CCDC Faculty


Melissa Uyehara
Emery Uyehara
Jill Andrews
Alissa Hamer
Karen Forrester
Cindy Chambers
Seana Perkins
Karina Sturdevant
Roni McCann


“My working definition for a teacher is...Someone who believes you can do better...*and* can show you how...”


2017 CCDC Summer Intensive Faculty



Kyle Phillips
Growing up, Kyle always had a passion for dance. This passion grew after a friend introduced him to hip-hop classes at a local Des Moines dance studio during high school. After graduating from Johnston High School, he went on to attend Iowa State University, where he would major in the Performing Arts with an emphasis in acting and directing. He joined Iowa State University's hip-hop dance club (Dub-H) and spent most of his time dancing with and choreographing for this group, which ended up being one of the largest clubs on campus. After graduating with his Bachelor's Degree, Kyle continued his passion and love for dance through teaching for multiple dance studios and being an active member of Midwest Vision. His role as a co-leader of the Midwest Vision, non-profit, hip-hop dance organization has inspired him to continue his growth as a dancer and choreographer.


Madison Campbell first began her ballet training in Des Moines, Iowa with Melissa and Emery Uyehara at Capital City Dance Center, and supplemented her dance education with summer courses at Joffrey Midwest Summer Intensive, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Dance, The School of American Ballet, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and The School of Nashville Ballet. She then spent a season at Miami City Ballet School training under Lourdes Lopez, Carter Alexander, and Geta Constantinescu. Performing in the ballets; Carnival of the Animals and Paquita. Next, she accepted an offer to study at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet on full scholarship under the direction of William Degregory and later Arantxa Ochoa. There, she had the honor of performing George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (on tour at the Kennedy Center), Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s Serenade. The following year, Madison accepted an opportunity to become a trainee with the Nashville Ballet and had the privilege of dancing Paul Vasterling’s Nashville’s Nutcracker as well as participating in several outreach programs where she performed variations such as Giselle. Ms. Campbell is currently a dancer with the Cleveland Ballet and is also a part of their faculty at the school. Aside from ballet, Madison is earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is a part time Starbucks barista.


Catherine Wootten trained under the direction of Melissa and Emery Uyehara at Capital City Dance Center. During summer intensives, she trained at The Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, The Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Milwaukee Ballet on scholarship. She danced with the Minnesota Ballet for six seasons, beginning in 2010 as an apprentice and was promoted to a company member in 2011. While in Minnesota, she performed principal roles as Cinderella, Jeanne in Flames of Paris, George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” as The Turning Girl, as Columbine in the Harlequinade Pas de Deux, and performed as the Snow Queen, Dew Drop, and The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Catherine completed her contract with the Minnesota Ballet at the end of last season and has returned to Des Moines to rigorously train and to further pursue her passion for ballet. She was the guest principal artist this past year as The Sugar Plum Fairy with Iowa Dance Theater's production of The Nutcracker, choreographed specifically for her by Melissa Uyehara. Catherine is honored and thrilled to be teaching again this summer!


Lynn Andlauer grew up and received her dance training in the Boston area. She attended the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on full scholarship and performed with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. Ms. Andlauer was previously principal dancer and Director of Education for Ballet Iowa/Des Moines Ballet. She has performed with the Joffrey Ballet, Georgia Dance Theatre, Felice Lesser Dance Theatre of NYC, Midwest Ballet (Lincoln, NE), and has been featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the C.Y.Stephen's Nutcracker. She has travelled throughout Iowa as Artist in Schools with the Iowa Arts Council and founded the New Visions Dance program for students with visual impairments through Very Special Arts Iowa/USA for which she was awarded the Iowa Governor's Award for service to persons with disabilities. She has performed with and choreographed for the Des Moines Metro Opera. Her students have successfully danced and taught professionally throughout the US and Europe. Lynn has also coached body builders, gymnasts, and other athletes in ballet.

Lynn holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Drake University and a Master's Degree in Education/Reading Specialist from Viterbo University. She is certified in Montessori education for ages birth to six through the Montessori Centre International of London. Previously a teacher at Sayre Montessori School and Montessori Children’s House in West Des Moines, she currently works as Montessori Coordinator for the Des Moines Public Schools/Cowles Montessori School.

