2019 INSTRUCTORS

Due to unforeseen professional obligations, instructor availability is subject to change.

Leslie Peck:  June 10 - 14, Ballet Intensive:  Leslie Peck is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. She was trained by the legendary dancer Andre Eglevsky and at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. At the age of 17, Peck joined the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. She went on to dance soloist roles with the Pennsylvania Ballet and later became a principal dancer with Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet International in London and Richmond Ballet where she also served as Ballet Mistress for 16 years. She is a recognized authority on Balanchine ballets and one of the few dancers authorized to stage Balanchine ballets by the Balanchine Trust.

Leslie Peck: June 10 - 14, Ballet Intensive:

Leslie Peck is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. She was trained by the legendary dancer Andre Eglevsky and at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. At the age of 17, Peck joined the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. She went on to dance soloist roles with the Pennsylvania Ballet and later became a principal dancer with Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet International in London and Richmond Ballet where she also served as Ballet Mistress for 16 years. She is a recognized authority on Balanchine ballets and one of the few dancers authorized to stage Balanchine ballets by the Balanchine Trust.

Grayson McGuire:  July 15-19, Week 1  Grayson, originally from Kansas City, moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a career in the commercial dance industry. Represented by Clear Talent Group, Grayson is currently a member of Dana Foglia Dance and Entity Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of Marissa Osato and Will Johnston. Grayson has danced for Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Twenty One Pilots, Helene Fischer, Asia Monet, Trevor Moran and more. Currently an instructor at the renowned Murrieta Dance Project in Southern California, he has taught all over the world at various studios in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico as well as having taught on Fabrikartist Dance conventions with Lorena Ortiz. Grayson’s style infuses classical contemporary movement with a strong Hip Hop and Jazz Funk foundation for an intricate and athletic experience.


Grayson McGuire: July 15-19, Week 1

Grayson, originally from Kansas City, moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a career in the commercial dance industry. Represented by Clear Talent Group, Grayson is currently a member of Dana Foglia Dance and Entity Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of Marissa Osato and Will Johnston. Grayson has danced for Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Twenty One Pilots, Helene Fischer, Asia Monet, Trevor Moran and more. Currently an instructor at the renowned Murrieta Dance Project in Southern California, he has taught all over the world at various studios in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico as well as having taught on Fabrikartist Dance conventions with Lorena Ortiz. Grayson’s style infuses classical contemporary movement with a strong Hip Hop and Jazz Funk foundation for an intricate and athletic experience.

Marjorie Thompson: June 17 - 21, Ballet Week 2.

Marjorie trained at the School of American Ballet and while still a student, had the honor of traveling with New York City Ballet to perform Stars and Stripes for JFK’s first inaugural anniversary. At 15, she became a member of the company under Balanchine’s direction and danced with New York City Ballet at the opening of the State Theatre at Lincoln Center. The opening ballet was A Midsummer Night’s Dream restaged for the new theatre. In addition to US, Canadian and European tours, performing in the premiers of Variations, Pas de Deux and Divertissement, Metastaseis and Pithoprakta, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Harlequinade and Don Quixote, and over 40 ballets a season from the vast Balanchine repertoire, Marjorie performed in televised broadcasts of Balanchine’s Four Temperaments and the film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While still in her teens, Mr. Balanchine invited Marjorie to teach Company class for New York City Ballet. She went on to serve on the faculty of the School of American Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet and at the Grand Theatre in Geneva Switzerland, direct the School of Minnesota Dance Theatre, and direct the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Before moving to Seattle and joining the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Marjorie received certification in Pilates in 1995. In 1996 she joined the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1997, she added on to her faculty responsibilities and became PNB’s Director of Therapy and Conditioning. In 1998, PNB opened its Pilates facility to subscribers and trustees, and PNBConditioning under Marjorie’s direction became an ongoing arm of PNB, offering supplemental Pilates training to the Dancers, Professional Division Students, Summer Course students, PNB School students and the public. Marjorie created and produced two videos for PNB: danceWorks! starring Kari Anderson and featuring Ariana Lallone, Jeff Stanton and Maria Chapman; and Patricia Barker on Pointe Shoes.

Marjorie continues to be fascinated by ballet technique and besotted with Balanchine’s vision, teachings and choreography.

“Ballet is significant and the greatest honor in my life has been to spend my career sharing what Mr. Balanchine taught me,” she said.

Melissa Barak: July 15 - 19

Melissa is the Artistic Director of Barak Ballet, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and has achieved a multitude of accomplishments as both a professional ballet dancer and choreographer. While dancing with the New York City Ballet (1998–2007), she began exploring her choreographic talents. She was invited by Peter Martins, director of the New York City Ballet, to participate in the inaugural NY Choreographic Institute. The piece she created impressed him so that he commissioned her to choreograph a ballet for the School of American Ballet’s June workshop performance. The ballet she made, Telemann Overture Suite, was met with critical acclaim. Mr. Martins brought Telemann into the company’s repertoire the very next season and immediately asked her to choreograph again, this time on the company. She was only 22, making her the youngest choreographer in New York City Ballet history to be commissioned an original work at the time.

Marcus Williams:  July 29 - August 9, weeks 3 & 4  Marcus began his dance training at age 17 at American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in California. He also studied at Debbie Allen Dance Academy where he worked with choreographers Debbie Allen, Terry Beeman, Madame Dellas and Otis Salid. Mr. Williams continued his dance training at The Ailey School as a scholarship student. He performed in Alvin Ailey’s  Memoria  during Ailey’s 2015 and 2016 New York City Center seasons and has danced as a guest artist with ZEST Collective, The Francesca Harper and Cross Performance, Inc. He has taught workshops and choreography at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, The Next Generation Dance Academy, The Debbie Allen Dance Academy and The Ailey School. Mr. Williams was an Ailey II apprentice in 2016 and joined the company in 2017.

Marcus Williams: July 29 - August 9, weeks 3 & 4

Marcus began his dance training at age 17 at American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in California. He also studied at Debbie Allen Dance Academy where he worked with choreographers Debbie Allen, Terry Beeman, Madame Dellas and Otis Salid. Mr. Williams continued his dance training at The Ailey School as a scholarship student. He performed in Alvin Ailey’s Memoria during Ailey’s 2015 and 2016 New York City Center seasons and has danced as a guest artist with ZEST Collective, The Francesca Harper and Cross Performance, Inc. He has taught workshops and choreography at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, The Next Generation Dance Academy, The Debbie Allen Dance Academy and The Ailey School. Mr. Williams was an Ailey II apprentice in 2016 and joined the company in 2017.

Daniel Domenech:  July 22-26, Week 2  Daniel was born in Spain in 1996. He graduated in 2014 from the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid and then followed a summer course with the San Francisco Ballet. In 2014, he joined the San Francisco Ballet as a trainee. There he danced  Giselle ,  Don Quixote  and  Romeo and Juliet  of Helgi Tomasson in the corps de ballet. Daniel worked with many choreographers, including William Forsythe, Tina leBlanc and Jeffrey Lyons. Since the 2016-17 season, he has been dancing with Ballet Vlaanderen in Belgium.

