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Meet the Summer Ballet Intensive Teachers (2022)

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Are you ready for the 2022 Summer Ballet Intensive? Meet all of the wonderful instructors teaching at the 2022 Summer Ballet Intensive.

Ms. Jessica Lopes

Brazilian born Jessica Lopes began her ballet training in 2014 at Escola de Dança Alice Arja, where she trained until joining Miami City Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program for their 2015-16 season where, upon completion of the program, she received a Certificate of Graduation. After her time in Miami, Jessica returned to Brazil and joined Cia de Ballet de Rio de Janeiro as a Corps de Ballet member.

Jessica returned to the states in 2017 to compete in the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition and later to join the Milwaukee Ballet 2 Program where she spent two seasons training and performing alongside the company, featured in Corps de Ballet roles throughout these two seasons, and receiving soloist casting in Bruce Wells’ “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. She has had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers during her travels and training including; Aleix Mane Saez, Kathy Posin, Pam Tanowitz, Gerard Ebitz, and many more.

Mr. Isaac Sharratt

Isaac Sharratt began his ballet training in Tucson, AZ, training first at Tucson Regional Ballet and then moving his training to Ballet Tucson in 2004. He was awarded scholarships to attend several summer intensive programs including; San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet. Where he trained under world class dancers and instructors including; Jorge Esquivel, Peter Boal, Claudio Muños, Parrish Maynard, Bruce Wells, Sonia Dawkins, and many more.

Mr. Sharratt rose from Ballet Tucson’s academy into the company at the age of 16, where he spent three more years with Ballet Tucson as a company member, affording him the privilege of learning and performing works from the Tudor Foundation, as well as being given the opportunity to train under world class instructors and dancers. He performed the lead in Anthony Tudor’s “Little Improvisations”, as well as performing Tudor’s “Continuo”. He worked closely with ballet superstars John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow, as well as renowned Jeffery Graham Hughs, Pamela Raymond, and Lawrence Peck.

He moved from Ballet Tucson in 2008 to join the Milwaukee Ballet’s second company trainee program, spending only one year in the program before being asked into the company. During his ten years with Milwaukee Ballet, Mr. Sharratt was cast in several world premier full length ballets by Michael Pink, doing lead roles in many, and playing the title role in Michael Pink’s “Beauty and the Beast”. Over his time in Milwaukee Mr. Sharratt was cast in many world premiers and restagings and has had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers such as; Trey McIntyre, Mauro de Candia, Val Caniparoli, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Mark Godden, Amy Seiwert, Septime Webber, Matthew Neenan, and many more.

Mr. Ryan Martin

With a career expanding over 28 years, Mr. Ryan Martin has more than 25 years of experience as a professional ballet and contemporary dancer. He graduated from two prestigious ballet schools, the National Ballet of Canada and the Kirov School, with diplomas in both the Cecchetti and Vaganova training methods. Mr. Martin was the first American male dancer ever to be accepted into the Kirov School - now known as the Vaganova Ballet Academy. Mr. Ryan has danced with companies in Russia, Germany, and the United States (Tulsa Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Ballet Met, and Milwaukee Ballet) and worked closely with celebrated artists and choreographers. He has performed principal and solo roles in the classical repertoire, as well as, working with important choreographers of the 20th century. His own choreography is a reflection of his dynamic experiences and includes original works in both classical and contemporary styles.

Ms. Tara Brooker

Originally from Florida, Ms. Tara Brooker’s love of ballet started at age four. Ms. Tara studied ballet, jazz, and tap at The Dance Academy in Tampa, Florida. In addition, she was lucky to attend two high schools that offered excellent dance programs. She also studied ballet at Sell’s Broadway Company under Chris Sell. After high school, she was a teacher assistant in Riverview, Florida. Ms. Tara moved to Oklahoma in 2005 with her husband and two kids, where she continued her dance education and began teaching ballet. She has performed in Chicago, Anchorage Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker and with The Gemini Dance Band for five years. She has studied under Courtland Weaver, Michelle Katcher and many others. Since joining the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy in 2018, Ms. Tara has choreographed many pieces and is the co-creator of the Dance with Me and Bitty Bear Ballet curriculum for the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy. Ms. Tara is also an active member of the National Dance Education Organization.


Mr. James Ackerman

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mr. James Ackermann has been dancing since he was five years old. He started his dance study in Ballet, Jazz, and Tap, later adding Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, and Contemporary to his repertoire. Mr. James has trained under Ms. Celia Aramillo and Ms. Jennifer Boren, and developed a strong sense of technique while dancing in companies like Festival Ballet. Musical Theatre is his passion and he has been featured in shows such as Footloose, West Side Story, and Chorus Line. Mr. James started teaching multiple genres of dance in 2010 and has performed in over 70 Musicals, he is excited to pass his passion on to the next generation.

Ms. Karen Habicht

Karen Habicht was born in Anchorage, Alaska. She started dancing at Children’s Dance Theatre at age 7. She later began her formal training with Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy at age 15 after a three year hiatus from dancing. Since then, she has danced in three The Nutcracker’s, performing roles such as Pas de Trois, Waltz of the Snowflakes, and Waltz of the Flowers. She appeared in Coppelia, Aurora: Tale of the Northern Lights, Carnival of the Animals, and several Spring Celebrations and Winter Recitals. Ms. Karen participated in Youth America Grand Prix in San Francisco in 2019, performing Odalisque. She is in her senior year at Columbia College Chicago majoring in dance. While in college Ms. Karen has danced, modeled, and acted in peer projects, and has performed on stage for Columbia College showcases under choreographers Paige Cunningham and Brady Neher. Most recently, she performed choreography by Bekah Norwood alongside Chicago dance companies Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, The Met Down Collective, and Re/Dance Group. Ms. Karen has studied dance pedagogy and taught at Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy and Columbia College Chicago.

... More teachers to come!


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