Bachelor of Arts in Dance, UNC Charlotte (2003)
Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Hollins University (2017)
Hometown: Monroe, NC
Audrey Baran says that she “fell in love with modern/contemporary dance” at UNC Charlotte, “and it's now the focus of my professional life.” She teaches dance at Open Door Studios and Charlotte Ballet Academy and yoga at Okra – all in Charlotte. Seven years ago she founded Baran Dance. The contemporary dance company, which performs several times a year locally and regionally, frequently takes a multi-arts, experimental approach, performing in alternative spaces and incorporating local artists and musicians. Baran Dance also mentors young dancers with its apprentice program, BD2, and an outreach program through Our Bridge.
While a student at UNC Charlotte, Audrey choreographed a piece, “Multiples,” which was performed at the American College Dance Association conference. “It was the first time I created something that would be shown for an audience of more than just my peers, and in a way it set the course for the rest of my career, teaching myself to think out of my box (and create new ones).”
Audrey is impressed by the growth of the Department of Dance since she graduated. “I went through during the days when dance, theatre, music, and art were all packed into Rowe. Robinson Hall was not even a thought, and that beautiful facility is a real gem and asset to the students. The department's connection to the Charlotte arts culture is also growing stronger, and I'm excited to see how we all work together in the years to come. By becoming a dance student at UNC Charlotte, you are becoming a part of the dance community of Charlotte.”
Audrey was named the 2019 Distinguished Alumna in Dance. She has taught as an adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte for several years and in Fall 2020 became Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance.