wendi

Artistic Director

Wendi DuBois

Wendi DuBois began her dance training at the age of 12 at the Virginia School of Ballet under the direction of Oleg Tupine, formerly of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. After receiving a scholarship with the School of American Ballet in New York, she danced with Dayton Ballet Company studying with Jon Rodriguez, Stuart Sebastian, Daniel Duell, and Rebecca Wright among others. During this time, Wendi performed works by many prolific choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Loyce Houlton, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Eugene Loring. Wendi has taught in southeastern Michigan for more than 30 years including the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Eastern Michigan University, and numerous community schools as a faculty member and as a master teacher. Wendi has spent the last 20 years at Ballet Chelsea working to build curriculum and performance opportunities that serve serious young artists who show a passion for the arts and dance. In 2017, Michigan Dance Council selected Wendi as the Touchstone Dance Educator of the year, which she was honored to accept. Wendi received her undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan and a Masters Degree in American Studies with an emphasis on gender studies from Michigan State University. Wendi currently teaches at Ballet Chelsea while continuing to direct Ballet Chelsea’s performing company.

Anne-Mushrush

School Manager

Annie Mushrush

Annie Mushrush danced professionally with Ballet Theatre of Indiana where she served as their Ballet Mistress. While at BTI she danced 'Myrta' in Giselle,  'Gamzatti' in La Bayadère, 'Sugar Plum Fairy', 'Snow Queen' and 'Dew Drop Fairy' in The Nutcracker, as well as other principal roles in original choreography. During her time as Ballet Mistress she set classical repertoire from Giselle, La Bayadère, The Grand Pas De Deux from Flames of Paris, Don Quixote, as well as original choreography for The Nutcracker and Beauty and the Beast.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with Highest Honors in dance pedagogy from Butler University.  While dancing for Butler Ballet she notably performed in The Nutcracker as the 'Dew Drop Fairy' and as the 'Silver Fairy' in The Sleeping Beauty. In fulfillment of her university and departmental honors, she published Genu Recurvatum in Dance: Assessing and Addressing the Structural Deformity in Dancers, a thesis focusing on the praxis of teaching dancers with hyperextended knees. She toured Europe performing with Butler Ballet and trained with the Polish National Schools of Ballet in Warsaw and Poznan, Poland as well as The National Conservatories in Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Annie was previously a dance instructor in Indianapolis, IN. She is also a certified pointe shoe fitter.

Caitlin-Burke

Caitlin Burke

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Caitlin Burke received her early training from TeDee Theofil of Studio 1 and Wendi Dubois of Ballet Chelsea. She also holds a BA in Dance with a minor in Arts Administration from Mercyhurst College. Caitlin danced professionally with Ohio Dance Theatre and taught at various studios throughout Cleveland, OH and Erie, PA.  She has been featured in roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop in “The Nutcracker”, the Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty” and the Summer Fairy in “Cinderella” as well as had the opportunity to perform contemporary works by ballet masters Bruce Marks and Carter Alexander. Since returning to Michigan, Caitlin has been fortunate to work for Ballet Chelsea as both an Instructor and Rehearsal Director for the past 2 years.  She is also currently the Member Services Manager for the Dexter Wellness Center.  Caitlin is excited to continue working with such a wonderful organization. 

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Aja Brandmeier

Aja Brandmeier (she/her) began her studies in dance at Ballet Chelsea, from there she was accepted into the National Ballet School of Canada where she finished her training. Upon graduating, she was offered a place with the National Ballet of Canada, but decided to diversify her training in the arts and moved to New York City to study theatre. Since then, she has been working with Ballet Chelsea as well as the Purple Rose Theatre Company, where she was last seen in Matt Letcher's Gaps In The Fossil Record, and Tipping Point Theatre, last seen in the Thanksgiving Play.

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Mathieu Dehoorne

Mathieu Dehoorne danced with Ballet Chelsea for ten years.  The breadth and depth of the training he received led him to pursue further dance education. In 2019, following his junior year of high school, Mathieu joined the Cincinnati Ballet as a trainee. There he performed with the main company in Nutcracker and was featured in several productions with other Professional Trainee Division dancers and with students of the Otto M. Budig Academy, including Paquita, Swan Lake pas de trois, Balanchine’s Phlegmatic from The Four Temperaments, and pieces from student choreographic workshops. Mathieu is looking forward to teaching at Ballet Chelsea’s Summer Intensive and is eager to share his enthusiasm and his dance perspective with his home studio. 
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Steffani Kitayam

Steffani Kitayama, a native of Colorado, began her early ballet training with under Christina Noel-Adcock. A professional violinist, she continued to dance in Cincinnati, Chicago, and D.C. while pursuing her degrees and professional life. Currently based in Ann Arbor, Steffani maintains a private violin studio and performs, teaches and lectures across the country.  Her quartet, the Bayberry String Quartet, has developed a system for online chamber music releasing tracks recorded during the pandemic and adapting their method for education.  Steffani and her husband run a local arts nonprofit called Education for Happiness, who’s mission focuses on building character through warm-hearted, compassionate education. She is thrilled for the opportunity from Ballet Chelsea to continue dancing and performing. 

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Lauren Miller

Bio coming soon.

