NANCY DAVIS, Artistic Director, began studying ballet at age six with Natalia Clare of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. At fourteen, she received a Ford Foundation scholarship to study at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet in New York City.
For the next three years, she trained with Mr. Balanchine, Alexandra Danilova, Antonina Tumkovsky, Felia Doubrovska, Andre Eglevsky, Stanley Williams, and Suzanne Farrell, among others and completed her academic schooling at The Professional Children's School of New York.
ALEX BALLARD, Teacher Emeritis, was born in Oakland, California but began his ballet studies while living in New Zealand. He trained at the Manhattan School of Dance with master teacher Margaret Craske in New York City until her death at 97. He also studied with Loren Hightower, Sallie Wilson, and Christopher Lyall and during his summers attended the Joffrey Ballet School, Steps on Broadway, SAB and participated in several Paul Taylor workshops.
His performing career includes stints with New York Theater Ballet, Joyce Trisler Danscompany (Horton: Modern) Delta Festival Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Royale de Wallonie (Belgium), Cleveland/San Jose Ballet where he performed soloist and principal roles, and finally, Oregon Ballet Theater, where he was a leading dancer for 8 years. He has performed in Ireland, England, Scotland, Japan, Spain, and Portugal and across the United States as a guest or featured performer.
Upon retiring from performing he trained in the F.M.Alexander Technique, graduating from the Oregon Center for Alexander Technique in 2003, attained a Nidan (second degree black belt) in Aikikai-style Aikido and became a founding instructor for the professional men’s program at The Portland Ballet. In 2005 he founded his own critically acclaimed contemporary ballet company; the Bouand DanceCompany which features works by young European and American choreographers, as well as his own works. As a teacher he has been named “a master teacher of that finely detailed art” (ballet) by Martha Ullman West (Dance Magazine) and is known for his detailed understanding, clarity and humor. Recently Mr. Ballard was invited to become Adjunct Faculty at University of Oregon in Eugene, teaching Ballet and is also guest Artistic Director for Vancouver Dance Theater, engaged in setting a full-length “Nutcracker” for over 80 young people. He is currently ballet master at Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada.
KATE ANDRIES, Studio Manager and Teacher, began studying ballet at the age of 3 at Lake Oswego School of Ballet. She studied with Christine Donald as an RAD student until she was 11. Kate participated in all RAD Examinations from Level 1 through Pre-Elementary, receiving Distinguished marks on all of her exams.
Kate met Nancy Davis while dancing at LOSB and began taking Open Classes and private lessons with Ms. Davis for several years. At the age of 11, Kate began dancing at Northwest Academy studying ballet with Nancy Davis, Elizabeth Guerin, & Patricia Brewer-Jones. While at NW Academy, Kate also studied and performed with Mary Hunt. Kate trained at NW Academy for the rest of high school and took Open Classes at The Portland Ballet when it opened in 2001.
When she graduated high school, Kate attended the University of Puget Sound to study music. Initially a Vocal Performance Major, her interests moved to Theatre where she performed lead roles in Kiss Me Kate, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, among others. Although Kate still danced during college, her interest in yoga peaked her senior year. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and moved back to Portland.
Kate began her daily practice of yoga to re-hab from an injury and to stay in shape. She began working a The Portland Ballet in December of 2008 and was quickly promoted to Studio Manager, she has happily been here ever since. In the spring of 2009 Kate began teacher training in Vinyasa Yoga. Now a certified yoga instructor she has been creating a yoga for dancers class for the advanced students at TPB improving core strength and flexibility.
NATASHA BAR, Teacher, was born in Odessa, Ukraine. She was trained in the classical tradition of Odessa State Choreographic Academy and continued her studies with legendary teachers Julius Placht, Elena Tchernishova, and Marina Shamsheva. Natasha went on to dance professionally with the Odessa Ballet Company for 15 years. During her career she worked with world renowned choreographers Leonid Lavrovsky, Oleg Vinogradov, Igor Tchernishov, and Nina Fedorova. As a soloist with the company she performed leading roles in classical and contemporary ballets and toured internationally.
Since she moved to the U.S., Natasha Bar has established a reputation as a well-known teacher, choreographer and coach in both traditional Vaganova and contemporary American styles. Natasha was on the faculty of the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia for 15 years, both as a teacher and as the official International Competition Coach. While at the Rock School, Natasha coached the winners of international competitions in Moscow, Jackson, Greece, Paris, and the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City.