Daniel Domenech: July 22-26, Week 2

Daniel was born in Spain in 1996. He graduated in 2014 from the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid and then followed a summer course with the San Francisco Ballet. In 2014, he joined the San Francisco Ballet as a trainee. There he danced Giselle, Don Quixote and Romeo and Juliet of Helgi Tomasson in the corps de ballet. Daniel worked with many choreographers, including William Forsythe, Tina leBlanc and Jeffrey Lyons. Since the 2016-17 season, he has been dancing with Ballet Vlaanderen in Belgium.

Jaclyn Walsh:  July 15-19, Week 2  Jaclyn was   named “25 to Watch” in 2015 by Dance Magazine, trained at the Walnut Hill School and received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the Tisch Achievement Scholarship in Dance and is a former dancer of Keigwin + Company  Her choreography has been seen in numerous venues including SummerStage Main Stage in Central Park and DRA’s Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Theater, where she received The Choreography Award in 2012 and 2013. Jaclyn is a three time finalist for the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. She choreographed and performed in a commercial for ALDO Shoes produced by Refinery29, as well as a music video for Vienna Teng and an ASL music video produced by Deaf Professional Arts Network for AT&T’s Feel the Music Campaign. DanceSpirit magazine recognized Jaclyn as one of the dance world’s thirteen “Hottest Young Choreographers.”

Jaclyn Walsh: July 15-19, Week 2

Jaclyn was named “25 to Watch” in 2015 by Dance Magazine, trained at the Walnut Hill School and received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the Tisch Achievement Scholarship in Dance and is a former dancer of Keigwin + Company

Her choreography has been seen in numerous venues including SummerStage Main Stage in Central Park and DRA’s Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Theater, where she received The Choreography Award in 2012 and 2013. Jaclyn is a three time finalist for the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. She choreographed and performed in a commercial for ALDO Shoes produced by Refinery29, as well as a music video for Vienna Teng and an ASL music video produced by Deaf Professional Arts Network for AT&T’s Feel the Music Campaign. DanceSpirit magazine recognized Jaclyn as one of the dance world’s thirteen “Hottest Young Choreographers.”

Igor Burlak: June 17 - 21, Ballet Week 2

From Boston Ballet School

A native of Moldova, Igor Burlak studied at The School of American Ballet with Olga Kostritzky, Peter Boal, and Jock Soto. As a student of The School of American Ballet, he appeared with New York City Ballet. After completing his studies, Burlak performed with Miami City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and was a soloist with Atlantic Southeast Ballet before becoming a principal with Minnesota Ballet, where he danced for six seasons. He has appeared in the films Center Stage, George Balanchine’s Nutcracker, and a documentary by Tomasol Digital called The Waiting.

From 2003-2011, Burlak served as the program coordinator and faculty member at the New York State Summer School of the Arts. During the 2010-2011 season, he was the company manager, ballet master, and director's assistant to Igor Zelensky for the Novosibirsk Ballet in Novosibirsk, Russia.

In 2008 and 2009, Burlak received the Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of the New York City Ballet, to support his work as a choreographer. Burlak has choreographed pieces for Boston Ballet II, Minnesota Ballet, The School of American Ballet’s Choreography Workshop, Miami City Ballet's Our Show, and Concerto de Arangus for Kansas City Ballet.

Since joining Boston Ballet School in 2011, Burlak has developed the curriculum for male students from the Elementary 1 to Trainee levels. For Boston Ballet’s Next Generation, he presented several Pre-Professional Program levels and assisted Margaret Tracey with the staging of Raymonda Variations in 2012.

Jenna Riegel:  TBD  Jenna has been a New York-based dancer, performer and teacher since 2007. She has been on faculty at The Juilliard School and Barnard College. Jenna is currently a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and has toured nationally and internationally as a company member of David Dorfman Dance, Alexandra/Beller Dances and johannes weiland. She has performed in New York City venues such as Danspace at St. Marks Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Aaron Davis Hall, Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center, John Ryan Theater, Symphony Space and The Duo Theater. Jenna has taught Master Classes in Modern Technique in New York at Dance New Amsterdam, The Joffrey Ballet School and 100 Grand Dance. In addition, she has taught classes at Connecticut College, University of Maryland and the University of Iowa and at festivals around the world such as the New York University’s Tisch Summer Dance Festival, the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Annual Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland and the Dance Isadora Festival in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Jenna is also a certified Stott Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates for more than seven years. Jenna holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Maharishi University of Management.

Jenna Riegel: TBD

Jenna has been a New York-based dancer, performer and teacher since 2007. She has been on faculty at The Juilliard School and Barnard College. Jenna is currently a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and has toured nationally and internationally as a company member of David Dorfman Dance, Alexandra/Beller Dances and johannes weiland. She has performed in New York City venues such as Danspace at St. Marks Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Aaron Davis Hall, Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center, John Ryan Theater, Symphony Space and The Duo Theater. Jenna has taught Master Classes in Modern Technique in New York at Dance New Amsterdam, The Joffrey Ballet School and 100 Grand Dance. In addition, she has taught classes at Connecticut College, University of Maryland and the University of Iowa and at festivals around the world such as the New York University’s Tisch Summer Dance Festival, the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Annual Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland and the Dance Isadora Festival in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Jenna is also a certified Stott Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates for more than seven years. Jenna holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Maharishi University of Management.

Britt Juleen:  June 10-14, Ballet Week 1 and August 5-9,  Ballet Week 4  As a professional dancer for over 20 years, Britt Juleen spent most of her career in Europe at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam and Germany’s SemperOper Ballet’s exquisite Opera House. She also performed with Ballet Arizona, Ballet Gamonet in Miami, and the contemporary dance companies iMEE, Jacoby&Pronk and SFDanceworks. Britt studied at the School of American Ballet, New World School of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Houston Ballet Academy. She has studied Somatic Movement Education through the School for Body-Mind Centering, is ABT teacher certified and holds an M.F.A. in Dance from Hollins University.     Since 2012, Ms. Juleen has taught at several schools and companies including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, ODC Dance Commons, Oakland Ballet, Utah Regional Ballet, Dominican University, Hollins University and Saint Mary’s College. She has most notably served as an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University as well as most recently the Artistic Director of Berkeley Ballet Theater.

Britt Juleen: June 10-14, Ballet Week 1 and August 5-9,

Ballet Week 4

As a professional dancer for over 20 years, Britt Juleen spent most of her career in Europe at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam and Germany’s SemperOper Ballet’s exquisite Opera House. She also performed with Ballet Arizona, Ballet Gamonet in Miami, and the contemporary dance companies iMEE, Jacoby&Pronk and SFDanceworks. Britt studied at the School of American Ballet, New World School of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Houston Ballet Academy. She has studied Somatic Movement Education through the School for Body-Mind Centering, is ABT teacher certified and holds an M.F.A. in Dance from Hollins University.


Since 2012, Ms. Juleen has taught at several schools and companies including Alonzo King LINES Ballet, ODC Dance Commons, Oakland Ballet, Utah Regional Ballet, Dominican University, Hollins University and Saint Mary’s College. She has most notably served as an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University as well as most recently the Artistic Director of Berkeley Ballet Theater.

