SDT FOUNDERS | STAFF | BOARD | INSTRUCTORS
SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER FOUNDERS
Dale A. Merrill
Sharon Nyree Williams, Interim Executive Director
Donald Byrd, Artistic Director
Stephanie Guiland, School Director
Mary Sigward, Academy Coordinator
Ticia Baratta , Interim Company Manager
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Kisira Hill, Digital Media Manager, Interim Marketing and Communications Director
Susan Daggett, Front Desk Staff
Bob Gribas, Front Desk Staff
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Randy Engstrom, Board Chair
Gavin Reub, Treasurer
Campaign Manager, Austin Foundation
Board Member since November 2019
Principal, Prism Washington
Board Member since January 2020
Gavin Reub, Treasurer & Finance Chair
Artistic Director, The Seagull Project
Board Member since October 2020
Tricia Stromberg, Board Member Emerita
Board Member since 2001 // Board President 2004-2011
JoAnna Lau, Board Member Emerita
Founding Gala Chair
Board Member since 1997
SCHOOL STAFF & INSTRUCTORS
Stephanie Guiland/ School Director
(Creative Movement, Byrd Contemporary Technique, Collaborative Creative Contemporary& Dance Making, Friday Adult Funk Jazz, Company Class Instructor)
Stephanie Guiland (She/Her), of N.Y.C., danced for Donald Byrd/ The Group, founding company of Complexions, the Broadway and Touring Company of Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple (Dance Captain, Swing, and Associate Choreographer), and Disney’s Broadway Company of The Lion King. In addition, she’s worked in videos and commercial dance with Lisa Stansfield, Monie Love, and Salt-n-Pepa, touring the USA and Europe with P.M. Dawn. She served as Mr. Byrd’s rehearsal director for DB/TG and his assistant on numerous projects for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Equity Workshops for The Color Purple and White Noise. She’s taught for Dance Theater of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers program, Disney’s Lion King Cub School, W.R.Arts/ Director for the Young Performers Company, and in N.Y.C. private and public schools in the Arts and Education program. For ten years, she taught in N.Y.C. for Joffrey’s Jazz and Contemporary program, Bounce Summer Intensive, and as Adjunct Dance Professor at Long Island University in Brooklyn.
She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with numerous certifications. Aside from her most important project, raising a beautiful child, her passion project is her fitness company, Kick My Assets.
She joined The School of Spectrum Dance Theater as School Director in January 2021 and continues to strive for more connection with our Spectrum community beyond our walls and inclusivity within our B.I.P.O.C. communities.
KARA DEADLE | TAP
(Tap- Pre Tap, Beginner-Intermediate, Adult, and Teen Tap Refresher)
Kara Beadle (She/Her) is a performance/movement artist, dance educator, and massage therapist based in Seattle, WA. Having studied postmodern techniques, improvisational dance, and site-specific performance at Texas Woman’s University from artists such as Jordan Fuchs, Sarah Gamblin, and Rosemary Candelario, Kara continues to investigate and challenge the values of improvisation, time, and setting in their choreography and performance. A freelance artist, Kara has performed with LanDForms Dance, Hope Goldman, Vladimir Kremenović, Jordan Macintosh-Hougham, and Gender Tender in festivals such as On The Boards’ NW New Works, Velocity Dance Center’s Next Fest, and Portland’s Risk/Reward. Part of the performance art collective, Heap, Kara’s work alongside artistic partner Andy Zacek investigates the intimacy of space and objects in their time spent with audiences. Often seen gathering discarded items on the side of the road or tumbling through them, Heap finds stages in street corner dumps, the dredges of a garage sale, and in your living room. Together with a rotating cast of collaborators, their work examines our houses as landfills through the themes of waste, displacement, resourcefulness, and objectifying intimacy. In Jan 2020, Heap premiered the work Fruit Flies in eXitSPACE Faculty Concert and performed at two other venues the following month.
