Faculty

Karena Birk (she/her) | Director

Karena Birk, Director of Dance Fremont

Karena was born and raised in Seattle, and started taking creative dance at age 3 after insisting on dancing around the living room to Swan Lake every single evening. She received the majority of her dance training at the Cornish Preparatory Dance Program, as well as at the Richmond Ballet, and the University of Washington. She holds an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University, and a BA in Classics from the University of Washington. Before directing Dance Fremont, she has taught ballet and modern dance at many places, including the University of Washington Bothell, Bainbridge Dance Center, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, and Cornish Preparatory Dance. Her professional dance experience includes performing with the Colorado Ballet, Lehua Dance Theatre, ARC Dance, Catherine Cabeen-Hyphen, Redd Legg Dance, and Seattle Dance Project. She has enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to dance works of Trisha Brown, Anna Sokolow, Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Fanny Elssler, Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolf, Hannah Wiley, and many others. Her MFA studies focused on pedagogy, dance performance, notation, and history, and she holds a Teaching Certification in Labanotation. She has staged a number of historical works from their Labanotation scores, including Doris Humphrey’s The Shakers, Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Etude, and selections from Helen Tamiris’s Negro Spirituals.

Karena believes in the value of dance as a source of inspiration, self-discovery, expression, and fulfillment for everyone who studies it. Every dance student deserves the respect of being given quality training and curriculum, and the integrity of dance education at Dance Fremont has long been an inspiration to Karena. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to support and continue the excellence that Vivian, Mary, and the Dance Fremont community have built.

Mary Kay Bisignano-Vadino (she/her)

Mary Kay Bisignano-Vadino, Instructor at Dance Fremont

Mary Kay Bisignano-Vadino has over thirty years of experience as a dance teacher. She has taught dance to people of all ages in a variety of settings and feels fortunate to be amongst the professional teaching staff at Dance Fremont. Mary Kay holds a Bachelors Degree in Dance from Western Michigan University and a Masters Degree in Choreography and Performance from U.C.L.A. While in Los Angeles she was recognized by the L.A. Arts Council for her choreography. Her professional dance experience began at The Chicago Dance Medium and inspired her toward a career of choreographing and teaching. As an independent choreographer in Seattle in the 90’s, her work was featured at New City Theater, On the Boards, Allegro Dance Festival, Arts Edge Dance Festival and Bumbershoot. Her work has also been performed in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

From 1999-2009, Mary Kay choreographed and performed with Next Stage Dance Theater under the artistic direction of Dominique Gabella. This company of mature dancers provided a collaborative exchange for creative expression and an opportunity to work with local choreographers. She has choreographed for the Kaleidoscope Dance Company and Fremont DanceWorks Company. Mary Kay loves choreographing for these talented young dancers finding it to be some of the most rewarding work of her career.

Mary Kay also teaches creative movement and dance at the Salmon Bay School. She loves sharing dance with elementary school students and finds their curiosity and sense of humor refreshing. Mary Kay is a Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT), teaches at Taj Yoga and enjoys subbing yoga classes at a number of local health clubs. She also volunteers for Street Yoga, a non-profit organization bringing yoga to homeless and at risk youth and teens.

Away from the studio, Mary Kay dances through life with her husband John and their three amazing children Sophia, Anthony and Nicolas.

Mary Kay is passionate about teaching. Her students inspire her through their commitment to consistently work hard at finding the joy of movement while realizing their full potential through the shared experience of dancing.

Faith Coben (she/her)

Faith Coben

Faith Coben, originally from Sun Valley, Idaho, has danced all her life. She earned her BFA in Dance with a focus on education from Cornish College of the Arts as well as her Pilates mat teaching certificate. Her Pilates ‘lineage’ begins with mentor Michele Miller, a student of Cary Regan, trained by Romana Kryzanowska, and so has a special focus on working with dancers. She received her comprehensive Pilates certification in 2020 from Vitality Pilates in Seattle. Faith teaches a contemporary Pilates style that is grounded in the original athletic style of Joseph Pilates. Her training throughout her life included many areas of the performing arts, but primarily focused on ballet, modern dance, figure skating, and performance production. She has performed the work of a variety of choreographers including José Limón, Corrie Befort & Beth Graczyk of SaltHorse, Jamie Karlovich, Cyrus Khambatta, Kate Wallich, KT Niehoff, Eric Aguilar, & Mary Ann McGovern. Faith is an original member of Ktisk Contemporary Dance, directed by Rachael Forstrom, and is exploring vertical dance and aerial arts in her current performance life.

