Bare Bait Dance

Bare Bait DanceFounded in the fall of 2011, Bare Bait Dance offers fresh, original, professional dance-works in Montana for Montanans. Under the direction of Joy French and Kelly Bouma, Bare Bait Dance company aims to: increase the availability of contemporary dance to both the Missoula community as well as rural Montanan communities which are largely under served in the performing arts, build an accessibility to dance by producing concerts that speak directly to contemporary western audiences and by fostering more possibilities for dance education both in the public schools and our communities, collaborate directly with local artists (filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, directors, actors) to create interdisciplinary dance productions, strengthen the Montanan dance community by providing paid performance jobs to highly skilled professional dancers, nurturing their creative work as choreographers, and facilitating opportunities for them to expand as teachers, present performers and choreographers from around the region and nation in order to cultivate a richer appreciation for contemporary dance and dance field as a whole.
Joy French
(Co-Director and Bare Bait Dance Founder)
Joy French is a dancer, choreographer, videographer and producer. After earning her MFA in Performance and Choreography at the University of Colorado Boulder, Joy moved to Missoula, MT and in 2011 founded Bare Bait Dance (BBD) – currently Montana’s only professional contemporary dance company. Joy created BBD to be a home for dancers in the region and to produce nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. In addition to BBD, Joy is on faculty at The UniversityBare Bait Dance of Montana, teaches in Missoula high school’s through BBD’s Montana MoDE (Model Dance Educator) program and has been performing professionally with Headwaters Dance Co. and the CoMotion Dance Project. Beyond Montana, Joy has taught and creatively collaborated with Bellingham Repertory Dance, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, and Ursinus College.
Kelly Bouma
Kelly Bouma is a performance artist based in Missoula, MT. Originally from the Chicago area, Kelly has worked on TV, film and theater projects in New York, London and Chicago before moving out west to Jackson, WY. There she became a company member of Off Square Theatre Company, both performing and teaching with guest artists from all over the world. Inspired by the Rockies and the mountain-town lifestyle, Kelly completed her MFA in Acting at the University of Montana where she continues to teach Acting and Physical Performance.
Codi Briscoe
Codi Briscoe’s passion for dance was sparked by watching her mother perform and teach ballet. Codi danced throughout childhood with her local dance studio based in Pendleton, OR. The studio performed at national and Bare Bait Danceworld competitions. She has recently graduated from The University of Montana with a BS in exercise science and a minor in dance, and currently applying to physical therapy graduate school. During BBD’s 7th season, Codi was selected as the co-director assistant internship. She’s thrilled to be continuing with BBD this year as a fully company member!
Kaitlin Kinsley
Kaitlin Kinsley was born and raised in a suburb of The Big Apple and started dancing when she was five years old. She discovered her true love for the west while attending the University of Montana. She received a BA in Dance from UM in 2013. Now entering her 21st year of dancing, she is honored to be dancing with BBD for her 4th season. Kaitlin also proudly teaches Dance Integration for SPARK!.
Allison McKinney
Allison (Herther) McKinney was born and raised in South Dakota where she first began her early dance training in a variety of forms. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. In previous years she has danced for Headwaters Dance Company, The CoMotion Dance Project, and Bare Bait Dance. She is thrilled to be dancing with Bare Bait as a full company member for her 2nd season.
Tara McFarland
Tara McFarland was born in Salmon, Idaho and started dancing at the age of 3. She has a Bachelors of Science in Dance from the University of Idaho and a Master’s of Science in Dance Science from City University of London (Laban). She teaches jazz and ballet at the Downtown Dance Collective and On Center Performing Arts. She has danced professionally in Denver and Seattle with Louder Than Words Dancetheatre, Evolving Doors Dance, Relay Dance Collective, and as a guest withPrint Stop 3rd Law Dance/Theatre. She is delighted to join Bare Bait for her 1st season and share her love of dance with Montana.
Jessica Shontz
Jessica Shontz has been in love with dance since before her first memories. Class and performances are where she finds her zen, so she’s reveling in her sixth season with BBD. Jess has been fortunate to call Montana home for her entire life, and she wishes to give BBD her eternal gratitude for spreading dance in Missoula. She has trained in Ballet and Modern for over 21 years, and has a BFA in Dance from the University of Montana.

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