Faculty

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Julia Wilkinson Manley – 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.

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Julia Meng – Controller & Rehearsal Director

Julia Meng,  was born and raised in California. She trained under Maria Vegh (Harkness House NYC) as well as at the Joffrey Ballet and American Repertory Ballet before accepting an apprenticeship with the Colorado Ballet in 1998. Julia has also danced with David Taylor Dance Theater, Boulder Ballet, Apex Contemporary Ballet, guest artist with Oklahoma City Ballet, but spent the majority of her career at Ballet Nouveau Colorado. She has had the pleasure to work with many contemporary choreographers including Garrett Ammon, Alex Ketley, Laurie Stallings, Amy Seiwert, Sarah Tallman, and Robert Mills. Julia has also created work for Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Industrial Project, and Dance Found.  She recently retired from her performing career to spend more time with her growing family.

Melissa French

Melissa French

Melissa began her training with Terri Hayes and Anthony Sellars in Huntington Beach, CA. She studied under scholarship with The Pennsylvania Ballet (The Rock). She was awarded a full tuition scholarship from the Joffrey Ballet and attended Orange Coast College as a dance major. As a soloist and principal dancer for Ballet Pacifica, she had roles created especially for her by choreographer such as: David Allan, Anne-Marie DeAngelo, Molly Lynch, Robert Sund, Paul Vasterling and has danced principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Lynn Taylor Corbett and Choo-San Goh. In 2001 She joined The Nashville Ballet as a principal dancer and went on to perform in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Les Patineurs, Firebird, Dracula, Pas de Déesses as well as many original works. She has taught at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, Ballet Pacifica and was a professional lecturer in ballet at The University of California, Irvine. She was the Artistic director of The NewArt School of Ballet in North Carolina and was awarded The Innovative Artist Grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County. She was Artistic Director and founder of Hickory Ballet Academy where she staged many classical and original story ballets and received multiply innovative artist grants and funding for the school for collaborations with other artists in the community, choreography and community summer programing. She is currently in her second season with the Colorado Conservatory of Dance as an intermediate and advanced level ballet instructor and choreographer.

Carly Hambridge

Carly Hambridge

Carly moved to the Boulder, CO in the Fall of 2017 to dance as a company member at Boulder Ballet. There, Carly’s classical repertoire has included the title role of Giselle, Clara in The Nutcracker, and Summer Fairy in Cinderella.

Before joining Boulder Ballet, Carly danced with companies across the country including BalletMet, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Carly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy with departmental honors from Butler University. She began teaching Ballet during her sophomore year and has been teaching ever since. Upon graduation in 2014, Carly has had the opportunity to teach at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, BalletMet Academy, Longmont Dance Theatre Academy/Centennial State Ballet, and Boulder Ballet School. She enjoys teaching all age groups from Dance With Me classes to Beginning Pointe and Advanced Ballet.

During the offseason, Carly loves to expand her artistry by participating in local dance projects including Compass Coaching Project (hosted at CCD by Dominic Walsh and Julia Wilkinson Manley) and T2 Dance Project directed by Erin Tunbridge. Outside the studio, Carly is a passionate vegan, DIY-er, and traveler.

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Chris Harris

Chris Harris has been choreographing & dancing in Denver for over three decades. She is a choreographer, artistic director, visual artist, dancer and teacher with interests in math, science and data visualization, and a fascination with how we understand arts, dance, and the psychology of performance. Chris holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder and is currently working towards an MFA-IA at Goddard University. She is an Artist in Residence at the Denver School of the Arts, & on the faculty Colorado Conservatory of Dance.  She has taught at many studios; choreographed for local theaters & dance companies; been a guest lecturer at The Arts Institute of Colorado & CSU; been adjunct faculty at and choreographed for Denver University & the University of Colorado; is a co-director of the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop & Assistant Artistic Director of Interweave Dancetheatre; & is the Artistic Director/Choreographer for Louder Than Words Dancetheatre & the Colorado Youth Dance Theatre in Denver.

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Michael Hinton – Interim Conservatory Manager

Michael was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He took his first ballet class at the age of 9 at Colorado Conservatory of Dance in our Accelerate! Program. After that first class, he knew ballet was his calling. That passion and dedication landed him in CCD’s Studio Company where he was featured in ballets such as Petrushka, The Ugly Duckling, and Coppelia. At the age of 15, Michael left for New York City to train with the School of American Ballet. While in New York, Michael worked with many of the dance worlds greatest, such as instructors, such as Jock Soto, Peter Martins, Darci Kistler, and Albert Evans. 

In 2014, Michael launched his professional career by accepting a position with Verb Ballet in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael has performed with Verb Ballet in many countries, including Taiwan and Cuba. Michael has been featured in numerous works such as Tarantella, Don Quixote, Adam Hougland’s K281 and many more. While in Cleveland, Michael began his professional choreographic career. He has choreographed countless works on different companies and schools in Cleveland, with his most famous pieces are Broken Bridges, Baby Birds, and The Leaving Song.

In 2019, Michael moved back to Colorado and began working at Colorado Conservatory of Dance as the Conservatory Manager, but continues to dance, teach, and choreograph nation wide.

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Jennifer Howard

Jennifer Howard began her training at Boston Ballet, completed her Royal Academy of Dance exams under the direction of Mimi Ferrell and received her BFA from The Juilliard School.  

Jennifer spent her extensive professional dance career between New York City and Europe, touring and performing as a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Twyla Tharp Dance, Eliot Feld Ballet, Liz Gerring Dance, and Unterwegs TanzTheater, and as a freelance artist with acclaimed choreographers Lucinda Childs, Douglas Dunn, Lar Lubovitch, and Sarah Michelson.

Jennifer has been a guest teacher for NextGeneration Ballet, Burklyn Ballet Theater, Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University and taught for Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute in New York City. Most recently, before joining the Colorado Conservatory of Dance faculty, Jennifer was the Artistic Director of the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company in Concord, NH.

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Page Jenkins

Page Jenkins graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance. After graduating she danced for 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Interweave Dance Theatre, Louder Than Words Dancetheatre, and New Breed Dance Company. Page has taught for Colorado Conservatory of Dance, Colorado Ballet, National Ballet Academy Denver, and the Denver School of the Arts as well as teaching master classes and workshops throughout the region. She was also the Assistant Artistic Director of Colorado Youth Dance Theatre. Page spent several years in Beijing designing and running the dance program at Beijing National Day School as well as teaching master classes and workshops in Beijing and Wuhan. She is currently dancing with 3rd Law Dance/Theater and Wild Heart Dance. Page also teaches for 3rd Law Dance/Theater and is a licensed Gyrotonic® instructor at Gyrotonic Bodhi.graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance. After graduating she danced for 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Interweave Dance Theatre, Louder Than Words Dancetheatre, and New Breed Dance Company. Page has taught for Colorado Conservatory of Dance, Colorado Ballet, National Ballet Academy Denver, and the Denver School of the Arts as well as teaching master classes and workshops throughout the region. She was also the Assistant Artistic Director of Colorado Youth Dance Theatre. Page spent several years in Beijing designing and running the dance program at Beijing National Day School as well as teaching master classes and workshops in Beijing and Wuhan. She is currently dancing with 3rd Law Dance/Theater and Wild Heart Dance as well as working toward her GYROTONIC® Level 1 Certification.

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Karin Johnson

Karin Johnson began her classical ballet training at Allegro Ballet Academy in Houston TX and later under Dolores Haltzman in Allentown PA.  During this time, she had the opportunity to study under such renowned dancers as Suki Shorer of New York City Ballet.  She spent summers training at Central Pennslyvania Youth Ballet, Princeton Ballet, and Lexington Ballet.  She danced for Repertory Dance Theatre from 1988-1991, performing multiple corps de ballet and soloist roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Le Fille Mal Gardee, and Coppelia.  She has performed excerpts from Paquita and Sleeping Beauty.  She was admitted to the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music as a classical ballet major.  She later changed her focus from performing to teaching.  Her last paid performance was under a grant from the State of Colorado in Durango, CO.  Ms. Johnson has taught ballet to small children through adults and has been teaching since the age of 16.  She is passionate about the art of ballet.  She also has an MA in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  Ms. Johnson has used dance and yoga with adolescents in residential treatment centers and those remanded to the Division of Youth Corrections..  She currently has a private practice in Louisville and enjoys a busy and full life with her husband and four kids.