ANGIE BOLTON | Gyrokinesis
Angie Bolton (She/Her), an ACE-certified instructor, teaches Fitness for Living at Spectrum Dance, where she has worked since 1981. She developed Fitness for Living to work students aerobically and with weights and rubber resistance bands. The class is focused on people 40 years old and up. Some of her students are in their 80s, and many have exercised with her for over ten years. Angie is also an accomplished actress, teaches for the Dance for Parkinson’s program through STG, and is a certified Gyrokinesis Instructor.
Ramona Cachinero | Ballet VI/VII, IV/V, Intermediate Pointe, Adult and Teen Ballet BASICS
Ramona Cachinero (She/Her), was born in Australia,moved to Spain at 3 years old, and to America at 9 years old. Ramona was taught by Margaret “Maggie” Banks at the Nevada Festival Ballet School and later joined the company at 14 years old. She attended Houston Ballet Academy and and the Joffrey Ballet School of New York, which she attended on a full scholarship.
She has danced professionally with the Dayton Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Queensland, Australian Theatre Ballet, Tasmanian Classical Ballet, South Florida Ballet Theatre, Nevada Ballet Theatre and later as a principal dancer with Ohio Dance Theatre & Sierra Nevada Ballet. Since her move to Seattle, she has danced with Ballet Bellevue and 127th St Dance Company. She is very much enjoying being a part of The School of Spectrum Dance Theater.
Avery Gardner | Hip-Hop Choreography
Avery Gardner (He/Him), 24 years old, born and raised in Seattle, Washington has been a dancer for 12 years. Training in mainly hip hop-based choreography and other commercial styles, Avery’s dancing experience has brought him and his choreography to a number of accredited stages and platforms. Including performing for Ciara at WeDay in 2016, Opening at Macklemore’s Gemini Tour Seattle show in 2017 for Seattle based rapper, Sol; Performances at Bumbershoot and Capitol Hill Block Party in 2018 and 2019; among many other showcases and performances over the past decade. Avery’s style includes a unique twist of contemporary movement -bringing a smoothness to textures and and patience in timing.
Bob Gribas | Drama Dance Camps and Front Desk
Bob Gribas (He/Him) has been a theatrical artist for over 40 years, writing, directing, designing, and performing in Montana, Minnesota, Colorado, California, and Washington. Bob grew up in Havre, Montana, majoring in Elementary Education at Northern Montana College and Eastern Montana College, Technical Theater at the University of Montana, and Scenic Design at Humboldt State University in Northern California. Bob has toured throughout the States and Canada since 1992 as a tour actor/director with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, Small Change Theatre, and One Reel. Bob has conducted theatrical workshops and residencies in the Seattle area at Adams Elementary, Brookside Elementary, Lynnwood Parks and Rec, Debut Family Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, Stone Soup Theater, Theater Works in Bellevue, The Evergreen School, St. Catherine’s School, and Allegro Performing Arts Academy. Bob has been writing and directing original family musicals, with his wife, Angela Rinaldi, for their theater company, Variety Plus, since 1995. www.varietyplus.org and will be presenting their original musical adaptation of The Patchwork Girl of Oz in November. He has written and directed Spectrum Dance Theater’s Winter Drama/ Dance productions since 2004, including Babes in Toyland, Aladdin, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Snow Queen, Wondrous Mythological Beasts, as well as summer drama camp productions of Classic Children’s stories. Bob has also created thousands of masks for hundreds of shows and teaches mask-making classes and workshops.
“ I always enjoy working with the students of Spectrum. Children have that extra courage and imagination we quite often lose as we grow older. But there’s something extraordinary about Spectrum Dance Theater. Every time I enter the building, whether as a teacher, director, or keeping post at the front desk, I find myself immersed in all the most positive aspects of diversity. I often feel sorry for those who hate to go to their jobs. At times my work at Spectrum seems more like a calling than an occupation.”
