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Summer Intensive 2014 at Colorado Ballet

Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

Summer Intensive: June 16 - July 25, 2014

Special guest instructors: Stella AbreraDana BentonGil Boggs, Erica Fischbach, John Gardner, Domenico LucianoValerie MadoniaAmanda McKerrow, Sascha RadetskyJudy Rice, Igor Vassine, Dominic Walsh, and Sharon Wehner 

SIP 2014 program

Colorado Ballet Academy offers a Summer Intensive program for the young dancer through pre-professional levels. The Academy has a history of transitioning students into the Colorado Ballet Company along with other companies worldwide. With internationally renowned master teachers and our own highly regarded school faculty, our program provides  appropriate ballet technique classes designed to provide far reaching improvement for each student.

Students can choose a residential or day program from June 16-July 25, with the option of attending two, four, five or six weeks. Students wishing to perform at the conclusion of the program must attend the 4, 5 or 6 week option.

Focus is placed on developing the whole dancer by offering classes according to level in ballet technique, pre-pointe, pointe, men's class,variations, pas de deux, modern, contemporary, character, pilates, body conditioning as well as lectures on injury prevention, nutrition and dance history. For more information regarding tuition for the summer intensive please click here

* All students attending our Summer Intensive will be considered for our year-long pre-professional program as well as the opportunity to join the Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company.

Application Process

Summer Intensive Program Audition Application

Admission to the Summer Intensive Program is by audition only. Applicants may audition in person or submit a high-quality DVD video or YouTube link (may be set to private by shared link). There is a $25 application fee if paid in advance, $30 if paid at time of audition, and $35 if applying by DVD/YouTube; please make checks payable to Colorado Ballet Academy. Upon receipt of your acceptance letter please fill out an acceptance packet to secure your spot in the program. 

Audition Dates

For more details please visit our Audition Page

Video Audition Instructions  

Colorado Ballet Academy gives first preference to students who audition in person. However, we do accept videos (non returnable) if circumstances prevent you from attending a live audition. There is a $35 video audition fee, which may be paid by check or money order made out to "Colorado Ballet Academy".  The video must be recorded within 3 months prior to submission and video must be received no later than March 17, 2014. The video must be in a DVD format ready to view on American DVD players or as YouTube link. Please enclose an audition registration form. Results will be communicated in April. Please mail your application with your photo (1st arabesque, 5x7 inches), DVD, $35 audition fee, and dance resume (optional) to:

Julia Patterson
Colorado Ballet
1278 Lincoln Street 
Denver, CO 80203

You may also send a YouTube video link to  If you do not want to post a video on YouTube for the public, the video can be private between shared links. Please note: we will not view any YouTube auditions without an accompanying application and audition fee. 

The videotape for an individual or class should include the following:

Summer Intensive 2013Barre Work one side

  • Plies
  • Battements
  • Tondus
  • Ronde Jambe a Terre
  • Adagio
  • Grand Battements
  • Stretch
Center floor work       
  • Adagio
  • Pirouette Combination
  • Petit Allegro
  • Grand Allegro 
Pointe work   
  • Echappés
  • Pique Arabesque
  • Pirouettes en Pointe
  • Waltz Combination 
 The video should not exceed 15 minutes in length. 
* Please wear only leotards, tights and appropriate shoes in the video.


Student housing is available for participants of all ages at Johnson-McFarlane Hall at the University of Denver, located at 1901 E. Iliff Ave., Denver, CO. Students under the age of 18 participating in our housing will be supervised at all times.

All students may check-in the night before the start of the program on June 16, 2012 from 3pm-5pm. There will be a Welcome Meeting at 5:30pm and will have an optional group dinner following the meeting. Please visit our Summer Housing page for more information.

Special Guest Instructors

Stella AbreraStella Abrera

Stella Abrera was born in Manila and grew up in California, where began her ballet training with Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young. She continued her studies with Lorna Diamond and Patricia Hoffman in San Diego, and then trained in the Royal Academy of Dancing method with Joan and Monica Halliday in Sydney, Australia. In 1995, Abrera received the Gold Medal at the R.A.D.’s Adeline Genee Awards in London. 

Ms. Abrera joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and was appointed to soloist in 2001. Her repertoire with ABT includes Cinderella in Cinderella, Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Myrta and the Peasant pas de deux in Giselle, Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the Ballerina in The Bright Stream, Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon, the Violin ballerina in Symphonie Concertante, the Girl in Afternoon of a Faun, Calliope in Apollo, the central ballerina in Birthday Offering, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, the Ballerina in Petrouchka, Driad Queen and Mercedes in Don Quixote, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, the central pas de deux in The Leaves are Fading, the pas de deux in Meadow, the pas de deux in Jabula, the Woman in White in Diversion of Angels, the First Passerby in Fancy Free, Emilia in Othello, His Friend's Wife in The Moor's Pavane, Hermia in The Dream, and the pas de trois in Swan Lake.  She has performed leading roles in Les Sylphides, Ballet Imperial, Bach Partita, In the Upper Room, Petite Mort, Sinfonietta, Symphonic Variations, Seven Sonatas, Symphony No. 9, Thirteen Diversions, Without Words, C to C (Close to Chuck), Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, workwithinwork, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once, and many others. She has danced the works of choreographers such as Ashton, Balanchine, DeMille, Duato, Elo, Fokine, Forsythe, Graham, Kylian, Limon, Lubovitch, Macmillan, Millepied, Morris, Ratmansky, Robbins, Taylor, Tharp, Tudor and Wheeldon. 

