Marie Chong spent over ten years dancing and performing professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet II, and Eugene Ballet. Since retiring from performing in 1995, Ms. Chong has been an active member of the NW dance community. She has served on the faculty of the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Eugene Ballet School, Blue Heron/Vashon Allied Arts, Spectrum Dance/Madrona Dance Studio, and many other schools in the area. She is a sought after Master Teacher and Coach, teaching and coaching for professional companies, schools, competitions (YAGP), and dancers around the world.
Ms. Chong is a ballet master, movement specialist, and coach. In addition to directing and teaching in her own dance school, she works with elite athletes, musicians, actors, and dancers to design individually tailored performance improvements. She has certification in Pilates, Gyrotonic®, Gyrokinesis®, and is safety certified through USA Gymnastics and US Figure Skating. She is a Certified Teacher with American Ballet Theater® , who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training in Primary through Level 5 of the American Ballet Theater® National Training Curriculum. And is a Teaching Artist for Disney Theatrical Group.
In 1999 Ms. Chong founded ARC Dance Productions, a professional non-profit 501(c)(3) company. ARC Dance Productions maintains and supports a 9,000 square foot facility in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. ARC presents dance education programs, performances, and a resident professional dance company (ARC Dance Company). Since 1999, under the artistic direction of Marie Chong, ARC has produced performances seen by over 50,000 people in standard theater venues with seating capacities of 300 to 2500. The professional ARC Dance Company, presents a regular performance season at the Bagley Wright/Leo K Theatre at the Seattle Center along with Arc Youth Dance Company, the performing company of Arc School of Ballet.
Ms. Chong continues to choreograph for ARC Dance and other companies. She is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, National Dance Education Organization, Dance Educators Association of Washington, US Figure Skating and USA Gymnastics.
In 2004 Arc School of Ballet (ASB) opened its doors. The school is a training ground for dancers of all levels and ages, including those aspiring to a professional career. ASB offers four coordinated programs to meet students' varying interests and commitment levels. The syllabus and curriculum created by Ms. Chong focus on elements of both classical and contemporary ballet technique and are complimented by other dance forms and fitness exercise such as Modern, Jazz, Pilates,Gyrotonic®, and Gyrokinesis®.
Erin Crall began her ballet training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She continued her studies with Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Cornish College of the Arts, and the Hungarian National Dance Academy. She has performed with the Hungarian National Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, and choreographed and danced for Concert:Nova, a Cincinnati arts festival. She is currently in her fourth season as a member of the ARC Dance Company. She joined the ASB faculty in September 2014.
Susan Fuller began dancing in Tacoma, WA and has performed with BalleTacoma, The Dance Studio, Washington State University, and Eugene Ballet. She is a Licensed Massage Practitioner, and Ballroom Dance instructor. She has been on the ARC faculty since 2007.
Emma Ruhl is a local Actor, Dancer, and Choreographer, who loves to perform and teach, taking every opportunity to share her love of dance and theatre with others. She started dancing at 3 years old and has studied a wide range of dance styles including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Swing, and Hip Hop. By the age of 8 she had been introduced to the world of Musical Theater where she had the opportunity to embrace her love of dance, theater and singing in one art form. She is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Dance Program. She joined the ARC faculty in 2014.
Cati Thelen trained on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Theatre, San
Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Nashville Ballet, and Arc School of Ballet. She has performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet and ARC Dance Company. In June 2011 she graduated from ASB's pre-professional Mentor/Apprentice program. 2014 she was a member of ARC Dance Company and in 2015 she graduated with her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. She was a member of the faculty from 2011 - 2015 and returned to ARC in the Fall of 2016.
Joshua Crouch received his training from the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance in NYC and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet in CA. While studying at Graham, he was offered a position with Graham II, the second company to Martha Graham.To this day, he remains deeply connected with the work of the Graham Company and has a passionate approach to the traditions and legacy of the Graham Technique and its history.
He has performed in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Florida, and throughout the Midwest as a guest artist. Notable performances include soloist roles in “Signs and Wonders” by Alonzo King, the world premiere of “Thirst” by Yannis Adoniou (Artistic Director of Kunst Stoff), excerpts from “Clytemnestra,”Dark Meadow, and “Acts of Light” by Martha Graham.
Mr. Crouch currently continues to perform with Blackbird Dance from New York, teaches a free community Graham in the Park class during the summer, and teaches workshops nationally as well as for Spectrum Dance Theatre, Bainbridge Dance Center, and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA.
Catherine Fenner began her dance training in Tacoma, WA with Jan Collum and Kay Englert. She performed with Balletacoma and Washington Contemporary Ballet. Dance has always been a passion and with the birth of her children, she discovered a second: supporting mothers through childbirth and breastfeeding. She has been on the faculty of Arc School of Ballet since 2011 from a hiatus of teaching dance to raise her three children.
Derik Kleinhesselink began choreography at 15 and teaching at 18. He has taught dance all over the country and also performed in Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Jose. His professional credits include CHICAGO Natl. Tour (Ensemble, Amos u/s), OKLAHOMA! (Will Parker), Once Upon A Mattress (Jester), Don Arden’s Jubilee (Ensemble), Annie (Drake, Ensemble), Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow). He is a certified Pilates, Gyrotonic®, and ZUMBA® instructor. He is a published photographer and makeup artist. He joined the faculty of ARC in 2015.
Carla Korbes was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her ballet training at age five with local teacher. At age eleven, she began studying at Ballet Vera Bublitz. In 1996, Peter Boal danced with her as a guest artist of the school and encouraged her to come to New York to study at School of American Ballet. In 1999 she was made an apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and later that year joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist. She was promoted to principal dancer in 2006. She guest teaches in Seattle and joined the faculty of ASB in 2010.