In 2008 Natasha was honored with the Outstanding Teacher Award by Youth American Grand Prix. Many of Natasha’s students are professionally employed by major dance companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey. Natasha was featured in the MTV series “Made” and in the feature film NY Export: Opus Jazz, which aired on PBS and stars New York City Ballet dancers. Natasha's daughter, Ellen Bar, enjoyed a 13 year career as a soloist with New York City Ballet.
JASMINE BLUE, Teacher, joined The Portland Ballet’s administrative staff in 2008. She began teaching Creative Ballet in January 2012. As a child of visual artists, Jasmine’s early ballet training with Cecile Petite Ballou in Mountainair, New Mexico deepened her love of the arts and provided her with new avenues for creative expression. She aims to foster a similar appreciation in her students while encouraging exploration with movement and building the foundation for further dance training in a playful and inclusive environment. Jasmine holds a BA in Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. She is also a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts and became a licensed massage therapist in Oregon in early 2013. She looks forward to providing movement therapy and massage education to The Portland Ballet’s advanced curriculum students.
PATRICIA BREWER-JONES, Teacher, Patti began her training at the age of 6 under Barbara Bounds in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. At 13 she was accepted to North Carolina School of the Arts where she trained for the next two years. She was awarded a scholarship by Diana Adams to study at School of American Ballet in New York City during the summer of 1970, and then returned the following fall to NCSA on a full Ford Foundation scholarship.
In 1971, at age 16, Patti moved to New York to continue her training on full scholarship at SAB. In 1973 she was auditioned by Patricia Neary, then Director of Le Grand Ballet de Geneve, and awarded a company contract in Switzerland. While a corps member of that company she danced a varied Balanchine repertoire, including: The Four Temperaments, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial, Apollo and Nutcracker.
She returned to New York City to work behind the scenes for a local production company making commercials and then headed west to Utah, to go to college. At the University of Utah, she taught ballet for the Department of Continuing Education while obtaining a BA in Philosophy and studying Cecchetti in the Dance Department under Matylin Gavers. It was here that she developed a great love for teaching.
Marriage took her to Portland, Oregon where she danced with Portland Ballet Company, taught company class, and began to move into teaching on a more full time basis. Patti has been an instructor of ballet for over 35 years. Her passion remains schooling and the ever evolving process of training dancers. She has taught for Portland Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Fort Worth Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Theatre Company and School, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, The Northwest Academy and The Portland Ballet. She is currently a substitute teacher at Arts and Communications Magnet Academy where she was on staff for 8 years.
A native of Tucson, AZ, ZACHARY CARROLL, Teacher, received his early training from George Zoritch, and The National Ballet School in Toronto, ONT Canada, where he attended as a full scholarship student.
Zachary has danced as a soloist and principal for Oregon Ballet Theatre, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Ballet West, as well as numerous guest appearances both nationally and abroad.
In more recent years, Zach danced with Bodyvox, as well as Skinner/Kirk Dance Ensemble in Portland. He has performed a wide variety of dance styles and choreography such as Balanchine, Petipas, Anthony Tudor, Hans Van Manen, Lila York, John Butler, Paul Taylor, and many others.
Zachary lives in Portland with his wife Annie, and children Amelia and Lucas. He teaches ballet at many local schools as well as guest teaching around the country.
JASON DAVIS, Academy Principal and Teacher, is a native of Tucson, Arizona and began his dance training with Mary-Beth Cabana at Ballet Arts in Tucson. He attended numerous summer dance programs including the Universal Ballet Academy, the School of American Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Ballet West. At fifteen, he joined the Universal Ballet Academy (Kirov Academy) under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov.
In 1992, Jason joined the San Francisco Ballet School and after one year, joined the company. For eleven seasons, Jason danced with the San Francisco Ballet where he performed in many classic ballets as well as originated choreography by Mark Morris, Stanton Welch, Yuri Possokov, James Kudelka, William Forsythe, and Helgi Tomasson among others.
Jason has been teaching ballet for over 12 years and is a licensed teacher by the state of Oregon. He has taught at Ball Elementary, da Vinci Middle School, West Sylvan Middle School, Jefferson High School, and Stites Performing Arts Center. Since 2006, Jason has enjoyed directing and choreographing the Vancouver Dance Theatre productions which includes the full length Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake Act 3, and Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra. Jason spends his summers teaching on various faculties including The Portland Ballet, Vancouver Dance Theatre, Columbia Dance Ensemble, the Northwest Professional Dance Project, and Repertory Ballet of New Mexico and directing the Young Musicians and Artists Summer Program. Currently Jason is the ballet teacher at Arts and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton and has recently been named the principal at The Portland Ballet. Jason and his wife, Michelle, have three young children: Ariana, Andrew, and Isabel.
