Stephanie Wood-Ennett | Co-Director
Stephanie Wood began her early years of ballet training with Ballet Arts of Olympia. At the age of 15 Ms. Wood was invited to further her training at The Washington Academy of Performing Arts under the direction of Deborah Hadley; former principal ballerina for the Pacific Northwest Ballet. During Ms. Wood’s years of study at WAPA, she performed numerous title roles including Giselle at the age of 15 with William DeGregory, former principal with The Pennsylvania Ballet, George Balanchine’s Tarantella and Act II of Swan Lake as Odette.
Ms. Wood attended prestigious summer programs on merit scholarship with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Theatre School and the San Francisco Ballet School. In addition to these summer programs Ms. Wood attended Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and was personally invited to return by Ms. Farrell for the following summer. She then continued her training at the San Francisco Ballet School performing in the companies production of The Nutcracker as Chinese, Snow and Waltz of The Flowers. Ms. Wood also performed in Lew Christensen’s Vivaldo Concerto Grosso, Balanchine’s Divertimento #15, and Stars and Strips Forever.
In 1998 Ms. Wood joined Ballet Memphis where she danced professionally for six years. While performing with Ballet Memphis, Ms. Wood toured to New York City and Saint-Sauveur, Quebec for an elite choreographers competition. She has also performed many varying soloist roles in the following ballets; Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Napoli, Dracula, Where the Wild Things Are, Concerto Barocco and cutting edge works by innovative choreographers, including; Trey McIntyre, Joseph Jefferies, Septime Webre, Garrett Ammon, Lila York and Mark Godden. Ms. Wood was given the opportunity to choreograph works at the professional level for the main stage company of Ballet Memphis.
During Ms. Wood’s career she has instructed at the following schools; Ballet Memphis, Performing Arts of Germantown, The Evergreen City Ballet, Ballet Arts of Olympia and the Washington Contemporary Ballet. In 2008 Ms. Wood and Ms. Zechmann opened Studio West Dance Academy to share their love, expertise and passion for dance with the community.
Mary Cecelia Piper | Co-Owner
Otherwise known as MC, has been dancing almost her entire life and has performed many lead roles. Her first formal training began with Bridgette D'Calle, at Ballet School of Olympia. MC has been awarded numerous scholarships to prestigious dance schools including the Joffrey Ballet and Marin Ballet. During her college years she danced with both Ballet Omaha's School of Dance & Creighton University's Dance Division. MC's dancing did take a brief intermission while she worked as a mental health counselor and became a mother of two beautiful daughters. She realized her passion for teaching in 2004 when she began instructing at Ballet Arts of Olympia. MC's long time goal of owning her own professional dance school has now become a reality, in Studio West Dance Academy. "Dancing with children and watching them grow in self-confidence, poise, coordination, and the love of dance fills my heart with joy."
Kristine Anderson started dancing at an early age in Colorado, continuing through high school in Idaho. She has performed in the Nutcracker with Ballet Idaho, and was part of a national championship dance team. Upon completing her BA in Dance with high honors from San Francisco State University, she continued her formal education and completed an MFA in Dance at Mills College with highest honors, May 2011.
She has since been making and performing dance works and teaching. She has company experience with Tere Mathern Dance, Rachel Slater and Dancers, and apprenticed with ODC/Dance Company. She has had the honor of learning “Trio A” from Yvonne Rainer, herself, as well as Linda K. Johnson. Johnson and Anderson performed “Trio A” at the Berkeley Art Museum, Fall 2011. She also has had the honor of working with and performing works by esteemed artists such as Brenda Way, KT Nelson, Molissa Fenley, Robert Moses, Alex Ketley, and Tere Mathern.
Her choreographic works have been performed in various locations, from intimate art galleries to studios and larger theaters in San Francisco and Portland. Beside self-produced shows, her choreographic works have been featured at the 1 Festival, the Polish Festival, The Garage (SF), and Dance Plus.
Kristina began her career at Studio West in the summer of 2012 as a part
time front desk person. Her role has evolved over the years and she took on
more extensive responsibilities as the Assistant Studio Manager. After the
birth of her third child in the winter of 2015, Studio West gave her the
opportunity to continue working the hours she could manage and she now works
mainly in the back office doing books and other office work.
