MORE FACULTY TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

DANCE FACULTY


Alice Blumenfeld
Alice Blumenfeld is the founder and artistic director of Abrepaso Flamenco and is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Oberlin College. She fell in love with flamenco at age 12, and her current work combines a strong foundation in flamenco’s musical structures with processes from contemporary dance to create flamenco performances. Her choreography has been commissioned by the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Mendocino College, Clinard Dance Chicago, The Jewish Community Center of Great Albuquerque, Jácome Flamenco, and the American Bolero Dance Co. Blumenfeld holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University and a BA in Comparative Literature from New York University. In 2012, she received a Fulbright Grant in dance, studying flamenco in Sevilla, Spain. With over ten years as a freelance dancer, she has performed with companies from L.A. to NYC, including; Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Nélida Tirado & Co., Pasión y Arte, The American Bolero Dance Co., EntreFlamenco, Grammy Award winner Hernán Romero, Forever Flamenco, and many others.


LEEWEI CHAO
Born in Taipei, Taiwan. LeeWei Chao started his ballet training at age 15 with Ms. Xiao Lee, who brought from Russia the Vaganova ballet method to Taiwan. After dancing with Taipei City Ballet, Henry Yu Dance Company, He joined Singapore Dance Theater.

In 1996 Mr. Chao joined Joffrey Ballet Concert Dancer in New York City, followed by dancing carrier with Joffrey Ballet Chicago and Milwaukee Ballet Company.

Mr. Chao started his choreography work while he was dancing with Milwaukee Ballet Company. His works have been perform by Milwaukee Ballet Company, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Oklahoma City Ballet, New Mexico School of The Arts, TCU Residency and among the others.

In 2014 Mr. Chao received National Choreography Recognition Award from Regional Dance America.

Mr. Chao has been teaching at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, LINES Ballet Training Program, LINES Ballet Summer Program, LINES Ballet Dance Center, LINES Ballet BFA Program Dominican university, Stanford University, National University of Taipei,Taiwan, ODC Dance San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Smuin Ballet company and among the others.

Mr. Chao was featured in August 2018 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine.


Evelyn Cisneros-Legate
Born in Long Beach California and raised in Huntington Beach, Cisneros began studying ballet at the age of 8 in an effort to overcome her profound shyness. Cisneros later received full summer scholarships to the San Francisco Ballet School and the School of American Ballet and upon completing her high school education, she began her apprenticeship with the San Francisco Ballet in 1976. In 1977 she joined the Company under the directorship of Co-Artistic Directors, Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin. Cisneros soon began dancing principal roles, many choreographed for her by Smuin himself. She performed her original roles in national television broadcasts of A Song for Dead Warriors and The Tempest, as well as the title role of Cinderella and noteworthy “live broadcast” from the White House in 1982. Her success continued under San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director, Helgi Tomasson, appointed in 1985. She has danced the leading roles in a diverse repertoire of classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, and La Fille Mal Gardeé. Numerous resident and visiting choreographers have created works for her including Tomasson, Val Caniparoli, James Kudelka and Mark Morris. Her contemporary repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Stanton Welch and Jiri Kylian. She has toured the world performing with the Company and as a guest artist.

Cisneros has been featured on the covers of Dance Magazine, Ballet News, and Hispanic Magazine, and received numerous awards for her community activism and artistic achievements. She is held in high regards by the Hispanic community of the Bay Area and serves as role model to many. Cisneros holds honorary doctorate degrees from Mills College and the University of California Monterey Bay. In May of 1999, Cisneros retired from the San Francisco Ballet with a Gala performance in her honor, and in celebration KQED produced a 1/2hour documentary of her life, entitled Evelyn Cisneros, Moving On.

Following retirement in 1999, Cisneros became the host of KQED’s monthly current events program “Bay Windows”. During this time, Cisneros also became an artistic consultant with San Francisco Ballet, where she hosted and provided content for Family Connection workshops, pre-performance talks, Community Matinees and the Ballet’s popular Casual Friday Program. In November 2001, Cisneros was appointed Ballet Education Coordinator in the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education. In this capacity, she hosted, prepared and presented content for Community Matinees, movement workshops and discussions for SFBCDE’s popular Family Connections Series, and for Dance Education on Tour. Miss Cisneros was also part of a team of educators training ballet docents involved in the IMPACT program. She prepared online study guide content to educate students and teachers about the key elements of ballet, including music and terminology.

