|Devon Carney, Artistic Director
Grace M. Holmes, School Director
April Berry, Community Engagement & Education Manager
Anthony Krutzkamp, Second Company Manager
Kimberly Cowen, Upper School Principal & KCYB Director
Marcus Oatis, Lower School Principal
Sean Duus, Full-Time Faculty & R.O.A.D Coordinator
Racheal Nye, Full-Time Faculty & YAGP Coordinator
|David Justin, Men’s Program Coordinator
Dmitry Trubchanov, Men’s Program Coordinator
Irina Brouhard, Music Coordinator/Pianist
Natalie Sextro, School Administrator
Lynley Von Engeln, School Coordinator
Kramer Kreiling, Administrative Assistant
Erin Steeley, Administrative Assistant, Johnson County Campus
Megan Robinson, Front Desk Staff & Community Education Assistant
Dianna Hedstrom, Hall Monitor, Bolender Center Campus
|• Jennifer Owen
• Nadine Price-Rojas
• Tina Ray
• Megan Robinson
• Suzanne Ryanstrati
• Susan Lewis Sands
• Erin Sexton
• Lisa Sirridge
• Erin Steeley
• Liz Trevino
• Dmitry Trubchanov
• Amelia Virtue
• Paco Vitug
• Lynley Von Engeln
• SuAnne Wolff
• Marisa Whiteman
• Sean Duus (Ballet)
|• Billie Mahoney (Tap)
• Peggy Ply (Ballet)
• Nadine Price-Rojas (Junior Studio Jazz/Ballet)
• Liz Trevino (Ballet/Tap)
• Lisa Sirridge (Reformer)
|• Inna Daniels
• Alyssa Murray
• Andrew Ouellette
• William Puckett
• Angie Roustio
• Jeffrey Ruckman
• Jaclyn Rylee
|• Evangelos Spanos
• Trevor Thornton
• Jordan Voth
• Yee-Sik Wong
• Sheree Yoder
• Sarah York
Kimberly Cowen, Upper School Principal & KCYB Director
Kimberly Cowen, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, received most of her ballet training from Nathalie LeVine. She has also studied at St.Louis Ballet under Ludmila Dokoudovsky and Antoni Zalewski, at Pacific Northwest Ballet with Fleming Halby and Nina Danilova and at The Joffrey Ballet with Francesca Corkle and Winthrop Corey. She studied at the Kansas City Ballet School with Todd Bolender, Una Kai and Lisa Dillinger before joining the Kansas City Ballet in 1991, where she danced for 20 years. Ms. Cowen has danced as Swanilda in Coppélia, Odette in Swan Lake, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the title role in Giselle, Carmen and Romeo & Juliet. She has had the pleasure of dancing a wide variety of styles by famous choreographers such as George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, Todd Bolender, David Parsons, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, Vincente Nebrada, Nacho Duato, Margo Sappington, Trey McIntyre, Jessica Lang, Val Caniparoli, Mary Wigman and William Whitener. Ms. Cowen began teaching at the Somerset Ballet in 1998 and joined the KCBS staff in 2002. Ms. Cowen is responsible for the students of the Upper School and is the director of the Kansas City Youth Ballet. She is dedicated to teaching the next generation of dancers and passing on all she has learned in her time as a student and a professional.
Marcus Oatis, Lower School Principal
Marcus Oatis, a native of Kansas City, began his dance education with the summer program Ailey Camp. This program afforded Marcus the opportunity to study at additional programs including Smith Sisters Dance Studio, The Center Dance, Kansas City Ballet, and the Ailey School. While completing his Bachelors in Music Performance, Marcus began studying under the tutelage of John Fagan and Sara Mau. In 2008, Marcus joined the Kansas City Ballet under the direction of William Whitener. Marcus was able to perform works by esteemed choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Bruce Marks, Peter Martins, Robert Hill, Ib Anderson, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Yuri Possokhov. Marcus’ most notable roles were the Russian in Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker, Jessica Lang’s Splendid Isolations III, the Moor in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, Jerome Robbins Afternoon of a Faun, and Balanchine’s Serenade. Marcus has also performed with the Owen/Cox Dance Group, Arcanium Dance Project, and Central Dance Theatre. Additionally, Marcus is very active in the dance community as an instructor and choreographer. Marcus has served as the Rehearsal Director for Owen/Cox dance Group and has taught and choreographed for various studios including Omaha Academy of Ballet, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Ailey Camp, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet School.
Natalie Sextro, School Administrator
A lifelong Kansas Citian, Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Truman State University, where she studied Theatre and Business Administration. She is a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, Omega Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Alpha Psi Omega National Theater Honor Society. Following graduation, Natalie served as the Business Intern for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She began working at the Kansas City Ballet in 2011, just before the organization moved into the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. Natalie has been fortunate enough to assist as Stage Manager with the Kansas City Youth Ballet and as Venue Staff with the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Though she grew up wearing soccer cleats and not pointe shoes, Natalie is in awe of the dedication and discipline ballet requires and is honored to be surrounded by such hard working and talented individuals.
Skyler Linn, School Registrar
Skyler earned her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with the honor of receiving the UMKC Conservatory Chancellor’s Scholarship and Ovation’s Award. Skyler has also been on full scholarship at Kansas City Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, The Ailey School, and the RDA Craft of Choreography Conference. As a Student Apprentice with Kansas City Ballet, she performed in Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, and Voyager. Skyler has toured in The Nutcracker with the Albany Berkshire Ballet Company and performed with the Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Theater. Skyler danced as an Apprentice with the Sarasota Ballet Company and later enjoyed being the assistant to the Education Director and an instructor with the Sarasota Ballet School. With over 10 years of experience, Skyler has taught at numerous schools and is also a certified Pilates instructor in Classical Pilates Education and DK Body Balance. Skyler truly enjoys teaching all ages and dance styles and is dedicated to education in the arts. She feels privileged to be on staff at Kansas City Ballet.