She continues to teach ballet part time. She has two sons and enjoys water skiing, Tai Chi, and yoga.


Kathleen Hurley is the founder and Artistic Director of Hurley & Dancers, and was also the founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Dancers, 1996-2001. Her career includes performances with Yancey Dance Theatre and the Doris Humphrey Dance Ensemble in NYC, and guest appearances in Germany and Mexico. In addition, she was a member of Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, touring the east coast and Europe. Kathleen is an honors graduate of the University of Iowa where she toured to Hong Kong with the Dancers to Go Company. Her Iowa dance career includes performances with Iowa Dance Theatre, the Nueman Project, and Co Motion Dance Theatre. She currently teaches the modern and ballet dance technique courses at Grinnell College. Her teaching resume also includes teaching for the Limon Institute in NYC, Perry Dance in NYC, Dance Space in NYC, Long Island University, and Iowa State University workshops. Check out her dance company's website: www.hurleydancers.com



Permanent CCDC Faculty:


Melissa Uyehara brings a wealth of professional, performing and teaching experience to the Capital City Dance Center. She performed principal, soloist and corps de ballet roles with Ballet Omaha and Ballet Iowa. Some of her favorite roles include: Witch in Konstantin Uralsky's Macbeth, Ensemble in George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Uralsky's Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #1, Michael Uthoff's Tom Dula, Robin Welch's Les Patineurs, the revival of August Bournonville's Konservatoriet and Peter Anastos' Forgotten Memories.

Missy currently serves as Ballet Mistress for Capital City Dance Theater and since its founding has been responsible for helping rehearse, teach and coach the company dancers. She served in a similar capacity for Iowa Dance Theatre, Ballet Theater Des Moines and other local dance troupes.

Missy's been teaching since she was a student assistant at her local studio in Ankeny, Iowa. She's been on the faculty or has taught at many local studios including: the School of Ballet Iowa/Des Moines Ballet School, School of Classical Ballet and Dance, Robert Thomas DanCenter, Central Iowa Dance, Vine Street Ballet School, Westside Dance, Dance Avenue and Dance Unlimited.

Missy's dance training includes stints with such noted teachers as Ballet Long Island's Konstantin and Irina Uralsky, American Ballet Theater's Lupe Serrano, Ballet Hamburg Ballet Master Charles Mudry, Larry Long of Chicago's Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance, Ballet Iowa's Kennet Oberly, Ballet Metropolitan's Gerard Charles, Des Moines Ballet's Lynn Andlauer and Milwaukee Ballet/University of Iowa's Basil Thompson. She's been on scholarship with the Des Moines Ballet School and the Milwaukee Ballet's Summer Program.

Besides ballet and pointe, Missy is an accomplished tap dancer and instructor. She's won or placed at a number of tap competitions, including: the Bill Riley Talent Search, Dance Masters of America and the Show Biz Dance Competition.

Missy prides herself in creating a nurturing, yet challenging, environment for every student she teaches. She also strongly believes a solid foundation of impeccable technique serves as the springboard to fullfill artistic expression.

"...I could see how much you love dance and how special you made the girls feel. I think you are the teacher for us."—E-mail excerpt from prospective student's mother.

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“...your *Mom* thinks you can dance better...but, she can't show you how...”


Comment from pleased CCDC parent:
"...I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the progress that she has made from being at your studio. Everyone notices the difference! And she loves coming to your classes. You and Emery are truly amazing teachers and we are blessed to have found you!:)..."
...And, still not too late to get your child started dancing at Capital City Dance Center! New students always welcome at CCDC! If it gets too late in 2015, we'll get you pre-registered for the next session!o)

Emery Uyehara's performing and teaching career has taken him from Tokyo to San Francisco to Chicago to New York and the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. He received his early ballet training on scholarship in Hawaii with North Carolina School of the Art's former Ballet Master Nolan Dingman, the University of Hawaii's Yasuki Sasa, Hawaii State Ballet's John Landovsky and Alaine Haubert, formerly of the Joffrey Ballet and currently instructing for the JKO School. He continued his training in Chicago with Larry Long, Homer Bryant, Joel Hall, Warren Conover, Anna Paskevska and Marjorie and Maria Tallchief. He's been a member of Ballet Hawaii, Hawaii State Ballet, Hawaii Ballet Theater, Svalander Dance Theater, Third Wave Dance Theater, Duluth Ballet and the Des Moines Ballet/Ballet Iowa. Emery has been a choreographer/dancer for several trade and cabaret shows on the strip in Waikiki including The Lullaby of Swing and The Lavender Follies.