Since 2000 Cisneros has taught at summer intensive courses for the Kansas City Ballet in Crested Butte Colorado, The Boston Ballet School in Boston Ma. a week long intensive in Carmel Ca. as well as teaching the New York City Ballet Workout at the Bay Club in San Francisco twice weekly, and for Smuin Ballet SF on occasion. She has staged ballets for Val Caniparoli and Michael Smuin for the following ballet companies: Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Theatre Ballet in South Africa, Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds England, Ballet Florida, Kansas City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. Cisneros also has taught company class for the following ballet companes: Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, State Theatre Ballet in South Africa, Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds England, Ballet Florida, and the Kansas City Ballet. Prior it’s closing, Cisneros was Academy Director for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine California for eight months, and served as Ballet Pacifica’s Company Artistic Director, producing the Nutcracker performed at the Barclay Theater for 21 performances. She has also co-authored “Ballet for Dummies” with conductor Scott Speck, which is available at most bookstores and at Amazon.com.

In 2010 Cisneros accepted the position of Principal for Boston Ballet’s North Shore Studio in the township of Marblehead MA. This state of the art studio was newly opened with 35 students, and in the 4 years Cisneros was working there the studio acquired approximately 330 additional students. Cisneros also was adjunct professor at Endicott college building a ballet curriculum, and developed a ballet curriculum for the YMCA’s gymnastics teams in Marblehead.

In 2013 Cisneros accepted the position of Artistic Director of The National Dance Institute of New Mexico in Albuquerque at The Hiland. Here she is responsible for building the newly renovated, state of the art Hiland after school program. When she began working there the student body was 235 students, today the registered student body is 470. Cisneros is responsible for managing 32 instructors, 3 pianists 2 administrators and for teaching and overseeing the 10 studios that make up The Hiland. She is also responsible for building the ballet program and directing the Company Xcel and newly appointed Jr. Company Xcel. She has choreographed for the annual Winter Dance Escape performances in February, and continues to teach 10 to 12 weekly classes.

Cisneros is married to former San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Stephen Legate. Dr. Stephen Legate is now a successful Chiropractor who still enjoys teaching ballet to the next generation of dancers. Together they have a son Ethan and daughter Sophia, who are their ultimate accomplishments and joy.


THOM CLOWER
Known as one of the most energetic and inspiring teachers across the country, Thom Clower's "evangelistic" approach to teaching has touched the lives and careers of dancers around the world for 40 years. With extensive training in the Vaganova, Balanchine, Cecchetti, and Bournonville techniques, Mr. Clower combines the qualities of each one of these styles to present a technique that is true and versatile.

Trained in Dallas, School of American Ballet, Paris, Amsterdam, and London, Thom performed eleven seasons with Dallas Ballet, served as Artistic Director of Ballet Dallas for eight seasons, Ballet Master for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Artistic Director of Yuma Ballet Theatre in Arizona.

Believing very strongly in Regional Dance America, Mr. Clower served as the Director of Ballet at numerous RDA Craft of Choreography Conferences (NCI), and at The Glenda Brown Choreography Project. He has been a guest teacher for Regional Festivals since 1992, and faculty at the National Festival both in 1997 and 2007. Mr. Clower has proudly served in the capacity of Adjudicator for SERBA, RDA/NE, RDA/Mid States, RDA/SW, and will once again Adjudicate for SERBA in 2019.

Since 2001 Thom Clower has worked around the world as a freelance master teacher and choreographer. He has been a guest teacher for Oklahoma City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Atlanta Ballet. He has been a guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center, as Associate Ballet Master for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and has served annually as Ballet Master for Young! Tanzsommer – Stars of Tomorrow International since 2002. Beginning in August of 2018, Mr. Clower will become the Artistic Director of the Ballet Ensemble of Texas, and join the faculty of the Ballet Academy of Texas.


