Faculty

HELENA SULLIVAN
owner - artistic director

Helena is a native of Stockholm, Sweden, where she began her early and extensive ballet training with Statens Balettskola, and Balettakakademien of Stockholm. Ms. Sullivan was awarded scholarships to and attended several summer intensive programs. She earned prestigious stipends to further her education and study abroad. Helena trained with renowned teachers and schools such as Birger Bartholin of Copenhagen, Denmark, Rosella Hightower of Cannes, France, David Howard of New York City and the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki, Finland. She studied at the Irene Fokine School of Ballet and performed with Ms. Fokine’s Company. 

Helena continued her training in New York City, with a full-time scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School, where she spent two years. Helena toured throughout Scandinavia with Cramerbaletten and Riksteatern. She joined Malmo Stadsteater where she performed classical works, such as Sleeping Beauty, Napoli and other contemporary works. 

Ms. Sullivan started teaching over 20 years ago and has produced many nationally recognized dancers. Many of her students have been accepted into and attended excellent summer intensive programs, including Alvin Ailey School of Dance, American Ballet Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet School, and the Rock School for Dance Education. Helena's students have also attended highly regarded year round programs, including Alabama School of Performing Arts, Canada's National Ballet School, JKO School at American Ballet Theatre and the Rock School. Several of Helena’s students have continued to study dance in college and currently have careers in dance, performing arts and on Broadway. 

TRIP Dance Company, a non-profit youth dance company, was founded by Ms. Sullivan in 2000. TRIP provides additional dance opportunities to many children and teens. 


In addition to running her school, Helena is on the faculty of Burklyn Ballet Theatre and is the Ballet Rehearsal Mistress for The Albany Berkshire Ballet's production of the Nutcracker in Burlington, Vermont. Helena was one of the founding members of Vermont Dance Collective. She started Stowe Dance Academy 26 years ago and is happy to  continue providing excellent training to hundreds of students.

helena@stowedance.com

MARIA SULLIVAN
assistant director - creative dance - lyrical - jazz 

Maria trained at Stowe Dance Academy for sixteen years and has been a faculty member for many years. She expanded her training by joining SDA’s TRIP Dance Company as a yong teen, attending Broadway Dance Center intensives in NYC, and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, in California. She attended the Ballet Academy of Stockholm, Sweden, training intensively in the Graham modern technique, ballet and jazz. She later expanded her learning by attending the “Rhee Gold Dance Life Teacher Convention,” focusing on business and technical aspects of teaching dance.

As Helena’s daughter, Maria learned the ins and outs of the studio and teaching worlds. In May 2012, Maria earned a double major in Early Childhood Education through Dance & Marketing Communications, with a focus in Public Relations from Columbia College for the Arts, in Chicago, Illinois. As a Dance Teaching major, she concentrated on ballet, modern, contemporary ballet, anatomy, dance history and creative movement.

 

Maria relocated to Vermont in 2012 and has been teaching since returning. In 2015, she joined SDA|MRDA full-time and is very happy to be teaching the upcoming generation of young dancers.


Maria@stowedance.com

KAARIN SHIPITKO
ballet

Kaarin received her early training at the School of the Richmond Ballet. In 2008, she moved to New York to attend New York University and continue training at Steps on Broadway and Peridance Capezio Center. While in New York she began freelancing with a variety of companies and projects. In 2012 she moved to Florida to dance with Florida Dance Theatre, where she enjoyed performing principal roles in new contemporary ballet productions. Her career then took her to Russia to join The Omsk State Musical Theatre Ballet Company. There she had the opportunity to dance in many Russian classics including Swan Lake, Bakhchisarai Fountain, and Ruslan and Ludmilla and to perform divertissements in operas and theater productions. In 2015 she was excited to return to New York to resume freelancing work with ballet companies and finish her degree at New York University. Kaarin has a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Ballet as a Reflection of Culture and the State.

DREW GRANT
ballet

Drew was born in Philadelphia, PA. He trained on full scholarship with the Dance Center in West Chester, PA and The School of American Ballet in New York City. He attended summer courses with The School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Chautauqua Institution on full scholarship. He has danced professionally with Los Angeles Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, BalletMet, Carolina Ballet and Stadt Theater Chemnitz in Germany. Throughout his career he has danced principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, Medhi Walerski, Uwe Schulz, Amy Seiwert, Ben Van Cauwenbergh, and Ohad Naharin. He retired from professional dance as a principal with Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theater) in 2019. He lives in Essex, Vt with his husband, their dog and cat. 

STEFFI THOMAS
ballet

Steffi was born and raised in England and trained at the Central School of Ballet in London. Steffi has worked and performed with Peter Schaufuss Ballet, English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet and The National Ballet of Ireland. A few of Steffi’s other credits include dancing for the Queen at the Royal Variety show, performing in Shanghai China and Kazakhstan for Jaguar and performing at many corporate events such as The Discovery Channel, Bvlgari, Audi, Honda and QVC. Steffi is also a Pilates instructor and has taught ballet, and Pilates in several different Pilates studios/dance schools in England, Ireland and America.

