Katarina Svetlova ǀ School Director

Originally from Germany, Katarina Svetlova received her classical ballet training primarily from Haydee Gutierrez in Florida, and continued with Haydee at The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre in 1994. She also studied at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart and The Princess Grace Academy in Monte-Carlo. Katarina started her professional career at the age of 15 at Oregon Ballet Theatre, under the direction of James Canfield. During her 7 years at OBT she danced in many works by James Canfield, George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Trey McIntyre, Josie Mosley and others.

In 2002 she accepted a contract as Principal Ballerina in one of Germany’s leading Ballet companies, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein in Dusseldorf, Germany. There she enjoyed success and public and press acclaim dancing principal roles in many classical ballets, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet. She was privileged to work closely with international choreographers including John Neuemeier (Sylvia), Mats Ek, Hans Von Manen, Youri Vamos, and many others, and had several principal roles/world premieres created on her to international acclaim.

Katarina’s teaching career began early alongside her professional career with Oregon Ballet Theater in 1996 and she has been teaching children of all ages across the Portland/Vancouver area for over 20 years, including Oregon Ballet Theater School and her own studio – Dance From the Heart PDX. She has taught ballet in Portland area Elementary schools for 11 years and was involved with OBT outreach in this capacity as well. Katarina is a desired guest teacher across the Nation and is excited to join OBT as School Director. It is Katarina Svetlova’s mission and passion to amplify OBT School efforts to increase diversity and teach ballet in a supportive, positive and encouraging manner to dancers of all levels, while continuing to maintain the integrity of classical technique.

Dominic Walsh ǀ OBT2 Program Director & Principal Instructor

Dominic Walsh was born in Elgin, Illinois and started his training with Lisa Boehm, Frank Boehm, Warren Conover, and Larry Long in Chicago. He joined Houston Ballet in 1989, and was promoted to Principal Dancer by 1996. Walsh danced throughout Asia, Europe, and North America and performed all the major classics. Ben Stevenson created numerous roles for him including Marc Antony in Cleopatra.

In 1998, Walsh created Flames of Eros on Houston Ballet. This work won the Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. He created three more works for Houston Ballet. In 2002, while still a Principal Dancer and Choreographer with the Company, he founded Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. The company’s roster included works by Walsh, Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Matthew Bourne.

In 2004, Walsh left Houston Ballet to pursue Dominic Walsh Dance Theater full-time. He won a second Choo-San Goh Award in 2007 and received a 2008 Princess Grace Award, both for The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeaus Mozart. In 2012, he was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame.

Walsh continues to receive commissions to set and create works nationally and internationally. He served as the Resident Choreographer for Sarasota Ballet of Florida. In addition to his travels throughout the U.S. and abroad, he is a guest teacher and coach for both companies and academies and stages the works of his longtime mentor, Ben Stevenson. The Carl Jung Center has shown interest in Walsh’s creative process and he has given lectures at Houston’s Jung Center.

He has written for various publications on dance, and was a regular columnist for Origin Magazine. Walsh made his film debut as a co-director at the Brussels Short Film Festival in Spring 2015 with Malta Kano, TX. That same year, he became a proud father and closed DWDT after 12 seasons. In 2018 Walsh was Costume Designer for Stevenson’s Cinderella with the National Ballet of China.


Katarina Svetlova | School Director
James Holstad | School Administrator
William Benjamin | School Registrar
Colleen Hanlon| OBT2 School Performance Coordinator


Irina Golberg | Principal Accompanist

Irina Golberg was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She fell in love with piano at 6 years old and was accepted to and subsequently graduated from a youth music school. After that, she attended a four-year music college and then, a five-year music conservatory, graduating with honors. Her musical career began as a music teacher at the youth music school. In 1995, she came to Portland, OR with her family and in April 1997, she started working at OBT as Principal Accompanist. After her 25th season with the company, she still loves her job and considers OBT to be her family and second home.