Lynley Von Engeln, School Coordinator
Lynley Von Engeln, originally from the Philadelphia area, fell in love with the arts at the young age of 10, when she began taking classes at a local dance studio. New Horizons Dance Alliance, formerly Broadway Dance Academy, gave her the opportunity to study various dance disciplines. Through the direction of George Thompson and Tara Keating, formerly with Pennsylvania Ballet, she developed a strong passion for ballet. At 14 Lynley was accepted into the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts’ dance program and spent her high school career studying ballet and modern under teachers Kim Maniscalco, Amy Lawrence, Yu Hong, and Dana Nederostek. Lynley attended classes and summer programs at Joffrey Ballet, Virginia School for the Arts, STEPS in New York, and Koresh School of Dance. Following a mentor from VSA, Lynley found her way out to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to study under Paula Weber, Ron Tice, DeeAnna Hiett, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon. At UMKC, she danced in numerous pieces including Balanchine’s Valse Fantasies, Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, andPaula Weber’s To Each Her Own. As Conservatory Dance Association President, she was responsible for sending UMKC to Regional College Dance Festivals in 2011 and 2012 and organized their trip to the Kennedy Center for Nationals. In May of 2012, Lynley graduated with a BFA in dance began working as a Ballet Instructor and Administrative Assistant at the Kansas City Ballet School. She is happy to be bringing dance into the lives of Kansas City’s dance students.
Kramer Kreiling, Administrative Assistant
Kramer began dancing at age 3 and studying with Kansas City Ballet at age 9. She was a member of the Kansas City Youth Ballet. During her time at Kansas City Ballet she performed many roles in The Nutcracker and was a student performer in several company productions. She has also studied at Orlando Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Ballet Austin, and has performed in Austria and Germany with the Young Tanzsommer Festival. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Stephens College with a BFA in Dance. While at Stephens she had the opportunity to perform many featured roles and work with artists from all around the world. Kramer danced professionally with Störling Dance Theater. She is delighted to share her passion of dance through teaching.
Erin Steeley, Administrative Assistant
Erin started dancing at an early age at Maxine’s Studio of Dance in Southern New Jersey. In 2003 Erin was accepted into the Vineland Regional Dance Company were she received the opportunity of training under Maxine and Kimberly Chapman, Daniel Marshall, Jeffrey Gribler, and many other great teachers. With the Vineland Regional Dance Company she had the privilege to travel all over the United States to perform and train. She attended summer dance programs such as Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Company, Craft of Choreography, and the Rock School of Dance Education. She attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City where she received the opportunity to perform in works such as Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, George Balanchine’s Serenade and works by Paula Weber, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Mary Pat Henry, and many more talented choreographers. Erin graduated with a BFA in Dance and a minor in business during the summer of 2014. Erin is currently dancing and performing with Störling Dance Theater and working as an Administrative Assistant for Kansas City Ballet at the Johnson County Campus. Erin has a strong attachment to dance and the education of dance for the youth as well as adults. She is honored to be a part of Kansas City Ballet’s staff.
Amara V. Afuvai-Jimenez, Zumba©
Amara is a San Francisco native, who has happily called the Kansas City area her home since 1997. No stranger to the stage, Amara has performed professionally as a Polynesian dancer (her dance background & first love since the age of three), & has also appeared in many local community musical theatre productions. Now she brings to the “stage” a new love – Zumba! So ditch the workout & join the party! Her certifications include Zumba Basics I & II, Zumba Gold, Zumbatomics, Zumba Toning, & Hot Hula Fitness. Amara is thrilled & humbled at the opportunity to teach Zumba at The Kansas City Ballet School.
Sarah Breedlove, Somatics
Sarah Breedlove teaches body awareness practices to individuals in her North Kansas City studio and offers private groups seminars. Seminars are tailored for the audience with topics including feet/ankles, pelvis/low-back, shoulder girdle, and overall posture. Sarah’s coaching style is about maximizing the mind-body connection through foundational health education, simple guided imagery, and a touch of practical humor. The focus is on relaxing the nervous system, restoring natural fluid movement at the joints, and balancing muscular strength. Sarah first experienced mindfulness with movement in 2003 while attending Texas Women’s University studying Kinesiology and Dance. Since then, she became a certified personal trainer in The Pilates Method of conditioning using the rehab-based equipment. Due to an insatiable appetite for human anatomy Sarah became a Level 3 Educator in The International Franklin Method™. Currently she is in the apprentice trainer program of Conscious Transformation™; an ongoing process of personal development grounded in understanding and shifting the deep mental, emotional and physical patterns that limit people’s experience of life. As a personal trainer of 12 years, with over 20 years of exercise, dance and movement health education, Sarah devotes her career to supporting those who are interested in optimizing their health and well-being for all stages in the journey of life and recreation.
Chelsea Brown, Ballet
Chelsea began her training locally at The Culture House Academy of Performing Arts, graduating from their pre-professional Artist Development Program. She received a scholarship to study as a dance major at Oral Robert’s University, graduating with a BA in Dance Performance. At ORU she had the pleasure of performing under local and guest artists such as Amy McIntosh, Roman Jasinski, David Parsons and Bill Evans. Chelsea thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to translate her love of dance through teaching at the Kansas Ballet School.
