Faculty

Alicia Karczewski, Director [bio]

Alicia Karczewski graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis/Loretto Heights University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Dance. While pursuing her degree, she worked in musical theatre (42nd Street, Oklahoma! Peter Pan, Unsinkable Molly Brown) and toured West Side Story as dance captain. In addition, she danced with modern jazz, and tap dance companies (Interweave Dance Theatre, Jan Justis Dance Company, Jumpstart) and worked in the entertainment and film industries (Step by Step: An Amateurs Guide to Choreography, Viacom Film Productions), locally and nationally. As a professional choreographer she was selected for the 1996, 1997 and 2000 Colorado Choreographers Showcase. Ms. Karczewski as guest taught for Colorado Ballet, Glenwood Springs Dance Festival, the cast of Phantom of the Opera, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Summer Intensive, and a variety of studios nationally. Ms. Karczewski participated as a Colorado Dance Alliance board member, on the adjudication committee for Scientific and Cultural Facilities District New Grants program for dance, the 2010 Dance Standards review committee for Colorado Department of Education, and the advisory committee for Colorado Dance Education Organization (CoDeo). Additionally, she has enjoyed traveling all over the U.S. adjudicating dance competitions for many years. Ms. Karczewski is happy to have found her home at Denver School of the Arts where her focus lies in teaching classical jazz, rhythm tap, modern, choreography, and composition.
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Michael A. O’Banion, Director [bio]

Michael A. O’Banion graduated Cum Laude from Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts majoring in modern dance, theatre and music. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Dance from The Ohio State University. Mr. O’Banion’s dance training includes Nikolais-Louis, Humphrey-Limon, Cunningham, Hawkins, and Horton techniques along with post-modern release and contact improvisation techniques. His experience as a teacher spans elementary through college age and covers dance, theatre, music, and costume design. Mr. O’Banion is a multi-disciplined artist. His creative activities include performance, choreography, musical composition, costuming, and visual art and design. He received an award from The Ohio Arts Council for his interdisciplinary work combining dance, theater, and visual art. Mr. O’Banion has been affiliated with the Denver School of the Arts since 1993 and has directed the dance program for 19 years. Mr. O’Banion was a subject for the Annenburg Foundation’s education video series, The Art of Teaching the Arts, www.learner.org. As an arts educator, Mr. O’Banion encourages his students to explore many art forms, develop their own creative process, and expand their artistic expression into the realm of infinite possibiliites.
[contact]
 

Resident Artists

Robin Stewart, Ballet Mistress [bio]

Robin Stewart has taught ballet, pointe, variation and character dance for over forty years in Colorado, New Mexico and the Midwest. She has directed productions of The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, The Firebird and of course The Nutcracker as well as choreographed original pieces for ballet, character and musical theater. For many years she has enjoyed working with students from Denver School of the Arts, both as teacher and choreographer, watching their progress as they grow, mature, and develop artistry, strength and technique. Robin is happy to once again create a piece for these wonderful young dancers.
 

Chris Harris, Jazz [bio]

Chris Harris has been choreographing and dancing in Denver for over three decades. Her unique blend of modern and jazz dance techniques coupled with her passion for architecture, math and science has led her to create work which appeals to audiences from across the spectrum. Always fascinated by creating structure and art, Chris holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Environmental Dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Denver School of the Arts, and on the faculty Colorado Ballet Academy and adjunct faculty for Denver University. She has taught at many studios; choreographed for local theaters; been a guest lecturer at The Arts Institute of Colorado and CSIJ; choreographed for Denver University and the University of Colorado and Ormao Dance in Colorado Springs; designed many websites; and is the Artistic Director/Choreographer for Louder Than Words Dancetheatre and the Colorado Youth Danse Theatre in Denver and a co-director of the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop and Assistant Artistic Director of Interweave Dancetheatre. Her current obsession is creating a System to record choreography using digital media and animation, After working with the kids at DSA for more than a decade she is still preaced and amazed at their talent, passion and dedication.
 

Visiting & Guest Artists

Jennifer Fagan Archer [bio]

Jennifer Fagan Archer, a Florida native, has been dancing since she could walk. Her diverse training has included studies with many world-renowned dance professionals including Gary Lund, Augusto Soledade, Anjali Austin, Ramazon Bapov, Gerri Houlihan, Leslie Neal, Mary Wohl-Haan, Hannah Kahn, Jacob Mora and Christina Noel-Adcock. She has been commissioned in the US and abroad to teach and choreograph for stage and film and has performed with Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Moving in the Spirit, Georgia Dance Theatre, Concepts in Motion, Troupe Binti and her very own Ascential Dance Theatre Colorado. Studying dance, music and theatre at Florida State University she sharpened her directing, producing and choreographing skills in the thriving Tallahassee arts community. Her passion is teaching dance to beginners and singing bluegrass music with her collaborator, Mitchell Ryan. Jen enjoys spending time making art with friends and family.
 

Brandon Becker [bio]

Brandon Becker, originally from Fresno, California, is a graduate of Roosevelt School of the Performing Arts, the University of Utah (BFA in Ballet Teaching & Performance) and Virginia Commonwealth University (MFA in Theatre Pedagogy). From 1996-2002 Mr. Becker freelanced as a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor around the nation including seasons with the Richmond Ballet and as a founding member of the Aspen (now Aspen/Santa Fe) Ballet. His works have been commissioned by Richmond Ballet, Ballet Tech Ohio, Ballet West Conservatory, and Rockingham Ballet Theatre among many others. Mr. Becker was on the faculty of SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community) as a dance instructor for many years, taught dance for several studios including Chesterfield School of Ballet, West End Academy of Dance and Pilates Dance & More and has helmed numerous master classes throughout the nation.
 

Luisa Blanco-Vergara [bio]

Luisa Blanco-Vergara just recently returned to Spain to keep herself updated with the new tendencies in the Flamenco Dance. She has been a teacher and choreographer for more than fifteen years. She worked in several plays with Compania de Baile Flamenco Luna de Rocio (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as a dancer, choreographer and repetiteur in shows like Dracula, Shadow Portrait, and Soul’s Skin. She was the artistic director of Vivadance Company and was awarded with several prizes as choreographer. In Spain, she worked in tablaos and theaters. She considers Colorado her home: dancing, teaching and spreading out the Flamenco culture among these talented young dancers, has been her passion.
 

Damion Bond [bio]

Damion Bond is forged of mountain rivers, the sound of bare feet sliding on wood floors and the rhythm of running sewing machines. For her choreography is an inward scope, describing the metaphysical world as she witnesses it.  The stage; her love, home, gift freedom, spirit. She is honored to be in this sacred communication with Amaranth.
 

Rachel Brady [bio]

Rachel Brady was born and raised in Denver Colorado. She has had the pleasure of receiving her training at The Denver School of the Arts, The Academy of Colorado Ballet, and most recently as a graduate of Virginia commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography in Richmond, Virginian She attended the American Dance Festival in 2012 on a full ride scholarship and had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Mark Dendu and John Jaspers. At just age 17, she was selected to apprentice in her first company, Davis Contemporary Dance Company, and has since worked for companies including Amaranth Contemporary Dance Company, the Von Howard Project, and louder than Words dance Theater, which has led her to many performance opportunities in Virginia, Colorado, and New York City. Throughout all of her training and education, she has passed on her accumulated knowledge of dance through teaching children. This has been a great part of her learning experience for the past decade. Beyond teaching and performing, Rachel has a passion for the healing arts and is joyfully a practitioner of traditional Thai body and energy work. She is happy to be back in Colorado for a breath of fresh air.
 