Amelia Moore | Dancer, Palmera, Artistic Director of Oleaje Flamenco
Amelia (She/Her) is a lifelong dancer who began her dance career at the age of 17 as a Belly Dance soloist, vocalist and Flamenco palmera with the World Music and Dance group Children of the Revolution. With COTR, she performed as a soloist and Palmera for many years in venues such as the Paramount Theater and Meany Hall in Seattle, including a performance in Taiwan at a Buddhist Monastery for an audience of over 30,000. After graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Minor in Dance, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey to pursue her Belly Dance career. There she studied Roman Dans (Turkish Roma dance) intensively, taught Belly Dance lessons and performed in Istanbul and Cairo, Egypt as a Belly Dance soloist with internationally recognized musicians such as Burhan Öçal & the Trakya All-Stars.
Upon returning to the US, she decided to devote herself fully to the art of Flamenco dance and spent years studying intensively under the tutelage of the fabulous Encarnación ‘La Paloma’ of Flamenco Seattle before co-founding Oleaje Flamenco in 2009. Since then, she has studied intensively and regularly with her mentors María Bermudez ‘La Cha Cha’ and Belen Maya, along with ongoing studies with Flamenco greats such as Alfonso Losa, Concha Jareño, Pastora Galván, Pedro Córdoba and many more./In addition to producing Flamenco shows and performing Flamenco locally with the fantastic guitarist Jed Miley, she has worked extensively with invited guest artists such as percussionist Luis de la Tota (Jerez), guitarist Israel Heredia (Granada), singer and dancer Jose Moreno (NYC), singer Jose del Faro (Barcelona), guitarist Joaquin Gallegos (Santa Fe), and dancer Ana Rosa Meneses (Cuba). She was also a featured Flamenco dance soloist in Arizona Theater Company’s reimagined musical Man of La Mancha in their 2017-2018 season to popular acclaim, receiving a MAC award nomination for her role in the play./In addition to her love of dance, Amelia is passionate about teaching and helping others find healing and self-empowerment through movement. She has been a Yoga teacher since 2007 and has over 1000 hrs of Yoga teaching experience, as well as a 500 hour Teacher Training Certification through her mentor Annie Carpenter of SmartFLOW Yoga, and two additional 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training certifications. She recently opened Flamenco Haven, a studio in the east Seattle area dedicated to the Flamenco arts, where she teaches regularly. She recently launched her integrated wellness program called Flamenco Flow and Joyful Movement Medicine, where she integrates mind-body awareness, mindfulness and physical techniques to awaken the full potential of the individual through a mindful and ergonomic approach to Flamenco as a healing modality. More information about Amelia and her Flamenco Flow program can be found at www.joyfulmovementmedicine.com.
Heather Harris | Pre-Ballet, Ballet I, II, III, IV, Intro to Pointe
Heather Harris (She/Her) has been teaching dance in our children’s division for over 15 years. She began her training at the Cornish School. She furthered her studies at the Joffrey School in New York City as well as at Complexions. She danced professionally with the Joffrey Concert Group, Ballet el Paso, The Aluja Dance Company, and was a member of the Spectrum Dance Theater for over ten years. Heather is the proud mother of two lovely daughters. She can be found teaching preschool at Madrona’s community dance school, teaching dance at the Lake Washington Girls’ Middle School, Madrona K-8, and in our own children’s division here at Spectrum.
Lillie Pincus | Ballet IV/V, Advanced Contemporary, OpenAdult/ Teen “It’s Elementary” Ballet
Lillie Pincus (She/Her) began her training at the Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, NY. She completed high school at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. She graduated magna cum laude from USC Kaufman as part of the second inaugural class, under the direction of Jodie Gates and William Forsythe. During her time at USC, she had the opportunity to perform works by William Forysthe, George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Barak Marshall and more. She supplemented her training with intensives at LINES Ballet, Arts Umbrella, Northwest Dance Project and more. After graduating in 2020, Lillie performed with New York State Ballet and in various festivals in Rochester. In the fall of 2021, she moved to Seattle to join Spectrum Dance Theater, where she danced for two seasons. She currently freelances and teaches dance in Seattle.
