LEADERS AND DANCE FACULTY

School Directors
Gen Horiuchi
and Tanya Strautmann

Dance Faculty

Stephanie Alioto
Kimberly Biesiadecki
Mark David Bloodgood
Michael Burke
Lauren Christensen
Matthew Dibble
Angela Elgani
Colin Ellis
Emily Fugett
Dana Golio
Julia Heiss
Amy Herchenroether
Kendall Heuman
Stephanie Hogan
CiCi Houston
Susan Hubert
Elizabeth Lloyd
Lauren McCart
Andrea Paxton
Elainie Rand
Roxie Shackelford
Lori Wilson
Lisa Wolfsberger

Learn about becoming a Teaching Assistant.  Click here for information, benefits and responsibilities. Current students who qualify (level 6 and up) call 636-537-1998 to inquire.

Pianist for Ballet Classes:
Rekha Dravina
Gen_Headshot2018WEB_edited.jpg
Gen Horiuchi
School Director, Ballet Instructor

Mr. Horiuchi, originally from Tokyo, Japan, moved to the United States after winning the Prix de Lausanne, the international ballet competition in Switzerland in 1980 and receiving a scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet. In 1982, George Balanchine invited him to join the New York City Ballet, where he became a Principal Dancer in 1989. Among the many ballets he performed with New York City Ballet, the role of Mercury in the ballet Persophone was created for Mr. Horiuchi by George Balanchine, as well as the ballets Eight More and Les Gentilhommes by Peter Martins. His Broadway Musical credits include Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance and as Mr. Mistoffelees in CATS. He went on to perform in London's production of CATS in the same role and became the first performer to play the lead on both Broadway and the West End in 1998. That same year, he choreographed the magnificent Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, and has also been a judge of the Prix de Lausanne since 1993. In 2004 he was honored in New York City with the Seventh Cultural Bridge Award together with Harold Prince, (director of Phantom of the Opera). He most recently directed the Aoyama Ballet Festival in Tokyo with artists in major companies from around the world. Mr. Horiuchi became artistic director of Saint Louis Ballet in 2000 and has created a dozen original works for the company. His international reputation with major choreographers throughout the world has led to the presentations of many other original works to Saint Louis Ballet dancers and St. Louis audiences. Most recently in 2010 he founded Gen Horiuchi's Ballet USA which presents his works in Japan.

tanyastrautmann2017web.jpg
Tanya Strautmann Horiuchi
School Administrator

Ms. Strautmann, a native of St. Louis, grew up training locally with Berkley Evans and went on to study further at Saint Louis Ballet School until 1996.  She studied at summer programs all on scholarship at Joffrey Ballet in NY, Kansas City Ballet, Aspen Ballet, and Gus Giordano. After beginning her professional career with Saint Louis Ballet in 1996 she went on to become a principal of the company with a dance career lasting 17 years.  She performed the title roles in Giselle, Romeo & Juliet, as Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Waltz Girl and Russian Girl in Balanchine's Serenade and the lead in Allegro Brilliante. She also loved performing the leads in Francis Patrelle's ballets such as Rhapsody in Blue and Black Forest Carousel and Gen Horiuchi's Two of a Kind, Le Reve, Romantique to name a few.  After retiring in 2013 she has continued to oversee Saint Louis Ballet School as School Administrator.  Despite her stage time, her biggest claim to fame is her daughter Scarlett born who was born in 2014.

kimberlymorse_SLB.jpg
Kimberly Biesiadecki
Ballet Instructor

Originally from Medford, Oregon, Kimberly Biesiadecki trained locally at various ballet schools. At the age of fourteen, she moved to the east coast and trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary for three years. In 2012 she Joined Oregon Ballet Theater for one season before joining the Eglevsky Ballet in New York.  In 2015 she joined Saint Louis ballet and retired in 2019. Kimberly spent her summers training on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Harid Conservatory, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Ballet West, and School of American Ballet. Some of her favorite ballets to perform have been George Balanchine’s: Rubies, Who Cares?, Divertimento No. 15, Gerald Arpino's Reflections, and Gen Horiuchi’s Romeo and Juliet.