Christina Burton, Jazz/Hip Hop
Christina is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a BFA in Dance with an emphasis in Musical Theatre. She is member of Actors Equity Association and is represented by Exposure Model and Talent Agency. Regional musical theatre credits include: The Dawning of Aquarius, Sing Out Sister, Tin Pan Alley, Judy Barbra Liza!, Mary Poppins, Everyday Rapture (Regional Premier), Cinderella, 1776, Kiss Me Kate, The Man of La Mancha – Aldonza, The Most Happy Fella, Pippin, Footloose, Working, Grease, Cats, Jekyll and Hyde. Christina has been a Guest Artist for Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and has been featured in ads for Lee Jeans and Rock & Republic, as well as commercials for Mazuma Credit Union and Brown Mackie College. She has choreographed and performed in numerous industrials with EPIC Entertainment Inc. and is the director/choreographer for Starlight Theatre’s Starlight STARS of Tomorrow. Her choreography credits include: A Christmas Cabaret, Jekyll and Hyde, Blood Brothers, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Working, The Most Happy Fella, Grease, Xanadu, 2 by 5, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Hands on a Hard Body, A Spectacular Christmas, Vegas Baby!, A Grand Night For Singing, The Kansas City Youth Ballet, Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards, Starlight’s Children’s Theatre production of Disney’s Aladdin at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and AMC’s Wanda Gala in Beijing. In addition to teaching here at KCB, Christina is also an Adjunct Instructor of Dance at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Tess Butterfield, Ballet
Tess received a dance scholarship to the University of Missouri-Kansas City with the honors of receiving the UMKC Conservatory Chancellor’s Scholarship and graduated with a BFA in Dance. She has also received scholarships to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, American Dance Center, Gus Giordano, School of American Ballet and acceptance to the Mid-America Dance Company. Tess has performed and competed nationally earning awards for her dancing and choreography. She has choreographed and taught for the George Caleb Bingham Academy of the Arts and has also performed in productions of Guys and Dolls and Wizard of Oz. Tess has also enjoyed dancing some of her favorite ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Carmina Burana. She has studied with Tatiana Dukoudovska, Mary Pat Henry, Paula Weber, Gus Giordano and the late Leni Wylliams. Tess has been teaching for the Kansas City Ballet since 2005 as well as the Kansas City Ballet’s “Reach Out and Dance” program which brings dance education to public schools in the Kansas City Area. Tess is excited to share her experience and her passion for dance to others and feels very blessed to be teaching dance to all ages at Kansas City Ballet.
Pamela Royal Carney, Ballet
Pam, a native of Houston, Texas, got her early training with Margo Marshall and performed with Greater Houston Civic Ballet. During the summers, she trained with world-renowned teachers such as Anna Marie Holmes, Robert Joffrey, David Howard and many others in New York and Europe. At 18, she joined Boston Ballet in the corps de ballet. She was soon promoted to soloist and performed with Boston Ballet for 13 years. She had the opportunity to perform in all the great classics of ballet such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote as well as contemporary pieces such as many of George Balanchine works. Pam toured with Boston Ballet all over the world, including China, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, France, England and many other cities in Europe, Mexico and the US. After retiring from dancing, Pam and her husband, Devon Carney, had two wonderful children, Lauren and Ryan. Since then, she has taught ballet for many years with Boston Ballet School and Cincinnati Ballet Academy.
Tamara Carson, Flamenco
A graduate with distinction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dance Division & L’Academia del Arte-Barcelona, Spain. Tamara was Artist-in-Residence for the University of Kansas and the Leavenworth public school system, as well as a faculty member of the Conservatory of Music UMKC 1994-2000. She is delighted to be on faculty for the KCBS Academic program, Studio Classes and Summer Intensive programs since 2004. Her performance resume includes work with the Frankfurt Opera of Germany, the Kansas City Lyric Opera, Salina Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City & St Louis Guitar Societies and numerous festivals. She’s worked for decades throughout the region as a pioneer in bringing flamenco and Spanish dance to this area. Because of her experience as an educator and working artist, she was appointed to the Missouri Arts Council from 1994 to 1999. Tamara is currently on the Missouri Arts Council Touring Artist Roster with Ole’ Music and Dance of Spain, she performs as a guest artist with Ron Radford’s Viva Flamenco!, Las Tres Gitanas, Alma Flamenca & De Los Barrios and is the Director of Ole’ Music and Dance of Spain.
Noelle Dowma, Pilates Mat/Reformer
Noelle originally received her dance training in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, and danced with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet. Knowing she had an innate interest in dance medicine, Noelle received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami School of Medicine. Pilates has been a part of life since Noelle experienced a dance injury in 1992. This interest has blossomed into being nationally Pilates CertifiedTM and today Noelle works as a Polestar Pilates Principal Educator, teaching courses in Kansas City and across the country. Her dance medicine experience spans from Broadway shows to being on the Miami City Ballet therapy staff before moving to Kansas City in 2006. In addition to being on the Kansas City Ballet School staff and medical team, Noelle has guest taught across the US and in Mexico.
Sean Duus, Ballet
Sean Duus, a native of Mesquite, Texas, began teaching in the Kansas City Ballet School in 1987. Sean received his early dance training from George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief and Kevin Brown, and received scholarship offers from The School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Sean was a principal dancer in the Kansas City Ballet from 1986- 2001.He danced the principal male role in numerous ballets including: The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Apollo, Con Amore, Combat, Sleeping Beauty, Serenade, The Still Point, An American in Paris and Firebird. He had the great opportunity to work with many great choreographers such as Todd Bolender, Alvin Ailey, Margo Sappington and Ann Reinking. Sean was certified as a teacher in Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute teacher training program in Santa Fe in 2000, and teaches the Kansas City Ballet’s “Reach Out and Dance” program which brings dance education to public schools in the Kansas City Area. He is a frequent teacher of master classes and Ballet workshops throughout the United States.