Ms. Abrera has performed as a guest artist across the United States and abroad, including at the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She has toured with troupes such as Ethan Stiefel's "Stiefel and Stars," Angel Corella's "Angel Corella and Stars of the American Ballet," Benjamin Millepied's "Danses Concertantes," and Daniel Ulbricht's "Stars of American Ballet," and frequently performs in international galas with her husband and partner, Sascha Radetsky. She danced featured roles in the film, "Ballet's Greatest Hits-YAGP Gala (Youth America Grand Prix)," and in the PBS Dance in America national broadcasts of American Ballet Theatre's productions of The Dream and Swan Lake. She has been profiled in publications such as Pointe and Dance Magazine, where she appeared on the covers of the January 2004 and April 2010 issues.

Dana Benton

Dana Benton
Dana Benton was born in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, where she began her training with Lou and Pauline Zamprogna at The Dance Centre. At the age of 9, Benton was accepted to the National Ballet School in Toronto where she trained for eight years. Benton graduated from the National Ballet School with Honors in Academics and was awarded the Peter Dwyer Award for Excellence in Dance. Upon graduating in 2000, Benton received a contract with the Alberta Ballet Company in Alberta, Canada. She spent one year with the company as an apprentice. In 2001, Benton joined Colorado Ballet as a Corps de Ballet member and in 2007, Benton was promoted to Soloist. With Colorado Ballet, Benton has worked with many well-known choreographers and repetiteurs including Val Caniparoli, Bronwen Curry, Judith Fugate, John Gardner, Thierry Michel, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jessica Lang, Edwaard Liang, Donald Mahler, Amanda McKerrow, Michael Pink, Brian Reeder, Domy Reiter-Soffer, Dwight Rhoden, Amy Seiwert, Paul Sutherland, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Doug Varone, Shelly Washington, Septime Webre, Christopher Wheeldon and Lila York. 

Since joining Colorado Ballet, Benton has performed many Soloist and Principal roles. Her notable roles include Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Swanilda in Coppélia, Cow Girl in Rodeo, Ave Maria Pas de Deux, Clara in The Nutcracker, Gulnara inLe Corsaire, Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, Pink and Aqua in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, Red Girl in Celts, Lucy in Dracula, Princess Florine and Diamond Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Trois in Swan Lake, Peasant Pas in Giselle, Flower Girl and Cupid inDon Quixote, Hermia and Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux, Bomb Squad in In The Upper Room, and Lead Souvenir Lady in the Great Galloping Gottschalk, and the featured role in Amy Seiwert’s Traveling Alone. This is Dana's 13th season with Colorado Ballet.

Gil Boggs

Gil Boggs
Gil Boggs began his dance career with the Atlanta Ballet. He joined American Ballet Theatre in New York in 1982 and was promoted to soloist dancer in 1984 and principal dancer in 1991. Boggs was a member of the company for 17 years. Boggs also performed with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Company, Nureyev and Friends, and made several guest appearances around the world. During his career with ABT, he was recognized as both an accomplished virtuoso and one of the company’s most popular performers. Boggs has worked with numerous noted choreographers, including Agnes de Mille, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Jerome Robbins and Merce Cunningham and has an extensive performance repertoire of both classical and contemporary works. 

Boggs accepted the position of Artistic Director with Colorado Ballet in the Spring of 2006. In Boggs’ tenure with Colorado Ballet he has restaged full-length productions of Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote and Coppelia along with adding new full-length productions of Romeo & Juliet, Le Corsaire, Beauty and the Beastand Peter Pan. Boggs has also presented 14 world premieres and 12 Colorado Ballet premieres by such renowned choreographers as Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Anthony Tudor, Val Caniparoli, Dwight Rhoden and Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

Erica Fischbach

Erica Fishbach

Erica Fischbach began her training in ballet and Highland Dance with Theresa Bullard’s Kalamazoo Ballet Company at the age of seven. When she was 12, her family moved to Milwaukee, where she studied at the Milwaukee Ballet under the direction of Ted Kivett and Basil Thompson.  She also trained privately with former Israeli Ballet principal, Mariana Laufer, before heading off to North Carolina School of the Arts for three years.  There she studied primarily with one of Balanchine’s most important muses, Melissa Hayden, as well as former NYCB principal Mimi Paul, ABT’s Fanchon Cordell, and Ballet Russe’s Duncan Noble.

During her first months as a professional dancer, Ms. Fischbach had the privilege of dancing Balanchine ballets as a principal under the direction of Edward Villella.  She then moved to Pacific Northwest Ballet where she quickly rose to soloist rank.  While there, Ms. Fischbach performed principal roles in many Balanchine ballets as well as in works by the world’s foremost choreographers including Anthony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Jose Limon, and Lynn Taylor-Corbett.