markdavidbloodgoodweb.jpg
Mark David Bloodgood
Ballet Instructor

Mark David Bloodgood, originally from Seattle, WA, trained on scholarship for 12 years at Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the direction of Francia Russell, followed by Peter Boal. Mr. Bloodgood is currently a company dancer with Saint Louis Ballet, a guest artist with Seattle Opera ARC Dance Productions, and has performed with national companies such as  BalletMet, Milwaukee Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, Huntsville Ballet Company, Charlottesville Ballet, Columbus Opera, and Ballet Concerto. Mr. Bloodgood is also a certified Pilates instructor through Balanced Body, a graduate of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, and is a guest faculty teacher at Southeast Missouri State University.

michaelburke_web.jpg
Michael Burke
Ballet and Contemporary Instructor

Michael Burke of Mexico, Missouri received his year-round training at Presser Performing Arts Center, School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and Beijing Dance Academy. Additionally, he spent his summers studying at Point Park University, Milwaukee Ballet, and Nashville Ballet. Michael graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Ballet from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where highlights of his performances included dancing in Anthony Krutzkamp’s Similar and the role of Benno in Swan Lake. Professionally, Michael has appeared with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Ballet, and Deos Contemporary Ballet and is currently in his fourth season as a company member with Saint Louis Ballet under the direction of Gen Horiuchi. During his time with Saint Louis Ballet he has enjoyed performing in George Balanchine’s Rubies and Serenade, as Hilarion in Giselle, and as an original cast member in works by Amy Seiwert, Emery LeCrone, Frances Patrelle, Kameron Saunders, and Kevin Jenkins.

christensen.jpg
Lauren Christensen
Ballet Instructor

Originally from Kansas City, Lauren began her ballet training at the Kansas City Ballet. While there she trained under Karen Brown, Sean Duus, Alecia Good, and James Jordan. She performed with the Kansas City Youth Ballet and the main company annually in Todd Bolender's Nutcracker. After graduating high school she went on to train at the Joffrey Ballet in New York, Ballet Austin, and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet. Her teachers included Gelsey Kirkland, Davis Robertson, Steven Mills, Michelle Martin, Alonzo King, and Maurya Kerr. She then went on to perform with Nashville Ballet's second company where she was taught by Paul Vasterling, Tim Yeager, and Nicole Koenig. She joined the Saint Louis Ballet in 2013 and began teaching in 2015.

D2E49C6A-2FA7-4334-8592-977989B8D0A6.jpg
Matthew Dibble
Ballet Instructor

Matthew Dibble was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, U.K.  At the age of 11, he entered the Royal Ballet School White Lodge where he trained for five years followed by two years in the Royal Ballet Upper School.  Upon graduating, he became a member of the Royal Ballet under the directorship of Anthony Dowell.  In his five years in the company, Matthew rose to First Artist, dancing many roles including those created for him by choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, Ashley Page, Twyla Tharp, William Tuckett, and Michael Clark. 

In 1999 Matthew decided to leave the Royal Ballet to become a founding member of K Ballet Tokyo.  He spent three years in Japan, working closely with director Tetsuya Kumakawa and choreographers such as Roland Petit.  He danced many leading roles in the classics and modern classics including those by Sir Frederick Ashton. 

Matthew was then invited to the United States where he began a close collaboration with famed choreographer Twyla Tharp.  He became a member of her company Twyla Tharp Dance, later joining the cast of her smash hit musical “Movin’ Out” to the music of Billy Joel.  He appeared in several parts including the principal roles of Eddie and James in both the Broadway production in New York and the West End production in London. 

In 2007, Matthew returned to Europe to join Matthew Bourne’s company, Adventures in Motion Pictures in London, dancing in the production of “The Car Man, Bizet’s Carmen Reimagined” around the United Kingdom.  During this time, he also became a guest principal artist with the Scottish Ballet, worked with Benjamin Millepied and was a member of Christopher Wheeldon’s company Morphoses in New York City. 

Thereafter, Matthew came back to Broadway in 2010 to create the principal role of Chanos in Tharp’s new musical “Come Fly Away” which he then danced on tour around the world as well as at the Tony Awards.

Two decades after first inviting Matthew to join her company, Tharp continues to create many featured works for him, including Yowzie and Beethoven Opus 130 featured during Twyla Tharp Dance’s 50th Anniversary Tour.  Along with dancing, Matthew now has the great honor of staging both Benjamin Millepied and Twyla Tharp’s works in the United States and abroad, along with leading master classes and workshops for students and professionals alike. 