Stephanie McKinney Eppler, Ballet
Stephanie received her early dance training at Somerset Ballet Centre in Prairie Village, Kansas under the direction of Jane Pierce. Her studies continued at Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, and as a scholarship recipient at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration with a concentration in Dance Performance on scholarship at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. While attending Butler, Stephanie danced with the Butler Ballet Company, Ballet Internationale, the Indianapolis Opera, and Dance New Amsterdam (formally Dance Space Center) in New York City. Upon the completion of her undergraduate degree, Stephanie returned to Kansas City to work and teach with Kansas City Ballet during the original acquisition of Somerset Ballet, now the Johnson County Campus. Stephanie continued teaching dance throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee before completing her Masters in Business Administration at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is thrilled to be back home in Kansas City and once again teaching at the Kansas City Ballet School.
Kim Gatchell, Ballet/Adaptive Dance
Kim is grateful to have been teaching for KCBS’s Children’s Program since 2006, and promoted the initiation of its Adaptive Dance classes in 2015. She trained with Somerset Ballet (P.V., KS) followed by Louisiana Tech University in dance/musical theater while earning her Early Childhood Education degree. She taught preschool at UMKC’s Berkley Child and Family Development Center which followed the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. As Campus Manager for Communities In Schools (Dallas, TX), she surrounded students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. As an Early Intervention Specialist for the Infant & Toddler Intervention Program (Plano, TX), she provided services to 0-36 month olds with developmental delays. She returned to K.C. to become Director of Children’s Ministries at Colonial Presbyterian Church’s Wornall Campus. She has also been a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise since 2000, developing and implementing individualized, functional fitness programs, incorporating her Pilates training (Balanced Body, Polestar). She has choreographed local youth and adult productions at churches, camps, schools, cultural arts centers, professional arts organizations, and community theaters, including Oliver!, Cinderella, Moo Juice, and The King and I. Kim considers it an honor to share sacred moments with children, inviting them to express, explore, and create.
Maureen Hall, Ballet
Maureen’s early ballet training came from Jane Pierce at the Somerset Ballet Centre. She studied at the Milwaukee and Joffrey Ballet schools, both on full scholarship. She attended the University of Kansas on full scholarship and received a BA in Dance. After graduation, she danced with the Dallas Dance Consortium and spent four seasons as a dancer in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Myrtle Beach and Branson. She is so happy to be returning to teaching after taking time off to be a stay home mom to 4 lively children!
Tobin James, Modern
Tobin James graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Modern dance. While in Philadelphia, she was also a member of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO). After college she attended the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance where she received a full scholarship and completed their training program. She danced with The Martha Graham Ensemble (Graham 2) before launching a freelance career in the Christian music industry as a dancer and choreographer. As a solo dance artist she accompanied musical artists such as Steve Green, and Bill and Gloria Gaither. She performed and choreographed on video projects for Ron Kenoly, and Cece Winans. She toured for five seasons with “The Young Messiah Tour” featuring Sandi Patti, Larnell Harris, and Carman, to name a few, and staged the dance for the Emmanuel tour. For four years Tobin was the Dance Coordinator for the Christian Artists’ Music Seminar in Estes Park, Colorado. Tobin was a full scholarship recipient for the NARB Craft of Choreography conference. She has choreographed for Philadanco, Ballet Magnificat, Sight and Sound Theatres, The Continental Singers, Dramatic Truth School of the Arts, The Culture House Academy of the Performing Arts and Störling Dance Theater. Tobin is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Störling Dance Theater, most known for their landmark production, Underground which she co-choreographed with Artistic Director Mona Störling-Enna. This wife and mother of four, in her spare time, serves as an Adjunct Professor for The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she teaches Graham based modern technique. She is on the Modern faculty for The Kansas City Ballet School, Dramatic Truth School of the Arts and The Culture House Academy of Performing Arts. She has taught for the Southwest Festival of Regional Dance America and continues to teach for various organizations at workshops, and intensives.
Flo Klenklen, Ballet
Flo Klenklen began her association with the Kansas City Ballet as a dancer under the direction of Tatiana Dokoudovska while earning a B.F.A. in dance and pedagogy at the Conservatory of Music, UMKC. In 1981 when Todd Bolender took over as artistic director and opened a school, Flo gladly hung up her pointe shoes when asked to teach and work as administrator for the school. Fueled by the great artists who helped Mr. Bolender organize the school: Diana Adams, Una Kai, Jonathan Watts, along with many guest teachers, Flo enjoyed teaching a full schedule, assisted in Nutcracker rehearsals, in Kansas City and St Louis, and organized summer courses in both cities. In 2000 Flo retired from the school and for the next five years organized a summer course in Crested Butte Colorado in conjunction with the company performing at the Crested Butte Music Festival under the direction of William Whitener.
Taryn Layne-Mulhern, Ballet/Pilates Mat/Reformer
Taryn began dancing in Iowa City, IA, at Terpsichore School of Dance, as well as at the University of Iowa. She continued her training in Kansas City, at Somerset Ballet Centre, the Kansas City Ballet School, and at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. She attended summer intensives and workshops at the Kansas City Ballet School, Milwaukee Ballet School, Connecticut Ballet, and Ballet Nouveau Colorado. She has had the privilege to train extensively in New York, at Steps on Broadway and at Peridance Capezio Center, also pursuing opportunities as a freelance artist. Taryn has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with Kansas City area dance companies, including Storling Dance Theater and City In Motion. Taryn has been teaching ballet for over ten years, and is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher, having successfully completed the ABT teacher training intensives in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering, of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She attended the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Teachers Workshop, studying the CPYB teaching syllabus and methodologies developed by Marcia Dale Weary. Taryn is a certified Pilates instructor, with training through both Stott Pilates and the Kane School. She received her Pilates training and certifications in NYC, where she also attended the Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries (FAMI) workshop at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2010 and 2012. Taryn greatly enjoys teaching people of all ages and abilities, and is very happy to be a part of the Kansas City Ballet School.