Maureen Breeze [bio]

Maureen Breeze choreographed and performed in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle before settling in Denver where she formed her company, JUMPSTART/Dance Works. From 1994 – 2005 the company performed repertory concerts, participated in festivals, and offered community outreach programs. Ms. Breeze is currently and author, public speaker, coach and trainer for LifeBound, facilitating workshops both nationally and internationaly, while also serving on the faculty at Classiccal Ballet of Colorado. She is thrilled to be working again with the fabulous students at DSA.
 

Charli Brissey [bio]

Charli Brissey, after several years spent dangling from tree limbs, showing-off for video cameras, and sliding on soccer fields, eventually confronted her endless love of movement in her senior year of high school. She is now a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned her BFA in Dance & Choreography, graduating with an award of Excellence in Choreography. She has been blessed with the opportunity to work with several inspiring artists in her short life with modern dance thus far, and has also shown her own choreography and/or video work throughout Virginia, Washington D.C., New York, Miami, and Montescuidaio, Italy. In May of 2010 Charli began The Maeko Film Project, which serves as a creative launch pad for music, dance, travel, and film. Charli currently assists at VCU Dance Departments Grace Street Theater and is happily dancing through her third year with Amaranth Contemporary Dance under the direction of Scott Putman.
 

Allison Brown [bio]

Allison Brown began her journey in dance at the young age of 3. Progressin quickly, she began pointe at age 11 while on full scholarship at Rocky Mountain School of Dance. There, she trained in all styles of dance including, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary. She performed and competed in several regional and national dance competitions/conventions. Allison trained with the Colorado Ballet academy, Colorado Ballet, Michelle Latimar Dance and CCDA. In ’98 she was accepted into Denver School of the Arts as a dance major and in 2000, moved to LA to train at The Edge Performing Arts. While attending The Edge, she had the opportunity to train with world renowned choreographers/teachers. After residing in LA, she moved back to Colorado and began teaching in 2006. Allison now teaches/choreographs for several dance studios in the Denver area. She loves her students with a passion and the reward of impacting the lives of others! “Teaching is not a job…it’s a privilege and for that I am the most blessed.” –Allison.
 

Craig A. Bushman [bio]

Craig A. Bushman has been lighting design for dance since 1992. He is the technical director of the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO. He has served as the production manager of the Colorado Dance Festival, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, and on the production staff of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival He designs lights for Hannah Kahn Dance, 3rd Law Dance Theater, and Frequent Flyers Productions, among many others, He has toured nationally and internationally as lighting director/stage manager with Parker Robinson Dance and Doug Varone and Dancers.
 

Jess Buttery [bio]

Jess Buttery graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Theatre and Dance Department in 2010. Since that time she has had a foray working in Kansas City with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Theatre Department, Kansas City Repertory Theater, the Unicorn Theatre as well as with many groups in the Denver/Boulder area as a designer, electrician, technician, and stage manager. Among these, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Dairy Center for the Arts, Lakewood Cultural Center, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, The Catamounts, Evolving Doors Dance, and is a company member of Square Product Theatre. She has always enjoyed sharing her passion of theatre and live performance and has enjoyed every minute of being at DSA since August.
 

Maggie Chapman [bio]

Maggie Chapman, born and raised in Denver, began training at the age of six at Hill Academy of Dance and Dramatics. Eventually she went to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and studied under Mary Rotella, Lars Rosager, Scott Thompson, Deborah Carr, Jim May, Nancy Lushington, Tricia Brouk, Jan Miller, Katherine Keener, and Jimmy Hao. While at Stephens, Maggie was a member of the Dimensions Repertory Company and graduated Cum Laude with her B.F.A. in Dance. She has performed in New York City with The Movement Collective, A.H. Dance Company, and Malleable Dance Theater, and served as an assistant with choreographers Tricia Brouk and Jacqueline Bird. Her own choreography has shown in multiple NY area venues. Maggie returned to Colorado in 2010 and is currently a performer and choreographer for the Denver-based dance company, Avatar Movement.
 

Kitty Daniels [bio]

Kitty Daniels was the Chair of the Dance Department at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for 29 years, and continues to work with the department. She began her professional career as a ballet dancer, performing with companies in the United States and Europe. She continued her performing career in modern dance, performing with the Bill Evans Dance Company, Concert Dance Company of Boston and Beth Soll and Dancers as well as numerous Seattle independent choreographers including Pat Graney, Long Nguyen, Erin Matthiessen and Wade Madsen. Internationally-known as a teacher of ballet, modern dance and dance kinesiology, she has taught at the Bill Evans Summer Institutes of Dance, London Contemporary Dance School, California State University Summer Arts Programs, University of Washington, Boston University, Mount Holyoke College and Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and has been a guest company teacher to the Mark Morris Dance Group. She has worked clinically as a dance kinesiologist, assisting kinesiologist Karen Clippinger. She holds a B.A. from Goddard College and an M.A. in Dance Kinesiology from Lesley College. She specializes in the application of dance science to dance technique education.
 

Glen Eddy [bio]

Glen Eddy is a native of California, he studied at Calarts in the early ’70s with Mia Slavenska, Donald McKayle, and Bella Lewitsky. While still a student he toured nationally with Margalite Oved dance company, based in Los Angeles, and then with Kathryn Posin dance company, and with Donald Byrd in New York City. He joined Netherlands Dance Theater in the 1977- 78 season under then new director, Jiri Kylian, and danced with the company for 12 and 1/2 years. He was involved as principle or soloist in the creation of over 30 ballets with world renowned choreographers including Kylian (Symphony of Psalms, Stamping Ground, Soldatenmis, Svadebka, Sechs Tanza, Hearts labrynth, Soldiers Tale, Nomaden, La enfant e la Sortilege, Misa Glagolskaya, Symphony in “D”, etc), William Forsythe (Say Bye Bye, Mental Model), Mats Ek (Youth Memories), Glen Tetley (Summer’s End, Anatomy Lesson), Hans Van Manen (Concerto For Piano and Brass), Nacho Duato (Bolero, Danza), and others. He also danced in the repertoire of Christopher Bruce, Jerome Robbins, Benjamin Harkarvey, Jose Limon and others. He retired from NDT in 1990 and since then has taught as a guest ballet master at many of the national dance companies – both contemporary and classical – of Europe, Israel, and the USA, including NDT, Scapino Ballet, The Zurich, Geneva, and Luzern ballets, Ballet Hagen and Ballet am Gartnerplatz Munich, Opera Ballet de Lyon, the Gulbenkian Ballet, the National Dance Company of Spain, Culberg Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Batsheva and Kibbutz Contemporary, Hubbard Street, Cedar Lake, Lucinda Childs, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, BodyTraffic, and others. Since 1998 he has taught at schools such as the Arnhem Dance Academy, the Rotterdam Dance Academy, and has been on the faculty at CalArts since 2004 Where he teaches ballet and partnering. He has created dances for students at Perry Mansfield, Monterey Peninsula College, Arnhem Dance Academy, Stevens College, and CalArts. Glen lives in South Pasadena, California, with his wife, former NDT principle Fiona Lummis and their two sons. Glen and Fiona continue to set Jiri Kylian’s Ballets under the auspices of the Kylian Foundation on Schools and Companies in Europe and the United States.
 

