2019 VIP Jury, Master Class Teachers & Special Events

Leslie Stevens Flirt Shot.jpg
Moran Barak.jpg
шаблон для США.jpg
raybPhotograph (13).jpg
Roz LeBlanc.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 3.46.21 PM.png
Patrick Damon Rago.jpg
Bryant K alexander.jpg
Deena Mansour.jpg
Marika profilo-19.jpg
John Pennington PDG AD.jpg

Charla Genn

Ms. Genn is currently on the ballet faculty of the Juilliard School. In addition, she instructs professional ballet company classes in New York City at Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, The Metropolitan Opera, Les Ballets Trockaderos de Monte Carlo, Ballet Hispanico, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She coaches professional ballet dancers, which include dancers from the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater, The Norwegian Ballet, The Washington Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem. Ms. Genn is also a Dance Rehabilitation Specialist who works one on one with professional ballet dancers recovering from injuries and surgery. Ms. Genn has appeared as a guest teacher at Vaganova School in St. Petersburg, Russia, The Washington Ballet, The Alberta Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, LA Dance Project, Body Traffic, South African Ballet Theatre, Cape Town City Ballet, Batsheva Dance Company, The Hong Kong Ballet Academy, The Japan Ballet Society, Jacob’s Pillow, Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, and Royal Academy of Dancing Summer Schools. 


Caridad Martinez

Caridad Martinez, a former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba, has performed in many of the world's greatest theaters, including Scala de Milano, the Champs Elysses Theatre in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Beaux Arts Theater in Mexico City, and the Bolshoi, Kirov Theater in Saint Petersburg. A graduate of Cuba’s National Ballet School, she also studied at the Superior Institute of Art in Cuba. While Ms. Martinez lived in Mexico, she spearheaded a 9-year campaign to bring Cuban-based training to Mexican youth. She succeeded in this by founding and serving as Artistic Director of the Cuban School of Ballet- Veracruz for 13 years. She continues to be an advisor for the School. Ms. Martinez has also served as the Artistic Director and choreographer of The Havana Ballet Theater Company, as guest teacher and choreographer for the Beau Art Schools in Mexico, and as Conservatory Director and teacher at Brooklyn Ballet. She has choreographed for movies, television, ballet and modern dance companies, and is currently working with the Escuela Cubana de Ballet in Veracruz, Danza Activa in Panama, the 92nd Street Y, Alberta Ballet School in Calgary, and the Bessie Awards. Ms. Martinez is happy to bring the Cuban methodology to the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance.


Colleen O’Callaghan

Colleen O'Callaghan danced with American Ballet Theater under the direction of Lucia Chase and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She trained on scholarship with the schools of the Louisville Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and the American Ballet Theater. Before joining American Ballet Theater’s main company, she danced with ABT’s Ballet Repertory Company under the direction of Richard Englund and Gage Bush. Mrs. O’Callaghan received a Bachelor of University Studies degree from the University of Utah in the Physiology and Psychology of Dance She has been teaching ballet for over 33 years and has been a faculty member of the University of Utah, Ballet West, California State Long Beach, California Institute of the Arts, the Stanley Holden Dance Center, Westside School of Ballet, Louisville Ballet and many other nationally recognized schools. For over five years she was the classical dance director for the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCSA). For over 15 years Colleen has been a faculty member for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive programs. She is certified through level 7 of ABT's National training curriculum. She is a certified Yoga instructor and is passionate about the powerful outcome for dancers finding strength and balance from the proper foundations from Yoga. In addition, she currently is pursuing the certification for The Zena Roomett Floor Barre series. Mrs. O’Callaghan is the founder and Artistic Director of O’Callaghan Moves, a company dedicated to providing pre- professional training to dance students in a positive and nurturing environment. She loves to travel and share her expertise with schools and company as a guest faculty member. Most recently, besides teaching for American Ballet Theatre’s 2017 intensive Orange County , Ca. She taught for The Chicago Dance Conservatory summer intensive program under the direction of Tressa Mohler. 


Leslie Stevens 

Leslie danced as a soloist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for five seasons, the Dayton Ballet for two seasons and kicked her way around the Broadway scene for more than a decade with appearances in LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, VICTOR/VICTORIA and TWELVE DREAMS at Lincoln Center. She has danced, acted and sung her way through 25 years of professional theatre and has danced as principal/soloist in 16 operas with LA Opera. She choreographs for the award-winning 3D Theatricals in Orange County, CA; productions include INTO THE WOODS, SIDE SHOW, THE FULL MONTY, HELLO DOLLY & a re-imagined and original OKLAHOMA.  This season she made her choreographic debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the LA Philharmonic’s main stage production of NIXON IN CHINA.  She has developed movement/dance for ROMEO & JULIET, MUCH ADO… and the premiere of RED BARN with the Independent Shakespeare Company – an L.A. favorite. Leslie has an ongoing relationship with several Universities in the Los Angeles area. She is a Guest Teacher of musical theatre repertoire for UCLA and UC Irvine. She is part of the Ballet Faculty and choreographer at AMDA LA and has been Guest Choreographer for CSUN.  CSUN productions include CABARET, RAGTIME & SWEENEY TODD with Director, Ken Sawyer and SPRING AWAKENING with Director, Garry Lennon. For LA Opera, Leslie created dance and movement for the original production of THE PLAY OF DANIEL with Director, Eli Villanueva, performed at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (downtown LA). A special occasion was to work with younger performers, choreographing and collaborating on THE SECRET GARDEN for Beverly Hills High School with Musical Director, Joel Pressman. Also, a professional actor on stage and film, Leslie’s work is listed on www.imdb.com with clips and trailers available.