Rebeca Ramos-O’Reilly:  July 15-26, Weeks 1&2  Born in Mexico Ciy, Rebeca started her dance education, with her mother’s sister Martha O’Reilly certified ISTD and RAD teacher and owner of the dance school “Academia de Ballet del Valle” in the south of Mexcio City. At the age of 17 she joined the National Ballet Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) of the Fine Arts Institute (INBA, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), where she performed for over 10 years.  Over the course of her career with the CND, she had the opportunity to work with national and international choreographers and directors, dancing the classical repertoire as well as contemporary works. She danced important rolls like Odette in  Swan Lake  under the direction of Fernando Alonso (cuban master) and choreography by Alicia Alonso, Lilac Fairy in  Sleeping Beauty  with choreography by Rose Marie Valaire of the Royal Ballet, Mirta in  Giselle  with choreography by Alonso under the direction of Joaquin Banegas, and Coppelia under the guidance of Michael Lland. Rebeca created solos for the works of Mexican choreographer Carlos Lopez Magallón in Suite de Jazz, Fanfarria, Aria, and solo parts for Carmina Burana by Nellie Happe and Catullus Carmina by Renato Maghallaes. She also participated in the National Opera Season dancing solo parts for Aida, Tales of Hoffman, Sanson and Dalila, Rigolleto, and Carmen sharing the stage with Plácido Domingo. In 1987, she came to the United States and participated as a soloist for the Long Beach Ballet, then joining in 1989, the production for  The Phantom of the Opera , under the direction of Harold Prince for the next four years.  In 1995, Rebeca became a Pilates instructor and today she travels to Latin America training teachers. She has been at the Wooden Floor previously known as Saint Joseph Ballet since 1998. For the past 19 years, Rebeca has been teaching at-risk youth and worked along-side and in collaboration with Melanie Rios, Mark Haim, Sean Curran, Nami Yamamoto, John Heginbotham, and Karinne Sales-Meyer and Keely Garfield among others, for the annual production as well as Red Cat performances. She has been teaching at Academy of Dance in Santa Ana, Calif. since 2005 for the advanced and intermediate ballet and has created choreographic work for their annual performance. Currently developing a syllabus of ballet, with passion and love for dance, she finds new ways of teaching and connecting dance education with the development of compassionate, responsible and caring individuals.

Rebeca Ramos-O’Reilly: July 15-26, Weeks 1&2

Born in Mexico Ciy, Rebeca started her dance education, with her mother’s sister Martha O’Reilly certified ISTD and RAD teacher and owner of the dance school “Academia de Ballet del Valle” in the south of Mexcio City. At the age of 17 she joined the National Ballet Company (Compañía Nacional de Danza) of the Fine Arts Institute (INBA, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), where she performed for over 10 years.

Over the course of her career with the CND, she had the opportunity to work with national and international choreographers and directors, dancing the classical repertoire as well as contemporary works. She danced important rolls like Odette in Swan Lake under the direction of Fernando Alonso (cuban master) and choreography by Alicia Alonso, Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty with choreography by Rose Marie Valaire of the Royal Ballet, Mirta in Giselle with choreography by Alonso under the direction of Joaquin Banegas, and Coppelia under the guidance of Michael Lland. Rebeca created solos for the works of Mexican choreographer Carlos Lopez Magallón in Suite de Jazz, Fanfarria, Aria, and solo parts for Carmina Burana by Nellie Happe and Catullus Carmina by Renato Maghallaes. She also participated in the National Opera Season dancing solo parts for Aida, Tales of Hoffman, Sanson and Dalila, Rigolleto, and Carmen sharing the stage with Plácido Domingo. In 1987, she came to the United States and participated as a soloist for the Long Beach Ballet, then joining in 1989, the production for The Phantom of the Opera, under the direction of Harold Prince for the next four years.

In 1995, Rebeca became a Pilates instructor and today she travels to Latin America training teachers. She has been at the Wooden Floor previously known as Saint Joseph Ballet since 1998. For the past 19 years, Rebeca has been teaching at-risk youth and worked along-side and in collaboration with Melanie Rios, Mark Haim, Sean Curran, Nami Yamamoto, John Heginbotham, and Karinne Sales-Meyer and Keely Garfield among others, for the annual production as well as Red Cat performances. She has been teaching at Academy of Dance in Santa Ana, Calif. since 2005 for the advanced and intermediate ballet and has created choreographic work for their annual performance. Currently developing a syllabus of ballet, with passion and love for dance, she finds new ways of teaching and connecting dance education with the development of compassionate, responsible and caring individuals.

Jennifer Welch-Cudnik:  August 5-9, Week 4  Jennifer has been teaching ballet for twenty years. A native of St. Louis, Jennifer moved to New York City at age 15 to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. She trained with renowned teachers Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre, Antonina Tumkovsky, Elise Reiman, Helene Dudin, Richard Rapp, Olga Kostritsky, Andre Kramrevsky, Peter Martins, Violette Verdy, Jock Soto, Adam Luders, and Darci Kistler. She performed in ballets by George Balanchine and August Bournonville, and originated roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon and Damian Woetzel. Jennifer also trained with David Howard, Willy Burmann, and Nancy Bielski while in NYC and spent summers training on full scholarship with the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. Jennifer was a professional ballerina for a decade. As a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet she performed in  Swan Lake, Coppelia , the  Sleeping Beauty  and  Cinderella , as well as Balanchine’s the  Four Temperaments ,  Serenade , and  Who Cares? . Upon returning home to St. Louis, Jennifer was invited to join the Saint Louis Ballet. As a principal with SLB, she performed lead roles in George Balanchine’s  Serenade, Allegro Brillante, Valse Fantaisie , and  Divertimento No. 15 . She also performed principal roles in Dennis Nahat’s  Brahams Quintet , Francis Patrelle’s  Swan Lake  and  Rhapsody in Blue  and originated numerous roles in ballets by Gen Horiuchi. She was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, lead Marzipan and Spanish lead in The Nutcracker, the title role in  Giselle , and as Aurora in the  Sleeping Beauty . Jennifer has been a guest artist with Stamford City Ballet, Montana Ballet and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She has taught ballet at numerous schools in the Philadelphia area, as well as at Montana Ballet, Yellowstone Ballet, Saint Louis Ballet School, Grand Center Arts Academy, Washington University, and Webster University. Jennifer is a commissioned choreographer and is the director and co-founder of the nonprofit, Ballet Initiative. She is a career consultant for aspiring professional ballet dancers. She is currently a candidate for a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance through Hollins University. Jennifer is a grant recipient of Career Transition for Dancers as well as a fellowship recipient of Hollins University. Jennifer is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Jennifer Welch-Cudnik: August 5-9, Week 4