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Roberto Muñoz

Roberto Muñoz has been teaching and coaching young dancers for over 30 years, both in the USA and abroad. Mr. Muñoz served as Director of the Conservatory of Dance and Music Point Park College (now University) from 1983-1995. There, he created two successful programs for young aspiring dancers, The Pre-Professional Division and the International Summer Dance Program. During this time, he assembled an impressive faculty of world-renowned Master Teachers, including Laura Alonso, Barbara Sandonato, Karen Brown, Magda Aunon, Eva Evdokimova, Willy Burmann, Michael Uthoff, John McFall and Jose Molina. In the summer of 1993, Mr. Muñoz, was invited to be part of the faculty at Pro Danza in Havana Cuba, where he taught classes at the Historical Theater Garcia Lorca. In the year 1995, was invited to teach at The Baltimore High School for the Performing Arts. From 1997-2005, Mr. Muñoz was Ballet Master/Coach for both Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Company and its school. In 2005, he became Executive Director and Ballet Master at Gulfshore Ballet in Florida. Mr. Muñoz’s former students are recognized for their high level of professionalism and their artistic and technical achievements. Most have gone on to successful careers with major companies across the US, Europe and Asia.

Mr. Muñoz has been a guest Master Teacher at a number of Ballet Companies, including Atlanta Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Met, Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Houston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Suzhou Ballet in China, among others. He has also taught master classes at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Magda Aunon Classical Ballet School, Wexford Dance Academy, Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh, Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy, Colorado Conservatory of Dance, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School, both in Aspen and Santa Fe, Vail Valley Dance Academy, Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, Dance Conservatory of Maryland, Takeuchi Ballet Studio in Japan and the Kenny Wang Ballet School in Taiwan.

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Elizabeth Nesbitt

Elizabeth Nesbitt is originally from Chicago and found ballet at the later age of 14 but quickly fell in love. At the age of 17, she came under the mentorship of Patti Eylar of Chicago Ballet Arts and studied under Amy Rose,Calvin Kitten,Claire Bataille,and many others. She has studied on scholarship at Chicago Ballet Arts, Faubourg School of Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and Orlando Ballet. At the age of 19 she received her first contract as a seasonal dancer for the 2007-2008 season with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Following that she became an inaugural company member of Madison Ballet. During her time in Chicago she also performed with Chicago Festival Ballet, Schaumburg Dance Ensemble and studied all forms of dance around the city.

After getting married and moving to Austin she decided to concentrate on teaching and raising her family. She continued to perform and choreograph with Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble and became a founding member of The Dance Project. This past year she started a blog to combine her passions of ballet and health and connect with ballet lovers around the world at www.thewholepointe.com .

Elizabeth just moved to Colorado in October of 2016 and can’t wait to get connected and involved with the Colorado dance community!

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Rachel Newbury – Community Education Coordinator

Rachel Newbury is a Colorado native who began her dance training at the age of 5 at Barbara Ellis Studio of Dance in Colorado Springs. She went on to further her training at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance. Throughout her college years, she had the privilege of performing at the American College Dance Festival, the Exchange Choreography Festival, RAW Arts Tulsa, and the eMerge Dance Festival. In 2012, Rachel traveled to Budapest, Hungary where she taught creative movement and ballet workshops in a number of schools across the country. Since moving to Denver in 2014, Rachel has danced with Soul 2 Sole Contemporary Dance Company, choreographed for a number of their shows, and served as the Director of their pre-professional company for two seasons. She also danced with Whitney Waugh Dance for two seasons, and had the opportunity to perform alongside Art as Action in their production of TENSION.

Rachel is a firm believer in the power of dance to better one’s physical and emotional health, and is honored to be taking CCD’s mission out into the community.

