Hillary “Hilly” Bodin started ballet at the age of 2. She attended local art public schools with a dance concentration and graduated with a BFA in dance from State University of New York at Purchase College. She is a former dance artist of New York City’s Company XIV, the Artery Collection under Willy Laury, Jacksonville Dance Theatre, and has worked in creations by Benoit Swan Pouffer and Ismael Ivo. Her summer training includes Orlando Ballet, Atlanta City Ballet, Kaatsbaan, Complexions, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Impuls Tanz, and Kinitiras International in Athena Greece.
Currently a freelance dancer and martial artist, she has the experience of working with many people of all ages and backgrounds, working towards incorporating the performing and martial arts together. Her goal is to bring a plethora of knowledge of movement language, awareness, creativity, and to bridge the gap creatively between the two art forms of muay thai and technical dance. Ms. Bodin is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique instructor and practitioner.
Ms. Dodge grew up in Jacksonville FL where she graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in 1994. She later graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance.
Ms. Dodge moved to New York City and worked with Doug Merrifield and Patrick Corbin. She was a Company member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2. She served as Artistic Director of the Dodge Dance Company from 2002-2006. Her choreography was reviewed by the New York Times, and she was selected to work at White Oak through The Field. She also served as Artistic Director of Dream Street, a performance company for adults with disabilities, from 2007-2013. Faculty positions have included The Long Island High School for the Arts, The Summer Youth Program at the Walnut Hill Arts Academy and The Paul Taylor School. She Co-Founded The Dance Project of Washington Heights.
Today, she is the Founder and President of the Amelia Island Dance Festival.
Rebekah is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She began her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. While dancing at CPYB she performed the Sugar Plum, Dew Drop, and Arabian in George Balanchine’s Nutcracker and the lead role of Cinderella.
She continued her training with the San Francisco Ballet School. After spending one year in the school, she was asked to join the trainee program. While in San Francisco, Bekah performed the lead role of the Liberty Bell in Stars and Stripes, as well as, had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake with the Company.
After two years in San Francisco, Bekah joined Boston Ballet II. While in Boston, she performed The Nutcracker, La Bayadere, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Later Bekah joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an apprentice and was promoted to demi-soloist. During her time at BTM, she performed roles such as Spanish in the Nutcracker, The Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, as well as, several other featured roles in original works.
After spending some time at BTM, Bekah joined Corpus Christi Ballet as a Principal. During her time at CCB, she performed roles such as Sugarplum Fairy, Snow Queen, and the lead role of Giselle.
Kendra Frank, originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts began her training at Cape Cod Ballet. She then continued her training at the South Shore Ballet Theatre, where she had the opportunity to work with Marthavan Mckeon, George Birkadze, Stephanie Moy, Leslie Woodies, Dona Silva, and Nan Keating. She also received scholarships to attend summer intensive programs at Miami City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Bay Pointe Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence.
Ms. Frank began her professional career in 2016 when she was offered a traineeship with Bay Pointe Ballet in San Francisco, California. The following year she danced with Festival Ballet Providence. From 2018-2020, Kendra danced as a company member with City Ballet Boston. Currently she is dancing with the Florida Ballet Company.
Ms. Frank has always had a passion for teaching since the age of 14, when she began teaching pre-ballet at the YMCA. She has continued her love for teaching working with students ages 2 – 18 through various dance styles and several dance schools in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Florida.
In 2021, Ms. Frank completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3.
Cari Freiberger teaches ballet at the Florida Ballet and is also a Professor of Dance at Jacksonville University. In addition to teaching and staging ballet, she choreographs contemporary works, teaches yoga, contemporary, improv, and inclusive dance.
Cari received her early training at Washington School of Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Pennsylvania Ballet and performed with Alabama Ballet Company/Ballet South, Appalachian Ballet Company, Festival Ballet-Atlanta, and Ballet Company of Spokane. She also appeared as a guest artist for many projects including the Spoleto Festival-Charleston, the International Ballet Competition Gala-Jackson, the International Improvisational Festival- Birmingham, Adele Myers and Dancers-New Orleans, Several Dancer’s Core- Atlanta, The People’s Touring Project-NYC, and Sydney Olympics.
She received her BA from Birmingham-Southern College and her MFA in dance at Florida State University where she was the recipient of the Suzanne Farrell Fellowship and the School of Visual Arts and Dance Teaching Fellowship. Her current interests focus on inclusive arts and she teaches dance classes for person’s living with Parkinson’s with training from the Mark Morris program, Inclusive Dance for all abilities with training from AXIS dance, and Yoga with a RYT 200hr certification.
When not teaching or dancing you will most likely find her in or near the water or on her sailboat named ‘Grand Jeté’!