Hannah Lareau, Jazz Funk/Hip Hop
Hannah started dancing as soon as she could; putting on shows on the fireplace for her parents. However, she began technical training at age 14, and has continued dancing ever since. She danced for Suzanne Ryan in the Ordo Virutum, coached SHHS Elite dancers from 2010-2011, danced in an Indian Dance Company called Gurukul, and had the pleasure of being a part of many other exciting opportunities. Hannah danced with AIM Dance Company at Point B Dance in Lawrence, KS from 2008-2015 and taught there as well; at Point B and and co-directed Point A Dance. Going to LA in the summers with AIM always brought a new, fresh take on the dance world, which continues to ignite her passion to dance as well. She also studied theater in at MidAmerica Nazarene University and has been a part of many theater and musical productions. Her inspiration to dance and to teach is this; “There is no other avenue in which I can express, inspire, and be inspired as there is with dance: it is my passion, energy, challenge, and release.”
Billie Mahoney, Tap
Billie Mahoney, Kansas City native, nearly forty years in New York City with a performing career on the variety stage and in film and television. Highlights: featured act with Lionel Hampton and his band in night club and theater tours including New York’s Apollo Theater; personal appearances with Bob Hope; musical theater with Bob Fosse; featured with Ringling Bros. Circus at Madison Square Garden as champion baton twirler; USO in Korea and Japan. Major television includes The Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Arthur Godfrey and Friends, Caesar’s Hour, and The Tonight Show. Danced with Gregory Hines at the Folly Theater, 2001, where he called her a “Legend in tap dance”; Featured in the Palm Springs Follies, California, 2002-03.
Teaching highlights: Modern Jazz and tap dance classes in NYC Broadway studios (25 years); the dance faculty of The Juilliard School where she assisted José Limon and directed the Limon Dance Company on tour of the Soviet Union; taught at universities world wide: Queens College, CUNY (1973-76); associate professor and Coordinator of Dance, Northern Illinois University (1989-92); a Labanotation specialist, has notated works of Balanchine, De Mille, José Greco, Bob Fosse and Jack Cole. Master’s Degree in Media Studies, The New School, NYC, 1982. Currently: adjunct UMKC Conservatory of Music & Dance, and on faculty at City In Motion. Producer/host of cable TV show, DANCE ON: with Billie Mahoney, which aired fifteen years in New York City, now produced at the Todd Bolender Center airing on the UMKC cable channel 17, KHEN. Hosts bi-monthly Jazz Tap Jams at the Uptown Arts Bar.
Racheal Nye, Ballet
Racheal Nye is a graduate of the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C., where she attended on full scholarship and studied with Nikolai Morozov, Alla Sizova, and Elena Vinogradova. She then joined Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis and continued training with Irina Kolpakova and Vladien Semenov. In 2000, Racheal joined Nevada Ballet Theatre and was promoted to principal in 2006. Racheal has danced leading roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Cinderella, Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares?, as well as ballets by leading contemporary choreographers such as Val Caniparoli and Twyla Tharp. She was a finalist in the 2001 Concours De Luxembourg. As part of a cultural exchange, Racheal performed at the National Theatre in Seoul, Korea and Lisbon, Portugal. She was the Children’s Ballet Mistress for Nevada Ballet Theater and Ballet Idaho, as well as an Academy faculty member. Racheal has both taught and choreographed for Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas which was reviewed in Dancer Magazine. She is a guest teacher for many festivals and schools including Regional Dance America, Muse, and Bossov Ballet Theater. Her students have received top twelve and third place recognition in Youth America Grand Prix, and have received scholarships to international ballet academies. She is Pilates certified and specializes in rehabilitation.
Tempe Ostergren, Ballet
Tempe Ostergren studied on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet in New York City. After graduating, she went on to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she danced numerous solo and principal roles. Among some of her favorites were Sugar Plum in Stowell’s Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Divertimento #15, Martin’s Fearful Symmetries, Stowell’s Quaternary, and Caniparoli’s Torque. She then joined Boston Ballet where some of her repertoire included Dew Drop and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Stepsister in Kudelka’s Cinderella, Effy in La Sylphide, Jumping Girl in Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, soloist ballerina in Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Kylian’s Falling Angels and Six Dances as well as numerous roles in the classics such as pas de trois in Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, and Amour in Don Quioxte. With Kansas City Ballet, Ms. Ostergren was thrilled to perform the title role in Giselle, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Waltz Girl in Serenade. This is her fourth season with Kansas City Ballet.
Jennifer Owen, Ballet
Jennifer Owen’s ballet career has taken her around the globe. After training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, she went on to dance with the Russian State Ballet, Moscow Renaissance Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, BalletMet, and had the unique experience of appearing as a guest artist with the National Ballet of Turkmenistan. Notable roles danced include the title role in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, principal roles in George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Donizetti Variations, and the central pas de deux in Todd Bolender’s Arena. She has choreographed over thirty new works for Owen/Cox Dance, as well as nine works for Kansas City Ballet’s “In the Wings” choreographic workshop, and a winning entry for the 2006 Columbus Choreography Project. Owen is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Honorarium. In the spring of 2014 she and her husband, Brad Cox, welcomed their baby daughter, Cecilia.
