Katarina Svetlova | School Director
James Holstad | School Administrator
Sean Surprenant | School Registrar
Colleen Hanlon| OBT2 School Performance Coordinator
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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. Additionally, Cait is a certified instructor in The Ellové Technique® which
provides cross training and injury prevention for dancers.