FRANCISCO GELLA
Francisco Gella’s distinguished twenty-five year career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely-recognized dance educator, began when he took his first formal dance class during his freshman year at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe. In addition to teaching dancers and students, Francisco is frequently invited to train other teachers in effective pedagogical method with a proven holistic approach – focusing on the intersection of technical, artistic, psychological and spiritual dimensions of dancers.

A 1996 graduate with a BA in dance from the University of Washington, Francisco is a past company member with the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO); Repertory Dance Theater; and Ballet Pacifica. He has been a guest performer with Spectrum Dance Theater; Chamber Dance Company; Seattle Opera; Pennsylvania Ballet; California Ballet; Laguna Dance Festival; and National Choreographers Initiative. In 1998, Francisco performed as a principal soloist at the Closing Ceremonies in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan and was featured in a PBS Dance in America Special in Daniel Ezralow’s holiday satirical work entitled the X-mas Philes.

Francisco’s choreographic commissions include Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet Pacifica, California Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut-Up and Dance Production, PHILADANCO’s Danco on Danco program, Laguna Dance Festival, Tucson Regional Ballet, University of Utah Ballet Ensemble, University of Washington Faculty Concert, Irvine Valley College, Ballet East, DANCO/II, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Orange County School for the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. His commission ‘Between the Lines’, set on PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company), premiered at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and was selected by PHILADANCO’S Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown as the company’s sole performance at the opening to the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Most recently, Francisco was invited to be the resident artist at the Palm Springs Dance Festival where his new work will have its world premier this spring. And in the upcoming 2019/20 season, he is commissioned for new works with Ballet Idaho and Brigham Young University Contemporary Ensemble.

Among the recognition he has received includes numerous choreography awards at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition including Outstanding Choreographer, and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the National Regional Dance America Conference in 2007. In 2013, Francisco premiered ‘Concentric Harmonies’ at Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles, a work that went on to receive the Grand Prize at the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, his work ‘Solstice’, performed by the Phoenix Ballet had its world premier at the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Beijing Dance Academy and its European premiere at Poland’s prestigious Lodz International Ballet Festival. In May 2016, his work ‘Souvenirs de Mouvement’ was selected as a featured performance at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing & Visual Arts’ annual ‘Flying Horse Gala’. In 2018, Francisco's work 'Timelapse', performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was selected for the gala performance at the National High School Dance Festival. Francisco is the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As founder of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous educational programs; Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the New Century Dance Project (a youth dance festival for choreography and performance), The Ballet Company Intensive co-presented with Ballet Idaho, the College Prep program, and Dance 360 – an online educational community that provides ongoing knowledge and support for students, parents, and teachers. Additionally, Francisco is the lead ballet and modern faculty member for the 24 Seven Dance Convention and founding director of ARIA Ballet Intensive produced by Break The Floor. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Francisco now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


GEO HUBELA
With over 20 years experience in the Entertainment Industry, GEO Hubela is a Choreographer, Artistic Director, Dancer & Teacher. He also is Co-owner and Director of one of New Jerseys leading Dance Education facilities, ICON DANCE COMPLEX, home of the ICONic Dance Company.

GEO has choreographed internationally for stage and screen in France, Germany, the UK and Taiwan. His most recent work is Choreographing the first ever Live Stage Show for Lionsgate Films “STEP UP” franchise at Motiongate Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. His other recent work includes multiple campaigns for Old Navy, including a holiday campaign starring Stranger Things co-star Gaten Matarazzo.

GEO was seen on Season 1 of MTV’s Randy Jackson presents “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “America’s Got Talent” as Director, Choreographer and dancer for the ICONic Dance Crew. Other choreography credits include Aaron Carter, Kelly Rowland, Lil’ Mama, Brian McKnight on Celebrity Apprentice 2, and industrial shows for companies such as Prudential, Macy’s, Murphy USA, Food & Wine Magazine, the Big Apple Awards and more. He has also choreographed national commercials for Jet Blue, Best Buy, Slim Fast, and was Asst. Choreographer on the Campbell’s Soup campaign starring John Lithgow.