As a teacher, Faith has been significantly influenced by WA master teachers Christine Juarez & Anne Green Gilbert, and regularly attends continuing education programs to develop her teaching practice. She believes that students deserve creativity-focused and anatomically-based dance education in an egalitarian environment that promotes individual expression and facilitates interpersonal collaboration. Faith shares dance joyfully so that her students may experience dance joyfully, creating a strong foundation for a positive lifelong relationship with movement & the body. She has taught dance and Pilates at a variety of locations in the Puget Sound area, including Dance Fremont, Momentum Dance Academy, Spectrum Dance School, West Seattle Performing Arts, Secret Garden Preschool, Fremont Health Club, and more.

Faith is also a production stage manager, costumer, and occasional lighting designer & ski instructor. She has worked with Dance Fremont in every aspect of the studio, from operations to teaching to production, since 2014, and began the Pilates Conditioning program in 2021.

Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford (she/her)

Ms. Cohen-Hafford has over 20 years of experience teaching, coaching and choreographing for professional and student dancers across the USA and Canada. Her diverse professional repertoire included contemporary ballet, the classics, Balanchine works and modern dance providing her with a comprehensive background and understanding of the essential requirements for ballet professionals.

In 2019, Ms. Cohen-Hafford was invited to observe classes, rehearsals and an array of performances at top European ballet companies and schools including the Stuttgart Ballet, Dresden SemperOper Ballet, and the John Cranko Ballet School. This experience enhanced her insight into the current trends and versatility demands in modern, contemporary and classical ballet techniques, choreography, and training.

Ms.Cohen-Hafford was Artistic Director of Conservatory Ballet of Washington and Director of the Ballet Department of Washington Academy of Performing Arts (1998-2001). She served as a dance faculty member at Oakland University, MI.(1994-95). She is a Rehearsal Director and faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Dance Program where she continues, in her 17th year, teaching, staging and choreographing. Ms.Cohen-Hafford is a sought after coach and guest teacher.

During her 15-year performing career, Ms. Cohen-Hafford toured extensively nationally and internationally. She danced principal roles in multiple classical ballets as well as in works by some of the most eminent contemporary choreographers. These included Ashton, Balanchine, Butler, Cranko, Forsythe, and Tetley. She had the privilege of working personally with many of these choreographers as well as with distinguished ballet directors and teachers, Reid Anderson, Patricia Neary, Vicki Simon and, Laura Alonso. She danced with Ballet British Columbia, Ballet Jorgen, Metropolitan Ballet Theater, and was a guest artist for numerous schools and companies including Pennsylvania Ballet. Ms. Cohen-Hafford was honored to be chosen for the lead role in the Canadian première of William Forsythe’s “In the middle, somewhat elevated.”

Ms.Cohen-Hafford’s choreography includes works for Ballet British Columbia’s Choreographic Workshop and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Choreoplan. Several works have been presented by RDA companies, including Gala Night performances in 1994 and1999, as well as by Cornish College Preparatory Dance Company amongst others. In 1996 she was awarded an RDA Craft of Choreography Award. Ms. Cohen-Hafford has choreographed for and coached finalists for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix including several New York award winners.

Ms. Cohen-Hafford earned a diploma in Dance Training from George Brown College, Canada. She was awarded an Advanced Diploma in Spanish Dance by the South African Spanish Dance Society.

Ms. Cohen-Hafford participated in Regional Dance America festivals over the years as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, teacher, associate member, and in 2020 as an adjudicator as well.

Fiona Evans (she/her)

Fiona Evans began dancing ballet at the age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since. Born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, she started her training under Andy Prince at Prince Ballet. She continued her studies with Gisella Genschow at the Santa Fe Dance Foundation through high school. In 1996, Fiona attended the Boston Conservatory and studied a mix of modern and ballet under Jennifer Scanlon, Yasuko Tokunaga, Donna Silva, Anamarie Sarazin and Elaine Bauer, among others. She also studied with Marcus Schulkind outside of the Conservatory.

