About PNB School

Founded in 1974, Pacific Northwest Ballet School is recognized as one of the top three ballet training institutions in the United States. Under the direction of Peter Boal, the School offers a complete, professional curriculum to more than 1,000 students. The School’s Open Program attracts 600 teens and adults who wish to pursue recreational dance instruction in a supportive and encouraging setting.

Pacific Northwest Ballet School is divided into three divisions that are designed to challenge students with each year of study.

The School offers full and partial tuition scholarships to students who demonstrate artistic potential and financial need.

Each year, Pacific Northwest Ballet School holds an intensive, five-week Summer Course that attracts students from around the United States and beyond. Students are admitted by invitation only, based on the results of a national audition tour held in January and February. Other School activities include a Teachers’ Seminar, attracting ballet teachers from throughout North America and abroad.

Pacific Northwest Ballet DanceChance program offers students in Seattle Public School partner schools the opportunity to study classical ballet free of charge, dependent only on the students’ potential and interest in the program. PNB seeks to build a School and Company that reflects the diversity of our community by providing access and opportunity to talented students. Students are provided with full scholarship classes twice a week, dance attire, transportation and complimentary tickets to PNB Company performances.

IDEA Statement

Pacific Northwest Ballet School has a long, committed history of diversity and inclusion coupled with a willingness to identify the need for systemic change within our School and field. The 1994 founding of DanceChance, the 1997 implementation of community education programs, and the 2019 addition of STG Dance for PDⓇ, served as cornerstones of PNB School’s commitment to offering dance to all.
Our School recognizes the benefits of dance reaching far beyond movement to music. Dance is a catalyst for confidence, creativity, collaboration, understanding, community, and self-esteem. Dance allows students of all ages to discover themselves and the possibilities of their expression.

In recent years, we have prioritized efforts to advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at PNB School, creating policy and programs that ensure every PNB student and family feels a sense of belonging, acceptance, and support. Our School honors students’ preferred pronouns, limits gender references in class and in printed materials, provides gender neutral restrooms, offers the option of flesh-colored tights and shoes in all levels, and allows all students regardless of gender to train on pointe. The Mentorship Program, led by Company dancers, supports advanced students and the DanceChance Mentorship Program pairs upper and lower level DanceChance alumni to foster connection. We serve as an LGBTQ+ safe space and are currently developing a Black affinity group to provide community and a forum for dialogue. Our faculty, staff, accompanists, and professional division students participate in ongoing racial equity training, with additional diversity training specific to instructors.

Additionally, we have established programming that offers focused opportunities for our students to nurture their artistic voices. New Voices and New Voices II provide choreography classes for young women in Levels VII and VIII. Our exchange program facilitates experiences for our students to study internationally and reciprocally hosts students from around the world at PNB School, through partnerships with Canada’s National Ballet School, Royal Danish Ballet School, Paris Opera Ballet School and Palucca School in Dresden, Germany. In 2020, PNB School held two virtual open houses to welcome BIPOC students to PNB School’s training and culture. Through the addition of Summer Course auditions at Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, Baltimore School of the Arts, Alonzo King’s Lines in San Francisco, two schools in Japan, annual participation in the International Audition for Blacks in Dance, and the opportunity to audition virtually, we hope to welcome a more diverse student population in our upper divisions.

Thank you for walking alongside us as we continue to learn so that we may together build a brighter tomorrow that is more aware, responsive, and inclusive to the needs of our students, families and community.

Peter Boal and Denise Bolstad

Locations

PNB School and Box Office

301 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109

206.441.2435

Eastside School at the Francia Russell Center

1611 136th Place NE
Bellevue WA 98005

425.451.1241

Administrative Staff

Peter Boal, Director
Denise Bolstad, Managing Director
Abbie Siegel, School Principal
Marisa Albee, Assistant Principal
Wendy Casper, Assistant to the Managing Director
Naomi Glass, DanceChance Manager
Eva Stone, NEXT STEP Program Coordinator
David Jensen, Summer Residence Director
Kristen Carder, Registrar
Lindsay Merz, Francia Russell Center Coordinator
Rachel Henderson, Administrative Assistant/Front Desk Coordinator
Allison Larson, Open Program & Conditioning Coordinator
Katherine Straight, Assistant Registrar
Hollis Evey, Elsa Goodmon, Sam Maifeld, Madison Mullineaux’Perrault, Erin Rolseth, Administrative Assistants

Staff

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. His performance career spanned 22 years with New York City Ballet and he was a frequent guest artist with national and international companies. In 2002 he founded Peter Boal and Company, a critically acclaimed chamber ensemble. Mr. Boal joined the faculty of The School of American Ballet in 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.