Garnet Hayes, Karen Lam, Ayako Matsuo | Lead Accompanists
Naama Friedman, Ray McKean, Corin Parker, Alec Pemberton, Jeremy Reinhold, Tiffany Sanford, David Saffert | Accompanists

Senior Faculty

Zachary Carroll| Ballet

Zachary began his formative dance training with the legendary Ballet Russe dancer George Zoritch in his native Tucson, Arizona, and continued at The National Ballet School in Toronto, Ontario. Throughout his 25+ year performing career, he performed as a soloist and principal dancer with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Arizona, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Ballet West. As a member of Portland’s own Bodyvox for more than a decade, he toured widely, performing in Germany, Italy, India and Japan. He also served as the director of Bodyvox 2 for 4 years. Zachary has been on the faculty of Columbia Dance, New Vision and daVinci Arts Middle school, and is a current member of faculties of The Portland Ballet, Open Space, OBT and BodyVox. Zachary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance from St Mary’s College, where he graduated with honors. He is a frequent guest teacher for schools and Summer Intensives both in Portland and throughout the country.

LeeWei Chao | Ballet
Born in Taipei, Taiwan. LeeWei Chao started his ballet training at age 15 with Ms. Xiao Lee, who brought from Russia the Vaganova ballet method to Taiwan. After dancing with Taipei City Ballet, and Henry Yu Dance Company, he joined Singapore Dance Theater. In 1996, Lee Wei joined Joffrey Ballet Concert Group in New York City, followed by dancing with Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and Milwaukee Ballet. Mr. Chao started his choreography work while he was dancing with Milwaukee Ballet Company. As a choreographer, LeeWei’s works have been performed by Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Oklahoma City Ballet, New Mexico School of the Arts, TCU Residency and others. In 2014, LeeWei received a National Choreography Recognition Award from Regional Dance America. LeeWei has taught at Milwaukee Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, LINES Ballet Training Program, LINES Ballet Summer Program, LINES Ballet BFA Program Dominican University, Stanford University, National University of Taipei, Taiwan, ODC Dance San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Smuin Ballet, and others. LeeWei was featured in the August 2018 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine, and in the May 2021 of Pointe Magazine. He is currently a faculty member with NW Dance Project and BodyVox.
Kasandra Gruener | Ballet

A native Oregonian, Kasandra began her career as a teaching artist of dance in 1972 after growing up with ballet training in Astoria and Portland. Since that time she performed internationally with San Francisco, CA based Margaret Jenkins Dance Co, developed her own dance company, Henry Harris Green, and toured nationally as an Artist in Schools funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. In the Bay area she taught at MJDC studios and Marin Ballet among others. She received a BA in Dance from Mills College- Oakland, CA, and an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University- Boulder, CO. Locally she has received two awards from Young Audiences honoring her commitment to arts integration in the Portland Metro community, and received Oregon Dance Education Organization’s esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Gruener helped start the Northwest Teaching Artist Network and was instrumental in initiating and developing Regional Arts and Culture Council’s The Right Brain Initiative, representing RBI at a national conference held at John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C.

After 29 years as a teaching artist and arts administrator with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ms. Gruener retired from her position as the DIrector of Education Outreach (now titled Education and Community Engagement) in 2020. During her tenure with OBT she engaged with a full range of students, educators and families. Her work occurred in therapeutic care centers, Head Start centers, public and private schools, after school programs, college settings, and educator conferences. During that time she created performances for student audiences, wrote curriculum study guides for classroom teachers, and mentored a staff of teaching artists who provided dance residencies in schools, primarily Pre-k-5, that aligned with national standards for dance in education and arts integration with school curricula. This work impacted over 30,000 people annually. Kasandra believes that the lifelong study of and participation with dance benefits all humans, allowing each learner the opportunity to integrate one’s body, mind and emotional spirit into a balanced, creative, and powerful whole.

Elizabeth Guerin | Ballet

Elizabeth began studying ballet at the age of seven at the Princeton Ballet School and continued in New York at the School of American Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and with Maggie Black, David Howard and Choo San Goh.  She was one of the first recipients to win the Presidential Scholar in the Arts award, one of five dancers nationwide, performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the awards ceremony. She went on to dance as a principal with Princeton Ballet (now American Repertory Ballet), The Washington Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre, dancing in works by choreographers George Balanchine, Choo San Goh, Paul Taylor, Bebe Miller, James Canfield, and Val Caniparoli. Her repertoire includes the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanilda in Coppelia, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, as well as dancing the principal roles in Balanchine’s Serenade, Tarantella, Scotch Symphony, Concerto Barocco, Square Dance and Valse Fantasie, and creating the role of Juliet in James Canfield’s Romeo and Juliet.  As a dancer, she toured throughout the Far East, China, and South America.

