Ballet Bios

Ballet Bios

Katina Johns

Katina Johns began dancing before the age of three at Berks Ballet Theatre located in Reading Pennsylvania. She joined the junior company at age 11 and continued into the senior company where she danced until her high school graduation. As a part of Berks Ballet Theatre Katina danced in the Nutcracker with live music played by the Reading Orchestra every year since the age of five. Some of her favorite and most memorable roles include Snow Queen, Arabian Coffee, and Clara. Her company was also a member of Regional Dance America through which she was fortunate enough to perform in Montreal, Canada, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. At Berks Ballet Theatre, she was given the exciting opportunity to substitute teach all levels of ballet and also creative movement for three to six year olds. She enjoyed each moment of these experiences which opened her eyes to a new side of dancing. Teaching inspired her to always keep dance fun and exciting while having the utmost respect for the art. After graduating as Valedictorian of Berks Catholic High School, Katina decided to continue reaching for her dreams in dancing by attending Adelphi University as a dance major. Currently, she is a Sophomore at Adelphi University and looks forward to what the future may hold.

Leslie Browne

Leslie Browne received her early training with her parents, Kelly Browne and Isabel Mirrow, both former members of American Ballet Theatre. At the age of 14, she recieved a scholarship to The School of American Ballet. After 1 ½ years, she was asked to join New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and performed all of the major Balanchine works along with ballets by Jerome Robbins and new works of choreography. At the age of 17, Leslie won the role of Emilia in the movie "The Turning Point" opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov, and starring Ann Bancroft and Shirley McLaine. She was nominated for an academy award for best supporting actress. Following her movie debut, she joined American Ballet Theatre as a soloist. She then made her 2nd movie in "Nijinsky" starring opposite Alan Bates. After "Nijinsky", Leslie rejoined ABT to premiere Kenneth McMillans production of Romeo and Juliet. Following her debut, she was promoted to Principal dancer. Leslie left ABT in 1993 to pursue guest engagements. She also studied acting with Uta Hagan at the Actor's Studio, performed on Broadway in several plays and musicals. She also danced in productions with the NYC Opera. Today Leslie teaches students at The School at Steps, ABT Summer Intensive, The NJ Ballet, and is a judge and teacher for the Youth America Grand Prix. She also choreographs for both students and professionals and does private coaching.

Katherine Healy

Katherine Healy has been in the ballet world from a very young age. She attended the School of American Ballet and continued her professional training with Wilhelm Burmann. She was the subject of the children’s book A Very Young Dancer, and starred in the movie Six Weeks with Mary Tyler Moore and Dudley Moore. At the age of 13 she was awarded the silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and the following year she was awarded the gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. At age 15 she was recruited as Senior Principal Dancer with the London Festival Ballet, now the English National Ballet. In addition to her professional career she attended Princeton University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in the Class of 1990. She has been a principal dancer and then guest artist with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Vienna State Opera and guested with the Berlin Opera as well as in numerous galas throughout Europe. She is also a professional figure skater and has coached and choreographed for competitive figure skaters at the regional, sectional, junior national and national levels.

Fleur Israel

Fleur Israel had had an active and successful career as a professional dancer in many ballet companies, as well as on Broadway and television. Ms. Israel is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts where she trained in classical ballet, modern and jazz. For thirty years she has taught ballet on Long Island primarily at the American Theater Dance Workshop and she has had extensive experience as the coordinator of summer intensive programs and as an assistant for children’s training to internationally renowned Ali Pourfarrokh. In addition to her own success as a professional dancer, Ms. Israel brings her expertise as a teacher and mentor to students who study at the American Theater Dance

Lauren King
Guest Teacher, Alumni

Lauren King, a soloist with the New York City Ballet, was born in Massapequa Park, New York, and began her dance training at the American Theater Dance Workshop in New Hyde Park, New York. Her new roles this season for NYCB were: Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop and Winter in the Four Seasons among others. Ms. King performed with the Eglevsky Ballet Company in the Nutcracker and other performances before the fall of 2001 when she entered the full-time program at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet. Ms. King became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the fall of 2003. As an apprentice Ms. King danced a featured role in Michel Fokine'sChopiniana, performed by SAB as part of New York City Ballet's 2004 winter season, and she originated a corps role in Susan Stroman's Double Feature. Ms. King joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in June 2004. Since entering NYCB, she has worked with many new choreographers and danced featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon.