Jordan Marinov

Jordan dancing and acting have taken her around the world – from NYC to the Russian Embassy, to Cyprus. She has worked as a producer, dancer, actress, and choreographer for film, television, commercial, music video and concert works.  Jordan has choreographed and directed personal film & live projects for many A list actors/actresses including Katherine Bigelow and Natalie Portman to name a few. Jordan recently choreographed and produced the first chapter of Shades of Red, and Virtual Reality experience about women’s rights that she created featuring Georgina Pazcoguin, soloist NYC Ballet. Jordan set a live version of the piece on dancers from the Orlando Ballet. The Hidden Tears Project, a film production company focusing on social impact issues which she co-founded, works with law enforcement, survivors, rescuers and child advocates across the nation. The company produced Unseen Dances which she co-directed and choreographed and Tanya written by House of Cards staff writer Sam Forman and directed by Monica Raymund. Jordan is currently Artistic Director of Marinov Dance and is working on an evening length dance theatre production to Verdi’s Requiem. M Dance premiered Pavement Woman in San Francisco and Los Angeles and was commissioned to create an original work for the students of Loyola Marymount University and adjudicated a dance short film festival for the University of South Florida. Jordan recently completed two dance short films with Bill Hayward entitled Beauty Is No Show  and the film  Asphalt, Muscle & Bone which she choreographed and performed in recently premiered at the Amsterdam Film Festival and took home some awards. She also choreographed a film called Dream of a Dance, directed by Jolie Oliver.


Zippora Karz

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett.Miss Karz danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999. She now serves as a teacher and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine’s choreography for a host of national and international dance companies. She is also a diabetes spokesperson and educator who regularly addresses major diabetes conferences and organizations worldwide. Zippora’s memoir “The Sugarless Plum” has inspired people all over the world to live happy and healthy lives. “The Sugarless Plum” is now translated in Slovenian. Zippora also authored a children’s book, “Ballerina Dreams.” The story teaches children, with and without Diabetes, that they should not give up on their dreams no matter what challenges they face. She is currently guest faculty at the prestigious Colburn Dance Academy in Los, Angeles, Cal., as well as, an artist in residence at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Zippora hopes to continue to inspire people to live healthy active lives through her work as an author, teacher, and motivational speaker


Moran Barak 

Moran Barak is the founder, general manager and artistic director of the Unison Dance Academy in Even Yehuda, Israel. Ms. Barak founded Unison in 2011 and in only a few short years has developed it into a world-class school of dance.  At Unison, Ms. Barak is raising a new generation of dancers with a pursuit of excellence and firm commitment to their professional development. Her dance academy not only develops skills and opens doors to the world of professional dance, it also molds beauty, culture and aesthetics into the lives of its young dancers. As a result, Ms. Barak and her students have received international awards and recognition, including the Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding Teacher Award in 2016, 1st place at the 2018 YAGP Paris semifinals, and 3rd place at the 2018 YAGP finals competition in New York. Ms. Barak also provides numerous opportunities throughout the year for her students to perform with leading Israeli dancers from the Batsheva Dance Company, the Israel Ballet, and the Kibbutz Dance Company. Her dance delegations to Europe and the United States provide her students with exposure to the world dance scene and opportunities to perform original and innovative works by leading Israeli choreographers on the international stage. Many of her former students now dance with leading companies both in Israel and abroad. In addition to her work at Unison, Ms. Barak provided dance pedagogy and trained the leads for the Israeli production of the musical Billy Elliott. She also initiated and produced “Marshmallow,” an intergenerational dance event at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. She holds a B.A. in dance education and a teaching certificate from Kibbutzim College, and an M.A. from the Jerusalem Academy of Dance.

“Excellence is a process with no quick results. There are constant challenges and your success will depend on your ability to work hard, persevere, believe, and love what you do.” – Moran Barak

Israel consulate logo.png

Also in attendance from Israel:

Dana Blecher, MSW, MA - Director of Cultural Affairs


Dr. Ravil A. Nigmedzyanov

Representative of the Republic of Tatarstan under The Trade Representation of The Russian Federation to The USA: conducted official meetings on intergovernmental level, as well as meetings with commercial companies on trade cooperation, joint projects, investments, cooperation in education, cultural programs, etc. Conducted analytical research of the market and prepared briefs with practical recommendations. In my free time continued scientific research of PTSD issues, wrote and published three books (Copyright Certificates of The Library of Congress). Trade Mission of Embassy of Russian Federation in USA –Washington, DC, USA November 2005- January 2015



Artist, writer, filmmaker, Educationist and social worker was born in Quetta. He completed his masters in English literature from Balochistan University and joined NCA for a degree in Fine Arts with a major in Sculpture. Completing his 4 years’ professional studies, returned to Quetta where he set up the Department of Fine Arts in Balochistan University, chaired the department for 3 years and went on a British Council scholarship   to do a masters in print making from The Slade School of Arts London. Trained in various disciplines of Visual Arts, his forte remains sculpture. He also has the distinction of being the first Graduate in sculpture from NCA. He has been a prolific artist throughout his carrier and has exhibited vastly in Pakistan and internationally. He is the recipient of many awards including Gold medal in the 5th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka His work is part of permanent collection in Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Fukouka Museum Japan. He has done many important commissioned projects in Pakistan and abroad. Jamal Shah joined TV in 1976 as a singer and composer and has been part of the most noted Pashto Musical programming for 15 years and became one of the most revered singers. People in the Pashtoon belt of Pakistan and Afghanistan still expects music from Jamal Shah. As an actor, he has achieved the image of a serious, committed and extremely choosy actor, never compromises on content and quality. He has done many Serials, Tele films and a Soup on PTV and other Pakistani channels. Jamal Shah has also acted in International projects such as TRAFFIK a channel 4 production and the recipient of 11 international awards and a Hollywood feature film K2. As Director and script writer, He has land mar productions such as, Palay Shah, Barish Ke Baad, Kal, MDMR, Darckola, Bazeecha, Kohkan and Geet Aur Goli for television and Panja Shianja, Tamaasha, Bazeecha and Yehan Se Sheher ko Dekho. He has written produced and directed “Revenge of the Worthless” a film on violent extremism. Jamal Shah has dedicated most of his time and resources towards the promotion and propagation of Art and culture in Pakistan. He was responsible for establishing The Fine Arts Department in his home town Quetta and Studio Gandhara in Islamabad. Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts is his most important contribution to Islamabad and Lahore. He has been sponsoring this not for profit Art Institution since 1992.He has been on boards of governors of many Art Institutions and cultural bodies. Besides Hunerkada he has been teaching and giving workshops and lectures in NCA and all other Art schools in Pakistan. Jamal Shah has also supported causes such as Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital Trust by organizing 3 fund raising Art auctions for it and Donating his work for meaningful causes. Jamal Shah also organized Art Aid, a big Live Art Auction in collaboration with PTV and raised funds for the victims of October 2007 Earthquake, the flood effected people in KPK and the recent earthquake effectees in Swat, Chitral and Buner. He has been a vocal supporter of human rights in the country.          