As a performer, GEO has danced with some of the biggest stars in the music industry such as Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, P!NK, Britney Spears, 'NSYNC, Jessica Simpson, Macy Gray, Selena, Smashmouth, Lindsey Lohan, Deborah Cox and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. GEO's other Film and TV credits include; GLEE, Standing Ovation Movie, The Wedding Singer, Boys & Girls, Step Up, That 70's Show, Chicago Hope, The Young and the Restless, Fame LA, The Nikki Cox Show, The Miss America Pageant, The Goodwill Games, The NAACP Image Awards and the 69th Annual Academy Awards.

With 25 years experience teaching Hip Hop and Street Jazz, GEO has been on faculty and guest faculty for such Dance Conventions as Tremaine, Co. Dance, Monsters of Hip Hop, The Pulse, Starpower, Headliners and more. Today, GEO is currently on faculty and tours the country with Showstopper, Dance Educators of America, Danza, Encore DCS, Encore Performing Arts Dance Conventions and the Dance Life Teacher Conference.

GEO’s ICONic Dancers are performing professionally, appearing at events such as World of Dance Live, Beatstock, the Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden and on TV specials on Nickelodeon and MTV. GEO’s students also dance for the Brooklyn Nets Kids and NY KNICKS City Kidz dance teams. They have also performed at special events for such brands as Clearasil, Microsoft, Old Navy, ESPN and more. One of GEO’s biggest accomplishments is Creator, Choreographer and Manager of the internationally known ICONic Boyz Dance Crew. The Boyz were Runner-Up on Season 6 of Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV and had become teen pop culture dance sensations.

GEO’s biggest reward is passing on his passion for dance to the next generation of dancers and teachers.


STEPHEN LEGATE
Stephen Legate was born in Portland Oregon and moved to Southern California when he was 4 years old. He began his training at Mary Lynn's Ballet Arts in Riverside and at 12 received a full scholarship to the National Ballet School, in Toronto Canada. Here he had the opportunity to study with several noteworthy teachers, and was coached by world-renowned dancer and teacher, Erik Bruhn. He also spent a fall at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Upon graduation from the National Ballet School of Canada, he was given a Corps de Ballet contract in The National Ballet of Canada. After rising to the ranks of Soloist he decided in 1991 to return to California, where he was offered a Soloist contract with the San Francisco Ballet.

In 1992, Legate was promoted to Principal Dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, and has since performed many lead roles, in both the classical and contemporary repertoire. These roles have included Romeo in Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, Prince Desiré in Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, and Prince Siegfried in Tomasson’s Swan Lake, Colas in Sir Fredrick Ashton’s La Fille mal Gardée, the Cavalier in Nutcracker, and Cassio in Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, among others. His contemporary work has included leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, 4 Temperaments, Symphony in C, Bugaku, Serenade, and Rubies. His Jerome Robbins Repertoire includes In the Night, Glass Pieces, The Concert, The Cage, and Dances at a Gathering.

In addition, he has had several works created on him by choreographers including Vladimir Anguelov, Mark Morris, Val Caniparoli, Lar Lubovitch, Yuri Possokhov, Redha, Stanton Welch, Helgi Tomasson, and Lila York. Over his fifteen-year tenure with the San Francisco Ballet, Legate has performed leading roles in works by internationally recognized choreographers such as, James Kudelka, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Nacho Duarte, Jiri Killian, Hans van Manen, Christopher Bruce, William Forsythe and David Bintley.

Legate’s awards include the Best Male Dancer in the Eric Bruhn ballet competition in 1989, and the Isadora Duncan Award for best performance in an ensemble, with Evelyn Cisneros in “Rubies,” April 2000. Legate was also popular as a guest artist and partnered ballerinas nationally as well as on the international stage. He is featured on a Fox TV Production of “A Supernatural Evening with Santana” with Evelyn Cisneros, choreography by Julia Adam, April 2000, available on DVD.

Legate retired on May 5, 2006 with a final farewell performance in which he danced works by Jerome Robbins, Hans Van Manen and Lar Lubovitch. He has been acclaimed as one of San Francisco Ballet’s strongest male dancers, most elegant and attentive partners, and a versatile dancer with a vastly diverse repertoire.

Having trained with some of the finest teachers in the ballet world, Legate’s teaching experience includes teaching master classes during his career as a dancer, developing and implementing a partnering curriculum for Boston Ballet’s summer intensive program, running two summer intensives in Carmel California, teaching at University of California Irvine, and coaching several dancers for International Ballet Competitions.

