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Meet the Summer Ballet Intensive Teachers (2023)

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Are you ready for the 2023 Summer Ballet Intensive? Meet all of the wonderful instructors teaching at the 2023 Summer Ballet Intensive.

Ms. Amy Herchenroether

Instruction of Ballet - Level 3

A native of Pennsylvania, Amy Herchenroether attended Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School under the direction of Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. She continued her studies in Boston Ballet School’s trainee program as a Pao scholar for two years. Since joining Saint Louis Ballet in 2013, Ms. Herchenroether has danced numerous principal and soloist roles including the title role in Giselle, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Tall Girl in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Mercedes in Don Quixote, and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. She has also had the pleasure of performing in Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and originating featured roles in Amy Seiwert’s Other View, Tom Gold’s, and several works by Saint Louis Ballet’s Artistic Director, Gen Horiuchi.

Mr. Ryan Martin

Instruction of Ballet - Level 2

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 Mr. Ryan was the first American male dancer ever to be accepted into the Kirov School - now known as the Vaganova Ballet Academy. Ryan has danced with companies in Russia, Germany and the United States (Tulsa Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, BalletMet, 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. Mr. Ryan became the Co-Artistic Director and Ballet Master of the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy in 2020.

Ms. Cassandra Stanek

Instruction of Lyrical & Contemporary - Level 1 - 3

Ms. Cassandra Stank is an approachable and well-rounded dancer, instructor, and choreographer based in Long Island, New York. In her early days, Ms. Cassandra found a love for performing as a competitive dancer. Ms. Cassandra began her teaching career at the young age of 18 and quickly realized that dance education was a passion.

Ms. Cassandra is now Competition Director at a professional and recreational studio in New York, and a Competition Adjudicator; devoting herself to educating children and adults in dance technique, self-esteem, public speaking, leadership, and social skills, as well as, encouraging and training children interested in a professional career in the arts.

With experience in a wide range performing genres, Ms. Cassandra has completed her Associate in Arts degree, as well as, her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree studying dance technique, acting, voice, lighting and set design, costume design, and professional skills. Ms. Cassandra has been in various performances in Manhattan, NY, and Long Island, NY, touring theaters such as Symphony Space, the Kaye Playhouse, the Suffolk Theater, and the Patchogue Theatre. Ms. Cassandra has performed with local touring band Amber Ferrari, and has appeared in TV commercials for Stems4U Flower Delivery Service, as well as a faith based TV show called Wholly Broken that filmed in Hampton Bays, New York and aired in 2018.

Ms. Cassandra's philosophy is to consistently chase what sparks a fire in your soul, never fear failure, and to focus on what matters most. It is an honor to create art. Ms. Cassandra aims for a never-ending artistic journey and hopes to continue inspiring creative minds.

Ms. Amy Black

Instruction of Ballet - Level 1

Originally from Oklahoma, Ms. Amy Black started studying ballet and jazz at the age of five. Ms. Amy has studied at the La Mesa Dance Academy, Dance Works of Enid, and the Broadway Bound Academy of Dance. She has done summer intensive with the Washington Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. She has trained under Trey Pickett, Cecelia Jarmillo, and Debby Alllen and has worked with the New Mexico Ballet Company and Ballet Repertoire Theatre of New Mexico. She began teaching ballet in 2017. She also trains as a figure skater. Ms. Amy relocated to Anchorage, Alaska in the spring of 2021 and is proud to be a part of Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy.

Ms. Stephanie Brent

Instruction of Ballet - Level 1

Born in Oroville, California, Ms. Stephanie Brent started her dance career at age three with the Stars National Dance Team in Monterey, California. Ms. Stephanie danced competitively for six years where she collected multiple titles and awards. She went on to study under Ms. Lucy Cederleaf at the Dance Ballet 2 in Roseville, California. Ms, Stephanie continued her dance education at the Roseville Academy of Dance in Roseville, California. Her studies have included ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, character dance, ballroom, musical theatre, and hip hop. She has performed in countless shows. Her favorites were Giselle, Wizard of Oz, and Swan Lake. Ms. Stephanie has taught dance worldwide, including: Dance Gallery 2, Roseville, California; Yokota Dance Company, Tokyo, Japan; and in Germany where she was the studio director at the Grace Academy of Dance in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Ms. Stephanie has trained dancers that have gone on to So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Next Best Dance Crew, and have choreographed for World of Dance.

Ms. Stephanie has a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on child development and English language acquisition and minors in child development and English as a second language, as well as, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University Sacramento. She became the Executive/Co-Artistic Director of the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy in 2019 after being Academy Principal. As director, the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy placed multiple times in the NUVO dance competition and sent students off to prestigious dance programs and colleges. Ms. Stephanie has choreographed many pieces that have been repeatedly performed in the Anchorage Ballet’s repertoire. She is the co-creator of the Dance with Me and Bitty Bear Ballet curriculum for the Academy and an active member of the DSOA Inner Circle.

Ms. Shannon Wellmann

Instruction of Ballet - Level 2

Ms. Shannon Wellmann is a born and raised Alaskan. The Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy, has been her second home since the age of three. She has had instruction in the Vaganova ballet technique from Mr. Ryan Martin and Ms. Holly Steadman. She splits her ballet education between Anchorage and New York City. Ms. Shannon has also been trained in the French ballet technique under the direction of Mr. Francois Perron at the French Academie of Ballet. She has studied contemporary dance and choreography from Mr. Juan Rodriguez, instructor for the Broadway Dance Center and the Juilliard School. She has completed several summer intensives, including: American Ballet Theatre and America’s National Ballet Company. She has studied under Mr. Sascha Radetsky, Mr. Ethan Brown, and Ms. Hollie Wright. Shannon has danced in many Anchorage Ballet productions. She has been cast in several featured roles in the Nutcracker, including the Snow Queen, Caribou Doll, Soldier Doll, and the Chinese Empress. She was featured as a soloist in Chopiniana in 2021. Her many other performances have included Aurora and the Northern Lights, Stars and Stripes, and Coppelia.

Ms. Jocelyn Schendel

Instruction of Music- Level 1

Originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota, cellist Jocelyn Schendel has travelled globally to perform and teach. Versatile in a wide range of genres, she has collaborated with artists such as Rod Stewart, Kygo, Punch Brothers, Renée Fleming, and Yo-Yo Ma. Prior to moving to Alaska, Jocelyn performed with Lincoln Center Stage, a resident quintet onboard Holland America Line’s fleet of luxury cruise ships. Jocelyn holds masters’ degrees from the University of Michigan in cello performance and chamber music where she studied with Richard Aaron; she earned her bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the Oberlin Conservatory with Professor Amir Eldan. Jocelyn is a musician in the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra.


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