Elizabeth has taught at the Northwest Academy, Bodyvox and as a freelance teacher in the Portland area and is currently on the faculty of Oregon Ballet Theatre as well as The Portland Ballet, where she teaches curriculum classes and assists in staging and rehearsals for the youth company.

Elise Legere | Ballet
Elise’s dance training began at one of only two Denishawn studios in the country. One of her first professional performances was at Jacob’s Pillow for Ted Shawn’s anniversary tribute in 1972. After graduating from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts in Natick, Massachusetts, Elise studied under scholarship with the School of Hartford Ballet. Elise continued her ballet training with Melissa Hayden and Elizabeth Carroll while attending Skidmore College. She later earned her BS degree from Skidmore College, University Without Walls. Elise moved to New York City in 1978 and studied with David Howard, Lawrence Rhodes and Maggie Black. Elise’s professional career began with Garden State Ballet in 1978 where she spent three years, dancing several solo roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in their Nutcracker. During Elise’s career, she performed ballets from notable choreographers such as George Balanchine, Lew Christensen, William Dollar, Peter Anastos, and Peter Martins. After marrying and moving to Boston, her career continued with Boston Repertory Ballet and New England Ballet, before moving on to Hartford Ballet. Elise and her husband moved to Oregon in 1986 with their infant daughter. She resumed her dancing career with Ballet Oregon under the direction of Dennis Spaight. Elise has been on the faculty of Oregon Ballet Theatre School since 1998.
Valerie Limbrunner-Bartlett | Ballet
A native of Newport, Oregon, Valerie studied ballet at Newport School of Dance before graduating from The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. Valerie danced with Hartford Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and had the privilege of dancing as a guest artist with The National Opera Ballet de Bordeaux, in France. Valerie holds a Bachelor’s degree with a triple major in Exercise Science, Community Health, and School Health Education, and a Master’s degree in Public Health. She instructs full-time at Portland Community College in the Physical Education and Exercise Science departments in a variety of lecture and laboratory courses.
Josie Moseley | Modern

Josie Moseley has captivated audiences for more than 35 years with her solo performances and group pieces set on various artists and companies worldwide. As a teacher and choreographer, she explores movement that is expansive, passionate, and humanistic. White Bird brought her company to the stage for the first time with sold-out performances. Josie was greatly honored to create a work, under a commission, for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Dance Magazine recognized her as one of the “100 most influential choreographers of 2010.” Josie’s work has been funded by numerous foundations, individuals, presenters, and public organizations. She has created many works for some of Portland’s most respected dance companies and dance artists. Her work continues to be performed both nationally and internationally. Josie’s teaching career has included serving on the faculties of Reed College, University of Portland, University of California Berkeley, Mills College, Shawl Anderson, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Portland Ballet and BodyVox.

Melissa St. Clair | Composition & Improv
Melissa St. Clair has been a company member with Company We Keep, Broadway Dinner Theatre in California, and V. Keith Martin’s Northwest Repertory Dance Company. She was a guest dancer with Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska, touring under a Ford Foundation grant. Ms. St. Clair’s training includes scholarships with Jacob’s Pillow, Repertory Dance Theatre in Utah, Bates Dance Festival, and the Alvin Ailey Dance School. She also trained at Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Ms. St. Clair taught modern dance, improvisation, and choreography at Portland’s Jefferson High School for nearly three decades and served as artistic director of the company now known as JD II. Ms. St. Clair also has taught at Portland State University, the University of Portland, and Dancers Workshop. Other posts include serving as guest teacher for the Goethe Institute in Kyoto, Japan, and choreographing and producing her own shows as well as setting choreography for the Northwest Conservatory, ARTBEAT, ArtQuake festivals, Tygres Heart Shakespeare Company, Broadway Rose Theatre, the Jefferson Dancers, and the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Moving Signatures season. Ms. St. Clair has been in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and has produced her own work with dancers in Portland, Oregon. Some of her works has included CATCH EM IN THE ACT, ST. CLAIR IN COMPANY, AND PRESENT JOURNEY. Ms. St. Clair taught for over six years under John Magnus improvisation/ composition to the students at Portland Festival Ballet.
Robyn Ulibarri | Contemporary & Ballet
Robyn Ulibarri began her dance training at Southwest Washington Dance Center, and began teaching in 1990. She developed a love for musical theater while attending Centralia College, and has appeared in and choreographed numerous productions. Robyn earned her B.A. in dance from Columbia College Chicago in 2004 and has taught for various studios, theater camps, Portland’s S.U.N program, community colleges, and community centers for the last 25 years. Robyn began at O.B.T. in 2011, specializing in work for OBT’s partnership with the Right Brain Initiative.

