Marisa Albee joined PNB as an apprentice in 1989, became a full Company member in 1990 and was promoted to Soloist in 1994. She was born in Brooklyn and studied at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Summer Course. Prior to joining the faculty at PNBS she taught at the Washington Academy of Performing Arts. Ms. Albee joined the PNBS faculty in 2001 and also holds the position of Assistant Principal.
Kelly Boal trained at the School of American Ballet and joined New York City Ballet in 1984, earning a promotion to soloist in 1989. She left NYCB in 1993 to pursue guesting opportunities that included performances with Dutch National Ballet and Ballet Manila and participation in Le Gala des Étoiles in Montreal, Canada. She taught at the School of American Ballet and has served PNBS as a part-time faculty member for two years, teaching both the Professional Division and the Company.
Peter Boal serves as Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Mr. Boal assumed the directorship of Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2005 following a successful career with New York City Ballet as a principal dancer, and as a faculty member at The School of American Ballet. He received his dance training from SAB under the directorship of George Balanchine. Mr. Boal was a faculty member at The School of American Ballet since 1997, teaching technique, variations, men’s and women’s classes and partnering. He was a guest teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet School.
Emily Coello, a native of Rock Island, IL, trained at the Alabama School of Fine Arts under Dame Sonia Arova before joining Alabama Ballet as an apprentice. She holds a BFA with honors from the New School University/Joffrey Ballet program where she trained with David Howard, Eleanor D’Antuono, and Trinette Singleton. While in New York she was chosen by David Howard to be a demonstrator in his “World Tour” class video. For over twelve years she was first a dancer and then ballet mistress for City Ballet of San Diego. Ms. Coello joined the PNBS faculty in 2017.
Nancy Crowley grew up in Marshfield, Massachusetts, where she received her early ballet training. She joined the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 2013 after a performing career in classical and contemporary ballet companies in the United States and Canada. She is a former principal dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, La La La Human Steps, and Ballet Arizona, where she served as school director and company rehearsal assistant.
Kyle Davis is from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He trained at Makaroff School of Ballet and on scholarship at Rock School for Dance Education and North Carolina School of the Arts, and attended summer courses on scholarship at Milwaukee Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He also studied with Ethan Stiefel and Warren Conover. Mr. Davis joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2008 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2009, soloist in 2016, and principal in 2020.
Rachel Foster is from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School. She joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1998 and later joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2002 as a member of the corps de ballet. She was promoted to soloist in 2008 and principal in 2011. Ms. Foster retired from PNB in 2019. She has taught at numerous ballet schools throughout the northwest including Hengda Dance Academy and Issaquah Dance Theatre. We are pleased to welcome Ms. Foster back as a PNB School faculty member in the fall of 2022!
Naomi Glass serves as PNBS faculty, DanceChance Manager and teaching artist for PNB’s STG Dance for PD® program. Naomi was formerly a Soloist with the Houston Ballet. She taught extensively in every sector prior to joining PNBS in 2015. Naomi received the Professor Joan White Award from the Faculty of Education at the Royal Academy of Dance for her research focused upon creativity, expressivity and movement for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Naomi holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Houston and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Bath, UK.
Susan Gorter studied at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and performed as an apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet. She danced with the Basel Ballet in Switzerland and taught for the Basel Ballet School. Ms. Gorter joined the PNBS faculty in 2001.
Ikolo Griffin was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He was introduced to ballet through San Francisco Ballet School’s Dance in Schools Program. He was the first outreach student to join the San Francisco Ballet company. Ikolo won the Princess Grace Award for Dance in 1993, and went on to dance professionally for over 20 years as a Principal Dancer with Dance theatre of Harlem in NYC, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Smuin Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and The San Francisco Opera.
Dana Hanson began her training on Vashon Island, Washington with John Wilkins and continued her studies at Olympic Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1990, appearing in numerous featured roles in the Balanchine repertoire and touring throughout the world. Prior to joining the PNBS faculty in the fall of 2006, Ms. Hanson was a frequent guest teacher at the School of American Ballet.
Akoiya Harris was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and is an alum of The School of Spectrum Dance Theater’s Academy program. She attended summer programs at Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Ailey School, and Elana Anderson’s 45 Degrees Project. Akoiya recently graduated from The Ailey School’s Certificate Program and is a Company Dancer with Spectrum Dance Theater. She joined the PNB School faculty in the Summer of 2021.
Eric Hipolito Jr. is from Seattle, WA. He trained on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, beginning as a DanceChance student. He attended summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, and PNB School and participated in the PNB School exchange with the Royal Danish Ballet. He has received scholarships and awards from the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and he was a 2010 nominee for the Princess Grace Award in Dance. Mr. Hipolito joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a corps de ballet dancer from 2008-2015, becoming the first Pacific Northwest Ballet DanceChance student to join the company. He danced with Ballet Arizona from 2015-2018, performing numerous principal roles. He taught for the Ballet Clinic and was the Men’s Program Director for A Ballet Education in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Hipolito recently graduated with a B.A. in Business Management from Arizona State University. PNB School is pleased to welcome him back as a faculty member!