MARY CHUDZIK
ballet - conditioning

Mary has decades of ballet experience. When she was eleven years old she competed in “Competition ’80” in Mobile, Alabama and was awarded a full ballet scholarship to the Alabama School of Fine Arts(ASFA), where she attended middle and high school. While at ASFA she danced and toured with the Alabama Ballet Company. After graduating from ASFA she was a soloist with the South Carolina Ballet Company. She has studied with renowned teachers and schools such as Boston Ballet School, Kansas City Ballet, Joffery Ballet School, David Howard, New York City and Rosella Hightower Centre de Dance,Cannes, France.

Mary currently resides in Stowe with her husband and two children. She is a physical therapist for Pinnacle Physical Therapy in Stowe. She also is a certified Bikram Yoga instructor.

DANIELLE SUFFREDINI
jazz - tap

Danielle’s career began in Rochester, New York, where she trained in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theatre, hip hop and Pilates. Trips to NCY allowed her to study with top teachers at STEPS and Broadway Dance Center. After studying performance at the University of Buffalo she received a B.A. in Dance with a minor in Arts Education from Hobart and William Smith College, also completing several masters level courses at the University of Buffalo.


Danielle’s performances and choreography have earned special honors including “Top Teacher” at local, state and national levels. She has been one of the original Power Pack members with Star Power Talent Competition, and invited to dance in the Pro-Bowl many times. She has performed in Kodak company videos, and has performed all around the country.

BREANNA HART
hip hop

Breanna holds a BA in psychology with a minor in Dance from Johnson State College. As a student at JSC, she was active in the Johnson State College Dance Ensemble. While in high school, she was a member of the North Country High School Dance Company. Breanna balances her administrative role with Easter Seals (working with and directing programs for families and children) and her human services career with her passion for teaching and performing dance. Breanna spent two years dancing for the Vermont Elements, a Company of Urban Dance Complex in Williston, Vermont. Breanna has studied West Coast Hip Hop and Funk in Los Angeles, California. Her philosophy of dance instruction is to teach a dance form to students that is technical and requires a rigorous discipline in the context of a receptive, friendly, and respectful environment.

JEN RUEST
hip hop - tap

Originally from Connecticut, Jen has been dancing since the age of 2. She graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a minor in dance. She then went on to Hartford Conservatory where she graduated with a certificate in Dance Pedagogy. From there, she danced professionally in Boston and New York. Jen has taught in many studios in the Vermont area and is excited to continue teaching at both SDA + MRDA.

ABBY PEPIN
jazz

Abby grew up in VT at the Ruth Vickery School of Ballet and CD&FS. She received her B.A. from Johnson State College, and an elementary/dance teaching certificate from Norwich University. Abby has taught dance for the Wolcott Ballet, The Dance Academy of Stowe, and Montpelier High School; she has been on the faculty at CD&FS since 1994. Abby has performed with The Vermont Dance Collective and Same Planet Dance Co. She lives in Middlesex with her husband and two children.

Guest Faculty

MADELAINE MITCHELL-WARD
guest faculty - jazz - tap - modern - contemporary

Madelaine originally hails from Traverse City, Michigan, where she received her dance training at Dance Arts Academy, and was a member of Company Dance Traverse, performing throughout the midwest, NYC, LA and Europe. She continued her dance training on scholarship at the University of Michigan dance department, where she graduated with a degree in Kinesiology. While doing her undergraduate work, Madelaine choreographed and performed with a student dance company, as well as taught in the Ann Arbor and Toledo area. 

Following graduation, Madelaine was a full time dance instructor and choreographer before moving to Vermont, where she is now pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at UVM.  She is so excited to be a new member of Stowe Dance Academy and to choreograph for TRIP Dance Company!

KRISTA HOGGE
guest faculty - jazz - musical theatre - hip hop

STEPHANIE GREENWALD
guest faculy - ballet

Stephanie Greenwald was born and raised in New York and studied at the School of American Ballet and also with Nina Youshkevitch. She then went on to dance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company before joining the Kansas City Ballet for six seasons. In Kansas City, Stephanie danced many principal roles, including the title role in Giselle, the Sugarplum Fairy and Dewdrop in the Nutcracker, La Sylphide pas de deux, and Balanchine’s Serenade, Agon, Fivertimento #15, Square Dance, and Donizetti variations. In 2004, Stephanie moved to Berlin, Germany to join the Staatsballett-Berlin directed by Vladimir Malakhov. In 2006, she became a demi-soloist and in 2011, a soloist. She has performed featured roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Manon, Sylvia, Esmeralda, La Péri and in ballets by Balanchine, Forsythe, Robbins, Béjart, and Kylián. With Staatsballett-Berlin, Stephanie toured to Japan in 2005 and 2011 and has also performed in the gardens of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

VLAD ROJE
guest faculty - ballet

Vladimir Roje received his BS and MS from the State Academy of Music and Art in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been a principal dancer at National companies in Bulgaria, Germany, and Austria, and with the Carolina Ballet of North Carolina as well as the New Jersey Ballet. Currently Mr. Roje is a guest principal dancer with the Westchester Ballet and guest principal dancer and teacher with the Albany Berkshire Ballet.