Joseph Wyatt | Ballet
Joseph Wyatt began learning about dance and ballet at Eugene Joseph’s Trinidad Dance Theatre. Since then, he has spent most of his life studying, dancing professionally, and teaching ballet. Although he danced in Mexico City as the principal dancer of La Compania Nacional De Danza; and in Portland, Oregon, as principal dancer of Pacific Ballet Theatre, his most important achievement was being a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City. He began his career there, danced several principal roles, and toured the U.S., Europe, and Japan. His life’s work now is teaching Ballet. He was the Ballet Master of the Dance of Harlem, the first Director of the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, and owned his own dance studio. He retired from professional dance, and begun guest teaching around the U.S. and at family studios and dance company in the Caribbean. He brings a love of teaching all ages of dancers. He has taught ballet to students from age eight to adult, pre-professional, and to seasoned professional dancers. He has also choreographed at all levels from young students to professional dancers.



Grace Armstrong | Ballet
Grace Armstrong is from Shoreline, Washington where she began training with Olympic Ballet School. As a student there she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded Top 12 in the semi-finals. Grace continued her training at Indiana University where she worked closely with world renowned professional dancers Carla Korbes, Kyra Nichols, Michael Vernon, Sarah Wroth, Sasha Janes and Christian Claessens. While at IU she performed a wide variety of ballets including Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, GeorgeBalanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, and Jerome Robbins’ Antique Epigraphs. Grace participated in many intensives throughout her training, and in 2019 she was chosen to attend a Forsythe intensive in Madrid. In Spring 2020, she graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Arts Management. During her time at IU, she was an instructor with Indiana University’s Pre-College Ballet Program from 2017-2020. After graduation, she joined OBT2.
Hilary Crockett | Ballet
Hilary Crockett received her early ballet training from Carol Sumner at the American Ballet Academy in Stamford, CT. She has a B.A. in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was the school manager for Mary Day at The Washington School of Ballet. She has taught ballet to young dancers at the Boston Ballet school, Connecticut Ballet, The Washington School of Ballet and the Kirov Academy. Hilary received Adaptive dance teacher training from Boston Ballet school’s program.
Claire Donovan | Ballet
Claire Donovan is originally from Louisville, Kentucky where she began training at the Louisville Ballet School and later studied with Kristen Wenrick. She moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina at 16 to attend the high school boarding program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Susan Jaffe. After high school, Claire was accepted into Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department where she performed notable roles in Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare and Antique Epigraphs, Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet, and Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies. Claire was a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award through the Jacob’s School of Music. Claire graduated in May of 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Ballet Performance and an Outside Field in Psychology. After graduation, Claire accepted a position with OBT2, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s junior company. Claire has received wonderful opportunities performing with OBT as well as the second company in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and The Four Temperaments, and Ben Stevenson’s Dracula. Claire has attended summer programs at Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Lines Contemporary Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. Claire began her teaching journey when she enrolled in three semesters of ballet pedagogy at Indiana University. Since then, she has enjoyed teaching at Indiana University’s Pre College-Program, Louisville Academy of Dance, Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy and Hillsboro Dance Center.
Davida Haas-Oglesbee | Ballet

Davida Haas-Oglesbee began her ballet training in Milan, Italy at the age of 8.  She danced professionally with the Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, and The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.  Mrs. Oglesbee danced such notable rolls as Clara/Marie in the The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle.  She has worked with choreographers such as Ben Stevenson, Gerald Arpino, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Donald Byrd and Josie Moseley.

