Who we are

Whitney Renfroe, Director

Whitney has been immersed in dance all of her life. From a young age she was never far from the studio, and continued her training at Birmingham-Southern College on a merit awarded scholarship. She obtained a degree in Dance Performance in 2009, along with the honor of receiving the Fine Arts Award for Excellence in Dance. After graduation, she spent a few years in the classical ballet world, dancing as a company member for Atlanta Festival Ballet and Birmingham Ballet. In 2013, she shifted her focus to modern and contemporary dance when she and her husband moved to Boston, MA. While on the east coast, she was delighted to dance for BoSoma Dance Company, under the direction of Katherin Hooper. Whitney also did some freelance performance work with SunDanceX, a contemporary ballet company directed by David Sun.

Upon her return to Birmingham, Whitney was inspired by the growth of her hometown. She founded Formations Dance Company in 2019 with aspirations of elevating the flourishing dance scene here in the Magic City. Around this time she also completed her RYT-200 yoga teacher certification. Renfroe’s approach to technique and choreography incorporates yogic breath and postural approaches to deliver a an experience that ignites the body and the spirit. In 2020 she recruited Nell Goza to co-direct the company with her, as the two women share the goal of making dance relevant in today’s culture. She is thrilled to see the company growing and attracting new audiences with each season.

Cora Schimke

Cora is originally from De Soto, KS. She attended the University of Kansas where she received a BA in Dance and Human Biology with a pre-med emphasis. Cora spent four years dancing as a company member with Inaside Chicago Dance in Chicago before moving to Birmingham and joining Formations in 2020. Aside from dancing, Cora is a personal trainer and dance teacher. She is so excited to be a part of the Formations family!

Kelsey Clearman

Kelsey Clearman is pleased to be dancing with Formations after studying dance throughout her life and during her undergraduate years at Kennesaw State University. When she’s not in the studio, you can find our dancing scientist in the lab at The University of Alabama, where she is pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Sciences!

Elsa Cooper, PC Chris Clark

Elsa Cooper began her dance training at Louisville Ballet before moving to Washington state and joining Evergreen City Ballet. She taught and performed professionally with them as Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker and various roles in original contemporary works. She then taught and performed with Chattanooga Dance Theatre, Children’s Ballet Theatre (Spring Hill, TN), and Birmingham Ballet. Elsa is also a mom to three beautiful children who make it even more fulfilling to be returning to the stage with Formations this season.

Erin McMahon

Erin McMahon joined Formations in 2019, and is thrilled to be able to dance while she attends The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the youngest member of the company, but don’t let that fool you. Erin is a powerhouse, full of athleticism and intensity that you won’t want to miss on stage!

Patricia Colón
PC Sarah White

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Patricia Colón began dancing in 2008 under Sophy Sanfiorenzo and Joey Chevres’s guidance. In 2012, she joined the school of “Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico (BNPR)” to further her dance education.
She later became a member of the professional company of “Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico” in 2015 where she performed in numerous classical and neoclassical ballets. 
In 2018, while dancing with Centro Danza, directed by Laura Valentin, Colón danced and choreographed for the Twenty-First International Dance Festival in Habana, Cuba where she obtained an honorable mentioned with her choreography “Sin Ataduras.”
 Patricia began her college education in 2015 at the University of Puerto Rico. In 2018, she transferred to Belhaven University in Jackson, MS to further her dance education. During her time at Belhaven University, she performed various solo works and group pieces on the University’s dance concerts. She graduated in 2021 with a Bachelors of Arts in dance and a minor in Business Administration.

Emily Tincher

Emily Tincher spent the majority of her young dance career in Central Pennsylvania with Movement Laboratory.  It was here that she was introduced to a wide range of dance styles, including Ballet, Jazz, Horton, and Graham technique.  In 2011, Emily graduated with a BA in Dance Performance from Point Park University.  In 2012, Emily began her professional career with AROVA Contemporary Ballet in Birmingham, AL.  In 2016, she became a freelance artist throughout Birmingham and the Southeast, performing roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Birmingham Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Tarentella in Birmingham Ballet’s Swan Lake, and one of the female soloists in Thiago Fragoso’s music video.  Emily loves bringing her passion for dance to the stage with Formations.

unless otherwise credited, all photos are by Melissa Dooley….who, if you haven’t gathered by now, is just fabulous.

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