After nine years with PNB, Ms. Fischbach took two years away from company life to freelance as a guest artist, as well as teach ballet, pilates, and Gyrotonic based classes.  In 1996 she was invited to join the American Ballet Theatre, where she danced until 2005. There she danced many soloist and principal roles in ballets by Balanchine, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Agnes DeMille, Paul Taylor, and Anthony Tudor.  Ms. Fischbach had roles created for her in world premier ballets by Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, and director Kevin McKenzie.  She also enjoyed featured roles in the full classical repertoire including Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Giselle, Coppelia, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire.  On September 8, 2001, Ms. Fischbach was featured as a principal guest artist for Twyla Tharp performing Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite” at the World Trade Center in New York City. Ms. Fischbach has been featured in several “Dance in America” films, the PNB “Nutcracker”, and “Center Stage”.

Ms. Fischbach began working as the Artistic Director of  Southold Ballet in Indiana  in 2008. She has been praised for her choreography and adaptations of the famous Classic Ballets to incorporate dancers of all ages for Southold. In 2013, YAGP honored Ms. Fischbach with the “Outstanding Teacher” award. She is an American Ballet Theatre Curriculum certified teacher as well as a certified Gyrotonic instructor. Her graduating students have been accepted into the top collegiate dance programs in the country, Complexions Contemporary Dance, and Paul Taylor. 

John Gardner

John Gardner

John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he began his ballet training with Gwen Ashton. He subsequently trained at the National Academy of Dance in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre School summer program in 1977, and was invited to join the second company thereafter. In 1978 Mr. Gardner joined the main company of American Ballet Theatre, and was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1984. Mr. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many Soloist and Principal roles, represented an extensive range of styles, and afforded him the opportunity to work with many of the master choreographers of the twentieth century, including Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp.

In 1991, Mr. Gardner was invited to dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. He danced with the company for five years, and worked closely with many acclaimed modern dance choreographers, most notably Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and David Gordan. Mr. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with White Oak Dance Project, and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. He returned to American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in 1996, and continued to perform with the company  until 2002. 

After retiring from the stage Mr. Gardner began to pursue a career as a teacher and coach. He taught the graded level program at Ballet Academy East in New York City for three years. During this time he also taught at various dance studios around the city, including Broadway Dance, where he had the privilege of working as a substitute teacher for the Master Teacher David Howard upon his request. Mr. Gardner has enjoyed his development as a teacher, coach, ballet master, and choreographer over the years, and has worked extensively at both the professional and student levels. He is a sanctioned repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied. He has been invited to work in these many capacities for ballet companies and schools around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Mr. Gardner is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur Amanda McKerrow.

Domenico LucianoDomenico Luciano

Domenico Luciano was born in Naples, Italy and graduated from Royal Teatro di San Carlo Ballet School in Naples in 1999.  In the same year, Mr. Luciano was invited to join the Deutsche Open am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany.  After dancing with several companies in Europe including Europadance in France, Maggio Danza in Florence, Teatro Dell’Opera in Rome and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, in 2004 Mr. Luciano joined Tulsa Ballet as a Demi-Soloist.  In 2005, he joined Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in Houston as Principal Dancer.  His repertoire includes many of the classical principal leads such as Romeo, Paris, and Benvolio in both Sir Kenneth MacMillan and John Cranko's Romeo & Juliet; Romeo and Paris in Amedeo Amodio’s Romeo & Juliet with Eleonora Abbagnato, Etoile with Paris Opera Ballet; Solor in La Bayadere, The Prince in The Nutcracker, and Albrecht in Giselle, all by Derek Dean; In the Night by Jerome Robbins; Onegin in John Cranko’s Onegin; Roland Petit's Ma Pavlova with international ballerina Lucia Lacarra; and Don Jose with the National Ballet of China in Carmen. Mr. Luciano also excels in his contemporary repertoire, which includes George Balanchine’s La Valse; Nacho Duato’s Jardi Tancat and Without Words; and Orfeo in Carole Armitage’s Orfeo and Eurydice.  With Dominic Walsh Dance Theater he performed Matz Ek’s Pas de Dans, Jirí Kylián’s Double You and 27’52’’, and the role of the White Swan in the White Swan pas de deux from Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Le Spectre de la Rose, Desire in Sleeping Beauty, Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, The Firebird with Paris Opera Ballet Étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot.  As an international Principal Guest Artist, Mr. Luciano danced in production with Tulsa Ballet, Ballet Quad Cities, The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, National Ballet of China and The New National Theater in Tokyo.  Mr. Luciano is also invited to various national and International Galas and Dance Festivals.  In 2003, he received the Leonide Massine award in Positano, Italy as Best Male Dancer of the Year.  In October 2008, the Houston Press named Luciano as “Best Dancer.”  He was also named in Pointe Magazine “Standouts: Our 12 favorite performances of 2009” and in 2010 he received the "Young Talent Award" in Florence, Italy at DANZAINFIERA.  This is his first season with Colorado Ballet.

