groups - and I hope they can get to other schools in our area - I think the lessons they taught and how they taught them would really make a difference in the kid's classroom experiences.