Kristina does not have a dance background, but grew up with Ms. Stephanie
and truly loves being a part of the Studio West Community. She graduated
from St. Martin's University with her bachelor's in Business Administration
and Finance. She currently resides in Olympia with her husband and three
Angela Brandenburg began studying ballet at the age of nine with Kay Englert in Lakewood, Washington. She studied classical ballet, Graham technique modern dance, as well as dance history, terminology and choreography at Washington Contemporary Ballet. She auditioned for and was accepted to the summer dance intensive programs at Pennsylvania Ballet's The Rock School, Boston Ballet and attended the New York City Ballet's School of American Ballet at fourteen. At the age of nineteen, she started to teach ballet technique to students of all ages and levels. While dancing in the WCB company, she took a master class with Rubina Carmona and fell in love with flamenco. She started studying flamenco with Marisela Fleites-Lear at twenty-two. At twenty-three, she became ballet mistress and principal dancer at Washington Contemporary Ballet, staging ballets and running rehearsals. She continued her study of flamenco with many master teachers including Teo Morca, Oscar Nieto, Maria "Chacha" Bermudez, Timo Lozano, Melinda Hedgecorth, and Cihtli Ocampo. Angela began teaching at Studio West Dance Academy from their first season, and has taught ballet to all levels as well as beginning and intermediate flamenco. She especially enjoys instructing beginning adult ballet as well as beginning flamenco, as she believes anyone can learn to dance. She started the monthly Flamenco Night at Pizzeria La Gitana in 2012 which continues to bring flamenco to the Olympia community as well as give an outlet to flamenco performers from around the Puget Sound.
Rachael Forstrom, originally from Southwest Ohio, began her dance training at the DeWeese Academy of Dance Arts in Middletown, Ohio. She received her BFA in Dance from Ohio University in 2003, with an emphasis on Performance and Choreography. Rachael has been teaching, choreographing, and performing professionally for over 12 years. After college, Forstrom moved to Columbus, Ohio where she performed with Anatomical Scenario, Tupaco Dance, The Columbus Crewzers, Columbus Movement Movement(CM2), Vaudvillities, and Snap! Performance Productions. In 2009, she had the opportunity to be a Dance Ambassador in the INLA Dance Festival in Beijing, China.
In 2012 Forstrom relocated to the PNW, where she has had the opportunity to work with several Seattle choreographers and dancers creating and performing throughout the city. Rachael served as Technical Director/Company Member with Serendipity Dance Brigade from 2013-2015, and currently is the Founder and Artistic Director for Ktisk Contemporary Dance. Forstrom has created works for various community dance productions, including the Columbus Dance Festival and the Seattle International Dance Festival.
Jerrilynn “Jeri” Globe first started her dance training at age 11 in ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, musical theatre and tumbling. One year later, at the age of 12, she started competing and attending classes and conventions around the country where she received multiple awards for solos, duets, trios and corps work.
At age 13, Jeri began assisting in dance classes for children ages three through 16. After assisting for three years she started teaching her own classes as well as choreographing for competitions and dancing full-time. To her amazement, her students, with the supplement of her training and choreography, received multiple awards and achievements.
From this point on, Jeri decided that teaching was her calling and dove in head-first. At age 19 she was asked to be assistant director of her studio and went on to take over the business and make it her own, later adding a retail store - Dance Fashions Unlimited. She wore multiple hats; managing the business, making costumes, teaching and choreographing. Her business rose in success.
In an effort to slow down, Jeri decided to sell her studio and focus on dance instruction. Since 2010, her experience, values, and enthusiasm for dance have contributed to Studio West’s vision - we are pleased to have Jeri as an instructor and office staff member.
Bio on it's way!
Photo and Bio Coming soon!
Joseph Jefferies | Guest choreographer, instructor and guest artist
Joseph Jefferies trained as a student at Yuma Ballet Academy in Arizona with Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair. He also trained at Harid Conservatory with Olivier Pardina.Jefferies went on to dance professionally for 16 years, dancing with Pittsburg Ballet Theater and Ballet Arizona before joining Ballet Memphis for nine years. During his time as a professional dancer he performed lead roles in works by Trey McIntyre, Lila York, Julia Adams and Mark Godden. Later, Jefferies joined Les Ballet Trockadero De Monte Carlo.
