Faculty members of Cornish Preparatory Dance are committed to somatically sound principles of dance training integrated with thoughtful consideration of students’ mental well being. These core values provide opportunities for all students to discover individual creativity within traditional disciplines integral to the art form of dance.
Amelia Bolyard is a native of Seattle, and received her dance training in the Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Dance Program between 1986 and 1996. During that time she had the opportunity to study with Gwenn Barker, Frank Bays, Tinka Guttrick-Dailey, Dannul Dailey, Pat Hon, Magali Messac, Shelagh Regan and Ron Tice. Between 1996 – 2000, she studied modern in the Cornish College Dance Program under Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolf and Michelle Miller. During her time at Cornish, she had the opportunity to work extensively with Pat Hon, and performed a piece for Lois Rathvon. From 1995-2001, she performed with various local dance companies including: Ballet Bellevue, The Big Red Dance Company, The Bleeding Hearts Ensemble, ArtsyFartsy Theater, Civic Light Opera and Huerta Industries. Amelia also danced for local choreographers and performance artists including Jessica Jobaris, Amy Baca and Reggie Watts.
Amelia has been teaching ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, creative and primary dance since 2004. Amelia’s teaching experience includes The Dance Studio in Everett, Cornish College of the Arts Summer Dance Program, Vashon Allied Arts Blue Heron Dance Program, The Ballet Studio in Seattle, Definitive Dance on Mercer Island and the Mountlake Terrace Community Center. She also works as an artist-in-residence for the Seattle public schools and has been involved in programs at Madrona K-8, Summit K-12 and Pinehurst K-8. We are pleased that she has joined the faculty of the Preparatory Dance Program. Amelia’s experience as a student and performer has guided her to become a teacher whose foremost interest is to inspire young people to dance with respect for their bodies, and to work with intelligence and an awareness of healthy practice. She is pleased to be part of a faculty that shares her mission and values. Amelia has a passion for music as well as dance, and you may have the opportunity to hear her performing with At the Spine or The Beautiful Sunsets with whom she sings and plays bass.
Program Director / Ballet, Pointe
Steve Casteel was born in Tacoma and received his early training from Jan Column School of Classic Ballet. At age sixteen, he was selected to join Boston Ballet II where he spent the next two years training and performing. For ten years, from 1987-‘97, Steve danced with the nationally acclaimed Houston Ballet where he was promoted to soloist and performed many of the great classical works as well as works by many world-renowned contemporary choreographers. In 2001, Steve received his B.F.A., summa cum laude, in dance from Cornish College of the Arts and completed his M.F.A. with a dance emphasis from the University of Arizona in 2004. For over ten years Steve has taught dance and worked in dance administration helping to build the Northwest dance community. From 1997 to 1999 he worked for Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma as Assistant to the Director, writing grants and handling public relations in addition to serving as ballet master. From 2004 to 2006 Steve was the Public Relations Coordinator for Next Stage Dance Theatre and co-directed their community outreach program “Unleashed Memory,” a movement project with memory loss/Alzheimer’s patients, as well as performing with the company. In 2006 Steve directed and helped to open The Dance School, in Everett, WA. In 2008 he became a co-producer for the popular biennial Men In Dance Festival in Seattle WA. Steve has taught at various schools in the Northwest and California. Currently, he teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, Cornish Preparatory Department, Dance Fremont and University of Washington.
Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford served as the Artistic Director of the Conservatory Ballet of Washington and the Ballet Department at Washington Academy of the Performing Arts for several years. She was a dance faculty member at Oakland University, MI and assistant coach with Ballet B.C. She performed and toured internationally with companies in North America including Ballet B.C., Ballet Jurgen, Metropolitan Ballet Theater and Pennsylvania Ballet. Her choreography has been performed by numerous companies in Canada and the United States. She holds a diploma in dance training and Spanish dance.
Dorienne Raynolds graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Dance. Dorienne is classically trained and began her studies in the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus. She completed with merit all exams and performed in the Solo Seal performance. She then when on to explore the world of modern dance and had the opportunity to perform great works by Zvi Gotheiner, Vaslav Nijinshy, Doris Humphrey, Lar Lubovitch and Jose Limón. She has also worked with local choreographers Corrie Befort, Rob Kitsos, Alice De Muizon, Hannah Wiley and Paige Barnes. She has presented her own choreographic works in 12 Minutes Max and Velocity’s Under Construction. She also went back to school to for her Apparel design degree and currently works as a clothing designer for Cutter & Buck. She is very excited to get back into the classroom.
Ballet, Pointe, Modern
Pat performed extensively for 10 years with ballet companies in France, Austria, Spain, and Germany. In 1983 she received the National Endowment for the Arts’ Choreographic Fellowship and since then has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Summer Inventions, Singapore Ballet, Ballet Concerto of Miami, Goh Ballet in Canada, Federal Ballet Company of Malaysia, Ballet Petit, and for dancers competing in the International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi. Before coming to Cornish in 1978, she taught at the Morelli Studios in New York and in Florence, Italy. Pat began studying ballet at the age of 10 in her native Singapore and continued her studies at Rosella Hightower’s Centre de Danse Classique in France. She also studied Flamenco and Classical Spanish dance in Madrid, Spain, and performed with the foremost Spanish dance company, Antonio and his Ballets of Madrid, before coming to New York to attend the Joffrey School and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She has been teaching for 36 years as Professor in the Dance department at Cornish College of the Arts. Between June and December 2008, Pat was Head of Dance at the School of the Arts, Singapore, where she continues to teach in the summer.