Jeff George | Hip Hop

Jeff George trained with Ballet Arts of Minnesota and Broadway Dance Center in New York. He performed on the East Coast Tour of Sesame Street Live and then moved on to travel the world for the next six years performing on various Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Jeff now lives in Portland and has taught at a number of studios in the city including Artists Repertory Theater, Bodyvox, Polaris Dance Theater, Northwest Academy, Bridgetown Conservatory, The Multnomah Athletic Club, MVP, Elite Dance Studio and soon to add Broadway Rose theater to the list. Jeff has performed with many PDX companies, such as Bodyvox, Polaris, Dancing People, SubRosa, Broadway Rose,  Triangle Theater, Artist Repertory Theater, Lakewood Theater, Pixiedust & Do Jump, where he got to join the company on Broadway. Jeff has choreographed many productions such as “Drowsy Chaperone” with OR City HS, “Othello” with PAC, ”Urinetown” with Stumptown Stages which earned a PAMTA nomination for outstanding choreography, “Made To Dance In Burning Buildings” with Shaking the Tree Theater, which earned a Drammy award for outstanding choreography, “You My Love” with Shaking the Tree Theater, “All Together Now, a Netflix film. Cabaret with Stumptowns stages and most recently Mean Girls with Sunset Theater.

Jill Giedt | Ballet
Jill is a passionate creative with a focus on movement, dance and cultural exploration. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Directing. Jill taught, directed and choreographed musical theatre for over a decade at Park Academy. She currently teaches at Portland Public Schools through community outreach with OBT and is a resident artist with Young Audience where, through creative movement, she teaches a program that honors the African American experience and the lessons of resilience. In her youth, Jill was a member of the American Contemporary Ballet Company where she trained with Elizabeth Abts. She also studied and performed African dance with Obo Addy.
Corina Gill | Ballet

Corina Gill accepted her first professional contract with San Diego Ballet at 17 years old. She went on to dance with Ballet Tech, Ballet Pacifica and State Street Ballet. She joined Los Angeles Ballet at its launch in where she was personally coached by co-directors Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen. Her repertoire includes the principal roles in: Bournonville’s La Sylphide and Napoli, Balanchine’s Agon and Stravinsky Violin Concerto. She was featured in Pointe Magazine and The Los Angeles Times described her in Balanchine’s Rubies as “positively radiant, untroubled by every hazard in the galvanic pas de deux and solos” In 2009, Ms. Gill joined Boston Ballet. She was featured in Pointe Magazine’s “Dancer Spotlight” and promoted to second soloist. She worked closely with Jorma Elo, dancing principal roles is several of his ballets, including the premier of Sharper Side of Dark, created on her alongside 5 other principal dancers. She worked personally with William Forsythe and was a part of his 2019 creation and premiere of Playlist. She toured internationally, enjoying a wide repertoire by incredible choreographers including Jiri Kylian, Alexander Ekman, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, Helen Pickett, Harold Landers, Leonid Yakobson, Norbert Vesak, Mikko Nissinen, Val Caniparoli, Jose Martinez, John Neumeier and John Cranko. Ms. Gill has taught company classes, master classes, directed rehearsals and coached for YAGP at institutions throughout the United States and internationally. She was on the faculty at both Boston Ballet School and Harvard University before moving to the Portland area. She is on faculty at Northwest Dance Project and Sultanov Ballet Academy.

Heather Jackson | Ballet
Heather trained on scholarship at Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet and at 14 became a Ballet Major at the University of Utah where she earned her BFA. She performed with Utah Ballet and Ballet West while in Utah. Before leaving Salt Lake, Heather was an administrator and instructor at the School of Ballet West until her move to Oregon in 2003 where she started working with BodyVox. While dancing with BodyVox Heather enjoyed working with skinner|kirk DANCE ENSEMBLE, The Portland Opera, and other choreographic projects. During her time with the company, Heather led the creation BodyVox’s Junior Artist Generator program and directed them through 2022. Ms Jackson has enjoyed teaching ballet since she was 17 and truly has a passion for it. Her well-rounded training and career gives her the ability to understand students from all backgrounds.