During the course of his professional dancing career, Jefferies has danced principal roles in several ballets including Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle and Coppélia. Jefferies has also worked as a choreographer, creating over thirty works primarily for Ballet Memphis. His work has been selected for RDA National Festival in Montreal. He has won the RDA Emerging Choreographer Scholarship twice and had his work performed in New York City's Ballet Builders Showcase. He was named "Artist of the Year" in 2002 by the Memphis Commercial Appeal for his dancing and choreography.
As a dance educator, he began teaching adult ballet at Ballet Memphis’s School as well as serving as guest teacher for Ballet Memphis and Ballet Memphis’s Junior Company for company class, variations and pas de deux. Since then, he has taught at Studio West Dance Academy, Portland Ballet School as Summer Program Director & Resident Guest Artist, Northeast Youth Ballet, and Walnut Hill School for the Arts.
Reza Leal-Smartt Hip Hop Instructor
Dance was something Reza developed a passion for at the very young age of three. Since then, she has attended an array of dance studios, master classes, and workshops all over Washington, and from many well-known choreographers. The schools that were the most influential in her dance training include the Johansen School of Ballet, Ballet Arts, Westlake Dance Center, Studio One, Monsters of Hip Hop, and of course Studio West Dance Academy and The Beat Box. In high school, Reza was a member of the varsity Tumwater Dance Competition Team; going to state and nationals, and placing sixth in the nation. She has been in shows and competitions most of her life, and has acquired experience in multiple dance styles including lyrical, hip hop, jazz, and ballet. Reza is continuing to work on her craft and growth as a dancer with hip hop performance groups like Audacity and The Beat Box’s Edge.
Over the past two years, Reza has been working as a dance instructor; sharing her love of the art form with others. She is excited that she now will be training students of Studio West, teaching hip hop at The Beat Box!
Kristen Grace has been the primary hip hop teacher at Studio West Dance Academy since it’s opening and has founded the performing group EDGE. Kristen is now the director of Studio West's newest addition, The Beat Box Hip Hop Dance Studio. Kristen got her start dancing competitively with H2Whoa, Gig Harbor High School’s hip hop dance team, and went on to lead her university team as captain and choreographer at PLU - staging various pieces for the student choreographed show each year. She has danced and trained with DASH, Koncrete Studios, Velocity, and Westlake Dance Center along with many other master classes and workshops from Seattle, Tacoma, LA to New York. She now dances with Olympia/Lacey based adult dance team Audacity Cru, and recently competed with them at the World of Dance Finals in Los Angeles, as well as World of Dance Seattle. Kristen is extremely passionate about bringing new life into the Olympia hip hop community and building young dancers into strong and successful individuals who have the skills and confidence to go after what they want in life. She is very excited and committed to strengthen and expand The Beat Box, Olympia's first exclusively hip hop dance academy.
Erin is a Seattle native who began her ballet training with Ms. Irene Larsson – formerly a dancer with New York City Ballet. Erin danced in many summer programs including Joffrey School of Ballet in New York City. She danced for one year with Redwood Concert Ballet in Eureka, California. Her teaching career began with Kay Englert at Washington Contemporary Ballet, where she served for fifteen years as ballet mistress, instructor and choreographer. Erin also taught ballet at Ballet Arts of Olympia with Suzie Ferko.
Erin has been an instructor and choreographer at Studio West since the Studio’s inception. She is married, has one son, three daughters, and one adorable grandson.
Elizabeth Piper began her training at age 9 at Ballet Arts Olympia under the direction of Suzanne Ferko. It was there that she met Stephanie Wood-Ennett, who remained her instructor for many years. At age 15, Elizabeth began training on scholarship at The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre with school director, Damara Bennett, and company director, Christopher Stowell. During her years of training, Elizabeth attended summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Elizabeth joined City Ballet of San Diego in 2009 and danced with them for four years. During her dance education and career she was honored to dance in such distinguished works as Balanchine’s Serenade, The Nutcracker, Valse Fantaisie and Donizetti. She also performed in ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Carmen, Swan Lake, Firebird, Paquita and Lew Christensen’s Il Distratto.
Elizabeth is currently attending Saint Martin’s University on scholarship as a junior in their biology program, and hopes to begin a doctoral program for Physical Therapy in the fall of 2017.
A full time staff member since 2014, Elizabeth values Studio West’s goals and environment and is dedicated to the success and triumph of all students.
