FLORIDA DANCE FESTIVAL ON TOUR FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES TODD ERIC ALLEN, (Ballet) Artistic Director AND CEO of the Northwest Florida Ballet, began his training at the age of 14 in his hometown of Fort Walton Beach, Florida with Bernadette Clements. One year later he received a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where he studied for five consecutive years with Dorothy Lister, Meredith Baylis, Jonathan Watts and Choo San Goh. He attended Virginia Intermont College as a scholarship student and was awarded a Dance Magazine Scholarship to the 1985 Choreographer's Conference in Geneva, New York. Mr. Allen danced with the Louisville Ballet, Boston Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and has performed as a guest artist and teacher throughout the U.S. He has also performed at the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington D.C., on two separate occasions, for Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton. Other performing highlights include a tour in Europe with Boston Ballet which featured a gala performance at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain; and a Canadian national tour with performances at Jacob's Pillow. In May of 2000 Mr. Allen was one of fourteen dancers asked to perform in Ocean Dance 2000 featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project and Demetrius Klein Dance Company. Allen has an extensive background in the classics and Balanchine ballets, and has performed featured roles in ballets by Elisa Monte, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Nacho Duato, James Kudelka, Hans Van Manen and Lucinda Hughey. In 1992 while dancing with Boston Ballet Mr. Allen choreographed his first ballet, IYANU, on dancers from the company for a performance benefiting the Boston Ballet Dancer's Career Transition Fund. Blue Tango, a tribute to Astor Piazzolla and collaboration with Argentine composer Claudio Ragazzi, once again highlighting the talents of Boston Ballet Dancers and featuring a live tango quintet, followed this first work. After the premier performance Christine Temin of the Boston Globe described Mr. Allen as "a choreographer of genuine talent". Allen went on to create works for Festival Ballet of Rhode Island, the dancers of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Mobile Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Chattanooga Ballet, Ruth Mitchell Dance Theater, Pensacola Opera, Pensacola Symphony, Mobile Opera and his own company, Northwest Florida Ballet. Allen has since been described as "one of the most original and exciting choreographers I know" by Fernando Bujones. In the summer of 1995 Todd Eric Allen was invited to return to his hometown of Fort Walton Beach, Florida as Director of the Northwest Florida Ballet. In the nine years he has held the position of Artistic Director, Allen has committed himself to his community by developing young minds and bodies through innovative dance education programs, creating an awareness of dance in Northwest Florida and exposing his audiences to a variety of classical and contemporary works. In 2003 Mr. Allen received the Cox Bravo Champion of the Arts Award in Northwest Florida for his work in establishing the NFB Académie, a free academic and artistic education elementary school located in the NFB studios. His groundbreaking work in arts education was featured in Dance Teacher magazine (Nov, 2004) and in Teacher Magazine, a Department of Education publication (May 2005). In 2005 he accepted a 3-month engagement to perform in the Broadway hit, Movin' Out. He served as an instructor at the 2006 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. SHARON ALLEN, (Jazz) holds a BFA in Dance from Radford University, studied with North Carolina School of the Arts, Richmond Ballet, and Boston Ballet School. She has performed with Ballet Theatre of Boston, Boston Dance Company, Impulse Dance Company, Mill Mountain Theatre and Southwest Virginia Ballet. Ms. Allen taught ballet and jazz for the Harvard-Radcliffe Dance Department, Jeanette Neill Dance Studio, Boston, Ft. Wayne Ballet, University of West Florida and is a certified instructor of Pilates through PhysicalMind Institute and Pilates Certification Center. Sharon has enjoyed teaching students of all ages for over 22 years. She and her husband, Todd Eric Allen (Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Movin‟ Out NYC) have helped to promote change in Northwest Florida for the past 13 years by receiving state recognition with the growth of the Northwest Florida Ballet Company and School, developing the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie, a free integrated arts and