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Lawrence Dance Intensive Faculty & Guest Artists

Current

Ashley Brittingham – Ballet, KU Faculty

Ashley Brittingham began her training with North Central Ballet in Fort Worth and continued with scholarships to Tulsa Ballet, City Ballet of Houston and American Ballet Theatre in New York.  At the University of Oklahoma, she earned a bachelor of fine arts in ballet performance, toured with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet to France and competed in the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition coached by Mary Margaret Holt where she was a semi-finalist.  Brittingham then joined Tulsa Ballet, under the direction of Marcello Angelini, where she performed a wide variety of classical and contemporary leading roles including The Sleeping BeautySwan LakeGiselleLa Sylphide, Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Lila York’s Celts, Val Caniparoli’s Torque, Lady of the Camelias and Lamberena, Stanton Welch’s Bruiser, and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free among many others.  With Tulsa Ballet she toured in many different cities across the United States as well as in Europe.  She has received many awards, including the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awardee in dance and musical theater, the University of Oklahoma’s Buffalo Mask Award and the first Indian Ballerina Scholarship.  Her choreographic work has been performed by numerous dance and theater companies.  Since moving to Kansas Brittingham has taught as adjunct faculty with Friends University and as a guest teacher with Wichita State University.  She now resides in Baldwin City, Kansas and serves as the Baldwin Ballet Director with Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice.  Brittingham teaches ballet technique classes at the University of Kansas.

Andie Stitt – Hip Hop, KU Faculty

Andie Stitt grew up in Kansas City, Kansas where she began dance training at the age of four. She took from many different teachers at studios, conventions, camps and workshops throughout her elementary years. In high school, she was given the experience of a lifetime to travel with a well-known convention to assist famous choreographers. She continued training at numerous studios, and decided to take her dance knowledge to the next level by attending Wichita State University to become a dance major. In May of 2014, Andie graduated from Wichita State with a BFA focused in dance. Since then, Andie has had countless amazing opportunities. She was hired directly out of Wichita State’s dance program as an adjunct professor. She recently got a job at Arts Partners as a teaching artist. With the help of Arts Partners, she travels to low-income schools, and teaches dance to at risk children. She spends most weekends traveling and teaching master classes or camps at studios throughout the Midwest. At the University of Kansas she teaches Hip-Hop and a Rhythm Tap. She is honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with so many talented dancers young and old.

Deanna Doyle – Ballet, Choreographer, Guest Artist

Deanna Doyle is the fourth generation in her family to be a performer, beginning with her two great-great- aunts who had a sister act on the vaudeville circuit. She was a company member of the Kansas City Ballet, dancing numerous principal and soloist roles in ballets choreographed by legends such as Agnes de Mille, Donald McKayle, Twyla Tharp, and Paul Taylor. She studied tap and jazz with her mother and trained at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theater. She made her Broadway debut as Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera, performed as Ivy Smith in the pre-Broadway production of On the Town, and was nominated for an Astaire Award for playing 17-year-old Winnie in Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting. She has performed at the Astaire Awards, Career Transition for Dancers, and with The Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet, and has appeared in national commercials such as Tide, Twix, and PNC Bank. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in dance, where she was captain of the dance team and a member of the University Dance Company. When not performing, she teaches ballet at Broadway Dance Center and is the advanced tap teacher at Institute for American Musical Theatre, both in New York City. The daughter of a studio owner, she has been teaching since the age of fourteen and is as passionate about that as she is performing. www.deanna-doyle.com

Jerel Hilding – Ballet, Music for Dancers, KU Faculty

Jerel Hilding teaches all levels of ballet, pointe, pas de deux and music for dancers. In addition to choreographing and assisting with the direction of the University Dance Company, Hilding has collaborated with the Kansas University Symphony Orchestra, KU Opera and the University Theatre on musicals, opera and dance concerts. As a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet for 15 years, Hilding performed in works by many of the 20th century’s most influential choreographers, including Balanchine, Arpino, Robbins, Ashton, Cranko, Jooss, Massine, and Tharp. He directed the New Jersey Ballet’s Artist-in-Education program and worked as an instructor for New York’s City Center Theatre Outreach Program. He has taught throughout the country including New York, New Jersey, Arizona, New Orleans, and the Midwest. Hilding holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Louisiana State University in New Orleans (now the University of New Orleans).

Maya Tillman-Rayton – Hip Hop, KU Faculty

Maya Tillman-Rayton is the instructor for Hip-hop I – Fundamentals of Hip-hop. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Kansas, with a degree in Human Biology, as well as a former member of the Unity Dance Crew where she served as president from 2001-03. Maya’s teaching career spans 15 years in the Lawrence and Kansas City Area, earning several choreography and entertainment awards for her works. She is also a two-time scholarship recipient from Monsters of Hip Hop dance conventions. Recently Maya was a Catalyst Choreographer for Kansas City’s Day of Dance.