Jennifer has been teaching ballet for twenty years. A native of St. Louis, Jennifer moved to New York City at age 15 to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. She trained with renowned teachers Stanley Williams, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre, Antonina Tumkovsky, Elise Reiman, Helene Dudin, Richard Rapp, Olga Kostritsky, Andre Kramrevsky, Peter Martins, Violette Verdy, Jock Soto, Adam Luders, and Darci Kistler. She performed in ballets by George Balanchine and August Bournonville, and originated roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon and Damian Woetzel. Jennifer also trained with David Howard, Willy Burmann, and Nancy Bielski while in NYC and spent summers training on full scholarship with the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. Jennifer was a professional ballerina for a decade. As a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet she performed in Swan Lake, Coppelia, the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, as well as Balanchine’s the Four Temperaments, Serenade, and Who Cares?. Upon returning home to St. Louis, Jennifer was invited to join the Saint Louis Ballet. As a principal with SLB, she performed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Allegro Brillante, Valse Fantaisie, and Divertimento No. 15. She also performed principal roles in Dennis Nahat’s Brahams Quintet, Francis Patrelle’s Swan Lake and Rhapsody in Blue and originated numerous roles in ballets by Gen Horiuchi. She was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, lead Marzipan and Spanish lead in The Nutcracker, the title role in Giselle, and as Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty. Jennifer has been a guest artist with Stamford City Ballet, Montana Ballet and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She has taught ballet at numerous schools in the Philadelphia area, as well as at Montana Ballet, Yellowstone Ballet, Saint Louis Ballet School, Grand Center Arts Academy, Washington University, and Webster University. Jennifer is a commissioned choreographer and is the director and co-founder of the nonprofit, Ballet Initiative. She is a career consultant for aspiring professional ballet dancers. She is currently a candidate for a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance through Hollins University. Jennifer is a grant recipient of Career Transition for Dancers as well as a fellowship recipient of Hollins University. Jennifer is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Tyler Malone:  Dates TBD  Originally form Long Island, New York, Tyler grew up in North Carolina where he began dancing at age 7. After graduating high school, Tyler attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Penn. where he earned his BFA in Dance Performance. Through his college career Tyler had the honor of working with choreographers Keisha Lalama, Ron Tassone, Alan Hineline, Nicolas Petrov, Peter Merz and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Immediately following college, Tyler was hired by Jon Lehrer Dance Company, a contemporary/modern dance company based out of Buffalo, NY. Through his career with Lehrer Dance, Tyler performed all over the globe. With residencies across the U.S. at numerous universities and high schools and multiple tours to Europe and Russia, Tyler has been been able to share his passion for dance with many. He has recently been working with RWS Entertainment Group, and is contracted to dance aboard Holland America cruises.

Tyler Malone: Dates TBD

Originally form Long Island, New York, Tyler grew up in North Carolina where he began dancing at age 7. After graduating high school, Tyler attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Penn. where he earned his BFA in Dance Performance. Through his college career Tyler had the honor of working with choreographers Keisha Lalama, Ron Tassone, Alan Hineline, Nicolas Petrov, Peter Merz and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Immediately following college, Tyler was hired by Jon Lehrer Dance Company, a contemporary/modern dance company based out of Buffalo, NY. Through his career with Lehrer Dance, Tyler performed all over the globe. With residencies across the U.S. at numerous universities and high schools and multiple tours to Europe and Russia, Tyler has been been able to share his passion for dance with many. He has recently been working with RWS Entertainment Group, and is contracted to dance aboard Holland America cruises.

Sarah Barragán:  TBD  Sarah Barragán is the Director of the Ballet Program at Nolte Academy. She founded City Ballet of Iowa where for the last 10 years she has offered private/semi-private ballet instruction and mentorship. Her students have joined companies such as the New York City Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Nimbus Dance Company, and performed in  Billy Elliot  and  On the Town  on Broadway. Her students have received scholarships to prestigious institutions such as the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, LINES, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet. Sarah completed her ballet training at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. Her early training was with Jon Rodriguez and the Dayton Ballet School in Ohio. Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Ballet from Indiana University, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. She previously taught at the Maple Conservatory in Irvine, and was the Artistic Director of the UI Youth Ballet before founding CBI. Sarah is an ABT® Affiliate Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for examinations since 2011.

Sarah Barragán: TBD

Sarah Barragán is the Director of the Ballet Program at Nolte Academy. She founded City Ballet of Iowa where for the last 10 years she has offered private/semi-private ballet instruction and mentorship. Her students have joined companies such as the New York City Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Nimbus Dance Company, and performed in Billy Elliot and On the Town on Broadway. Her students have received scholarships to prestigious institutions such as the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, LINES, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet. Sarah completed her ballet training at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. Her early training was with Jon Rodriguez and the Dayton Ballet School in Ohio. Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Ballet from Indiana University, and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. She previously taught at the Maple Conservatory in Irvine, and was the Artistic Director of the UI Youth Ballet before founding CBI. Sarah is an ABT® Affiliate Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for examinations since 2011.

Leslie Nolte:  Dates TBD  Founder and Artistic Director of Nolte Academy, Leslie Nolte has emerged as an innovator in arts education in the Iowa City creative community for nearly two decades. Under her direction, Nolte Academy has become a premiere arts program with 30 specialized instructors and 1,100 students. As part of Kennedy Center's   Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child   program, Ms. Nolte brings workshop dance instruction to area schools with lower socioeconomic status, helping to guarantee access and equity to the arts for all students. Ms. Nolte is also a guest lecturer at The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Ms. Nolte is a busy mom of five who also finds time to act in local theatre, teach Pilates at her studio, support various arts endeavors and deepen her personal yoga practice.

Leslie Nolte: Dates TBD

Founder and Artistic Director of Nolte Academy, Leslie Nolte has emerged as an innovator in arts education in the Iowa City creative community for nearly two decades. Under her direction, Nolte Academy has become a premiere arts program with 30 specialized instructors and 1,100 students. As part of Kennedy Center's Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program, Ms. Nolte brings workshop dance instruction to area schools with lower socioeconomic status, helping to guarantee access and equity to the arts for all students. Ms. Nolte is also a guest lecturer at The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Ms. Nolte is a busy mom of five who also finds time to act in local theatre, teach Pilates at her studio, support various arts endeavors and deepen her personal yoga practice.

Ashleigh Wilson:  July 15-19, Week 1  Ashleigh Wilson is a ballet and contemporary dancer who was born in Gauteng province, South Africa. Upon graduation from Martin Schönbergs Ballet Theatre Afrikan Academy, she joined Dresden Semperoper Ballet and danced in  Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Bayadere  and in company premières of William Forsythe and George Balanchine. She moved to Berlin to dance with the  MDR Deutsches Fernsehballet  (Germany's TV Ballet) touring extensively across Europe and appearing in front of millions of people. In 2013, she moved to London to work for Peter Schaufuss as a soloist for the Danish tour of his Ballet,  Satisfaction . In 2014 she was original cast in  Inala: a Zulu Ballet , which was choreographed by Rambert Ballet's Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin.  Inala , a live collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, toured extensively over two years throughout the UK, Russia and for the royal family. In 2016, she joined International Arts Collective (formerly London Contemporary Ballet Theatre) performing in world premieres in London and Paris.  She most recently performed with the LA Ballet Collective in California and will return to London for the Grammy nominated production of  Inala  in 2019. She also currently sits on the judging panel of Youth American Grand Prix.

