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Brittany Adams, Ballet Instructor
Brittany began her dance training at The Boulder Ballet School at the age of eight. At Boulder Ballet she studied under Ana Claire, Peter Davison, Barbara Demaree, Becky Jancoscko, Rob Kuykendall, and Kathryn Elliot and performed as an apprentice to the company in the 2008-2009 season. She has attended many summer programs including Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet,  Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Brittany attended  Colorado State University and graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Dance. There, she studied under Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, Jane Slusarski-Harris, Judy Bejarano, and Corey Seymour. She was selected to work with guest choreographers Viktor Kabaniaev, Gabriel Masson, Kathryn Elliot, Judy Bejarano, Tommy Parlon, and Richard Wacko. Her senior thesis was a twenty minute piece which premiered in an evening length show, Humanum, in 2013, which she co-directed. Upon graduation, Brittany was given The Faculty Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance, Choreography, and Technique. She then became an intern at Boulder Ballet under Director of Development, Lee Stern.

Mary Coats, Young Children’s Instructor
Mary studied dance at Luther College, Decorah IA, graduating in 1984. Mary has studied at the Summer Dance Institute in the Brain-Compatible Dance Education developed by Anne Green Gilbert and is certified in yoga. Mary also uses the Kodaly method of music education. This is her 12th year at SPB and hundreds of young dancers have been introduced to music and movement as a means of expression and group interaction for their physical, emotional and social well-being. Not only has Mary worked in the studio classroom, but also preschool environments, workshops and festivals, churches, junior high and senior high schools, and camp settings.

Laura Daugherty, Ballet Instructor
Laura Daugherty began her training at Dancers’ Workshop in Jackson Hole Wyoming, before moving to the area and studying at St. Croix Ballet and Andahazy School of Classical Ballet. She then studied at North Carolina School of the Arts, Classical Ballet Ensemble in Denver, the University of Utah, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Her performance career includes The Nutcracker with the Dance Theatre of Wilmington, Western Symphony with Colorado Ballet, Aida with the Manitoba Opera, and The Nutcracker, Paquita, Cupid and Pysche, and Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and The Golden Bough with St. Paul Ballet. Laura has completed teacher training courses with Carol Roderick and Bonnie Mathis and has been teaching for 17 years. She is passionate about teaching students classical ballet and providing a well-rounded education that dance students can take with them in any endeavor they pursue.

Siri Drontle,Young Children’s Instructor
Bio to come

Anna Goodrich, Ballet Instructor
Originally from Minneapolis, Anna started her training with the Andaházys and Minnesota Dance Theater. She has over 25 years of teaching and performing experience from the Midwest to Boston. She studied jazz at the Lou Conte studio in Chicago and the Luigi studio in New York. She currently performs with Saint Anthony Sacred Dance Company. Anna has continued ballet training in the Vaganova syllabus with Carol Roderick and Gabriela Komleva.

Laura Greenwell,  Ballet Instructor and SPB School Manager
Laura is trained in classical dance from Ballet Arts Minnesota, under the direction of Bonnie Mathis, Christina Onusko and Lirena Branitski. She continued her studies with the Butler Ballet, the dance department of Butler University in Indianapolis. For more than eight years she has been instructing Vaganova-based Russian ballet and pointe, and has been creating classical and contemporary ballet works for various dance schools.  Laura is an American Ballet Theatre(R) Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level Seven of the ABT(R) National Training Curriculum. She has extensive character dance training, and has been privately coached by Lirena Branitski. Laura has most recently danced as a company member with Saint Paul Ballet. She focuses her teaching on the unique combination of proper technique, artistry and passion for dance. Outside of the dance world, Laura enjoys cooking Italian food, attending arts events, and spending quality time with her husband, son Eugene and family.

Marta Hansen, Ballet Instructor
Marta caught the dancing bug early at age four and has been dancing ever since.  She began her early training in W. Berlin, Germany at the Anita Barth Balletschule and then later in Florida with Haydee Gutierrez.  After college, Marta moved to Minnesota and studied with Bonnie Mathis and Lirena Branitski at Ballet Art Minnesota, where she later taught. Marta is also a third grade teacher at Groveland Park Elementary.  She is delighted to share her love of ballet at St. Paul Ballet!

Zoé Emilie Henrot, Ballet Instructor and SPB Company Artistic Director
Zoé graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 2012 with a B.A. in Dance and Biological Sciences. Zoé received her early dance training at The Boulder Ballet School, becoming an apprentice with the company in 2007. She has also trained with Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet and has worked with prominent choreographers such as Peter Davison, Ana Claire, Jim Coleman, Terese Freedman, Rose & Charles Flachs, Kinsun Chan, and Diane Coburn-Bruning. In November 2012, Ms. Henrot was invited as a guest choreographer in the Five College Dance Department in Massachusetts to restage her work ‘Becoming Undone’. Her most recent work, ‘Gray Matter’, premiered at the Southern Theater as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival in 2013. Zoé was named the Artistic Director for the 2014-15 SPB Season.

Christina Onusko, Ballet Instructor and SPB Artistic Advisor
Christina began her training in her native Pennsylvania. She performed with the Hartford Ballet and principal roles with Ballet West Virginia including Cinderella and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. For five years she served as the Assistant Artistic Director at Ballet West Virginia. She has been a classical ballet instructor for over 35 years. She was trained in the pedagogy of the Vagonava method, studying with John Barker, during her tenure as an instructor at the School of the Hartford Ballet. During her time there she also served as the school director for one of two branch schools of the Hartford Ballet. Christina has also taught for Ballet West Virginia and the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She spent a fulfilling 15 years as a core ballet instructor and choreographer for Ballet Arts Minnesota.  She has also been a guest instructor at many Twin Cities area dance schools including Saint Paul City Ballet.  Using her design and costuming skills, she has created costumes for many different Twin Cities and national dance companies. During her time at Ballet Arts she created most of the costumes, including those for the City Children’s Nutcracker, which was a joint collaboration between Ballet Arts Minnesota and the Minneapolis Parks Recreation Program.  Christina also is a certified Pilates instructor. And she created and directed the Maypole Dances for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for 13 years.

Karen Paulson Rivet, Ballet Instructor
Karen began her early training in St. Paul with the Andaházy School of Ballet and has been a classical ballet instructor for more than 32 years.  Karen spent considerable time augmenting her training with classes from Gabriela Komleva, Luba Gulyeva, Marina Stavitskya, Carol Roderick, Michelle Lucci, and Ted Kivitt. She was previously on the faculty of Saint Paul Ballet until 2005 in the roles of ballet instructor, Director of the Performing Ensemble, choreographer and repetiteur. Karen’s teaching background includes Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Ballet Arts Minnesota, Minnesota Dance Theatre and Continental Ballet among others. She is in high demand in the Twin Cities as a Master Teacher. Karen performed with the Andaházy Ballet Company, Saint Paul Ballet, Continental Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theatre in ballets including but not limited to Scheherazade, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, The Golden Bough, Coppelia, Cinderella and The Nutcracker Fantasy. While on the faculty of Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists(SPCPA) and Minnesota Dance Theatre, Karen staged and choreographed multiple classical, character and contemporary works.  Her full length ballet A Christmas Carol, The Ballet was created for Saint Paul Ballet in 2004 and was featured in St. Paul and St. Cloud.  Karen continues her pedagogical work in teacher seminars with Carol Roderick of Colorado State University, DePaul University, Oberlin College and the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia as well as conferences with Minnesota Dance Medicine Foundation.

Anna Roehr, Ballet Instructor
Anna began her dance training at the age of seven with Ballet Nouveau Colorado. She studied there under Julia Wilkinson Manley, Richard and Jennifer Grund, and Marie Jose Payannet. Following that, she studied the R.A.D. vocational levels through high school while spending summers with Ballet Magnificat and Colorado Ballet. Anna was accepted to the dance department at Colorado State University in 2008. She studied with Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang and Jane Slusarski-Harris as well as guest artists Viktor Kabaniaev, Judy Bejarano, Katie Elliot and Andrew Skeels. Anna was a member of the CSU touring student company as well as CSU’s ballet repertory ensemble. She choreographed her senior thesis, Black Ink, Blue Lines, which was showcased in an evening length production in 2012. After receiving her B.A. in performing arts with a minor in business, Anna began teaching ballet and pointe technique for The Studio Company in July of 2013. She is excited to continue with her passion for dancing in her first season with Saint Paul Ballet as well as teaching for the Saint Paul Ballet School.

