Díaz Vélez

Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez began his dance training in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied under several teachers including Carmen Sandoval, Lucila Arce, and Alex Zybin. He also attended summer programs at the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Ballet schools in the U.S. and was an apprentice with the American Festival Ballet. As a professional dancer, he danced with Idaho Dance Theater and Spokane Ballet, and as a principal dancer with Charleston Ballet Theater, Ballet Idaho and Eugene Ballet Company. Juan Carlos has performed throughout Mexico, United States, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Taiwan. He has worked with many accomplished choreographers including Christopher Aponte, Toni Pimble, Jill Eathorne Bahr, Lisa de Ribere, Elisa Monte, Beth Corning, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Berkey, Sandra Kaufmann and Martin Lofsnes.


Carlos Ramirez-Araujo, born in Mexico City, Carlos started dancing at six years old Mexican traditional dances. At the age of 16, Mr. Ramirez-Araujo began dancing professionally with Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico. At the same time, he began his training in Ballet and Modern dance at the school of Ballet Teatro del Espacio directed by Gladiola Orozco and Ballet Independiente under the direction of Magnolia Flores. In the USA, Mr. Ramirez-Araujo has had the privilege of dancing with Dance Wisconsin, Call for Peace Dance & Drums Company and Madison Children�s Theatre. Carlos also participates as a guest artist in other Companies such as Tania Tandias Flamenco Dance and Madison Opera. Carlos is the Director and Choreographer of DanzTrad.


Brienna Tipler, has pursued her passion for dance since the age of four when she first began training with the Makaroff School of Ballet in Appleton, Wisconsin. At the age of 16 she was selected to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, rigorously studying ballet under renowned instructors. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from the University of Oklahoma on scholarship. She had the opportunity to work with Austin Hartel, Derrick Minter, Dudley Williams, Betty Jones, Nancy Allison, and Fritz Ludin among others. While at OU, she was a member of the Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. Her choreography was selected by OU�s School of Dance faculty to be presented in the 2009 Young Choreographer�s Showcase performance. Brienna has spent many summers studying on scholarship at the Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Magnificat!, and Ad Deum. She is a ballet and modern dance instructor and choreographer for Madison Professional Dance Center, Kanopy Dance School, and A Step Above Dance Academy in Madison, WI.


Sarah Wolf, attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, for two years working on her BFA in dance. She attended Milwaukee Ballet School�s summer intensive for multiple years, as well as summer intensives at the Ailey School and Masterworks Dance Festival. While completing her BFA in dance with honors form UW-Milwaukee, she worked with a variety of choreographers including Simone Ferro, Ed Burgess, and Luc Vanier. Ms. Wolf danced one season with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee before joining Kanopy in 2010. Ms. Wolf is an ABT Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7, and currently teaches at Kanopy Dance Academy, First Position Dance Studio, and Beloit College.


Olivia Claire Rivard, a Wisconsin native, began dancing at the age of four. After following this passion throughout her childhood and teenage years, she entered the dance program at the University of Minnesota in 2004. Five years later, she received both a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in French Studies. Her international dance experience extends to training in Paris at Studio Harmonic and the Centre de danse du Marais in addition to organizing and teaching her own modern dance technique classes for adults. Previously as a student and now as a teaching assistant, she has been participating at the American Dance Festival for several years where she has performed works by Erick Hawkins and Trisha Brown. In Wisconsin, she has set and performed her choreography as part of the Bare Bones Dance Collective.


Tiana Ching Maslanka, began dancing at age 4 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has performed professionally in a variety of dance forms including Modern, Hula, Tahitian, Swing Dance, Belly Dancing, and Musical Theatre Jazz. In 2011, Tiana earned her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her choreography has been shown in Honolulu, Hawai�i; Madison, Wisconsin; and Tacoma Washington. This is Tiana's 4th season with Kanopy.


Sierra Kay Powell began training at Kanopy Dance Academy when she was four, and continues to study Graham, ballet, Hawkins, Horton, and choreography at the school, as well as teaching beginning modern. She has learned from numerous distinguished former Graham company members at Kanopy and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, and has also studied corporeal mime with Steven Wasson and Corinne Soum of the International School of Corporeal Mime. She made her first appearance with Kanopy Dance Company at the age of eight, as the Littlest Who in the Dr. Seuss-inspired A Day in the Life of a Who, and joined the company in 2011, having previously performed for a number of seasons with Kanopy Company II. Additionally, she has studied Bharatanatyam (classical Indian dance) for eight years under Guru Meenakshi Ganesan and the Kalaanjali School of Dance, and is a classical pianist and urban farmer.


Jessica Hoyt trained at the National School of Canada. As a student, Jessica had the honor to perform with the National Ballet of Canada and the Kirov Ballet (Mariinsky Ballet). She also studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating with academic and artistic honors, performing lead roles and dancing along side the Martha Graham Company. Jessica received her BFA in dance and her BA in political science from the University of Michigan, where she danced works by Peter Sparling, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham, and others.


Alaina Keller, from Milwaukee, WI, began dancing at a young age with Wauwatosa Recreation dance school and Miss Connie�s Studio of dance. At the age of 14 she joined the Milwaukee Ballet School to continue her training in Ballet. Throughout her years there she attended Milwaukee Ballet School�s summer intensive where she trained in many forms of dance and worked with a variety of choreographers including Rolando Yanes and Petr Zahradinicek. Alaina also attended summer intensives at Mystic Ballet of Connecticut, working with choreographer Brian Enos, and Eisenhower Dance of Michigan where she worked with Laurie Eisenhower, Lizzie Meckenzie and Darby Wilde. After high school, she was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet�s second Company where she danced for one season performing works by Michael Pink, Nadia Thompson, Rolando Yanes, Petr Zahradnicek, and Brent Whitney. While with Milwaukee Ballet she also had the opportunity to teach with their outreach program for Milwaukee public schools. Last Year Alaina began working and teaching with Danceworks Performance Company of Milwaukee, she also had the opportunity to work with UW-Milwaukee�s Dancemakers summer dance program.


Alyssa Jendusa grew up in Stone Bank, Wisconsin. She started dancing at the age of 4. She trained at the Milwaukee Ballet School and attended their summer intensive program where she performed original works by a variety of choreographers including Karl Von Rabenau, Nadia Thompson, and Denis Malinkine. Alyssa received her BA in dance from Point Park University�s Conservatory of Performing Arts. At Point Park, she performed original contemporary works by the likes of Judith Leifer-Bentz and Nicholas Petrov. She is very excited to be dancing her first season with Kanopy Dance Company.


Anna Betz, dancer and ballet instructor for KDC, began her dance studies at the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. She has danced in many of the classics restaged by Cheryl Rist for Ballet Minnesota including: "Don Quixote", "La Bayadere", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake". She has been a featured dancer in works by Andrew Rist including: "The Classic Nutcracker", "Beethoven"s 9th Symphony", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Beethoven's 6th Symphony", "Mozart's 40th Symphony" and "Black Dog Cafe". Anna was made an apprentice to Ballet Minnesota for the 2010-2011 season. She studied under the instruction of Elizabeth Shipiatsky, Gelsey Kirkland, Ted Kivitt, and Karen Burns as part of her supplementary training. Currently pursuing a degree in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is also certified in instructing the Vaganova Method of classical ballet.

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