MICHELLE DAVIS, Teacher, was born in Dallas, Texas and began her dance training at the Dallas Ballet Academy under the direction of Flemming and Vivi Flindt of the Royal Danish Ballet. Michelle was fortunate to train and perform as a student dancer with the Dallas Ballet in several productions including The Toreador, La Sylphide, Swan Lake Act 3, Les Sylphides, and The Nutcracker.
In 1989, she moved to San Francisco to join the San Francisco Ballet School to train with brilliant teachers among them included Jonathon Watts, Henry Berg, Irina Jacobsen, and Larisa Sklyanskaya. After two years in the SFB School, Michelle joined the San Francisco Ballet as an apprentice. For five years, Michelle danced under the direction of Helgi Tomasson in numerous contemporary and classical works some of which choreographed by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, Mark Morris, Stanton Welch, David Bintley, James Kudelka, Agnes de Mille, Harold Lander, and Helgi Tomasson.
She danced in many classics including Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, La Fille Mal Gardee, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake. She toured with SFB performing at the Garnier in Paris, London, Belfast, Copenhagen, Iceland, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, New York City, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Washington DC. In 1996, Michelle moved to Denmark to join the Royal Danish Ballet performing Bournonville's A Folk Tale, as well as Peter Martin's world premiere of Swan Lake. After dancing abroad, Michelle returned to the San Francisco Ballet in 1997 for three more seasons. She has made guest appearances with Maximum Dance in Miami, Nevada Festival Ballet, Smuin Ballets/SF, Ballet Arts Ensemble in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Ballet Theatre of New Mexico, and Pacific Festival Ballet. She is currently attending Saint Mary's College of Moraga, CA through the Leap Program for Liberal Arts Studies.
In 2004, she and her husband, Jason Davis, moved to Portland to pursue their teaching careers. In addition to being the Academy Registrar, Michelle is also Assistant to Nancy Davis, The Portland Ballet's Artistic Director.
MELISSA FRAMIGLIO, Teacher, was raised near Pittsburgh, PA; trained with Patricia McKeown and at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, spending summers on scholarship at Boston Ballet, Chautauqua Festival Ballet and the Rock School. Upon graduating PBT, Melissa joined the Louisville Ballet where she enjoyed dancing a diverse repertory of principal and soloist roles such as Juliet, Cinderella, Aurora in “The Sleeping Beauty”, Terpsichore in “Apollo” and works by Antony Tudor, David Parsons and Paul Taylor for ten seasons.
Melissa has taught in many schools in the Louisville, Boston and Portland areas, served as ballet mistress and pointe teacher for several summers at Burklyn Ballet Theatre, taught open, curriculum and company class at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre and served as Nutcracker children’s rehearsal assistant at Louisville Ballet. Since 2005 she has been a certified GYROTONIC® instructor.
ELIZABETH GUERIN, Teacher, trained at the School of Princeton Ballet, School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School as well as with Maggie Black and David Howard. She became a principal dancer with Princeton Ballet (now American Repertory Ballet) and then went on to dance with the Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., dancing soloist and principal roles.
Five years later, Elizabeth was invited to be a principal dancer with Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of James Canfield. At OBT she created the role of Juliet in Canfield's Romeo and Juliet, danced the principal roles in Balanchine's Concerto Barocco and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, among others, and also worked with contemporary choreographers Paul Taylor, Bebe Miller, Donald Byrd and Val Canaparoli.
After retiring from OBT, she continued dancing as a guest artist for several years with companies in Washington, California, and Colorado. Elizabeth has taught at The Northwest Academy, the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Arte Dance Theatre in San Diego, California and as a freelance teacher in the Portland area.
MARY HUNT, Teacher, is based in Portland, Oregon. She holds regular classes with drop-ins welcome. She also teaches at Pacific University. She received her dance training at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center, Martha Graham School of Dance, California Institute of the Arts, and with Maggie Black. Mary has danced professionally for over 30 years, touring with such well-known artists as Donald McKayle, Jaime Rogers, and Fred Benjamin. She has danced in feature films, MTV videos and appeared on the television shows Fame and Cheers. Mary has taught extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada and is currently teaching, choreographing, and performing in Portland, Oregon.
Mary has taught for The Portland Ballet's Summer Intensive for the past five years and holds drop in classes Tuesdays from 9:30 – 11:00am and Sundays from 12:00 – 1:30pm.
Mary's high-energy jazz classes focus on proper alignment and building strength through combining elements of classical ballet, Graham-based technique and an athletic style of jazz. Mary strongly emphasizes the relationship between music and movement and encourages her students to explore more soulful expression while gaining technical mastery.