Ashleigh Wilson: July 15-19, Week 1

Ashleigh Wilson is a ballet and contemporary dancer who was born in Gauteng province, South Africa. Upon graduation from Martin Schönbergs Ballet Theatre Afrikan Academy, she joined Dresden Semperoper Ballet and danced in Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Bayadere and in company premières of William Forsythe and George Balanchine. She moved to Berlin to dance with the MDR Deutsches Fernsehballet (Germany's TV Ballet) touring extensively across Europe and appearing in front of millions of people. In 2013, she moved to London to work for Peter Schaufuss as a soloist for the Danish tour of his Ballet, Satisfaction. In 2014 she was original cast in Inala: a Zulu Ballet, which was choreographed by Rambert Ballet's Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin. Inala, a live collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, toured extensively over two years throughout the UK, Russia and for the royal family. In 2016, she joined International Arts Collective (formerly London Contemporary Ballet Theatre) performing in world premieres in London and Paris.

She most recently performed with the LA Ballet Collective in California and will return to London for the Grammy nominated production of Inala in 2019. She also currently sits on the judging panel of Youth American Grand Prix.

Eloy Barragán:  Dates TBD  Eloy received a choreographers’ fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Boise Arts Council, as well as a Lifetime Career Fellowship by the Idaho Commission of the Arts. This year, he received an Artist Project Grant from Iowa Arts Council. His choreography has been presented at the Bolshoi Theatre, Finnish National Opera House, Conservatoire de Paris – Cité de la Musique, Alvin Ailey Studios Citigroup Theater, DiCapo Opera Theater NYC, Teatro Nacional de Panamá, Ballet Real de Costa Rica. His films have been invited to festivals in Mexico, USA, Stockholm and Cuba. Eloy trained at La Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexicó, Royal Academy of Dance UK, Boston Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet in New York. He performed with Joffrey II, Washington Ballet, Compañía Nacional de Danza Mexicó, Ballet Royal de Wallonie, Mainz Stattheater, Hagen Stattheater, Ballet de Monterey, Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho. Eloy holds an MFA from Hollins University and is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. He is also the Director/Founder of the International Iowa ScreenDance Festival, Co-Director of the Iowa Dance Festival.

Eloy Barragán: Dates TBD

Eloy received a choreographers’ fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Boise Arts Council, as well as a Lifetime Career Fellowship by the Idaho Commission of the Arts. This year, he received an Artist Project Grant from Iowa Arts Council. His choreography has been presented at the Bolshoi Theatre, Finnish National Opera House, Conservatoire de Paris – Cité de la Musique, Alvin Ailey Studios Citigroup Theater, DiCapo Opera Theater NYC, Teatro Nacional de Panamá, Ballet Real de Costa Rica. His films have been invited to festivals in Mexico, USA, Stockholm and Cuba. Eloy trained at La Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexicó, Royal Academy of Dance UK, Boston Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet in New York. He performed with Joffrey II, Washington Ballet, Compañía Nacional de Danza Mexicó, Ballet Royal de Wallonie, Mainz Stattheater, Hagen Stattheater, Ballet de Monterey, Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho. Eloy holds an MFA from Hollins University and is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. He is also the Director/Founder of the International Iowa ScreenDance Festival, Co-Director of the Iowa Dance Festival.

Christian Denice:  June 10-14, Ballet Week 1  Christian Denice's professional dance experience includes Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago, Company E, Montgomery Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Christian teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago HSPro program. He has created new works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, METdance Houston, Modern America Dance Company, Modas Dance, SALT II and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Christian is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida's Echo Choreographic Competition and the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy's Winning Works Choreographic competition. Christian was recently one of the guest choreographers for both DanceWorks Chicago's ChoreoLab and the Barton Movement's AXIS Connect in Los Angeles this past summer. Christian currently dances for Chicago based project company the Cambrians. In April 2016, Christian directed and choreographed a short dance film entitled "the watchers" filmed by Salt Lake City-based videographer Bryce Johnson. Recently, Christian traveled to Athens, Greece to restage the work Kosmos by Andonis Foniadakis on the dancers of the Greek National School of Dance. He is a certified Power Vinyasa yoga instructor and teaches for CorePower Yoga.

Christian Denice: June 10-14, Ballet Week 1

Christian Denice's professional dance experience includes Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago, Company E, Montgomery Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Christian teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago HSPro program. He has created new works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Visceral Dance Chicago, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, METdance Houston, Modern America Dance Company, Modas Dance, SALT II and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Christian is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida's Echo Choreographic Competition and the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy's Winning Works Choreographic competition. Christian was recently one of the guest choreographers for both DanceWorks Chicago's ChoreoLab and the Barton Movement's AXIS Connect in Los Angeles this past summer. Christian currently dances for Chicago based project company the Cambrians. In April 2016, Christian directed and choreographed a short dance film entitled "the watchers" filmed by Salt Lake City-based videographer Bryce Johnson. Recently, Christian traveled to Athens, Greece to restage the work Kosmos by Andonis Foniadakis on the dancers of the Greek National School of Dance. He is a certified Power Vinyasa yoga instructor and teaches for CorePower Yoga.

Kara Davis:  July 29-August 2, Week 3 danced for Atlanta Ballet, Ohio Ballet and Ballet Jörgen before moving to San Francisco in 1996. She is a founding member of both KUNST-STOFF and Janice Garrett & Dancers, where she danced for 10 years. She has performed works by Alex Ketley, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Amy Raymond, Robert Moses, Val Caniparoli (ACT), Kathleen Hermesdorf and in multiple San Francisco Opera productions. Along with receiving numerous Isadora Duncan nominations for her ensemble work, she was awarded an "Izzie" in 2003 for "Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance" and was Bay Area dance critic Rachel Howard's pick for 2005's MVP. Since co-founding project agora with Bliss Kohlmyer Dowman in 2006, her choreography has been shown at the DZINE Gallery (2018) Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2016), Bates Dance Festival (2015), San Francisco International Arts Festival (2014), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Kennedy Center (ACDFA Nationals 2009), Z Space, ODC Theater, Dance Mission, Headlands Center for The Arts, SF MOMA, Arizona State University, and University of South Florida.  project agora  has received generous support from the Rainin Foundation, CA$H Grant and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Along with Katie Faulkner, Manuelito Biag, and Alex Ketley she won an "Izzie" for "Best Choreography" in 2012 for their collaboration  Terra Incognita, Revisited . In 2009 she was an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center For The Arts and was mentored by choreographer Alex Ketley in Margaret Jenkins' CHIME residency. She has been on faculty at Alonzo King's LINES Ballet Pre-Professional, Summer Intensive and BFA programs since 2005 and has taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, San Jose State University, Berkeley Ballet, Atlanta Ballet School, Cornish College, the Guangdong Modern Dance Academy in Guang Zhou, China, and the Cairo Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. She received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University in 2013 and is currently a Guest Artist at Mills College.