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Ashley Paige Romines

Ashley Paige Romines began her dance training at age ten in Sevierville, Tennessee, and at age sixteen continued on to pre-professional ballet training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She then studied on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in ballet pedagogy. Ashley Paige performed professionally for three seasons with Northern Ballet Theatre in New Hampshire and taught at several ballet schools throughout the northeast.  During her training and professional career, Ashley Paige had the honor to learn from such inspiring teachers as Marcia Dale Weary, Darla Hoover, Mary Margaret Holt, Donn Edwards, Dennis Marshall, Melinda Howe, Leslie Hench, Laurie Jones, Denise Vale, Jeremy Lindberg, Karyn Edison, and many others, all who helped shape the type of teacher she strives to be.  Additionally, Ashley Paige received her Pilates mat certification through Power Pilates and has used Pilates as a powerful cross-training tool for both herself and her students. 

After her performance career, Ashley Paige focused on her teaching, choreography and ballet administration career. In 2007, Ashley Paige joined Springfield Ballet in Springfield, Missouri, as the Artistic & School Director, where she spent twelve years. While there, she choreographed and staged an annual production of The Nutcracker as well as several original full-length and one-act classical and contemporary ballets. Additionally, she attended Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Teacher’s Workshop several times, which was instrumental in her approach and philosophy for training dancers from tots to pre-professionals. 

Ashley Paige recently relocated to Denver with her husband. She is delighted to join Colorado Conservatory of Dance and have the opportunity to share her passion for ballet.

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Momo Sakai

Momo Sakai began her training here at CCD when she was 5 years old, and graduated in 2015. Since then, she danced professionally for 4 years with DC based contemporary ballet company: Dissonance Dance Theatre. Momo has also had the opportunity to teach for Company E Movement Center, as well as Princess Mhoon Dance Institute in Washington DC. Additionally, she has attended summer intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Rambert Dane Company in London, and the Joffery Ballet School.  After having taught several summers at CCD, she is exited to begin her first full season as part of the faculty.began her training here at CCD when she was 5 years old, and graduated in 2015. Since then, she danced professionally for 4 years with DC based contemporary ballet company: Dissonance Dance Theatre. Momo has also had the opportunity to teach for Company E Movement Center, as well as Princess Mhoon Dance Institute in Washington DC. After having taught several summers at CCD, she is excited to begin her first full season as part of the faculty.

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Jamie Schuler

Jamie Schuler is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She grew up dancing with Maria Caruso at Bodiography Contemporary Ballet. Jamie went on to earn a BFA in dance from Florida State University in 2011 where she studied under Anjali Austin, Lynda Davis, Suzanne Farrell, Tim Glenn, Gerri Houlihan, Sheila Humphreys, Rick McCullough, Anthony Morgan, Dan Wagoner, Tom Welsh and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. During her undergraduate education, Jamie was a member of the The Tallahassee Ballet. Upon graduation Jamie moved to Boulder, Colorado where she has performed with 3rd Law Dance/Theater since 2012. She currently teaches with Colorado Conservatory of Dance, 3rd Law Dance/Theater, Colorado Ballet Academy, and Longmont Dance Theatre Academy. Jamie is certified instructor of GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC ®.   She enjoys teaching this technique in private lessons, as well as, incorporating this knowledge into the rest of her teaching and dancing life.  Jamie has completed specialized Gyrotonic course applications for dancers and scoliosis.

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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.

Morgan Sicklick

Morgan Sicklick

Morgan Sicklick, originally from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, received her training at the Irine Fokine School of Ballet under the direction of Irine Fokine, Eugene Petrov and Jeanette Hoffman. In 2013, Morgan graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Marketing from Butler University. Following graduation, Morgan became an inaugural member of Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company. She also had the opportunity to set her original piece of choreography, “In the Moment of Not Knowing,” on the Second Company. Morgan is currently in her fourth season with Wonderbound, a contemporary ballet company located in Denver. She has been featured in Garrett Ammon’s Rock BalletsWinter and Celestial Navigation.

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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 Colorado Conservatory of Dance 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.

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