Victoria Pulkkinen | Company Class Ballet
Victoria Pulkkinen (She/Her) began her serious study of ballet in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, from Nesta Toumine. She received intensive training from David Moroni as a scholarship student at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and studied with Vera Volkova at The Banff School of Fine Arts. After one year, Victoria joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Pulkkinen‘s professional career has included dancing soloist and principal roles with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Artistic Director Arnold Spohr; the Hamburg Ballet with Artistic Director John Neumeier, the first Chamber Dance Company with Artistic Director Charles Bennett, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. In January 1984, Pulkkinen was invited by Francia Russell to join the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In 1988 the position of Curriculum Supervisor was created for her by Ms. Russell. She continued to teach all upper levels in the school, conducted syllabus meetings, and regularlyt taught company classes until 2007. For many years, Pulkkinen also conducted the PNW Ballet School’s cross-country prestigious Summer Intensive auditions. In 2012 Pulkkinen was invited by Donald Byrd, Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, to join the school of SDT in the newly established position of Head of the Ballet Department and as a company teacher. She remained with SDT for the 2013–2017 seasons. From 2016 to the present, Pulkkinen has been invited to return eight times by Robert North, Director / Choreographer of Theater Mönchengladbach Germany, to teach all company classes during her three-week stay. In 2018 Ms. Pulkkinen was asked by Artistic Directors Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson, Artistic Directors of Olympic Ballet School and Olympic Ballet Theatre, to join the faculty as a company teacher. Pulkkinen’s other guest teaching has included Theater Krefeld/ Mönchengladbach Germany, The Goteborg Ballet Sweden, and The San Francisco Ballet. Victoria Pulkkinen’s impressive teaching career expands by 35 years. The most substantial influence on Victoria’s teaching career has been Francia Russell, Founding Artistic Director with Kent Stowell of Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Prasti Purdum | Ballet IV/V, VI/VII
Prasti Purdum (She/Her) is a Seattle-based dancer who began training at five years old, primarily studying ballet under the Royal Academy of Dance, (RAD) program. She also participated in the American Academy of Ballet performance awards, ( A. A. B.), attended the Summer Intensive Program with Sarasota Ballet, and then continued to earn a B. A. in dance and International Studies from the University of Washington. She has had the opportunity to work with to collaborate with local artists. She has performed works by Petra Zanki, Bryon Carr, Amber Willett, Warren Woo, Stephanie, Golden/Dore Dance Company, Coriolis Dance, and the Guild Dance Company. Prasti has also performed in various Seattle-based festivals, including Tint Dance Festival, Full Tilt Dance Festival, and the Seattle International Dance Festival. As a teaching artist, Prasti has taught creative movement and ballet classes to children in the Cleveland and Seattle areas. Dance brings her joy and a sense of wonder and can be a vehicle to share stories and embodies experiences and emotions. These elements, along with her deep, rooted love for dance, or something she strives to cultivate and nurture in the students she teaches.