 

 

Melissa Mendl – Jazz, Choreographer, Guest Artist

Originally from Oklahoma City, Melissa Mendl is a professional dancer/choreographer/teacher currently based out of Madison.  Melissa is an honor graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree in Dance Performance and has been a professional entertainer for over 17 years.  Professional performance credits include: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Andy Williams’ Variety and Christmas shows, Holland America and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines.  Melissa continues to travel across the country as a guest choreographer/performer.  Her most recent choreography credits include: Magnum Opus Ballet, guest artist (Madison), The Lawrence Arts Center’s productions of Annie, and Beauty and the Beast (Kansas City) and the upcoming production of Nunsense for Stoughton Village Players’ 2019 season.  Melissa is also the Artist in Residence at Midvale Community Lutheran Church where she heads up Midvale Dance.

Michelle Heffner Hayes – Flamenco, KU Faculty

Michelle Heffner Hayes holds a PhD in Critical Dance Studies from UC-Riverside. She is a professor of Theatre & Dance at the University of Kansas, where she teaches modern dance, improvisation, choreography, dance studies, arts administration, and flamenco. An artist-scholar, Hayes performed as a flamenco choreographer and soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in Palos Nuevos: The Jazz Flamenco Project, 2018. Her book Flamenco: Conflicting Histories of the Dance (2009) uses feminist and postcolonial theory to analyze constructions of gender, race and sexuality in representations of flamenco. Other publications include Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives (2015), co-edited with K. Meira Goldberg and Ninotchka Bennahum; and “Lo que queda/That which remains: Dancing Bodies, Historical Erasure and Cultural Transmission,” in The Body, The Dance, the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History (2019), edited by Brynn Shiovitz.

Kyle Mullins – Modern, Choreographer, Guest Artist

Kyle Mullins is a Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company member currently working with Kansas City Ballet’s Community Engagement and Education department as well as their R.O.A.D. Program. He teaches dance at Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice, City in Motion, and Empire Dance Academy. He most recently earned his Master of Fine Arts in Dance on a Dean’s Fellowship from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In New York, he had the pleasure of dancing with the Steps Repertory Ensemble, dre.dance, Nicholas Andre Dance, Bill Young/Colleen Thomas and Dancers, The Chase Brock Experience, and York Dance Works. Born and raised in Overland Park, KS, he earned his BFA in Dance at the University of Arizona.

 

Michael Dolman – Music for Dancers, Accompanist

Michael (Mike) Dolman is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, and has degrees in Music Education and Piano Performance from the University of Missouri at KC, and the University of Northern Colorado. Mike presently resides in San Francisco. He is currently ballet pianist for Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and the University of California at Berkeley. Mike is also pianist/organist for Trinity United Methodist Church (Berkeley). Mike has also been a pianist for SF Ballet, Oakland Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. After LAC’s Summer Session, Mike will a guest pianist for Oklahoma City Ballet Summer Session.

 

 

Sarah Breedlove – Franklin Method

Sarah Breedlove teaches body awareness techniques to individuals in her North Kansas City studio and groups throughout the greater Kansas City Metropolitan. Workshops are tailored for the audiences with past venues including manufacturing facilities, corporate offices, hospitals, non-profits, country clubs, universities, community centers, and various Yoga and Pilates studios. Sarah’s coaching style is about maximizing the mind-body connection through foundational health education, simple guided imagery, and a touch of practical humor. The focus is on relaxing the nervous system, restoring natural fluid movement at the joints, and balancing muscular strength thereby creating ideal posture and a vibrant body free of disease.

 

Sean Duus – Ballet, Guest Artist

Sean Duus, a native of Mesquite, Texas, began teaching in the Kansas City Ballet School in 1987. Sean received his early dance training from George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief and Kevin Brown, and received scholarship offers from The School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Sean was a principal dancer in the Kansas City Ballet from 1986- 2001.He danced the principal male role in numerous ballets including: The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Apollo, Con Amore, Combat, Sleeping Beauty, Serenade, The Still Point, An American in Paris and Firebird. He had the great opportunity to work with many great choreographers such as Todd Bolender, Alvin Ailey, Margo Sappington and Ann Reinking. Sean was certified as a teacher in Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute teacher training program in Santa Fe in 2000, and teaches the Kansas City Ballet’s “Reach Out and Dance” program which brings dance education to public schools in the Kansas City Area. He is a frequent teacher of master classes and Ballet workshops throughout the United States.

Susanna Pitzer – Acting for Dancers

Susanna Pitzer has worked in theatre both in Kansas and New York as actress, director and playwright. She has written 14 produced plays, including, ´Clucky, the Brave Little Hen.’ Susanna is also a writer and illustrator of children’s books, including the award winning ‘Not Afraid of Dogs’ and a new book coming out this summer, ´Mabel and Elky Ride the Orphan Train.’ For 30 years, Susanna has worked with people of all ages on telling their stories through theatre, writing, movement and visual art. She is happy to be returning to the Lawrence Arts Center this summer to do just that. Susanna attended the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, the School of Visual Arts, NYC and the Art Students League, NYC. She studied theatre, art, dance and writing.

 


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