Lacy Erb [bio]

Lacy Erb is lighting designer and technical director for Louder Than Words Dancetheatre and technical director at the Dairy Center for the Arts’ dramatic theatres in Boulder. As a freelance stage manager and lighting designer she has worked with the Colorado Youth Danse Theatre, Boulder Ballet, University of Colorado NeXus, and Evolving Doors Dance Project, among others. She has worked at the Cortland Repertory Theatre in central NY, taken a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and interned at the Denver Center Theatre Company. Lacey has a BFA in theatrical design and management from the University of Colorado where she designed and managed numerous productions as a student and as an alumni. She has bee a guest artist with DSA since 2007 where she enjoys working with the talented students in the Dance and Stagecraft departments.
 

Gregory Gonzales [bio]

Gregory Gonzales graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Kinesiology/Dance. His teachers include Larry Boyette, James Clouser, Nadia Tikhanova, Milenko Banovic, Sandra Minton and Karen Genoff-Campbell. He received a scholarship in dance and Best Dancer Award while at UNC and was a full scholarship student at the American Dance Festival. Gregory spent the bulk of his career at Colorado Ballet where he was promoted to Principal in 1997 and danced leading roles as well as character roles in works by major choreographers such as Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, George Balanchine, Eugene Loring, Christopher Wheeldon, Toru Shimazaki and Doug Varone. Gregory has also danced with Ballet Pacifica, Ballet Arizona, Nevada Dance Theater, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Kim Robards Dance and Les Ballets Grandiva and Opera Colorado. This is Gregory’s third season with the Zikr Dance Ensemble. Gregory was a co-founder of On Edge Productions staging combat and comedy at numerous festivals. He was adjudicated by The Society of American Fight Directors and was recommended in rapier and dagger. He was a Choreographer in Residence for Colorado Ballet from 2003-2004 and created such works as Carmina Burana, Peter Pan (both co-choreographed), Broken Web, Incantation and Last Breath. Gregory has also set work for the David Taylor Dance Theatre, Ballet Ariel, University of Northern Colorado and the Denver Independent Choreographer’s Project. He plays guitar for the Natural Tango Oquesta Tipica and also enjoys theater and film work and has been cast in several independent film projects in the Denver area.
 

Robert Gosnell [bio]

Robert Gosnell is from North Carolina, where he began his training with the High Point Ballet and went on to study at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (1993-1998), School of American Ballet, The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Atlanta Ballet. He then joined Nashville Ballet in 1999 and danced with them until 2007. Robert has been featured in ballets by David Allan, Salvatore Aiello, Sir Frederick Ashton, Winthrop Corey, and Paul Vasterling and with regional companies Atlanta Dance Theatre, Roswell Dance Theatre and High Point Ballet. He has also served as Youth Cast Rehearsal Master for Nashville Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” Robert has choreographed several musicals for Brentwood High School, in Brentwood, TN. In the summers of 2004, 2005, and 2006 Robert attended the National Choreographers Initiative in Irvine, Ca, where he worked with Val Canaparoli, Anne Marie DeAngelo, Gina Patterson, Peter Pucci, Luca Vegetti, and Molly Lynch. He was a featured artist at the 2004 and 2008 Southeastern Regional Ballet Association’s annual festival. In the summers of 2007 and 2008, Robert had the honor to return to UNC School of the Arts, along with other alumni, to be a part of UNC School of the Arts performance series in Manteo, NC. In the summer of 2009, he had the opportunity to perform in Arezzo, Italy with Amaranth Contemporary Dance based in Richmond, VA. His ballet “Within”, was chosen to be performed at the National Regional Dance America Festival in Montreal, Canada in May of 2012. Robert is on staff with N-House Productions under the direction of Casey Noblett, Guest Artist with Roswell Dance Theatre, Atlanta Dance Theatre, and served as the Associate Director/Resident Artist with the Atlanta Dance Theatre from 2010-2013. Robert continues his relationship with UNCSA, as a Guest Faculty member in the regular school year, Summer Dance Comprehensive and the Preparatory Program.
 

Lindsey Hall [bio]

Lindsey Hall is originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming where she began her dance training at the En Vant Dance Studio. She received her BFA in Dance Performance with a minor in Nutrition from the University of Wyoming. She has worked closely with several well-known choreographers including, Hannah Kahn, Lorry May, John Pennington, Vincent Brosseau and Lawrence Jackson. Lindsey is currently dancing in her fifth season with 7dancers. She also heads the modern dance department at Cherry Creek Dance and is honored to be choreographing at DSA.
 

Kathleen Hill-Sheldon [bio]

Kathleen Hill-Sheldonis a graduate of Colorado Women’s College where she earned a BA degree in Arts Education and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Community College of Denver where she earned an Early Childhood Education Directors License. For 24 years, Kathleen was the executive/artistic director of Hill Academy of Dance & Dramatics, Inc. and the founder of Colorado’s first tap dance company, The Colorado Time Steps. She has taught, choreographed and performed throughout Colorado for over thirty years. Her own students are former I Love Dance High Score winners and have gone on to perform in American Ballet Theatre, New York City Rockettes, Las Vegas productions, television and movies and as teachers for The Edge in Los Angeles. She is currently working as a free-lance teacher and choreographer. She is a Past President of the Colorado Dance Alliance.
 

Paige Horton [bio]

Paige Horton grew up in Knoxville, TN, where she began dancing at a very young age. As a member of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble for six years, Paige was able to perform extensively throughout the southeast, and work closely with several guest choreographers, including Randy Duncan and Ze’eva Cohen. Paige graduated with a BFA in Performance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005, where she performed in many works by fellow students, faculty, and guest artists, including Gerri Houlihan and Clay Taliaferro. During her time at VCU Paige also presented three works of her own choreography. Paige has been dancing with Amaranth Contemporary Dance since its establishment and presented work in the Planting of the Seeds project in 2008. Most recently, Paige has performed internationally with Amaranth in Arezzo, Italy, and choreographed during Amaranth’s residency at Denver School of the Arts. Currently, Paige is the School Registrar with the School of Richmond Ballet in Richmond, VA.
 