Emery's had guest appearances with Nebraska's Ballet Midwest, San Francisco's Joe Montoya Dancers and Maria Tallchief's Chicago Ballet Workshop. He's choreographed, performed and/or taught for City Ballet Theater of Milwaukee, the Honolulu Acrobatic Troupe, Des Moines' Chamber Dancers, Iowa Dance Theatre and Ballet Theater Des Moines. He also starred in and co-choreographed the Arabian Prince role in the 2002 and 2003 C.Y.Stephen's production of The Nutcracker.

Emery's favorite roles include: George Balanchine's Pas de Dix from Raymonda, the Cavalier from Nutcracker, Prince Florimund from Sleeping Beauty, Kennet Oberley's Russian Trepak from Nutcracker, Jane Cassel's Bette Davis Eyes, Joe Montoya's Al Jarreau Suite, Paul Brown's Tarentella and his own choreography for the Arabian Slave from Nutcracker.

Emery's dance teaching career spans three decades. He began at the Honolulu City Dance Center and continued at the University of Hawaii, Duluth Ballet School, Chicago City Ballet Workshop, School of Ballet Iowa, Robert Thomas DanCenter and other Iowa schools.

Emery is also a former instructor of the martial arts: including Okinawan Judo, Black Panther and Seven Brothers Son Shi Kung-Fu. He's also a tournament winning and former volunteer assistant coach in folk-style wrestling. He was three-year varsity letterman and tri-captain of his high-school team when it won its first conference championship.

Emery's professional performing career also includes gigs as a stand-up comic and as an award-winning journalist, personality and talk-show host with WHO, KGU and KQMQ. He's currently a syndicated radio news anchor and former reporter and producer for WHO-TV and hosted the Iowa Radio Network's monthly "Call The Governor" show. Follow Emery's tweets at @SirDanGuy

"...(Emery) excelled in verbally conveying physical movement and abstract feelings. He had a wealth of performance experience and technical training to pass on to both my company dancers and my young, aspiring dancers."Marjorie Yoshida, Milwaukee City Ballet Theater

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“...that's why I am your dance teacher...”


Capital City Dance Center is thrilled to retain Jill E. Andrews on the studio's faculty. Jill is the founder of the studio that eventually became CCDC, "Dance Unlimited, Inc". Her performing experience includes six seasons with the Bermuda Civic Ballet where she performed corps and soloist roles in La Sylphide, Les Sylphides, Giselle, La Peri, Sylvia, Symphonic Dreams and Memories. She's also performed with the University of Iowa Dance Company and Limbs Dance Ensemble.

A gifted choreographer and teacher, Jill has created many new full-length children's ballets, including: Deliver Us, Fairy Wings, The Dancing Princesses, Coppelia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Rainbow Fish set to Handel’s Water Music. She's also the director/choreographer for Alleluia Ballet, a sacred dance youth company based out of CCDC.

Jill has trained at the Joffrey II Summer Workshop and with the University of Iowa's Francoise Martinet, Alicia Brown, Linda Crist and Lan Lan King. Her modern dance training includes former head of the UI Dance Department, David Berkey.

Jill is always open to expanding her teaching knowledge. She's trained in teacher workshops or forums with Ballet Magnificat and at Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto. Her teaching experience includes instructing legally blind, blind, hearing impaired, Down's Syndrome and severely learning disabled students as well as talented and gifted students.

Jill graduated with high distinction with Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Accounting and Dance from the University of Iowa.

As a teen, Jill was crowned Miss Drill/Dance Team Iowa. She represented the state in national championships at the Los Angeles Sports Coliseum. She placed 16th in the country. Her senior year, she danced as a member of the All-American Drill Team in Dallas, Texas at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. Jill was crowned Best Girl Overall two years in a row at summer dance camps at Kansas University run by Kilgore Rangerette dancers.