Raymond J. Barry

Raymond J. Barry’s career dates back to 1963 with Judith and Julian Beck’s Living Theater production of ‘The Brig’, Liz LaCompt’s Wooster Group, followed by and eight year stint with Joseph Chaikin’s  famed ‘Open Theater’ that created collaboratively the Obie-winning productions of ‘The Serpent’, ‘Terminal’, ‘Mutation Show’ and ‘Nightwalk’. The company toured yearly through Algeria, Israel, Iran, Paris, Berlin, London, Zurich and Copenhagen. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Mr. Barry performed in approximately fifty New York Stage productions on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, including the original production of Sam Shepard’s ‘Curse of the Starving Class’ at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and the leading role of Dennis Reardon’s ‘The Leaf People’ at Broadway’s Booth Theater, as well as Bertold Brecht’s ‘Happy End’, starring Meryl Streep at Broadway’s Martin Beck Theater. In the early seventies, he founded and directed New York’s ‘Quena Company’, an ensemble that featured his mother, B. Constance Barry, who began her career at age sixty-one under Raymond’s tutelage. Later she performed in twenty films and numerous stage productions and was eventually known as David Letterman’s mother on his TV show. Simultaneously Mr. Barry conducted workshops in Sing-Sing Penitentiary, Attica and Grasslands County Jail. This work led to his company ‘Street Theater’, consisting of ex-offenders, who performed in New York City parks and streets from a truck that opened into a rudimentary stage. 


Louise Hickey

Trained in classical ballet at The Ballet School with Mr George Francis in Rochester, NY., and then at Mary Days’ Washington School of Ballet. She was the youngest student accepted into the first year of the National Academy of Dance/Arts (NAD/A) in Champaign Urbana, Illinois. Musical Theater Dance teacher Gemze de Lappe, took Louise as her protege at a very early age, priming and mentoring her throughout her career and life. While a principal Ballerina with The Boston Repertory Ballet, under the direction of Samuel Kurkjian, Gemze de Lappe reconstructed Isadora Duncan choreography on the company. She requested Louise move to NYC to audition for founder and executive director Lee Theodore, who was creating a company of “triple threat” artists.  “THE AMERICAN DANCE MACHINE” (Alpha Company) was born and premiered on Broadway at the Century Theater, for 200 performances. This marked Louise’s transition to the world of Broadway Theater, and various work in TV/Music Videos/Commercials and Film. Broadway Debut, she (Louise Hickey) appeared as a Soloist with “THE AMERICAN DANCE MACHINE” working with an impressive list of legendary broadway performers, choreographers and directors. Appearing next in the Broadway revival of “OKLAHOMA!” (Dream Laurie) at The Palace Theater. Receiving direction directly from Agnes de Mille and Gemze de Lappe was truly an amazing privilege and honor. She appeared on Broadway as a featured performer, as The Bathing Beauty in “JEROME ROBBINS’ BROADWAY”;  Power Girl in “MAIL”.  Regional featured performer, as  Maggie in “FLORA THE RED MENACE” Pasadena Playhouse;  Louise in “CAROUSEL” Portland Opera;  Kathy in “COMPANY” The New York Theater Co.;  Azuri in “DESERT SONG” NY City Opera (Debut);  Dream Laurie in “OKLAHOMA!”;  Bonnie Jean in “BRIGADOON”;  Tiger Lilly in  “PETER PAN” and Cinderella in  “CINDERELLA”  The MUNY Theater;  Louise in “CAROUSEL”;  featured in “NAUGHTY MARIETTA” and  “ANNIE GET YOUR  GUN”, Paper Mill Playhouse;  Ado Annie in “OKLAHOMA” Starlight Musicals; featured in “KENNEDY CENTER HONORS”, Agnes de Mille recipient. Michael Mao, Director of MICHAEL MAO DANCE introduced Louise to Zena Rommett, to learn and teach classes to his company, she is now a Certified Floor-Barre® Mentor. Louise is forever grateful to have received personal transmissions from Zena Rommett.  Studying Mind, Body, Spirit and Holistic Medicine practices, she is a Certified Teacher of Primordial Sound Meditation, and Ayurvedic Health from The Chopra Center University; and a 200hr Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor, from Sivananda Yoga Farm. Proud to support her dear friend Charlene Carey (both Graduates of NAD/A), she wishes to acknowledge Charlene’s dedication and inspiring work with dancers and artists around the globe, and for inviting her to contribute to Ballet Beyond Borders 2019. Louise is a grateful Mother of two inspiring young men, Joseph Cadiff, a scholar of English, Religion, Spirituality, Buddhism and Yoga Studies now at LMU in Los Angeles CA; and Alexander Cadiff, a talented aspiring TV/Screen/Theater writer, working as Development Coordinator at Bungalow Media, in NYC. 


Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo

Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo has spent over twenty-years in dance as a performer, choreographer and educator. She holds a BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University.  She was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1993-1999), Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1999-2002), and the Liz Gerring Dance Company (2003-2006). In addition to performing the work of various independent choreographers, LeBlanc Loo has also danced with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera, and was a guest artist in Irrfahrten by Joachim Schlömer, for the 250th Mozart Celebration in Salzburg, Austria. LeBlanc Loo has had her writing published in the leading, international dance periodicals, Dance Magazine and Ballettanz, and her choreography presented in venues around the country. She continues her work with Bill T. Jones in the preservation of his legacy and pedagogy, most notably producing and co-directing the documentary film, Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters, about one of his most celebrated works. LeBlanc Loo also spearheaded the educational partnership presently happening between his company and Loyola Marymount University Dance Department where she is an Associate Professor. 


Lizt Alfonso

Entrepreneurial, persevering and charismatic, Lizt Alfonso had a clear dream when she was a little girl: founding her own dance company and taking it worldwide. That dream became a reality when, at the age of 23, she founded Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba (LADC) in 1991 resident company at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, that has become one of the most popular and prestigious in the dance and musical world for its novel style: a fusion never seen before. Multi awarded for her choreographic creations and recognized for her artistry, tenacity, simplicity and professionalism, Lizt Alfonso began in the arts world at the age of four, when she received her first ballet class. From then on, her training took place at the Cuban National Ballet School and Spanish dance academies, schools of Dance Theater, folklore and others, until she graduated in Theater and Drama at the Havana’s University of the Arts (ISA) in 1990. She has conceived, choreographed and directed all the shows staged by LADC. Under her guidance, LADC has performed in hundreds of stages around the world, participating in the most important dance festivals, regular dance series, as well as in commercial theaters. Her vision and perseverance took LADC to be the first Cuban dance company to have seasons of performances in New York City, at the New Victory Theater. She was specially invited to explain her creative process and mise-en-scéne of her work at the Work and Process series in New York's Guggenheim Museum and took LADC to the Fall for Dance Festival in the New York City Center and the Luminato Festival in Toronto, among many others. he has been granted with several recognitions worldwide: BBC’s list of the 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world in 2018; International Spotlight Award by the USA President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, granted at the White House, by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, in 2016; The National Culture Order of Cuba; Ambassador of the Cuban Artist Fund of New York; the Canada’s Dora Mavor Moore Award in the category of Best Choreography of a Musical for her show “Vida” in 2008; the First Choreography Prize by the Cuban Artists and Writers Association in 2006 and 2008 and the Cuban Artist Fund of New York Award in 2001, among many other.


Patrick Damon Rago

Patrick Damon Rago is a Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at Loyola Marymount University. Damon began his formal dance training at California State University, Fullerton in 1988. Upon graduation, he accepted a full scholarship to the University of Utah to pursue an MFA in Modern Dance. While there, Damon was the 1996 winner of the Dee R. Winterton Award for Outstanding Gradate Student and walked straight from graduation to the dance studio and began a two-year stretch with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. As a member of RWDC, Damon worked with Murray Louis, David Rousseve, Douglas Neilson, Della Davidson, Keith Johnson, Janis Brenner, and Ming Lung Lang. He also performed in works by Doug Varone, Laura Dean, Ann Carlson, and Creach & Koester. In 1998, Damon returned to Los Angeles and spent four years a member of the groundbreaking dance company TONGUE, under the direction of Stephanie Gilliland. Since then, he has worked as a freelance performer, with Joe Goode, Loretta Livingston, Maria Gillespie, and as a performer in his own choreography. In 2002, Damon formed Palindrome Performance Group to begin to develop his own choreographic voice using physicality, humor, emotion, and theatre to tell human stories through dance. He is a three time Lester Horton Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Performance, in 2002 for Joe Goode’s Native Son, in 2003 for Loretta Livingston’s Leaving Evidence, and in 2007 for his own Manifold. He was also a winner in 2003 for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Four Inches to the Left. His choreography has been presented at the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn, New York, Dance Spectrum LA, the Sola Dance Festival, Highways Performance Space, Loyola Marymount University, California State University, Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Orange Coast College, Citrus College, Scottsdale Community College.


Bryant Keith Alexander

Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D. is dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts as well as a professor of Communication and Performance Studies. He is an active scholar, lecturer and performer with publications in leading journals — along with major contributions in such volumes as the "Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies" (SAGE), "Handbook of Performance Studies" (SAGE), "Handbook of Qualitative Research" (SAGE, Third Edition/Fifth Edition), "Handbook of Communication and Instruction" (SAGE), "Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication" (Wiley-Blackwell), and "Handbook of Autoethnography" (Left Coast). He is the co-editor of "Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity" (2005, Erlbaum), author of "Performing Black Masculinity: Race, Culture, and Queer Identity" (2006, Alta Mira), and "The Performative Sustainability of Race: Reflections on Black Culture and the Politics of Identity" (2012, Lang). Before coming to LMU, Alexander held key administrative jobs at Cal State L.A., including associate dean, interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters, as well as acting chair of the Liberal Studies Department. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State in 1998, Alexander taught at Texas A&M University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from what is now the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. In his academic and administrative career, Alexander has promoted issues of race, culture and gender diversity; supported issues of equality and social justice; been committed to student-and faculty-engaged decision-making, as well as critical and democratic pedagogy; and supported interdisciplinary studies across departments and colleges.