Valerie Madonia

Valerie Madonia
Valerie Madonia started her training with Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY and then trained at the National Ballet School of Canada from 1975-1979. She danced professionally for more than 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada from1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), at American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino).  She began her career as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually established herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey.  Madonia had the honor of dancing with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Configuration Ballet and at Le Gala des Etoiles numerous times in Montreal and Greece.  She performed the role of the Princess in Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and with the New York Philharmonic in 2005, conducted by Alan Gilbert and accompanied by Pinkus Zuckerman.  In 1995, Madonia began organizing performances with other professional dancers to tour Southwestern Colorado and established her own company, Alpine Dance, Inc. from 1998-2001. Madonia appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books including Classical Ballet Technique by G.W. Warren. 

She has been teaching for 17 years, served on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 2000-2003, taught for the Joffrey Ballet School since 1996 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop in Georgia from 2003-2010.  She teaches biannually in Yokohama, Japan and teaches master classes at The Four Corners Dance Experience and for the Regional Ballet Association Festivals.  She is also an adjudicator and master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix. Madonia has been a guest teacher for: The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Alaska Dance Theatre, Louisiana Delta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Boulder Ballet.  During her tenure as Artistic Director of the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts from 1998-2002, she helped found the Telluride Dance Academy.  She served as the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Telluride Dance Academy from 2006-2010.  Since the fall of 2011, she has been teaching and directing for Palm Arts Dance in Telluride, CO. Her choreographic credits include a full lengthCinderella, The Nutcracker, Polar Express, Appalachian Spring, solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in Colorado Ballet, Ballet West and Dayton Ballet.  Critics and audiences alike enthusiastically received her newest work,Shapeshift, commissioned for Boulder Ballet in 2012.

Amanda McKerrow

Amanda McKerrow

Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.

Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of Mary Day,  where  she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included  the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Killian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full length classics such as, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world. Among  them, American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.

Sascha RadetskySascha Radetsky

Born in Santa Cruz, California, Radetsky began his ballet studies in the San Francisco Bay Area with Damara Bennett and Ayako Takahashi. At the age of 15, he was invited to study in Moscow at the Bolshoi Academy under world-renowned men's teacher Pytor Pestov. After a year in Russia, he studied on scholarship at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D. C. under Rudolph Kharatian and Andrei Garbouz. He toured with the Kirov Ballet throughout the United States and internationally. He also studied on scholarship at the summer programs of the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre's School of Classical Ballet with Mikhail Baryshnikov, the San Francisco Ballet School and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, Colorado.

Radetsky joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 1995, became a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and a Soloist in 2003. His repertoire includes Cinderella, Don Quixote, The Dream, Fancy Free,  Giselle, Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker and many others. He created leading roles in Aftereffect, From Here On Out, Glow-Stop, Gong, Troika and Thirteen Diversions. Radetsky has danced the works of acclaimed choreographers such as George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins. He is an original member of the troupe "Stiefel and Stars" and has been a frequent guest performer and teacher with ballet companies across the United States and abroad. In 2000, Radetsky starred as Charlie in the movie Center Stage as well as in pop singer Mandy Moore's music video "I Wanna Be With You" from the Center Stage soundtrack. He has appeared in numerous television and print commercials as well as starring roles in the PBS movie Home at Last and in the NBC television series Midnight Caller. He has written for Newsweek, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and World Arts He is married to ABT Soloist Stella Abrera. In September 2008, Radetsky joined Dutch National Ballet as a principal dancer, where his repertoire included Don Giovanni, Don Quixote, Sanguinic in The Four Temperaments, Albrecht in Giselle and Prodigal Son.

Judy RiceJudy Rice 

Judy Rice is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada and has performed extensively across the U.S. and Canada including the Joffrey Ballet, the National Tap Dance Company of Canada and American Ballet Comedy.  She has 20 years experience teaching for regional companies and festivals as well as Company Dance, DMA, DEA, CNADM, SADM, 3D Dance Network, The Joffrey Ballet School, The Joffrey Ballet, Steps and the Dance Teacher Magazine Summer Conference.  Rice has been a judge for ADA, HEADLINERS and has been on the faculty for Dance Masters Teacher Training School and CNADM training school.  She was a contributing writer to GOLDRUSH magazine.  

In May of 2000, Rice co-founded Behind Barres with pianist Paul Lewis and producer Rob Martens and to date they have produced 11 albums of ballet class music, which was featured on ABC’s hit show Lost, and have released 7 educational DVD’s.  Rice’s television credits include Fame, All My Children, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Great American Dance Challenge.  Since 1990 she has been an associate professor of performing arts at the University of Michigan and has been on the faculty at Broadway Dance Center, Pace University and Peridance in NYC.  Rice has also been an ambassador for lululemon athletica.  Most recently she has served as private ballet coach for Katie Holmes and Amy Adams and as collaborator to Tyce Diorio for his choreography for Fox television's So You Think You Can Dance.