Michael Jarett [bio]

Michael Jarett is thrilled to be working Amaranth Arts again. Previously for Amaranth, he designed Humanity in Motion and Falling Back to Grace. Mike has designed for numerous choreographers and companies including Robert Battle, Monica Bill Barnes, Adam Barruch, Maria Bauman, James Hansen, Linda Kent, Stephanie Martinez, Rick McCullough, Anne Van Gelder, Nathan Trice, Nicholas Villeneuve, Kate Weare, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.in.Motion, Camille A Brown and Dancers, Thana Dao Dance Company, FDANCE, Starr Foster Dance Project, and the VON HOWARD PROJECT. For the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center, Michael recreated his lighting for Christian Howard’s A Statement About Being (2010) and Vincent ThomaS We Hold These Truths (2012). His designs have been seen in New York at Theatre Row, Theater for the New City, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, and regionally at Arundel Barn Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Festival, Brandeis Theater Company, Cape Rep Theatre, Dogtown Dance Theatre, Emerald City Opera, Henley Street Theater/Richmond Shakespeare, James Madison University, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, Playhouse on Park, Reagle Players, Richmond Triangle Players, TheatreLAB, the University of Richmond, VCU Dance, West End Assembly of God, and at the Modern Theater in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his MFA from Brandeis University and has held the Hemsley Lighting Internship at Lincoln Center. michaeljarett.com
 

Julie Jarnot [bio]

Julie Jarnot is the co-owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy located in Thornton, Colorado. Artistic Fusion is celebrating its 15th year of business this season and is proud to have trained hundreds of dancers who are thriving in college, the professional dance world, the commercial dance world and beyond. She was featured alongside her sister, Jen Jarnot, on the May 2014 cover of Dance Teacher Magazine. Julie is a certified Pilates instructor, certified Life Coach, and is currently getting her Holistic Health and Nutrition certification. Julie would like to thank Mr. O and Ms. K for inviting her back this season to work with these amazing dancers. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to create with such passionate, smart, unique and open-minded young artists.
 

Page Jenkins [bio]

Page Jenkins graduated from the University of Colorado in Spring 2009 with a BA in Dance. She is currently dancing with 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Interweave Dance Theatre, and Louder Than Words Dancetheatre. Page teaches Beginning Jazz at the Denver School of the Arts. She also teaches for Colorado Ballet’s Dance Renaissance program and is the Assistant Artistic Director of Colorado Youth Dance Theatre.
 

Jeffery R. Johnson [bio]

Jeffrey R. Johnson is a stage manager and lighting designer from Chicago, IL. After studying design tech with an emphasis in lighting design at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, he stayed in the entertainment capital of the world. Jeff spent two years as stage manager for Vegas! The Show, a David Saxe Production at Planet Hollywood Resort Casino. He continued on to work with Master Illusionist Jan Rouven designing lights and acting as technical director at Riviera Hotel Casino. After moving to Denver in January of 2014, he has become an in house lighting designer for Lakewood Cultural Center, stagehand for Rhino Staging LLC, and is pleased to be part of the dance department team at Denver School of the Arts.
 

Cecelia Webster Jones [bio]

Cecelia Webster Jones is a native of Denver, Colorado and a proud graduate of the Denver School of the Arts Department of Dance and Movement under the direction of Michael O’Banion and Alicia Karczewski. Cecelia received her dance training at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School under the tutelage of Susan Richardson and the Ailey School in New York. Cecelia has been an ensemble member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago. She has had the pleasure of working with such great choreographers as Donald McKayle, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Iega Jeff, Roger C. Jeffrey, Milton Meyers, and Gary Abbott. Cecelia Jones is currently serving on the associate artistic team of Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, and is the school coordinator of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School in Denver. Ms. Jones is honored to be creating art with the Denver School of the Arts dance community.
 

Hannah Kahn [bio]

Hannah Kahn, director of the Hannah Kahn Dance Company, began making dances while she was a student at the Juilliard School. She worked and trained in NYC for 21 years, always creating her own dances at the same time. After directing her dance company in NYC, she moved to Colorado in 1988. Her work has been influenced by studies of Limon and Graham techniques, and by performing works of Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow and many others. Hannah loves working every year with the wonderful student dancers here at DSA!
 

Jennifer Katzenstein [bio]

Jennifer Katzenstein is a native of the Midwest and from an early age through high school, she trained in ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz in Overland Park, KS. Her love of dance grew to encompass a passion for choreography and musical theatre. After receiving her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre with a Dance Emphasis at the University of Northern Colorado, Jennifer went on to a decade long career as an actor/singer/dancer in NYC and nationally. Jennifer’s recent pursuits have become more educational and teaching based. In 2012, she received her Masters in Dance Education at NYU Steinhardt. Since moving to Denver, she is on faculty at Actor’s Academy for the Performing Arts as a musical choreographer and dance majors instructor. As an accomplished choreographer, Jennifer’s favorite choreographic projects include A Chorus Line (University of Northern Colorado), a tap piece “Sounds of the Streets” (Ellis Island, NY), and a theatre jazz piece entitled “Frank” (NYU).
 

Larry Keigwin [bio]

Larry Keigwin began his prolific and wide-ranging dance career the day he auditioned as a back-up dancer for Downtown Julie Brown on Club MTV (he got the gig). He continued his dance career working for Chezzam! enlivening many a bar and bat mitzvah while earning his BA in dance from Hofstra University. In addition to Larry’s choreographic work with Keigwin +Company, his recent commissions have included The New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, The NYU/Tisch School’s Second Avenue Dance Company, Paradigm, Hofstra University and California Institute of the Arts. His other choreographic credits include work with the pop band Fischerspooner, comedian Murray Hill and as an Associate Choreographer for both the The Radio City Rockettes and the Off-Broadway musical “The Wild Party”. As a dancer Larry has danced at the Metropolitan Opera in Doug Varone’s “Le Sacre Du Printemps” and Julie Taymor’s “The Magic Flute” in addition to his work with Mark Dendy (receiving a Bessie Award in 1998 for his performance in “Dream Analysis”), Robin Becker, Jane Comfort, John Jasperse, Doug Elkins, Zvi Gotheiner, and David Rousseve. He appeared in the Broadway bomb “Dance of the Vampires” and the Julie Taymor, Oscar nominated film “Across the Universe.” In his spare time, Larry has created “Keigwin Kabaret,” a fusion of modern dance, vaudeville, and burlesque acts presented by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub and by Symphony Space.
 

Katrina Lairsmith [bio]

Katrina Lairsmith, Artistic Director of The Damsels Dance Company has never let anything stop her from dancing and it’s resulted in a life of professional accomplishment. As a teenager she watched dancers at a local studio then practiced what she saw at home in her basement. She was selected for the first magnet dance program in Denver, which eventually became the Denver School of the Arts. She also studied at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio and at The Edge dance studio in L.A. with Mia Michaels, Terry Beeman, Eddie Garcia, Jackie Sleight, and Wes Veldink among others, and developed her unique style of modern contemporary dance.
 

Carmen Toure Lorenzo [bio]

Carmen Toure Lorenzo, is Artistic Directer of Heritage African Drum and Dance which she co-founded in 2001 with Music Director, Stephan Griffin. HADD began simply as African dance classes to promote health and cultural awareness of residents within an apartment complex, named the Heritage Estates. After some months, the class was invited to perform at the Denver Black Arts Festival, and has been performing ever since, including performances for the Rocky Mountain Mutual Housing Gala at Invesco Field, Stapleton Foundation Health Summit, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo, and universities and schools across the region. The ensemble’s mission is to provide a vehicle in which people can connect with and preserve their ‘heritage’ through the culture of African drum, dance, and song.
 

