Josie trained at Orange County Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she received a B.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy. She danced with Dance Connecticut/Hartford Ballet, Connecticut Opera, Roxey Ballet, and ARC Dance Productions. Guest credits include Eliot Feld’s Mr. XYZ with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Kirk Peterson’s The Nutcracker with the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Josie has taught and choreographed extensively throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, and Western Washington. She and her husband Ken are Co-Artistic Directors of Ballet Northwest.
She is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher, successfully completing the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT National Training Curriculum in New York. Johansen Olympia Dance Center is proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 8 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development.
Ken trained at Johansen School of Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, and the School of Hartford Ballet. He attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet on scholarship. Ken danced with Hartford Ballet, Dance Connecticut, and Connecticut Opera, as well as at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Following his retirement from performing, Ken received a B.A. from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. In addition to teaching dance, Ken has worked extensively in fundraising for American Repertory Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Connecticut, ACT Theatre, and Tacoma Art Museum. Ken and his wife Josie are also Co-Artistic Directors of Ballet Northwest.
He is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher, successfully completing the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT National Training Curriculum in New York. Johansen Olympia Dance Center is proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 8 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development.
Jennifer is a life-long Olympia resident. She trained at Johansen School of Ballet and has danced with Ballet Northwest for many years. In recognition of her service to the company, she recently was honored with the Becky Jo Hellman Award. Jennifer has attended a dance teacher workshop at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. A mother of two sons, she has also operated her own childcare business.
Chrissy was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and trained in Broadway-style tap, hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. She also choreographed drill team competition routines and was a member of a competitive Houston drill team. A national first runner-up soloist, Chrissy moved to Washington, D.C. where she learned street tap and was a member of the TAPestry performance dance company. Since moving to Olympia, Chrissy has choreographed for the Black Hills Dance Team and has actively been interested in promoting dance in the community by participating in various festivals and events. Her lifelong dream would be to dance around the globe learning all forms of dance from Irish to Tango.
Eryn began her dance training at Southwest Washington Dance Center in Centralia, Washington. In high school, Eryn trained at Johansen Olympia Dance Center, and performed with Ballet Northwest. Eryn is a graduate of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she obtained a B.F.A. in Ballet Pedagogy. She has performed works by Jose Limon, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and others. Eryn attended summer programs at Northwest Dance Project, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the Henny Jurriëns Stichting in Amsterdam. Her choreography was recently presented at Shapeshifter Lab in Brookyln, NY.
Originally from Qingdao, China, Xijun Fu began his professional ballet dance training at age 12 with the Beijing Dance Academy. He danced as a Soloist with the National Ballet of China, Ballet de Santiago in Chile, and Cincinnati Ballet. He won 3rd prize in China’a first ballet competition, and appeared in the PBS special Dance for Two Countries, filmed in China. After he finished his brilliant dance career, Mr. Fu directed Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Lexington Ballet, Ballet Under the Stars, and Summer Flight Ballet. Mr. Fu and his wife, Fang Li, are the owners of FUZI International.
Bud studied at the Andahazy School of Ballet in Minnesota, and in New York City with Fredric Franklin, Edward Caton, and Yurik Lazowski, among others. He worked with several schools and ballet companies in Minnesota, and was the Chairman of the Ballet Department at College of St. Theresa. Bud served as the Artistic Director of Ballet Northwest for 35 years, co-founded Johansen School of Ballet, and was on the faculty of The Evergreen State College for nearly 30 years. Bud has choreographed a broad range of productions including ballets, jazz, and musicals.
Mary trained with numerous teachers across the country, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Theresa with concentrations in Ballet and Music. Mary danced with Minnesota Collegiate Ballet, Southern Minnesota Regional Ballet, and Ballet Northwest. In Minnesota she taught at the Cynthia Hart Hudspith School of Ballet, College of St. Theresa, St. John’s School, and operated her own ballet school. In Washington, she has taught at The Evergreen State College, Centralia College, and Johansen School of Ballet which she co-founded and directed for 35 years.
Bio coming soon.
mariah mao – jazz, HIP-HOP
Mariah trained at Johansen Olympia Dance Center, danced with Ballet Northwest, and was a member of the Olympia High School Drill Team. While in high school she attended the School of Cinema and Performing Arts program in New York, and was also Miss Olympia. Mariah received a Bachelor of Science degree in family studies, human development and physiology from the University of Arizona. During college, she was on the University of Arizona Pom Line and DIA Hip-Hop crew. Mariah currently is the Assistant Coach and Choreographer for the Olympia High School Drill Team (where she recently choreographed national qualifying pom routines), and works at Proactive Sprotsmed as a Physical Therapy aide.
Rachael McGinnis trained with Johansen Olympia Dance Center and danced with Ballet Northwest, where she strengthened her dance technique and developed artistry. She graduated from the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School with a BFA in Dance Performance with an emphasis in Ballet Pedagogy. Rachael has worked with renowned teachers and choreographers including Hilda Morales, Nina Watt, Gregory Dolbashian, Take Ueyama, Charlotte Griffin, Donald Byrd, Peggy Lyman, Hellen Pickett, and Stephen Pier.
Tami started tap and jazz dance lessons at the age of 4 and has been dancing ever since. In the late 70’s she moved to Olympia to study dance at The Evergreen State College and danced with Ballet Northwest for 9 years. She has taught at Johansen’s for over 20 years, including beginning ballet and tap.
Natalie began dancing at the age of 3 at Johansen Olympia Dance Center where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop until the age of 15. She then went on to train for 2 years on scholarship at the prestigious Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. Natalie also attended multiple summer programs with American Ballet TheatRE, studied on scholarship at The Chautauqua Institution under Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, and trained at the Joffrey Academy’s International Summer Dance Intensive. In her senior year of high school, Natalie moved to Chicago where she continued her training at The Joffrey Academy — The Official School of Joffrey Ballet and landed her first contract as an apprentice with the Chicago Repertory Ballet. She then moved home to graduate at Olympia High School and redirect her focus to her academic career. She is now a student at South Puget Sound Community College.
linda robb – ballet, pre-ballet
Growing up in a military family, Linda received her dance training all over the world. She graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with main focus on the performing arts, and performed with Ballet Northwest. For five summers Linda studied at the Bill Evans Summer Dance Intensive for teachers. She has also attended workshops with renowned Kinesiology professor Karen Clippinger, and trained at the Summer Dance Institute at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle. Linda has taught at the studio for over twenty five years.
barbara rowe – downs’ at dance, creative dance, MUSIC & MOVEMENT FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
Barbara completed her classical ballet training and major examination with the Royal Academy of Dance in South Africa. She joined the Jazzart Contemporary Dance Company in Cape Town, South Africa in 1978 as a dancer and teacher, and has guest taught throughout the world. A teacher and studio owner for over 30 years, Barbara enjoys a wide spectrum of teaching from Musically Me, an interactive infant/toddler class with parents to creative movement, ballet, and jazz. Barbara has also enjoyed the privilege of teaching dance classes to students with special needs for over a decade.
Ann Sanders received her early training at Johansen School of Ballet and Festival Dance Academy. For high school she attended the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts, and also trained during the summer at the School of American Ballet and Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. She completed her training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ann received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Washington State University. Ann has also attended the Summer Dance Institute at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle.