Catie Hawk has been dancing since age 3. She started her early dance training at Butterfield Gallerie of Dance where she became well versed in performing Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, and Pointe. Catie attended Perpich Center for Arts Education where she studied dance from Mary Harding and Tom Kanthak. She was casted in the McGuire Theater’s grand opening performance by Sara Michelson and has also performed in works by Laura Selle, and Jane Shockley. While attending UW-Stout Catie was highly involved on the executive board and choreographing for the UW-Stout Dance ensemble. Catie is a recent graduate of the St. Catherine University Psychology program. It is important to Catie to have the opportunity to teach what she enjoys. This is Catie’s third year at Ballare Teatro, where she teaches ballet and jazz in the Recreational Program, and tap to fundamental and level I dancers in the Performing Arts Program. In addition to teaching dance, Catie also teaches Sailing Lessons during the summer months. Catie is always eager to learn new talents, facts, or ideas so she can share them with others.
Jacob Melczer, a native of the Chicago-area, recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Dance. While there, he had the pleasure of performing works by Shapiro and Smith, Uri Sands, Louis Falco, and Jose Limon. Growing up, he had rigorous training injazz, ballet, and modern. He is currently a full-time company member with Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA Dances and is excited to join the staff of Ballare Teatro.
Heather Annis has been dancing for 20 years and is excited to be teaching for her second year! She loves working with and learning from her students, while using fun and educational activities. Heather has had the pleasure of working with and teaching at Mulberry Junction and The Dance Factory. She has also done workshops and substituting at Tonka Danceworks and Ballare Teatro Performing Arts Center. Other than teaching, Heather enjoys performing and serving on the board of Eclectic Edge Ensemble, as well as helping with EEE’s new outreach program! She has had the privilege of working with talented choreographers such as Karla Grotting, Zoe Sealy, and Karis Sloss. Heather graduated with a BA in dance from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband Joey and her cat Chloe. She is thrilled to share the joy of dancing with you and your children!
On Broadway, Linda performed in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JEROME ROBBINS’ BROADWAY, SEUSSICAL, and THE GOODBYE GIRL. Among her regional credits are Maggie in “A Chorus Line”, Anybodys in “West Side Story”, Electra in “Cats”, Mae in “The Wild Party”, and the Apache dancer in Donny Osmond’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Currently she is an Affiliate faculty member at the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Catherine. She also teaches for the Guthrie, CTC and the Spotlight program. Linda has acted as the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Bravo Channel’s “On With The Show”. Her other choreographic credits include BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, A CHORUS LINE, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, DAMN YANKEES, 7 BRIDES FOR 7 BROTHERS, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, SEUSSICAL, 45 MINUTES FROM BROADWAY, URINETOWN, HORMEL GIRLS, CINDERELLA, DONKEYS AND ELELPHANTS (U of M commissioned concert piece), STREET SCENE, Celebrity Cruise Lines, BLUE IN THE FACE (with Harvey Keitel), SALSA (Assistant to the Choreographer), and BRIGID BODIN (A & M Records). Most notably, Linda earned an Emmy Award for her work in THE COMEDY HALL OF FAME with Jason Alexander. You can find out about her future projects at: ltldanceworks.com.
Christopher Watson was a member of the New Dance Ensemble of Minneapolis and has performed with the Chicago Moving Company, Harbinger Dance Company of Detroit, and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Company in San Francisco, dancing in works by Pearl Lang, David Gordon, Dan Wagoner, Linda Shapiro, Kathryn Posin, Doris Humphrey, and Margaret Jenkins, among others.
Christopher received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Coe College and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University prior to beginning his dance training. He began dance study at the Houston Ballet Academy and subsequently trained with the Chicago Moving Company and at the Merce Cunningham and Joffrey Ballet studios in New York. Christopher then received a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Michigan. From 1978-1982, he co-directed the Dance Theatre 2 Company and School in Ann Arbor, MI.
As associate director of American Inroads and Theater Artaud in San Francisco, he produced a wide range of dance, music, and theater events, including the concert premiere of John Adam’s Opera Nixon in China, a concert version of Phillip Glass’ Liquid Days with Linda Ronstadt, and the first annual Black Choreographers Moving showcase, as well as performances by noted artists Bebe Miller, Susan Marshall, Stephen Petronio, and the Kronos Quartet, among many others. He founded the Christopher Watson Dance Company in Sacramento, CA in 1991 after performing as an independent choreographer and dancer for several years. Mr. Watson returned to Minneapolis in the fall of 1994.
A former member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Dance Alliance, Christopher has served on committees and panels for the Michigan Dance Association, Dance Bay Area in San Francisco, and the Sacramento Area Dance Alliance. He has served as a consultant for local arts agencies and organizations including the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
A distinguished teacher, Christopher has served as a guest artist at Eastern Michigan University, California State University Sacramento, University of California at Davis, University of Minnesota Duluth, the Sacramento Visual and Performing Arts High School, and the Pinole Valley Arts Magnet School in the San Francisco Bay area.
Christopher’s choreographic work has been supported through grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts, the New Works Program of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Jerome Foundation through the SpaceSpace Co-Project, the Linden Hills UCC Fund, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, Minneapolis Arts Commission, the Minnesota Dance Alliance, and Mervyn’s.
Karis Sloss graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Dance and Theatre Arts. She has been studying dance for over 25 years in the styles of jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, hip hop and modern. Zoe Sealy, Lewis Whitlock, Cathy Young, Maria Slutiak and Danny Buraczeski are some of the very talented artists that Karis has been fortunate enough to work with over the years. She is the Artistic Director of the theatrical jazz dance company Eclectic Edge Ensemble who has had successful productions at The Ritz Theatre, MN Fringe Festivals, Intermedia Arts, Illusion Theatre and Hopkins Center for Performing Arts. Her choreography credits include work at SteppingStone Theatre, Children’s Theatre, Loring Playhouse, Illusion Theatre, University of MN and Saint Catherine/Saint Thomas. Karis is very excited to be starting her eighth year teaching at Ballare Teatro; her home away from home. This year she will be teaching creative dance, ballet, jazz and tap.
Please check out Eclectic Edge Ensemble’s website for more information on her dance company: www.eclecticedgeensemble.com
Jessica Schilling graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a B.S. in Accounting. She has been dancing since the age of 4. She has trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, house, and break dancing. She was on the competitive line at the White Bear Dance Center (fka Dancin’ Star Studio). She was a co-capital and choreographer for the Dance Team at The College of St. Catherine. She spent two years on the semi-pro dance team, Ascending Stars Performing Line (fka The Lumberjacks Dance Team). She co-choreographed and performed in First Ave’s 2008 Solid Gold New Years celebration, and has performed in pieces by local choreographers Kaleena Miller and Arturo Miles. Her primary focus is break dancing and can be seen competing at b-boy battles around the Twin Cities.
Kaleena Miller is a Minneapolis-based tap dancer, choreographer and teacher. She currently dances with Rhythmic Circus Production’s Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! and Keane Sense of Rhythm. Kaleena has choreographed for groups such as: Rhythmic Circus, Keane Sense of Rhythm’s Youth Tap Ensemble, and St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and also hosts the live music and tap dance project The Cutting Board. In addition to being a former member of Ten Foot Five’s Buckets and Tap Shoes, Kaleena has shared the stage with Heather Cornell and Roxane Butterfly. She is a graduate from the University of MN with a BFA in Dance and is a 2007 Sage Award Winner for People’s Choice.
Ellen Keane has been a professional performer since 1981, she has appeared on the nationally syndicated show “Dance Fever” and has toured nationally with “The Muppet Babies Live” as Baby Kermit. She has performed in shows with “Sir” Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Dianne Walker, Heather Cornell and many others.
She has taught rhythm tap for universities and at dance schools around the Midwest and is currently on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Theater & Dance Department. She is sought after as an instructor at music and dance festivals throughout the region. She has taught school residencies for the Ordway, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the East Side Arts Council in St. Paul.
Choreography credits include two decades of Musicals for high schools, community and professional theaters. Collaborations include the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Misora Taiko and most recently the Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s production of Tap Dance in Beijing China, featuring 6 youth Tap Ensembles and internationally known professionals.
In the past 12 years her tap company “Keane Sense of Rhythm” performances have ranged from the street, to the rooftop and from outdoor venues to professional theaters, we have performed for over 100,000 people, many of which were free to the public.
Productions include 3 Minneapolis Human Rhythm Projects and dozens of National Tap Dance Day Events since 1997. This year’s celebration was at the Mall of America Rotunda on May 24th, , 2009.
For the past 10 years her focus has been mainly rhythm tap, one Broadway gypsy claimed that every class with Ellen is a master class.
Ellen is most proud of the creation of the Youth Tap Ensemble in 2002. Dancers age 8-18 audition for placement annually. She especially enjoys working with talented and passionate youth in master classes, workshops and residencies.
Mary Harding is the department head of the dance program at the Arts High School, a component of the Perpich Center for Arts Education. In her position since 1990, Ms. Harding created the curriculum for the current dance program. She has contributed to a video on assessment for the Minnesota FACS (Framework for Arts Curriculum) project and has presented at the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development conference, the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools conference, the National AAPHERD convention and at the Dance Educator’s Coalition summer workshop. In her dance career she has performed professionally with ballet, jazz and modern companies in repertory ranging from Pas de Quatre to works by Bebe Miller. While a member of the Zenon Dance Company, Ms. Harding taught master classes and dance residencies in schools across the nation. In addition to her work at the Arts High School, she continues to freelance as a choreographer, performer and teacher in the Twin Cities. Ms. Harding received the SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship for 2002 and studied at Bates Dance Festival as a result of this fellowship. She is honored to have received the National Dance Teacher of the Year for 2002 from the National Dance Association and Sportime. She has her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of St. Catherine.