Stephanie Wood-Ennett | Co-Director
Began her early years of training at Ballet Arts Olympia until her dedication for dance moved her to Redmond, WA at the age of 15 to pursue 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-Ennett's years of professional training she attended prestigious summer programs such as Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
She also studied on scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Oregon Ballet Theatre School and the San Francisco Ballet School. Following a summer with the San Francisco Ballet School, Ms. Wood- Ennett was invited to move to San Francisco to further her training and perform with the company. In 1998 Ms. Wood- Ennett joined Ballet Memphis and danced professionally for six years. During this time she performed soloist roles and worked with innovative choreographers. In the midst of Ms. Wood- Ennett 's performing career she discovered a love and talent for teaching and choreography that has continued to grow over the past fifteen years.
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.
Brittni Bryan is a Contemporary Dance Instructor at Studio West Dance Academy. In 2013, she graduated from Seattle University with her Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She has been teaching dance since 2010; after graduating from Tumwater High School where she was a member of the national ranking Tumwater High School Dance Team. Brittni was a competitive dancer during adolescence, receiving such prestigious awards as the Triple Threat Award from New York City Dance Alliance's convention circuit, Student Choreography Awards, and multiple overall titles as a Lyrical and Jazz soloist. Since graduating college, Brittni has continued her dance training in Seattle, performing with Xaviera Vandermay's contemporary company, 3rd Shift Dance Company. She performs with Assistant Company Director, Sharonda Young, who also teaches for SWDA! As a dance educator at SWDA, Brittni strives to inspire her students to find the story within the movement. Storytelling, pedantic gesturing, hyberbolic movement, and a deep love of music are the pillared foundation of Brittni's teaching style. She hopes to share her love of movement and expression with every student who takes her class!
Nathan Cook began his ballet training at the age of four at Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, WA where he studied classical and contemporary ballet under the direction of Kay Englert. He has studied a wide variety of other dance styles including, modern, jazz, tap and flamenco to name a few. He has also danced principal roles in a number full length ballets such as Prince Charming in Cinderella, Nick Bottom in A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Prince Ivan in The Firebird, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. Mr. Cook spent four summers dancing on a merit scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet in their summer intensive program and another year with training with Spectrum Dance Theater. Currently he is working as a freelance dancer and ballet teacher throughout the Puget Sound area.
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.
Bio on it's way!
Bio on it's way!
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.
Bio on it's way!
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.
Bio on it's way!
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!
Sharonda Young began her dance training in sunny California at the age of 3. She continued training locally in Tacoma, WA before moving to NYC at the age of 17. Here she obtained a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Marymount Manhattan College. During her 8 years living in NYC Sharonda worked with various companies including the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble and Company, the Errol Grimes Dance Troupe, TysanDance, and on Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Teaching locally; at Dance Studios, in Public Schools, and with Dance Teams, has become Sharonda’s focus and her goal is to create a passion for movement (bigger bigger!!) and comfort in personal expression in her students. Locally she had taught ballet, modern, tap, and jazz at schools up and down the Sound, Woodinville to Olympia. You can also find her on the stage performing locally with 3rd Shift Dance.