academic education program for 3rd-8th grade boys and girls and producing a successful regional summer dance program. Most recently Ms. Allen‟s choreography has also received recognition at Panoply Arts Festival. Contact Information: email@example.com www.nfballet.org JENNIFER ARCHIBALD (Hip Hop), founder and artistic director of Arch Dance company, graduated from the Alvin Ailey School, She has performed across the U.S. including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, Lincoln Theatre, The Duke on 42nd Street Theatre, Abron Arts Centre and Judson Memorial Church, as well as in Europe and Canada. Jennifer staged various off-Broadway shows working with casts from Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk and Cats, and choreographed Carousel, The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Pippin for professional theater companies. She also choreographed for the NBA New York Knicks City Dancers and The Alvin Ailey School, served as a movement specialist and a choreographer for singer Shaggy and actresses Sarita Choudury and Audrey Tautou-Amelie. She currently serves on the faculty at Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Bates Dance Festival and Florida Dance Festival. She recently completed a solo project performing Joan of Arc for choreographer Michael Foley in France. SONIA CALERO (Salsa) initiated her artistic career at age eleven under the supervision of Alberto Alonso at Havana's Municipal Conservatory, and continued her studies at Pro-Arte Musical Society under Mr. Alonso. She credits her work in classical ballet with Mr. Alonso as an important element in forming her own popular Cuban style. Ms. Calero was the principal dancer for the Experimental Theatre of Dance in Cuba. She has starred in two major motion pictures in Cuba, Mi Solar and Las Vacas Gordas, with Havana's Musical Theatre. With the National Performing Arts Group of Havana, Ms. Calero played principal roles in such films as Cuidado con La Risa and Son o no Son. Her work spans from traditional theatre to the most famous Cuban nightclubs. Considered the most acclaimed interpreter of Cuban popular dance, Ms. Calero has danced important roles from ballet's traditional repertory to contemporary Cuban and foreign roles. CARLOS DE BARROS (Jazz) is a well-rounded teacher, choreographer, dancer and adjudicator, with an energetic, technical style and challenging class curriculum. He is a B.F.A. graduate from the New World School of the Arts/University of Florida Dance program. His formal dance training has been supplemented by master classes and workshops from all over Florida and NYC. At New World, Carlos performed in works by distinguished choreographers and Company directors such as Jose Limon, Gerri Houlihan, Freddick Bratcher, Gerard Ebitz, Lila York, Michael Utoff and Peter London. He has danced professionally with the American Dance Theatre, Freddick Bratcher & Company, Demetrius Klein Dance Company and various free-lance jobs. The last 11.5 years he has been teaching and choreographing at the A+ rated Bak Middle School of the Arts (BMSOA). He was the founder and Artistic director of the former BMSOA Premiere Dancers for 5 years and his colleagues nominated him the 2004 Hispanic Teacher of the Year. Some of the choreography he has set at Bak has been selected to be performed at the Florida Dance Festival and Young Dancer‟s Workshops several times, as well. He has been teaching and choreographing for the last 15 years at local Florida studios and schools such as Southern Dance Theater, Atlantic High, Palm Beach Ballet Center, Benjamin High, Jupiter Dance Academy and Susan Lyle‟s Dance Studios where he was Co-director of their national award winning competition group. He has also taught for summer intensives at The Alabama School for the Arts and Technology, The Harid Conservatory and for local Florida studios. He does master classes, choreography and adjudication for public and private schools, and studios and performing groups, as well. He‟s been a master teacher and adjudicator for groups such as Florida Dance Association, Dance Master‟s of America chapter #2, Star Power, The All-American Dance Festival at the Hard Rock Live, Starquest International, The Brevard County Competition, and The Rochester Invitational. Mr. de Barros‟s classes are an eclectic combination of diverse styles from contemporary to classical. Any discipline of dance he teaches will surely challenge you mentally and physically. He believes being well rounded is the key to any successful dancer‟s training. He focuses on strengthening all aspects of a dancer‟s technique from their arms, torso and legs to the dancer‟s expression, mind work and focus. This is why he loves teaching at the Young Dancer‟s Workshop because it provides an array of classes to choose from and exposes the dancers to styles they might not get otherwise. RODNEY A. BROWN (Modern, Jazz) is Assistant Professor and Artistic Director of Dance at Santa Fe College. „Brown‟, as he is affectionately called is a choreographer, performer, educator and activist. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan as an esteemed Rackham Merit Fellow and was the first African-American Male to graduate with a BA in dance from Oakland University. A strong commitment to Social Action, specifically HIV/AIDS and community fuels his current work. He is a recipient of an Academic Multicultural Initiatives Grant from the University of Michigan, which he used for travel to South Africa to teach a module of HIV prevention as part of the Pedagogy of Action (POA) in 2007. The experience had such an immense impact on Brown that he joined POA in South Africa again in 2009. It is his involvement in community-engaged experiences like these that keep reshaping his perspective on art and education. As choreographer, Brown has created over 50 works for the street and stage. In 2008 he was named one of two choreographers to participate in the „ProDanza Italia USA‟ Choreographers Workshop in Castiglioncello, Italy. His diverse training and professional career have afforded him the opportunity to perform with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. (DCDC), Bichini Bia Congo Dance Theatre, Patterson Rhythm Pace Dance Co., Peter Sparling Dance co., Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Leyya Tawil‟s Dance Elixir, Compton Dance Theatre Foundation, and dance works by choreographers Eleo Pomare, Doug Varone, Kevin Ward, Jan Erkert, Ronald K. Brown, Matthew Rushing, John Malashock , Rennie Harris, Li Chiao-Ping, Peter Sparling, and Donald McKayle. A proud Dayton, Ohio native, Brown continues an invaluable performing, choreographic and teaching relationship with the Dayton Contemporary Dance organization that spans a decade. In fall 2009 he will complete a choreographic commission for DCDC‟s winter home season: ♂ Connections. The season celebrates dance works by men who‟ve spent their formative years under its founders‟ tutelage. The work will premier winter 2010. Out of a necessity to further produce his work. Brown founded The Brown Dance Project (BDP). Together with Fellow DCDC artist and Choreographer Crystal Michelle as its Associate Director. The BDP explores the human condition and experience through dance. The BDP has the unique ability to operate as many or as one as its directors travel and create work. For more info visit. www.BrownDanceProject.org MELISSA CANTO ( Modern) MOHAMED DACOSTA (African Dance), from Boke, Guinea, is a lecturer in African Performing Arts in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Center for African Studies, and affiliate faculty in the Center for World Arts at the University of Florida. Mr. DaCosta served as choreographer for the African Ballet of Gambia and performed with the company from 1980-1985. In 1996, he performed across Europe as featured drummer with Culture Movement, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense; the internationally renowned Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble has also featured him in performances. As three-time University of Florida Center for World Arts artist-in-residence, Mr. DaCosta has used his exceptional command of West African performance traditions and engaging teaching persona to develop appreciation of West African culture at the University of Florida, New World School of the Arts, Santa Fe Community College, and in the greater communities of Florida and North Carolina. Mr. DaCosta's abiding warmth, vitality and artistry are an inspiration to students, fellow artists, community members and audiences of all backgrounds. LINDA-DENISE FISHER-HARRELL (Modern) is an Assistant Professor at Towson University. She began her dance training at the Baltimore School for the Arts under the guidance of Sylvester Campbell and Stephanie Powell. While still in high school, she was invited to be an apprentice with the Capitol Ballet in Washington D.C. She was a scholarship student at The Ailey School and attended The Juilliard School where she worked with great choreographers Anna Sokolow, and John Taras. In 1989, Ms. Fisher-Harrell joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, performing extensively throughout the United States and Europe the works of Twyla Tharp, Margo Sappington, and Daniel Ezralow. In 1992, Ms. Fisher-Harrell fulfilled a life long dream and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the Artistic