T.U.P.A.C. Ballet Director and Ballet Instructor, Julie Tobiason is from Lyndhurst, New Jersey. She studied ballet at the Studio Workshop and on scholarship at The School of American Ballet. Ms. Tobiason joined Chicago City Ballet in 1983 and danced under the direction of Maria Tallchief and Paul Mejia. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1986 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1992, under the direction of Francia Russell and Kent Stowell. Ms. Tobiason has danced many varied roles, which include Juliet, Swanhilda, Cinderella, Hermia, Agon and Jardi Tancat. Ms. Tobiason has performed pieces by Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Kent Stowell, Nacho Duato, Val Caniparoli, Mark Dendy, Donald Byrd, William Forsythe, Maureen Whiting, Paul Taylor and Lynne Taylor-Corbet.
Ms. Tobiason has been a guest teacher, dancer and choreographer at various ballet schools and companies throughout the U.S. In addition, she has taught as master teacher for the Regional Dance America Festival, has worked as ballet master for PNB and in the PNB School Outreach program. She has taught as guest teacher at PNBS since 1996 and joined the faculty in 2002 teaching ages 7-adult and company classes. Her film work includes “Nutcracker the Movie”, the role of Hermia in the BBC production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, featured artist in the KCTS production of “Inside Pacific Northwest Ballet”. Ms. Tobiason has also choreographed for Arc Dance productions, Evergreen City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Seattle International Dance Festival, and the independent films, “The Dark Horse” and “Expiration Date” which had its theatrical release in 2006. She is formerly co-founder and co-artistic director of Seattle Dance Project, a modern and contemporary dance company, which premiered in January 2008. While directing Seattle Dance Project, Ms. Tobiason has planned and implemented successful public speaking and fundraising events, managed major donors (over $10,000) and sponsors, managed dancers and choreographers, managed grants, negotiated artistic fees, built annual budgets and cash flow budgets, assisted with marketing, public relation and social media campaigns, rehearsal direct and assist, created master class workshops, worked with artistic collaborators for new work productions, produced six repertory programs with 15 world premieres, 5 local premieres and an evening length modern dance production based on the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice.
Ms. Tobiason is currently teaching and in June 2018 received her undergraduate degree in business management at University of Washington, Foster School of Business. Ms. Tobiason lives in Seattle Washington with her husband and three children.
T.U.P.A.C. Master Teacher Jade Solomon Curtis, born in Texas, is a choreographer, dance artist and founder of Solo Magic, a non-profit arts initiative collaborating with innovative artists to create socially relevant multi-disciplined performances highlighting dance; “Activism is the Muse". A celebrated soloist of Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater for four seasons, Curtis is also the subject of an Emmy Award winning short film, Jade Solomon Curtis directed by, Ralph Bevins.
Curtis received her BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University and is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the University of South Carolina, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Artist Trust and 4Culture. Curtis is currently the Director of the Arts Program for the Pan African Center for Empowerment (PACE). Curtis has also performed as a member of Alison Chase Performance, Opus Dance Theater, Wideman/Davis Dance and for Seattle’s highly respected 5th Avenue Theater’s productions of Oklahoma!, Carousel and Man of La Mancha. A sought after teacher internationally, she teaches children through adult professionals in contemporary dance, ballet and creative dance processes; and was the Program Director of the Professional Division of the School at Spectrum Dance Theater.She is honored to be contributing to the foundation on which Kabby's Legacy with stand.
Heather Arneson is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and actress, working mainly in the South Sound. Ms. Arneson has been teaching dance for several years and has extensive training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, and tap. Ms. Arneson is currently rehearsing for The Nutcracker with Ballet Northwest. Other dance credits include Handel's Messiah and The Nutcracker with Ballet Bellevue, as well as performances with Katy Hagelin Dance Project and Relay Dance Collective. Her most recent stage credits include Footloose and The Little Mermaid at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. Ms. Arneson holds a Masters in Education and loves sharing her passion for the performing arts with the community.
From Hamden, CT, Robert Moore began dancing at New England Ballet and continued at Dee Dee’s Dance Center and New Haven Ballet. He is an alumnus of Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, the Ailey Summer Intensive, Cunningham Trust Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow’s Commercial Dance Program, and the Complexions Intensive. Robert graduated magna cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and has danced with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, The Steps Repertory Ensemble, AATMA Performing Arts, Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, Karin Stevens Dance, the Guild Dance Company, Kinesis Project Dance Theater, The Gray, PRICEarts, Coriolis Dance, Khambatta Dance Company, and Spectrum Dance Theater.
