Whitley Green to Teach at the SW CCA Spring 2019 Seminar

Whitley Greene
Whitley Greene

Whitley Green, daughter, student, teacher, and performing artist is passionate about using dance to create safe spaces for self discovery and exploration, ultimately guiding participants to unique self-expression and creative leadership. Ms. Green currently teaches at her alma mater, as the first Hip Hop professor in the University of North Texas Dance & Theater Department and serves as a substitute in the Dallas Independent School District. She is honored by the privilege to learn, lead, and serve through the Fine Arts as a life practice.

SW Committee CCA Welcomes Allen Kinzie to the Spring 2019 Seminar

Allen Kinzie
Allen Kinzie

Allen Kinzie, has been a Ballet Master / Teacher and Choreographer for the past thirty years. Some of the works he has created have been,“Coppelia”, “A Midsummer NIght’s Dream”, “Appalachian Spring”, “Scenes de Ballet”, and “Trauma into Light” to name a few. His ballets have been performed in Europe, Mexico and the United States and he continues to create works that are technically challenging, innovative and musically sensitive. As a dancer, Mr. Kinzie performed with Dallas Ballet, Chicago City Ballet, Ballet Theatre Francais de Nancy, Balletdu Nord, and the Boston  Ballet. Mr. Kinzie toured extensively and performed with Rudolph Nureyev in his productions of Don Quixote and Swan Lake to fifteen foreign countries.

Although choreographing with an emphasis on contemporary composers and movement invention is a passion, Mr. Kinzie is an accomplished Master Teacher and has taught at Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, the Boston Ballet School, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University and the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Kinzie is a specialist in teaching classical male dancers in technique and partnering. He has worn many hats in the world of ballet from dancer to ballet master to pedagogue to director. His work is demanding and relevant with the passion to continually push the limits of dance art.

Michael and Katherine Fothergill Guest Artists for SW CCA Fall 2018 Seminar

Catherine Fothergill

Catherine Fothergill

Catherine Garratt Fothergill a native of Birmingham, Alabama, Catherine trained at the Alabama Dance Academy, and Alabama Ballet Center for Dance before completing her studies with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary. Catherine joined the Louisville Ballet, and shortly thereafter, the Alabama Ballet. Catherine danced leading roles in the all of the paramount classical ballets, and in numerous works by esteemed choreographers Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Agnes De Mille, Frank Staff, Jirí Kylián, Twyla Tharp, and Antony Tudor, among others.For several months of the year, Catherine travels throughout the United States and abroad as a sought after guest instructor, repetiteur and ballet mistress. Catherine has taught for esteemed organizations of classical ballet, professional ballet companies, and semi-professional academies. She has taught multiple levels of the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus and has passed numerous students with distinction. Catherine frequently assists in the staging of works for Japan Ballet Association, Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico, and Les Ballets de France. Within Japan, Catherine has served as a guest instructor and ballet mistress for the Takako Classical Ballet, Chida Toshiko Ballet, and Hiroko Masuya Classic Ballet, and was a ballet mistress for the 37th annual Zendo Ballet Festival. She is a frequent guest instructor for the Cecchetti Council of America.

Michael Fothergill

Michael Fothergill

Michael Fothergill began his training in central Iowa, and furthered his dance education as a full-scholarship recipient of the Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. Following an early graduation from high school, Michael accepted an invitation to train extensively with American Ballet Theatre. During this tenure, Michael instructed at Steps on Broadway and the Peridance Capezio Center, and subsequently accepted prominent appointments as a principal dancer in companies across the United States and abroad. Michael has danced the male leads in the classical staples, as well as in works by Ashton, Balanchine, Baryshnikov, De Mille, Dow, Duato, Fokine, Fosse, Kylian, Massine, Prokovsky, Robbins, Tharp, and Tudor, among others.As an educator, Michael frequently travels across the United States, Canada, Japan, and France. He is a frequent guest instructor for the Cecchetti Council of America where is is the founding Artistic Director of the Enhanced Men’s Training Program. Michael recently completed his fourth year on the faculty of Samford University, located in Birmingham, AL. This year marks Michael’s return appointment to the distinguished panel of judges at Japan Ballet Association’s Hokkaido Ballet Competition. Michael has recently been appointed the Executive and Artistic Director of Ballet Arkansas after a 7 year stint as principal dancer and choreographer with the Alabama Ballet.


