Mr. Ryan Martin, Co-Artistic Director and Ballet Master
Instructor of Ballet - Level 2 and 3
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. 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.
Ms. Michelle Katcher
Instructor of Ballet - Level 2 and 3
Michelle Katcher was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. At the age of seven, she began classes at Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy, where she studied for nine years under Farah and Michelangelo Canale. Michelle then moved to Washington D.C. to train at the Kirov Academy of Ballet. Upon graduating, she was invited to study under the legendary American ballerina, Gelsey Kirkland in New York City. Michelle was a founding member of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. With GKB, Michelle danced many principal and soloist roles including Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Marie in The Nutcracker, and Columbine in Harlequinade. Michelle then joined Ballet Arizona for one season, where she danced in ballets such as Ib Anderson’s Coppelia and The Sleeping Beauty, and George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, Rubies, and Walpurgisnacht. Since joining the Sacramento Ballet in 2016, Michelle has had the opportunity to work with many choreographers including Amy Seiwert, Ron Cunningham, Penny Saunders, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Her favorite roles include Marie in Amy Seiwert’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Tarantella, and the “jumping girl” in Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi.
Ms. Abbigale Seitz
Instructor of Ballet - Level 1
Abbigale Seitz was born in Tucson, Arizona. Ms. Seitz began dancing at Alaska Dance Theatre at the age of three under the direction of Alice Sullivan. At the age of twelve, Abbigale began her formal dance education at the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy. She has earned scholarships to summer intensives including: Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Washington Summer Dance Lab Walla Walla, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and San Jose’s New School Ballet. She has worked with many renowned dancers including Benjamin Griffiths, Lisa Sundstrom, and José Manuel Carreño. She has performed roles in Eugene Ballet Company, Cincinnati Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker. As a student of ACBA, Ms. Seitz was a participant in the Youth American Grand Prix semi - finals three times and has performed in the Anchorage Ballet repertoire including: Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Aurora: A Tale of the Northern Lights, and La Boutique Fantasque. Ms. Seitz is a graduate of the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy and now attends the University of Alaska Anchorage where she is currently obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a dance, athletic training, and nutrition minor.
Ms. Crystal Schayot Rutherford
Instructor of Jazz and Contemporary - Level 1, 2, and 3
Crystal Schayot Rutherford is a versatile, multi-talented artist born and raised in New Orleans. She started dance at 3, teaching at 13, and earned her Performing Arts Degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has been featured in an array of theatrical productions as both performer and choreographer and has earned numerous awards and scholarships. She has received the titles of Pro Miss NYLA Dance and Miss New Orleans National Model USA. She has traveled across the globe, has had extensive training in a broad range of styles, specializing in musical theatre, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, modern, and improvisation,trained at the Globe Theatre and Pineapple Dance Studios in London, and has worked with many notable choreographers. She has appeared many times in various forms of print, music videos, movies, and television shows, including So You Think You Can Dance. She currently tours with NYLA Dance Competitions & Conventions as a competitive judge, master class instructor, and photographer. She is a core member and principal dancer for The Breakthrough Outreach & Performance Company with which she has traveled to New York and Guatemala to train, teach, and perform. She has performed and choreographed for many special events, charity events, festivals, Mardi Gras balls, pageants, and danced her way into the Guinness Book of World Records in Dublin. She is the Artistic Director of The Wicked Little Voodoo Dolls Dance & Variety Entertainment & Performance Company and the PRISM Dance Productions YouTube Channel. She has successfully found a way to integrate dance into every one of her artistic endeavors including her arts studio Works of the Muse, dance costume and dress design by Crystal Fleur de Couture, and photography with Crystal Clear Photographie.
Mr. Gabe Harvey
Instructor of Hip Hop - Level 1, 2, & 3
Gabe Harvey, Artistic Director at Underground Dance Company, LLC. first discovered his passion for dance during middle school. It was in the Dance Program at West Anchorage High School under the direction of Lori Bradford, that his dedication to the study of dance intensified and his involvement in the dance community of Anchorage grew. Since graduation in 2000 from West High, Gabe has studied dance at the University of Alaska and the University of Colorado. His first professional position was at Alaska Dance Theatre and it was Gabe who began ADT's first Hip Hop dance class. Since ADT, Gabe has headed up several dance programs one of which was at Arctic Gymnastics. In 2004 Gabe created and opened Underground Dance Company. UDC, Alaska's premier Hip Hop and Street Style Dance Studio has established a name as far away as Bournemouth, England where his company, UDC Hardcore, won 1st and 2nd places in the International Dance Championships.
Mr. Ciro Anaya and Ms. Liz Anaya
Summer Ballet Intensive Instructor of Latin Dance - Level 1, 2, & 3
Ciro Anaya is from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, the birthplace of Cuban son. He earned a teaching license through Cuba’s national art instructor’s college, where he also danced in the university dance group. Before moving to Alaska, he danced full-time in the internationally-recognized professional dance company directed by Yanek Revilla, Sabor DKY, performing choreographies of various Cuban popular dances and teaching groups of students from all around the world. Ciro brings infectious positive energy, embodied knowledge, and authentic Cuban style to this partnership.
Liz Anaya is from Alaska. She is a published scholar of dance, holding a master’s degree (2017) in Dance Knowledge, Practice, and Heritage. She wrote her master’s dissertation, La Onda Gozadera, on casino and other Cuban dances in a globalized world. She has danced and participated in performing groups in both Europe and the US. In 2016, she served as a judge at Salsanor’s annual “Rueda Congress”, hosted that year in Norway. Liz brings historical, comparative, and technical knowledge to this teaching duo.
Ms. Hannah Bankston
Summer Ballet Intensive Instructor of Music - Level 1, 2, and 3
Hannah Bankston is known for her expressive stage presence, and her love of teaching and communicating with children. She has lived in Alaska most of her life and has been involved with both chorale and theatrical activities around Anchorage. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Voice and Communication from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California and hopes to pursue graduate studies in the future. Recently, she has resigned from her position as Executive Director at Alaska Theatre of Youth to pursue being a stay-at-home mom.
Hannah is an Alaska NATS member and is passionate about offering the highest standard of the fine arts. While Hannah’s focus is on vocal instruction, she also has a desire to teach piano, communications, theatrical techniques and stage administration. Her experience in directing includes shows such as Alaska Theatre of Youth’s “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.”, “Seussical the Musical, Jr.”, “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.", "Mary Poppins, Jr." and "Little House on the Prairie the Musical".
Hannah has the skill to relate with people and teach with a relaxing demeanor, which in turn makes learning music and theatre fun for all ages!