Peggy Ply, Ballet
Peggy Ply started ballet training in McAllen, TX at the age of 8 training for 11 years with Mary Kathryn Daugherty a former member of Ballet Russe. Peggy graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in dance. After dancing throughout Texas and Mexico, Peggy relocated to Kansas City and began dancing with Victoria Smith Company and would later become one of eight in the professional wing of what in now Kansas City Ballet founded by Tatiana Dodoudovska. She was also was one of the original dancers with Westport Ballet where she also taught and choreographed. Other teaching credits include Somerset Ballet under the direction of Jane Pierce and the University of Kansas City Missouri. She was casted as The Mother in Mona Enna’s “Butterfly” with Störling Dance Theater and was casted in “Anela en Rouge” a documentary directed by Kansas City native, Cara Myers. Peggy praises God for her health, a long career, and her family who gives her love and support.
Nadine Price-Rojas, Ballet/Jazz
Nadine was born in England UK. She began her training at the age of three, and later went to train at Bush Davies Performing Arts and The Royal Ballet, London. During her graduating year, she performed Cinderella at the Royal Albert Hall before her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. After receiving her teachers diplomas in both R.A.D and I.S.T.D., Nadine went on to tour extensively with various dance and entertainment companies worldwide, dancing with the Dublin City Ballet, then onto London’s West End Cats and Me And My Girl. She has performed at Wembley Stadium, NEC Birmingham, UK, Milan Opera House, and Loews, Monte Carlo. She has also acted in numerous European television shows, commercials and movies roles. Nadine would later become Lead Dancer, Line Captain and Choreographer on major cruise lines such as Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival, performing various Broadway and Vegas-style shows. In 1994 Nadine moved to Kansas City, opening a yoga studio and starting ballet programs for local studios. She continued her passion and toured with Mikhail Baryshnikov in the White Oak Project and has worked with touring Broadway shows that visit the midwest region. She currently owns a production company, directing and choreographing shows for private events groups.
Tina Ray, Ballet
Tina Ray has fond memories of her first ballet class at the age of 3 with Gardner Schneider-Cole in Slidell, LA. As a young student she danced with the Picayune Ballet Company and performed throughout Mississippi and Louisiana, including the1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. She studied dance at the University of Southern Mississippi before opening her own school of dance where she directed the Picayune Youth Ballet Company for 10 years. She received her teacher’s training from the International Ballet School in Jackson, MS and enjoyed spending several summers studying ballet in New York with various teachers. She danced with the New Orleans Ballet, under the direction of Allison Gonzales from 1994 to 1999. Tina enjoyed dancing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alice in Wonderland, Billy the Kid, and Sleeping Beauty as The Lilac Fairy. Tina’s students were often featured in the New Orleans Ballet’s performances. While with the New Orleans Ballet, she enjoyed teaching and performing with the outreach program for the Orleans Parish Public Schools which brought dance education and appreciation to elementary school students who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Tina loves sharing her lifelong passion of ballet with her students. She is thrilled and honored to be teaching for The Kansas City Ballet School.
Suzanne Ryanstrati, Modern/Tap
M. Suzanne Ryanstrati studied ballet under George de la Pena, Todd Bolender, and Una Kai and modern under Bill Evans, Armando Duarte, David Dorfman, Tyrone Aiken, Alan Sener, and Bella Lewitsky. At the age of 19 she had her first professional dance contract under Neil Hess in Texas. Later she toured with the Bill Evans Dance Company, performing modern, jazz, and rhythmic tap in the United States and Japan. Suzanne studied Evans, Limon, Horton, Cunningham, Graham and Falco modern dance techniques. Suzanne holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Dance Choreography from the University of Iowa, where she studied dance pedagogy in modern and ballet, and taught modern dance and tap for 3 years. Her continued interest in education led her to the Bill Evans Summer Teacher’s Intensive, Avodah: Dance Midrash with JoAnne Tucker and sessions with Carol Roderick of Colorado State University. Suzanne’s choreography has been performed in eight states (including New York) and internationally, most recently in London and at the Lone Star Ballet in Texas. Suzanne directed 3 dance companies including her own company called Ryanstrati & Company featuring dancers with and without disabilities, which is her passion.
Susan Lewis Sands, Ballet
Susan Lewis began her ballet training in Massachusetts under the direction of Jaqueline Cronsberg of The Ballet Workshop. She spent four summers studying at the School Of American Ballet before attending full time at age sixteen. Susan was hired by Todd Bolender to join the Kansas City Ballet in 1985 where she spent her entire career dancing various roles as a principal with the company. Susan began teaching for the Kansas City Ballet School in 1991, and continued teaching upon retirement with the company in 1996.
Erin Sexton, Ballet
Erin Sexton fell in love with dance at age 3, realizing she could make her Mom laugh to the point of tears just by shaking her hips. Sidetracked when her studio closed at age 11, Erin fell in love with dance once again as a Theatre Major in College. She began studying with Natalie Rast and at Joel Hall in Chicago while performing with the Piven Theatre Workshop and at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Since then, Erin has taught dance and yoga and led dance theatre workshops for students of all ages. Erin feels blessed to be teaching at KCBS.
Lisa Sirridge, Ballet/Pilates Mat/Reformer
Lisa is a former ballet and modern dancer who performed professionally with local dance companies starting with the Kansas City Civic Ballet (now known as the Kansas City Ballet). During this time she received her dance education through UMKC’s Conservatory of Dance under the leadership of Tatiana Dokoudovska, the founder of the Kansas City Civic Ballet. In later years, her dance experience continued with Westport Ballet and City in Motion. She has also performed with the Lyric Opera,Missouri Repertory Theater, as well as in Starlight Theater productions. After many years of performing, she turned her passion for dance towards choreography and staging of various local productions, most recently The American Girl Fashion Show. Lisa is a Stott’s Pilates instructor, trained in Mat, Reformer, and Cadillac.