Claudia Zaccari

Claudia Zaccari is a former Prima Ballerina of the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome and Guest Prima Ballerina in famed theaters and opera houses including: Arena di Verona, Massimo di Palermo, Toulouse, Avignon, and London. She has danced alongside world-class dancers such as Maja Plisetskaia, Carla Fracci and Vladimir Vassiliev. Mrs. Zaccari has worked as a Consultant and Artistic Director of numerous dance schools, dance performances and events in Italy and abroad such as: the 'Cecilia Kerche Festival' in Belem (Brazil) and the 'Centro Teatral di Mazatlan' (Mexico). Currently, Mrs. Zaccari is the Director of Opus Ballet's Department of Classical Dance and a public relations representative for So Danca. Mrs. Zaccari's awards include the title of "Knight of the Republic" for having promoted artistic exchanges on the international level between Italy and countries worldwid


Aidan Carberry

Aidan Carberry was born in Los Angeles and began his training at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. He went on to attend the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, where he fell in love with the art of chore- ography. He has been mentored by William Forsythe, co-created work with Emma Portner and was commissioned to create a solo for Benja- min Millepied’s company, LA Dance Project. Most recently, his hip- hop crew, Poreotics, made it to the finals of World of Dance. Aidan also co-founded the LA-based company JA Collective which earned second-place honors at the Capezio Ace Awards. He plays with his experience in multiple forms and movement practices to create intri- cate patterns built on a memory or dream. Aidan hopes to spread the unlimited possibilities of movement and storytelling to the world.


Deena Mansour

Since 2010, Deena has successfully brought $12 million in funding to the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana, largely from the U.S. Department of State.  These grants have supported the international exchange programs of more than 1,000 Montana and international students and professionals.  She has served as a consultant for the State Department throughout mainland southeast Asia, and has lectured at a number of foreign universities, including Chiang Mai University, the National University of Laos, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, and Jilin University. She is currently teaching a freshman seminar for the Global Leadership Initiative on Public Diplomacy. While her programmatic focus largely draws on her expertise in Asia, she develops leadership programs across the globe, from the Women’s Leadership Initiative here at UM to sports diplomacy programs for marginalized populations in Latin America.  Deena’s vision for the Center includes the support of UM enrollment and internationalization goals by expanding programming across Montana, especially in secondary education; supporting international student recruitment; and expanding outreach on the ethical imperatives of leadership and public discourse.  She currently serves as the chair of the Global Academy Task Force and as a member of the Presidential Lecture Series committee.  In 2015-2016, she served as the Presidential Leadership Fellow for UM President Royce C. Engstrom. Deena earned her MPA at UM and a BA in international relations and economics at American University.  Past experience includes serving as a foreign service officer in public diplomacy, as marketing director for a Dow Jones community newspaper and developing exchange programs at the Institute of International Education.  She has worked or studied in nearly 40 countries, and has studied Indonesian, Arabic, and French.


Marika Derton

She started her dance studies in Italy and she continued and specialised in modern contemporary dance at the Pineapple Dance School in London, where she studied for several years.  In 1988 she started her own dance school in San Vendemiano TV, near Venice, that she still owns today.  She invites famous professional dancers and teachers to instruct and help her students. She has organised an international dance competition for years and she has organised many different dance shows.  She teaches modern dance masterclasses in many different schools in the north of Italy.  In the last 10 years she has won several national and international competitions as a choreographer.


John Pennington

John Pennington is the artistic director of the Pennington Dance Group and ARC Pasadena. He serves as the co-director of the Lewitzky Dance Gallery and teaches dance at California State University, Long Beach, and Pomona College. Pennington enjoyed a 14-year career with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as a performer and master teacher. He then went on to be a guest artist, independent choreographer and educator before establishing his own award-winning dance group in 2000. 

Educated at Northwestern University, California Institute of the Arts (BFA) and Hollins University (MFA), Pennington’s dedication to education includes workshops and curriculum development for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Fowler Museum, MOCA and Armand Hammer Museum. He served as an Annenberg Scholar in Dance Education for Inner City Arts LA and served on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Dance Resource Center and the Artist Committee for Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Pennington is the recipient of several grants and awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, California Community Foundation, Goethe Institute, Durfee Foundation, Dance USA, Los Angeles County Arts Program and a HOTHOUSE choreographic residency.  He is honored to be the recipient of five Lester Horton Awards for achievement in dance including the award for Excellence in Teaching. He received a Backstage West Garland Award and a L.A. Weekly Theater nomination for achievement in choreography. Most recently, his oral history essay was featured in When Men Dance: Choreographing Dance Across Borders (Oxford University Press), 

edited by Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay.


Andile Ndlovu

of Johannesburg, South Africa, now in his seventh season with The Washington Ballet. Mr. Ndlovu began his training in Latin American and ballroom dance at the age of ten. At fifteen, he began training in ballet under Martin Schöenberg, director of Ballet Theatre Afrikan.  In 2007, Ndlovu performed with South African Ballet Theatre, performing the lead in Don Quixote and the Jester in Swan Lake, among other roles. He went on to dance with Cape Town City Ballet. Andile was featured in the title role of “ Spartacus†in 2015 in Veronica Paeper’s adaptation of the classic masterpiece and produced by the South African Dance Trust.Andile tied for the Gold medal in the contemporary category of the 2008 South African International Ballet Competition. Ndlovu choreographed Guardian of the Pool which was performed by The Washington Ballet Studio Company andnowhe is rapidly creating a unique niche in the world of young and successful choreographers.   Andile won a silver medal in the Valentina Kozlova ballet competition in 2011. He was a finalist in the USAIBC in Jackson Mississippi in 2014 . In 2016 Andile won double gold for both ballet and contemporary dance categories at the premiere of VIBE USA BALLET competition and in Montana.

Theodore Constant.jpg
Astrid New Headshot.jpg
Head shot ERJ.JPG

Merritt Moore

I am a ballet dancer and quantum physicist, which means continually jumping from lab shoes to pointe shoes, from lab goggles to tutus. I never dreamed that I could ever dance professionally, but somehow (with a lot of studying in the splits) I've danced as a member of the Zurich BalletBoston BalletEnglish National Ballet and London Contemporary Ballet Theatre while graduating with honors in physics at Harvard, and am currently pursuing a PhD in Quantum Optics at Oxford University.