Legate has completed Chiropractic College graduating Cum Laude, on the Deans List and with special commendation. His experience as a professional artist/ athlete gives him a unique insight and desire to enhance athletic abilities in others. Dr. Legate specializes in the treatment of professional dancers, with the same commitment and dedication he sustained for 21 years as a professional dancer. He is married to former Prima Ballerina Evelyn Cisneros, who has most recently been the Principal of Boston Ballet’s Marblehead Studio and Artistic Director of the National Dance Institute of New Mexico at The Hiland in Albuquerque. Legate has maintained a presence in the dance world and is on the faculty of NDI NM where he teaches and choreographs. They have two beautiful children Ethan and Sophia.


ROBBIE MACKEY
Robbie Mackey continues to enjoy a wonderfully successful 30-year career writing, directing and choreographing live, family-based entertainment shows and parades around the world.

Most recently, Robbie choreographed the THEA Award winning nighttime spectacular “Chimelong Ocean Park Journey Of Lights Parade” for Miziker Entertainment in Zhuhai China.

For the Walt Disney Company, Robbie has directed and staged a multitude of events including 2 Super Bowl Half-Time Shows, the Emmy Award winning Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade and countless television specials with such stars as Patti La Belle, Tom Hanks, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson, Lance Bass, the late Nell Carter, Rita Moreno and Tommy Tune.

For Royal Caribbean, Robbie co-wrote and directed the long running Dreamworks aerial and dive show “Let You Entertain Me” starring the Madagascar family of characters and 3 Centrum Wow aerial shows currently running on 2 ships.

Additional projects include: stage directing of the ABC Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade for the past 15 years, staging The Annual Tournament of Roses Parade from 2009 to 2018, writing and directing “The Pajama Jam” kid’s show for Nickelodeon and creating and directing main stage aerial spectaculars for the Disney Cruise Line, choreography for Tiawan’s Discovery World day parade.

Robbie’s international television and live show credits include the National Lottery Show for BBC in London, the Salvation Army’s 150th Anniversary, the Grand Opening and 5th Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland and the 15th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris. Most recently, Robbie served as the Creative Director in Manaus, Brazil producing the mega-sized, live TV holiday spectacular “Glorioso!” with a cast of over 4,000 performers.


MARK E. MCCULLOUGH
Yoga (Vinyasa), and Tai Chi (Yang style)

Certified, YogaFit, Inc., Fitness First, Inc.; Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor, The Fitness Center at Kernersville; Yoga Instructor, Gramercy Research Group; Yoga and Tai Chi Instructor, ABT Summer Intensive Programs (at UNCSA) In 2010, McCullough established the Mobile Yoga Company, with the intention of bringing yoga to forward-thinking individuals and corporations, at their homes and places of business. His Winston-Salem clientele included Orthopaedic Specialists of the Carolinas, NC Baptist Hospital, Bishop McGuiness High School (women’s basketball team), Gateway YWCA, Fulton YMCA, and Gold’s Gym. Currently, in addition to his Studio Eleve’ classes, Mark teaches yoga at The Fitness Center @ Kernersville, the Gramercy Research Group, and occasionally at the UNC School of the Arts. He is the yoga instructor for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Programs at UNCSA (2012-2016). Mark also teaches yoga-for-dancers at various dance schools throughout North Carolina (Charlotte, Monroe, Chapel Hill, Apex, Wilmington), as well as in New Mexico and Arizona, and 2018 Southwest Regional Ballet Festival in Dallas. Mark’s yoga practice is primarily influenced by the traditional Vinyasa style of yoga. His classes are intended for student practitioners of all levels and sports interests. He, himself, continues to take classes in yoga and Tai Chi, in order to expand and share his knowledge of the physical and philosophical aspects of holistic health. Mark is the co-founder, along with Christine Spizzo, of Studio Elevé.


ALEX OSSADNIK
Mr. Ossadnik was trained in Dresden, in the formerly Soviet occupied East Germany. After his career on the stage in Germany, France and the United States, he served numerous companies as teacher, ballet master, choreographer and director since 1996.

As artistic director, choreographer, Alex has worked with artists from Alberta Ballet (Canada), Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza de Mexico, Joffrey Ballet, Joven Ballet de Jalisco, and with personalities such as Natalia Krassovska and Galina Mezentseva.