Kimberly Holloway is a Seattle based choreographer, performer, and dance educator. She received her BFA from Belhaven University. Her choreography has been shown at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and at venues in Kansas City, Providence, RI, and Seattle. She has been honored to perform with artists including Michelle Miller/Catapult Dance, Shannon Stewart, Stone Dance Collective, Alana O Rogers, Maya Soto, Kinesis Project Dance Theater (NYC-Sea), and Störling Dance Theater (Kansas City). She currently teaches in the greater Seattle area.
Claudia Houston-Aragon is from Cali, Colombia. She graduated from Instituto Colombiano de Ballet Classico, Colombia’s only performing arts grade school in 2003 with a focus in classical ballet. Before moving to the US in 2011, she performed as a soloist with and taught at Ballet Santiago de Cali. She spent 6 years dancing and teaching in Florida before relocating to the Seattle area. Claudia holds a law degree from Universidad Libre de Cali and recently completed her bar exam. She joined the PNB faculty in 2017.
Carrie Imler is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She trained on scholarship at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1995 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 1996, soloist in 2000, and principal in 2002. Ms. Imler retired from the stage in June of 2017, and joined the PNB School faculty in September of 2017.
Deborah Kenner received her BFA from the University of Arizona, where she was a full academic and dance scholarship student. Ms. Kenner has had the opportunity to perform with Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre, and State Street Ballet. Ms. Kenner has an MS in Kinesiology and is a Balanced Body Master Instructor for the Pilates Comprehensive Program and Anatomy in 3D. During the 2008–2010 seasons, she was the Artistic Director of Tucson Regional Ballet. Ms. Kenner joined the PNBS faculty in 2010; she is also a member of the PNBConditioning staff and a teaching artist for the Dance for Parkinson’s program. She is working towards a Ph.D. in Health and Human Performance, focusing on essential and effective movement for the neurodiverse community.
Ayumi Matsuda was raised in Mexico City and trained at the Academia de Ballet San Angel Inn. After completing her ISTD exams, she was accepted into the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School. She graduated in 2015 with Associates in National Dance and Cecchetti. Since graduating, she has taught in Toronto, Calgary and Mexico City, where she also completed her ISTD Ballet Associate. She moved to Seattle in 2018 and joined PNB School faculty in 2019.
Miriam Landis trained at the School of American Ballet and was a member of the Miami City Ballet under Edward Villella. She also attended the Ballet West Conservatory, San Francisco Ballet School, and the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Landis earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University, and taught at many ballet schools and universities, including Stanford and the University of Utah. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and joined the PNBS faculty in 2012.
Dina McDermott was born and raised in New Jersey, where she received her earliest ballet training with Irine Fokine. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School, and subsequently danced professionally in New York for five years. After earning her MFA at Arizona State University, she went on to pursue a teaching career. Dina has taught at universities/colleges, community centers, public school/artist-in-residence, with at-risk youth, and at PNB School since 2001. In addition, Dina teaches Pilates in the PNB Conditioning Program. She is also a dance author; her recent book, “A Dancer’s Diary: Around the World in Thirteen Dances”, is available on Amazon.
Kaori Nakamura is from Gumma, Japan. She trained at the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet Company and the School of American Ballet. In 1986, she won first prize at the 14th Prix de Lausanne competition in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1988, she won a bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Ms. Nakamura joined Royal Winnipeg in 1990, where she was made a principal dancer. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist in 1997 and was promoted to principal in 1998. Ms. Nakamura joined the PNBS faculty in 2014.
Laurie McKarns Perrault trained at the National Academy of the Arts, San Francisco Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Perrault was a principal dancer with Southern California’s San Gorgonio Ballet Company. She has taught dance and Pilates in California, Washington, New York and Uganda. She has also earned a B.S. in Kinesiology from CSU San Bernardino and an M.A. in Dance Education from New York University.
Julia Pontarelli trained at several studios throughout the Chicago Northwest Suburbs, including Hinsdale Dance Academy and Point Park University. While dancing professionally as an NBA Chicago Bulls Luvabull Dancer, Julia received her degree in psychology from North Central College. Julia became head dance captain of the Bulls, and currently dances for the NFL.
Jonathan Porretta is from Totowa, New Jersey. He trained on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. Mr. Porretta joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1999. He was promoted to corps de ballet in 2000, soloist in 2002, and principal in 2005. He joined the PNB School faculty in 2019.
Kiyon Ross trained at Baltimore School of the Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2001 and retired as a soloist in 2015. Upon retiring, Mr. Ross graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle University with a degree in Non-Profit Leadership. From 2015-2019 he taught on the faculty of PNB School, worked with PNB’s DanceChance program, and was the program manager of PNB’s annual NEXT STEP choreographers’ showcase. An established American choreographer, Mr. Ross was the resident choreographer at Ballet Arkansas between 2015-2018. He has also choreographed for PNB, PNB School, New York Choreographic Institute, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Atlanta Ballet. He has worked as a stager for Twyla Tharp. Mr. Ross currently serves as the Director of Company Operations for PNB.