JOSIE MOSELEY, Teacher, One of the Pacific Northwest’s finest choreographers, Josie Moseley has captivated audiences for over 25 years with her solo performances and group pieces set on various artists and companies worldwide. White Bird was excited to bring her company to the stage for the first time, and was received by sold out audiences. More recently, she was greatly honored to be commissioned to create a work for the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Dance Magazine recognized her as one of the “100 most influential choreographers of 2010”. Moseley’s work has been funded by numerous foundations, individuals, presenters, and public organizations. Locally she has created many works for some of the city’s most respected dance companies and dance artists.
Her teaching career includes serving on the faculties of Reed College, University of Portland, University of California Berkley, Mills College, Shawl Anderson, Oregon Ballet Theater, Body Vox, and The Portland Ballet. As a teacher and choreographer, Josie Moseley explores movement that is expansive, passionate, and humanistic. Her work continues to be performed both nationally and internationally. She is currently living in Portland with her husband and two daughters. Photo credit Tatiana Wills.
STEPHANIE ORZA, Teacher, started training at the age of 7 with the San Francisco Ballet School as a scholarship student, studying intensively there for 10 years. Her teachers included Irena Jacobson, Lola De Avila, Helgi Tomasson, Pascal Leroy, Kathleen Mitchell, Shannon Bresnahan, Mikko Nissinen and George Esquivel. In her time there she had the chance to perform with the San Francisco Ballet Company in productions such as La Bayadere, staged by Natalia Makarova, Giselle and The Nutcracker, among many others. With the SFB School, Stephanie was able to perform many ballets including Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations and Four Temperaments, The Sleeping Beauty and Paquita. In 2003, she moved to Basel, Switzerland, to dance with the Ballet Basel Company, performing Romeo and Juliet as well as Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco and Who Cares?.
Stephanie moved back to the United States in July 2004 and took the opportunity to guest with the Inland Pacific Ballet in Arturo Fernandez’s production of Dracula, dancing the lead role of Mina Murray. She joined the Company as a Principal dancer in 2005 and danced with the Inland Pacific Ballet, under the direction of Victoria Koenig, for seven seasons.
Stephanie’s dancing career has inspired her to choreograph as well. Since 2008, she has created Love can Damage your Health for I.P.B. (2011), Tolerance for I.P.B. (2010), The other side (2010), selected pieces of The Nutcracker (2010), and Finding Peace at the Chaffey College in 2008.
Stephanie began her teaching career in 2005 when she joined the Inland Pacific Ballet. She instructed in the Academy for 7 years. In summer 2011, Stephanie moved to Portland, Oregon. She is currently instructing at Westside Dance Academy, Allegro Dance Studio, Polaris Dance Theater, and Center for Movements Arts. Stephanie is very excited to be joining the Portland Ballet Staff.
Trained as a concert pianist, ROBERT HUFFMAN, Principal Pianist, holds a Bachelors Degree in Music and a Masters Degree in Performance, from the University of Oregon.
He studied in Paris for 3 years with Noel Lee and in 1969 was the Principal Pianist for The Congregation of the Arts in Dartmouth College, NH, under Maestro Mario DiBonaventura, performing the Poulenc Two Piano Concerto and the Chamber Compositions of Luigi Dallapiccola. In 1973, under a Teaching Assistance Award at the University of Oregon, he performed the Colin McPhee Piano Concerto and the Piano Quartetsof J. Brahms.
Robert has worked as a dance accompanist in the Northwest since 1976 with Fine Arts organizations such as: Jefferson High School of the Performing Arts, Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Washington and Oregon Ballet Theatre accompanying the Company and School. He has played Master Classes with Gelsey Kirkland, Melissa Hayden and Carter Alexander, to name a few. In playing for the White Bird Dance organization, he has played classes for Ballet Lyon, Nacho Duato, Ballet Biarritz, Mark Morris Dance Company, Scapino Ballet and Trey McIntyre. In 2001, Robert joined the founding staff at The Portland Ballet as Principal Pianist.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, CHRIS NICKELS, Accompanist, has been accompanist for The Georgetown School of Ballet, Joy of Motion Dance Center, The Kirov Academy, Maryland Youth Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Washington Ballet.
In addition to playing piano for dancers, his electronic scores for Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Starr Foster Dance Project, Cynthia Word and the University of Richmond have been performed at The Lincoln Center Out of Doors series, The Kennedy Center, New York University, LaMama ETC and in countries including Canada, North Korea, Venezuela and Wales.
He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Virginia Commonwealth University where he was a piano performance major. A member of the Music Teachers National Association, Chris has been teaching piano lessons since 2001 and currently teaches at his home in the Alberta Arts district.
John Clifford, artistic advisor and choreographer