About RED Company

Akron’s Professional Modern Dance Company

RED Company real.edge.dance  was a performing professional modern dance company that produced many dance concerts and outreach performances throughout Northeast Ohio for six seasons from 2011-2017. Founded by Executive/Artistic Director, Kelli Sanford, RED was formed exclusively for the development of artistic and creative modern dance at the highest standards within Summit County and Northeast Ohio and to promote arts awareness and dance education opportunities for community members of all ages. RED created entertaining and thought-provoking dance art that encouraged understanding of difficult issues while promoting importance of diversity within the arts and all facets of society. RED Company was a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization.


RED produced six performance seasons from 2011-2017 and achieved many accomplishments. RED produced six annual concert series that debuted more than 16 world-premiere dance works as well as original music from local composers. RED created and performed culturally significant educational outreach programs in the community, such as “The Social Order,” a program created for middle school students focusing on the subjects of bullying and social behavior; and “SKINS,” a program in collaboration with The Emily Program, exploring the topic of body image and eating disorders. “Skins” was performed at the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the 2014 San Diego International Fringe Festival in San Diego, CA,where San Diego dance critic Janice Steinberg stated, “(Sanford) opens the piece with a riveting solo, her limbs quickly curling inward and flashing out, her angularity of a piece with her high-spiked red hair. There are plenty of dances full of struggle, but not as many where you believe the struggle matters; here, you do.” 

In 2015, RED presented special dance performances of “Exploding Atoms” at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the Night Light Cinema in Akron, Ohio. RED’s outreach efforts included performing numerous dance programs for the senior citizen community members residing in various nursing home care centers in the area. RED performed a total of 46 nursing home outreach performances throughout Summit, Stark, and Wayne Counties, entertaining and enriching the lives of more than 1,000 elderly, physically, and/or mentally impaired residents with modern dance performances. RED provided world-class training to 21 apprentices who aspire to become professional dancers through RED’s Apprentice Training Program & Special Apprenticeship Program for recreational dancers of the community.

RED received support over the years from local philanthropic foundations, such as The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, The Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Akron Community Foundation, The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation, and The Ohio Arts Council, as well as many individual patrons.