Denise Bolstad, Managing Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, was trained as a dancer in Spokane with Thelma Young and performed with Spokane Concert Ballet. She studied on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School and continued her training in Seattle with Perry Brunson and First Chamber Dance Company. Ms. Bolstad has been on the staff of Pacific Northwest Ballet School since 1980.

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.

Faculty

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.

PNBConditioning Instructors

Carol Elsner has a BA in physical education from the University of Washington and a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Puget Sound. As a former competitive gymnast she toured South America and Southeast Asia with the Greater Seattle Gymnastics Club under the auspices of the US State Department. She coached gymnastics for the AOG in Bellevue and at the UW 1969–74. As a dancer, Carol began the study of ballet and modern dance at the age of 26 at the UW, later studying on partial scholarship at the Martha Graham School and performing with some small modern companies in NYC. She enjoys teaching Pilates to enable clients to deepen core connections, enhance alignment and to reach their conditioning goals. A long time student of PNB Conditioning, Carol has earned her Pilates Certification from The Physical Mind Institute. She teaches at both the Seattle and Bellevue studios.

Teresa Hanawalt began her love of movement as a young dancer growing up on the Olympic Peninsula. She relocated to Seattle at the age of 16 to pursue her dance education at the Cornish preparatory Dance program. Teresa graduated with a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2003. Upon graduation, she co-founded modern dance company NorthWest Dance Syndrome, and performed, choreographed, and taught around the PNW. Teresa is a Stott Certified instructor in Pilates and Barre. She has been a Pilates instructor for the PNB conditioning program since 2008. Teresa is dedicated to building relationships with her clients and values helping them find a deeper connection with their body.

Tara Stepenberg, M.Ed., CMA, RMT, and certified in the Method Pilates, is a multi-faceted movement specialist. After completing her B.S. in Dance at The Juilliard School, she taught, directed, and choreographed for several University dance departments including: SUNY Brockport, Hampshire College, The Five College Dance Department, The Naropa Institute, and Earlham College. Tara also directed the Certificate Programs in Laban Movement Analysis at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in NYC. She trained in The Method Pilates in 1994 with Michelle Larson in Santa Fe, NM, and was a Certification Trainer for the Physical Mind Institute for 10 years. She has also completed the coursework for Poletstar Pilates Rehab Program and taken numerous courses In BodyMindCentering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Tara is a life-long learner. During the COVID lockdown she attended a number of courses which focused on how fascia and biotensegrity knowledge support full functioning and expressive movement, and she integrates that knowledge into Pilates experiences. Tara enjoys working with individuals of all ages and levels of fitness and credits Pilates with feeling 50 as she begins her 80th year. She teaches at both the Phelps Center and the Francia Russell Center.

Marjorie Thompson founded PNBConditioning in 1998. In 2001, she moved east to direct the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and later the School of Minnesota Dance Theatre. Ms. Thompson has an extensive dance and Pilates background. She studied ballet at the School of American Ballet and joined the New York City Ballet, under the direction of George Balanchine, while she was still in her teens. Marjorie had the privilege of taking her first Pilates session with Joseph Pilates himself. Marjorie went on to direct the Lotte Berk Method in New York, where her clients included: Ali MacGraw, Candace Bergen and Yoko Ono, to name just a few. Marjorie received her Pilates certification in Classical Pilates from Romana Kryzanowska. Marjorie has enhanced her formal Pilates studies with work at the Dance Notation Bureau and called upon the expertise of Karen Clippenger MSPE, renowned kinesiologist, author, lecturer, industry leader and PNB consultant, when developing the PNBConditioning program. “I’m very enthused about being at the helm of this valued PNB program that so well represents what I see as some of PNB’s core values: providing healthy guidance and instruction to the dancers, dance students and their families and functioning as a resource service to the larger community”. —Marjorie Thompson

Guest Faculty

FJ & Catherine Abaya are internationally known Ballroom Champions. They have enjoyed a successful career in competitive dancing, quickly climbing the ranks in the American Rhythm category of ballroom dancing. In addition to competing with their students, F.J. and Catherine teach both American and International Styles locally and abroad.

Lucie Baker trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Dance Program. She earned her B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School in 2008, her M.F.A. from the University of Washington, and is a movement-based expressive arts therapist educated at the Tamalpa Institute founded by Anna and Daria Halprin. Baker has worked with established choreographers and emerging artists including Jane Comfort and Company, Tamar Rogoff Performance Projects, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, Phantom Limb Company, Chamber Dance Company, and Seattle Opera, among others. She began her teaching career with Artists Striving to End Poverty. She has taught diverse populations in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals, orphanages and disaster zones as well as formal dance studios. Inspired by collaboration, Baker’s choreography has been performed in domestic and international venues since 2004. She is currently a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington.