I believe that the arts and sciences are not mutually exclusive, so I have been working hard to juggle both in the hope that other students can be encouraged to do the same. I really hope to inspire more young women to study science by showing them that there is no ‘standard’ personality or path for doing so. I’ve integrated my love for physics and dance for a TEDx talk at Oxford and for the international "Dance Your PhD" contest (and won the Physics category). I’ve been on the organizing committee for the Oxford Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) UK 2016 and was awarded Top Ten College Women of 2010 by Glamour Magazine and the Suzanne Farrell Award at Harvard. I was awarded the Michael von Clemm Fellowship (award to only one Harvard student a year) to study at Oxford, and I've been with Prof. Ian Walmsley’s Ultrafast Atomic and Laser group, pursuing a PhD for the past 4 years.  There are a lot of exciting projects, virtual reality videos and apps coming up so follow my on Instagram @PhysicsonPointe or Twitter @merrittmoore. 


Theodore Constant

Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer with the Theodore Constant - Dance Academy & TCDA - International Ballet Festival. His professional career began at age 17 with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal and with the German State Opera Ballet Companies in Dusseldorf, Berlin, and Leipzig as a soloist/principal. Theodore Constant's outstanding students are professional dancers with The Royal Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Bucharest National Opera Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Cullberg Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Festival Ballet, and many more. They have received numerous Awards, including the Prix de Lausanne Professional Price, and Youth America Grand Prix Gold Medal and Outstanding Artistry Award - NYC Finals. Theodore Constant has been Artistic Adviser with the National Ballet Theatre in Romania, Artistic Director and Choreographer with the Cologne Dance Academy in Germany, Artistic Director and Choreographer with the OSC Dance Company in Canada, Ballet Director and Choreographer with the Northern California Dance Conservatory in the United States, and Ballet Master and Choreographer with the Vienna State Opera Ballet Academy. 


Michaela DePrince

Soloist Michaela DePrince was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in the United States. Together with her adoptive mother, Elaine DePrince, she wrote the book Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina. At The Rock School in Philadelphia, Michaela specialised in classical ballet. Her participation in the Youth American Grand Prix gained her a grant to study at American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, in New York. She graduated in 2012 and joined, still very young, the dance company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. In 2013, Michaela started her career in the Netherlands as a member of the Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company, which had just started up. In August 2014, she transferred to Dutch National Ballet, in the rank of élève. One year later, she was promoted to coryphée and in 2016 to grand sujet, and then to soloist at the end of the same year.


Astrid Sherman, FISTD:

Artistic Director; CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre & Pro Arté Centre Professional Training School North Vancouver Canada. An acknowledged leader in the field of dance education and performing arts, Ms. Sherman graduated from the Pretoria Technikon School for the Performing Arts in South Africa before dancing professionally with the NAPAC Ballet Company in Durban. Working with many of the innovators of South African modern and neoclassical dance, she performed in all the trad itional ballet repertoire classics as well as original and choreography efforts that broke new creative ground. Her own passion to dance and the desire to invest in and empower others prompted her to pursue advanced studies and she was awarded the highly r egarded and internationally recognized advanced level teaching qualification of “Fellowship” from the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dance ( ISTD) after immigrating to Canada in 1997. In 2003, she co - opened the Pro Arté Centre in North Vancouver which ha s evolved into a major dance centre with six dance studios, on - site academics from Grades 5 - 12, on - site physiotherapy, massage therapy and nutritional services and a Pilates rehab gym. Pro Arté Centre is best known for this commitment to providing a holis tic inspired training to young dancers intending to pursue a career in dance. Recognizing the need to fully equip the new generation of performing artists, she introduced CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre in 2012 to prepare emerging arts leaders for a future in dance that acknowledges that the successful dancer must be prepared by a diversity of technical training opportunities and experiences. Ms. Sherman’s past students and Pro Arté / CatchingART graduates have been accepted into numerous companie s and prestigious post - graduate programs within Canada, the United States and Europe including to name a few: Juilliard, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ballet BC, Alberta Ballet, Philadanco, Ballet Theatre UK, Ballet Jorgen, Twyla Tharpe Dance, Joffrey Ballet, the Rudra Bejart School in Switzerland & the Hungarian National Ballet. Students participating in Pro Arté programs have been awarded BC Provincial titles and have also been recognized for outstanding performance and technical ability as finalists in internationally accla imed competitions such as YAGP, the Genée International and Tanzolymp. Ms. Sherman also has a keen interested in dance science and holistic dance training for healthier and stronger dancers. She has presented research at the International Associatio n for Da nce Medicine & Science (IADMS) C onferences in 2010, 2012, 2015 & 2017 , and had a paper published in the Dance Medicine and Science Journal in 2014. She was also a presenter at the Johannesburg Dance Medicine conference in 2008 and at Healthy Dancer Canada in 2012 & 2015. Ms. Sherman is currently serving on the Education Committee for IADMS and has organized reg ional IADMS Meetings in 2015 and 2016 in Vancouver and is currently planning one in Johannesburg and Cape Town for July 2018. 


Juliette Crump

Professor of Dance Juliette T. Crump was Head of Dance and a Professor of Dance at the University of Montana from 1974 to 2002, performing, choreographing and teaching modern dance technique, Laban Movement Analysis and dance history. She holds an M.A. Degree in dance from the George Washington University and is a Certified Movement Analyst through LIMS. She has traveled and researched extensively in Asia and published articles on Japanese Butoh, Korean Dance, Manipuri Dance, Kathakali Dance, dances in Shanghai parks and Hmong dance in the US and Laos. She has seen over fifty live butoh performances since she first saw Kazuo Ohno at La Mama in 1981. Since retirement she has performed Butoh in San Francisco, Vancouver, Canada and Stockholm, Sweden. She has served as a member of the NEA Dance Panel (selecting dance companies for grant funding) for seven years. 