Igor Vassine

Igor Vassine

Igor Vassine was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He retired as a principal dancer with Colorado Ballet in 2011, after completing his 17th year with the Company. He graduated from the Tallinn Ballet School of Estonian National Ballet, where he was also a principal dancer and was a finalist in the Helsinki International Competition in Finland in 1990. He has performed as a guest artist in Japan and also appeared on the cover of Dance Magazine in 1997. He has performed all major classical roles including those in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and La Sylphide, and was seen as Oberon in Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Basilio in Don Quixote, Franz in Coppelia, Prince Charming in Cinderella and danced in Colorado Ballet's performance of Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs.

Dominic Walsh

Dominic Walsh

In 2002, Dominic Walsh, Principal Dancer and Choreographer with Houston Ballet, founded his contemporary ballet company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Today, the company’s roster includes dancers of the highest caliber and its repertoire features inventive works by Walsh and choreographers such as Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Matthew Bourne. Walsh was born in Elgin, Illinois in 1971 and started his training at an early age with Lisa Boehm, Warren Conover, and Larry Long in Chicago. He joined Houston Ballet in 1989, was promoted to Soloist in 1993, and Principal Dancer by 1996. He danced Houston Ballet’s entire contemporary repertoire, and Ben Stevenson created numerous roles for him including Marc Antony in Cleopatra. Walsh was the inspiration for the lead roles in Natalie Weir’s Steppenwolf and In a Whisper. In 1998, Walsh created Flames of Eros when Ben Stevenson invited him to choreograph on Houston Ballet. This work won the prestigious Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. He created three more works for Houston Ballet and Houston Ballet Academy. In June 2004, after 17 years with Houston Ballet, Walsh left to pursue Dominic Walsh Dance Theater full-time.For Dominic Walsh Dance Theater he has choreographed works including The Miller’s Daughter (2003),  Romeo & Juliet (2006), Le Spectre de la Rose (2006), I Napoletani (2007), The Sleeping Beauty (2007, The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (2008-2009), The Dying Swan (2009), Victor Frankenstein (2011), Clair de Lune (2011) and Sound of Cells (2013). Walsh continues to receive commissions to set and create works nationally and internationally including Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, Medea (2009) and The Sleeping Beauty (2011); American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Alchemy (2004); London Studio Centre, Sub-Luminus (2010); Asami Maki Ballet Tokyo, À Bientot (2006); New National Theatre, Tokyo, Orfeo ed Euridice (2007) and Wolfgang for Webb (2010). Walsh is also the Resident Choreographer for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, creating/staging Wolfgang for Webb (2008), The Trilogy (2009), and Time out of Line (2011).
Sharon Wehner is originally from San Jose, California. She trained with Jody White and David Roxander, San Jose Dance Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and San Jose/Cleveland Ballet. Ms. Wehner joined Colorado Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to Principal in 1999, and in the last 18 years, has performed many lead roles with the Company. These include Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Medora in Le Corsaire, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppelia, Mina in Dracula, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, the Principal couple in Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Rubies,  and Theme and Variations, Antony Tudor’s Leaves are Fading, and Twyla Tharpe’s In The Upper Room. 

She has been honored to have solos and pas de deauxs created on her by choreographers Val Caniparoli, Edwaard Liang, Mathew Neenan, Christopher Wheeldon, Darrel Grand Moultrie, Dwight Rhoden, Jessica Lang, Brian Reeder and Toru Shimazaki.  In addition to Colorado Ballet, Ms. Wehner has also performed with The Washington Ballet, Oakland Ballet and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. She has also been a guest artist at the Vail International Dance Festival, and in Japan in the Aoyama Ballet Festival, and the National Ballet of Japan’s Golden Ballet Co-star.


Kristi Capps

Kristi CappsKristi Capps is from North Carolina. Her ballet training includes the School of American Ballet, Harid Conservatory and North Carolina School of the Arts. While at NCSA, she was chosen to study and perform with the Hungarian State Ballet School in Budapest, Hungary. Upon her graduation, she was a member of the Atlanta Ballet for three seasons and then joined Cincinnati Ballet in 1996, where she rose quickly through the ranks to Principal. As a guest artist, she performed with many ballet companies and at galas such as the International Ballet Festival of Miami, International Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado and Stars of American Ballet in Spain. Ms. Capps also danced as a Principal with the Chautauqua Ballet Company in New York under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. In 2007, she performed original works by Luca Veggetti at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum “Works in Process” series and in 2008, she performed the leading role in George Balanchine’s Chaconne with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ms. Capps maintained a faculty position with the Otto M. Budig Academy of the Cincinnati Ballet. She held guest faculty positions at Midwest Ballet Theater, The Eric Kunzel School of Creative and Performing Arts and Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet. She has also been a guest teacher at numerous ballet schools, colleges, and conservatories.

