Summer Course Residence Staff
For over 25 years, David Jensen has been Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Summer Residence Director. He grew up in Olympia, Washington, and earned a B.A. in English and a Master in Teaching degree from the University of Washington. Dave has been a public-school teacher for over 20 years; he taught high school for ten years before moving to his current position as an English Language Arts teacher at Tillicum Middle School in Bellevue, Washington, in 2010. He has been a member of the Summer Residence staff since 1995 and has also served PNB School in the roles of Registrar and Eastside Administrative Assistant.
Taylor Ottley serves as PNB’s Assistant Residence Director and is returning for her fifth year on the Residence staff. Taylor is a graduate of the Cecchetti Society of Dance, a former professional division student with PNB, and former apprentice with Dresden Semperoper Ballet. She represented the U.S. as a finalist in the 2011 Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in England, and has worked closely with renowned dancers and choreographers from Alonzo King LINES Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. After a 14-year-long ballet career, Taylor decided to change paths and pursue higher education at Brigham Young University. There she received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. She went on to receive a dual master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Dance/Movement Therapy from Lesley University. She is excited to return to Seattle to create a great experience for PNB’s young dancers.
Madeline Bez grew up in Phoenix, Arizona but moved to Winnipeg to join the Professional Division of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School at age 12. Throughout her time there, she attended additional summer programs at Ellison Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School. Upon graduating she continued on to RWB’s post-secondary program for three years where she had many opportunities to perform alongside the company. She accepted her first professional contract with Georgia Dance Theatre in 2017 and a year later moved to Oregon to join Eugene Ballet. Madeline has been dancing with Eugene Ballet since 2018 but in the fall will be moving to China to join Harbin Ballet. This is Madeline’s first summer as a Residence Counselor with PNB and she is looking forward to getting to know all the students and being part of their summer intensive experience.
Hannah Boyer is from Rochester, New York. She just finished up her second and final season as an apprentice at Rochester City Ballet and is moving to Utah this fall to pursue a B.S. in Sociology. She loves music, reading, and exploring new places, so she is very grateful to have the opportunity to spend time in Seattle this summer, her first as a Residence Counselor.
Joshua Downard grew up in Sacramento, California. He trained in dance primarily with the Northern California Dance Conservatory. Joshua has also studied at the schools of Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and Ballet Austin, among others. He has spent the last four seasons working with the Eugene Ballet in Oregon where he is currently a company dancer. Joshua has also been attending classes online at Sierra College for the last two years where he is pursuing an associate degree. He is looking forward to his first summer of being a Residence Counselor.
Sarena Fishman Jimenez is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and is returning for her fourth summer as a Residence Counselor at PNB. She received her B.A. in the Art of the Ballet Master (Repetiteur/Pedagogy focus) from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she studied for five years under the tutelage of principal dancers of the Mariinsky Theatre. Sarena has worked as Assistant to the Choreographer for Eva Stone during the creation of her piece “F O I L” for the Pacific Northwest Ballet, which premiered November 2019. She has also worked as a repetiteur for former Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Margaret Mullin, who created the new work “SACCADE” for PNB’s Professional Division students for the 2019 School Performance. In addition, she has taught Character Dance at the Olympic Ballet School and worked as a private coach with dancers in the United States and Russia. In 2021, Sarena was awarded a full scholarship by the Russian government agency “Rossotrudnichestvo” to study for her master’s degree at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She is also a writer, filmmaker, and founder of Cinagogue, a film production company, with a new film premiering summer 2021, starring Kathryn Morgan.
Sarah Kosterman began her ballet training in her hometown of Sacramento, California with Pamela Hayes. She continued her dance studies at Butler University where she had the opportunity to perform principal and soloist roles, as well as tour Eastern Europe with Butler Chamber Dance. She graduated from Butler University in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in business. In 2016 she joined Eugene Ballet as an aspirant and will be continuing with them this fall in her fourth season as a company member. While at Eugene Ballet Sarah has had the opportunity to perform many soloist and principal roles including Pas de Trois in Swan Lake and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Sarah is very excited for her third summer as a Residence Counselor with PNB!
Antonio Lopez began his dance training in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He attended various summer intensives such as Joffrey NYC, Walnut Hill, CPYB and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. His formative, two-year training at CPYB led him to start his professional career in the Twin Cities of Minnesota while also teaching within and around the Twin Cities for three years. He currently looks forward to his second season as a company member with Eugene Ballet and is thrilled to experience his first year as a Residence Counselor with PNB this summer!
Sierra Ortega is from Huntsville, Alabama. She trained at the Alabama Ballet School and attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet and ABT New York. Upon completing high school, she continued her training at Butler University where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a minor in Strategic Communication. She then joined Ballet San Antonio as an apprentice and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet the following season. She will begin her fifth season with the company this fall under the direction of Sofiane Sylve. Sierra is excited to begin her first year as a Residence Counselor at PNB!
Mackenna Pieper currently resides in Dallas, Texas. She began her training at Miami Valley Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio and Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, Texas before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division program at age 16. While at PNB she danced with the company in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Kent Stowell’s “Camina Burana,” and several Next Step pieces. She has trained at American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, San Francisco, and PNB, all on scholarship. She was awarded first place in the classical senior and junior division at the Youth America Grand Prix and was a three-time YAGP NYC finals competitor. Mackenna just finished performing with Ballet Concerto in their 39th Summer Dance Concert in Fort Worth. She is excited to join the PNB Summer Residence team for her first year as a Residence Counselor.
Sawyer Smith is a rising junior at Sarah Lawrence College, where they are studying dance, education, film, literature, and political ecology. They started dancing in Greenville, South Carolina where they attended The Fine Arts Center, a high school for the arts, for ballet and modern dance. They worked as a dancer and choreographer in Naina Dewan’s Dance Company, and has performed at art festivals throughout the state. They’ve worked with choreographers such as Banning Bouldin and Lacina Coulibaly. They have also worked with the Center for the Urban River at Bezcak making environmental education curriculum. Sawyer is thrilled for their first summer with PNB as a Residence Counselor.
Sophie Teachout developed a passion for dance in her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. She became a part of her state’s vibrant dance community through her experiences dancing at a private studio, Dance Project: The School at City Arts, and a public performing arts high school, Weaver Academy. She spent her summers exploring modern and contemporary dance at programs such as the American Dance Festival, the Paul Taylor School, and the National Choreography Intensive. Sophie currently attends Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with concentrations in Dance and Cultural Studies. At SLC she has had the honor of studying with numerous celebrated dance artists, including John Jasperse, Beth Gill, Mina Nishimura, Fumiyo Ikeda, Paul Singh, and Jennifer Nugent. She is very passionate about dance history and education, and is looking forward to bringing those passions into her first summer at PNB as a Residence Counselor.