Julia Wilkinson Manley – CEO & Artistic Director

Julia Wilkinson Manley began her training with Cristina Munro (London Festival Ballet, Eliot Feld) in Corpus Christi, Texas. Julia attended the Boston Ballet Centre for Dance Education and the Houston Ballet Academy. At the University of Oklahoma, she earned a BFA in ballet pedagogy and danced soloist roles in Balanchine’s Serenade, Miguel Terekhov’s Four Moons, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker as Sugar Plum Fairy, as well as numerous solo roles choreographed for her by Mary Margaret Holt (Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet). She toured with Ballet Ireland under the direction of Günther Falüsy, and performed with David Taylor Dance Theatre and Ballet Nouveau Colorado. Her choreographic work has been performed by numerous companies, including Corpus Christi Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre and Ballet Nouveau Colorado.

In 2009, she served on the committee to rewrite the Colorado Academic Standards for Dance for the Colorado Department of Education and is currently the Mountain Chapter Chair of the National Guild of Community Arts Education.


Danny Ryan – Associate Artistic Director

Danny Ryan began his professional training with Rafael Delgado in his hometown of Milwaukee (WI) before moving to New York City to further his studies with teacher and mentor John Magnus at the Joffrey Ballet School. He then went on to enjoy a career with the Louisville Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater and Wonderbound. At home in both classical and contemporary techniques, Mr. Ryan’s repertoire includes works by Ben Stevenson O.B.E., George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Twyla Tharp, Trey McIntyre and Agnes de Mille, in addition to world premieres by Adam Hougland, Graham Lustig, Lauri Stallings and Garrett Ammon. In the spring of 2013, Danny was invited by John Malashock, Artistic Director of Malashock Dance, to perform the title role of Chagall: A New Dance Musical, which the company workshopped and performed at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. Mr. Ryan has also appeared as a guest artist in England, Canada and throughout the United States. Mr. Ryan has taught and choreographed extensively across the country with the Kansas City Ballet School, Texas Ballet Theater School, Portland Festival Ballet and the Louisiana Delta Ballet. Danny now also serves on the Dance Faculty for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, reaching students from 45 Alaskan Communities, 20 states, and 3 countries. Danny gratefully acknowledges all who have influenced his dance and teaching career, specifically John Magnus, Rafael Delgado, Ben Stevenson O.B.E. and Adam McKinney.


Elona Fish

Elona’s dance training is nationwide. She has trained with Alvin Ailey Summer Program, Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop, Milwaukee Ballet School, David Taylor Dance Theatre, and many others. Elona received her B.F.A. in Dance Studies at the Missouri State University. Elona has taught throughout the Denver metro area. This is Elona’s fifth season with the School of CCD.


Julianna Bicki Ryan

Julianna (Juls) Bicki began her training with the International Ballet School, before continuing on to train with Zamuel Ballet School, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and Ballet Society of Colorado Springs. While attending Walnut Hill on full scholarship, Ms. Bicki had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall in 2008. She has twice won first place at the annual Esther Geoffrey Young Dancers Competition, and has won both fourth and fifth place at the Denver Ballet Guild Competition. Professionally, Julianna has danced with Texas Ballet Theater under the directorship of Ben Stevenson O.B.E., Colorado Jazz Dance Company, Ballet Frontier (Texas), Owen/Cox Dance Group (Kansas City, MO), Napoles Dance Theater (San Francisco), and Arc Dance Company (Seattle). She is currently a dancer with the Boulder Ballet and directs the ballet program at Kemper Dance Academy in Colorado Springs.


Karen Shanley

Karen’s passion for dance/movement has kept her happily in the dance scene since she was a little girl. She studied ballet with Evelyn LeMone, Wilson Morelli, Yasuki Sasa, Margaret Craske, Antony Tudor, El Gabriel and Larry Rosenberg and modern with Betty Jones, Viola Farber, Jeff Slayton. She earned a BA in dance from UCLA, an MA from Ohio State University where her focus was modern and dance history.  Karen has taught various levels of ballet and modern at Univ. of Nebraska (Omaha), University of Hawaii, Brooklyn College, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Cal State University Long Beach, American Dance, San Luis Obispo, as well as summer dance intensives in Sun Valley, ID and Anaheim Ballet, CA.  Before moving to Colorado in 2007, Karen was a professor at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA where for 24 years she taught ballet, modern, and was Dance Department Chair for 17 years. Karen is a certified Pilates and GYROTONIC® instructor and has her own studio Jasper Peak Pilates in Lafayette.


Heather Sutton

Heather has been dancing since the age of 3 and at 15 began dancing professionally with Chambers Ballet Company under the artistic direction of Russell Chambers. Heather has also been a guest artist with Commonwealth Civic Ballet, City Ballet Cooperative and Margot Parson’s Dance Company. While performing, teaching dance classes and directing the student company she graduated from Bridgewater State College with a BA in Special Physical Education with a concentration in motor development. Heather moved to Colorado in 1999 to attend Naropa University where she received an MA in Somatic Psychology and she is currently a registered dance movement therapist. Heather began teaching at Ballet Nouveau Colorado in 2011 and has been involved in the planning and implementing of the Ballet Expressions program which provides outreach and movement education to children with physical and developmental disabilities. Heather is also excited to be participating in Project: Generations, an outreach program that will be bringing movement education and cross generational artistic collaboration to older adults in the community.

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