Rhett & Shona Powers
Rhett is a former U.S. American Style Ballroom Dance Champion. He taught in Los - Angeles, California for 12 years and has been teaching in the Puget Sound area for the last 18 years. He contributes a great deal of expertise and creativity in his teaching. Rhett has retired from competing professionally, and prefers to teach students to dance with knowledge and challenges them to dance to there fullest potential.
Shona's initial experience with dancing includes ballet, tap and jazz, and for the past 23 years she has been teaching Ballroom, Latin and Swing. She has been fortunate to study under many Champions, including Rhett. Shona has retired from competing professionally, but loves to teach her students how to perform ballroom dancing in a fun and joyful way.
Both Rhett & Shona love teaching people to dance together - it's a fascinating journey and it's a skill that everyone will use at some point in their lives - whether it's just for fun - or for a special occasion.
Marianna Ramsour | Ballet
Ms. Marianna started her Ballet training at the age of five at Keyla Ermecheo's Ballet School in Caracas, Venezuela; where she graduated as a classical Ballet Dancer. She joined Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas under the artistic direction of Keyla Ermecheo. During that time she performed many classical and neo-classical repertoire including: Giselle act II, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire (pas de deux), Bayaderka Trio, Nutcracker, Apollo (Balanchine), Paquita, and was able to be a part of the World Festival and perform at Pace University in New York.
Four years later she joined National Ballet Caracas under the artistic direction of Vicente Nebreda where she toured to other countries and all around the United States performing predominantly Nebreda's and Balanchine's work. After guest performing in Tulsa Ballet's Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet, she joined Ballet Memphis in August, 2001 under the artistic direction of Dorothy Gunther Pugh. With the company, she was able to perform in numerous ballets by renowned choreographer's such as Trey McIntyre, Mark Godden (Carmina Burana), Lila York, George Balanchine, Garret Ammon, Julia Adams and Joseph Jeffries. She trained under: Carmen Estela Fernández, Nela Lanz, Johana Fernández, Rafael Portillo, Irina Ivanova, Marina del Elmo, Vladimir Issaev, Vladimir lopoukhov, Eric Volodin, Maya Samokhalova, Ruta Butviliene, Rumen Rachev, Rubén Echeverría and Keyla Ermecheo. Ms. Marianna has taken the mat and reformer courses in Stott Pilates under the direction of Tamara Hoffmann and dedicates full time to teaching the art of Ballet.
Bio coming soon!
Monica Sieling began her early years of dance training at Ballet Arts Olympia. At the age of 10 she transferred to Studio West Dance Academy and began pursuing all styles of dance including ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary. Performing in Studio West Dance Theatre productions and participating in Performance Division pieces has brought her great joy and has been an integral part of Ms. Sieling's dance education. Her favorite roles include: Chinese in Nutcracker, the Cook in Alice in Wonderland, the Jester in Cinderella and Michael in Peter Pan. Ms. Monica is also one of the original members of Studio West's Hip Hop dance crew, EDGE. EDGE has danced in numerous Hip Hop shows and workshops throughout the area including, Krunk, No Flex Zone and Monsters of Hip Hop.
Ms. Monica has a patient, yet exuberant style when instructing young children. She began as a teacher's assistant in 2012 and displayed such natural abilities when working with dancers, that in 2014 was offered her own class. Since then her talent and instruction skills have earned her additional teaching positions.
"Having the chance to work with young dancers gives me a new perspective and love for this art form [dance] that I never experienced before. Watching my students connect with themselves and others through dance, and then leave class with a smile on their face is what inspires me as a dance instructor." -Monica Sieling
Rachel Zeigler began dancing and singing at the age of 11 while living in Ellensburg, Washington. She continued her training through highschool and college, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Performance from Central Washington University in 1999, with an emphasis on music and dance. Since then, Rachel has had the opportunity to perform in such shows as, Peter Pan, Angry Housewives, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, My Fair Lady, and Seussical, the Musical. Some of her favorite roles have included Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. In addition to performing, Rachel has also held numerous offstage positions; she served as House Manager for Laughing Horse Summer Theater, Box Office Manager for Spokane Interplayers Ensemble, Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager for Studio West Dance Theatre, and as of August 2015, Studio Manager for Studio West Dance Academy.