Aaron Loux grew up in Seattle, Washington and began dancing at the Creative Dance Center as a member of Kaleidoscope, a youth modern dance company. He began his classical training at the Cornish College Preparatory Dance Program with Marie Chong and received his B.F.A. from The Juilliard School in 2009. He danced at the Metropolitan Opera and with ARC Dance Company before joining Mark Morris Dance Group where he is currently a member.
Anna Mansbridge is from the United Kingdom, where she studied dance for many years. She holds a First Class Honors Degree in Dance and Education from Bedford College, U.K. and an M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Mills College, California. Ms. Mansbridge is the founder (in 2000) and Artistic Director of Seattle Early Dance, which specializes in recreating dances of the European courts from the 16th through 18th centuries. In addition, she choreographs and directs early opera. She has created works for ARC Dance Company, Seattle Dance Project, and Kaleidascope youth dance company. Ms. Mansbridge currently teaches at the Creative Dance Center and frequents Arc School of Ballet.
Lara McIntosh has been dancing all her life. She is an active member of the Seattle dance and drum communities. She is the director and founder of Wassa Dance where she teaches afro-infused dance classes that are greatly inspired by her travels to Brazil and Mali, West Africa. She has studied tap, ballet, acrobatics, and modern dance. She began teaching in the 2009 ARC Summer Dance program and joined the faculty in 2011.
Hamilton Nieh received his professional training under Víctor Ullate in Madrid, Spain and at the San Francisco Ballet School. His repertoire includes leading roles in Heinz Spoerli's Goldberg Variations, Thierry Malandain's LeSangdes Etoiles and Uwe Scholz's master work DieSchöpfung. This year he danced the role of 'Gepetto' in Ivan Cavallari's Pinocchio filmed live for the French/German television station Arte. Prior to moving to France, Nieh was a member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Alberta Ballet and Sacramento Ballet where he performed works of George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Christopher Wheeldon, Aszure Barton and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano among others. He is currently a member of France's Ballet de L'Opéra National du Rhin and was a member of ARC Dance Company. He has been on the Summer Dance faculty since 2014.
Ms. Norris has been teaching Pilates and dancing in Seattle for the past ten years. She owns and teaches at her studio in Madison Valley. She graduated from Texas Woman's University with a BA in Dance and received her Pilates certification from Peak Pilates and has continued to train with Pilates master teachers. In addition Ms. Norris has worked as an Exercise Specialist expanding her knowledge of anatomy and function. Helping people improve their physical strength and capability inspires her to continue dancing and teaching.She has been on the Summer Dance faculty since 2014.
Missy Ponder Reston is a native Floridian who has been teaching and choreographing for over 20 years. She has been a featured dancer in Spike Lee’s film, Malcolm X and Night and the City with Robert Deniro, Duntori & Co productions, and was a back up dancer for Samantha Fox, Crystal Waters and other various music videos and industrials. Her training included Broadway Dance Center in NYC and working with Mia Michaels. Ms. Ponder has a BFA in dance from Jacksonville University. She was an Associate Professor of Jazz Dance at Florida State College of Jacksonville and the Dance Director at a collegiate preparatory school in Jacksonville, FL. Since moving to Seattle, she has taught at Arc School of Ballet and Seattle Academy.
Following a successful career as a Soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada, Mr. Theoret transitioned to acting. He is a graduate of The Drama Studio in London and has performed extensively as an actor, singer and dancer for film and stage, including the Stratford Festival, Canada. Mr. Theoret was resident Artistic Director for Livent's production of Phantom of the Opera for seven years and in 1996 accepted a position as an Assistant professor of Drama at the University of Alberta. There he directed modern and classical plays and was the movement coach for all mainstage productions. He was a Full Professor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA prior to accepting the Artistic Director position of Cirque du Soleil's show Corteo in 2008. In 2010 he transitioned to being an Artist in Cirque du Soleil's show Saltimbanco. He joined the faculty of ASB in 2013.
A dancer all her life she co-founded Next Stage Dance Theatre in Seattle, WA and some years ago started BOLD, a company for dancers over 40. Her passion is in learning and healing through movement for which she draws from her experience in dance, yoga, Aikido, zazen (zen meditation), and the Feldenkrais Method®. For over 30 years she has taught creative and contemporary dance, teaching people of all ages in the United States, Europe and her native Africa. Ms. Thompson is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® practitioner and founded ”m’illumino”, a movement studio in Seattle WA USA.
Julie Tobiason is from Lyndhurst, NJ. She began her studies at the Studio Workshop and continued her training on scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 1983, she joined Chicago City Ballet, and in 1986 joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she was a Principal Dancer from 1992 until her retirement from the Company in 2002. She has been a guest teacher for many schools and companies all over the country and currently teaches at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She was a member of the ASB faculty from 2011-2012
Erricka Turner performed professionally with Spectrum Dance Theater, The 5th Ave Theatre, Oakland Ballet, The Intiman, The Moore Theater, Village Theater, Sankofa Theater, and the Seattle Opera. She received her BFA in Ballet Education with Honors from University of The Arts, Philadelphia, PA, and her MFA in Dance from University of Washington. She has choreographed, taught, and lectured at Broadway Performing Arts Center, Harlequin Theatre, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet Bellevue, Evergreen State College, Northwest Dance Intensive, UW Dance Series, ARC Dance, Rainier Dance Center, Northwest Tap Connection, and other companies throughout the Pacific Northwest. She joined the faculty of ARC in 2013.