CiCi Houston

Ballet Master

Ms. Houston rejoined Saint Louis Ballet in 2015, when she was given the position of Ballet Mistress and Director of Education and Outreach. Originally from Detroit, she received her training from Theresa Crawford, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Virginia School of the Arts under the direction Petrus Bosman and David Keener. A former company dancer with Saint Louis Ballet, Ms. Houston performed featured roles in ballets by numerous choreographers including George Balanchine, Gen Horiuchi, and Francis Patrelle, as well as performing as a guest artist internationally. A teacher since 1998, Ms. Houston was at Alexandra Ballet for twelve years, where she taught, choreographed, served on the Board and as Administrator, eventually earning the title of Co-Artistic Director. Also a former Director for Regional Dance America, she participated in eleven festivals in the MidStates region and nationally. As Ballet Mistress for SLB, Ms. Houston rehearses repertoire and works closely with guest choreographers and repetiteurs including Christopher D’Amboise, Tom Gold, Emery LeCrone, Miriam Madhaviani, Nilas Martins, Francis Patrelle, Amy Seiwert, and Artistic Director Gen Horiuchi.

Tanya Strautmann

Rehearsal Coach

As a former principal of Saint Louis Ballet, Ms. Strautmann is dedicated to the guidance of SLB dancers in its classical and contemporary repertoire.  Joining Saint Louis Ballet in 1996, she’s performed the title roles in Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, as Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker as well as leads in George Balanchine’s Serenade and Allegro Brillante, and leads in ballets by Gen Horiuchi, Francis Patrelle and Christopher d’Amboise. In addition she’s guest performed for Toledo Ballet and with Horiuchi’s Ballet USA in Osaka, Japan. She joined the company in 1996 and retired in 2014 after starting a family. In addition she oversees Saint Louis Ballet School’s daily activities and events.

Lisa Wolfsberger

Teaching Associate

Ms. Wolfsberger's dance background is broad in scope and has taken her nationwide and throughout Europe. Born in St.Louis, she has been a teacher of classical ballet for over 35 years. Her early training came from Alexandria Zaharias, Nathalie LeVine, and Michael Simms. Her professional career began with Missouri Concert Ballet (now St.Louis Ballet) where she danced as Principal for over 10 years with directors Ludmila Dokoudovski and Antoni Zelewski. She studied under Gary Hubler at Webster University while working towards a Bachelors degree in Dance. She has also studied extensively in New York City. Ms. Wolfsberger later became the ballet director at Dancers' Alley in Jefferson City Missouri. While living in Columbia Missouri, she was guest artist in residence, teaching ballet for Stephens College. Lisa has taught ballet at St. Mary's College and Notre Dame University in South Bend Indiana. When she lived in England, Ms. Wolfsberger taught master classes throughout the country and intiated her own training school. Lisa has been on staff with Chicago National Association of Dance Masters where she taught ballet and adjudicated dance competitions. Her students have gone on to dance professionally, earning college dance degrees, and teaching. Lisa continues to be invited as a guest artist, teaching master classes and summer programs throughout the country. She helped to intiate and was co-director of St. Louis Ballet School Ensemble, a student performance company. Ms. Wolfsberger has been on staff with St.Louis Ballet School since 2001.

Donna Patzius

Teaching Associate

As a native of St. Louis, Missouri, Donna Patzius-Hill studied dance at her mother's studio, Patzius Performing Arts. After graduation, Donna went on to a professional ballet career where she danced principal roles with Ballet West in Salt Lake City UT and Ballet Met in Columbus OH. Her signature role was Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Since returning home to St. Louis, Donna took on the position of Artistic Director of Midwest Ballet Theatre (The official student ballet company of Patzius Performing Arts). There she teaches company class, privately coaches the advanced students, and is their resident choreographer. Donna has choreographed dozens of ballets for MBT along with a full length Nutcracker. Ms. Patzius-Hill also enjoys teaching company class at St. Louis Ballet and is an adjunct professor at
Webster University. Donna is certified in ballet and jazz from the Dance Masters of America, and St. Louis Dancing Teachers Association Ch. 21

Michael Uthoff

Project Director

Born in Chile came to the USA to study dance at Juilliard School of Music, School of American Ballet and The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Became a soloist with the Jose Limon Dance Company and soon a principal with the Joffrey Ballet. Joined the First Chamber Dance Company of NY and toured the USA, Latin America and then Eastern Europe. Founded the Hartford Ballet, became Artistic Director of Ballet Arizona and the Ballet Estable del Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to St. Louis, MO as the  Artistic & Executive Director of Dance St. Louis. He has taught and choreographed all over the country and the world. Received numerous NEA grants and other Foundation Grants to create and produce different dance performances. Directed and Choreographed Operas and has received numerous awards for specific works and his life work. Presently working as Adjunct Faculty of Webster University and Saint Louis Ballet on specific projects.

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