Kara Davis: July 29-August 2, Week 3 danced for Atlanta Ballet, Ohio Ballet and Ballet Jörgen before moving to San Francisco in 1996. She is a founding member of both KUNST-STOFF and Janice Garrett & Dancers, where she danced for 10 years. She has performed works by Alex Ketley, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Amy Raymond, Robert Moses, Val Caniparoli (ACT), Kathleen Hermesdorf and in multiple San Francisco Opera productions. Along with receiving numerous Isadora Duncan nominations for her ensemble work, she was awarded an "Izzie" in 2003 for "Outstanding Achievement in Individual Performance" and was Bay Area dance critic Rachel Howard's pick for 2005's MVP. Since co-founding project agora with Bliss Kohlmyer Dowman in 2006, her choreography has been shown at the DZINE Gallery (2018) Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2016), Bates Dance Festival (2015), San Francisco International Arts Festival (2014), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Kennedy Center (ACDFA Nationals 2009), Z Space, ODC Theater, Dance Mission, Headlands Center for The Arts, SF MOMA, Arizona State University, and University of South Florida. project agora has received generous support from the Rainin Foundation, CA$H Grant and the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Along with Katie Faulkner, Manuelito Biag, and Alex Ketley she won an "Izzie" for "Best Choreography" in 2012 for their collaboration Terra Incognita, Revisited. In 2009 she was an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center For The Arts and was mentored by choreographer Alex Ketley in Margaret Jenkins' CHIME residency. She has been on faculty at Alonzo King's LINES Ballet Pre-Professional, Summer Intensive and BFA programs since 2005 and has taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, San Jose State University, Berkeley Ballet, Atlanta Ballet School, Cornish College, the Guangdong Modern Dance Academy in Guang Zhou, China, and the Cairo Opera House in Cairo, Egypt. She received her MFA in Dance from Hollins University in 2013 and is currently a Guest Artist at Mills College.

 

2018 INSTRUCTORS

Analia Alegre-Femenias Weber is a dancer, improvisational artists and choreographer who hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She obtained her BFA in dance from New World School of the Arts and her MFA in choreography from University of Iowa. As a dancer and an architect of movement Analía looks for opportunities to bring dance to reinvented spaces for audiences to witness the endless possibilities of how art can transform the world around us. Her choreographic work has been presented in renowned spaces like 100 Grand and Judson Church in New York City as well as in Chicago, Tennessee, Miami, New Hampshire, Minneapolis, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Throughout her career Analía has performed for Robert Battle, Bill Young, Donald McKayle, David Dorfman, Jennifer Kayle, Charlotte Adams among others. She resides in Fort Collins, Colorado where she dances with Impact Dance Company. Outside of dance Analía teaches Pilates to anybody that is looking to move better and is the owner and designer of Zochil Jewelry. She is honored to be back at Open Doors Dance Festival for another summer filled with dance.

Analia Alegre-Femenias Weber

Star Dixon is an assistant director, choreographer, and original principal dancer of world renowned tap company, MADD Rhythms. She has taught and performed at the most distinguished tap festivals in the country including The L.A. Tap Fest, DC Tap Fest, Motorcity Tap Fest, Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World, Jazz City in New Orleans, and MADD Rhythms own Chicago Tap Summit. Internationally, she's taught and performed in Poland, Japan, and Brazil several times. She's been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine twice (Artist on the rise & Speed Demon), The Chicago Reader, and independent film "The Rise & Fall of Miss Thang" starring Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards. Outside of MADD Rhythms, she's performed as a guest with such companies as Michelle Dorrance's Dorrance Dance, Chloe Arnold's Syncopated Ladies, Lane Alexander's Bam, and Jason Samuel Smith's ACGI. Star is currently on staff at numerous dance studios, schools, and a teen program to keep youth off the street called After School Matters. You can find her videos on YouTube under dance13star.

Star Dixon

Eduard Forehand is beginning his second year at the University of Iowa as an MFA candidate in choreography this fall. Through the past 20 years, he has collaborated and performed as a company member with Richmond Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater, Augusta Ballet, Ballet Montana, Dayton Ballet and Louisville Ballet. He began training at a young age in his home town of Miami, FL and later continued his studies at Nutmeg Conservatory. Forehand’s choreographic works have been performed by Louisville Ballet as well as the University of Iowa Department of Dance. He has had the pleasure of teaching throughout the United States, as a full-time faculty member and summer intensive instructor. Eduard is also certified through the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum in pre-primary through level 3.

Eduard Forehand

Lloyd Knight was born in England and reared in Miami. He has a BFA from the New World School of the Arts under Artistic Director Daniel Lewis.

Lloyd joined the Martha Graham Company in 2005, was promoted to soloist in 2009, and promoted to Principal in 2014. He has had ballets choreographed on him by Nacho Duato twice, Andonis Foniadakis, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Lar Lubovitch, Klye Abraham, Liz Gerring, Michelle Dorrance, Anne Bogart, Pontus Linberg and Mats Ek.

Dance Magazine named Lloyd as one of the Top 25 Dancers to Watch in 2010. He partnered with New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan in Ms. Graham's Moon Duet, and also is partnering American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland in a Graham duet from Letter to the World. Most recently he was selected as Best Performer of 2015 by Dance Magazine.

Lloyd Knight

Marlayna Locklear hails from Milwaukee, WI. She began her training at the age of 12 at city ballet theatre and went on to graduate from Milwaukee High School of the Arts and University of the Arts In Philadelphia, PA with a BFA in Ballet and Jazz. Marlayna was one of the founding members of The Milwaukee Dance Connection and has gone on to dance with Eleone Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theatre II , Deeply Rooted and Dayton Contemporary Dance company where she served as the company jazz and contemporary instructor as well as resident choreographer for DCDC II. She has performed works by Christopher Huggins, Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Donald Byrd, Diane McIntyre and Ray Mercer to name a few. She also has worked with members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Momix, Martha Graham Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Milwaukee Ballet, Philadanco, Koresh, Full Circle Dance Company and members of seasons 1 & 2 of So you think you can dance.

Marlayna is a freelance artist and teaches and choreographs at Universities around the nation. She is also the founder and director of Indurance Dance Intensive. She most recently finished filming the James Franco Film "Blood Heist" and studying abroad in Italy with VIVO Ballet. Marlayna will head to Bulgaria in the Spring to work with South African choreographer Fana Tshabalala on the INDUMBA project.

Marlayna Locklear

Grace Snider  began her ballet training at age six at the School of Colorado Ballet in Denver. She continued her training at the American Ballet School in San Diego before being accepted in Houston Ballet Academy on full scholarship in 1990. After two years of training in the academy, Grace was invited to join Houston Ballet by Ben Stevenson at age 16; making her the youngest company dancer in Houston Ballet's 50-year history. In 1997, Grace joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where she danced for two seasons before retiring from her performing career in 1999. Grace began teaching ballet at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet under the direction of Jean Gedeon. She then moved to Iowa and accepted a teaching position with the University of Iowa Dance Forum in 2001. Grace was promoted to lead instructor for advanced levels in 2002, and then to Director of UI Youth Ballet program in 2003. She joined the Nolte Academy of Dance in 2007, bringing her impeccable training and proven ability to bring ballet students along to the highest classical standards. In addition to her position on the Nolte faculty, Grace has worked as a rehearsal assistant with the Balanchine Trust, and Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and enjoys guest teaching engagements with the Houston Ballet.