Direction of Judith Jamison where she became a Principal Dancer. During her 13 year tenure at AAADT, she a vast array of some of the worlds most exciting and innovative choreographers; featured in the works of Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Talley Beatty, Ron K. Brown, John Butler, Donald Byrd, Ulysses Dove, George Faison, Rennie Harris, Geoffrey Holder, Judith Jamison, Louis Johnson, Alonzo King, Donald McKayle, Elisa Monte, Jennifer Muller, David Parsons, and Dwight Rhoden just to name a few. She has performed and taught all over the United States as well as, Canada, Japan, China, Israel, Egypt, /South Africa, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Poland, The Netherlands, England, Brazil, and Chile. In addition to performing, she also enjoys teaching company ballet class (AAADT and Ailey II) as well as teaching master classes and workshops at institutions like the American Dance Festival (ADF) to adults and children of all ages all over the world. In addition to the Towson University Dance Department, Ms. Fisher-Harrell is also on faculty at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She received her M.F.A. in dance from Hollins/ADF University. Ms. Fisher-Harrell has received many awards including first place in the National ACT-SO Competition sponsored by the NAACP. She was a finalist in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search in Miami, FL and has received five Individual Artist citations from the state of Maryland. Some of her special performances include, the White House State Dinner for the president of Kenya (Mwai Kibaki), the 12th Annual Kennedy Center Gala with Nancy Wilson and Liza Minelli, The World Stars of the Opera International Ballet Gala in Budapest, Hungary (2001,2003,2005), the Stars of the 21st Century in Paris and Toronto, the Black Dance Celebration in Genoa, Italy, Fall for Dance Festival in New York, NY, Symphony With a Twist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Extraordinary Life of Miss Katherine Dunham Tribute at Symphony Space, New York, NY. Ms. Fisher-Harrell is the recipient of the prestigious DANCE/USA grant. Read More. Just recently, she was honored with other past and present artists from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre with the 24th Annual New York Dance and Performance Award, The Bessie Schonberg or "Bessie" in the performance category for their contributions to American Dance. This award was presented to these artists for "a continuous display of magnificent individual dancers who have always come together as a transcendent whole since their company's inception; taking dance and American culture to the corners of the world as eloquent ambassadors, and for an unforgettable 50th anniversary season that has audiences reveling in the aisles." ISA GARCIA-ROSE (Ballet) is a wonderfully versatile performer with a warm generous stage presence. She entranced audiences with her performances as Lady In Red in Tango Rose and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is at her best in expressive roles in such works as Afternoon of a Faun or A Streetcar Named Desire. The petite Ms. Garcia-Rose is a powerful dancer, fearless in contemporary pas de deux work such as that in Incertezza or Bolero. Born in Cuba, she spent many years in Spain before settling in Miami, Florida. She studied with and was a dancer with Miami‟s Ballet Concerto Company performing in Giselle, Swan Lake, La Bayadere and La Sylphide. Ms. Garcia-Rose joined Gainesville‟s DANCE ALIVE! in 1989. A graduate of the University of Florida with a BFA in Dance, she is now a faculty member of the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance teaching classical ballet. Ms. Garcia-Rose spent the 1994-1995 season as a member of the Demetrius Klein Dance Company touring Florida and the Midwest before rejoining DANCE ALIVE! GERRI HOULIHAN (Modern Technique) is a teacher, performer, choreographer and former faculty member at New World School of the Arts in Miami (1988–99). She was Artistic Director of Houlihan and Dancers from 1991–99. She was a principal dancer with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company. Among her many other accomplishments she, was founder and director of Boston Dance Project school and company, was a finalist in the Boston Ballet International Choreography Competition, received a Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in Dance/Choreography in 1991–92 and 1996–97. Her company, Houlihan and Dancers, was one of only two companies to receive a DanceLink Commissioning and Residency Exchange (CARE) grant, a program of Florida Dance Association. She is a former faculty member of Connecticut College and