Patricia Barker, former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, received her early ballet training from Lynne Williams in Richland, WA, studied on scholarship both at Boston Ballet School with E. Virginia Williams and Violette Verdy, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Francia Russell, Perry Brunson and Janet Reed. She performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, and appeared as a guest artist with national and international ballet companies. She danced the lead role of Clara in Nutcracker the Motion Picture, and starred as Titania in the BBC’s film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a celebratory re-opening of the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Ms. Barker served as artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Additionally, she stages, rehearses, and coaches ballets for professional companies, including staging works for the Balanchine Trust on the Slovak National Ballet and the Hungarian National Ballet. She is a judge for international ballet competitions and teaches at nationally renowned ballet schools.

Kirsten Cooper studied dance and performed professionally in Los Angeles where she received experience in film, music videos and stage productions. She was an assistant teacher on the LA Dance Force convention tour and was a featured dancer on Costa Cruise Lines. She has served on the faculty of the University of Oregon and Theater Ballet of Spokane. Her choreography has been featured at Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Sign of the Times, and Ballet and Bubbly. In addition to teaching Jazz at PNBS, Ms. Cooper is the director of Westlake Dance Center’s pre-professional company.

Doug Fullington is the Audience Education Manager and Assistant to Artistic Director Peter Boal at Pacific Northwest Ballet. He is responsible for developing PNB’s audience education programs and is also on the consulting staff of PNB School as dance historian. Doug is a musicologist and fluent reader of Stepanov choreographic notation. He has contributed reconstructed dances to The Daughter of Pharaoh for the Bolshoi Ballet (2001); “Le jardin animé” from Le Corsaire for PNB School (2004); Le Corsaire for the Bavarian State Ballet (2007); Giselle with Marian Smith and Peter Boal for PNB (2011), and Paquita with Alexei Ratmansky and Marian Smith for the Bavarian State Ballet (2014). In 2016, he staged a streamlined reconstruction of Le Corsaire for Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Doug’s writings on Stepanov notation have been published in Ballet Alert!, Ballet Review, Dance View, and Dancing Times. He also has presented numerous lecture-demonstrations about Stepanov notation for the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process series. In 2016, he was a resident fellow at NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts and also a research fellow at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Doug currently is editing the first critical edition of Giselle for Barenreiter and also is writing a book about using 19th-century sources to revive ballets, both with Marian Smith.

Zoe Geiger, PT, DPT, CSCS had been with Velocity Physiotherapy for years as an Aide and Strength Coach prior to receiving her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Puget Sound and returning as a PT. She is experienced in working with individuals of all ages and all levels of abilities but has special passion for working with children and young adults, as well as fellow performing artists. Zoe applies her unique experience as a dancer, dance instructor, and strength coach together with her training with the Postural Restoration Institute to take a holistic approach to help each patient meet their personalized goals. Zoe has been working with Henry Lu to develop an injury prevention program for young dancers called Strength en Pointe. She has co-led injury prevention seminars at local studios including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dance Fremont, and Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center. She has also led young men’s strength and conditioning classes at the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s summer intensive for multiple summers.

Mark Haim has been choreographing and teaching dance for 35 years. He received his BFA from The Juilliard School and his MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He has directed his own dance company and served as artistic director for one of Portugal’s first publicly-funded modern dance companies. He was a Senior Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington from 2002-2008, and has guest taught at colleges, dance schools, and companies across the US and in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Holland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Poland, Russia, and Japan. Mark is a Fulbright Senior Specialist.

Jaret Hughes has been at the core of Seattle’s hip hop and dance scene for many years, going back to his years with the Seattle Supersonics as the first male dancer in the NBA. In addition to teaching, Jaret choreographs award-winning hip hop routines for local dance teams, and performs with his professional group Twisted Elegance.

Petur Iliev teaches Character Dance at PNBS. Mr. Iliev studied at the National Choreography Academy of Bulgaria and received a Masters Degree in Choreography from the Bulgarian National Institute of Choreography. He served as Artistic Director for dance ensembles in Bulgaria and the U.S., and has choreographed and taught for dance companies, universities and outreach programs, both nationally and internationally. Mr. Iliev joined the PNBS faculty in the summer of 2003.

Kaylie Johnson is currently an instructor and the Director of the Jazz Department at Inspired to Move Dance Academy in Lacey, Washington. She has taught jazz and other forms of dance in the greater Seattle area since 2007. Kaylie is a Magna Cum Laude Graduate of Utah State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in the field of Communication Disorders and Deaf Education.

Nancy Kadel, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon, Group Health Physicians Foot & Ankle Reconstruction, Dance Medicine Co-Chair, Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health President-Elect Performing Arts Medicine Association.

Hallie Keel is a dance instructor from Tacoma, Washington. She has spent many years training under some of the most influential names in the dance community, including Brian Friedman, Tricia Miranda, and Tessandra Chavez. She traveled across the nation with The Pulse on Tour as an Elite Protege and with Velocity Dance Convention as their 2016 National Junior MVA Winner. Hallie has found many ways to implement the rich history of Hip Hop into her teachings. Most people think of Hip Hop as being “just a style” of dance, but Hallie’s goal is to help students understand that it is a culture and a lifestyle that goes beyond the combos learned in class.