Amelia Logan | Ballet & Contemporary
Amelia Logan (Unsicker), a Portland native, is an alum of the Oregon Ballet Theatre School where she trained under the tutelage of Damara Bennett, Elise Legere, Tracey Katona and many other well-respected ballet educators. Amelia holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Dance from the University of Oregon and  has been teaching ballet along the West Coast for 15 years. She is also a Certified Pilates Instructor. As a student with OBTS, Amelia performed in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Raymonda, and La Source, as well as Swan Lake, Il Distratto, Peter and the Wolf, and Snow White. Amelia danced as a soloist with Ballet Fantastique. She later joined the Agnieszka Laska Dancers, where she performed The Rite of Spring in Portland, Chicago and throughout Poland. Amelia has worked with many respected choreographers, and has presented her own choreography at festivals and showcases across the country. She is currently the director of the dance program at Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, co-directs Pathways Dance Company, holds the role of Secretary on the board of the Oregon Dance Education Organization (ODEO), and is a Dance Wire Ambassador.
Franco Nieto | Contemporary
Princess Grace Award winner Franco Nieto was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He made the unconventional switch from football to ballet in his teenage years and has now taught and danced in over 10 different countries and performed with the likes of Lady Gaga and Sir Elton John. He spent 10 years as a principal dancer with NW Dance Project in Portland, Oregon, where he toured the world and worked hand in hand with the leading minds in choreography to create and bring to life countless original works. His early training came from the Vancouver School of Arts & Academics and Columbia Dance, and his formative line of choreography was born from his mentorship with Tracey Durbin. He graduated with a BFA in Jazz from Point Park University. Franco, is a founder and Artistic Director of Portland’s newest contemporary dance company and School, Open Space Dance.
Seth Parker | Ballet
Seth Parker is originally from Ohio and began his dance training in 1992 at The School of Cleveland San Jose Ballet. At 18, Mr. Parker began his professional career with the Ohio Ballet and continued two years later with Ballet San Jose, originally Cleveland San Jose Ballet under the direction of Dennis Nahat. There he rose to Soloist performing many roles in works by renowned artists such as Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Dennis Nahat, Flemming Flindt and George Balanchine. He has also been a guest artist with Oregon Ballet Theatre in James Canfield’s Romeo and Juliet and their debut of Septime Webre’s ALICE (in wonderland). Mr. Parker’s professional teaching career has always been nurtured by the hearts and minds of his students since beginning at the USDAN Center for the Performing Arts in New York. His partnership with dance instructors and artists in Reno, NV are responsible for one of the most successful dance schools in that region.
Andrea Parson | Contemporary
At the age of three, Andrea began studio dance training in Hillsboro, Oregon, and began choreographing at a young age, making dances and writing plays for friends and family, often improvising down grocery store aisles. With dreams of becoming a professional dancer she furthered her studies at the Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Loyola Marymount University, where she received a BA in dance in 2009. After graduating she joined Northwest Dance Project in  where she received a Princess Grace Dance Fellowship award in 2010. For 11 years she performed nationally and internationally, as well as choreographed contemporary dance works for the project company and students. Andrea most enjoyed dancing dramatic roles such as Hedda Gabler and Carmen. A love of drama and storytelling led her to self produced two solo autobiographical works (Amore 2018, She’s Here 2020) combining dance and spoken word. In 2021 she became a resident artist at From the Ground UP, where she created her newest solo performance, You Can’t Be Serious, which blends dance, as well as comedic and dramatic storytelling. In the past year she choreographed for Oregon Children’s Theater, Reed College, Body Vox, and Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Her piece Wolfstory was selected to perform at the National High School Dance Festival 2023. Her physical theater training with both SITI Company and Del Arte International School of Physical Theater informs much of her work as a choreographer. She currently teaches contemporary, ballet, and movement workshops throughout the greater Portland area and is also on faculty at Pacific University.
Jessica Post | Jazz, Pilates, Contemporary
Jessica Post holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan where she taught as a Graduate Student Instructor and received the Rackham International Research Award. She also holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts where she was selected to perform in the restaging of works by Martha Graham and José Limón. Jessica performed professionally in Chicago with The Dance COLEctive and Esoteric Dance Project and has presented her choreography throughout Chicago and Michigan. Jessica is a dedicated dance educator with teaching experience including Oregon Ballet Theatre School, Multnomah Athletic Club, Portland Community College, Eastern Michigan University and Hillsdale College.
Cait Powers | Ballet
Cait Powers began her early ballet training in Royal Academy of Dance and later
finished her training at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre with Haydée Gutierrez.
While in the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, Cait began dancing with Oregon Ballet
Theatre under the direction of James Canfield in the company’s classical productions
of Coppélia, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Swan Lake. Cait went on
to become a founding member of Bouand Dance Company with Artistic Director Alexandrous Ballard. Cait has worked in film, commercials, and musical theater and
currently teaches, choreographs, and privately coaches in and around the Portland
Metro area.