In 2001, after graduating with a BFA in dance, Fiona moved to New York City to continue her dancing. In 2004, she joined Alan Good dance, who she closely studied with and performed with for 5 years. During her time in New York, she also continued her ballet training with Christine Wright, Marjorie Mussman, Jocelyn Lorenz, Zvi Gotheiner and Graciela Kozak. In addition to dancing, Fiona also received her Pilates certification from Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon in 2004. While in New York, she continued to study Pilates closely with Clarice Marshall and also studied with Deborah Lessen, and Maya Aubrey. Fiona continued to dance, perform and teach Pilates in New York, until 2010, when Fiona and her husband decided to move to Seattle.

In her 5 years in Seattle, she has choreographed and danced with Bellingham Repertory Dance as well as Relay Dance Collective and has taught Pilates at Pilates on 10th and Lift Pilates. Fiona has also attended Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Dance Institute for Teachers. Fiona loves helping dancers learn how to make clear connections in their body through the use of imagery, anatomy and rhythm.

Natascha Greenwalt (she/her)

Natascha GreenwaltNatascha Greenwalt is a Walla Walla native. She left the rolling hills to pursue a dance degree, and in 2005 graduated magna cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts as a Kreielsheimer Scholarship recipient. Natascha spent her summers training with the Joffery Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre in New York, as well as the Northwest Professional Dance Project in Portland, OR. She has had the pleasure of performing with many local companies including Ballet Bellevue, DASSdance, Spectrum Dance Theater and currently with House of Verlaine. It’s been her honor to perform works by Donald Byrd, Zoe Scofield, Jason Ohlberg, Michael Rioux, Sarah Slipper, Twyla Tharp, among many others. In addition to her work for Coriolis Natascha has been commissioned to create works on Ballet Bellevue, Whitman College, Western Washington University, and as a guest for the Cornish College of the Arts BFA performances. She has been awarded residencies at Studio Current, Open Flight Studios a Creative Residency at Velocity Dance Center and eXit Space School of Dance. Natascha is a certified GYROTONIC® instructor at the GYROTONIC® Movement Center, teaches ballet at Exit Space School of Dance and has served as a guest instructor for Whitman College SDL and the Montana Dance Arts Association, DANCE This and Velocity Dance Center’s Strictly Seattle.

Charlotte Hart (she/her)

Charlotte Hart, Instructor at Dance Fremont

Charlotte Hart received her early training in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, performing with the New Orleans Youth Ballet. She received her BFA in Ballet Performance with Special Distinction from the University of Oklahoma. Performing professionally with Louisville Ballet, Augusta Ballet, and Ballet Nouveau Colorado (Wonderbound), she danced in classical, contemporary, modern, and musical theatre choreography, and guest performed nationally. Favorite roles include Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Blue Girl in Nijinska’s Les Biches, Esmeralda in Tudor’s Fandango, and a Russian girl in Balanchine’s Serenade.

Charlotte has taught ballet in Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Utah, California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Washington. She spent two years as assistant director for the student company of Ballet Nouveau Colorado and eight years as the assistant coordinator for the OU SummerWind Youth Ballet. Her choreography has been performed by Augusta Ballet II, Western Arkansas Ballet, SWYB, Springville Ballet, the student company of BNC, and at the 2011 International WaTER Conference, and presented at SWRBA and OU’s Young Choreographers’ Showcase, and (directed) OU Composers’ Recital, Frame by Frame, and Degrees of Rotation. As répétiteur, she set Robert Mills’ In Between Dreams on the Oklahoma City Ballet.

During graduate school, Charlotte was awarded the Ballets Russes Archive Fellowship, earned a Graduate Teaching Fellowship, won the Miguel Terekhov Award for Ballet Choreography, and completed Jack Anderson and Camille Hardy’s dance criticism workshop. Outside the studio, she taught and lectured for introductory collegiate general education dance courses at OU. Charlotte graduated in 2012 with her MFA in Dance from OU after successfully defending her thesis entitled Joanna Kneeland’s Therapeutic Barre: A Qualitative Analysis, which explored task-specific warming up for ballet technique. In 2019, she presented some of this research at the DEAW annual conference. Charlotte is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique, Revolutionary Principles of Movement, and has participated in teacher trainings with Ruth Petrinovic, Maria Vegh, Finis Jhung, and Terry Goetz & Ann Green Gilbert.