Jill's teaching philosophy is to encourage dancing "from the heart". She says, "Technique is important, but dancing from the heart on top of good technique makes the movement a lot more meaningful, interesting and enjoyable for the audience...and the dancer too!."

And, this came from a mother of one of Jill's students:
"...I feel like Jill (Andrews) is one of those really incredible gems that only come around once in a blue moon..."

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“...I *know* you can do better *and* I will show you how...work with me here!”


Alissa Hamer gets to combine her love of children with her love of dance with every class she teaches at CCDC. She earned her dance degree with honors from the University of Iowa after training there and at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her eclectic background in many forms of dance, as well as acting, yoga and Pilates, allow her to bring a technical focus as well as a performing emphasis to her modern dance classes.

Some of Alissa's favorite roles include Meghan Beresford's Little Gods and Maggie Rupprecht's I'm Here from the University of Iowa's Undergraduate Dance Concert series and Tracy Vacura's When You Look at Me, Do You See Me? from the Advanced Choreographic Design Concert Series. She's also choreographed or appeared in several musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof and Singin' in the Rain and participated in cheerleading, danceline and drill team competitions.

Alissa's group and solo choreography at the University of Iowa includes: Mirage, The Absurdity of the Cell Phone, Busy Daydreamer and Tenshun.

Alissa's modern dance training springs from diverse sources. She incorporates principles from various contemporary and post-contemporary dance forms, including Limon, Currier, Cunningham, Horton and Falco. She introduces and guides her students through fall and recovery, shape, suspension and to a musicality grounded in strength and flexibility.

Alissa says, "...athleticism, musicality, intellect and knowledge of the moving body are the important concepts I stress in the classroom. These concepts not only allow my dancers to be more effective movers, but also help them to dance safely while learning... the art of modern dance."

She continues, "...my class demands a dancer who is both athletic and intellectual. The very nature of dance requires the presence of both body and mind in class at all times. I expect my dancers to be able to think with their mind as well as to feel with their body."


This eMail Addition from Ms Hamer:
"...I started my formal training with in the Stott method with certified instructor Kandee Bishop at Prairie Life Fitness.  I have been teaching mat classes since 2004 and just started teaching reformer classes in November 2007.
 
Hurley & Dancers History:
Started dancing with the company in June 2005
Performances-
Cancer Memorial for Johnston Hospice - May 2007
East Village Art Coalition presents "Art Stop" - September 2008
Des Moines Diversity Chorus presents Winter Solstice Concert - December 2008
Westminster Fine Arts Series presents Poppy's Dancing Puppets - March 2009
 

05.22.2009: Hamer STILL Hitz Homerz!

Exciting developing news on continuing professional development on the part of CCDC Modern/Jazz/Pilates Instructor Alissa Hamer:
"...I have been officially admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Mercy College of Health Sciences. I will be starting in the fall. I'm very excited about it and am looking forward to continuing my pursuit of knowledge about the body. I have a feeling I will have many volunteers and test subjects from the studio! I will be finishing my physics pre-requisite class this summer through DMACC (good thing (Lindy VanderEmmen) is going to be around for study dates). I think this will be an amazing opportunity for me. Not to worry, I will still be teaching classes at CCDC while I am in school. As if I could ever give that up!

Alissa..."

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“Corrections are compliments. If we didn't think you could do better...we wouldn't bother.”


Karen Forrester is a Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance. Membership requires each Highland teacher to pass a comprehensive test in both knowledge of the dances and performance ability. There are currently only two active certified teachers of Highland dancing in the State of Iowa. If a dancer wishes to compete in Highland dancing, he or she must be a student of a certified teacher.

Karen started teaching as a student assistant of Maris McCullough Ryan in 1988. From 1990-1992, she taught Highland at the University of Iowa. She has been teaching in the Des Moines area for the last three years. Her students have been very successful at competitions throughout the Midwest, routinely placing in both Highland and Scottish National dances.

Karen's teaching experience has ranged from small children through adults, from students with no dance experience to those who have had years of training. Since Highland is a high impact form of exercise, she emphasizes proper technique, warm-ups and stretching to prevent injury.

