Compass Coaching Project 2021 with Dominic Walsh

Please read our CCD Summer 2021 Health Protocols  and complete our CCD Summer 2021 Health & Safety Waiver  and turn in before taking any classes in-person.

Mentorship for professionals navigating today’s dance landscape

Compass Coaching Project holds a magnifying glass to a professional artist’s current position in the profession and offers help to navigate toward one’s personal goals. The coaching is led by Dominic Walsh and focuses on the individual needs of each dancer and breaks down the intricacies and challenges of attaining a more efficient technique through a variety of tools in both classical and contemporary dance. In addition to analysis during classes, Compass Coaching Project offers classes in Alexander Technique, Movement Therapy, and Anatomy. Compass Coaching Project artists will have the opportunity to work on repertoire from such iconic choreographers as Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Crystal Pite, and more. During the two-week project, each artist will have the opportunity to privately meet with Dominic Walsh and Julia Wilkinson Manley (if available) to discuss goals and strategies. 

Dominic Walsh met Shannon Alvis while she was a dancer with Hubbard Street many years ago. Shannon has continued to work with many celebrated dance makers while at Nederlands Dans Theater and now has a thrilling choreographic career herself as well. Shannon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Compass Coaching Project. Our Compass Dancers are in for a real treat this year with Shannon.

Compass Coaching Project runs June 7-19 and culminates with a showing of new and existing works.

Ages 17+

Compass Coaching Tuition:
2 Weeks: $900 (Paid in Full before March 1 $855) includes digital video and performance photos.


  • MondayFriday, 10am-6:00pm
  • Saturday 10am-2pm

Program will include:

  • Classical technique
  • Pointe
  • Pas de deux/partnering
  • Contemporary
  • Repertoire
  • Kinesiology and Nutrition
  • Alexander technique and motion therapy
  • Improvisation
  • One on one coaching sessions
  • A performance will conclude the session including a new creation by Dominic Walsh

About Dominic Walsh

In 2002, Dominic Walsh, Principal Dancer and Choreographer with Houston Ballet, founded his contemporary ballet company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. After the company’s debut in February 2003, Dance Magazine declared, “At last Houston has a contemporary dance company on par with its symphony, opera and ballet companies.” The company racked up accolades and honors and built a stellar reputation for taking the techniques and skills of classical ballet into groundbreaking territory. The company’s repertoire featured inventive works by Walsh and such iconic choreographers as Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Matthew Bourne. In 2015 Walsh became a proud father and closed DWDT after 12 seasons. In December he launched his 200 page photo book he created with company photographer, Gabriella Nissen, titled simply “Dominic Walsh Dance Theater”.

Walsh was born in Elgin, Illinois in 1971 and started his training at an early age with Lisa Boehm, Frank Boehm, Warren Conover, and Larry Long in Chicago. He joined Houston Ballet in 1989, was promoted to Soloist in 1993, and Principal Dancer by 1996. Walsh danced throughout Asia, Europe, and North America receiving praise from international critics including Anna Kisselgoff of the New York Times who called him “impressively virtuosic” and the New York Post’s Clive Barnes who described him as “excellent and exuberant.” Walsh has danced all the major classics including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet, and Manon with international stars such as Nina Ananiashvili and Alessandra Ferri.

Walsh continues to receive commissions to set and create works nationally and internationally including Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, Medea (2009) and The Sleeping Beauty (2011); Ballet Florida, Bello (2006); Ballet Quad Cities, The Nutcracker (2008); American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Alchemy (2004); London Studio Centre, Sub-Luminus (2010); Asami Maki Ballet Tokyo, À Bientot (2006); New National Theatre, Tokyo, Orfeo ed Euridice (2007) and Wolfgang for Webb (2010). After the premiere of Orfeo ed Euridice, critic Ryoko Sasaki wrote: “It is a sophisticated excellent work with meditation and emotion moderately blended with each other.” And critic Akiko Tachiki said: “The choreography in which techniques of classic ballet and contemporary dance fuse was full of deformations and twists, and sparkled with unique originality.” Walsh served as the Resident Choreographer for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, creating/staging Wolfgang for Webb (2008), The Trilogy (2009), and Time out of Line (2011), and travels throughout the U.S. and abroad as a guest teacher and coach for both companies and academies. He recently returned to Japan in Oct. 2015 to stage his Afternoon of a Faun. Walsh also stages the works of his longtime mentor, Ben Stevenson when not creating or staging his own works. The Carl Jung center has shown interest in Walsh’s works and creative process and he has given lectures at Houston’s Jung Center, most recently on his Camille Claudel, titled The Suppression of the Powerful Feminine. He has written for various publications on dance, and was a regular columnist for Origin Magazine. Walsh made his film debut as a co-director at the Brussels Short Film Festival in Spring 2015 with Malta Kano, TX. Walsh is also a costume designer and will be designing a new production of Stevenson’s Cinderella in September 2018.

About Shannon Alvis

Originally from Greenwood, Indiana, Shannon received her training at Butler University and the University of Utah. She began her career with the second company of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, then going on to dance and perform professionally with HSDC for nine years. In 2009, Shannon went on to further her growth as a dancer at Nederlands Dans Theater under the direction of Jim Vincent and Paul Lightfoot. During her time in Chicago and Europe, Shannon toured internationally dancing works by many world renowned choreographers such as: Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Jorma Elo, and Crystal Pite. After taking time away from the stage to focus on the birth of her daughter, Shannon began sharing her artistry once again with the Chicago community. She has appeared in seven productions at the Lyric Opera including Rob Ashford’s Carousel , Susan Stroman’s The Merry Widow , and Les Troyens with Helen Pickett. Shannon teaches around the city and has been on faculty at the Joffrey Academy, Interlochen School for the Arts summer faculty, and Visceral Dance Center. She is very happy now to be exploring her creativity through works of her own, and has choreographed for Visceral Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, the University of Iowa, and was a recipient of the Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Work’s Choreographic Competition. She feels very fortunate for every one of these opportunities, finding inspiration in the things that she loves, and most recently completed an MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with continued commitment to the power of dance.

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