Boston Ballet. Since 1993, she has taught in Brazil, Chile, China, Estonia, Paraguay, Poland and the Philippines for American Dance Festival (ADF) linkage programs; ADF/Korea ‟90, ‟91, ‟02, ‟04; ADF/Russia ‟97; ADF/Mongolia ‟04, ‟05; ADF Four-Week School Director 2001–05; recipient of the ADF Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching in 2005; ADF faculty ‟81–‟83 and since ‟89. Gerri Houlihan is currently an Associate Professor at Florida State University. ANA JAKUPKO (Classical Indian Dance) is a well-known performer, teacher and promoter of the Bharatanatyam /South Indian classical dance form. She has studied with the Amablam Academy of Dance and Music, in Madras, India from 2001-present. Ms. Jakupko graduated from the Nadanta Academy of Dance and Music in Bangalore, India in 1999. From 1982-1992 she trained under Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan from the United Kingdom and at Bhaktivedanta Manor in the United Kingdom as well. She has performed at the Bhakitkalakshetra Performing Arts Center of Bombay, India as well as annual performances with festivals throughout the United States from 1996- 2004. She has taught at colleges and universities throughout the U.S since 1997 and is very involved in community activities promoting and demonstrating this form of dance. M ARIA KONRAD (Musical Theatre) grew up in Jupiter. She graduated from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos High School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and then earned her BFA in Performing Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She performed in various productions throughout the Philadelphia area including the Barrymore Awards, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Merriam Theater, and Project Dance – Philadelphia. Her choreography was featured in West Side Story, Hello Dolly, Annie Get Your Gun, Project Dance, The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. As a teacher in Philadelphia, Ms. Konrad created the early- dance-education curriculum for the school of the Koresh Dance Company. Currently, Ms. Konrad is company manager of the pre-professional company at Atlantic Dance Theater. In addition, she teaches jazz dance at Atlantic Arts Academy (where she is Head of Jazz Dance), Boca Ballet Theater, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton. M ALLORY MCCAULEY (Yoga) is a health education major and dance minor at UF. She has been a student of dance for over 16 years and a student of yoga over 7 years, Mallory has also studied with her mother, Tricia McCauley Cox a Yoga Alliance instructor at Yoga Life Studio, in Jacksonville, Florida. She has also studied with Rolf Gates, and recently traveled to Los Angeles to practice with esteemed yoga professionals Seane Corn and Bryan Kest. SHANE O’HARA ( Modern) KRISTIN O’NEAL (Improvisation, Modern) Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Kristin O‟Neal moved to South Florida in 1993 where she performed with Demetrius Klein, Gerri Houlihan (1995-1999), Dale Andree‟s Mary Street Dance Theatre, and other local South Florida artists, Joanne Barrett, Pablo Cano, Bill Doolin, Katherine Kramer, Nikki Rollason and Clifton Childree among others. From 1997-2005, Kristin served as the Dance Coordinator of Broward Community College, choreographing and teaching modern dance, improvisation, and ballet while still performing and participating in workshops, choreographies and classes at the American Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, and Bates Dance Festival. Kristin has been commissioned by the Miami Light Project and Philadelphia Fringe Festival and was honored in the 2005-06 edition of Who‟s Who Among America‟s Teachers. She holds an MFA in dance from the Hollins University/ADF program and currently lives in Gainesville, FL. where she is an adjunct dance professor teaching modern technique and contact improvisation at the University of Florida. Kristin continues to show her work in Florida and New York City and is excited about the development of the “contact” community in Gainesville. HOLLAND SCHILLER (Tap) originally from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a BFA graduate of The New World School of the Arts in Miami. She danced professionally with American Dance Theater of Miami and The Freddick Bratcher Contemporary Dance Theater. In New York, she continued to train at Dance Space, Steps, and Broadway Dance Center while performing at various theaters with local modern dance choreographers. She has taught tap and jazz at Ballet Florida for the past five years. Miss Schiller is also on staff at The Bak Middle School of the Arts where she teaches modern, jazz and tap. She believes that