Ming Yan Davis

Born in Beijing China, Ms. Yan Davis graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy and danced with the Central Ballet Theatre of Beijing for eighteen years. She came to the United States in 1986 and studied at the Martha Graham Modern Dance School. Ms. Yan Davis has taught Chinese Folk dance and in the United States since 1987 introducing Chinese culture to American students. She has been a frequent Guest Artist with Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre & toured with the Company in 2008 and 2010 to China.



En 1991  inicia sus estudios de Ballet Clásico en Fomento Artístico Cordobés, bajo la Dirección técnica- artística de Martha Saghún. En 1994 continua sus estudios en la Escuela Cubana de Ballet de Veracruz, bajo la Dirección artística de Caridad Martínez (Ex primera bailarina del Ballet Nacional de Cuba) y con asesoramiento técnico de Joaquín Banegas y Silvia Marichal (Maîtres del Ballet Nacional de Cuba). En 1999, se gradúa como bailarina Clásica y Maestra por la ECBV y el Ministerio de Cultura de la Habana, Cuba. Ha tenido como maestros en diversos cursos y talleres nacionales e internacionales a; Lea Darwin (EE.UU), Pattie Obey (EE.UU),  James Kelly (EE.UU.); Franco de Vita  (Director de la Escuela Jackie Onasis, del American Ballet Teathre), Raymond Lukens (EE.UU.), Juan Sánchez (Puerto Rico), entre otros. Dentro de su preparación como bailarina y docente ha tenido maestros de la talla de Fernando Alonso, Dubia Hernández, Fernando Jhones, Pedro Beiro, Esther García, Miriam Hernandez, Adria Velásquez, Gustavo Herrera, Fidel García y Alberto Terrero (ex bailarines del Ballet Nacional de Cuba) entre otros. Fue seleccionada como aspirante a la Compañía Nacional de Danza en 2004. Del mismo modo, ha sido bailarina invitada por la Compañía Veracruzana de Ballet, dirigida por Denia Hernández y Raúl Bustabad (ex bailarines del Ballet Nacional de Cuba), por la Compañía Vera danza U. V., dirigida por Jorge Ortiz, a su vez, por el Grupo Independiente MODULO Danza Contemporánea, dirigido por Alejandro Schwartz; de igual manera, bailarina huésped por la Asociación “Dance Educators of America” en San José de Costa Rica; por el Brooklyn Ballet N.Y.; la orquesta Sinfónica juvenil Daniel Ayala y por  la Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, entre otras compañías independientes. Ha participado en Concursos Nacionales e Internacionales, dentro de los cuales destacan;  Finalista y Medalla de bronce en el Primer y Segundo Concurso Nacional de Ballet Clásico Infantil-Juvenil;  Medalla de Oro en el VI Certamen Internacional de Ballet Infantil-Juvenil de países Latinoamericanos; y  Medalla de Platinum en el “Ballet Seminar Competition”, New York City. Becaria en la Compañía del Joffrey Ballet Alabama.  En 2013, realiza sus primeros grados de Curriculum Training of American Ballet TTheatre en la ciudad de New York, para adquirir también conocimientos de la enseñanza de la Técnica Americana de Ballet. En 2014, le es otorgado reconocimiento por la Escuela Cubana de Ballet de la Habana Cuba, dirigida por la Maestra Ramona de Saa, por su trayectoria dentro de la Enseñanza de la Escuela Cubana.  Dentro de su trayectoria como docente, sus alumnas  han sido finalistas en el Octavo,Noveno y Décimo Concurso Nacional de Ballet Clásico Infantil- Juvenil, y medallistas en Concursos Nacionales e internacionales organizados por diversas Asociaciones de Danza tales como, Grand Prix Danza Américas, Panama, B VIBE International  Ballet Competition, Ballet Beyond Borders en Missoula, Montana, E.U.,, entre otros. Actualmente dirige la Escuela Cubana de Ballet de Veracruz, , y cada año organiza el Curso Internacional  de Invierno como parte de preparación de su alumnado, en donde la ECBV, invita a maestros reconocidos del extranjero y cada dos años su alumnado hace intercambios con otras Escuelas importantes de Estados Unidos mediante el sistema de becas, otorgadas dentro de este Curso Internacional  (Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscu, Rusia, Alvin Ailey School, NY., New York Dance Project, y Steps of Broadway, NY.), empezando a buscar oportunidades para  el alumnado interesado en la Danza como una forma de vida;  o simplemente abrir un arcoíris de posibilidades dentro de la misma. Daniela Ortiz también es Licenciada en Derecho por la UAV - UNAM y actualmente sigue preparándose dentro del área docente, Coreográfia y de  Gestión Cultural dentro de las Artes escénicas. 


David Potskhishvili

23 years dance experience on professional stage and an author of a lot of choreographical shows. He made a great contribution to modernize and new vision of Georgian dance. David Potskhishvili, with his choreographical family is a pioneer in Georgian choreographical space. He is also a playwrighter, whose plays were staged in famous theatres of Georgia. In 2000 David Potskhishvili was acknowledged as the best dancer of the year by Art Council.  By 20th of April,2012 order, Georgian President regarded him the order of honour on 10th of October, 2012. By decision of Georgian National Academy, David Potskhishvili was granted of Honorary Academician. The honorable star in Tbilisi Concer Hall. The greatest recognition of Potskhishvili family was in 2015, when Georgian Elite Society and the Ministry of Culture opened the star of National Ballet "Metekhi" by Potskhishvili in front of the Tbilisi Greatest Concert Hall, regarding to 40 years jubilee of the ensemble. David Potskhishvili was the main ballet master of this show.  From 1982 till today David Potskhishvili serves the Georgian culture, in particular the Georgian choreography.