Fiona Lee is originally from Montana. She trained at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Professional Division. She danced with Kansas City Ballet II, then joined The Royal Danish Ballet, where she is currently a member of the corps de ballet.

Melanie Skinner trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet. She danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet for 14 years, rising to the rank of soloist, and taught at PNB School for 4 years after retiring from the stage. Melanie is an independent Zumba instructor in the Seattle area and is the founder and chief instructor for Powergirldance, a dance fitness class geared towards empowering young girls through exercise

Alex Ung teaches Musical Theatre at PNB School’s Summer Course at the Francia Russell Center. He started his career in college as a hip hop teacher/choreographer. He has performed with a number of northwest dance and theater companies including Seattle Musical Theatre, Bainbridge Performing Arts, Olympic Ballet Theatre, Olympic Performance Group, Seattle PRIDE Mainstage, and Pacific MusicWorks. Alex has taught at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Bainbridge Ballet, Northwest School of Dance, and Momentum Dance, and he has choreographed for Bainbridge Ballet Competition Dance Team and Olympic Performance Group.

Karl Watson is from Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Butler University, graduating with a B.F.A. cum laude in dance performance and a history minor in 2012, as well as summer programs at Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Springboard Danse Montreal. In 2012, Karl began dancing with Luna Negra Dance Theater, then joined Visceral Dance Chicago as a founding member. He currently dances with Whim W’Him in Seattle.

Jaclyn Wheatley is a dancer and performance artist, aerialist, and dance teacher based in Seattle, Washington. A graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Fordham University and The Ailey School, Jaclyn has extensive performing and teaching experience in ballet, modern, and various other dance styles. Jaclyn currently dances with Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle.

Consulting Staff

Stephen J. Anderson, MD, Sports Medicine
Dr. Anderson specializes in sports medicine, and has a particular interest in problems unique to the pediatric and adolescent-age athlete. In his practice, Dr. Anderson takes the time to identify the causes of sports injuries and complex musculoskeletal conditions. After establishing an accurate diagnosis, he orchestrates conservative treatment programs that are comprehensive and multidisciplinary. Dr. Anderson received his degrees from Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Medicine, is on the Board of the American Board of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatrics, and is the Director for Seattle Pediatric Sports Medicine.

Karen Clippinger, MS.PE, Kinesiologist

Henry Lu, PT, ATC, Physical Therapist
Henry Lu has been working in orthopedic and sports rehabilitation since 2003 with special interests in spine, foot/ankle, and hip rehabilitation. He utilizes his extensive training in Postural Restoration Institute Techniques, manual therapy, Primal Reflex Release Techniques, and movement analysis to assist each individual in achieving their fullest potential. Henry received his Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from UCSF/SFSU, graduating with honors.

Josh Spell, MSW, LICSW, PNBS ConsultingTherapist
Josh Spell is a licensed social worker in the state of Washington and currently works in private practice in Seattle. Before beginning his practice, Josh worked in the eating disorder field and generalized behavioral health settings. He earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington and received his undergraduate degree from Seattle University. Josh was a Company dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet from 2001 to 2011 and also danced with Kansas City Ballet. He trained at the School of American Ballet and attended Summer Course at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Josh danced a wide range of repertory from George Balanchine to Twyla Tharp. Among his favorite roles were the second sailor in Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free, Puck in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benvolio in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette and roles in Sechs Tänze and Petite Mort by Jiri Kylián. His former career as a professional ballet dancer informs his current approach, and he is passionate about working with. Josh is excited to return to the dance world in a new role consulting with professional and aspiring dancers from a holistic perspective.

Monica Van Winkle, MS, RD, Consulting Dietician
Monica Van Winkle, MS, RD is a registered dietitian, specializing in sports nutrition and eating disorders. She owns Nutrition in Action, where she helps athletes discover attuned eating to thrive in sport and the performing arts. She is a performance nutrition consultant for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Pacific University, and TN Multisports.

Previously, Monica spent eight seasons as the Sports Dietitian for the Seattle Mariners and five seasons as the Sports Dietitian in the University of Washington athletic department where she was an affiliate faculty member for the UW Physicians Sports Medicine Fellowship. After completing her Master’s of Science in Nutrition at Boston University, Monica received additional training in eating disorders and adolescent health as a LEAH Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital. She worked as a clinical dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital and created and directed the residential nutrition program at the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center. Monica has served as a board member with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) – Puget Sound Chapter. She has special interests in the intersection of eating disorder recovery and sustainable agriculture, and working with athletes in the performing arts, as well as those who’ve sustained traumatic brain injuries.