Lyndsey is a native of Jacksonville, who began her dance career at the age of 3. In 2017, she began her formal ballet training at The Florida Ballet Training Center and in 2018 became a full-time Conservatory student. During the 2019-2020 season, she danced as a Trainee at The Florida Ballet and graduated from high school. Some of her performances during that season included: Roberto Forleo’s, Creatures ofPrometheus, The Florida Ballet Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Clans and Flings, and La Boutique Fantastique. During the 2020-2021 season, she danced as an Apprentice with the Florida Ballet’s Company. She performed roles such as Arabian, Columbine Doll, Demi-Soloist Flower and Snow in the Nutcracker, as well as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.
Lyndsey competed in the Semi-Finals of Youth American Grand Prix in 2017 (Tampa), 2018 (Tampa), and 2019 (Atlanta), where she advanced to the Finals in New York City in 2019 with a contemporary duet under the direction of Diedre Miles-Burger and Susie Dodge. She previously attended summer intensives at ABT Tampa in 2018 and the Sarasota Ballet in 2019.
Lyndsey began teaching at the age of 16 where she found a love for sharing her knowledge with younger students. She has taught ages 3-18 in various dance styles throughout Northeast Florida and just completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3.
Sherri Kitchens grew up in Columbus, Ohio where she studied ballet at Ditzi Nagy Academy of Dance. After graduating high school, she studied at Pennsylvania Ballet School in Philadelphia on scholarship with Barbara Weisberger, John White, and Margarita De Saa and also in New York City with Rosanna Seravalli, Nadine Revene, Gabriela Darvash, and Elisabeth Carroll. While in Pennsylvania and New York, she was a supernumerary with Stuttgart Ballet in Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet.
Her first professional contract was with Hartford Ballet. Ms. Kitchens also danced with Milwaukee Ballet and Tucson Ballet.
In 1980, she began her teaching career with Ballet Met Columbus, Ohio. Throughout her career, Ms. Kitchens has taught at Ballet Dallas, Eglevsky Ballet in Long Island, New York, Boston Ballet, and Walnut Hill School for the performing Arts in Massachusetts. Over the last decade, Ms. Kitchens taught at Sarasota Ballet for six years where she was an instructor within the school, Company, and was the primary teacher for the Trainees. She also was the rehab teacher for the injured professional dancers to help them get back to performing. Before coming to Jacksonville this past year, she taught at various schools in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Kate Fisher Levitz is a native of Jacksonville. She grew up in Riverside, studying ballet with Thelma Baggs. Over the years of her performing career, she has performed numerous roles in classical ballets with regional companies including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Grand Pas De Quatre, as well as contemporary works.
After earning Masters Degree in Dance at Florida State University, Ms. Levitz studied in New York City with Finis Jhung, at the American Ballet Theatre with Maria Swoboda and in modern dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and the Cunningham School. She was one of the original members of the Joyce Trisler Danscompany.
Ms. Levitz has taught at Jacksonville University, Huntingdon College, and Florida State University where she directed the dance department’s touring company for three years and mentored M.F.A. concerts. Kate also worked with Contemporary Dancers of Canada, teaching ballet and modern dance, and directing their Apprentice Programme and touring the Province of Manitoba.
Ms. Levitz is an accomplished choreographer, having set her works on several regional ballet companies and winning the prestigious Choreographic Fellowship from the State of Florida to produce an evening of her own works. Ms. Levitz has a long association with the Ballet Arts Center of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Ballet Theatre as dancer and choreographer. Most recently she was director of the Braided Light Dance Project.
Ms. Levitz is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Heather grew up in upstate New York where she began her training with Bill Hotaling. In 1995 she graduated with honors from SUNY Brockport with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. There, she studied with Timothy Draper, Randy James, Clyde Morgan, Susannah Newman, Sondra Fraleigh, among many others. While at Brockport, she performed and toured with the school’s two performing companies, DANSCORE and SANKOFA.
After graduation from Brockport, she taught dance and theater in Jacksonville, FL from 1995-1999. Heather then spent the next 5 years managing the dance program at Berwick Academy in Southern Maine and choreographed for the Portsmouth School of Ballet, Portsmouth, NH. She has continued her studies in dance at Bates Dance Festival, The Florida Dance Festival, The Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival and The FDEO conference where she has participated in Master Classes with Robert Atwood, Terry Creach, Clyde Evans Jr., Danny Buraczeski and Desmond Richardson.
Since returning to the Jacksonville area, Heather has taught at Douglas Anderson School of The Arts and is currently a member of the faculty at St Johns Country Day School, as well as the Artistic Director at Arts Edge. She has been a member of The New Hampshire Dance Alliance and is currently a member of The National Dance Educators Organization, The Florida Dance Educators Organization and The Florida Dance Association. Heather Olschewske is an ABT certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Robersy started dancing at the age of 13 in Orange Park, FL. She began studying at Marta Jackson School of Dance and later, at Arts Edge School of Dance and Theatre as well as Summer Intensives at The Florida Ballet. She has trained in various styles of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary. She has trained under such faculty as Heather Olschewske, Carlos/Ihaia Miller, Marta Jackson, Linda Jenkins, Laurie-Picinich-Byrd, Savery Morgan, Dewitt Cooper, Joe Kemper, and James Kinney.