She currently lives in Edmonds with her husband, two sons, and two cats. Charlotte loves being in the studio, being ballet nerdy, and collaborating with all dancers to reach their potential as movers, artists, and humans.

Kim Holloway (she/her)

Kim Holloway, Instructor at Dance Fremont

A North Carolina native, Kimberly Holloway is a freelance dance artist in Seattle. In addition to earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Belhaven University, she received dance training through the American Dance Festival, Gaga Intensive, and Raleigh School of Ballet. Her choreography has been commissioned by Seattle International Dance Festival, Converge Dance Festival, Out on a Limb (Olympia, WA), Katy Hagelin Dance Project, Störling Dance Theater, enROOT and Abbey Grown, and has also been performed at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Artist Life Guild, Cornish Arts Incubator, and the Fremont Abbey. Kim performed with companies including Michelle Miller/Catapult Dance, Stone Dance Collective, Maureen Whiting Company, Sandstrommovement, Shannon Stewart, Alana O Rogers, Maya Soto, Storling Dance Theater (Kansas City), and Kinesis Project (NYC). She is on the board of Dance Educators Association of Washington. In 2015, she co-founded Class Exchange in an effort to provide teaching opportunities for less established artists and create affordable professional level classes. She currently teaches at Velocity Dance Center, Dance Fremont, and Bainbridge Dance Center.

Christina Kennedy (she/her)

Christina Kennedy received her early training, from Sally Tierney, in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She has studied with teachers in Vaganova and Balanchine style during Dance Theater of Harlem Residency programs and a summer at the Washington School of Ballet. Growing up near Washington D.C. gave her the chance to perform at the Kennedy Center multiple times. She has studied many dance styles including Modern, Broadway Jazz, Lyrical, African and Tap. While earning her BA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County she danced with the faculty directed, Phoenix Dance Company. After moving to Seattle, she danced with Redd Legg Dance, badmarmar, and Ashani Dances. Performance may be the reward for hard work in the studio but being in class is her favorite part of dancing. Her teaching style is geared toward keeping dancers healthy while making a very demanding art form fun to learn. She continues to read books about dance and take classes around the city to keep in touch with the mind of a student. She is very happy to be with the Cornish Preparatory Dance and Dance Fremont.

Emma Lawes (she/her)

Emma Lawes is a Seattle-based dance artist, originally from CT. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has trained and performed in New York, San Francisco, Israel and Europe. Most recently, she has collaborated with Babette DeLafayette, Liz Houlton, Markeith Wiley, Kate Wallich’s YC2, Mary Grace McNally + Artists, Lauren Hlubny, former YC2 dancers to create PILOT, and Undercurrent. In 2020, she founded and produced One on Ones, a residency and mentorship program that centers performing artists, in collaboration with Velocity Dance Center and Nia-Amina Minor. Currently, Emma is pursuing a Certificate in Arts Management from UMASS Amherst, beginning to research her own solo work, and focusing on expanding her teaching practice on faculty at Bainbridge Dance Center, Dance Fremont, Fremont Abbey Arts and elsewhere.

Robert Moore (they/them)

Robbi A. Moore (they/them), from Hamden, CT, began dancing at New England Ballet and continued at Dee Dee’s Dance Center and New Haven Ballet. Robbi is an alumnus of Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, the Ailey Summer Intensive, Cunningham Trust Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow’s Commercial Dance Program, and the Complexions Intensive. They graduated magna cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and danced with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, The Steps Repertory Ensemble, AATMA Performing Arts, Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, Karin Stevens Dance, the Guild Dance Company, Kinesis Project Dance Theatre, The Gray, PRICEarts, Coriolis Dance, Khambatta Dance Company, and Spectrum Dance Theater.

Jasmine Morgan (she/her)

Jasmine Morgan, Instructor at Dance Fremont

Jasmine Morgan was born and raised in Seattle, WA. She started her dance training at Pacific Northwest Ballet from age 7-11 years. At the age of 12 years, Jasmine discovered Dance Fremont and that became like her second home.

