Week one of August Intensive will have a heavy focus on Contemporary Dance with our guest instructor Nicole Whitesell! Nicole is the Associate Artistic Director of MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) in St. Louis, MO. We had the pleasure of meeting Nicole when MADCO offered our dancers a contemporary workshop back in June and we are super excited to have her back for a whole week! Contemporary movement is an indispensable part of well-rounded dance training and we look forward to the benefits students will receive from attending week one of our Intensive.
NICOLE WHITESELL is the Associate Artistic Director of MADCO (Modern American Dance Company), specializing in creating innovative dance experiences. Nicole has a BFA in Dance Performance from Missouri State University. She brings 15 years of experience as a professional dancer and her passion for collaboration and arts education to audiences, students, and presenters. Nicole is an adjunct faculty member at Webster University and is the Artistic Director and Curriculum Coordinator at Rokita Dance Center in St. Peters, Missouri. In her spare time, Nicole trains in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and is a level 1 certified trainer at GYROTONIC® SAINT LOUIS Central. In 2016 she became certified on the specialized equipment, Jumping Stretch Board. (Photo was taken from http://www.madcodance.com/dancers.html)
Week two of August Intensive will be a mix of classical ballet and contemporary with our guest instructor Jon Upleger from Nashville Ballet! Jon has instructed at Ballet San Angelo before and is back by popular demand and will be teaching ballet technique, pointe, and repertoire classes.
Jon Upleger began his formal training in 1997 under the direction of Petrus Bosman and David Keener at the Virginia School of the Arts. Upon graduation, he received the school’s prestigious Dean’s Award and then joined Nashville Ballet as an apprentice in 2000.
During his time at Nashville Ballet, Upleger has performed roles from such varied repertoire as Romeo in Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s Romeo & Juliet, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, the Prince in Cinderella and the Sugar Plum Cavalier and Drosselmeyer in Nashville’s Nutcracker
Other leading roles include Twyla Tharp’s Sinatra Suite, Dracula in Vasterling’s Dracula, Balanchine’s Who Cares, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Christopher Bruce’s Moonshine and Sergeant Early’s Dream, the Protagonist in Chris Stuart’s Seven Deadly Sins, Gina Patterson’s …but the flowers have yet to come, Salvatore Aiello’s Satto, Sarah Slipper’s Ploughing the Dark, the Protagonist in Vasterling’s Firebird, Carmina Burana, Captain Hook in Peter Pan and The Ben Folds Project.
In addition to performing with Nashville Ballet’s company, Upleger has performed with Terpsicorps Theater of Dance in Asheville, NC and the Kansas City Dance Festival during the summers. Mr. Upleger has staged Chris Stuart’s ballet Under the Lights for Nashville Ballet and Ballet Arkansas. He’s also a faculty member at Nashville Ballet’s Summer Intensive. Upleger also helped create Nashville Ballet’s Young Men’s Scholarship Program, which provides tuition-free ballet training for males age 6-18, and serves as a Principal Instructor. (Photo taken from http://www.nashvilleballet.com/company-dancers/)