Angela Rinaldi-Gribas | Principal Accompanist and Dance Musician Coordinator
Angela Rinaldi (She/Her) began accompanying dance classes at Spectrum Dance Theater in 1979 and currently serves as Principal Accompanist and Dance Musician Coordinator. She has been a Dance Musician at Cornish College of the Arts Dance Department since 1980 and has accompanied ballet and modern dance classes at Pacific Northwest Ballet, University of Washington, Whitman College for such notable dance masters as Patricia Barker, Debra Hadley, Magali Messac, Hillary Cartwright, Bill Whitener, Veronica Tenant, Kevin Kaiser, Elaine Bauer and Donald Byrd. She has an extensive dance background, as well, from Spectrum and Cornish College. Angela is currently a Teaching Artist at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theater’s Kidstage Everett and Youth Theater Northwest teaching musical theatre classes, and has over thirty years of experience in the theatrical arts. Along with performing professionally as a singer and actor, she has composed over 225 songs for Variety Plus Theater, which she co-founded in 1995 with her husband, Bob Gribas www.varietyplus.org. She is also a corps member as an actor, writer and composer for Events on the Edge, performing Interactive Murder Mysteries, Meet the Biscotti’s, A Mafia Musical, and Caffeine, An Addictive Musical, both of which she composed the original music. As resident Music Director and Choreographer for the Spring Musical program at Bellevue High School since 2003, she has performed with BHS students in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August of 2013 and 2017. Angela is also an accompanist for the Dance For Parkinson’s program in the Seattle area and is also currently promoting her Music for Ballet Class and New Age Solo Piano compact discs, available on itunes.com. She is a member of ASCAP and as a proud member of the Musicians Association Local-76 she is also promoting her Ballet Class and Meditation Music available on Itunes, Spotify and Apple Music.
Mary Sigward | Pilates, and Ballet VI/VII, Academy Coordinator
Mary Sigward (she/her) is a Seattle-based independent artist, kinesthetic thinker, and movement teacher. She uses movement to explore and disassemble the human experience. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Mary graduated magna cum laude and with honors from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Dance Performance and a minor in Biology. During her time at USC she enjoyed performing an extensive repertoire with works choreographed by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Thaddeus Davis, Tanya Wideman-Davis, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Gianni Di Marco, Helen Pickett, and Twyla Tharp. She has attended workshops and intensives with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Since graduating, she has performed with Spectrum Dance Theater under the direction of Donald Byrd (2015-2019, 2022), Stone Dance Collective (2019-2020, 2022), Khambatta Dance Company (2019-2022), and Karin Stevens Dance (2020-2022). She has performed in Seattle, New York City, Austin, Philadelphia, Denver, Oakland, Newport (RI), Buenos Aires, Busan, and Mumbai. In 2019 Mary began creating her own work. She premiered her inaugural self-choreographed solo back-formation at 12 Minutes Max at Base Arts Space in February 2020. She had the honor of performing her multi-media solo, Sorry Clover, at the 2021 Seattle International Dance Festival. Her film by the same name received an Honorable Mention at the 2021 Mobile Dance Film Festival. She has completed artistic residencies at Spectrum Dance Theater, Velocity Dance Center (Seattle, WA), Centrum (Port Townsend, WA), and has upcoming residencies scheduled with Vashon Artist Residency (Vashon Island, WA) and Moulin/Belle (Mareuil en Périgord, FR). Mary has had the joy of being the Academy Coordinator for the School of Spectrum Dance Theater since 2017, where she works with and mentors aspiring pre-professional students. In April of 2017 she became a Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher.
Paul Sklar | Pianist
Paul Sklar (He/Him) received his bachelor’s degree in music from the Mannes School of Music in New York City.
He became a pianist for the School of American Ballet; the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance; and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among other studios, while living in New York.
Mr. Sklar lives in Seattle, where he is a pianist for Spectrum Dance Theater; the University of Washington Dance Department; Cornish College of the Arts; and other local studios.
Mr. Sklar has also been teaching piano extensively. He was independently contracted with the Associated Recreation Council (Seattle Parks and Recreation); as well as teaching students privately.
Isabella Smith | Introduction to Donald Byrd Contemporary
Isabella Smith (She/Her) is from Seattle, WA and began ballet at the age of 6. She developed a love of a variety of dance styles – contemporary, jazz and world dance – as part of The School of SDT pre-professional Academy Program. She received additional training with Seattle Theater Groups’s Dance This, Joffrey’s Musical Theater Program, the inaugural STG AileyCamp, the Donald Byrd Workshop, Northwest Dance Project, and The Ailey School Professional Summer Intensive. Isabella earned certificates from the Jose Limon Pro and Launch Dance Programs in NYC. She choreographed dance for film presented at the NASH at Nite Showcase and ACES Expo, and performed in Velocity’s Blossom Dance Festival.