Grace Snider began her ballet training at age six at the School of Colorado Ballet in Denver. She continued her training at the American Ballet School in San Diego before being accepted in Houston Ballet Academy on full scholarship in 1990. After two years of training in the academy, Grace was invited to join Houston Ballet by Ben Stevenson at age 16; making her the youngest company dancer in Houston Ballet's 50-year history. In 1997, Grace joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where she danced for two seasons before retiring from her performing career in 1999. Grace began teaching ballet at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet under the direction of Jean Gedeon. She then moved to Iowa and accepted a teaching position with the University of Iowa Dance Forum in 2001. Grace was promoted to lead instructor for advanced levels in 2002, and then to Director of UI Youth Ballet program in 2003. She joined the Nolte Academy of Dance in 2007, bringing her impeccable training and proven ability to bring ballet students along to the highest classical standards. In addition to her position on the Nolte faculty, Grace has worked as a rehearsal assistant with the Balanchine Trust, and Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and enjoys guest teaching engagements with the Houston Ballet.

Grace Snider

Kara Chan is from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and received her training from Pro Arte Centre. Well versed in classical and modern styles, Kara went on to earn her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School. While there, she performed masterpiece repertory works by Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, José Limon, and Murray Louis. Currently, she performs and tours with Twyla Tharp Dance, among other companies. She has performed as a guest artist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Mark Morris Dance Group. Kara has also performed with the Merce Cunningham Trust, Pam Tanowitz Dance, Keigwin + Co, Janis Brenner & Dancers, Kathryn Posin Dance Company, Gleich Dances, Trainor Dance and MorDance. She is an alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow and Springboard Danse Montreal. Kara teaches in Long Island and New Jersey and is on faculty at Tate Academy and New York Music & Arts. www.karachandance.com

Kara Chan

Born and raised in New York City, Gregory Dolbashian made his professional stage debut at the age of eight with the Glimmerglass Opera Company and in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of Einstein on the Beach. Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, before graduating cum laude from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. Awards include the Bessie Schoenberg Residency at The Yard, winner of Northwest Dance Project’s Pretty Creatives Competition and the Hubbard Street 2 International Choreographic Competition, second place in Ballet Austin’s New American Talent competition, and the audience prize at DanceNOW at Joe’s Pub in 2014 and again in 2017. Company commissions include Atlanta Ballet, TU Dance in Minnesota, Zenon Dance Company, Ballet Austin, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, City Dance Ensemble in D.C., Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Dallas, and Northwest Dance Project in Portland, Oregon. Gregory has also received commissions from ADF as a featured choreographer in the Footprints Program and has also created multiple works for principals and soloists at American Ballet Theatre, including Jeffrey Cirio, Daniil Simkin, and Hee Seo, all premiering at the Joyce Theater and Great Mountains Music Festival in Soul, Korea. College commissions include SUNY Purchase, Fordham/Ailey, LIU, NYU Tisch, and the Juilliard School. He debuted his own company, the DASH Ensemble, in December 2010 at Joyce SoHo. The company has gone on to perform at the Skirball Center, New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Riverside Theater, Dance at Bryant Park, Summer Stage Central Park, the Joyce Theater, the Agnes Varis Lab for Performance at Gibney 890, the Dimenna Center for Music at Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Sheen Center, NYU’s Jack Crystal Theater, and the Guggenheim Works and Process Series. The company has also been on tour throughout various cities in the U. S. and abroad, including Pennsylvania presented by DanceNOW, North Carolina presented by UNC Wilmington, and most recently California competing in The McCallum Choreographic Competition. The DASH also premiered DAYWALKING, a film at New York’s Tribeca Cinemas in collaboration with fashion film director Charlie Wan. Gregory also teaches workshops and intensives all over the country at universities, companies, and competitive studios. As a soloist and performer, Gregory’s solo work was presented at American Dance Festival in his one man show Awkward Magic. In addition to his choreography, Gregory, alongside Loni Landon, is the co-founder of The Playground, a choreographic initiative that was recognized as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2013.

Gregory Dolbashian

Douglas Gillespie is a Brooklyn-based Artist, passionate in the making, teaching and embodying of dance as an art form. Gillespie is an avid dance maker, choreographing group works for Moving Current Dance Collective, Doug Varone DEVICES, and Sarasota Contemporary Dance. He has also created his own student commissions for Hillsborough Community College, Cleveland State University, University of Florida, and Santa Fe College; two of these works have premiered at American College Dance Association. In 2015 Gillespie created his first solo project Echo for Assembly Dance Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan. This project had its U.S. debut in 2016. Gillespie is an originating member and has been a creative contributor throughout Kate Weare Company’s first decade, currently serving as Guest Artist. In this role, he teaches on behalf of the company and assists on commissions. Gillespie also teaches at colleges and dance centers around the world, most recently at The Juilliard School, NYU Tisch Summer Program, Mark Morris Dance Group, and National Taiwan University of the Arts. He is on faculty at Gibney Dance Center in New York. Gillespie has performed in Punchdrunk Emursive’s Sleep No More and Third Rail Projects’ Then She Fell. Gillespie was born in San Diego, California, raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and received his BFA in Dance from Florida State University in 2005.

Douglas Gillespie

Michel Kouakou is a choreographer and dancer originally from the Ivory Coast. He is the founder and director of Daara Dance. Michel received his MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He is the recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance (2012), a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for research in dance (2012), winner of a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship (2008), and winner of the U.S. Japan Fellowship (2008) to conduct six months of research in Tokyo and Kyoto. In 2008 he was nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative and in 2010 and was a finalist in The A.W.A.R.D. Show in New York City and Los Angeles. Mr. Kouakou moved to New York in 2004 and subsequently to Los Angeles, where he was a lecturer at UCLA from 2009-2016. Michel is now an Assistant professor at the University of Minnesota The Twins City. He maintains an active touring and teaching schedule across the globe and continues to pursue his long-term goal of building an “artistic bridge” between his origins in the Ivory Coast and the US.

Michel Kouakou

Louie Marin began his training at Independence High School in San Jose, CA; where he trained with Gary Masters and performed with the Jose Limon Dance Company. He then moved to Miami, FL where he attended the University of Florida New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis, on full scholarship. He received his B.F.A. with High Honors in 2005. Mr. Marin was a scholarship student of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance and Jennifer Muller/The Works School. He has performed with Dance Now! Miami, Freddik Bratcher and Co., Sasha Soreff Dance Theater, Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater, Paskal Rekoert/ Flexicurve, and Graham II.

Louie has taught regionally and nationally and is known for classes that explore the power, breath and speed of Dorfman technique and the demands of her repertory. Louie is also a certified Pilates Mat and Apparatus Instructor. He received his certification from The Lab in Brooklyn, NY, under the direction of Master teacher Lawson Harris. He loves sharing his passion for Pilates; especially with other dancers. He is the resident Pilates Instructor for NJ SummerDance at Kean University in Union, NJ, and has taught Pilates at the Brandeis Institute of Music and Arts (BIMA) in Waltham, MA. Louie believes that Pilates is the Technique to the Technique; there must be a balance of strength and flexibility in order to achieve maximum stability and grace. Mr. Marin joined Carolyn Dorfman Dance in 2009.