Alex has choreographed an extensive repertory of chamber music ballets for Santa Fe Festival Ballet, for which he was Co-Founder and Ballet Director from 1996 to 1999. He also co-founded the Public Academy for Performing Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Atlantic Southeast Ballet in Charleston, South Carolina, and Ballet Pro Musica in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Besides his adaptations of classics such as Coppelia, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, he has created original full-length ballets like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz and, most recently, The Little Mermaid for Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico. He has also choreographed for Festival Ballet Albuquerque.

He served as ballet master for Ballet Idaho from 2008 to 2018, where he also choreographed among others The Rite of Spring, The Four Seasons, Circus, and in collaboration with the Boise Philharmonic, The Creation of the World and Sacred Land.

Alex has taught around the world, from Veronique’s Ecole de Danse in Bordeaux, France to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico besides numerous studios in South Carolina, Texas, Oregon, and Washington to Compania National de Danza in Mexico City and Marr Mac Dance Studio in Edmonton, Alberta and Ballet BC and Pro Arte in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In August of 2018, Alex began serving as Artistic Director for Ballet Wichita in Kansas.


Antoinette Peloso
Antoinette Peloso was a long-time member and Principal Dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Company at New York’s Lincoln Center. During her tenure she had the opportunity to work with opera’s brightest stars as well as many ballet luminaries, including George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Anthony Tudor, Natalia Makarova, Fernando Bujones, Violette Verdy, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Allegra Kent and Antony Dowell.

Born and raised in New Mexico, at age thirteen, Antoinette auditioned for and won admission to England’s Royal Ballet School. Over the next five years she received extensive training in classical and character techniques. Working with the Royal Ballet's top coaches and teachers she was schooled in the Vaganova and Cechetti methods. After graduating with Honors she returned to the United States and began dancing professionally in New York. In addition to her seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, Antoinette has been a guest artist with numerous ballet companies dancing roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Les Sylphides, Romeo and Juliet, Spartacus, the Nutcracker dancing Sugar Plum over 50 times, Pas de Quatre dancing every role except Grahn, as well as many original works.

She is currently on faculty at New York City’s Ballet Arts Studio and a frequent guest teacher for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company. Antoinette continues to teach master classes nationally as time allows.

Over the years there have been many influential teachers: most notably, David Howard, Patricia Wilde, Robert Blankshine and Andrei Tremaine.


VLADIMIR CONDE RECHE
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Vladimir received his BFA from The Julliard School and MFA in choreography from the University of Iowa; danced with Cisne Negro Dance Company, Ballet Stagiun, and guest artist for other companies. Vladimir has been performing, choreographing and teaching all over the globe.

Amongst the countries he had worked in are Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, England, Germany, Italy, Mongolia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa, the United States and Uruguay. Vladimir also participated in a workshop in Israel with Ohad Naharin and dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company, immersing himself in Naharin’s Gaga technique.

With an extensive training in ballet and my background in Graham, Limón, and Taylor techniques, I teach classes in Ballet, Modern Dance, and choreography aligning traditional and contemporary disciplines, applying the necessary approaches to guide dancers of the current generation towards the demands of present performance arenas. My technique classes offer a clear and functional architecture for the body. Ballet classes focus on the form and functionality of its classical form above and beyond any particular style. This open approach, focused on the functionality of movement, makes ballet appropriate for a wider range of body types. The stress on functionality, mechanics and organic movement also make a strong connection to the approach in my contemporary classes. My classes focus on developing a correct basic position, endurance and speed, coordination, musicality, differentiation of movement qualities, transitions between diverse movements, and the use of weight. Through encouragement and disciplined class work students undergo a process of self-discovery, learning the way to develop artistry through dance, professionalism changes from goal to reality.


MARIANA SHEDDEN
Mariana Shedden, Ph.D is the founder and director of Shedden Pilates in Albuquerque, New Mexico and an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico Physical Education Program. She is a Romana's Pilates certified teacher, trained in the classical method taught by Romana Kryzanowska's first generation teachers. Romana was the world-renowned protégé of Joseph Pilates. Mariana also holds a Doctorate degree in Exercise Sciences, a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, and is a certified Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine. Her work reflects a commitment to preserve the integrity of the original Pilates method. She has trained professional and pre-professional dancers as well as college athletes following the Pilates principles of body conditioning and injury prevention. She is a published author on Pilates and exercise physiology. Her articles have been featured in the Journal of Dance Medicine & Sciences, and the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Journal.