Kelsey MacLeay [bio]

Kelsey MacLeay started dancing in the mid-80’s where she fondly remembers learning ballet, tap, jazz & the Roger Rabbit. It was love at first move. Her resume includes dancing on the Denver Nuggets Dance team, dance captain of the Colorado Mammoth’s Wild Bunch Dancers; guest teaching at schools like DU, Gateway, Rangeview, Overland & Cherokee Trails High Schools. Currently Kelsey is running her own dance studio in Aurora where she is the owner/director & an instructor. Dance CORE is finishing out it’s 4th year of operation, it has 4 dance rooms, a bunch of students, and a ton of personality. I’m proud that in my business we are home to an array of dancers who get to have a positive dance experience. Kelsey first started guest teaching at DSA 7 years ago teaching Jazz & Hip-Hop. Getting to be involved in the The Dance Department at Denver School of the Arts for the past several years has been amazing. Watching these dancers grow is a great privilege.
 

Stephanie Martinez [bio]

Stephanie Martinez is a former Ruth Page Award winning dancer and has performed with numerous Chicago-based ensembles most notably with River North Chicago Dance Company where she was a principal dancer for 14 years. In 2004 The Chicago Tribune named her one of the five dancers to watch. She then moved on to Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ron DeJesus Dance, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she was a principal dancer in a number of productions. Also a highly-regarded teacher, Stephanie teaches master classes for Joffrey Academy of Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Thodos Dance Chicago to name a few. Her original choreography has been set on Luna Negra Dance Theater’s 10th anniversary at The Harris Theater, Thodos Dance Chicago, the Joffrey Academy trainees, Same Planet Different World, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Columbia College, Ball State University, Ron De Jesus Dance, Northwestern University, Chicago Dance Crash, Shenandoah University, Jacksonville University, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dancing in the Parks Chicago. New City Stage describes her work as “fierce choreography… athletic externality probing the internal; new fusions responding to and rebelling against old ones.”
 

Debbie Mercer [bio]

Debbie Mercer has been teaching and performing in Colorado for over thirty years. She has a B.A. with honors in Dance from York University in Toronto, Ontario and an A.A. from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She has been a principal dancer with the Jackson Ballet, Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre, and other local companies around the state. She has been teaching all levels of ballet at Colorado College since 1990 and has taught two intensive block courses setting the 2nd Act of “Swan Lake” and “Paquita” on her advanced students. In addition to her teaching at CC, she is the Ballet Mistress and a company member of the Ormao Contemporary Dance Company here in Colorado Springs. She also teaches at the Boulder Ballet School, Denver School of the Arts, and Littleton Dance Academy.
 

Jacob James Mora [bio]

Jacob Mora,choreographer, dancer, actor, and musician, hails from Denver, Colorado where he works in dance, music and film. As Artistic Director of Moraporvida Contemporary Dance Jacob fuses both cultural and contemporary movements and music styles, ever expanding his continued exploration of relationships and the human experience. Jacob has garnered international success as a performer, teacher and artist. He has been seen dancing with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Hannah Kahn Dance, and Santee Smith Group. He has had the pleasure of working with Choreographers such as Donald Mckayle, Betty Jones, Milton Meyers, David Rousseve, Eleo Pomare, David Dorfman and Lisa Race, among many. Existing as a fiercely passionate educator and promoter of dance culture, Jacob unites different genres of movement, both traditional and progressive to bring together peoples of different cultural and socioeconomic groups to embrace the art and joy of dance. As an emcee and musician Jacob’s reach is similarly diverse. He produces, creates and performs with multiple bands across the genres of Hip Hop, Electronic and avant-garde styles of music. Jacob teaches nationally and internationally conducting workshops and residencies on Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop and Conditioning the Spirit. He has been on faculty with the University of Wyoming, UNLV, the New York Institute of Dance, as well as guest artist and teacher for many other schools, festivals and institutions.
 

Heidi Nichter [bio]

Heidi Nichter is currently the Co-Founder, Associate Artistic Director and President of Apex Contemporary Dance Theatre and teaches at numerous schools throughout the Denver community. In 2003 she graduated cum laude from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In addition, she has trained with the Metropolitan Ballet Center, American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive, Scholarship student with Steps on Broadway, and with numerous accomplished teachers: Nancy Bielski, Peff Modelski, Ronald Tassone, and Susan Stowe to name a few. Heidi has 13 years of experience teaching and choreographing in many reputable schools in Michigan, Pittsburgh, New York City, Denver, Dayton and Cleveland. Her professional experience includes Xpressions Contemporary Dance Company, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre II, Kim Robards Dance, and Apex Contemporary Dance Theatre.
 

Eric Otto [bio]

Eric Otto was born and raised in Westchester, New York. He began dancing at the age of seven with the School of American Ballet in New York City. He has danced professionally with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Ballet X. He was an original cast member of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away (Sid u/s). In 2003, Mr. Otto was invited to join the cast of Movin’ Out (James u/s). He has most recently appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Otto has performed an extensive repertoire including ballets by Frederik Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, Jiri Kylian, Kenneth MacMillan and Jerome Robbins. He has danced roles created for him by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Matthew Neenan, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Natalie Weir.
 

Chandler Pace [bio]

Chandler Pace is originally from Fort Worth, TX where she began her dance training at a young age and continued to pursue dance at the University of Oklahoma, where she then received her BFA in Modern Dance Performance. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Christopher Huggins, Helen Simoneau, Austin Hartel, Derrick Minter, Mark Dendy, Kathleen Ridlon, and has had master classes with Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin. Chandler has participated on a tour to Shanghai, China, Past/Forward at the American Dance Festival, and performed at the Lincoln Center in New York. Her choreography has been presented in various shows at the University of Oklahoma and has won many awards as well. Chandler loves living in Denver and hopes to continue her dancing for many years. She joined the Hannah Kahn Dance Company in 2010.
 

Cleo Parker-Robinson [bio]

Cleo Parker-Robinson is founder, executive artistic director and choreographer of the 41-year-old Denver-based artistic institution, CLEO PARKER ROBINSON DANCE. She leads a professional Dance Ensemble, Youth Ensemble, a School of Dance, and International Summer Dance Institute, a 300 seat theatre that bears her name and a myriad of community outreach programs. A master teacher, choreographer, and cultural ambassador, she has taught and performed wither her Ensemble in such diverse places as Iceland, Singapore, Hawaii, Nassau, Belize, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, throughout Europe, and throughout the African continent. Ms. Parker-Robinson has received numerous awards throughout her career. In 1998, President Clinton named Ms. Parker-Robinson as one of two artists to be appointed to the National Council on the Arts where she served until 2005; Ms. Parker Robinson received a Kennedy Center Medal of Honor during the Center’s "Masters of African American Choreographers" series. In March 2011, she was inducted into the Denver and Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame.
 