MIKHAIL CALLISTE, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, migrated to New York City at a young age. Soon after graduating from Talent Unlimited High School, Mikhail received his BFA in Dance in 2018 from The University of the Arts, under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. Mikhail is pleased and excited to join Spectrum Dance Theater for his 3rd season.
MARISELA FLEITES, is a Cuban born dancer of Spanish descent, Marisela Fleites started dancing flamenco and Spanish dances at the age of 5, and has studied in Cuba, Spain, Mexico and the USA with masters like Olga Bustamante, Orlando Vargas, Stella Arauzo, Mari Carmen Guerrero, Oscar Nieto, Timo Lozano, Teo Morca, Citli Ocampo, Patricia Linares, Adriana Maresma, María Chacha Bermúdez, Belén Maya, and many others. Ms. Fleites directs the performing group Sabor Flamenco. She holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature and teaches Spanish and Latin American Studies at Green River College. Ms. Fleites has been teaching flamenco at several studios in the Northwest like Washington Contemporary Ballet, Puget Sound Dance Academy, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma, Harbor Dance, and TUPAC since 2001. She also taught for the Tacoma Metro Parks Recreational and Educational programs from 2003-2007. Ms. Fleites is the choreographer and director of Sabor Flamenco and has produced many shows including shows at Tacoma Little Theater, the Tacoma School of the Arts and Alma Mater theater, among others. She has done volunteer work with Public Schools, Guadalupe House and other non-profit institutions, teaching and performing Flamenco for educational and fundraising purposes. Fleites-Lear is also the chair and founder of the Tacoma-Cienfuegos Sister City Committee. Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
Donald Byrd, a TONY nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award winning (The Minstrel Show) choreographer, became Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater in December 2002. From 1978 – 2002, he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group, a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. He has created over 100 modern and contemporary dance works for his own groups as well as for the Alvin
Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others; has choreographed for classical companies, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Aterballetto, MaggioDanza diFirenze, and Oregon Ballet Theater
Amanda Morgan is from Tacoma, Washington. She studied at Dance Theatre
Northwest and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and she attended summer courses at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Boston Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. She participated in PNB School’s exchange with the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, where she also performed with Dresden Semperoper Ballett. Ms. Morgan joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprenticein 2016 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2017.
Born: Salt Lake City, Utah.
Training: Dallas Dance Academy with Lyndette Galen and Fiona Fairrie, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Springboard Danse Montreal, The Juilliard School, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, and Houston Ballet Academy.
Professional experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Francesca Harper Project, ARC Dance Seattle, Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Black, and Texas Ballet Theatre.
LAUREN DuPREE, Actor, Singer and Dancer
Originally from Seattle, Lauren has been involved in the arts since childhood. Her senior year of high school she had the privilege of joining the cast of the PBS nationally syndicated show Biz Kid$. After graduating high school Lauren moved to Washington, D.C. to study theatre at Howard University. Upon graduating, Lauren began her professional career in Washington, D.C. with the musical revue Ain't Misbehavin'. Since then she has been blessed to work consistently in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area at theaters such as Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Ford's Theatre and the Kennedy Center. One of her most memorable roles was Orphie in Orphie and the Book of Heroes at The Kennedy Center. Since moving back to Seattle Lauren has been seen as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls and Kanika in My Heart Is The Drum at Village Theatre and Antonia in Man of La Mancha at 5th Avenue Theatre. You can catch her next in Ragtime at 5th Avenue Theatre.
Born: Ft. Riley, KS. Raised in Rahway, NJ.
Training: Rahway Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Jacobs Pillow, American Ballet Theater, The Ailey School. Education: BFA in Dance, Fordham University, MFA in Dance/Arts Administration, Hollins University.
Professional Experience: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Collage Dance Collective, Oakland Ballet, Alvin Ailey II, Black Iris Project. Repertoire includes: works by Ulysses Dove, Robert Garland, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Dwight Rhoden, John Alleyne. Daphne was crowned the 2017 Miss Black America.
Marie Chong Master Teacher
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®.