She danced in Fremont Danceworks Company from age 12-18 years performing in many lead and ensemble roles choreographed by Carla Maxwell (Artistic Director of the Limón Dance Company), Kabby Mitchell III (former soloist of Pacific NW Ballet), Hannah Wiley (founding Artistic Director of University of Washington’s Chamber Dance Company), Mary Kay Bisignano-Vadino (Dance Fremont Faculty), Mary Reardon and Vivian Little (Co-directors of Dance Fremont).

Jasmine’s love for dance has transformed into a passion to teach dance. She taught ballet to adults and children at American Dance Institute in 2006, volunteered at the YMCA teaching ballet to beginning adults and is currently teaching a dance class for people with developmental disabilities. Jasmine loves being with people, so being able to teach them her passion is a true joy.

Mariko Smithashima (she/her)

Mariko Smithashima is a dancer, teacher, writer, and general enthusiast of all things dance related. She grew up in Spokane, WA, and later earned a BFA in Ballet and BS in Biology from the University of Utah. Since moving to Seattle in 2010, Mariko has immersed herself in the Seattle dance world. She has performed with numerous local companies including Coriolis Dance, Alana O Rogers Dance Company, and AJnC Dance-Theater among others. As a teacher, Mariko shares her passion for ballet with children, teens, and adults at several Seattle studios. Mariko is currently the Press Corps Manager at TeenTix, where she facilitates workshops that empower teens to find their voice through arts criticism and journalism practice. Mariko was also the Editor of SeattleDances from 2010 to 2016, and currently runs PAPR: Performing Arts PR, which works to increase visibility for local artists.

Beth Terwilleger (she/her)

Beth Terwilleger

Beth Terwilleger grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and always felt free to allow her imagination to thrive. She spent her early childhood years creating worlds, theatrical performances, and dance extravaganzas. At a young age she was introduced to ballet and immediately fell in love. So driven by this new passion, she forgot her roots were truly planted in creation and not personal performance. After spending ten years with Ballet Austin in Texas and freelancing in San Francisco and London, she has re-found her roots in Seattle and spent the past year passionately exploring, generating, and supporting dance works here in this city. She had once thought that this imaginative part of her brain was left in those childhood years but is excited to have found that it does still exist through her choreographic practice.

Since the inception of her new dance company, The Gray, a year ago, Beth’s work has been presented all over Seattle. She started at Velocity Dance Center presenting a new work through Velocity’s co-production program. She then continued to receive support from Velocity Dance Center through her participation in their 2019 Winter Bridge Project program. She has also choreographed works for 12 Minutes Max, March edition, and a mixed bill evening Base Independent Production at Base: Experimental Arts + Space in Georgetown, Seattle. Beth has also had the honor of creating work this year for Converge Dance Festival as well as a split bill performance with Stella Kutz at YAW Theater. She then went on to revisit her first Seattle work, The Midsummer, at Seattle International Dance Festival in June where it was announced she has been awarded acceptance to their prestigious James Ray Residency Program for their 2020 Season. To wrap up her first year creating in Seattle, Beth premiered a full evening of work at On the Boards this August and a new piece at Men in Dance in October. She wants to thank the incredible dance community here in Seattle for their support and inspiration, especially all of the dancers she has worked with over the past year. They are the drivers of artistic innovations and she is forever grateful for them.

Christine Weh (she/her)

Christine Weh, Instructor at Dance Fremont

Christine Weh began her training in Portland, Oregon, with many influential teachers including Heather Renk and Mary Hunt. She performed as soloist and ensemble with Portland Community Ballet under the direction of Lila Zali protegé Cynthia Tosh. Christine earned her BFA in Dance cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts where she was fortunate to work with choreographers Mary Sheldon Scott, Pat Hon, Tonya Lockyer, and Gary Masters from the Limón Dance Company. Additionally, she has performed with Weaving Dance, Chimera Dance Theater and Sapience Dance Collective. She has studied Creative Movement under Gail Heilbron and Christine Juarez, and completed Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Institute for Teachers in 2014. Christine has been teaching her love of dance in ballet, creative movement and modern techniques for over 15 years. She has served as faculty for many schools in the region including The Dance School (also serving as Director of Education), Dance Time and Woodinville Dance Academy. Christine is currently on faculty at Cornish Preparatory Dance, where she served as Administrative Assistant for 10 years. She is the Dance Specialist for Secret Garden Preschool and continues to perform locally in independent artist productions. Christine is eager to be a part of the inspiring faculty of Dance Fremont. Her teaching goal is to provide students of all ages with the necessary tools for accomplishment, joy, and participation in dance.