Louie Marin

Marjorie Thompson trained at the School of American Ballet and while still a student, had the honor of traveling with New York City Ballet to perform Stars and Stripes for JFK’s 1st inaugural anniversary. At 15 she became a member of the company under Balanchine’s direction and danced with New York City Ballet at the opening of the State Theatre at Lincoln Center. The opening ballet was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, restaged for the new theatre. In addition to US, Canadian and European tours, performing in the premiers of Variations, Pas de Deux and Divertissement, Metastaseis and Pithoprakta, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Harlequinade and Don Quixote, and over 40 ballets a season from the vast Balanchine repertoire, Marjorie performed in televised broadcasts of Balanchine’s Four Temperaments and the film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While still in her teens, Mr. Balanchine invited Marjorie to teach Company class for New York City Ballet. She went on to serve on the faculty of the School of American Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet and at the Grand Theatre in Geneva Switzerland, direct the School of Minnesota Dance Theatre, and direct the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Before moving to Seattle and joining the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Marjorie received certification in Pilates in 1995. In 1996 she joined the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1997, she added on to her faculty responsibilities and became PNB’s Director of Therapy and Conditioning. In 1998, PNB opened its Pilates facility to subscribers and trustees, and PNBConditioning under Marjorie’s direction became an ongoing arm of PNB, offering supplemental Pilates training to the Dancers, Professional Division Students, Summer Course students, PNB School students and the public.

Marjorie created and produced two videos for PNB: danceWorks! starring Kari Anderson and featuring Ariana Lallone, Jeff Stanton and Maria Chapman; and Patricia Barker on Pointe Shoes.

Marjorie continues to be fascinated by ballet technique and besotted with Balanchine’s vision, teachings and choreography.

“Ballet is significant and the greatest honor in my life has been to spend my career sharing what Mr. Balanchine taught me.”

Marjorie Thompson

Brandon Cournay is originally from Walled Lake, Michigan and received his BFA from The Juilliard School. As a freelance artist, Cournay has performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, The Chase Brock Experience, Schoen Movement Company, Dance Heginbotham, and Morphoses. TV/Film/industrial credits include PBS’ Great Performances, Musical Chairs (HBO), Puma, Sesame Street, and Target. He has been the Associate Choreographer for My Fair Lady (Bay Street), The Wildness (Off-Broadway), Coriolanus (Off-Broadway), and I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk. After dancing with the company for seven years, Cournay continued on to become Associate Artistic Director of KEIGWIN + COMPANY. He joined MMDG as an apprentice in 2018.

Brandon Cournay

Autumn Eckman received her ballet training from the Houston Ballet Academy. In her performance career, Autumn had the privilege to work for companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance and the State Street Ballet. From 2009-2014 she served as Assistant Artistic Director of Giordano Dance Chicago and Director of its second company, Giordano II. As Giordano’s Resident Choreographer, she created nine original works for the company including JOLT which was recognized by Dance Magazine as a top choreographic pick of 2012. Autumn has also served as Artist-In-Residence for State Street Ballet and choreographed for companies and organizations including DanceWorks Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago, Big Muddy Dance Co., Wylliams-Henry Dance Company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Kalamazoo Michigan’s Aesthetic Research and Education Program, Western Michigan University, Stephens College, Washington & Lee University, Grand Valley State University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2013 Choreographic Fellowship recipient). Autumn is currently an artistic collaborator of The Cambrians- a global dance production network based out of Chicago. She is an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa where she received an MFA in Choreography and is currently a Visiting Professor of Dance at the University of Arizona.

Autumn Eckman

Ramona Kelley is from Berkeley, CA where she began her training at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She went on to earn a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she performed in works by William Forsyth and Ronald K Brown. Ramona danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in the touring production of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away and went on to dance with the Tharp company creating new roles in addition to performing repertory works. She is a principal guest artist with Oakland Ballet where she has danced works by Graham Lustig, Jose Limon, and Robert Moses. Ramona has also performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Claudia Schreier and Co, Post:Ballet, Sidra Bell, and Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. She has has taught master classes in Tharp technique across the country and is on the summer ballet faculty at NYU’s Tisch Dance.

Ramona Kelley

Born in Chicago, Illinois. Joseph Kudra began his training at the age of nine at the American Dance Center under the direction of Jack and Kathleen Villari. He has worked with River North Chicago Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC, Ate9 Dance Company, and most recently with Aszure Barton & Artists. Kudra has performed works by choreographers such as Danielle Agami, Aszure Barton, Robert Battle, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Ekman, Andonis Foniadakias, Emanuel Gat, Johan Inger, Jiri Kylian, Anton Lachky, Arthur Pita, Crystal Pite, Victor Quijada, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Hofesh Shechter, Richard Siegel, and Jo Stromgren. Joseph joined Eastman - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and the Royal Ballet Flanders in 2017.

Joseph Kudra

Michelle May has been dancing since she was four years old. She was a part of Reich’s “Tap Music Project,” Gregg Russell’s “Tap Sounds Underground,” and is now a principle dancer in Jason Janas’s newly- formed tap company, “Co.MMIT.” She has performed with Janas at the Capezio A.C.E Awards, performed with Co.MMIT in Dancerpalooza’s “25 Live” show, and most recently joined Janas in Stockholm for the Stockholm Tap Festival. There, she performed in the faculty concert, assisted in classes, and was the winner of the 2018 All-styles battle.

Michelle was selected as a National YoungArts Finalist in the dance category for tap in 2014 and was a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts semifinalist. Recently, Michelle was part of the 2017 Tap Program at The School at Jacob’s Pillow under the direction of Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Michelle Dorrance. She also had the opportunity to teach at Detroit Tap Festival in the summer of 2017.

Michelle May

Wendy Whelan  began her dance training at the age of 3 and went on to spend 30 years with New York City Ballet, with 23 of those years as principal dancer. She has danced virtually every major Balanchine role and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She originated leading roles in works by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Wendy has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet and has performed on nearly every major stage across the globe. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she received both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.    Since 2013, Wendy has been developing her own independent projects including  Restless Creature  and  Some Of A Thousand Words  both co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions,  Whelan/Watson Other Stories  co-produced by London's Royal Opera House and  Hagoromo , self-produced for the 2015 BAM Next Wave Festival.  Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan  was released in movie theaters across the country last summer. The film recently won the Chita Rivera Award for Best Dance Documentary. It's available on iTunes and Amazon.

Wendy Whelan began her dance training at the age of 3 and went on to spend 30 years with New York City Ballet, with 23 of those years as principal dancer. She has danced virtually every major Balanchine role and worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets. She originated leading roles in works by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Wendy has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet and has performed on nearly every major stage across the globe. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she received both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.

Since 2013, Wendy has been developing her own independent projects including Restless Creature and Some Of A Thousand Words both co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions, Whelan/Watson Other Stories co-produced by London's Royal Opera House and Hagoromo, self-produced for the 2015 BAM Next Wave Festival. Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan was released in movie theaters across the country last summer. The film recently won the Chita Rivera Award for Best Dance Documentary. It's available on iTunes and Amazon.

Wendy Whelan