Dance Source Houston Announces 2021 Groundwork Grantees

Mollie Haven Miller
Executive Director
Dance Source Houston

Dance Source Houston Announces 2021 Groundwork Grantees

Dance Source Houston is pleased to announce the recipients of 2021 Groundwork Grants, including 17 dance nonprofit organizations and fiscally sponsored projects. Awardees include 6’, Ashley Horn, Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre, Creative Minds Collaborative, Dance Ad Deum, Frame Dance, Group Acorde, Hope Stone Dance, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Indian Performing Arts Samskriti, NobleMotion Dance, Open Dance Project, Pilot Dance Project, Psophonia Dance Company, Silambam Houston and Social Movement Contemporary Dance. Each grantee will receive a $5,000 operating support grant.

The Groundwork Grant program, now in its second year, was created out of a need for additional funding sources for small to midsize dance companies in the Greater Houston area, which was identified as a priority in The State of Houston Dance report published in 2019. Given the events of the past year the need for funding in the dance community, as with so many others, is even greater now.

“When we announced the first round of grantees in March of 2020 it was just days before the pandemic landed in Houston,” said Mollie Haven Miller, Executive Director of Dance Source Houston. “These funds became even more vital to the 12 organizations awarded and aided in their navigating of the unchartered waters of the past year. We are grateful to be able to offer a second year of Groundwork Grants to a larger cohort of grantees. We know this support is important during a time of continued uncertainty, that is also filled with much hope for the future.”

Meet the Groundwork Grantee Organizations & Fiscally Sponsored Projects


Toni Leago Valle is the Artistic Director and choreographer for 6’.  Valle is trained in contemporary, modern, and aerial dance.  Valle is Professor of Practice at University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance.  Valle has been the Company Manager for Karen Stokes Dance since 2010. Valle is a certified level 1 aerial instructor and a certified Level 1 GYROTONIC(R) Method instructor.

Ad Deum

Ad Deum is a globally-engaged professional modern/contemporary dance company comprised of artists from diverse cultures. Founded by Artistic Director Randall Flinn, in 1991, international and national dance artists have relocated to Houston to work in a professional dance community that pursues an evident and enduring mission of hope, unity, compassion, and healing through the gift of dance.

Ashley Horn

Ashley Horn is a Houston-based choreographer, dancer, costume and set designer, video, and installation artist. Her work has an immersive quality exemplified by her unique and highly detailed production elements paired with athletic, innovative, and intensely human movement vocabulary.

Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre

Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre strives to enhance cultural awareness through performing arts and develop aspiring performers in the diverse populations of the Bay Area Houston area.

Creative Minds Collaborative

Nao Kusuzaki founded Creative Minds Collaborative (CMC) in 2016 with the mission to cultivate cultural understanding between Houston’s diverse communities and artists through creation and presentation of collaborative dance works and educational programming. CMC’s mobile model offers meaningful interactions for the public through programming across educational, cultural, and artistic sectors.

Frame Dance

In 2010, Lydia Hance founded Frame Dance to bring radically inclusive and deeply personal contemporary dance to Houston. In addition to our own performances, we curate, choreograph, and present three popular annual programs: METROdances, Frame x Frame Film Fest, and our Composer Competition. Frame Dance offers dance education to Houstonians across the lifespan that is equal parts keen and kind.

Group Acorde

Group Acorde is a performance company formed by two contemporary dancers and two improvisational musicians, who innovatively collaborate in all aspects of the creation process.  Its mission is to cultivate and educate audiences through live performances and its main programs are public performances and “pay what you can” outreach classes to the community.

Hope Stone Dance

Founded in 1997, Hope Stone Dance (HSD) brought a new energy to Houston’s modern dance scene. Over 20 years later, HSD continues to present work that’s “intellectually challenging, profoundly human and fresh with humor.” The company is recognized for promoting collaboration in Houston’s artistic community, and known as an ensemble with “effortless partnering” and “gorgeous, big-hearted movement.

Houston Contemporary Dance Company

Houston Contemporary Dance Company is a fresh, brand-new arts organization whose mission is to ignite contemporary dance by providing world-class professional repertory concert performances and community engagement activities that are accessible to all regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, or nationality.

Houston Metropolitan Dance Center 

Houston Metropolitan Dance Center is committed to providing accessible, inclusive space for the community by offering space to the dance arts community, providing thousands of Houston’s youth, PK through high school, with arts education programming and providing classes designed to enhance each student’s experience to the fullest in a stimulating and creative atmosphere.

NobleMotion Dance

NobleMotion Dance is recognized for their intense physicality and unique collaborations. NMD accolades include a feature on the award-winning TV show American Crime. Since 2009, they have collaborated with talented technology designers, light artists, composers, poets, A.I., and industrial designers. Their season consists of evening length productions, touring, educational components, and NMD2.

Open Dance Project

Founded in 2015 by Annie Arnoult, Open Dance Project (ODP) is an ensemble-driven dance theater company dedicated to developing and presenting world-class immersive performances in Houston and beyond. ODP’s work has been touted as “hands down the most polished and potent dance theater work piece to come out of Houston in the last ten years” (Nancy Wozny, Arts & Culture TX).

Psophonia Dance Company

Psophonia Dance Company (PDC) is dedicated making dances that entertain, intrigue, educate and inspire learning through collaboration and interaction with local artists and organizations.  PDC is partnering with MECA, a community-based nonprofit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts education and cultural programming, academic excellence, and support services.


Samskriti, established in 1995, presents high caliber performances by professional artists from around the world, and organizes arts-related seminars and conferences that are unique and outstanding, and through all these, increases audience awareness and appreciation for Indian performing arts.

Silambam Houston

Silambam Houston founded in 2002, seeks to increase the appreciation and understanding of Indian artistic traditions across cultural boundaries, through comprehensive arts education, outreach, and exceptional arts programming, and by creating opportunities for young artistes to develop, perform, and collaborate.

Social Movement Contemporary Dance

Social Movement Contemporary Dance (SMCD) promotes social consciousness though creative arts and community engagement by expressing the breadth and depth of the human condition with dance and storytelling. SMCD was founded under the Artistic Directorship of Elijah Alhadji Gibson in 2019.

The Pilot Dance Project

The Pilot Dance Project is a eighteen-year-old arts organization with the mission “to empower and transform communities through innovative dance, theater, and visual art.” Under the directorship of Adam Castan͂eda, the organization produces a full season of professional Modern dance, as well as the annual Houston Fringe Festival.

About Dance Source Houston

Dance Source Houston is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the diverse individuals and organizations working in the field of dance throughout the Greater Houston region by means of advocacy, inclusive community engagement and support services. Founded in 2005, Dance Source Houston is a resource for all things dance in the Greater Houston area and provides programs and services to address the evolving needs of the local dance community. Dance Source Houston is funded in part support from The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, the Heimbinder Family Foundation, Houston Endowment, Mid America Arts Alliance, and Texas Commission on the Arts.


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