Gregory Gonzales

Gregory Gonzales

Gregory Gonzales graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Kinesiology/Dance. While at university he gained valuable experience choreographing musicals, opera, theater and concert stage dance. Gregory danced with companies including Ballet Pacifica, Ballet Arizona, Nevada Dance Theater and David Taylor Dance Theater before coming to Colorado Ballet, where he has danced the bulk of his career. At Colorado Ballet, 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 and George Balanchine. He created several works for the Colorado Ballet which include Carmina Burana, Peter Pan (both co-choreographed), Incantation, Broken Web and Last Breath. For the 2003-2004 season he was made a Choreographer in Residence. Gregory has also set work for the David Taylor Dance Theater, Ballet Ariel and Tango Colorado and has choreographed for the Denver School of the Arts, International Youth Ballet and The Academy of Colorado Ballet. Gregory also received a commission for a work from the University of Northern Colorado in 2005 and was selected to present a piece for the Denver Independent Choreographer’s Project as well as for the Aspen Dance Connection’s Choreography Festival. He has taught ballet, floor barre, partnering, men’s class, contemporary ballet, modern, jazz and acting for dancers for several schools and companies, notably; Ballet Ariel Company and School, Denver School of the Arts, The Academy of Colorado Ballet and International Ballet’s summer intensive programs. Gregory also enjoys studying Argentine Tango and plays guitar in the Natural Tango Orquesta Tipica. He has performed in theater and film work and has been cast in several independent film projects in the Denver area.

Francisco Estevez

Francisco Estevez

Born in Quito, Ecuador, Francisco moved to the USA in 1995. He began his ballet training in Louisville, Kentucky and at the age of 16 was invited to finish his professional training at the School of American Ballet in New York where he graduated in 2008. He has studied with Ethan Stiefel, Jock Soto, Peter Martins, Edward Villella, Peter Boal, Nikolaj Hubbe, Sean Lavery, Rolando Sarabia, Johnny Eliasen, John Garner, and Amanda McKerrow among others.  In 2008, Francisco joined Boston Ballet under the direction of Mikko Nissinen where he was featured in many soloist roles. In 2010, Francisco joined the Barcelona Ballet (previously Corella Ballet) under the direction of Angel Corella.  As a member of this company, he took part in the "Feria del Libro" in Guadalajara, Mexico, the Spoleto Festival in both Italy and Charleston, North Carolina and the Peralada festival, Catalonia. He has toured to various cities including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Charleston, Detroit, Houston and most recently, the New York City Center where he has performed various featured roles.  Francisco won 1st Place at the Premio Internacional de Danza Roseta Mauri, Spain in 2011 and has modeled for Intermezzo dancewear’s 2013 line. He has also performed soloist and principal roles with the New York City Ballet on various occasions.  His featured roles include George Balanchine’s 1st and 2nd themes from The Four Temperaments, Balanchine’s Tarantella and Valse Fantasie, Jorma Elo’s Carmen Illusions, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free and 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Peter Martin’s Les Gentilhommes, Christopher Wheeldon’s For Four, DGV, Polyphonia and VIII, Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Stanton Welch’s Clear, the wedding pas de deux and jewels from Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppelia, the Ali variation from Le Corsaire, Benno and Neopolitan in Swan Lake, the peasant pas de deux from Giselle, and the pas de six from Napoli among others.  Francisco joined Colorado Ballet in 2013.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

Chris Harris was born in Denver and holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado and an additional Bachelors in Environmental Design. She has been teaching in the Denver area and beyond for over 2 decades. In addition to being the Artistic Director and principal choreographer for Louder Than Words Dancetheatre and the Colorado Youth Dance Theater, she is an Artist in Residence at the Denver School Of the Arts, on the faculty of Dance Kaleidoscope, and has choreographed for local theaters including the University of Denver, the University of Colorado, and Colorado State University. She has also been a guest lecturer at The Arts Institute of Colorado and is a co-director of the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop and the Assistant Artistic Director of Interweave Dance Theater.

Page Jenkins

Page Jenkins

Page Jenkins graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance. While at the University of Colorado she performed in works by faculty and graduate and undergraduate students including Nancy Cranbourne, Gabriel Masson and Erika Randall.
She is currently dancing for 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Interweave Dance Theatre, Louder Than Words Dancetheatre and New Breed Dance Company. Page teaches for Colorado Ballet, Denver School of the Arts and National Ballet Academy Denver. She is also the Assistant Artistic Director of Colorado Youth Dance Theatre.

Tracy Jones

Tracy Jones

Born in Cork, Ireland, Tracy began to dance at the age of 5 with Ballet Theatre Ireland. From the age of 11, she trained at The Royal Ballet School where she graduated from in 2007. In 2006, Tracy was a winner of the Ursula Moreton choreographic competition and a finalist of the Young British Dancer of the Year. She was featured in BBC's The Culture Show and was awarded the Stanley Pickering Scholarship to complete her training.  During her graduate year, Tracy performed with the Royal Ballet in various ballets and went on their 2007 International tour to Mexico and the USA. Upon graduating, Tracy joined the English National Ballet as an Artist where she performed various Corps de Ballet roles and toured to Beijing, China.  From 2008 to 2012, Tracy was a member of the Barcelona Ballet (previously Corella Ballet) under the direction of Angel Corella.  With this company, Tracy had the opportunity to dance various soloist and principal roles including the 3rd principal couple in Christopher Wheeldon's DGV, the 3rd Shade variation in Natalia Makarova's La Bayadere, Pas de Trois and Big Swans in Swan Lake, Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, Jerome Robbin's Fancy Free, and friend variations in both Raymonda and Paquita. She also created a soloist role in Russell Ducker's Epimitheus for New York City Center in 2010.  Tracy has modeled for Wear Moi's 2011 dance catalog and both El Petit Ballet's and Intermezzo's 2013 dance catalogs. She also designs and makes her own line of ballet skirts under the name Tulips by Tracy. Tracy joined Colorado Ballet in January 2013. She was named as one of 10 "Stars in the Corps" by Pointe Magazine in June 2013.