Robersy has been a company member of the Cooper Morgan Dance Theatre as well as Paradigm Flux Dance Company. She has been part of musical theatre productions for Players by the Sea such as “In the Heights” and has also co-directed Sakoso: a local Salsa/Mambo team.
Robersy completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 over the summer of 2021.
Morgan Brown Sanborn is currently a member of The Florida Ballet Company. She previously danced for North Atlantic Dance Theatre, City Ballet of Boston, Teatrul Balet de Sibiu in Romania, Nevada Ballet Theater, and the Portland Ballet Company of Maine. Over the course of her career, she has been featured in several classical and contemporary works.
Sanborn received her BFA in dance, magna cum laude in 2009 from Point Park University. She is a graduate of the Portland Ballet of Maine CORPS program under the direction of Eugenia O’brien and Daielma Santos-Decker. Her training includes summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Festival Ballet of Providence, Point Park University, and Boston Conservatory.
Her choreography has been performed by The Florida Ballet Company in The Choreographer’s Choice ’21 as well as by the professional dancers of Penta Project at Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project ’19, New England Inspirational Dance Collective ’19, Artfulness Boston & NYC ’19, Dance For World Community ‘19, Dancer’s Making a Difference ‘19, and Boston Contemporary Dance Festival 19’. As well as by students at Dean College’s Faculty Concert ’19, Franklin Performing Arts Company’s Nutcracker 19’, Florida Ballet School’s Dance Concert ’21.
Sanborn has over 15 years of teaching experience at a variety of schools in New England, Nevada, and Florida. She is an ABT® Certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also a certified Pilates Academy International Mat instructor.
Christa “Fatoumata” Sylla has been an arts educator sharing cultural dance with the Jacksonville community for over 17 years. Since 2015, she has been an adjunct faculty member at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (DA) as the World Dance instructor. Ms. Sylla has taught master classes at Lavilla School of the Arts. Florida State College of Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, Miami-Dade College-Kendall, and the University of Washington. In 2020, she joined the team of creative leaders at Jacksonville Arts & Music School and in 2021, was offered a position as an adjunct lecturer of West African Dance at the University of Florida.
As the director, a dance instructor, and choreographer for Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble (formally known as Culture Moves 101), Ms. Sylla has received notoriety for her passionate personality, cultural and historically based repertoire, and emotionally charged choreography. She wrote and directed Mande! The Evolution, a dance production based on the history and travels of Afro-movement through the African diaspora. She served as the choreographer for the local musical, Majigeen, since its debut in 2005, and as a choreographer for The Golden Nutcracker since its debut in 2017 to 2019. In 2018, Ms. Sylla’s choreography piece, Awon Omo Shango, was selected for the Duval County Public Schools district-wide event, Celebration of the Arts.
In 2016, Ms. Sylla was featured on the WJCT series, Hometown, about her work in the community focusing on feminine movements in African dance. The same year, she was the recipient of the 2016 Award of Recognition for Artistic Excellence from African Arts and Culture Jacksonville Inc.
In addition to continuing her studies with master instructors in the United States, Ms. Sylla has traveled to Guinea, West Africa; Jacmel, Port au Prince and Abricots, Haiti; and San Jose and Limon, Costa Rica for international dance exchanges. The experiences she had in these countries and her interactions with the people greatly influence her pedagogy. She refers to herself as a “Dancethropologist” to signify her commitment to educating on the cultural context of ethnic dances and not technique alone. Her commitment to cultural preservation earned her and Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble recognition from the Florida Department of State’s Florida Folklife Program in 2019. Ms. Sylla and Nan Nkama are officially documented as folk artists dedicated to historical conservation through the arts.
Patrick VanBuren trained in his hometown of Merritt Island, FL, under Liz Bevilacqua at Dussich Dance Studio. He furthered his pre-professional training with Peter Stark at the Orlando Ballet School. During his pre-professional years, he was Florida Dance Masters Junior Mr. Dance and Mr. Dance title holder, as well as a Finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix.
Patrick danced with the Orlando Ballet as part of their second company, with Columbia City Ballet and Ballet San Antonio as a soloist, and Montgomery Ballet and Fort Wayne Ballet as a principal dancer. He has also competed and performed internationally.
He has served as the Assistant Director of the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, Ballet Master of Montgomery Ballet company and school, and as an instructor in the upper school of Fort Wayne Ballet’s Auer Academy.
Mr. VanBuren is certified to teach Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
We proudly offer American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum!
ABT’s National Training Curriculum is a program for the development and training of young students that embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training.