JOCK SOTO
Jock Soto, who is half Navajo Indian and half Puerto Rican, was born in Gallup, New Mexico, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. At the age of five, he began studying ballet with local teachers after seeing a television special featuring Edward Villella in the Rubies section of George Balanchine’s Jewels. Mr. Soto continued his studies at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet. While at the School, Mr. Soto danced the role of "Luke" in Peter Martins' The Magic Flute, which was choreographed for the School's 1981 Workshop performances. That year, Georges Balanchine invited him to become a member of the Company's corps de ballet. In June 1984 he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and one year later, he became a principal dancer. Mr. Soto's extensive repertory includes featured roles in many of George Balanchine's ballets, including Agon, Allegro Brillante, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (first, third, and fourth movements), Bugaku, Cortege Hongrois, Danses Concertantes, Donizetti Variations, Episodes, Firebird, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Glinka Pas de Trois, Rubies from Jewels, Kammermusik No. 2, Liebeslieder Walzer, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Mozartiana, Orpheus, Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlerdanze, Scotch Symphony, La Sonnambula, Stars and Stripes, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Union Jack, Vienna Waltzes, and Western Symphony. He has also danced featured roles in a number of ballets by Jerome Robbins, including Afternoon of a Faun, The Cage, Dances at a Gathering, The Four Seasons, Glass Pieces, I'm Old Fashioned, In the Night, Moves, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and West Side Story Suite, as well as Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto, Swan Lake, Symphonic Dances, and Valse Triste, and Robert La Fosse’s Concerto in Five Movements. Mr. Martins has created principal roles on Mr. Soto in a number of his ballets, including Adams Violin Concerto, Bach Concerto V, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Delight of the Muses, Ecstatic Orange, Fearful Symmetries, A Fool for You, Guide to Strange Places, Harmonielehre, The Infernal Machine, Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements), Morgen, A Schubertiad, Sinfonia, Songs of the Auvergne, Them Twos, and Thou Swell. During New York City Ballet's Spring 1988 American Music Festival, Mr. Soto originated featured roles in Mr. Martins' Black and White, Robert Weiss's Archetypes, Laura Dean's Space, and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's Five, and performed in Richard Tanner's pas de deux Sonatas and Interludes. In addition, he originated roles in Miriam Mahdaviani's Urban Dances; Kevin O'Day's Huoah; Mr. Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances, Operetta Affezionata, and Schoenberg/Wuorinen Variations; Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Chiaroscuro; Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain, Liturgy, Mercurial Manoeuvres, Morphoses, Polyphonia; Shambards, and Slavonic Dances; and Damian Woetzel’s Ebony Concerto. Mr. Soto has appeared as a guest artist with the Kirov Ballet in Jewels in 2003 and at the Bolshoi Theatre with stars from New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre in 2003. In addition to his guest appearances, Mr. Soto has staged numerous ballets around the World, including works by Balanchine, Robbins, Martin, and Wheeldon, and many more. Mr. Soto's television appearances with New York City Ballet include five Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts on PBS: "A Choreographer's Notebook: Stravinsky Piano Ballets by Peter Martins," "Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, "Swan Lake" choreographed by Mr. Martins; Ray Charles in Concert with the New York City Ballet, reprising his role in A Fool for You; New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography, dancing in Chiaroscuro, Mercurial Manoeuvres, and Them Twos; and Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100, dancing in Liebeslieder Walzer. Mr. Soto also appeared in Mr. Bonnefoux's Five, as part of the Guggenheim Museum's Works in Process series on PBS. He has appeared on seven episodes of Sesame Street, including three in which he appeared with former NYCB principal dancer Lourdes Lopez. Mr. Soto was a celebrity guest-chef on the TV Food Network's Talking Food, hosted by Robin Leach, and has appeared as a celebrity judge on Channel 13's Masterchef. He has also been featured on A&E's Breakfast with the Arts as Artist of the Week.