Elgani_Angela_3464.jpg
Angela Elgani
Hip Hop Instructor

Born and raised in St. Louis, Angela has toured the world with Britney Spears, N’ SYNC, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera and more.  Local grown dancer and performer, Angela is back in her home town with her 6 year old daughter.  Her lifelong passion for dance has accumulated over the years as she has trained/mastered almost every style of dance. She also has skills in choreography, productions, and singing.

colinelisweb.jpg
Colin Ellis
Ballet Instructor

Colin Ellis was born and raised in McHenry, IL. After 14 years of training with Judith Svalander School of Ballet; Colin attended Indiana University and graduated in three years with a BS in Ballet Performance with an outside field in arts management. After graduating, Colin went to BalletMet of Columbus, OH’s 2nd company for a year before beginning his career as a company member with St. Louis Ballet in 2017. Colin will be approaching his 4th season with the St. Louis ballet Company. Throughout his college and company years, Colin has had the privilege to perform works from George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Gen Horiuchi, Edwaard Liang, Gustavo Ramirez Sanso, Michael Pink, and Michael Vernon, among others. Colin has been teaching ballet, character, contemporary, men’s, partnering, pre-pointe, and pointe since 2014 and is excited to continue to teach the students of St. Louis.

emilyfugett_web.jpg
Emily Fugett
Ballet and Jazz Instructor

Emily Fugett is originally from the south suburbs of Chicago. She first began dancing at the age of 3. Over the years she has danced at numerous local studios, striving for the best training. She has trained in various styles and competed at the national level. In 2012, with a love of ballet, she moved her training to Ballet Chicago. At Ballet Chicago she performed in various productions and honed her technique, with hopes of a career in dance.  Emily started her professional career with the Chicago Repertory Ballet, a contemporary ballet company, for two seasons. She is now a company member of The Saint Louis Ballet.  She is excited to have the opportunity to pass her knowledge and passion on to the young dancers.

0018.jpg
Dana Golio
Ballet, Jazz, and Tap Instructor

Ms. Golio is a native of the Bronx, New York. She has been in the dance world for over 35 years with experience in dance training, instruction, performing and choreography. Dana comes from a dancing family. Her sister at present owns two studios in the NY area. Her parents, who were professional ballroom dancers, started training Dana at the tender age of 5. Dana along with her sister and parents won numerous awards. Dana took all subjects of dance throughout her life, such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Acro and of course Ballroom. Dana also trained with many teachers in the New York City area such as Mr. Al Gilbert, Charles Kelley, the Hoctor Family, and many other renowned instructors. She has always stayed faithful to her teacher and mentor Miss Dorothy who is still teaching in the Westchester area of NY. She was also a member of the dance troupe "The Doreyettes," which traveled around the tri-state area performing for all types or organizations, primarily the New York State Beauty Pageant.

juliaheiss_edited.jpg
Julia Heiss
Ballet Instructor

Julia Heiss grew up in New York City where she began her training at American Ballet Theatre and School of American Ballet. At the age of thirteen, she moved to Dallas, Texas where she began her studies at Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, under the direction of Ann Etgen and Bill Atkinson. After their retirement, she then transferred to Mejia Ballet International in Fort Worth. There she started her pre- professional studies with Michele Gifford, Maria Terezia, and Paul Mejia. After attending Pacific Northwest Ballet’s summer intensive, she was offered a position as a professional division student. She performed multiple ballets with the company, including, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmina Burana, and Cinderella. This is her first season with Saint Louis Ballet, beginning her professional career. 

herchenroether.jpg
Amy Herchenroether
Ballet Instructor

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Herchenroether trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School under the direction of Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. She completed two years on scholarship in Boston Ballet’s trainee program performing in company productions and studying with Margaret Tracey, Kathleen Mitchell, and Andre Reyes. Ms. Herchenroether spent summers training at the School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Canada’s National Ballet School. She started dancing with Saint Louis Ballet in 2013 and joined the summer program faculty in 2014.

