Shannon, originally from Monument, Colorado began training in dance at the age of three. She received a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado. While at U.N.C. she performed in the traveling dance tour troupe, four seasons of the Nutcracker and numerous musical theater productions. She then moved to Chicago, Illinois where she performed as a Chicago Honeybear Dancer and also danced in numerous commercials and industrials for companies such as: 7Up, Kodak and Cadillac. She returned home to Colorado to complete her Masters in Education from the University of Denver. Since being back in Colorado Shannon has been involved in many musical theater productions and has also worked for multiple dance production companies in the Denver area. Her training comes from teachers such as Lou Conte (Hubbard Street), Joel Hall (Joel Hall Dance), Hannah Kahn (Hannah Kahn Dance), Robert Barnett (Atlanta Ballet) and Jacob Mora (Mora Provida Dance). Shannon is honored to be a part of IDC!
Wendy Duncan, Company Director
Wendy Duncan has worked as a professional entertainer for over 20 years. She has created, choreographed and directed musicals, fashion shows, and band/dance productions for corporate and social events on a national level. She began her acting career in 2002, and has been fortunate to work on full feature productions and short films in Colorado and Los Angels. Discipline toward the craft has now turned her talent into the ability to write, direct and produce award winning films, commercials and specialty pieces. A short film she wrote and directed titled “It’s Time” won an Audience Favorite Award at the Colorado Film Festival, and last year she won a Telly Award for the “Clark’s Edible Cupcake Liners” commercial she wrote, directed and choreographed.
Anna Byrnes – Teacher
Anna has been studying ballet, Vaganova technique, since the age of 10. She was actively involved in local ballet companies in her teens, placed among the top ten in Denver’s Ballet Guild, and was accepted and attended many prestigious summer ballet programs such as Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Jurgen Schneider’s International Ballet Seminar. She received a professional contract with Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago for their Nutcracker season at the age of 16. She attended the University of Utah for 2 years and studied in their Ballet Program, but then transferred and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism with a minor in Spanish. Anna has extensive teaching experience in and out of the ballet field. She has recently returned from Mexico where she was teaching English at a private bilingual high school and taught advanced ballet students at the local dance studio. She has worked with Aspen Department of Recreation as a Recreational Programmer, developing recreational programs for children and adults. She recently received her Primary Aerobic Certification and teaching at Bally’s. Anna’s patience and wonderful teaching is why all of our students at IDC adore her. IDC is honored to have Anna share her knowledge and joy of ballet.
Kimberly Michels is originally from Iowa where she first began her gymnastics and dance training. Kim then went on to attend the University of Nebraska-‐Lincoln where she danced for the Cornhusker Scarlet Dance Team for four years. Receiving a grant from the University, she choreographed in Taipei,Taiwan for the Taiwan National University of the Arts. Finishing her colligate dance career, Kim received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from the University in 2003. Kim then moved to Denver where she danced for Kim Robards Modern Dance Company and also performed as a Colorado Crush Girl for two seasons. She is currently the Dance Team Coach at Littleton High School. Kim continues to choreograph and instruct for studios, daycares, after school programs, high school dance teams and collegiate dance teams all over the country.
Jacob was born and raised in the Mile High City, Denver. He received his BFA from the University of Northern Colorado. He has danced for Alaska Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Toronto based Mohawk choreographer Santee Smith Group, and Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre. Jacob has had the pleasure of working with master choreographers Donald McKayle, Milton Myers, Betty Jones, Bill T. Jones and Eleo Pomare among others. Jacob teaches and choreographs using a unique blend of contemporary techniques and ideas that fuse modern, jazz, hip hop, poetry and ethnic dance. He is currently director of the dance project MORAPORVIDA, a company based on urban experiences and human emotions.
Mrs. Rebekah Arth – Teacher
Rebekah will be teaching our Advanced Ballet classes on Tuesday andThursdays. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA from the School of Dance. Her formal ballet training comes from the International Ballet School. She has performed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the River North Dance Company. She is currently a part of the Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet where she has performed many principle roles under the direction of Robert Sher-Macherndl. She is very excited to join the family at IDC and looking forward to working with our advanced level dancers.
Courtney Hellebuyck began her professional ballet training at The San Francisco Ballet School. She progressed through all levels of the school and became one of the first ever Trainees with the company. She then joined Pennsylvania Ballet II at age 17, where she toured with the company to Edinburgh, Scotland to perform in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Swan Lake” at the Edinburgh International Dance Festival.
Courtney then joined Smuin Ballet under the direction of Michael Smuin himself and was blessed to have a pas de deux choreographed on her for his ballet “Obrigado Brazil.” Most recently, she danced with Cincinnati Ballet for a span of six seasons, during which time she performed many principal roles with the company.
Presently Courtney toured with David Taylor’s “Zikr Dance Ensemble”, and dances with Davis Contemporary Dance Company, as well as instructing Barre Fitness at the Ballet Physique. Courtney will be teaching Tuesday Advanced Ballet at 4:00pm, Tuesday 5:30pm Teen Ballet and Tuesday Teen Lyrical from 6:30-7:30pm.
Jessica Clayton is a local professional ballet dancer with an impressive performance history and repertoire under her belt. She shares her knowledge by teaching pre professional programs to children who dream of one day becoming a dancer like her. She also has fostered this knowledge in the development of Dance Exploration’s “Dance to Learn!” Curriculum.
.Jessica began her training under Marina Rodgers who was a soloist with the San Francisco ballet. Jessica continued her training with Youth Ballet Colorado (now Ballet Nouveau Colorado), where she enjoyed the opportunity to dance pre professionally in the youth company as a soloist. She danced the role of Clara in the Nutcracker in 1998.
She then left in 1999 to train with the Academy of Colorado Ballet. She was in the Colorado Ballet II company under the direction of Inessa Pakri. She also studied intensively with Meelis Pakri, Colorado Ballet principal. While with Colorado Ballet Jessica got the opportunity to perform several variations including White Swan Variation on several occasions. She also performed the Blue Bird Variation, Lilac Fairy Variation, and Grand Pas Classique. With Colorado Ballet II she performed in La Esmeralda, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and several Nutcrackers.
In 2008 Jessica joined the Academy of Classical Ballet staff as a Master Teacher, where she received her Dance Pedagogy training. She teaches Vagonova styles focusing on proper placement. She performs in the Academy of Classical Ballet’s Nutcracker and has danced Snow Queen, Arabian Sultana, Party Scene Parent, and a Flower.
Jessica also enjoys performing in Musical Theater Productions. She has appeared in Boulder Broadway Company’s Kiss Me Kate. She has also been featured in Performance Now Theatre Company’s Productions of Footloose and Once Upon a Mattress.
She is very excited to be a part of the IDC staff!
Tatum Ammarell is the new Poms instructor at IDC! Tatum has years of dance and poms experience including being a part of a nationally ranked team with back to back continental league championship titles. She will be teaching the Thursday evening Poms class from 6:30-7:30pm.
Haley Galasso has been dancing with IDC since the age of 5. She has been a company member for the past 4 years and she is currently a member of our Senior Elite Company team. Her favorite styles include Jazz and Hip Hop. She has years of apprentice teaching under Ms. Shannon and she’ll make a great addition to our team. We’re very excited to have her on our staff!