FACULTY & ACCOMPANISTS
Angie Bolton, 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 focuses on people 40 years old and up. Some of her students are in their 80′s and many of them have exercised with her for over 10 years.
Donald Byrd is a TONY nominated and Bessie Award winning choreographer, and the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater (since 2002). Formerly he was Artistic Director of Donald Byrd/The Group (1978 – 2002), a critically acclaimed contemporary dance company founded in Los Angeles and later based in New York, that toured extensively both nationally and internationally. He is credited with over 100 dance works for his own groups and for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), among others; classical companies include the Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem. His awards, prizes, and fellowships include a Masters of Choreography Award (Kennedy Center), Fellow of The American Academy of Jerusalem, James Baldwin Fellow of United States Artists, Fellow at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, and the Mayor’s Arts Award (sustained contribution to the City of Seattle); grants from many national foundations for his projects (Rockefeller Foundation, MetLife Foundation, New England Foundation, Map Fund, Altria, Jerome Foundation, and Seattle Foundation); support from local and national government agencies (4Culture, The Office of Arts and Culture and The National Endowment for the Arts).
Ramona Cachinero 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.
Marco Carrabba has over 15 years experience as a professional artist and soloist with dance companies throughout Europe and the United States. He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts and earned a scholarship with the New York City School of American Ballet. His professional career began with the Stuttgart Ballet where he performed for and was presented to Queen Elizabeth (per her request). As a principal dancer with the Dutch National Ballet he performed the principal role of Prince Albrecht in Giselle and toured with Rudolph Nureyev. Marco has toured internationally with both the Hamburg Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, where he performed Hamlet. Marco was a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and performed Siegfried in Swan Lake, and the Cavalier in the Nutcracker among many other leading roles. Furthermore, Marco was a soloist with Boston Ballet and has danced with many world-renowned ballerinas. He is a member of A.G.M.A. American Guild of Musical Artists and Screen Actors Guild. Marco has also added Artistic Director of Carrabba Dance School and Theatre Dance company to his resume – for which he has over 18 years experience teaching classical ballet to all ages and levels. As a choreographer, Marco has produced numerous traditional productions, excerpts and innovative original contemporary works.
Blair Jolly Elliot
Blair Jolly Elliot, originally from Southern California, spent her childhood swimming, sailing, and climbing. She studied dance at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School (St. Petersburg, FL) with Suzanne Pomerantzeff and Patricia Paige-Parks. Blair received her BFA from The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA). While she was there, Blair was an intern with Koresh Dance Company and trained extensively with Ronen Koresh and Melissa Rector. Along with dancing and teaching, Blair is also a certified personal trainer. As a dance teacher, Blair strives to get dancers fluent with her movement vocabulary and to create an environment in which students feel safe to explore movement and expression. This is Blair’s third year with Spectrum Dance Theater.
Marco Farroni, born in the Dominican Republic, attended New Jersey Performing Art Center’s young artist program where he was exposed to modern dance and ballet. He received a BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield, where he trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and improvisation and was selected to participate in the Europe touring ensemble. Marco has performed works by Sidra Bell, Earl Mosley, Kevin Wynn, Keelan Whitmore, Katie Swords, Jesse Zaritt, Ronald K. Brown, Tommie Waheed-Evans, Douglas Becker, Mark Haim, Mark Caserta, Jillian Peña, and Donald Byrd, among others. He has participated in the American Dance Festival six-week school, Alonzo King LINES Ballet summer intensive, Alonzo King LINES Ballet professional workshop, and Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts summer intensive. This is Marco’s second season dancing with Spectrum Dance Theater. He loves/hates dance.
Heather Harris 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.
Christopher Grant-Montoya was born in St. Johns, AZ but grew up in South Phoenix. Chris began dancing at the age of 11, training in ballet, modern, and jazz. Chris began his academic journey with the University of Arizona, taking time off periodically to work with professional dance companies Gus Giordano, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Scorpius Dance Theater, Center Dance Ensemble, and Les Ballets Trockadero. Coming to Seattle with his husband in 2011, Chris completed his undergraduate degree with Cornish College of the Arts. While at Cornish, his goals shifted from professional work to teaching dance, which led him to receive his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. Chris currently resides in Seattle, WA where he teaches at various locations in the Pacific Northwest, and has danced with Seattle Dance Project, Chamber Dance Company, and Men In Dance.
Robert Moore, from Hamden, CT, 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, Ailey Summer Intensive, Cunningham Trust Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow’s Commercial Dance Program, and the Complexions Intensive. He went to Mexico with JUNTOS Collective, and taught with Notes in Motion, Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre, and JD/dansfolk. He has performed works by Fredrick Earl Mosley, Ronald K. Brown, Ray Mercer, Jessica Lang, Marcus Willis, Norbert De La Cruz III, Alex Ketley, Rena Butler, Germaul Barnes, Matthew Rushing, Jeffrey Page, Francesca Harper, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Sidra Bell, Bradley Shelver, Lar Lubovitch, William Forsythe, Donald McKayle, and Alvin Ailey. 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, Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center, and Spectrum Dance Theater.
Angela Rinaldi 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 a proud member of The Musicians Association of Seattle- Local 76.
