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Winter Dance Classes Offered at Dance Theatre Northwest

Submitted by Dance Theatre Northwest.

Registration is now open for the Winter 2020 session of classes at Dance Theatre Northwest, offering instruction to students of all levels age 4 and up. All students should register in person for classes at Dance Theatre Northwest. The studios are located at 2811 Bridgeport Way West #24 in University Place, WA 98466. For more information, call 253-778-6534 or visit www.DTNW.org.

DTNW Dance Class ~ Photo by Philander Eargle

Specializing in Classical Ballet, Artistic Director Melanie Kirk-Stauffer has been training dancers from toddler to professional for over 30 years, Katherine Neumann, who has danced with Kirk-Stauffer for over 20 years continues to assist helping to develop and train the younger dancers along with Oceana Thunder and Emma Young. Katy Levesque continues to specialize with adult beginner level ballet, while Paula Young teaches Yoga, Kirk-Stauffer teaches Broadway style tap, jazz, and aerobic dance assisted by Deb Main. New Yorker Richard Philion also fills in for Kirk-Stauffer on occasion and will be guest teaching at DTNW in the Spring.

Dance Theatre Northwest classes are designed to increase strength, flexibility and stamina through a well-designed platform that couples dance science with artistic integrity and grace. Increasing every dancers physical and mental vocabulary, technical skill and musicality through a holistic approach to dance has been a proven method help integrate art, history, science, math, language, music, wellness, special awareness, choreography, athleticism, discipline and listening skills into the lessons. All classes encourage students to develop problem solving, leadership and team building skills.

DTNW Dance Class ~ Photo by Philander Eargle

Variations from the classics, partnering, and refined pointe techniques are included in the ballet curriculum. Students from Dance Theatre Northwest have gone on to receive scholarships in dance from Joffrey Ballet and PNB, Wayne State, Brigham Young, Park Pointe, Montana State, Barat Conservatory, Texas Christian, Southern Methodist, Chapman, and Arizona State Universities; to dance professionally (most recently at Pacific Northwest Ballet), in musicals and Touring Companies, work in college dance programs, and to teach professionally.

Melanie Kirk-Stauffer has studied and passed the Royal Academy of Dance R. A. D. examinations from children’s through professional under the tutelage Pat Cairns. The RAD is one of the world’s most influential dance education and training organizations, with its global headquarters in London. She has also trained extensively with Harold and Lew Christensen in School of American Ballet technique, Balanchine style, and with Robert Joffrey who was the first American director to present the work of Denmark’s Auguste Bournonville, …Joffrey was especially noted for his meticulous recreations of the legendary Diaghilev-era ballets. He invited great living ballet choreographers to revive some of their “lost” masterworks and in the process, assembled one the largest and most diverse repertoires in the world.”

DTNW’s Oceana Thunder as Snow Queen ~ Photo by Philander Eargle

Formerly a professional dancer with The Huntington Dance Ensemble later named Ballet Repertory in New York under the artistic direction of Richard Englund, Melanie’s professional performing dance experience includes leading roles in the ballet classics Paquita, Pas De Quatre, La Bayadere (Kingdom of The Shades), Divertimento, Pas de Dix (Act III Raymonda), Grande Tarantelle, Crazy Quilt, Courtley Dances; contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre roles in H.M.S. Pinafore, a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, Oophytes, Resentiments, Akimbo, Tango, and a student role in Serenade. Melanie served as fitness expert on channel 11 TV’s To Your Health for 6 years, choreographed for Orchesis Dance Groups at Western Washington University, with Donna Pallo, at the Evergreen State College, for local and regional dance festivals and competitions.

She has studied many forms of dance extending her early training with Pat Cairns of England’s Royal Academy of Dance, San Francisco and Joffrey Ballet and her dance career to include training and performance in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre, modern, character, contemporary, folk, and ballroom dance. She has numerous teaching certifications in dance, dance exercise, and dance science. The recipient of multiple dance awards and scholarships to prestigious schools including the Joffrey and San Francisco Ballet, she has also had opportunities to explore Horton, Luigi, Cunningham, and Graham dance techniques.

Melanie holds a bachelor of Science degree in Dance from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Columbia Pacific University. She is a former adjunct faculty member of Western Washington University, a former part-time faculty member of Tacoma Community College and currently works in conjunction with Pierce College’s Continuing Education programs.
Katie Neumann – Principal & Guest Artist: has been featured in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Paquita and the Sylvia Pas De Deux. Katie joined the company as an apprentice member in 2004 after performing for several years with the Jr. Dance Ensemble. She has performed the dual roles of Odette/Odile in DTNW’s SWAN LAKE, Princess Aurora in DTNW’s Sleeping Beauty Pas De Deux, Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, Clara, Arabian, Angel, whirling Dervish, Russian, Chinese and Columbine Doll in DTNW’s Nutcracker. She has also been awarded The DTNW Student of the Year Award and multiple scholarships in Dance. Katie has participated in several summer dance camps and intensive training programs at DTNW and moved to New York where she trained, danced and resided after traveling there with the company for advanced training. She is now back with DTNW to teach, train and to perform.

Richard Philion – Guest ~ Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Richard trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. He had the opportunity to perform with the National Ballet of Canada numerous times including the world premiere of John Alleyne’s Tristan and Isolde and was one of the first male dancers to achieve his advanced certification in the Cecchetti method of ballet in Western Canada. Other career highlights have included productions of: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Promises, Promises, Singin’ in the Rain, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, Jean Ann Ryan Productions, Royal Caribbean Productions (including Dancing with the Stars’ Louis Van Amstel’s production of Invitation to Dance), Albany Berkshire Ballet, Sarah Berges Contemporary Dance, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Galan Entertainment’s Tango Buenos Aires and the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia.

All students should register in person for classes at Dance Theatre Northwest. The studios are located at 2811 Bridgeport Way West #24 in University Place, WA 98466. For more information, call 253-778-6534 or visit www.DTNW.org.

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