Preston Stockert, Modern Instructor
Preston is a twin cities dancer, choreographer, and educator who has been teaching since the age of fifteen. His experiences in education began in North Dakota under the studio in which he received training himself.  While receiving his BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota, he continued educating through workshops and intensives throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.  Preston has instructed dancers regularly at Ashley Ballet Arts Academy, Dancin on Broadway, and Saint Paul Ballet, and has worked with other dance schools and institutions through his own freelance work.  Preston is looking forward to the possibilities this next teaching season has to offer, and is proud to be instructing at Saint Paul Ballet School.

Julia Sutter, Ballet Instructor
Julia brings an outstanding background in dance and arts education. She did her undergraduate work in Ballet and Modern Dance at State University of New York at Purchase, and also received an M. Ed. in Child Development and Education from Loyola University, Chicago. Her extensive teaching has included many years at The Bockman School of Dance, Chicago, three years at Minnesota Dance Theatre working with Loyce Houlton, and eighteen years at Ballet Arts Minnesota teaching ballet and modern dance, as well as choreographing student works. From 2006 to 2014 she has taught and choreographed for Minnesota Dance Theatre and The Dance Institute. Julia has also served as a lecturer in Movement and Dance for the Young Child at Loyola University of Chicago, Erickson Institute of Chicago, and the Greater Minneapolis Day Care Association. While at Ballet Arts Minnesota she also was an instructor of dance for “Young Audiences”, an outreach program for Minnesota Public Schools, as well as a guest teacher for the Minnesota Orchestra Education Program.

Open Professional Classes Faculty

Lirena Branitski
Lirena was born and trained in the former Soviet Union. She was first soloist of the Kiev State Theatre of Opera and Ballet and a frequent guest performer on the stage of the famed Bolshoi Theatre. She has performed on stages throughout Europe, Canada and South America and has a vast performance repertoire of soloist and principal roles in both classical and contemporary ballets performing under all the master Russian choreographers, including the world-renowned Peter Gusev, Vakhtang Tchabukiani, Raisa Struchkova and Alexander Lapauri. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1980, Ilrena taught at her own school as well as Minnesota Dance Theater. From 1989 to 2006 she taught and choreographed at Ballet Arts Minnesota. At Minnesota In 2012, she was the recipient of the Special Citation at the 2012 SAGE Awards.

Jeffrey Hankinson
A South Carolina native, Jeffrey began his dance studies at the Carl Crosby School of Dance in Aiken.  Jeffrey is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem North Carolina.   Jeffrey was a principal dancer with the Des Moines Ballet and Ballet D’anlego.  He later joined the Alvin Ailey Repetory Ensemble directed by Sylvia Waters and danced for the Ailey organaization for three wonderful years.  He has danced with the Elisa Monte Dance Company, the Joyce Triscler Dance Company, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and has toured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.  Jeffrey was also ballet master at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center under the direction of the late Denise Jefferson.

Broadway credits:  “The King and I” (starring Lou Diamond Phillips), “Little Me” (starring Martin Short), “Ragtime”, “Jerome Robbins Broadway” (starring Tony Roberts), “Damn Yankees” (starring Jerry Lewis), “Follies”, and Susan Stromans “A Christmas Carol”. Jeffrey has appeared in film and television and wrote his first short film “Obedience,” which made its world premier at the New York International Independent Film Festival in September 2002 and has been screened at 6 major festivals around the world.

After leaving New York and moving to Minneapolis, Jeffrey worked as a manager for Chef David Fhima, and also was assistant general manager at Chambers Kitchen, located at the Chambers Hotel downtown Minneapolis with acclaimed Chef Jean George Vongerichten. Jeffrey then served as the school director for the Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute under the artistic direction of Lise Houlton from August 2009 until June 2011.  Jeffrey is now owner operator of two Dunn Brothers coffee shops in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Maureen Haworth
Maureen always wanted to be a dancer, but after a knee accident, being practical, she decided to be the best teacher she could be.  Studying privately with Muriel Tweedy and Nina Hodgson she achieved the highest qualifications.  She is an Advanced Member of the Royal Academy of Dancing in Ballet.  Maureen was the youngest candidate ever to be elected by her piers as a Fellow of UK’s National Association Teachers’ of Dancing, International, in ballet, tap and modern dance. She is an Associate member of the I.S.T.D in National Dance gaining an unprecedented Distinction from the President. Adjudicator, choreographer, examiner, lecturer and teacher.  Registered and licensed by the RAD since 1985.  Maureen has owned and directed Dance Schools in Manchester, London and Frankfurt, Germany. She was an actress, director, producer and founder member of the Frankfurt English Speaking Theatre, Germany. Maureen moved to Minnesota 26 years ago and has worked on the faculty of Ballet Arts Minnesota and Minnesota Dance Theatre.