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“Success is exceeding expectations. ...and, you should have high expectations.”


You'll never catch Cindy Chambers without a smile...and she ALWAYS brings it with her when she teaches at CCDC! ...As well as her sparkling personality AND a degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa. Cindy has academic teaching experience as well as dance...having taught students from pre-school to sixth grade...along with acrobatics, baton and cheerleading.

Cindy started cheering in the eighth grade, continuing through her entire high school and college years. She competed and placed in collegiate cheerleading camps and competitions and has conducted, taught and judged cheerleading clinics and try-outs from pre-school to high school.

Cindy began her dance training in Ankeny and was a member of the UNI dance company for four years.

Sorry, guys! Cindy's married to HUGE former UNI Panther football lineman Jeff Chambers. And, she says she's sensitive to the concerns of all parents because of her own four kids, Chace, Chaz, Chaden and Chyla.

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“Our goal is to produce...not just good dancers...but, good people!”


Seana Perkins has been a Scottish Highland Dancer since 1980 and was a highly successful competitive dancer for nine years. Seana has competed in Scottish Highland Dance competitions all over the United States and Canada. In 2006, Seana successfully passed her teaching exam and became a Member of the British Association of Teachers of Dance. Membership requires each Highland teacher to pass a comprehensive test in both knowledge of the dances and performance ability. If a dancer wishes to compete in Highland dancing, he or she must be a student of a certified teacher.

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   “...a little better than the last time, that's all I ask.”



Karina Sturdevant received her classical dance training at Ballet Iowa (formerly Des Moines Ballet) with Martha Faesi and Kennet Oberly, specializing in the Bournonville technique, and Milwaukee Ballet with Basil Thompson. She went on to perform corps de ballet through principal roles with Ballet Iowa, Milwaukee Ballet, Wisconsin Ballet Theatre, Lexington Ballet, Illinois Ballet and Ballet Arkansas. She has performed roles such as the Blue Bird pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty, Cygnets and Neapolitan in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Spring Fairy in Cinderella to name a few. Karina has danced professionally with the following modern companies: Milwaukee Dance Theatre, Oure Danse Kompagni of Denmark and Rosalind Newman Dancers of New York. Other accomplishments include guest artist with the Flourentine Opera and performing theatrical ballroom exhibitions with the East Towne Ballroom in Milwaukee and Chicago Dance.

Karina worked as Ballet Mistress with Ballet Arkansas for four seasons, responsible for rehearsing/ staging The Nutcracker in conjunction with Artistic Directors Bud Kerwin and Kennet Oberly, as well as serving as the principal choreographer of Arts in Concert, a citywide collaboration between visual, vocal, and dance artists. Karina implemented Ballet Arkansas' modern dance program as well as worked with Melinda Tobian in developing a complete Young Division and PreProfessional Program.

Karina has taught dance extensively throughout the midwest, including in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Vermont and Arkansas. She's the proud mother of Aniko.

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“A good teacher will never take their responsibility lightly.”



Roni McCann grew up dancing in Des Moines at her mom’s dance studio. She was Captain of Varsity Cheerleading and Dance Team at Dowling Catholic High School. In 2003, she won State in the solo division for the Iowa Drill Team Competition with a perfect score. After high school, Roni moved to LA to pursue her dance career at the Performing Arts Center. She trained with Joseph Malone, Michelle Elkin, Charles Klapow, Jennifer Hamilton, Sallie Whalen, Mark Goodman, Bryan Anthony, Jerry Evans and Terri Yates. She took voice from Deborah Shulman, and acting from Joe Malone and Ann Anderson. Some of her credits include; PGA Industrial, Assistant to Charles Klapow for “Cheetah Girls 3” and Marie Serneholt’s, “I Need A House.” Backup dancer for Alex Bornstein’s “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” Bellagio Go-Go Dancer, Skeleton Crew for, “Boston Legal” and Broadway Show, “Lennon,” lead tap dancer with Mark Goodman in, “Red,” Trace Adkins' “Girls Love Country Boys,” Russian in, “Nutcracker” and performed in many Benefit Shows. After being in LA for 3 years, she went to dance with Princess Cruise Lines. She’s traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean, London, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Norway, Denmark and Germany. Roni decided to move back home to Iowa and got married in 2011. She choreographed the Mega Millions Iowa Lottery commercial, “More, More, More” and judged for Talent On Parade, Symposium and other dance competitions. She’s also taught Master Classes at North Crest Gym & Dance in Minnesota. She’s choreographed many award winning pieces for her mother’s studio and is a member of Chapter 47 of Dance Masters of America. Roni is a New and Preowned Sales Assistant at Willis Auto Campus and teaches kickboxing at Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping. Roni is really looking forward to being a part of the CCDC family!