Guest Faculty

Vivian Little (she/her) Director Emerita

Vivian Little, Director Emerita

Vivian Little, originally from Bellingham, WA became one of the original members to form Pacific NW Dance and performed as a Principal Dancer from 1974-1977. Her professional training in Seattle included teachers and artists such as Janet Reed, Todd Bolender, Melissa Hayden, Nancy Robinson, Ronald Sequoia and Perry Brunson.

Vivian joined the San Francisco Ballet (SFB) in 1977 under the artistic direction of choreographers, Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin. Performing Christensen and Smuin choreography, as well as works by George Balanchine and Frederic Ashton fueled her passion for dance. Vivian’s enthusiasm for teaching came from studying with master teachers Sally Streets, Tatiana Grantzeva, Anatol Vilzak, and Virginia Johnson. Vivian retired from SFB as a Soloist in 1981. After her performing career, she continued to work as a ballet mistress at El Teatro Municipal de Lima, Peru where she had the opportunity to work with Jorge Esquivel (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) and Mario Galizzi (Teatro Municipal de Buenos Aires). She later taught on the faculty of Walnut Hill Performing Art School in Massachusetts and for seven years at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle. In September 1996, “Ms. Vivian” founded Dance Fremont and in 1999 Mary Reardon and “Ms. Vivian” became Co-Directors. Together they shared a vision for the ballet and modern dance integrated program and founded Fremont Danceworks, the school’s contemporary dance company, directing school and company until June 2015. Vivian has taught as a Guest Lecturer in the University of Washington’s Dance Department and from 2007-2016, taught ballet as an adjunct dance instructor at Cornish College of the Arts. “Ms. Vivian” feels an immense gratitude for having been a professional dancer, dance educator, choreographer and dance school director. She strives to bring the richness of this experience into her classroom. She hopes that the discipline and joy that comes from studying dance will support her students in all aspects of their lives.

Mary Reardon (she/her) Director Emerita

Mary Reardon grew up in Erie, PA where she began her life of dance with The Erie Civic Ballet under the direction of Statia Sublette. Her summers were spent at the Chautauqua Institute where she studied under teachers Alexandra Danilova, Melissa Hayden, Jacques D’Amboise, and Patricia McBride.

Mary earned a BFA from the University of Cincinnati where she danced with the Cincinnati Ballet under the direction of David McClain. At the University her love for modern dance began to grow while studying the Horton Technique under teacher James Truitte. Modern dance led her to Atlanta, GA in 1977 where she danced professionally for Atlanta Contemporary Dance Company, Lee Harper Dancers, City Center and the Alliance Theater. In 1981, Mary Wells became Mary Reardon and joined The Carl Ratcliff Dance Theatre. She became a soloist and danced with Atlanta’s first modern dance company for six years.

In 1989, Mary changed focus from performing to teaching. She owned her own school in Georgia for ten years, directed the summer dance program for the Governors Honors program of Georgia and continued to teach in the outreach program for The Carl Ratcliff Dance Theatre. In 1999, Mary joined forces with Vivian Little to co-direct Dance Fremont! In June of 2015 Mary stepped down from Co-Directing Dance Fremont. She continues to teach at the school and is a guest lecturer at the University of Washington.

“My journey across the United States has brought me to understand the amazing gift my parents gave me all those years ago. Dance is like this special club where once you join you are always a part of it. You can meet those other members all your life in any city in the world. I love to teach because I love to introduce children into the world of the dance community. It teaches them to honor their bodies, to work cooperatively, to tap into their creative self. It brings self-awareness to the others around them. The dance world is a special place to be regardless if you choose to make it your life’s work.”