Marianne Raub
Marianne is happy to be back living in the Midwest with her family after years on the East Coast. Marianne spent much of her performance career with Ballet Iowa rising to the position of principal. She has also danced with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and the Lexington Ballet and appeared as a principal guest artist with the Virginia Ballet Theatre and Ontario Ballet Theatre. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Butler University and is also happy to have trained with Wilhelm Burmann of Steps New York, Diana Cartier of ABT and Constance Walsh of Ballet Nova. Marianne is also an accomplished floral designer and proud mother of Eveline.

Barbara Weinstine
Barbara received her training with the Andaházys and is dedicated to the rich tradition of the Russian method, on which she bases her teaching. Barbara has studied with artists including Gabriela Komleva, Luba Gulyaeva, Marina Stavitskya, Alla Sizova, Vladimir Davidoff, Jurgen Schneider, and Carol Roderick. Barbara performed in classical ballets and original works including, Les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, Scheherazade, Los Seises, Vivaldi Concerto and Miraculous Stag. She is proficient in knowledge and implementation of the Vaganova Syllabus.


Franco Holder, Head Accompanist
Franco enjoys working with musicians, dancers, artists, and children a like. He has collaborated on performances for the Schubert Club, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, New Age Art Salon, Nimbus Theater and is a past winner of the Artistic Ambassadors Competition. Franco also regularly performs for the MNKINO Film Festival which brings filmmakers, composers, and musicians together to create new short films with original scores that are performed live with orchestra. He has directed music for many musicals–most recently Nunsense, Into the Woods, and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Currently, Franco is working on a solo album featuring arrangements of the music of composer, George Walker to be released later this year. Franco is organist at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church.

Shane Allen
Bio to come.

Maria Benson
Bio to come.

Naomi Bird
Naomi is a Minnesota native with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.  Throughout her study of music therapy, piano was her primary instrument, and she received additional training in music performance and choral conducting methods. As a music therapist she has worked with children and adults with special needs and is particularly passionate about enhancing quality of life for older adults with dementia.  Since 2008 Naomi has worked in various artistic roles in Denver and the Twin Cities, as accompanist for soloists and ensembles, private piano teacher, arts blogger, choir director at Redeemer Covenant Church, and assistant and pianist for her husband, tenor Nathan Bird.  Currently, most of her time is focused on raising their three children.  She and her family live in the arts district of Northeast Minneapolis, where Naomi gets very excited about new neighborhood coffee shops, Minneapolis’ awesome parks, and friends who enjoy odd healthy living habits as much as she does.  She has been an accompanist at St. Paul Ballet since 2012.

Bill Cermak
Bio to come
Richard Erickson
Bio to come
Sally Reynolds
Sally Reynolds has been a private voice and piano teacher and piano accompanist in the Twin Cities for many years.  She is the staff accompanist at Community of Peace Academy School in Saint Paul as well as an accompanist for the Dancing with Parkinson’s program run through the Capistrant Center in St. Paul. She leads two children’s choirs as Director of Children’s Music at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church. In the summer, she serves as the Music Specialist for the Friends School of Minnesota “Imagine That” arts camp.Sally enjoys collaborating with other artists and has performed with numerous theatrical and musical organizations such as the History Theatre, Ex Machina, and Concentus Musicus.  She also plays keyboard and flute with the local rock group, “The Backseat Boogie Band.”
Melanie Safar
A lifelong musician, Melanie began her piano training at the age of seven.  She has been accompanying in the space that is currently a home to St Paul Ballet for nineteen years.  It is her great joy to be part of the artistic journey of so many dance students!  Melanie also enjoys singing and is a part of the music program at Macalester Plymouth United Church.
Jessica Shao
Bio to come
Joe Strachan
Bio to come

David Tice
Bio to come


Laura Greenwell, School Manager
Amy Trayers, Receptionist
Andrea Lane, Receptionist
India Olchefske, Receptionist
Fallon Gleason, Receptionist


Lori Gleason
Chas Jensen
David Trayers
Louis Wendling
Caroline Yang