Stacey Mulvey

Stacey Mulvey

Stacey Mulvey discovered the joy of studying and teaching movement when she practiced and taught Taekwondo in Salt Lake City the mid 90′s.  She began a career in technical support, including working for Apple, Inc. as a “Genius”; and became overweight and sedentary for several years. She re-discovered her passion and enthusiasm for movement and teaching when she started exercising again doing Callanetics. Her journey of improving her own fitness level through setting and achieving personal goals enabled her to realize the truth in Joseph Pilates’ claim that “physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness”. She believes passionately that through mindful movement, the body can be reorganized and molded to its optimal and most healthy state.  Her approach to teaching the Pilates method is to teach to the client’s needs and patterns. Stacey is an Intermediate Teacher Training Program graduate, Online Media Manager, and Pilates teacher at The Pilates Center in Boulder. She is currently enrolled as a trainee in The Pilates Center’s Bridge Program, to receive her Advanced Teacher Training certificate. She has studied and completed teacher training programs in Callanetics, pole dance and Pilates; and enjoys practicing yoga, and several outdoor activities.

Carolina PahdeCarolina Pahde

Carolina Pahde is from Bogota, Colombia and studied dance  at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany. She has a B.A. in Performing Dance and a B.A. in Dance Pedagogy. Ms. Pahde received a M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Michigan. Ms. Pahde has taught classical ballet, modern, jazz, tap and character dance and has taught at various schools including the Ballet School Voges and the Kreismusikschule in Germany, the Ballarte Escuela de Ballet and the Academia de Danza María Sanford in Colombia and the University of Michigan, Dance Department and Dance Gallery Studio. She also served as Studio Director. Ms. Pahde has also performed and choreographed for different companies and dance schools in Colombia, Germany, the Hannover National Opera House, the Lübeck National Opera House in Germany and the Ballet Al Parque Festival in Colombia.

Jayne Persch

Jayne Persch

As a dancer, Ms. Persch trained and danced with Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theater and the Royal Ballet. She has created more than 40 works for small companies and chamber sized performance groups and worked with the Shubert Theater and Theater-By-the Sea in Broadway musical theater productions. Her choreography has been presented in Ireland, Italy, Denmark and France including Festival Off D’Avignon. As Artistic Director of the New Hampshire Contemporary Ballet Company, she was one of two choreographers for the MacDowell Colony Centennial Celebration, served in both Artists-in-Residence and Arts-in Education and received the Governor’s Award for Artistic Excellence. Ms. Persch received a national award from the National Association of Science Teachers for her innovative Alternative Educational – Arts- in-School project, Let’s Create Together-The Planets. Internationally, she was appointed to the Faculty for the Pari Center for New Learning, (Italy) funded through the World Academy of Art & Science.  She is guest teacher for the Royal Danish Ballet School, The Danish National Theater School, School of Modern Dance, Copenhagen Dance Arts, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and Northern School of Contemporary  Dance in Leeds, England.  Ms. Persch has taught at colleges, universities, public and private schools and conservatories including the University of New Hampshire, Southeast Missouri State College, Trinity College for Graduate Studies in California, California State University-Long Beach; Hart School, University of Hartford; Ballet Etudes, Orange County High School of the Arts and Saint Joseph’s Ballet. Ms. Persch graduated with honors BA in Asian Studies and a Masters level in Counselling Psychology through Antioch-New England Graduate School and a Master of Arts in Dance at California State University Long Beach.  She is certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum and Feldenkrais based Self-Corrective Mechanisms. Ms. Persch is the creator of BRIAH Movement/Embodied Awareness - an anatomically based approach to movement and dance. She is excited and looking forward to teaching and working with the Colorado Ballet.