Molly Tentarelli| Ballet
Molly began her formal ballet training at Portland Metro Arts Center under the direction of Nancy Yeamans. She continued her dance training throughout High School and was a member of Modern Dance Lab at Jefferson High School under the direction of Melissa St. Clair. Molly also studied Hip Hop dance and was a company member under the direction of Durante Lambert for over 10 years. After touring the world extensively as a background vocalist and traveling to over 18 countries, Molly is now the Executive Director of the nonprofit Tiny Dance Life. She spends her mornings teaching at the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC). Her afternoons are spent traveling to different schools teaching enrichment dance classes for Tiny Dance Life to students primarily Pre-K -5th grade including several SUN Programs.

Vanessa Thiessen | Ballet & Contemporary
Vanessa Thiessen is from Portland, Oregon and trained at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She danced professionally at Oregon Ballet Theatre, Smuin Ballet, ODC Dance, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Post:Ballet, Project B, and Skinner/Kirk Dance. Vanessa was Resident Choreographer for Post:Ballet from 2017-2022, and choreographed for Berkeley Ballet Theater, Columbia Dance, BodyVox JAG, and collaborated on works for Grand Rapids Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance, and RawDance. Vanessa discovered her love of teaching in 2010 while on a US State Department Cultural Dance Exchange tour to Southeast Asia. Since then, she has taught at San Francisco State University, Mills College, Smuin Ballet, ODC Dance, Berkeley Ballet Theater, The Portland Ballet, Sultanov Russian Ballet Academy, and Oregon Performing Arts School. She currently teaches at Reed College, BodyVox, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Northwest Dance Project, Shaun Keylock Company, and Element Dance. Vanessa believes in the power of movement, and is committed to creating an open, encouraging, safe and positive environment in every class, where all students are welcome to learn, create, inspire and explore.

OBT Company Members: Zuzu Metzler and Bailey Shaw 

Guest Faculty

Kembe Adam | Ballet
Kembe is a native Oregonian who was privileged to study both music and dance throughout her childhood. She eventually turned her attention full time to ballet and then, in 1990, began teaching at Oregon Ballet Theatre School. She is valued for her work with our young students, teaching them classroom deportment while instilling a love of dance.

Alison Roper | Ballet
Alison Roper was born in Portland, Maine, and began her ballet training at age five with local teachers Jon and Linda Miele. She received her formal dance training from The Portland School of Ballet, Boston Ballet School and Oregon Ballet Theatre School. She joined Oregon Ballet Theatre in 1996 and was promoted into the corps in 1997. She was honored by Dance Magazine in 2002 as one of “25 to Watch,” and in 2007 was promoted to principal dancer. Her repertoire includes principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, Helen Pickett, Kent Stowell, Peter Martins, Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor and Bebe Miller. She has originated leading roles in ballets by James Kudelka, Nicolo Fonte, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, James Canfield and Christopher Stowell, among others. In 2014, she was honored with a full-evening performance series celebrating her 18 year career. In addition to her performances with OBT, Alison spent her summers touring with Trey McIntyre Project from 2005-2008 and has since worked as a repetiteur and ballet master for that company. In 2010-2011 she danced with Morphoses; The Christopher Wheeldon company. Alison is currently on the Faculty for the School of OBT and works as OBT’s Major Gifts Officer and choreographs for OBT School and OBT2.