Lawrence Pech [bio]

Lawrence Pech is blessed to be the progeny of two Denver Public School educators (my mom, Marion, 35 years as a general music educator, and my dad, Ernest, as a supervisor for Speech and Drama). From them, I learned the importance art “should have” in our society. My dad started the “Cultural Arts Program”, taking fourth graders from various elementary schools in two-week shifts to the Cheltenham Center for classes in music, art and dance of various cultures. Were he alive today, I know that he would be ecstatic that I am here (DSA) in what he had envisioned – a school that embraces and makes important, the arts. I graduated a year early from GW (’77) “just to get out”. I wanted to be in the arts (Broadway-bound) and high school was an impediment – if only DSA had been here then. I am personally grateful to everyone that has made this place a reality.
 

Jayne Persch [bio]

Jayne Persch is excited to be in Colorado and work as a Guest Artist at Denver School of the Arts. She has trained and danced with the Stuttgart Ballet, ABT, and the Royal Ballet, London; and holds a Master of Arts degree in Dance and Psychology. She loves to work in both classical and contemporary ballet, modern and contemporary dance, is fully trained in Horton Technique, and certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum. As teacher and choreographer, Jayne has worked with companies creating more than 40 works and teaching all classical and contemporary dance in conservatories, and bringing dance into public and private schools, special needs programs, hospitals and prisons in Artists Outreach programs. She has taught at University of New Hampshire, California State University, Long Beach, Trinity and Antioch Graduate School, Orange County High School for the Arts and Phillips Exeter Academy, Springfield Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, and Evolution Contemporary Dance. As choreographer, she has presented her work with the MacDowell Centennial Festival and brought her work to the Festival d?’Avignon, France, International Dance Day Choreographers Showcase in Copenhagen and through IUSP in Italy. Most recently she has been teaching internationally at the Royal Danish Ballet School and the Danish National Theater School/School of Modern Dance in Denmark and at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome, Italy. She is the Artistic Director of BRIAH Contemporary Dance. As a licensed therapist, she is the creator of BRIAH Movement based in craniosacral therapy and ?‘anatomy trains?’ – the work of Tom Myers. As a member of CID-UNESCO, she travels extensively, nationally and internationally as an ambassador of dance to choreograph, teach and lecture in injury prevention and personal anatomy in classical and contemporary dance. She will return to Italy and Denmark this summer to teach in Siena and Copenhagen. It is a real joy to work with the faculty, guest artists, and the talented young dancers and artists of the future at DSA!
 

Stephanie Prosenjak [bio]

Stephanie Prosenjak, a Denver native, has dedicated her life to the Denver Dance Community. She founded 7dancers in Spring 2006 as an opportunity for professional dancers and as a community outreach. She has trained with the country’s finest instructors and has an extensive dance resume. Not only does Stephanie choreograph for Cherry Creek Dance Performing Company and 7dancers, but Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Galas, Radio Disney’s Street Team, 2008-2009 Kelle Costume catalog, and many other events. Stephanie continues to promote the inclusion of the performing arts in the K-12 curriculum by establishing partnerships with public and private schools where members of 7dancers serve as artists in residence. She loves sharing her dance knowledge and experience with her students at her home, Cherry Creek Dance.
 

Scott Putman [bio]

Scott Putman is an Associate Professor in dance and choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Amaranth Contemporary Dance (www.amarantharts.com) as well as the creator of the Elemental Body Alignment System© (www.doebas.com) and faculty member in the Summer Arts Program at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Scott has received numerous awards including the distinguished Theresa Pollack Excellence in the Arts Award for his work with his company Amaranth Contemporary Dance and the National Choreography Plan Award for exceptional choreography from RDA, Pacific. Scott’s work continues to be presented internationally in Italy, Mexico and Scotland as well as nationally in showcases and festivals as well as commissions by both ballet and modern dance companies. Scott is also an active Associate Board Member of Richmond CenterStage and works diligently as an advocate for the arts while building bridges within the Richmond community. He has danced for Mordine and Company Dance Theatre, Dimitrius Klein Dance Company, Minnesota Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago, Donald McKayle, David Alan, Douglas Becker, and Geri Houlihan. Scott received his B.A. from Columbia College, Chicago, and M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine, where he was a Chancellors Fellow and William Gillespie Scholar.
 

Victoria Quintana [bio]

Victoria Quintana is proud to introduce herself as the Owner and Director of EVQ Elite Dance Studio! She can’t wait to share her passion and love of dance with the EVQ Elite family. Victoria was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She has been dancing and training for over 20 years in all styles of dance. Victoria has been teaching professionally for the past 7 years and is excited to take this next step in her career. She has traveled in and out of the country from Texas to Paris as a choreographer specializing in Contemporary and Hip Hop. Her choreography has won platinum and high scoring awards for numerous in state and national competitions.
 

TresaRandall [bio]

Tresa Randall is a Presidential Teacher (2015-2018) at Ohio University, where she is also an Associate Professor of Dance and director of the Honors Tutorial program in Dance Studies. She danced professionally with the Santa Fe Opera, Bill Evans Contemporary Dance Company, Ann Vachon, Mark DeGarmo and Dancers, and Rochester City Ballet, among others. As a dance historian, Dr. Randall has presented her research internationally in France, Norway, the U.K., and Ireland. In 2013 Professor Randall was awarded a Faculty Research Visit Grant from the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) to conduct research in Berlin, Cologne, and Dresden for her book manuscript on modern dancer Hanya Holm.
 

Annabel Louse Reader [bio]

Annabel Louise Reader is the founder and director of EyeSoar Performance, She works as a stilt dancer, contemporary dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer and creator Annabel has worked throughout New Zealand, Europe, Asia and now the USA in the dance arts, costuming, wardrobe supervision, film productions, stilts, aerials circus performance as a freelance artist, contractor and employee. She holds a New Zealand National Certificate in Pacific Cultural Performing Arts, a Bachelor in Performing and Screen Arts: Choreography and Contemporary Dance and a certificate in Therapeutic Massage.
 

David Reuille [bio]

David Reuille is the Artistic Director of Apex Dance. As a professional dancer and choreographer, Mr. Reuille’s career has spanned over 21 years and 8 countries. He has danced professionally with Lexington Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Dayton contemporary Dance Company, and Parsons Dance. He performed in the works of such master choreographers as Jose Limon, Donald McKayle, and Tally Betty. David has also danced in new works created by choreographers Bill T. Jones, Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Bebe Miller, Ron Brown, and Kevin Ward. He has toured nationally and internationally to great acclaim. As a choreographer he has created dances for numerous professional and regional dance companies including: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Lexington Ballet, AYBT, Illinois Ballet, and Apex Dance. In the theatre genre Mr. Reuille has worked with Curious Theatre on their productions The War Anthology, Curious New Voices, and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. He has received several awards and fellowships for his choreography including the Montgomery County Arts Fellowship. His television credits include the PBS documentary Free to Dance. He has taught master classes around the world including the International Dance Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, Poland, the American Dance Festival, and throughout the U.S.
 

Mary Reynolds [bio]

Mary Reynolds was a paraprofessional with many years of theatrical experience, Mary taught in the Drama Department at DSA for 5 years and is delighted to return for a 2nd year to work with such talented students and staff—what a gift DSA continues to be! She is co-owner of Creatrix (a costume design/rental company) and Costume Designer/Wardrobe Supervisor for New York Harlem Productions, presenting George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on European tours. Mary has produced/directed numerous plays and musicals, most recently with a very successful production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Edgewater Arts Project.
 