self-expression is the key to unlocking a dancer‟s heart, which then enables a performer to communicate his or her ideas and emotions to an audience. She is thrilled to be sharing her love of tap dancing at the FDA on Tour Dance Festival. JACKIE VALDEZ (Pilates) Valdez is originally from Denver, Colorado. Due to her love for animals Jacqueline started out at UCD where she studied Marine Biology. She worked with Endangered and Exotic animals for many years. On the side Jackie played piano. She also played the flute and performed in Marching Band. She loved the performance element and began Musical Theatre. She had a natural talent and began getting numerous lead roles such as Cocoa in “Fame”, Rizzo in “Grease”, Rosie in “Bye, Bye Birdie” to name a few. She than began working professionally as an Actress, Performer & Choreographer for “Eden‟s Theatrical Company”. She than signed on with John Casablanca‟s & Europas Modeling Agencies and began modeling. She appeared for a short time with Fox TV‟s reality show “Comfest”. At one of Jackie‟s performances she was invited by Cleo Parker to audition for the Company and received a full dance scholarship and performed professionally and toured with The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company for two years where she began her studies in Modern and African Dance. She began her Pilate‟s training with The Ron Fletcher Studio. Jackie moved to Florida to pursue her passion working with animals getting a job training dolphins at Marine Land but the dance bug came back. Jackie received a full dance scholarship with SFCC and had the opportunity to train with Alberto Alonso and perform with TDTSF. In 2000 Jackie started “Jackie‟s Dance Troupe” where she taught to K- Adult Creative Movement, Jazz, Hip-Hop & Ballet. The troupe performed pieces of Jackie‟s choreography at various retirement homes, schools, P.K. Younges Stage and The Spring Art Festival of Gainesville. After years of training & teaching in various forms of Yoga and Pilate‟s with World known instructors in 2000 Jackie opened her own Pilates & Yoga Studio “Elegant Body Pilates”. She recently has added Zumba Dance to her studios curriculum. She has a wide range of clients from the Professional Dancer and Athlete to those that want to simply stay fit. Jackie is well known in Gainesville in the Pilate‟s Community and highly respected as her clients are dedicated and most have been with her for multiple years. Jackie has also been recognized and featured in the paper numerous times. She has been noted for her unique style, grace, motivating and inspiring personality. Jackie was recognized in Who‟s Who 2008 for Women that make a difference. On the side Jackie still models, does local commercials, performs and choreographs professionally. Jackie can also be found teaching at Gainesville‟s Top Gym -The Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Jackie wants her students to leave her class feeling energized yet relaxed and with a better understanding of their body. JASON WEISS (Stage Combat)has acting Credits Off-Broadway: Francis Ford Coppola‟s THE CONVERSATION, …AND COUNTING, THE UNNATURAL COMBAT, TIM, THE BIG FUNK, THE HOMECOMING; Regional: OTHELLO, KING LEAR, AS YOU LIKE IT, THE WINTER’S TALE, TARRTUFE, BILOXI BLUES, ASSASSINS; Film: THE BOOK OF ME, NINA, SHIPWRECK: USS SQUALUS. Television: 3 Years on ABC‟s ONE LIFE TO LIVE, ALL MY CHILDREN, TRACKERS, MTV’s CRIB CRASHERS. Teaching credits include University of Miami, AADA, The T. Schreiber Studio, The JW Studio. Resident fight director for Princeton Rep, The T. Schreiber Studio, Legend Productions. Fight Direction for over 25 productions throughout the NY tri-state area. Education: BFA from the University of Miami, first year MFA candidate at the University of Florida. Member of AEA, SAG & AFTRA. MICHELLE ZEHNER ( Ballet) is the Artistic Director of Atlantic Arts Academy in Jupiter, Florida and guest teaches nationally including at the prestigious Rock School for Dance Education. She has studied with The Pennsylvania Ballet, Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet with John White and Margarita De Saa and Boston Ballet as well as in New York with Madame Darvash, David Howard, Violette Verdi, Robert Denvers and Nina Novack. She received a full scholarship to Harkness Ballet and an apprenticeship with Hartford Ballet. Michele was a dancer with The San Antonio Ballet and Ballet Klos. As an instructor, Michele has taught at The Rock School, West Chester Ballet Theater. She has been the owner as well as an instructor of the Pennsylvania Centre for Ballet and founder and artistic director of Delaware County Ballet.
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