 

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Nancy Giles Watkins, FCCA

Nancy Giles Watkins is a Permanent Examiner, Liaison Officer and National Executive Board Member of the Cecchetti Council of America. She was President of the Cecchetti Council in 2008 and 2009 and also has served as Assistant National Registrar, Eastern Michigan Registrar and Summer School Coordinator at Hope College. She began her training with Marjorie Randazzo, continuing at Joffrey Ballet in New York City. She accepted a scholarship and continued her training in the Professional Program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  In 2006 Nancy was the winner of the Margaret Marsh and Sylvia Hamer Memorial Scholarship, representing the United States during the Cecchetti Society’s Summer Seminar in England. She is the former owner and Artistic Director of La Danse in Canton, Michigan.  Nancy currently teaches Master Classes throughout the United States and Canada in addition to being a faculty member at Ballet Chelsea. She received the Cecchetti Council of America Advanced Teaching Certification in 1990. As one of 30 examiners in the United States, Nancy travels extensively, certifying teachers and students in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet.

Rhonda-Kendzicky

Rhonda Kendzicky

Rhonda Kendzicky has been teaching ballet in Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, and the surrounding area for more than 20 years, specializing in the correct development of the young dancer, as well as the training of aspiring dance instructors through assistant and demonstrator opportunities.

She began her dance training at age 7 with her mother, and prima ballerina, Pamela Rutledge, later expanding her studies with Sylvia Hamer, Marjorie Randazzo, Nancy Abby, and Tony Randazzo, performing as a member of the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet Company and Rutledge Repertory Dancers.

Rhonda is a member of The Cecchetti Council of America, holding certificates in Grades I - IV as both a teacher and dancer, and has attended numerous Cecchetti workshops and seminars over the years. Rhonda is a current instructor for Ballet Chelsea and Dexter Community Education. Additional experience includes director of Miss Rhonda's Dance, past instructor for Dance Arts of Chelsea and Jackson School for the Arts, former Ballet Mistress, Board member,
and Young Childhood Director for Ballet Chelsea, formerly Youth Dance Theatre of Michigan, and former owner and artistic director of Broad Street Dance Theatre and Dance Arts of Manchester.

She is most proud of her many students who have gone on to become beautiful dancers, wonderful teachers, and amazing individuals, who continue the tradition of sharing their talents with the world around them!

Natalie Krienke

Natalie Krienke (she/her) began dancing with Ballet Chelsea at a young age and is always ready to share her love of dance with others. Pulling from her years of dance and movement-based education, she teaches a full complement of classes at Ballet Chelsea including Jazz, Contemporary, and Conditioning.

Natalie graduates from the University of Michigan this Spring and will receive her degree in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology. She hopes to attend physical therapy school, ultimately specializing in injury prevention and rehabilitation for dancers. Outside of Ballet Chelsea, Natalie works at MOVE Wellness in Ann Arbor as a Pilates trainer and is a certified Zumba Fitness Instructor. 

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Madeline Kreps

Madeline Kreps’ (they/them) love and passion for dance instruction, performance, and choreography began at a local studio in south-east Michigan where they trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, modern, tap, acrobatics, musical theatre, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary, and liturgical. Madeline’s dance education includes time spent training with Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Kansas City Ballet, and the Russian Ballet Academy of Michigan/Academy of Russian Classical Ballet. Passing highly-commended on each level, Madeline has completed the Cecchetti Method of Ballet, Grades I-V. Madeline attended Eastern Michigan University on scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Performance. In addition to teaching an array of styles at various local southern Michigan dance studios, Madeline strives to share their love of dance and movement with as many people as possible and does this through the instruction of adaptive dance, where they lead dance classes for folks of all ages and abilities across Washtenaw County.

Kaitlynn

Kaitlynn Schuster

Kaitlynn Schuster began dancing when she was two years old at Taylor Dance in Taylor, Michigan, continued her training with Ballet Americana under Joy Squire, Patricia Lorenz, and Leif Lorenz
and participated in Regional Dance America (RDA). Throughout her training Kaitlynn’s focus has been on ballet (pointe), tap, and jazz. Kaitlynn attended the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensive where she was able to study under John Magnus, Artistic Director of the Joffrey Midwest workshop.

Kaitlynn went on to earn her BS in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University. As a member of WMU’s Dance Team she continued to expand her dance vocabulary in jazz, pom, and hip hop and performed at football, volleyball, and basketball games. The team also took 6th place at the National Dance Alliance Nationals while Kaitlynn was a member.

In addition to working at Ballet Chelsea teaching Tap and Hip Hop on Tuesday evenings, Kaitlynn also works for the Dexter Wellness Center as their Fitness Supervisor and is a swim instructor, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. Kaitlynn believes exercise and movement are important for everyone!

Adaptive Dance Program Faculty

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Reeves Devoe

Bio coming soon

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Madeline Kreps

Madeline Kreps’ (they/them) love and passion for dance instruction, performance, and choreography began at a local studio in south-east Michigan where they trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, modern, tap, acrobatics, musical theatre, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary, and liturgical. Madeline’s dance education includes time spent training with Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Kansas City Ballet, and the Russian Ballet Academy of Michigan/Academy of Russian Classical Ballet. Passing highly-commended on each level, Madeline has completed the Cecchetti Method of Ballet, Grades I-V. Madeline attended Eastern Michigan University on scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Performance. In addition to teaching an array of styles at various local southern Michigan dance studios, Madeline strives to share their love of dance and movement with as many people as possible and does this through the instruction of adaptive dance, where they lead dance classes for folks of all ages and abilities across Washtenaw County.