Since graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in 2012 (B.F.A. Dance) Margaret Hotchkiss has had the pleasure of teaching dance enrichment at The Seattle World School and South Shore School to immigrant, refugee, at risk, and low income students. She has also taught at Rainier Dance Center in South Seattle. Margaret currently teaches at Bainbridge Ballet and has the honor of choreographing for the non-profit, Olympic Performance Group, also on Bainbridge Island. She choreographs and coaches competition dance at Bainbridge Ballet and the Seattle based studio, Emerald City Dance Complex. She is proud to be a part of Cornish Preparatory Dance, her most recent achievement as teaching artist.
Margaret has danced in Alicia Mullikin’s project-based contemporary dance company, enriQUETA, (formerly Entropy) since 2010. She has also performed in work by Elia Mrak in The Bridge Project (2014) and for Wade Madsen and Noelle Price in Full Tilt (2017). In 2016, Margaret began collaborating with Au Collective as a guest dancer. She is currently collaborating with Maya Soto and Nico Tower as one of 8 womxn artists. She is also committed to her own original work: a multimedia dance performance about her experience as immigrant adoptee.
Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Modern
Christine Juarez has been on the Preparatory Dance Program faculty at Cornish College of the Arts since 1994 and directs summer dance programming for Cornish College. She is the Director of Dance for Vashon Allied Arts on Vashon Island and the Artistic Director of the Blue Heron Dance Company. Christine served on the dance faculty of Washington University in St. Louis, holds a M.S. from Indiana University in Modern dance and Physical Sciences and a B.S. in Ballet and Music from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Christine is a master artist in residence for the state of Washington and has been a presenter of early movement education for the Dance Educators Association of Washington. Christine started dance in Philadelphia as a young girl and was trained in the Vaganova syllabus of Ballet. She believes that dance should be accessible to all and that it can be taught in a positive engaging atmosphere. She has dedicated her life to bringing dance to as many people that she can.
Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet
Originally from Minnesota, Anne Motl began her classical dance training with the Stroia Ballet Company in Little Falls. In pursuit of her career, Anne relocated to Washington to attend Cornish College of the Arts, receiving a BFA in dance in 2002 and a Pilates Mat Certification in 2016. With fifteen years of experience teaching a wide variety of ages and levels at dance studios, preschools, private and public schools, it is Anne’s goal to make dance accessible and fun for everyone. She teaches many genres of dance including ballet, creative movement, jazz, and modern as well as modern partnering and choreography. She is currently part of the dance faculty at Cornish College Preparatory Dance, eXit SPACE School of Dance, Washington School of Dance, and West Seattle Performing Arts. Anne also teaches movement and dance classes at Open Window School, Secret Garden Preschool and the Bellevue Club. Her teaching style follows the traditional dance principles that she learned as an adolescent. She believes in teaching anatomically correct body positions in a healthy manner, and being hands on in the classroom. She nurtures students at the appropriate developmental stage, emphasizes the use of dance elements and introduces dance vocabulary weekly in her classes. From 2003-2009, Anne co-directed Northwest Dance Syndrome, a collaborative Seattle modern dance company. Northwest Dance Syndrome created several dance pieces, produced shows locally, were guest artists at several schools, performed at many festivals and created two dance films. Anne has performed works by many local choreographers including most recently, Kristina Dillard, Maya Soto and Alana O Rogers. She danced with badmarmarDANCE company from 2009-2016 and is currently dancing in a new ensemble called the Marlo Ariz Dance Project.
Christine Weh began her training in Portland, Oregon, with many influential teachers including Heather Renk and Mary Hunt. She performed as soloist and ensemble with Portland Community Ballet under the direction of Lila Zali protegé Cynthia Tosh. Christine earned her BFA in Dance cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts where she was fortunate to work with choreographers Mary Sheldon Scott, Pat Hon, Tonya Lockyer, and Gary Masters from the Limón Dance Company. Additionally, she has performed with Weaving Dance, Chimera Dance Theater and Sapience Dance Collective. She has studied Creative Movement under Gail Heilbron and Christine Juarez, and completed Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Institute for Teachers in 2014. Christine has been teaching her love of dance in ballet, creative movement and modern techniques for over 15 years. She has served as faculty for many schools in the region including The Dance School (also serving as Director of Education), Dance Time and Woodinville Dance Academy. Christine is currently on faculty at Dance Fremont, is the Dance Specialist for Secret Garden Preschool and continues to perform locally in independent artist productions. Christine enjoys being a part of the inspiring faculty of Cornish Preparatory Dance, where she served as Administrative Assistant for 10 years. Her teaching goal is to provide students of all ages with the necessary tools for accomplishment, joy, and participation in dance.
Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet, Modern
Vanesa Wylie graduated from Cornish College of The Arts in 1994 with a BFA in Dance. Upon graduating she worked and performed with many local choreographers including Kristina Dillard, Pat Graney, Michele Miller, Jessica Jobaris, Lynn Simonson and the Big Red Dance Company.
In 1998, Vanesa and her husband formed The Bleeding Hearts Theatrical Dance Ensemble where they directed, choreographed and self produced their own shows. Vanesa’s choreography has also been seen at Bumbershoot, The Fringe Festival, The Moore and 12 Minutes Max. In 2000 she began teaching and fell in love with it. She joins the Preparatory Dance faculty teaching Creative Movement, Pre-Primary and Modern. Vanessa has taught dance at The Dance School, Studio One, Immaculate Conception, The Country Day School and in the Snohomish School District. She recently joined the dance faculty of Vashon Allied Arts where she is teaching modern and ballet. Vanesa is passionate about sharing the experience of dance and we are happy to have her joining our summer faculty for another season.