Kendal Ruland trained at Washington Academy of Performing Arts, International Ballet Academy, San Francisco Conservatory, LINES Ballet, and San Diego City Ballet. She was an apprentice with Ballet BC in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to teaching and choreographing at various dance schools throughout the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Ruland is a certified Gyrotonic Trainer. She joined the PNB School faculty in the fall of 2018.
Emily Schoen Branch is from Brookfield, Wisconsin. She received her BFA, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Arizona. She worked as a freelance dancer for Kyle Abraham/A.I.M; the Metropolitan Opera; the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary reunion tour; and 8 years with KEIGWIN + COMPANY. Emily’s former group, Schoen Movement Company, was home to her collaborative and creative endeavors in New York for 6 years. She has been Artist-In-Residence at multiple organizations and fulfilled numerous commissions for companies and university programs throughout the country. Emily’s recent dance film, “Hollow Hearts” debuted in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Dance Film Festival where it received Honorable Mention, and has since been accepted into American Dance Festival’s Movies By Movers.
Abbie Siegel, School Principal, performed with Connecticut Ballet, then went on to serve as the company’s Associate Ballet Mistress. A former faculty member of the Harkness School, Eliot Feld Ballet in New York and Connecticut Ballet, Ms. Siegel joined PNBS faculty in 1991. In addition to teaching, she served as Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s DanceChance program from 1999-2002, and was appointed Principal of The Francia Russell Center in the summer of 2002.
Suzanne Singla has taught Pilates since 2004. She received her Pilates Mat Certification through Power Pilates and her full certification with STOTT Pilates. Suzanne enjoys working with all populations and seeing her clients make improvements in posture, alignment, strength and flexibility. Her continuing education includes Merrithew Fascial Movement Foundation Course, Pilates for Neurological Disorders. Suzanne also received her Associates of Arts and Science from Clark College as well as a Certificate of Dance through Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She has performed with dance ensembles in Oregon, New York and South Africa. Her teaching credits include faculty positions at Connecticut Dance Theatre, School at Steps and Ballet Hispanico. Suzanne joined the PNBS faculty in 2004.
Eva L. Stone is a teaching artist, choreographer, and founder/producer of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work, an annual contemporary dance festival. She received her BFA in Performance & Choreography from Arizona State University, and later earned an MA in Choreography & Choreological Studies from Trinity Laban in the UK. She’s created work for Spectrum Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet/Seattle Art Museum’s Sculptured Dance, Seattle International Dance Festival, Bellingham Repertory Dance, and collaboratively with Seattle Dance Project for Project Orpheus, among others. Her work has been presented in New York, Los Angeles, London, Geneva, Montreal, and St. Petersburg. In September 2018 she launched a nationally recognized choreography program “New Voices: Choreography and Process for Young Women in Dance” at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Most recently, Eva has been commissioned to create a main stage work for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2019/20 season. She is currently based in Seattle.
Marjorie Thompson trained at the School of American Ballet and danced with New York City Ballet. She has served on the faculty of the School of American Ballet, Ballet Arts Minnesota, Eliot Feld Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. She first joined the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 1996, where she was also Director of Therapy and Conditioning. She went on to serve three years as Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, then moved to Minneapolis where she was School Principal of Minnesota Dance Theatre. She returned to the PNBS faculty in the Summer of 2007.
Julie Tobiason is a former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Chicago City Ballet (directed by Maria Tallchief), and Founder and former Director of Seattle Dance Project. Ms. Tobiason studied at The School of American Ballet and has performed principal roles in works by Stowell, Balanchine, Ashton, Caniparoli, Duato, Forsythe, Tetley, and many others. She has been on faculty at PNB since 1996, and is Ballet Director at Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center. Ms. Tobiason teaches, coaches, and choreographs nationally for independent films, Regional Dance America, various ballet companies and schools, and most recently Seattle International Dance Festival. In 2017, Ms. Tobiason was awarded the James Ray Residency to create kairos for SIDF 2018. Ms. Tobiason earned her BA in Business Administration from Foster School of Business at University of Washington in 2018.
Jennifer Turner trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet School, Ballet Academy East, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She performed with Miami City Ballet, Ballet Austin, and with members of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ms. Turner has served on the faculty at Ballet Austin Academy, Ballet San Angelo, Company Dance Traverse, and Teachers College Community School. She joined the PNB School faculty in 2019.
Malia Vassar is originally from Portland, OR. She received her training under Haydee Gutiérrez, Josie Mosley, and James Canfield at the Oregon Ballet Theater, and the School of the American Ballet. Prior to joining PNB, she spent 15 years performing in the Portland area, and teaching/directing educational outreach programs throughout the northwest.
Le Yin is from Nan Chang, China. He joined PNB as a Principal in 2002. Mr. Yin was formerly a principal dancer with Houston Ballet. He joined the PNB School faculty in the fall of 2009. Mr. Yin continues to perform as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.