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 was 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 and direct for ARC Dance and other professional dance companies, as well as Cirque du Soleil and Disney Theatrical Group globally. She is currently bicoastal working between Seattle and New York as Ballet Master and Rehearsal Director for Dance Theatre of Harlem.
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, Body Movement Works, Pilates, Gyrotonic®, and Gyrokinesis®.
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.
Audrey Warn is from Seattle, Washington and was a student at Arc School of Ballet from 2004-2013. She has performed with Arc School of Ballet and Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society. She is currently a student at the University of Washington. Aside from dance, her other interests include Savate, hiking, acting, and puns. She joined the faculty in Fall of 2016 after being a teaching assistant from 2012-2013 at ARC.
Rachael Parnell was born in Olympia, WA and began her formal dance training at Johansen Olympia Dance Center. In addition to dancing, she is a competitive baton twirler taking 5th place in Rome, Italy (2006) and the silver medal in the team division in Toronto, Canada (2007). She has a BFA in Dance pedagogy from the University of Hartford: The Hartt School. She joins the ASB faculty fall 2018.
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. She was a ARC Dance Company member in 2014 and has a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. She was on the ASB faculty from 2011 - 2015 and returned to ARC in the Fall of 2016. She is currently ARC's media relations director.
Ms. Parsons is connected to the Seattle dance community through her classes at Cornish College of the Arts (Adjunct Faculty since 1996), and a range of public classes, workshops, individual, and corporate consultations in the Feldenkrais Method®, Exquisite Rest: Sleep and Stress Resilience and the Sounder Sleep System®. She has a B.A. in Dance from the University of Washington and is a Feldenkrais® Professional. More: www.becciparsons.com/
Chris Montoya was born in St. Johns, Arizona but grew up in South Phoenix. He was a performing member of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo from 2009 – 2012. In 2012 Chris moved from New York City to Seattle where he received his MFA from the University of Washington in 2016. He has taught for many studios in the area including Dance Fremont, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Gotta Dance.
Jonathan Mendez began dancing in Cali,Colombia at the Colombian Institute for Classical Ballet. He continued his training on full scholarship at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre. He has performed with Incolballet — Colombia’s Premier Dance Company, Avi Scher and Dancers, Alberta Ballet, and ARC Dance. He also performs with Les Ballets Grandiva and Les Ballets Eloelle, two companies that specialize in all male comedic ballets. He is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher and is also featured in the Dance Documentary: “First Position”.
Marika Brussel is a contemporary choreographer working in the ballet genre. Informed by her background as a fiction writer, she utilizes storytelling in her dance-making. Her work strives to show our inter-connectedness and equity as humans, from country to country, class by class, and generation to generation, while pushing the boundaries of Classical Ballet. She has been teaching and choreographing for over 20 years and currently teaches at ODC Commons in San Francisco, CA. 2018 marks her first Summer teaching at ARC.
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.
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, Arc Youth Dance Company, and Kaleidoscope youth dance company. Ms. Mansbridge currently teaches at the Creative Dance Center and is the Artistic Director of Kaleidoscope youth dance company 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. Ms. McIntosh has also choreographed for ARC Youth Dance Company (AYDC)
Ms. Norris has been teaching Pilates and dancing in Seattle for over 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 teaching on ARC's Summer Dance faculty since 2014 and now joined the ASB faculty in 2017.
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.
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.