Kendall-Heuman-Headshot.jpg
Kendall Heuman
Jazz and Contemporary Instructor

Originally from the Springfield Illinois area, Kendall Heuman graduated with Departmental Honors and Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance emphasized in Ballet from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri in May of 2020. Kendall began dancing at a young age at Dance Arts Studio, alongside with The Springfield Ballet Company, and performed in theatrical productions such as "West Side Story" with The Springfield Muni Opera. While earning her BFA degree at Webster, she trained with many instructors including Michael Uthoff, Alicia Graf Mack, Betsy Brandt, Maggi Dueker, and Beckah Reed. At Webster, she has worked with artists such as Gregory Dawson, Gary Hubler, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Cleo Parker-Robinson. Kendall has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from Webster's Department of Dance including The Wells Hobler Family Endowed Dance Scholarship, The Olsen & Brenner Annual Dance Scholarship, and The Marianne & Peter Gleich Endowed Summer Scholarship. In the summer of 2018, she studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland to train in Ballet and International Dance. Kendall is also a part of the Convergence Trainee Program at the Big Muddy Dance Company for their 2020-2021 season.

0093.jpg
Stephanie Hogan
Ballet Instructor

Ms. Hogan has been a permanent faculty member of Saint Louis Ballet School since 2003 teaching preballet, ballet and tap. She studied dance locally, in Kansas City, and The Harkness House, New York City. While with the St. Louis Civic Ballet, Stephanie performed leading roles in The Nutcracker and Kinder Konzerts at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony; and represented the United States at the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland. She is a graduate of UMKC with a degree in Biology and a minor in dance with ballet emphasis. While working on her degrees, she performed with the UMKC Dance Ensemble and Kansas City Ballet under the direction of Tatiana Dokoudovsky, aunt of Saint Louis Ballet founder, Ludmila Dokoudovsky. A former studio owner for 15 years, Stephanie has been teaching dance in the St. Louis area for over 35 years. She has been the Ballet Mistress for Children's Cast with the Saint Louis Ballet since 2006.

0127.jpg
CiCi Houston Sudholt
Ballet Instructor

Ms. Houston received her training as a scholarship student from Theresa Lee Crawford in Detroit, Michigan, the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Virginia School of the Arts under the direction of Petrus Bosman and David Keener, augmenting studies at summer programs in Houston, Boston, Cleveland, and Italy. As a former member of Saint Louis Ballet, Ms. Houston performed featured roles in ballets by numerous choreographers including George Balanchine, Gen Horiuchi, and Francis Patrelle. Ms. Houston has taught ballet in the St. Louis area since 1998. Also previously holding the title of Co-Artistic Director at Alexandra Ballet, during her twelve years there she taught all levels, oversaw rehearsals, served on the Board of Directors, tended to administrative duties, was a director for Regional Dance America, choreographed original works and restaged classics by Bournonville and Petipa. A lifelong enthusiast of various syllabi and repertoire, Ms. Houston has been influenced by the styles of Ashton, Balanchine, Cecchetti, Preobajenska, Vagonova, and considers the Bournonville style to be a particular specialty in her teaching. Having returned to the staff of Saint Louis Ballet School in 2015, Ms. Houston also serves as Ballet Mistress for the company.
 

0309.jpg
Elizabeth Lloyd
Ballet Instructor

Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Lloyd began her ballet training with Ballet Spartanburg where she studied with Carlos Agudelo and Lona Gomez. She later attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction of Ethan Stiefel. At the age of sixteen, Ms. Lloyd was invited to attend the San Francisco Ballet School’s year-round program. She had the opportunity to perform with San Francisco Ballet in several productions and to study with Lola De Avila, Tina LeBlanc, and Sofiane Sylve. She received several scholarships and attended summer programs at Harid Conservatory, Boston Ballet, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theater. Upon completing her training in San Francisco, she was offered a full scholarship to the Trainee Program at Oregon Ballet Theater under the direction of Christopher Stowell. She began her professional career with Saint Louis Ballet in 2014 and is excited about sharing her love of dance with Saint Louis Ballet School students.