Hayley Shannon migrated from Michigan to Seattle in 2013 after earning a BA in Communications and Dance from Michigan State University. She immersed herself in the Seattle dance community while completing Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Dance Institute for Teachers at the Creative Dance Center and Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Professional Arts Training Internship in Development. Currently, Hayley dances professionally with two Seattle-based modern companies, The Three Yells and SleepNod, is a faculty member at Creative Dance Center and Spectrum Dance Theater, and a faculty Teaching Artist for Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is also the Development Manager at Spectrum Dance Theater. Hayley seeks to cultivate community and empower people of all abilities, backgrounds, and ages to celebrate their individuality through dance.
Mary Sigward was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. She began dancing at the age of 5 at the Connie Ferguson School of Dance, and continued her formal training with Meredith Benson and Mario de la Nuez at De La Arts. In 2015 she graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Dance Performance, where she was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award for artistic achievement. Under the direction of Susan Anderson and Stacey Calvert she had the honor of performing works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Tanya Wideman-Davis, Thaddeus Davis, Helen Pickett, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and Paul Taylor. She has attended summer and winter workshops at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Visceral Dance Chicago, and Company E. She became a certified Pilates instructor in April 2017. This is Mary’s fourth season with Spectrum Dance Theater and her second season as the Academy Coordinator for the School of Spectrum Dance Theater.
Eva L. Stone received a B.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University. She studied at SUNY Purchase, The Alvin Ailey School, and Harvard University has worked with dance legends such as Daniel Nagrin, David Gordon, Viola Farber, Wendy Perron, and Gus Solomons, Jr. Ms. Stone performed professionally with companies in both Boston and Los Angeles. After completing a Master of Arts Degree in Choreography and Choreological Studies from Trinity Laban in London, England, she formed The Stone Dance Collective. Ms. Stone relocated to Seattle in 1995, re-established her company and began an extensive teaching and lecturing career (in both technique and composition) throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Ms. Stone is currently on faculty at Pacific Northwest Ballet School (Professional Division), and for The School at Spectrum Dance Theater (Academy Division.) Ms. Stone has created commissioned works for Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle International Dance Festival, South Bay Ballet, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Theatre Ballet (BYU), Bellingham Repertory Dance, and Seattle Dance Project. Ms. Stone is also a commissioned choreographer and faculty instructor for Regional Dance America/Pacific. In 2017, Ms. Stone was a commissioned choreographer for Sculptured Dance, a site-specific event presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Art Museum. Her other projects include choreographing over 25 musical theatre productions and recently received the 5th Avenue Theater award for Outstanding Choreography for her work inChicago. Ms. Stone is the founder, producer and curator of CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work, a contemporary dance festival held annually in Bellevue, Washington. This highly anticipated and critically acclaimed event brings the best of local, regional, national and international contemporary dance companies together for a unique series of performances, lectures, and master classes and has been awarded multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. www.chopshopdance.org
Ahmen Taplin is a Seattle native who started dancing at the young age of 4 with her father’s African dance troupe. At the age of 8, Ahmen joined TTAAPP Central (now known as Northwest Tap Connection) where she has performed in over 30 of their productions throughout the years. 4 years later, she was asked to join the performance company. As a company member, Ahmen traveled to numerous tap festivals including the Twin Cities Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy Summer Intensive. She has trained with tap legends Chester Whitmore, Diane Walker, and Harold Cromer. Ahmen has perfected her love for tap by also training with Shaina Mitchell, Chloe Arnold, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuel Smith and Sarah Reich; just to name a few. Her first professional job was in 2004 with Seattle Theatre Group. She was hired as one of the child dancers in the production called ‘A Maafa Experience’. Through Maafa, Ahmen had the pleasure of working closely with choreographers Jamel Gaines and Cabby Mitchell. Ahmen was later reunited with Seattle Theatre Group in 2006 with the production of ‘DANCE This’. She participated in ‘DANCE This’ every year from 2006 to 2015 where she has performed African, Hip Hop, Afro-Brazilian, Tap, Afro Peruvian, Stepping, and Lindy Hop. Through ‘DANCE This’ Ahmen had the opportunity to work with Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, Daniel Cruz, Dora Oliveira, Hallie Kuperman, Sonia Dawkins, and Lora Lue Chiorah-Dye; just to name a few. Upon her high school graduation in 2010, Ahmen was asked to become an instructor at the Northwest Tap Connection where she still holds her position as an instructor. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, giving private tap lessons, and being a Service Experience Specialist at Nordstrom. Ahmen is thrilled to be teaching Tap 7 at Allegro and is looking forward to this new experience!
Jerry Tassin – Bio coming soon!
Jaclyn Wheatley, originally from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, received her early dance training under the tutelage of Kathryn Long, Rachael Poirier, and Li Yaming. Other training includes American Ballet Theatre, C.P.Y.B., Dance New York International (Paris, France), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. An alumna of the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University B.F.A. program, Jaclyn graduated Summa Cum Laude with a major in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. A member of the JUNTOS Collective, Jaclyn travelled to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua to participate in dance outreach activities. She has performed the works of Alvin Ailey, Jennifer Archibald, Joshua Beamish, Ronald K. Brown, and Arch Contemporary Ballet. Now in her fifth year with Spectrum Dance Theater, Jaclyn has performed in many of Donald Byrd’s productions including Drastic Cuts, LOVE, Carmina Burana, Shot, and (Im)pulse, as well as works presented by Alex Crozier, Vincent Michael Lopez, and The Cabiri. Jaclyn is currently on the Ballet and Jazz faculty at The School at Spectrum Dance Theater, and guest teaches throughout the Seattle and Vancouver areas.