Faces of ACDT


Susan Collard


Susan has been dancing all her life. She grew up studying Classical Ballet and was introduced to Modern Dance at the age of 20 through a graduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia. She transitioned into Modern Dance after many seasons of study at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC and The Colorado Dance Festival in Boulder, CO.

She’s traveled extensively, deriving her choreographic inspiration from diverse cultural experiences. And has toured with her company Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre to Cuba, France, Mexico, Canada and Colombia — creating international exchanges, with dance artists from these countries, along the way.

Recognized for her choreography inspired by female artists and international collaborations, Susan has also choreographed for film and theatre. She is currently working with international artists on a new collaborative venture White Dog Dance Project International.

Susan is the Founder and Director of the New Studio of Dance, and the creator of the Asheville Fringe Festival and 48 Hours Dance Project, as well as Asheville’s first black box theatre The BeBe.

Giles Collard

Giles Collard


Giles is the Co-Director of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre. He’s lived abroad in France and Israel, and has performed internationally. Giles currently teaches Modern and Boy’s Dance at The New Studio of Dance in Asheville. In addition to dance, Giles is a fencer and instructs students in Foil and Saber Technique. He has performed with ACDT since 1986 and most recently premiered his work at the Asheville Fringe Festival and Men Dancing IV.



Caroline Althof

Studied Dance & Choreography at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro – UNCG


Sharon Cooper

Sharon Cooper was born in Winston-Salem, NC. She began dancing at the age of 5 at Art-Is-House. She later trained at UNCSA, starting in the preparatory after-school program and then the Modern Dance program from 1993-1995. She received a BA in Dance and Communication Studies from UNCC in 2000. Sharon danced with ACDT from 2000 until 2005. After taking some time off, she returned in 2010. She has performed in the US, Cuba, and Mexico with ACDT. In addition to dancing, Sharon is also a proud mom and a pediatric nurse.


Elizabeth Huntley

Elizabeth Huntley is a recent graduate from Appalachian State University with a degree in Dance Studies. Before college she danced with Idea Factory Inc. Studios and has attended the American Dance Festival. She looks forward to a career in dance, Pilates, and teaching. This is her first year dancing with ACDT and is grateful to Susan and Giles for this opportunity.


Megan Jackson

Megan graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BA in Dance. After graduating, she danced with Roanoke City Modern Ensemble and taught various forms at Roanoke Ballet Theatre. Also, she performed at the Greenbrier Resort as a Springhouse dancer. Megan is thrilled to be a part of ACDT and looks forward to their many artistic endeavors!


Sara Marie Keller

Sara in entering her 5th season at ACDT. She is from Anchorage, Alaska and graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she received her BFA in Contemporary Dance. She danced with the Alaska Dance Theatre, as well as, the Martha Connection Kinetic Works. This is the second year she has been a part of the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre.

ACDT Board of Directors

Jim Julien

Joe Karpen

May Castelloe

Sandee Johnson

Dena Gettleman

Debbie Haeger