SW Committee Fall 2018 Seminar Welcomes Franco Baleto

Hip Hop Artist Franco Baleto

Hip Hop Artist Franco Baleto

The SW Committee CCA welcomes Franco Baleto to their Fall 2018 workshop in Bentonville, Arkansas. Franco Baleto has been a street dancer his entire life. Born in Dallas, Texas, Franco grew up break-dancing and competing in talent shows and battles. Following in the footsteps of Barry YoungBlood, Franco began dancing with GDDS six years ago. He strives to encourage his students to open up and feel the music. Gathering attention with his showshopping mohawk, Franco enters a room and never leaves a stranger. He credits his performance with the “American Idols Live” in Branson, Missouri as one of the most inspiring moments of his life. In addition to teaching Hip Hop and performing, Franco works as a volunteer for the Fort Smith Girls and Boys Club and is currently an instructor at Grace DeWitt Dance Studio.

SW Committee Features Bollywood Artist Riddhika

Riddkha“Born into a family of Musicians and Artists, Riddhika has always been passionate about Performing Arts. Taking her passion, seriously when she started training in Bharatnatyam in Kolkata at age 6. Her hunger for versatility lead her to taking classes at The Shiamak Davar’s Dance School in Delhi. She started training professionally at The Danceworks (founded by Ashley Lobo), expanding to styles such as Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip-Hop and various Social Dance Styles under teachers from all over the world. As part of the school’s repertoire, she taught Jazz / Contemporary to children and adults. When she moved to the US, she joined Dance Identity (founded by Shaira Bhan) based in Sunnyvale California. She performed extensively around the US with the school and also instructed various dance classes. She went back to India to participate in the dance reality show ‘Dance India Dance season 3’ and was among the Top 14 contestants. Giving her the opportunity to work closely with ace Bollywood choreographer, Geeta Kapur on many projects and television shows.

After moving to Texas in 2016, she founded and established Dance Space, which offers dance and fitness classes. The school believes in providing professional training to both new and experienced dancers, inspiring them to discover the artist within. While providing a fun and an affirming environment that fosters dedication, discipline and a life-long passion for dance.

Dance is more than just movements created by the body, it is the connection one establishes with everything else around. Through teaching, Riddhika intends to pass on her experiences and knowledge as well as motivate individuals to embrace Dance as a passion and lifestyle beyond a hobby. Ultimately, her objective  is to enable dancers to reach their goals and dreams by creating a space where they feel accomplished and fulfilled. “

SW Committee Welcomes Ruben Gerding to Spring Seminar 2018

Ruben GerdingRubén Gerding, a native of Kentucky, received his early training from the Louisville Ballet. He received his MFA in Classical & Contemporary Dance from Texas Christian University and his BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma.

Rubén danced for three seasons with the Eugene Ballet under director Toni Pimble and four years under director Ben Stevenson at Texas Ballet Theater. He also danced in Casa Manaña musical theatre productions Damn Yankees and Beauty and the Beast and performed with Ballet Concerto, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Bruce Wood Dance Project, Avant Chamber Ballet, and other North Texas dance companies.

Rubén taught Advanced Ballet at Booker T. High School for the Performing and Visuals Arts in Dallas, TX. He has been faculty for the University of Oklahoma Summerwind Youth Ballet and the Southwest Committee of the Cecchetti Council of America. Gerding has choreographed for universities in North Texas and Missouri and regional ballet schools associated with Regional Dance America: Southwest. He performed his own work Hungarian Dance for Two with fellow dancer Lea Zablocki at the Plano Dance Festival in Plano, TX.
Rubén is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau, MO.