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Capital City Dance Center
Former Summer Intensive Guest Faculty:



Sharon Wehner

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 Cowgirl in Rodeo, the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Cinderella in Cinderella, Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 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 deuxs 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. Sharon enjoys teaching dance to all ages and abilities, particularly Dance For Parkinson’s Disease


Johnathon Levy

A proud father to one son, Jonathon Levy left high school early to pursue a professional dance career after being encouraged by prima ballerina Francesca Corkle to begin training, he was given a scholarship at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where he was trained by Ballet Masters Robert Davis, and Mansur Kamaletdinov.

Levy's talent was for expressive musicality, stable partnering, and tremendous elevation was further trained in Chicago at both Hubbard Street Dance Company and the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance with Larry Long, Birute Bardiocatte, Warren Conover, Lou Conti, Ginger Farley, and Bournonville instructor Orin Kayan.

Jonathon was invited by (the late) Maria Tallchief to join her Balanchine company Chicago City Ballet, where he danced two separate seasons in many of Balanchine's great works. While in Chicago, Levy was a guest performer with the Chicago Lyric Opera for several productions including dancing on-stage with Luciano Pavarotti.

Levy joined Milwaukee Ballet as an apprentice dancing in Agnes De Mille's Rodeo, and trained with Ballet Masters Basil Thompson, Paul Sutherland, and Ted Kivitt of ABT. Levy, on the advice of Mr. Sutherland went to New York City where he was noticed by Edward Villella in a class and received an invitation to join Mr. Villella's concert performing ensemble 'Villella and Dancers' as a first year soloist. He performed at New York City Center in numerous ballets, including solo roles in Napoli and Balanchine's Pas de Dix/Raymonda Variations.

Levy appeared in the IBM documentary on PBS entitled The Dance with Edward Villella, and on the PBS Children's Network Mr. Roger's Neighborhood with NFL MVP Lynn Swann in a program called Sports and Dance. He also appeared as an extra dancer in the blockbuster movie Flashdance.

Jonathon was invited to join Ballet Oklahoma as a soloist when Mr. Villella was given the artistic directorship of the company in Oklahoma City. Levy suffered an injury at the end of that season due to an on-stage collision, and he began teaching dance across the southwest. he was granted an honorary degree as professor of dance at Northern Arizona University, where he also choreographed and performed. Levy was noticed by Ballet Arizona's artistic director Jean-Paul Comelin, who offered Levy a position as a dancer and instructor at the company's academy. Levy then danced as a guest artist with several small regional companies and was invited to perform the role of 'Don José' in Bizet's Carmen at The Mexican American Cultural Arts Festival in Tijuana and Baja Norte Mexico. Following this Levy performed a North American tour with IBC silver medalist Kathy Thibodeaux, and returned to Ballet Oklahoma as a dancer and instructor at the company school, where he choreographed a full length production in honor and memory of the Holocaust called The Glory of Night to rave reviews.

Levy then joined Ballet Dallas, as a dancer yet was chosen for the role of the 'Blue Boy' in Clifford's ballet Fantasies. This performance elevated Levy to the rank of principal and he remained at Ballet Dallas for another four seasons, dancing roles opposite Fernando Bujones and Mariana Tcherkassy, in three ballets by Peter Anastos, in Lew Christiansen's The Filling Station, and in La Fille mal gardée, Copéllia, Don Quixote, Giselle, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty, as well as performing in an eclectic range of works from Clouser's Carmina Burana to Flemming Flindt's Psyche et Eros, and Le Hombre.