In addition to his performing career, Mr. Soto served as a member of SAB's permanent faculty from 1996 to 2015. During the 2017 New Mexico State legislative session, Mr. Soto received the State’s Certificate of Appreciation from Senator John Pinto for his contribution to the arts.

Mr. Soto resides in Eagle Nest, NM with his husband Luis Fuentes and his pet beagle “Bandit”. Water Flowing Together, a feature documentary on Mr. Soto was aired on PBS in 2006. Every Step You Take, Mr. Soto’s critically acclaimed memoir, was published by Harper Collins in 2011.


CHRISTINE SPIZZO
Certified, ABT National Training Curriculum; Adjunct faculty, UNC School of the Arts; Ballet faculty, Dancers’ Edge (Kernersville & WS)
Born in Belleville, Illinois, dancer Christine Spizzo trained at the San Francisco Ballet School, the NC School of the Arts (now UNCSA), and at the School of American Ballet in New York. Upon graduation, she joined the National Ballet of Washington (DC), and the Ballet Repertory Company (NY), ultimately joining American Ballet Theatre in 1975. A soloist with ABT, Spizzo appeared in numerous Live From Lincoln Center and Dance in America telecasts, as well as the Herbert Ross films “The Turning Point” and “Dancers,” and in Baryshnikov’s “Nutcracker” and “Don Quixote” video films. Spizzo was a Principal dancer with Ballet Arizona from 1988-1990, and with the Nureyev & Friends North American tour in 1990. She performed in the Broadway company of “Phantom of the Opera” from 1990-2000. Also during that time, she was an adjunct professor at both NYU and SUNY/Purchase. In 1996, she served as Artistic Coordinator of ABT’s inaugural Summer Intensive Program, and has remained a principal teacher in all subsequent ABT Summer Intensives (NYC, NC, TX, ALA). She is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum Instructor, Primary-L8. In 2000, Spizzo joined the dance faculty at UNCSA, where she worked for 10 years, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. She taught in the School of the Arts’ Preparatory Dance Program for several years, and, periodically, still teaches ballet at UNCSA. She is also on faculty at the Dancers’ Edge dance studio in Kernersville and Winston-Salem. Christine is actively engaged as a Guest teacher and stager of classical ballet repertoire at various schools throughout North Carolina, as well as in New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California. She has been on the ballet faculty of the Southeast Regional and Southwest Regional Ballet Festivals since 2014. Spizzo is the owner and co-founder, along with Mark McCullough, of Studio Elevé.


DR. MEL A. TOMLINSON
January 3, 1954 - February 5, 2019
Dr. Mel A. Tomlinson is a native of Raleigh, NC, and studied in America and Italy. He earned both his high school (1972) and college (1974) degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N. C. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Christian Psychology from Carolina University of Theology in 2000. And entered into the ministry in Charlotte, N. C. Tomlinson is certified in Pilates, Phlebotomy and American Sign Language. Mel was a lead dancer with the following companies where he performed in principal roles: Agnes DeMille’s Heritage Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, N. C. Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet and New York City Ballet. He has traveled the world and performed before Presidents, Crown Heads of State, Kings, and Queens. Tomlinson has worked with such greats as: George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Mitchell, Alvin Ailey, Agnes DeMille, Sir Frederick Franklin, Peter Martins, Bill Cosby, Josephine Baker, Ray Charles and Maya Angelou to name a few. He has taught and choreographed for the faculties of; Harvard University, UNCSA, UNC- Charlotte, Boston Conservatory, Southern Methodist University, and Boston Ballet’s CITYDANCE. His choreography is based in classical ballet technique and line with shades of contemporary, jazz, tap, liturgical and even folk. He is moved by music and considers the people he is working with to be his muses. Tomlinson’s work has received acclaim from dance critics and audiences at large. Of particular note was the award for Most Outstanding Choreographer for the 2007 Youth Grand Prix at which he won first place recognition. Mel’s autobiography “BEYOND MY DREAMS: A Biographical Memoir” as told to Claudia Folts with foreword by Heather Watts was published by Turning Point Press in April 2018. Presently he is freelancing as a guest teacher and choreographer giving master classes and workshops throughout the world.