Ballet Aligned Teachers

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Susanna Russell

Susanna Russell is from Southern California and trained at Pasadena Civic Ballet, then with faculty of South Bay Ballet (now Ballet California), Southland Ballet Academy, and privately with Alicia Head in Gyrotonics, Gyrokinesis, and ballet before graduating in 2016 and moving to Ballet West Academy in SLC. She attended summer intensives with Boston Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Washington Ballet, ABT New York, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West/artÉmotion, New York Dance Project, and the National Choreography Intensive. In 2017 she became a trainee with Ballet West and danced in their main and second company’s productions for two years. A few performing credits from 2015-2019 include Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie (lead soloist) and Concerto Barocco (lead soloist),  “Jewels” from Ballet West II’s Aladdin (Black Opal solo), Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi, and Jacqueline Colledge’s Peter Pan (Wendy). Her choreography experience includes an Annenberg Foundation year-long Art of Choreography fellowship, choreographing a piece selected to open RDA/Pacific and chosen for State Street Ballet’s mixed repertory, and choreographing / coaching variations for YAGP competitions. In 2019 Susanna created and co-directed the first “Choreography Showcase” for Ballet West Academy. During 2022, she directed and choreographed her first music video in Los Angeles. Susanna also trained in jazz, tap, character, modern, Pilates, and privately with Shakespearian actress Diane Venora, fostering love for the storytelling of ballet. She is now living in and loving Logan, UT, and is very excited to work with the students at Ballet Aligned!
 
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Sabrina Jex

Sabrina, born and raised in Utah valley, trained with Rocky Mountain Ballet, Jacqueline’s School of Ballet, and Barlow Arts Conservatory. She attended intensives at Brigham Young University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and performed at the Hale Center Theatre Orem. After one year of college, she served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denmark. During her five seasons with BYU Theatre Ballet, her roles included Myrtha in Giselle, The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and Cygnes Grandes in Swan Lake. She also had  the opportunity to perform works by acclaimed choreographers including George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, and Paul Taylor. She has choreographed on ballet companies at BYU for both live-streamed and live performances. During the last two years of her undergraduate, Sabrina taught ballet technique at BYU for beginning and intermediate levels, as well as pointe technique for intermediate and advanced students. In 2022, Sabrina passed the Level 5A ABT National Training Curriculum student examination with Honors. She graduated with a B.S. in Economics and minors in Business and Ballet and is now pursuing a master’s degree in Financial Planning. She also loves cooking new foods for her husband, singing and learning instruments, and playing with her nieces and nephews (and soon to be first child!).

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Katie Hall

Katie developed a love of dance at an early age. She was one of those little girls who insisted on wearing tutu to the grocery store and dancing down the aisles. As a result, her mother enrolled her in a dance class. Katie has 15 years of dance instruction. She loves being a mom, and learning and playing with her four children. She has a bachelor's degree in special education and a passion for teaching. She loves sharing her love of dance with her students.

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Eliza Bjorklund

Eliza Bjorklund has trained in a wide variety of styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, modern, and tap. She attended the ArtEmotion summer Intensive in Cleveland Ohio and was accepted to several other summer intensives for ballet, contemporary, and jazz over the years. She currently attends Utah State University and is a member of the USU Dance Company.

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Elli Bradshaw

Elli began dancing as soon as she could walk, but began lessons at age 3. She performed with the Dance Conservatory in Utah County including lead roles of Dying Swan (Carnival of the Animals), Ping (The Empty Pot), Nyasha (Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters), and more. After graduation, she became an instructor, teaching all levels of classes. Free time finds Elli dancing in the kitchen, reading, traveling, skiing, or playing harp. Currently a Student at Utah State University, Elli hopes to pursue nursing.

Anastasia

Substitute - Anastasia Coleman

Anastasia began taking ballet classes at two years old. In her study of the Cecchetti Method, she passed her student exams as either “commended” or “highly commended” - grades only reserved for students who meet level expectations, and master both the technique and artistry. As a member of the Macomb Ballet Company in MI, she performed soloist and principal roles in ballets such as Coppelia, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Peter and The Wolf, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, and Snow White. After moving to Arizona, Anastasia danced as a guest Principal dancer with Backers of Ballet in Scottsdale, AZ, and later on became a Principal dancer with The Youth American Ballet Company (YABC) in Gilbert, AZ under the direction of Georgi Rusavov from the National Opera and Ballet, Sofia Bulgaria. There, she danced several soloist and principal roles with YABC such as Arabian Soloist, Snow Queen, and The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker as well as Myrtha in Giselle. She also spent two summers at the Cecchetti Council of America’s summer intensive as a student and a teacher in Holland, MI. Anastasia’s passion is performing and teaching the art of having a presence on stage while showcasing the technique and movement mastered in class. She has taught all ages and levels of ballet classes and has directed productions such as The Nutcracker and Peter and The Wolf. Anastasia now spends most of her time raising her two children with her husband and getting outside to enjoy the beautiful landscape here in the valley as much as possible. Ballet Aligned is thrilled to have her on our teaching staff as a substitute this year.

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Substitute - Debi King

Debi King holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University in Dance and Health Education. She began her teaching career in 1990 at the Salt Lake Dance Center. She has choreographed many award winning competition pieces for groups, solos, duos, and trios. After moving to Cache Valley in 2004, she continued teaching for Cache Valley School of Ballet, served on the Board of Directors of Cache Valley Civic Ballet for 13 years, and was the costume maker/manager for 10 years. Debi owns and has operated her own custom sewing business, King Designs, since 1994, specializing in all forms of dance costumes and classical ballet tutus. Currently, Debi teaches ballet and coaches the Sr. Ballet competition team at Salt Lake Dance Center, and Ballet Aligned is delighted to have her back in the valley to provide her 31 years of teaching expertise for our students!

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Substitute - Brianne Corbridge

If you have attended Cache Valley Civic Ballet performances, you know Brianne's face - she has performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy, the lead in Waltz of the Flowers, as a Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and many other featured roles. Brianne is currently attending University of Utah's ballet program. She trained as an instructor with Ballet Aligned and ran a series of successful Mini Sessions this past summer. Her students love working with her!

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Guest Instructor/Substitute - Kai Casperson

Kai Casperson has performed with Ballet Aligned as Dr. Moore in our "Night Before Christmas" production. Kai started dancing at age 9, and at age 11 decided to aim for a professional ballet career, at which point he heavily supplemented local lessons with classes from his mother and current Ballet Aligned director, Steffanie Casperson. Since 2016, Kai trained full time on scholarship at the Ballet West Academy (spending only the 2019-2020 school year as a trainee with Boston Ballet). During his time at BWA, he danced a number of leading roles including Prince in Sleeping Beauty and most recently male lead in Balanchine's "Who Cares." Kai also guested as leads in other program's performances, including lead in Don Quixote. In the last 6 years, his summer training included Ballet West, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, where he attended on full scholarships. He was also awarded scholarships to San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet. Kai has been teaching since 2020. He helped develop the curriculum for Ballet Aligned's Boy Ballet Class, and has been a guest instructor at Salt Lake Dance Center's Summer Intensive for 2 years. Kai is the primary contributor of, "Going Pro," Ballet Aligned's blog about the journey of aspiring professional dancers. Beginning in Aug 2023, he will be dancing for Ballet West II.