Levy retired as principal dancer and began teaching full time, as the first ballet master of The School of Performing Arts in Naperville IL, while there he also served as interim ballet master for Gus Giordano's Jazz Dance Company and school, and was associate artistic director and production manager for the Reno Ballet's first and second summer arts festival Ballet By The River in Reno, NV where the event has been expanded and is now called Artown. He then opened his own school in Aurora, IL receiving a MetLife Arts Initiative Grant for After School Programming, where he taught for five years and trained several professionals (including the current principal dancer at St Louis Ballet). Levy then accepted a short contract to become Ballet master for Bat Dor Dance - The National Contemporary Ballet Company of Israel. he was featured on "Jerusalem Live" an Israeli television magazine program and choreographed a world premier ballet for the Bat Dor dancers called B'tzelmo/In the Image.

Levy returned to the USA, to care for his son, and pursue other interests. He published a children's story, and trained at the International Culinary School at The Illinois Institute of Art/Chicago, and became the head chef for a private boarding school in Chicago. Levy also received a Rabbinic title from Hadar HaTorah Yeshiva Rabbinic Seminary in Brooklyn NY.

A tragic fire in 2010 meant Levy and his son had to relocate - so they chose Reno NV. Levy began The Training Centre there and for nearly three years operated a successful yet small professional oriented training program, with students being accepted into such programs as Canada's National Ballet School, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Austin, Oklahoma City Ballet, Modas Summer Program in New Mexico, Ballet Met in Columbus, and Hubbard Street Dance Company's Summer Intensive. Jonathon has been seeking a permanent place to assist in developing a program for training young dancers. He is always happy to assist in furthering the Art and giving his experience to the next generation of dancers.


Lisa Lewis

Lisa Lewis began studying dance at the age of three at Kate Carol & Company Dance, in Iowa City, IA.  Each summer in high school, she attended classes at the Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, Illinois.  Lisa received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Dance with Honors and with Highest Distinction in May of 2006 from the University of Iowa.  While there, she performed in many concerts, including several Dance Galas, graduate/undergraduate concerts, and self-choreographed solos.  She was a member of Duarte Dance Works, Dancers in Company, and also performed in the American College Dance Festival '06. She had the privilege to work with choreographers such as Gabriel Masson, Alan Sener, Jennifer Kayle, Charlotte Adams, Armando Duarte and George de la PeñaLisa currently resides in Des Moines, IA, where she is a certified STOTT PILATES Instructor Trainer, and is a member of Hurley & Dancers.  She has also danced with Poetic Rebound Performance Company and Co'motion Dance Theater.  Her most recent performances include: Iowa Dance Fest '07 and '08, Octagon Arts Fest '08, Share the Arts '08 in Ames, IA, the Three Penny Opera '07, Global Dance Fest 08, ArtStop '08, '09 and '10, Fresco Aroused '10, Des Moines Art Fest '10, and Once in a Blues Moon '11Lisa has taught variety of all ages and classes, including a wheelchair dance class.


Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson started dancing at the age of 3 in Ankeny, Iowa. From the time he as 8 until his high school graduation Alex was involved in various competition settings as well as concert dance. Alex graduated high school in 2002 and was accepted into the prestigious University of Arizona Dance Program where he received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Alex has studied under renowned choreographers such as; Susan Quinn, Sherry Zunker, Jeff Hancock, Sam Watson, Richard Havey and many others. Through these experiences Alex has learned that educating students in all forms of dance is not only exciting but also a honor as students grow into tomorrows stars no matter what career they may choose. 


Peter Pawlyshyn

Peter Pawlyshyn has recently been the School Director at Kansas City Ballet. Before joining Kansas City Ballet School, Peter served for six years as associate artistic director/ballet master of Eugene Ballet, in Eugene, Oregon.

Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Mr. Pawlyshyn graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and later joined the Company. His teachers included Julia Arkos and David Moroni. Mr. Pawlyshyn also holds a Graduate Certificate from the Pavlo Virsky Character Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.

In his career, he has danced with Louisville Ballet and Nevada Dance Theater, also serving as Assistant Ballet Master. He has appeared as Principal Guest Artist with Boston Ballet and was invited to join the staff of the Boston Ballet School. He spent seven very successful years at the school as a teacher and coach.