SW Committee CCA Fall ’17 Seminar Welcomes Alex Brooks

Alex BrooksAlex Brooks grew up dancing in the Dallas community and has been heavily influenced by those around her. As a student at Dance Industry, she was given a chance to teach and choreograph solos for her younger peers and that is where she found her love for teaching. She’s trained at prestigious summer intensives including Hubbard Street Dance Summer Intensive, San Francisco Conservatory, and The Soul Escape Company Intensive. She attended Marymount Manhattan and decided that her path would be different than others and was ready to dive into the world of teaching and choreographing. She continues to train and most recently performed as a company member in the 2017 SoulEscape Performance. Alex is so content to be sharing her love of dance with any and everyone.

SW Committee Fall ’17 Seminar Welcomes Sara Padilla

Sara PadillaThe SW Committe of CCA welcomes Sara Padilla to our Fall Seminar at Doubletake Dance Studio. Sara is a very well-rounded dancer, having trained in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, partnering, contemporary, modern, African, and hip hop. She received artistic and academic scholarship to pursue dance at Southern Methodist University where she performed the works of Adam Hougland, Joshua Peugh, and Millicent Johnnie and developed and showcased her own unique style of choreography. Sarah graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Religious Studies in 2014. She has trained with The Dallas Repertoire Ballet, Joffrey, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and the Martha Graham School and has performed for numerous events such as the Dallas Cowboys halftime show, The Nutcracker, Tarantella, BeautiControl, Dance Africa, Kenny Loggins, and Rob Reiner’s “LBJ.” She has choreographed a production of “The Lion King Jr,” several competition pieces, and premiered an original work at the 92nd Street Y in NYC as part of a mentorship with esteemed choreographer Doug Varone.

SW Committee Scholarship Attendee

SW Committee Scholarship Attendee

Madeline Malone

Hi! My name is Madeline Malone, and I received a scholarship from the Southwest Committee to go to the International Cecchetti Summer School held at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. [I’m here to tell you about my experience there and to thank the board for giving me the scholarship.] [I’m here to show you what it was like to go to the Cecchetti Summer School and hopefully convince some of you to go next summer!] I really enjoyed my time in Michigan, and I learned a lot from it. I learned to persevere through many long classes, my technique improved significantly, and I brought home and applied some great choreography. I hope you enjoy hearing about some of my daily experiences at the camp.

After two short flights, *I arrived at the Holland airport. There I met a counselor and a few other girls and took a shuttle to Hope College. We checked in and then moved our stuff into the *dorm building. After unpacking and settling in, I started to wonder where my roommate was. It seemed like everyone had already arrived, and I thought I might not HAVE a roommate. Two weeks in a sad, empty dorm room would have been miserable! Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. *Several familiar teachers from our region were also at the camp, and Miss Angela was there to help sort things out. She hunted down my roommate, whose flight had been delayed, and finally she arrived! *This is Catherine. She’s from California and is very nice. She and I got along really well and got pretty close over those two weeks!

*The camp was held at Hope College. *The campus was very pretty, and also very spread out. Dance classes were held at several different buildings in the four corners of campus, so there was lots of *walking involved. I would definitely recommend bringing tennis shoes! The weather was perfect, though, so walking to and from class was quite nice. *There was also a cute downtown right beside the campus. People there are used to throngs of hobo-esque girls with slicked back buns and tights walking around the town, since the camp is held in the same place every year. They all look forward to watching our final performance.

Every day we had breakfast, two class periods, lunch, two periods, dinner, and then two final periods. Three of the periods were regular classes: Mostly ballet, sometimes contemporary, or jazz, and occasionally body alignment or stretch and relax. One period was always a rehearsal, and the other two were breaks. Meals were held in *the cafeteria. The food was good, and meals were a *great time to chat with friends.

*One of the main things I learned from summer school was how to cope with such a rigorous schedule. I got used to many hours of dance every day. I was apprehensive about 14 days in a row and was worried that it would be really hard and exhausting and even miserable, but I was totally wrong. I had so much fun that I didn’t want to come home “ever,” as I texted my mom. I found the energy to take class after class, with enthusiasm and diligence. I don’t think there was a single time when I wasn’t giving my absolute best.

