Miye began her training at the Sendai Ballet Academy in Sendai, Japan as a child. After moving to Washington she continued her studies at Northwest Ballet Academy and now instructs the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced divisions. She has also attended prestigious summer intensives at American Ballet Theater and studied with teachers from their professional faculty. In 2011 she staged her first ballet, Les Sylphides, for NBT and has been staging several classical ballets since such as Coppelia, the Nutcracker, and the Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her principal roles include Peasant Pas de Duex in Giselle, Clara in The Nutcracker, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jasmine in Aladdin as well as many soloist and corp de ballet roles. She joined BRD as an apprentice during season 2, and rejoined again this year.
Alona started dancing at the age of five. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a BFA in Dance. Alona is a long time member of Dance Gallery, as well as a founding member and dancer for Bellingham Repertory Dance. She manages the Firehouse Performing Arts Center that she started with her husband Matt Christman. Outside of dance Alona enjoys sailing and motorcycle getaway adventures with her husband, as well as yoga, running and a good novel. She is stunned BRD is in its seventh Season already and is thrilled to share the stage with such an amazing group of artists.
Erinn Crosby Dirth
Erinn grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and began dancing with Dance Spectrum Alaska at age 3. Erinn danced at DSA with wonderful teachers and guest artists until she graduated from high school and left Alaska to attend college at Western Washington University. Erinn came to WWU without seeing the college first or knowing anyone there but managed to find her niche’ by way of the Cultural Anthropology and Dance departments. While Erinn did graduate with a major in cultural anthropology and a minor in dance, she spent much of her time at WWU invested in dancing and learning about the craft of dance with great teachers, choreographers and other students. Outside of dance Erinn is also a trained alto saxophonist, fly fisher, bibliophile and wife to one amazing husband. Many thanks go to Erinn’s parents, sister and husband because without them, none of Erinn’s dreams would be possible.
Vanessa graduated in 2008 with a BFA in dance performance from Western Washington University and has been performing with Bellingham Repertory Dance since 2007. She considers herself lucky to call beautiful Bellingham her home and is continually grateful for the opportunity to work with the phenomenal dancers and other artists in this community. Vanessa has taught for the WWU Dance Program, WWU’s Dance Academy for Youth, Bellingham’s Neighborhood Playhouse, META and most recently performed with Kuntz and Company at Spotlight on Seattle during the International Dance Festival: Beyond the Threshold. Vanessa thanks her family, friends and especially Nathan and Rogue – for their unconditional love and support!
Brooke started studying ballet at the age of three in her hometown of Santa Fe, NM. While always centered around ballet, she studied a variety of dance growing up including fl amenco, hip-hop, jazz, tap, and modern. She has danced with The Santa Fe Aspen Ballet, The Elements Dance Company, Cathy Roe, Colleen Mulvihill, Daniel Catanach, Dance Gallery and others. She has been an active member of BRD since it’s creation. Brooke is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to dance again with BRD, after a knee injury prevented her from dancing with the company last season. She is the mom of two very awesome boys and the “Mama B” of the BRD family.
Sylvia studied ballet throughout her young years in southern California. She attended summer programs at the schools of the San Francisco Ballet, Hartford Ballet, and Boston Ballet, before setting dance aside to pursue biology and marine science at the University of Washington and Western Washington University. Settling in Bellingham six years ago, Sylvia returned to dance and became a member of BRD from 2007-2011. She took last year off to have more time for outdoor adventures and other pursuits. Now she is very excited to be back dancing with BRD again!
Angela graduated magna cum laude from WWU with a BFA in Dance. Angela’s choreography has been presented in several venues including the Firehouse PAC, iDiOM Theatre, On the Boards, and the University of Wisconsin. She has recently choreographed and performed with Ian Bivins, a faculty and ensemble member of the Margolis/Brown Adaptors physical theatre company in New York. Angela’s additional training as an actor has infl uenced her choreography and interest in combining dance and theatre. While working closely with her mentor Pam Kuntz, she has also developed an appetite for performance theory, lighting design, and interdisciplinary collaboration. This is her third year as a member of BRD; she is overjoyed to be working with such a remarkable group of colleagues and artists.
Pam is a teacher, choreographer, and dancer living and working in Bellingham. She has been a member of the dance faculty at Western for 11 years. Along with teaching Pam also enjoys performing and choreographing. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Kuntz and Company, a professional dance company that produces original dance/theatre pieces, using community members and addressing community interests. Her choreography was honored by the American College Dance Festival and she is proud to be a 2007 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award recipient. She has both performed at and presented her choreography at On The Boards in Seattle and her work has been funded by the City of Bellingham, The Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation, and Western Washington University. The only people she loves more than Neil Diamond are her husband and two sons. She was a founding member of BRD.
This is Ella Mahler’s third season with Bellingham Repertory Dance. She is a graduate of WWU and holds a BFA in dance performance/choreography. Ella joined BRD in 2010, as well as Kuntz and Company (K&C) and Catherine Cabeen and Company (CCC). She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Josh Beamish, Monica Bill Barnes, Amelia Reeber, Deborah Wolf, Andy Noble, among others. In January 2013, she will be performing in CCC’s newest evening-length work, Fire!, premiering at On the Boards in Seattle. As an independent artist, Ella has presented and performed her own work in Bellingham, Seattle, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. In arts leadership, has worked with organizations such as Allied Arts, On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, and pursues development and management for the companies she dances for. Through these experiences, Ella explores the many avenues in which dance can connect with different mediums, environments and communities. Ella currently lives in Seattle, and is thrilled to get to continue to work with the dancers of BRD..