He has been a guest teacher at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi, Hartford Ballet, Joffrey Ballet II, Atlanta Ballet, Harvard University, University of Iowa, Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater, the Cecchetti Council of America, Cecchetti Society of Canada, Dance Masters of America and the Royal Academy of Dance. Mr. Pawlyshyn has coached and restaged numerous ballets. He has choreographed such ballets as Cinderella, La Boutique Fantasque, Natalia (an original full length ballet) and Tango.


Kimberly Nygren Cox

Former professional ballet dancer, Kimberly Nygren Cox is now a certified Pilates and yoga instructor in Iowa City. Her dancing career of 14 years was spent primarily with the Louisville Ballet Company where she was a soloist and performed a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles. While in Kentucky, Kim taught regularly for the Louisville Ballet School and Allegro Ballet Theater, and she has been a guest instructor for many other organizations, including Capital City Dance Center. She has become an established choreographer and has also been active in stage management and production. In 2010, Kim was commissioned to create a new work for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble that was later adjudicated and chosen to be presented as part of the SERBA (South East Regional Ballet Association) festival in Montgomery, Alabama. She was also awarded the 2011 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship for Choreography by the Kentucky Arts Council. Kim and her husband, Joseph Cox, have two young children who help keep her on her toes, even though it's been years since she danced en pointe!


Maia Wilkins

Wilkins trained with the Joffrey Ballet student and apprentice companies before joining the main company. During her 18-year history with The Joffrey Ballet, Maia Wilkins danced featured roles that showcased her artistic range and physical versatility. From Balanchine pointe to Pilobolus bare feet; favorite ballerina fairies to flying on a trapeze, she has gotten to work with numerous répétiteurs and choreographers. Maia Wilkins is honored to continue Gerald Arpino’s legacy as a repetiteur for his works and the Gerald Arpino Foundation. In 2006, along with Gerald Arpino, Wilkins was named one of the Chicagoans of the year for her important contribution to the arts in Chicago. Wilkins has staged works for Point Park University and Southern Methodist University. She has taught and helped with dance workshops and performances at the University of Wisconsin, Nevada Festival Ballet, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Center and throughout the greater Chicago area. She can be seen in the feature films Save the Last Dance and Robert Altman’s The Company. As a freelance artist, Wilkins enjoys performing and teaching throughout the country. Maia loves dancing both on stage and off with her husband and fellow artist Michael Levine.


Michael Levine

Levine has danced professionally for over 17 years. Formerly a principal with the Joffrey Ballet, Levine has had the pleasure of dancing numerous leading and principal roles. He has danced as Romeo in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Death in Jooss' The Green Table, Iago in Limone's The Moor's Pavane, The Lover in Tudor's Lilac Garden, Albrecht in Freddy Franklin's staging of Giselle, and The Prince in Ashton's Cinderella. Levine has performed numerous Arpino and Joffrey works, including: Arthur St. Leon in Pas de Deesses, A Round of Angels, Sea Shadow and Light Rain. Other leading roles include choreography by: Kylian, Balanchine and Pilobolus.

Levine worked with choreographer Donald Byrd on the collaboration with Ramsey Lewis, To Know Her, and in the creation of Motown Suite; both for the Joffrey. Away from the Joffrey, Levine was involved in the creation of Lauri Stalling's full evening work Eidelon and performed in some of her other works, including Bacchus Vessel, In the Belly of Grace and Sprawling Orchid. While at American Ballet Theater, Levine had the pleasure of appearing in James Kudelka's Cruel World, Kevin McKenzie's Transcendental Etudes and Lar Lubovich's world premier of Othello and A Brahms Symphony. Michael Levine has received recognition for his technical ability and classical line as well as for his excellent character portrayal. From the LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post, and in between, he has been favorably reviewed across the country. Levine has taught, coached, and helped lead workshops throughout the country including: The Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Center, Point Park University Pittsburgh PA, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and Eastern Connecticut Ballet. Michael Levine's photography captures moments from his unique, experienced dancer perspective. And, here's a picture of him and his wife from the Evansville Courier&Press.