Caitrian Story | Pre-Ballet, Ballet I, Jazz I
Caitrian Story (She/Her) is a Seattle native, who began dancing at the age of 3. She trained at the School of Spectrum Dance Theater and participated in their Academy Program, where she studied under artists Eva Stone, Jaclyn Wheatly, Ramona Cachinero, Mary Sigward, and Donald Byrd. She has performed in Donald Byrd’s Iolanta, and Harlem Nutcracker, as well as created pieces for the school’s Choreography Showcase. During summers, Caitrain has attended the Byrd Workshop, as well as taught Summer Dance Camp at Spectrum Dance Theater. Concurrently she began assisting in teaching pre-ballet classes where she caught Ms. Heather’s infectious joy in teaching dance. This is her second year teaching at Spectrum Dance Theater. Caitrian attended Seattle Academy high school where she graduated with high honors, and is in her Freshman year at the University of Washington in the Honors program.
Jerry TASSIN | Tuesday & Thursday Mornings Adult Jazz
Jerry Tassin (He/Him) began his training under the direction of Perry Brunson, Sara De Luis, Ray Bussey, and Flemming Halby. He went on to apprentice with Seattle First Chamber Dance Company and then as a Soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet under the direction of Janet Reed and Todd Bolender.
Jerry’s professional experience includes MGM Grande Hotel (Hello Hollywood Hello, Principle) Reno Nevada, Music Hall (Hello Hollywood Hello, Principle) Seattle Wa., Tropicana Hotel,(Folies Bergere) Las Vegas, Tihany Music Hall, (Principle) Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Ray Bussey’s (That’s Jazz dance Co), Seattle WA, Seattle Repertory Theater (Guys And Dolls) equity, The American Dance Machine, under the direction of Lee Theodore, New York, NY equity, Spectrum Dance Company, under the direction of Dale Merrill, Seattle, WA., and assorted industrials and television work. While in New York, Jerry taught at the prestigious Luigi Jazz Dance Center, and has continued teaching Jazz, Theater Dance, and Tap in the Seattle area since his return in 1989. “ I have loved teaching the Adult Jazz class at Spectrum! This has been a very special class, filled with wonderful dancers who have experienced the Seattle Jazz dance scene for the last 10-40 years!”
Jaclyn Wheatley | Ballet III, VI/VII, Beginner Pointe
A multidisciplinary dancer, educator, aerialist, and choreographer, Jaclyn Wheatley (She/Her) is a Canadian artist based in Seattle, WA. In addition to appearing in aerial dance productions with The Cabiri, Jaclyn has traveled to Central America to participate in dance outreach activities with the JUNTOS Collective. At Spectrum Dance Theater, Jaclyn has performed featured roles in Donald Byrd’s Drastic Cuts, The Minstrel Show, and The Harlem Nutcracker, Merce Cunningham’s Crises, and appeared as “Minnie” in West Side Story at The 5th Avenue Theater. This is Jaclyn’s 9th season with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Serene Wong | Jazz II/III, III/IV, V
Serene Wong began her early ballet training at the Huntington Academy of Dance in Southern California and received most of her pre-professional training at the International Ballet Academy in Bellevue, WA. Alongside extensive performance opportunities, she expanded her repertoire studying modern under Mark Haim and jazz under Jerry Tassin in addition to classical ballet. She went on to the Graduate Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, where she was featured in student showcases, danced in Terrence Orr’s The Nutcracker, and performed with Shana Simmons Dance. Serene joined Spectrum Dance Theater as a Company Artist for the 2022-23 season.