Mr. Roje is a decorated medalist of International Ballet competitions all over Europe. He is a teacher and choreographer at the Varna School of Ballet, the New Jersey Ballet School and of course, Stowe Dance Academy. 

His repertoire includes the leading parts in most classical ballet, such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Cinderella, Coppélia, The Nutcracker, Esmeralda, and many more. 

During his career he has been coached and worked with world class ballet experts ,such as Yuri Grigorovich of the Bolshoi Ballet,Irina Kolpakova of Marinsky and ABT, Alexander Grant of the Royal Ballet, Eva Evdokimova of the International, and Dina Biorn of the Royal Danish Ballet. 

Vlad has been teaching and choreographing with SDA for quite some time now. We are happy to have him as a guest teacher.

DON OBVIAR
guest faculty - ballet - modern

Don Adrian J. Obviar was born in the Philippines, where he trained in classical ballet at Teatro Baile de Cavite under Brezhnev Larlar and many other notable dancers and teachers nationally. Don won national awards for his dance and choreography while on full scholarship to De La Salle College of Saint Benilde at Manila. 

Don was promoted as Romançon company member at the age of 17 in 2007. Don's interests include modern ballet, neo-classical ballet, contemporary, jazz and Philippine folk dance. He has danced several full-length ballets and musicals, and has earned multiple Best Choreographer titles since his youth. Don has taught various master classes throughout New England and enjoys making dance a part of every day.

ISADORA SNAPP
guest faculy - modern

Isadora grew up in Vermont, studying studying ballet, modern and jazz with Lorraine Neal and Holly Yacawych at CD&FS. Following her high school graduation, she spent a year in New York city training at Dance New Amersterdam Studios and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Since then, she has moved back to Vermont to pursue her interest in teaching and her own work. She has had the opportunity and pleasure to work with many local and national artists, including the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Ron K. Brown, David Dorfman, Larry Keigwan, Yo-El Cassel and Christopher Anderson. am a native Vermonter who is passionate about all aspects of dance. I currently teach classes at Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio in Montpelier - ballet, contemporary ballet, and modern. In addition to teaching, I am always developing my own choreography.a in Granada, Spain.

ANGELA WHITHILL
guest faculty - ballet

Angela Whitehill, Founding Artistic Director of Burklyn Ballet Theatre was trained by the National Ballet of Canada and at the Arts Educational Schools in London.


She danced professionally with the Ballet Paris, Jack Emile Litler and Jack Hylton Productions in England and Europe. Ms. Whitehill was the founder and director of London School of Ballet U.S.V.I., New Jersey’s Shore Ballet Company, Vermont Ballet Theatre and Burklyn Youth Ballet and has worked as artist-in-residence at Ocean County, Castleton State and Colby-Sawyer Colleges. In 2005, she produced a Nutcracker Key West, while acting as Artistic Director for Paradise Ballet Theatre. In 2006/07, served as Artistic Director of the Huntington Ballet Theatre, Long Island, New York, where she produced Nutcracker and a full length Sleeping Beauty.


She has also served as a costume designer to the Atlanta Ballet Co., Scottish American Ballet, International Ballet Competition, New Jersey Ballet, Huntington Ballet Theatre, Berks Ballet and Burklyn Ballet Designs.
In 2008, she proudly served as the adjudicator for the South West section of Regional Dance America.
She is the recipient of eight Vermont Council of the Arts grants, NJ Francis Hopkins Memorial Award, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Authors Award, Vermont Woman of Achievement Award and is listed in Who’s Who, Who’s Who Who in Entertainment and Who’s Who Women of the World. She is the co-author of The Parents Book of Ballet (Meriwether 1988, second edition- Princeton Book Co., 2003), The Young Professional’s Book of Ballet, (Princeton Book Co., 1990), The Dancer’s Book of Ballet (iUniverse.com 2000), Ballet Magic – The Burklyn Story (QCP 2002) and Nutcracker Backstage (Princeton Book Co., 2004).

 

Since retiring as Artistic Director of Umbrella,  she has become the founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Umbrella, an advice and counseling service for parents, young dancers and companies and Burklyn Designs, a costume design and seminar program.

Stowe Dance Academy - 177 South Main Street, Stowe, VT 05672 - 802.253.5151 - info@stowedance.com
Mad River Dance Academy - 4254 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT 05673 - info@stowedance.com

Copyright © 2017 Stowe + Mad River Dance Academy | All Rights Reserved

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