Kim Robards [bio]

Kim Robards is Artistic Director/Founder/CEO of Kim Robards Dance, a professional modern dance company in its 29th Season, based in the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Ms, Robards has created over 60 original works in her thirty-year professional dance career. Her work has been commissioned, presented and performed regionally, nationally, and internationally by professional companies and venues, university and college programs, professional theatre ensembles, and most recently by the producer of The Portal Rock Opera. Her work has been critically acclaimed in The New York Times, Beijing Time Out, Dance Magazine, The Denver Post, Aurora Sentinel, Charlotte’s Creative Loafing, among numerous other reputable media. Her work was selected as 1 of 13 companies nationally for the “InBound Series” at Joyce SoHo in New York. This garnered a great review in The New York Times which led to an invitation to have her work performed in the 2008 “booking DANCE FESTIVAL beijing” – coinciding with the Olympics, presented at The Nines Theater and Coca Cola Olympic Stage; and in 2009 at The Fringe Festival for “booking DANCE FESTIVAL edinburgh” in Scotland. Kim has also been a guest artist hosted in France by the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, in Taiwan and Japan, in sixteen states nationally, and throughout Colorado. She has collaborated with myriad music groups including Colorado Symphony, Inside the Orchestra, Mercury Ensemble, and others. Notable awards include: KUSA Channel 9 TV “9 Who Care Award” presented by Ann Curry of The Today Show, Colorado Ballet Honoree “Tribute to Women in Dance”, COVisions Recognition Award, Colorado Council on the Arts Choreographer’s fellowship, “Living Treasures of Colorado” TV documentary, “Honorable Mention” Women’s Health Leadership Award, among the distinguished list. Ms. Robards is respected as an inspirational master teacher of her own technique which provides a solid technical base. She founded The Academy of KRD in 1993, and taught at Academy of Colorado Ballet, Colorado College, Denver Ballet Theatre, Belliston Academy, and Arvada Center. She has been a Dance Teaching Artist for Aesthetic Education Institute of Colorado, and presented hundreds of residencies in rural and urban settings through her own company, Young Audiences, ArtReach, and Denver Ballet Guild. She served on the original committee to form Denver School of the Arts. Ms. Robards’ own dance training includes The Graham School; and Limon, Humphrey-Weidman, Hawkins, and Nikolais Techniques. Prior to receiving her MA in Dance from CU, Boulder, she was a member of VERVE Dance Company.
 

Pablo Rodarte [bio]

Pablo Rodarte is among the few Americans that can claim notoriety and respect in a cultural art form not of his birth. Trained in his youth in the disciplines of tap dance, classical ballet, jazz and modern, Mr. Rodarte at the age 19 embarked on a career which would afford him artistic recognition throughout Europe, Middle and Far East, Australia and finally the US. Spain was his home for 24 years where he excelled as an exponent of Spanish Dance. He has now moved to Denver after 16 years as adjunct professor of Flamenco at the UNM, New Mexico and is most popularly known for his performances with Jose Molina and Maria Benitez.
 

Nile H. Russell [bio]

Nile H. Russell is originally from Baltimore, MD. He received a B.A. in dance from Connecticut college, where he was fortunate enough to have the guidance of wonderful dancers and teachers such as Dan Wagoner, Lan Lan Wang, Jeff Rebudal, Robyne Watkin, David Dorfman, Eddie Taketa, and Jeremy Nelson. In 2002, Nile traveled to India to study temple and architecture studies and Bharatanatyam dance. He moved to New York in 2004, where he danced with Silver-Brown Dane, Leesaar The Company, Luis Lara Malvacias, Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Naganuma Dance, and co-founded CaN Dance. In 2009, Nile joined Pilobolus Dance Theater as a dancer and later became Dance Captain of the main touring company. Through Pilobolus, he has performed all over the worlds, taught nationwide and on three continents, and has been lucky to experience a wide range of people and cultures. Nile currently lives in Denver and hopes to only add to the amazing dance and arts culture of Colorado.
 

Emily Sasson [bio]

Emily Sasson traveled New England as a hip hop choreographer, teacher and master class instructor, before relocating to Denver. Her choreography has won the High School Connecticut State Hip Hop Dance Championship two years in a row in addition to numerous Platinum and high score awards at National competitions. Professional credits include Darrin Henson’s original off-Broadway production of “Dreams Do Travel” and 4 years as Captain for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun Solar Power Dance Team with her final year as Assistant Coordinator for all three of the Sun dance teams. She currently is on staff at Cherry Creek Dance and is elated to have become part of their family!
 

Howard Sayette [bio]

Howard Sayette has had a long and distinguished career as dancer, teacher and ballet master. He appeared with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for four years, and was a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet from 1960-1972. Mr. Sayette was ballet master of the Oakland Ballet Co. for over 25 years. He has specialized in staging ballets from the Oakland Ballet repertoire for companies all over the world, including Eugene Loring’s BILLY THE KID for Colorado Ballet in 1994. He has staged Bronislava Nijinska’s LES NOCES for the Kirov Ballet at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, as well as for the Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and The Tokyo Ballet.
 

Jenny Schiff [bio]

Jenny Schiff is a sought-after choreographer and teacher with roots in Los Angeles, Denver, and Boulder. Beginning her professional career at the age of eleven, she has worked with some of today’s finest choreographers including Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Mia Michaels, Marguerite Derricks, Rudy Perez, Karon Brown-Lehman, Donald McKayle, and Cleo Parker Robinson. Jenny uses her extensive knowledge of both the commercial and contemporary dance world to offer her students a unique class experience. She has been a guest artist at Colorado College, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan. Currently she directs The Schiff Dance Collective and teaches throughout Colorado.
 

Larry Southall [bio]

Larry Southhall was born in the Bronx, NY where he began dancing hip-hop forms in the early eighties. He received a MFA at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He has worked with many companies including Boulder Ballet, Harambee African Dance Ensemble, Blue Moon, Motion Underground, Longmont Symphony and Dance Theatre, and Steamboat Springs Dance Theatre. Larry has worked as a master teacher at Dance Place in Washington DC, at Slippery Rock University and for the American College Dance Festival. He has choreographed for the Native Tongue Dance Theatre, Skeleton Dance Project, the Black College Dance Exchange and the “Legacies” concert of the American College Dance Festival in Boulder. Larry teaches traditional hip-hop and is an established and well respected teacher. He as served as adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado, he teaches at Longmont Dance Theatre, at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School and Summer Intensive among others.
 

Kelsey Tanner [bio]

Kelsey Tanner has a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University and an M.A. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Kelsey has performed with: Odyssey Dance Theatre of Salt Lake City, Young!Taanzsommer in Austria, and was a featured dancer in the Disney film “High School Musical 3.” She has choreographed award-winning routines throughout the country, and taught with Nexus Competitions and Conventions. She earned her Master of Arts in Dance from Texas Woman’s University in 2011, researching the use of competition and creativity in the private dance studio setting. She currently teaches at studios in the Denver area and travels doing freelance choreography.
 