Karel Cruz

Karel Cruz is from Holguin, Cuba, and received his training at Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Artes. He joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1996 and left in 1998 to join Ballet Clasico de Camara in Venezuela. From 1999 to 2000, he danced with Teatro Teresa Carreno, also in Venezuela. After coming to the United States, Mr. Cruz spent a year at the Rock School joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2002. He was promoted to soloist in 2007 and principal in 2009. Mr. Cruz retired from Pacific Northwest Ballet in July 2018. He joined The University of Oklahoma as a ballet instructor for the dance department in 2019. In 2013, Mr. Cruz performed as a guest artist with Royal New Zealand Ballet. Mr. Cruz has taught master classes, workshops and privates for over 20 years, creating small group summer course and winter workshops with partner Lindsi Dec. He is PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) certified. Mr. Cruz started Solu, their dancewear line in 2017 with Ms. Dec.

Danielle Doell

Danielle Doell

Danielle Doell is a Seattle-based dance and performance artist, choreographer, educator, and floral designer. She graduated from Ohio University in 2014 with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography, with a minor in Arts Administration. Following graduation, Danielle had the pleasure of working for several prominent dance-presenting organizations such as Gibney Dance Center, New York Live Arts, the Dublin International Dance Festival (IR), and The Yard. Doell contributes much of her creative growth and professional development to her time at The Yard, where she began as an intern in 2014 and was later promoted to Artist Educator in 2015. She lived on Martha’s Vineyard for two years working to pilot and build the Making It initiative, a program that promotes kinesthetic alternatives to traditional pedagogical methods in public schools, hospitals, community centers, libraries, prisons, and other outreach centers. During her time at The Yard, Danielle worked with former classmate, Leah Crosby. Together, the two founded LanDforms, their creative partnership. Since 2016, their work has been performed across the country. The two now proudly call themselves a Seattle-based company. Additionally, Danielle dances for the Pat Graney Company.

Alana Isiguen

Alana Isiguen holds an MFA in Dance from the University of California Irvine and a BFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her research interests include integrating somatic movement education into dance pedagogy, choreography and performance.
She received her formative training as an apprentice with the Charlotte Ballet, formerly the North Carolina Dance Theater, under the direction of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride.
Her performance credits include works by George Balanchine, Ohad Naharin, Mark Morris and William Forsythe. Alana furthered her studies at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Austria, and with Summer Lee Rhatigan at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She studied privately with Rebecca Massey at the Piedmont School of Music and Dance, who mentored her in dance pedagogy, staging classical works, rehearsal direction and concert production.
Alana teaches integrated movement sessions in the community, utilizing knowledge from rehabilitation studies, somatics and a comprehensive Pilates certification. Her choreography has been presented at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club in New York, and she has served on faculty at the University of California Irvine, Cornish College of the Arts, Santa Ana College and The School of the Sacramento Ballet. Currently, she is an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle and is happy to be a part of the Dance Fremont community.

Lodi McClellan

Lodi McClellan

During her 20-year performing career Lodi danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Beth Soll and Company, Nina Weiner and Dancers, the Chamber Dance Company, Louise Durkee, Bill Evans, Llory Wilson, Georgia Ragsdale, Wade Madsen, and other freelance artists. She has taught dance technique at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Boston University, Emerson College, the Boston Conservatory, the University of Washington, American Dance Institute, Strictly Seattle, Dance Fremont, and at many private studios on both coasts.

For 25 years, as a professor at Cornish College of the Arts where she twice received the Excellence in Teaching Award, she taught all levels of ballet in addition to Dance History, Teaching Methods, Performing Arts Criticism, Ballet Repertory, Pointe, and Contemporary Issues in Dance.

Lodi’s writing about dance has been published by Dance International, SenseAbility, Curve, Seattle Weekly, Eastside Week, the World Dance Alliance, Contact Quarterly, Teaching Artist Journal, Dance Teacher, The International Dictionary of Modern Dance, HistoryLink.org, and DanceNet, where she served as Co-Editor. Lodi has presented pre-performance lectures at Meany Theater, Seattle Theatre Group, and the Orcas Center and served as a panel facilitator for the Dance Critics Association, SeattleDances.com, and the University of Washington Dance Program.