Liz Trevino, Ballet/Tap/Jazz
Liz was a principal dancer and rehearsal director for the famed Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago from 1991-1994, was an instructor in the School and was the Administrative Assistant to the company. Also while in Chicago, she was a founding member of the tap company that is now the performing entity of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. She also danced at Andy Williams’ Moon River Theater, Music Theater of Wichita and James P. Productions. She graduated cum laude and as Outstanding Senior in Dance from Oklahoma CIty University. After her performing career, she returned to OCU for 6 1/2 years as an Instructor of Dance and choreographed numerous operas for the Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company. She then became the Director of Dance and Department Head of Fine Arts at St. Gregory’s University where she stayed for 10 years. Next came 3 years as a Lecturer in Dance at Creighton University in Omaha as well as instructor at Robin Welch Dance Arts. Liz has recently become a Pilates instructor through Balanced Body and teaches at Lifetime Fitness, as well as a certified Group Fitness instructor through AFAA. She continues her university teaching at Rockhurst University, as well. Liz is thrilled to be part of the prestigious faculty at Kansas City Ballet and is excited to share her knowledge and passion for all forms of dance with the students of Kansas City Ballet.
Dmitry Trubchanov, Ballet
Dmitry is from Saint Petersburg, Russia. At the age of 9 he was accepted to the Academy of Russian Ballet (the school of the Kirov Ballet). After eight years of hard ballet training, Mr. Trubchanov joined the famous Kirov Ballet Theater, where he toured extensively around the world. In 1995, Mr. Trubchanov was invited as a guest artist to perform with Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea. Mr. Trubchanov has performed in various galas and festivals including The Stars of Kirov Ballet held in Innsbruck, Austria and Syracuse, Sicily, International Ballet Festival in Miami, Florida and International Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado. He was also a guest star at a several gala performances in Fukuoka, Japan. In 2004, Mr. Trubchanov was featured in the recreation of George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula, which was filmed for the Balanchine Trust archives. Also, he was a part of documentary “Do Not Go Gently” featuring legendary Frederic Franklin, CBE. It aired on PBS in 2007 and was nominated for the best documentary at the Wisconsin Film Festival. Most recently, Mr. Trubchanov was a Principal dancer with the Colorado Ballet in Denver. Throughout his career Mr. Trubchanov has danced numerous classical and contemporary ballets and has won acclaim from critics worldwide.
Brian Bates, Pianist
Mr. Bates is a songwriter/arranger who studied at UMKC with Gerald Kemner (composition) and Ruth Ann Rich (piano.) Mr. Bates brings a unique creative energy to the ballet classroom in that he has composes many of the pieces he uses in class. His standard repertoire is drawn from a large source of influences and styles in order to give students a variety of musical experiences. Mr. Bates also serves as the Assistant Choir Director /Accompanist for the Center School District and is the pianist for the First Baptist Church of Independence. He has played for KCBS since 1999.
Sam Beckett, Pianist
Sam Beckett enjoys putting his B.S. in Theory/Composition and Piano Performance from William Jewell College (’87) to good use as Adjunct Music Theory Instructor at Penn Valley College in Midtown, and in recent performances as a featured soloist with the Kansas City Ballet (Triple Play/Poulenc; Allegro Brilliante/Tchaikovsky-Oct ‘13; Wunderland/Glass; and The Four Temperaments/Hindemith-May ‘15). This year will be his 2nd year to play on a regular basis for KCB II classes, which this year broadens into classes for Trainees. Piano tuning, studio work, church performances (featuring his own compositions and arrangements performed alongside family members), private lessons, ROAD (Reach Out And Dance) classes, and playing in the Penn Valley Community College Jazz Band (on trumpet!) round out his schedule. As always, his association with KCB is one of great pride.
Irina Brouhard, Pianist
Irina Brouhard was born in the southern Ural Mountains of Central Russia. She began playing the piano at the age of 7. She attended Magnitogorsk College of Music graduating Suma Cum Laude and was only one of only 20 accepted at Novosibirsk Conservatory of Music. After graduation, Irina went to the Armenian University as Concert Master for the Choral Department. In 1998, Irina accepted a position at the Magnitogorsk Ballet and Opera Theater as a Concertmaster but quickly rose to the position of Artistic Director. Irina also was Concertmaster at Magnitogorsk Conservatory of Music, a member of the Philharmonic Society of both Magnitogorsk and Chelyabinsk, and performed all over the Ural region and Siberia, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
John Currey, Percussionist
John Currey holds a master’s degree in percussion performance from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he teaches percussion for the Conservatory’s Community Music & Dance Academy. Numerous performance credits include with the Kansas City Symphony, Czech National Orchestra, newEar contemporary chamber ensemble, American Ballet Theatre, Caribbean Steel pan band, and the Kansas City Brass. He is a member of the Tri-Percussion group, Kansas City Brassworks, Flamenco de los Barrios, Broken String Latin-Jazz trio, and is Director of Marimba Sol de Chiapas marimba band. In addition to his Modern Dance accompaniment for the Kansas City Ballet School, Mr. Currey accompanies for the UMKC Conservatory Dance Department, and for the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey outreach programs and AileyCamps. John’s dance accompanying has been featured in numerous Modern Dance Master Classes, including for members of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. Mr. Currey has accompanied for dance greats David Parsons, Leni Wylliams, Denise Jefferson, Edgar Anido, Troy Powell, and others, and his dance accompanying earned him a commission to co-write music for the Wylliams/Henry Dance Company. Teaching credits include at Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, Pittsburg State University, as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UMKC, and as an Arts Educator for Kansas City Young Audiences.