*There were many options as to how to spend our breaks. Sometimes I would just chill in my dorm room or take a nap, others I would hang out with friends. Sometimes we would go downtown, and sometimes we took *cool pictures around the campus! This was taken on a really rainy day. There was a huge puddle outside one of our dance buildings, so naturally, after getting out of class we rolled up our tights and splashed around like little kids! This was just one of the many fun moments. We had a few special days were our last class would be cancelled and we would do an activity instead. We went swimming one night. On another we watched a movie in the same theater that our performance was in, complete with candy, popcorn, and soda. On a third night, we held an outdoor talent show. It was fun to see what people liked to do besides dance. I teamed up with two other girls and sang “My Favorite Things,” from Sound of Music.

All of the teachers were incredible, but there were a few that I especially liked. *This one might look familiar! Dr. T taught stretch and relax. It was a nice break from the rigorous ballet classes that we normally had. We even got to bring pillows and blankets and took a nap at the end of class! *Michael Fothergill studied at ABT, Milwaukee Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and School of American Ballet. He had perfect technique and perfect turnout. He made normal port de bras look grand and majestic, and he taught challenging combos. *Denise Gillman studied the Cecchetti method, achieving her diploma, and also studied at the National Ballet School of Canada. She taught simple combos, but expected perfection. She inspired us to work extremely hard, and congratulated us when we reached her standards. She had a fun personality, and her classes were always interesting.

Thanks to all of these great teachers and classes, my technique improved a lot. When I got back home, I noticed that memorizing combinations was easier and that my performance quality had improved significantly. One area where I saw a LOT of progress was in my pirouettes. Turning has always been a struggle for me. Before summer school I could barely do a double on a good turning day, but during summer school I did a pretty good one in the center of the stage, in front of hundreds of people, and during my first class back at home found myself doing triples!

Another thing that I got out of Cecchetti Summer School was a lot of great choreography. Immediately after I came home, I got to teach a lyrical class at my mom’s summer camp, so I incorporated some of my favorite parts of the contemporary and jazz choreography into a dance for my students. Since I don’t have any footage of us dancing AT camp, I thought I’d at least show you the dance I put together.*
My students, most of whom were totally new to lyrical, learned it within a week and then performed it for their parents.

**On our second to last day, we had a formal banquet. It was interesting to see everyone *all dressed up with their hair down! We met in front of the dorms and walked IN HEELS across campus to the venue in a giant group. I felt bad for the poor cars that had to wait for us to cross the street! There we had a *delicious dinner with fancy tables and waiters. During the banquet, scholarships were awarded and many of the teachers gave speeches, and all of the students received participation awards.

*On our last day, we had one last ballet class to get warmed up and ready for the show. Afterwards, as we walked from the dance building to the theater, *a storm started to roll in. We were all in costume, and we were afraid we wouldn’t make it to the theater before it started to rain! Even worse, we would have to walk around the back of the theater to get from the dressing rooms to backstage in between every dance! Point shoes, rain and wet concrete would have been a disaster. Well, the clouds kept coming, but we did make it to the theater before it started raining. Miraculously, *the sun came out in time for the recital! Everything went off without a hitch. After the show we went back to our dorms, packed up our stuff, and headed back to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye after such a great two weeks! I’ve been able to keep up with most everyone through social media, though. And I hope to see them again next summer!

*Cecchetti Summer School was truly an amazing experience. I used to think that travelling out of state to go to a summer intensive was just something that really talented, amazing dancers did. I never thought that I’d be able to go! And I’m not an incredibly amazing dancer, but thanks to the Southwest Ceccetti Council of America, I did go and I learned so much from it. I learned how to be diligent and do the best that I could in each and every class. My technique and performance quality improved significantly. And I learned great choreography from incredible teachers.

[I can’t thank you all enough for giving me the scholarship.]

[I would definitely encourage anyone who is able, to go! You’ll love it.]

SW Committee Members at International Summer School 2015

SW CCA Summer Attendees

SW Committee Members attending International Summer School 2015


Members of the SW Committee arrived at Hope College in Holland, Michigan July 5 for a dance packed week of Cecchetti classes, theory, and history. Our own Madeline Malone is also attending the student course over two weeks culminating into a performance on July 18. This week is a must attend!