Heather Prokhnitski

Heather Prokhnitski

Heather Prokhnitski is from Norfolk, Virginia and received her early dance training from the Old Dominion University Ballet School.  She was a full-scholarship student at the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. and studied for a year at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. For three summers, she was invited by the North Carolina School of the Arts to study in Budapest, Hungary at the Hungarian State Ballet School.  Heather danced with Colorado Ballet for 10 seasons and danced many leading roles as a soloist.  Some of her favorite roles include the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Lilac fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, the Pas de Trois in Swan Lake, Pas de Quatre, the Dryad Queen in Don Quixote and Lucy in Dracula. Heather was also a featured dancer in Taisiya Korobeynikova's Elysium, Jessica Lang's From Foreign Lands and People, Darrell Moultrie's Vital Sensations and many other works by contemporary choreographers. Heather began teaching at the Colorado Ballet Academy in 2008.  She is now in her fifth season serving as Academy Nutcracker Director for Colorado Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, selecting, rehearsing and staging all students that perform in the production.  Heather created Colorado Ballet Academy’s Intermediate Ballet Intensive, has taught at Ballet Virginia International for several summers and has been a guest teacher for the Youth America Grand Prix workshops in Denver.

Sayaka RugglesSayaka Ruggles

Sayaka joined Colorado Ballet in 2001 after receiving her dance training at Kumamoto Ballet and graduating from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. With Colorado Ballet, she danced roles including Kitri in Don Quixote, Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Mina in Dracula, and danced lead roles in Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs (That’s Life). Sayaka has also had leading roles with choreographers including Darrell Grand-Moultrie, Lila York, Dwight Rhoden, Michael Pink, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Martin Fredmann. Sayaka had played the Ragdoll on the Gemini Award-Winning Canada’s YTV children’s series, The Toy Castle, and she was nominated in the 2003 Gemini Awards for Best Actress. Sayaka retired from Colorado Ballet as a soloist in 2011, and graduated Cum Laude from Colorado State University with Bachelor Degree in Dance in 2013. She was an adjunct professor at Colorado State University where she taught ballet technique.

Mieke ScrippsMieke Scripps

Mieke Scripps has followed her love of dance throughout her career. She earned a BA in Dance and Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin while performing in the modern dance troop Li Chao-Ping Dance. After her dance career, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University.  Following graduation, Mieke served as a physical therapist in New York City and Miami for the New York City Ballet, School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet, the Juilliard School and many Broadway shows.  Mieke found yoga as a complimentary movement therapy to provide safe stability and strength work while increasing flexibility.  She has recently relocated to Colorado and looks forward to continuing to practice physical therapy integrated with yoga training for Colorado Ballet Academy.

Kevin Gaël Thomas

Kevin Gael ThomasKevin Gaël Thomas is from France and studied at Rosella Hightower's International Ballet Center and Canada's National Ballet School, where he received a full-scholarship and graduated with honors in 2006. Mr. Thomas also graduated with honors from the Music Conservatory in France for piano. He then danced for a year with Houston Ballet II. Mr. Thomas joined Colorado Ballet in 2007. During his first season he performed well-known roles such as Fritz and Russian in The Nutcracker. He then performed Soloist roles in Colorado Ballet productions including Blue Bird and Jewels in The Sleeping Beauty, Neopolitan in Swan Lake, Whip Boy in Glen Tetley's The Rite of Spring and Demi Soloist in Theme and Variations.  In 2012, he received his first principal role as Peter in Michael Pink’s Peter Pan.  Following that production, he danced at the Gotham Dance Festival with the company in New York.  Mr. Thomas was chosen to represent France at the New York International Ballet Competition in 2009 and at the USA Jackson International Ballet Competition in 2010.

Lorita Travaglia

Lorita TravagliaLorita Travaglia is originally from New Zealand. She received her ballet training at the National School of Ballet and later the Royal Ballet School in London. Lorita made her debut as a professional dancer with the Berlin Ballet. After six years with the Company, she moved to the United States where she worked with Princeton Ballet, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and International Ballet Rotaru, dancing solo and principal roles in a wide range of repertoire. Her favorite roles include Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Cinderella, Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Paquita. In 1992 Lorita returned to New Zealand, but continued to perform as a guest artist with companies in the United States as well as Company Z, a contemporary dance company in New Zealand. Lorita began teaching in 1988 while still performing and studied the Vaganova methodology. She was the principal teacher for a professional training program in Auckland, New Zealand and later, as artistic director of Canyon Concert Ballet in Fort Collins, Colorado, she set up a similar aspirant program. In 1999 Lorita joined Colorado Ballet as director of the Apprentice Program and company repetiteur, and has been ballet mistress since 2006. Her choreography includes Equanimity, Aspects and Pictures at an Exhibition for Colorado Ballet II and a full-length The Nutcracker for Canyon Concert Ballet. Lorita graduated from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2000 and has a private practice in Denver.

Lisa Wolf

Lisa WolfLisa Wolf was formally trained in classical ballet from the age of ten at the Joffrey Ballet School, where she was a scholarship student. Physical activity has always been a way of life for Lisa, so becoming a Pilates instructor was a natural progression. Lisa has been a fully certified instructor since 2002. She began her teaching career at the largest and most renowned Pilates studio in New York City, where she became a senior instructor, developing and conducting the first safe, effective Pilates workout for expectant mothers. While teaching there, Lisa’s celebrity client list included Christy Turlington, Sonia Braga, Sofia Vergara, Amy Poehler and Campbell Brown. Lisa has certifications in prenatal and postnatal fitness, as well as nutrition counseling, and also offers guided meditation and relaxation techniques for stress reduction.


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