Kathleen Mills

Kathleen Mills, Guest Faculty

Kathleen Mills earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Arranging from Combs College of Music. She studied with composer Romeo Cascarino and concert pianist Susan Starr in Philadelphia, and with Broadway conductor Lehman Engel at BMI’s Musical Theater Workshop in New York City. Her performing experience includes singing and dancing in several musicals, notably 5th Avenue Theater Company′s productions of Cinderella, Jesus Christ Superstar, My Fair Lady and in the national tour of Mame starring Juliet Prowse. She has worked as a private music instructor in Seattle since 1989. She is also the composer, lyricist and librettist of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier, A Story Ballet” produced annually by Dance Fremont since 1997. Her work with Dance Fremont since that time has also included writing and directing the Musical Theater/Costume Design and Production Camp show each summer. Kathleen is passionate about helping students identify and use their talents in pursuit of excellence in mind, body, and spirit.

Paula J. Peters

Paula J. Peters, Guest Faculty

Paula J. Peters is a professor at SUNY Fredonia. Previously she was on faculty at Cornish Preparatory Dance, Dance Fremont, the University of Washington, and directed the dance minor at Pacific Lutheran University 2013-14. Ms. Peters’ choreographic and performance research includes collaborative works created with Rhonda Cinotto for Contemporary Jazz Dance Project, Seattle. Her choreography has been presented by Men In Dance, Cornish Dance Theater, DanceWorks and Cornish Preparatory Dance Company. Her scholarly research includes the implementation of pedagogy and programs which serve the 21st century dancer and writings on the history of jazz dance, published in Seattle Dance Annual 2013 and presented at DEAW and NDEO national conferences. Prior to completing her B.F.A. in Dance through the Professional Dancers Program at Cornish College of the Arts in 2007, Ms. Peters performed professionally with Spectrum Dance Theater for fourteen years. With Spectrum, she danced and restaged works by choreographers of national prominence such as Ann Reinking, Margo Sappington, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Claire Bataille, Danny Buraczeski, Daniel Ezralow, Trey McIntyre, Donald Byrd, Wade Madsen and Dale A. Merrill, touring throughout the US, Europe and Mexico. She also served as SDT’s rehearsal director from 1998 to 2005. Ms. Peters received her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Washington in 2011 with a concentration on the history, theory, and practice of American Jazz Dance.

“I fiercely believe that students are people first and dancers second. Therefore, each student deserves the permission to evolve, rather than achieve ‘perfection’ when studying dance. This has led me to create a classroom environment that promotes self-discovery and positively shapes the whole person to become a vibrant, thinking member of society. The gifts of watching students embrace this journey in their own way and become empowered through dance are the reasons why I teach. I am profoundly grateful to be a member of the faculty at Dance Fremont and wish to thank the students and my colleagues for providing me with endless new opportunities for learning.”

Keith Sabado

Keith Sabado, Guest Faculty

Keith was born in Seattle and moved to New York City in 1978. From 1980-1984 he performed with several New York modern dance companies, among them the companies of Pearl Lang, Pauline Koner, Hannah Kahn, Jim Self and Rosalind Newman. From 1984 to 1994 he was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, and in 1988 he received a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for his work with that group. From 1994 to 1997 and again in 2001 he was a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov s White Oak Dance Project. In 2000 he danced with the Lucinda Childs Dance Company during its 25th anniversary year. Most recently he has performed with Richard Daniels, Johannes Wieland and with Paradigm. He has also danced leading roles in opera productions directed by Peter Sellars and Martha Clarke. Keith teaches ballet, modern dance and Pilates and is currently on the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College.

Lynn Wyckoff

Lynn Wyckoff, Guest Faculty

Lynn is a performer and costume designer with Seattle Early Dance, and has appeared in concert with Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Early Music Guild operas Venus and Adonis, and Il Ballo della Ingrate, and The Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera. She has studied baroque dance since 1998 with Anna Mansbridge and Catherine Turocy, and appeared in the New York Baroque Dance Company’s production, With Sword Drawn, He Dances. As a teacher of ballet, jazz, and character, she has served on the faculties of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Olympic College, Western Washington University, and Everett Community College, where she was also choreographer for the annual musicals. She directed her own school and company, North Seattle Ballet, for eleven years, producing the full-length ballets Coppelia and The Nutcracker. Ms. Wyckoff holds a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah, and an MA in Dance Theatre from San Francisco State University.