Inna Daniels, Pianist
Ms. Inna Daniels was born in the former Soviet Union and earned her Master of Arts in Piano from the Baku Conservatory of Music. Her principal training was in solo piano performance, accompaniment and music instruction, with further studies in music composition. Prior to moving to Kansas City she worked as a musical educator, and an accompanist for the state rhythmic gymnastics team, as well as a ballet company. She also worked as a principal pianist at the National Academic Theatre and College of Ballet in Armenia. Inna has been an employee of the Kansas City Ballet (formerly State Ballet of Missouri) since September of 1993. She is employed as a professional musical accompanist for both the training academy and the ballet company. She has also worked for ballet companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Salt Creek Ballet in Chicago, Houston Ballet and Miami City Ballet.
William Puckett, Pianist
Mr. Puckett has been performer in many musical venues from the Classical Concert stage to the Rock Music Arena, and has worked with several ballet schools in Santa Cruz, CA and the University of California. A working musician for over 30 years, he is also a Studio Owner/Engineer in North Kansas City and a Sound Designer supporting the Electronic Music Industry. A composer as well as a pianist, Will has many original pieces, arrangements, and music for dance and film ranging from whimsical to more serious moods.
Angie Roustio, Pianist
Mrs. Roustio received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois in Piano Performance and the Master of Music degree from Southern Illinois University in Piano Performance and Chamber Music/Accompanying. She has been the studio accompanist for voice and string professors’ undergraduate and graduate students. She studied piano under, among others, Dr. Linda Perry, and Ruth Slenczynska, former student of Rachmaninoff, and was the winner of a concerto competition. She has accompanied college choirs, including the Southwestern Illinois College choir under director A. Dennis Sparger, conductor of the Bach Society of St. Louis. Ms. Roustio has accompanied and adjudicated recitals, juries, contests/competitions and master classes, including the Inside Music Series at the Kauffman Center, for ballet, voice, and various instruments. She has been a rehearsal accompanist for opera theatre and has played with the pit orchestra for many musical productions. Ms. Roustio was the accompanist for the Ballet Conservatory in Independence, Mo., a Royal Academy of Dance studio. She also played for their Examinations in Dance. She was a member of the Illinois State Music Teacher’s Association and was the chair of their Southern District Piano Competition. She has been in recital with violinist Nicholas Currie, substitute member of the National Symphony Orchestra and member of the Baltimore Opera Company Orchestra. Ms. Roustio taught at the SIU-E Keyboard Development Program, at Southwestern Illinois College, and in her private studio. She is the accompanist for the Young MeisterSingers Children’s Choir, a children’s choir who has performed with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Kansas City Chorale. Mrs. Roustio and her husband have four children and live in Independence, Mo.
Jaclyn Rylee, Pianist
Jaclyn Rylee began her piano training in Kansas City under the direction of Mrs. Estelle Majors at the age of five. She studied jazz at the Conservatory of Music with George Salisbury before attending KU for two and one half years, majoring in music. Twenty five years ago, Jaclyn decided to turn her hobby into a part-time career. She has played locally for musicals at Theatre in the Park, Waldo Astoria, musical competitions, numerous weddings, retirement/nursing homes, country clubs and restaurants, and still does. She has been an accompanist for the Kansas City Ballet since October 2011.
Evangelos Spanos, Pianist
Evangelos Spanos is a highly talented and educated international performer whose work crosses over geographical, stylistic and temporal boundaries. Conferred with a doctorate with honors by the University of Kansas (D.M.A. 2011), Spanos has dedicated his career to nurturing and advancing music through performance, creation, scholarly inquiry and pedagogy. He continuously performs, teaches and promotes a wide repertoire of classical music as well as piano music by Greek composers. His teacher and mentor, Sequeira Costa, a Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Kansas, has had a long, distinguished career as a concert performer on the World stage. Costa himself was a child prodigy and student of the surviving pupil of Franz Liszt, Jose Vianna Da Motta. Sequeira Costa later studied with the renowned Marguerite Long, Jacques Février and Edwin Fischer. Today, both Costa and Spanos continue in the tradition influenced by Liszt. Professor Dinos Mastroyiannis of Volos, Greece (student of Brazilian maestro Roberto Szidon, himself a pupil of Claudio Arrau) is another distinguished musician who is more than willing to lend Evangelos support in launching his career.
Born in Larissa, Greece, Spanos holds degrees from the University of Kansas (Doctorate of Musical Arts, Honors, 2011 and Master of Music 2005), the Music Conservatory of Volos, Greece (Piano Diploma, Highest Distinction, 2002) and Music Conservatory of Larissa, Greece (Degree in Music Harmony, 1998).
Jordan Voth, Pianist
Kansas native Jordan Voth joined the accompanist staff of the Kansas City Ballet in the summer of 2015. A 2012 graduate of Wichita State University, Jordan received first prize in the 2006 Andersen Concerto Series and was named the piano division winner of the 2010 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. Before arriving in Kansas City to begin a Master of Music at UMKC in 2013, Jordan studied at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College in New York City and participated in master classes with Leon Fleisher, Alon Goldstein, and Lowell Liebermann. Since 2013, Jordan has served as a modern dance accompanist at UMKC where he worked with Peter Anastos on a production of Yes Virginia, Another Piano Ballet, and where he currently pursues a Doctorate degree in piano performance under the direction of Dr. Robert Weirich.
Sarah York, Pianist
Sarah has been involved in music since she began piano lessons at the age of five. She played piano all though school and chose to major in music in college. Sarah began accompanying in college and while there received several accompanying awards and scholarships. She graduated in 2003 from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in music with emphases in church music and piano. Since graduation Sarah has worked as a church pianist, church organist, choir director, college staff accompanist, middle school and high school choral accompanist, and has taught private piano lessons for over ten years. Sarah recently began working as a dance accompanist and enjoys it greatly. She currently plays for ballet classes at the University of Kansas and the Lawrence Arts Center, as well as the Kansas City Ballet School. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas and enjoys spending time with her husband and fellow musician, Dan and their two dogs.