Kristen McGrew

Kristen McGrew, Artistic Director and Founder of the NOMAD Contemporary Ballet Company, has danced professionally with ballet companies throughout the United States, including the Tennessee Festival Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater and Ballet Theater Pennsylvania. A Tennessee native, Ms. McGrew now resides in New York and she is on faculty at the Alvin Ailey School of Ballet as well as the American Theater Dance Workshop. Her extensive professional experience as a teacher and a ballet mistress enables her to train and guide young dancers through the process of pursuing technical excellence and experience the joy of artistic growth.

Ali Pourfarrokh

Ali Pourfarrokh has danced professionally with several prominent companies, including the American Ballet Theater, the Harkness Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet. He received his early training as a scholarship student at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, after which he was invited to dance with American Ballet Theater. Following a successful career as a leading male dancer he became the Associate Director and Ballet Master of the Alvin Ailey Company. He then became the Artistic Director of the Iranian National Ballet, during the reign of the last Shah of Iran. Later, he served for ten years as the Artistic Director of the celebrated Alberta Ballet. Mr. Pourfarrokh is a distinguished choreographer and master teacher. His ballets can be found in the repertories of many companies, both nationally and internationally. In Europe he is routinely engaged as a master teacher. Mr. Pourfarrokh is one of the few premiere ballet teachers on Long Island who brings not only his expertise as an accomplished dancer and teacher but also his experience and knowledge of what companies will look for when auditioning dancers; he trains young, aspiring dancers to become polished performers, preparing them for the possibility of professional careers. While teaching at the American Theater Dance Workshop, Mr. Pourfarrokh agreed to lead the Eglevsky Ballet from which he resigned in 2010 in order to focus his energies on the emerging talent at the American Theater Dance Workshop.

Wendy Clark

Wendy Clark comes to us from Texas and will be attending NYU Steinhardt ABT Ballet Pedagogy master's program. She's danced professionally with: Ballet Spokane, City Ballet of San Diego, Eugene Ballet Company as well as Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble, Chris Swaim's "Mouth", Austin Classical Ballet and TexArts. She comes with a wealth of teaching experience most recently sharing her passion and knowledge with dancers in Texas at the Austin Community Ballet, Cedar park Dance Company, Danceworks and TexARTS as well as Dance Center of Spokane, Kalamazoo School of Music and Dance, Baylor University, Iowa Youth Ballet Pre-Professional SUmmer Intensive, Education for the Arts, and Goddard College where she also holds a BA in Liberal Arts. She served as Youth Director for TexArts Nutcracker, TexARTS Coppelia Summer Intensive Director, and TexARTS Mini-camps. She received her training from: Stage 7 School of Dance in San Diego, Eugene Ballet in Idaho, Milwaukee Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Arts Academy in Spokane, WA.

Shannon Maynor

Shannon Maynor originally from California, was trained at California Dance Theatre with Stanley Holden, Kim Maselli, and Charles Maple. While at CDT, Shannon was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Music Center Spotlight Awards. At the age of 16, she attended San Francisco Ballet School on full scholarship under Helgi Tomasson and Gloria Govrin. She then worked with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Eglevsky Ballet, Ballet Deviare, Lydia Johnson Dance and VISIONS Contemporary Ballet.

American Theater Dance Workshop

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New Hyde Park, NY 11040

Phone. 516-248-6420

Email. info@americantheaterdance.com