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Kelsey Franco

Artistic Director, Founder & Choreographer

As an adult, dreams and years of hard work often get put on the back burner of life. I want Grounded Dance Company to provide an opportunity for those who have had to push dancing aside to bring it back into their life. I want dancers of all shapes, sizes and life stories to help bring the art of dancing to the artistic community of Salida. I can't wait to see what beautiful moments transpire and evolve through Grounded Dance Company.

My story.

Grounded Dance Company has been a lifelong vision for as long as I can remember. I started dancing at the age of 3, and grew up in the competition world. Performing became my world, and creating my own content brought me peace. During the high school years I started teaching and choreographing, which allowed me to branch out more into the NoCo (Northern Colorado) community.

College took me out of state to Mercyhurst College in PA, where I trained with a ballet master from Utah's Ballet West and a company member from the Pilobolus modern dance company. I was fortunate to learn and immerse myself into the swing culture as well as develop a love for weight sharing partner work. Mercyhurst was primarily Ballet and Modern, but I introduced hip hop and jazz funk, which led me to offering my own class through the dance department (open to all students) during my Freshman year.

Life situations brought me back to Colorado where I attended Colorado State University and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Microbiology and A Bachelor's of Art in Performing arts with a Dance Concentration. During this time, I had multiple pieces of choreography selected for showcases as well as other NoCo professional opportunities. I was a member of a performance group that worked as backup dancers for up and coming R&B artists, including the opener for a Ying Yang Twins concert in Kansas City. Another unique opportunity was performing in a fashion show for the Pride fest in Denver.

I was close to moving to L.A to pursue the commercial dance route when I met my now husband. I went back to school to become a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and stayed true to my Colorado roots. I am proud to say that I have used both degrees at the same time, working at a metro Denver Hospital as a Microbiologist and dancing professionally in the Denver based company Louder Than Words Dance Theater. 

Another strong influence the last 20+ years has been my yoga and meditation practice. I plan to incorporate what I have learned through my yoga practice into the events I have planned for in nature. 

Even though I took a bit of a dancing hiatus (except for many dance parties in the living room) to have my two beautiful children, I have never been more inspired to create and share my love for movement. 

My Work.

Well, some of my work...because you don't need a novel.

Teaching: A mix of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary and Jazz Funk at levels from Beginning to Advanced. I have taught at Broadway Bound Dance Academy, Canyon Concert Ballet, Mountain Gymnastics, local high school dance teams and all star cheer groups, gymnasts and more.

Performing: Commercial and Concert Dance including Aspen Arts Festival, New Visions Dance Festival, Louder Than Words Dance Theater, EDGE Performing Arts group, back up dancer for R&B artists, Denver Pride Fest, Canyon Concert Nutcracker and more than I can remember.

Choreographing: Commercial and Concert Dance including Aspen Arts Festival, New Visions Dance Festival, EDGE Performing Arts group, Canyon Concert Ballet, many years of competition pieces at Broadway Bound, Dance and Cheer teams, and Eagles Chicks (Eagles Hockey Dance Team).

My Vision.

To bring the art of dance into the culturally rich community in Salida Colorado by offering both Grounded On Stage and Grounded in Nature.

Future aspirations:

  • Utilize local musicians and artists in collaboration for performance opportunities.

  • Create a Jr. Company to help cultivate a pathway for teens to gain experience and knowledge about working in the Performing Arts beyond school

  • Work with local youth music programs to offer opportunities for future composers to create and record or perform alongside dancers on stage.

  • Have a space dedicated to all thing Grounded Dance Company that converts from a rehearsal space to a performance space. This will create an opportunity to teach every aspect of putting on a production.

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