Erica Rose Jeffrey

Erica is a dance activist and researcher engaged in cross-disciplinary practice of community dance. Experienced peacebuilding practitioner and researcher. Dancer, choreographer, educator, speaker, researcher, and community facilitator. Specifc practice and research focus on the use of dance with young people in peacebuilding programs and dance and health such as the Dance for Parkinson’s programs. She is the director of Dance for Parkinson's Australia which initiated, implemented and launched the frst Dance for Parkinson’s programs across Australia in partnership withprogram founders-Dance for PD and Mark Morris Dance Group in New York. Involved in the initiation of programs and teacher training across Australia and expanding into Asia. www.danceforparkinsonsaustralia.org 


Liu Bing

Ms. Liu, teacher of Beijing Dance Academy, China, has worked in establishing dance as a means of communicating between cultures and has long promoted the growth of the art. She has been greatly involved with numerous ballet competitions, was the Chinese international representative of the Youth America Grand Prix in 2015, and from 2006 to 2010, Ms. Liu worked as a project lead of the Beijing international Ballet Competition, the largest and most professional ballet international competition for students in China.

She has helped produce a number of post-modern ballet pieces performed in Beijing and in New York. She has established cooperative relationships with various leading dance companies and academies, such as the American Ballet Theater, Australia Ballet, the Julliard School, Princess Grace Academy of Classical Dance, and the Stuttgart Ballet, among many others.

She is currently a visiting scholar of Queens College in New York. 



Estudia ballet, teatro, Artes plásticas, fotografía, iluminación, escenografía, y dirección en el CEDART Centro de Educación Artística, Querétaro, México. A los dos años y medio estudia en el CENADAC Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de México, donde se estudia técnica Graham, independientemente estudia técnicas y estilos como: Alexander, Horton, Limon y Cunningham, y bases coreográficas. En 2007 forma parte de "La Companyia" Juvenil de Ballet Clássic de Catalunyia en Barcelona, España, donde baila repertorio clásico y piezas de diferentes coreógrafos reconocedos como: Rodolfo Castellanos, Jean Emile (CND, NDT), Roger C. Jeffrey (White Oak Dance Project), Juan Borona, Stephane Boko (Cirque du Soleil), Zane Booker (NDT), entre otros. Un año mas tarde dirige la Cía. Catalana de Dansa con 12 bailarines y 16 músicos. Después forma EPC DANCE COMPANY y sale de España; gira por diferentes países en Europa y America y se presenta en diferentes festivales. Organiza algunas audiciones para CODARTS Conservatory of the Arts de Rotterdam en España abriendo así la posibilidad de recibir becas a estudiantes para asistir a la universidad en Holanda. En 2012 comienza a trabajar con Annarella Sánchez, quien invita a Enrique como coreógrafo invitado a su Academia Privada en Portugal, y continua como docente local. En Academia de Ballet e Dança Annarella Sánchez es profesor del nivel intermedio y avanzado de Ballet clásico, y ejerce su función como coreógrafo de piezas contemporáneas, repetidor de repertorio clásico y preparador para concursos nacionales e internacionales. También Colabora en la realización del Leiria Dance Competition y Dance World Cup Portugal.  Entre los premios conseguidos durante su trayectoria en colaboración con Annarella Sánchez se destaca preparar a varios alumnos ganadores de los principales premios en Youth American Grand Prix YAGP tanto semifinales como finales, Tanz Olymp de Berlín  y diversas competiciones nacionales e internacionales. Como coreógrafo a creado desde el 2000 hasta ahora más de 600 piezas entre las cuales cuenta con 8 ballets completos de creación propia y 28 piezas de mediana duración, el resto se divide principalmente en solos y duetos, pero también bastantes piezas cortas (no menos de 5 minutos) todas presentadas en teatro y comprobables con material audiovisual y/o en papel. No tiene un calculo exacto de las coreografías que ha creado y que quedaron fuera de presentación.



Ms Bagg began her training in both RAD and Cechetti in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has transitioned from a dancer into a master teacher. She was accepted at the Royal Ballet School in London, England, and danced soloist and principal roles with the PACT Ballet Company in South Africa for 15 years. Among the roles she performed were Bluebird and Princess Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppe/ia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Giselle inGiselle, Kitri in Nureyev's production of Don Quixote, and the lead in Balanchine's Theme and Variations. She has also performed works by renowned choreographers such as Jiri Kylian. John Cranko, Goh Choo San,Andre Prokovsky, Sir Frederick Ashton and Ronald Hynd to name a few. In 1982, she took a one-year sabbatical from PACT and was invited to join the Frankfurt Ballet under the director ship of Egon Madsen. Ms. Bagg has a diploma in biomechanics and physiology from the University of the Witwatersrand and integrates this knowledge into her teaching. Since immigrating to Canada in 1993, Ms.Bagg taught at the Richmond Academy of Dance for 9years has beeni nvited as a guest teacher to various companies and schools across the USA and Canada. She also coaches young students in preparation for Adeline Genee and other various competitions. She was Ballet Mistress of Ballet BC and 7years as Ballet Mistress of Alberta Ballet. Ms. Bagg has been instrumental in staging Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and Giselle for South African Ballet Theatre and Washington Ballet and she continues to dance professionally, including roles with Alberta Ballet in Mozart's Requiem and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Ms Bagg is currently focusing on master teaching and coaching as well working as a dance rehabilitation specialist as part of a team of physiotherapists. She is the one of the principal teachers of ProArte Protégé Program in Vancouver, BC and Ballet BC as well as on faculty at Inspired Movement Dance and Performance teaching in their conservatory programme. Ms Bagg is involved in teaching various contemporary companies located in Vancouver.