Lauren_McCart.jpg
Lauren McCart
Ballet Instructor

Lauren received her training at St Louis Ballet School with Gen Horiuchi and Ellen Costanza. She continued her training at Charlotte Ballet’s Summer Intensive and attended Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Summer Intensive with a merit scholarship from the Dance Council. Lauren has danced professionally with the Saint Louis Ballet and with Missouri Ballet Theatre. She has performed in George Balanchine's “Serenade”, Pas de Trois in "Swan Lake",The Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker", as well as in various roles in "Giselle", "Cinderella" and "The Sleeping Beauty". Along with her passion for ballet, she loves musical theatre and trained with LifeLight Youth Theatre. She performed as Belle in “Beauty and The Beast”, The Narrator in “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat”, and has performed in the Muny chorus.

andreapaxton.jpg
Andrea Paxton
Jazz, Tap, and Contemporary Instructor

Andrea took her first dance class at the age of 5 and it was love at first step. Over the past 38 years she has studied the art of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop & Modern.  In her years of training, she has been lucky to study under some of the biggest names in the industry today, such as Janice Barringer (Pace University NYC), Mia Michaels (Choreographer of Broadway’s Finding Neverland and Radio City Rockettes NYC Spectacular),Tyce Diorio (Emmy award winning choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance), Ray Leeper (Choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance), Marguerite Derricks (Choreographer of the 2009 movie "FAME" and the T.V. show "Bunheads.") Andrea has trained with Tremaine Dance, LA Dance Magic, The Edge Dance Center & Dupree Dance. She also minored in dance at Lindenwood University while majoring in Education. She is fortunate to have made a career out of her passion working as a professional dancer/singer, as well as dance instructor and award winning choreographer for the past 27 years. This job has offered many exciting opportunities and taken her all over the country, and across the world. Some highlights of her professional career include performing in shows at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, The Lotte Theatre in Busan, South Korea, The Empire Theatre at Six Flags St. Louis, The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Harrah's in St. Louis, Kansas City and San Diego and Line Captain and Choreographer for St. Louis Steamers Steam Heat Dance Line. In 2020, she choreographed an ensemble piece for YAGP for Saint Louis Ballet School, which was invited to compete at the Grand Finals in New York City. Andrea is committed to her craft and committed to sharing and passing her passion and knowledge of dance onto her students.

Elaine%20Rand%20Headshot_edited.jpg
Elaine Rand
Ballet Instructor

A native of West Lafayette, IN, Elaine Rand began her training at Lafayette Ballet School in 2004, studying with Sandra Peticolas. She continued her training at Indianapolis Ballet, where she was a part of the company’s Professional Level Program under the direction of Victoria Lyras. There, she taught dance students ages 4 to adult as a faculty member. Most recently, Elaine danced in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division program for two years under the direction of Peter Boal, where she rehearsed and performed frequently with the school and company. She has attended summer courses at Louisville Ballet School, Indianapolis School of Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the Chautauqua Institution. She is eager to pass on her knowledge of ballet to the young dancers of Saint Louis.

RoxyShackelford.jpg
Roxy Shackelford
Ballet Instructor

Roxy Shackelford started her dance training at Dance Arts Studio in her hometown of Macon, Georgia. She then went to finish her last two high school years training at the Atlanta Ballet in their full-time conservatory program. While in Atlanta she was able to dance in company productions of John McFall's The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. She then spent two years dancing as an apprentice with Charlotte Ballet where she worked closely with Patricia McBride and had the opportunity of dancing in Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's The Nutcracker and works by Peter Chu and Stephanie Martinez. She has attended summer courses at The School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Boston Ballet. She joined Saint Louis Ballet in 2019 and is very excited to inspire and share her love of dance with the students of  Saint Louis Ballet School.

wilson.jpg
Lori Wilson
Ballet Instructor

Ms. Wilson began her training at Ballet Lubbock under the direction of Yvonne Racz, and finished her training at The Rock School for Dance Education with Christopher Fleming, Mariaelena Ruiz and Servy Gallardo. She competed in Youth America Grand Prix and was a top twelve finalist. She studied at the Chautauqua Institute with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride and Mark Diamond. She has performed with the North Carolina Dance Theatre and as a guest artist with the Evansville Dance Theatre. She joined Saint Louis Ballet in 2008 where she has performed in THE NUTCRACKER, ALLEGRO BRILLANTE, Gen Horiuchi's LE REVE, MORE MORRA, CINDERALLA, as Black Swan in SWAN LAKE as well as the leading role in DON QUIXOTE.

lisawoflsberger2017web.jpg
Lisa Wolfsberger
Ballet Instructor

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.

0030.jpg
Teaching Assistants

Learn more about becoming a teacher assistant by emailing school@stlouisballet.org