David Taylor [bio]

David Taylor has been professionally involved in the Denver dance community for over thirty-five years. He founded the David Taylor Dance Theatre in 1979, one of the Rocky Mountain region’s most acclaimed, well recognized, and respected dance organizations. Mr. Taylor’s unique creative focal point has remained a fascination with ancient cultures and their cosmologies, explorations into metaphysical and ritualistic archetypal dance realizations, and multi-media artistic collaborations. He has also worked with Opera Colorado, Colorado Symphony, Denver Chamber Orchestra, Up Close and Musical Ensemble, National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado Wind Ensemble, Ascot Dinner Theatre, Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, Dayton Ballet in Ohio, and continues to be invited as a guest teacher and choreographer throughout the United States.
 

Lisa Trujillo [bio]

Lisa Trujillo has a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from Loretto Heights College and has studied in Madrid, Mexico City and Los Angles. She is a former Miss Colorado USA, Denver Broncos Cheerleader and Denver Nuggets Dancer Lisa’s Dance Academy are the official dancers for the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza for the National Western Stock Show and has performed halftime for Denver Broncos, Nuggets and Rapids. She has been guest artist for performances with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, Denver Art Museum and many cultural centers along with public and private schools throughout Colorado. Her Academy specializes in Flamenco and Mexican Folklorico and also offers classes in ballet jazz and lyrical for all ages.
 

Melissa Virtue [bio]

Melissa Virtue graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA. She has danced with Singapore Dance Ensemble, Pearl Lang Dance Theatre, and the Martha Graham Dance Company. She is thrilled to be in Denver teaching and performing as well as working with such beautiful dancers at DSA.
 

Jill Brammer Ware [bio]

Jill Brammer Ware is a choreographer, and performer and teacher of contemporary dance who graduated high school from Virginia School of the Arts, gained her B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase, and earned her M.F.A. from George Mason University. Jill is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Amaranth Contemporary Dance based in Richmond, VA and a guest performer of Alban Elved, the resident dance company of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Jill has represented Amaranth at the Praxis Project in LA where her work was lauded by the LA Times as “an invitation to beauty”. She has toured internationally to China, Taiwan and France with the Purchase Dance Corps where she performed in works of Kevin Jeff, Kevin Wynn and Mark Morris and has worked with many noted choreographers such as Scott Putman, Karola Luttringhaus, Gerri Houlihan, Kraig Patterson and Susan Shields. Jill has taught and been commissioned by a variety of universities, dance centers and festivals, most notably Virginia Commonwealth University, Ohio University, University of Richmond, Virginia School for the Arts, Randolph-Macon Women’s College, Sweet Briar College, St. Catherine’s School, The Richmond Ballet, The Governor’s School for Technology and the Arts and the Denver School of the Arts.
 

Amy Weisenhorn [bio]

Amy Weisenhorn is alum of the DSA dance department where she graduated in 2001, then continued to study dance at the University of Utah where she earned a BFA in 2005. She received her teaching license through the Stanley British Primary School Teacher Training Program, and loves working with children of all ages. She has taught preschool, kindergarten, summer camp, theater and dance for the past twelve years to kids, asw well as adults. She currently teaches at Denver School of the Arts, Paddington Station Preschool, Christian Youth Theatre, and Leap Dance Studio. She dances with MoraPorVida Contemporary Dance Company her in Denver, and also recently directed and choreographed a professional dance rendition of the music of the Eagles, performed live with Tribute Band Hotel California in Los Angeles. She has worked with Ronald K. Brown, PersonWidrig DanceTheater, Louder Than Words Dancetheatre, among others, and was also a part of several musical theater productions at the Rose Center Theater in Huntington Beach, CA. She is thrilled to be back working with such incredibly talented young people at DSA.
 

Noa Wertheim [bio]

Noa Wertheim was born in 1965 in USA and is married to Adi Sha’al. She is the mother of Yehonatan, Nov & Daniel. She is choreographer and artistic director of the Vertigo Dance Company. Noa was raised in a religious family from Netanya, by her parents Baruch and Sylvia. She started to dance in Esther’s Studio and with Sara Yochai, but her religious education prevented her from pursuing her dance career. She spent her three-year military service with the Nachal in the development city of Yerucham. In 1990 she completed her musical and dance studies at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Dance and Music. She performed with the Jerusalem Dance Company Tamar, where she met Adi Sha’al. Partners in life and dance, Wertheim and Sha’al founded the Vertigo Dance Company in 1992. Wertheim and Sha’al’s first professional collaboration, a short duet called Vertigo, led to the establishment of their company of the same name. The inspiration came from the first-hand experience Adi had with the sensation of vertigo during his years in training with the air force. Vertigo – the performance – was built upon the concept of spinning out of control, not just in the air, but in relationships as well. Sha’al remarks, “Noa and I created a piece which looks at the loss of direction – the dizziness – in the human duet.” Noa is the winner of numerous prizes, including the 1998 Ministry of Education Prize for Choreography and the 2003 Landau Prize for the Performing Arts.
 

Brian Young [bio]

Brian Young, a Colorado native, began singing and dancing at a very young age and quickly realized that the performing arts would become his life’s work. After graduating High School Brian moved to Las Vegas, NV to attend UNLV as a dance performance major. While in school Brian taught and performed in and around Las Vegas. Some of his performing credits include EFX, starring Tommy Tune, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, The Bob Fosse Review at the Rio Hotel and Casino, numerous conventions and industrials, music videos, and in 1999/2000 was privileged to sing back up for Barbra Streisand in Timeless: The Millennium Concerts at MGM Grand Garden Arena under the direction of Marvin Hamlish. Brian later moved to Chicago to further train and dance with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where he was mentored by “The first woman of jazz dance”, Pattie Obey, as well as working with jazz dance greats including Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchett, Sherie Zunker-Dow, Eddie Ocampo, Debbie Tillman, and Emily Yewell. Brian moved from Chicago to perform with the LA Jazdanz Company and was later chosen to premier its sister company LA Jazdanz 2 as a principal dancer in San Francisco, CA. He later took a position as a dance captain with Royal Caribbean International to launch the mega ship “Adventure of the Seas” before moving back to Colorado to plant some roots. Brian has taught master classes at over twenty Colorado dance studios and taught Advanced levels of Jazz, Lyrical, and Tap class at both locations of Colorado Ballet Academy where he was also the Competition Program Director. For the past four years Brian has been a guest Jazz dance teacher and choreographer at Denver School of the Arts. Locally, Brian has set choreography on both David Taylor Dance Theatre and Colorado Ballet, and has choreographed numerous award winning pieces for his students including both first and second place Contemporary Ballet pieces at the Youth American Grand Prix ballet competition. Recently Brian taught jazz on the Manhattan Dance Project tour, a national tour featuring master classes by Broadway’s premier dancers, and himself. Since the age of 7 Brian always dreamed of the day he’d open his own studio – SWEATshop is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work and is the realization of this dream!
 

Inquiries

Any dance professional interested in becoming a guest artist for the Denver School of the Arts Department of Dance and Movement is encouraged to contact Alicia Karczewski, Director and Michael O’Banion, Director using the following form.

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