Virginia Holte Founder & Artistic Director
Ms. Holte is the Founder and Artistic Director of West Hawaii Dance Theatre, and Guest Instructor for the Maui Academy of Performing Arts.
As a professional dancer, Ms. Holte performed extensively with major dance companies, including the Washington Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre,
Chicago Ballet and Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, touring both nationally and internationally. She was often invited to perform as Guest Artist,
with companies such as New Jersey Ballet, Hawaii Youth Symphony, and the Ballet Gala International. Ms. Holte is a graduate of the Academy of the Washington Ballet, and attended the National Ballet of Canada Teacher Training. She received certification in both the Cecchetti and Vaganova Methods of Classical Ballet, and created her own syllabus based on these to suit the needs of our Hawaii community. Since 1986, Ms. Holte has been educating in Hawaii's community in dance through daily classes, outreach school presentations and historical theatrical performances, such as “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote”, “Gaiete Parisienne”, “Swan Lake”, “Coppelia”, and “Alice in Wonderland” to name a few.
Midori Satoh Assistant Director
Midori attended high school in Japan and came to New York University in 1989, earning a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts:Dance. She joined Shapiro and Smith Dance Company in New York as a teacher and performer. International tours included USA, Mexico, Germany, Italy, and Singapore. She also taught at University of New York, Tisch School of the Arts and University of Minnesota. In 1986 she co-founded New Wind Dance Project, touring and teaching in Japan for four years. Midori is also a certified aerobics instructor. She resided in Kailua-Kona with her husband and two children, and has been teaching a choreographing for West Hawaii Dance Theatre since 1999.
Claire “Miss Kitty” Hollinger Pre Ballet, Creative Movement, Primary Ballet
Claire, a retired RN has been an educator for over 30 years. Her background includes modeling, acting, and dancing. She brings joy to WHDT¹s keiki classes through comedy, laughter, and entertainment, and leads West Hawaii Dance Academy’s Waimea program.
Megan Joy Chapman - Ballet, Jazz (includes Classical, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Musical Theater), Pilates, Private lessons available upon request
Megan Chapman has been teaching dance since 1987 and began her journey with West Hawaii Dance Theater in 1999. Originally from Boston, she studied classical ballet, jazz, and modern with The Franklin School for the Performing Arts, and ballet with The Walnut Hill School and The Boston Ballet. She attended Ithaca College in New York as a Dance Minor. From there, Megan explored other areas of artistry and received a degree in Fashion Design where she worked professionally as a Costume and Freelance Fashion Designer. Megan has performed many leading roles including Clara in The Nutcracker, The Little Match Girl, Cinderella, and Coppelia, to name a few. She has also choreographed and costumed numerous works including an original ballet of Peter and the Wolf. To compliment her dance experience, Megan holds certifications in Group Fitness and Pilates. Currently, she is writing an adventure series geared for youth and families and also enjoys painting, sewing, and cooking. www.meganjoychapman.com
Megan Joy Chapman,
Author of Lion Heart & Alessio: The Victory Ride
Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! -PSALM 45:3-4
Jenna Power Ballet Hip Hop Pilates
Jenna Power grew up studying ballet and jazz at West Hawaii Dance Theatre. Along with intensive workshops each summer, she also studied at Ballet Hawaii and 24/7 dance studio on Oahu. After graduating high school, Jenna moved to San Diego where she received a degree in dance. After college, she studied at The Academy of Performing Arts in San Diego as well as EDGE studio in Los Angeles. Jenna has now returned full circle to teach at the studio where she was taught.
Jasmin (Jaz) McCracken Adult Hip Hop
Jasmin’s main focus growing up was gymnastics, where her lessons touched on ballet. It was after gymnastics, that she truly fell in love with dance and took classes in both ballet and hip hop. Over the last decade she has taken many dance classes at West Hawaii Dance Theater. Hip hop is her number one passion!" She is the owner of Pikake Beads in Kailua-Kona.
Keahi Kapela Hula Tahitian
Keahi’s hula and Tahitian background includes studies with George Naope, Napua Kam, Lanakila Brandt and Hoku Demaso, and Keoni Atkinson. She has performed with Tihati Productions,Island Breeze and has many years of Classical Ballet training with WHDT.
Jeanne Kapela Ballet Hip Hop Apprentice Teacher
Jeanne began studying at West Hawaii Dance Academy when she was 9., and is Keahi Kapela’s daughter. As a natural performer, Jeanne has appeared as the lead dancer in many of WHDT’s performances, Including “Sugar Plum” in the “Nutcracker” and “Alice” in “Alice in Wonderland”. Jeanne was accepted and attended Summer Schools in some the country’s top ballet schools, including San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. A 2012 Graduate of Konawaena High School, and accomplished Hula dancer, we are pleased to have Jeanne share her love of dance with our community through performing and teaching.
West Hawaii Dance Academy Pianist
Megumi began her piano studies at the age of 5 under Yoko Ogusu for 13 years in Tokyo, Japan. She continued her studies under Gates Wray, who was himself a student of Isabella Vengerova and Vladimir Horowitz, for 3 years while living in New Jersey and holds a B.S. degree from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. After moving to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in 1999, and with encouragement from her friend and West Hawaii Dance Academy instructor Midori Satoh, Megumi began accompanying ballet class at West Hawaii Dance Academy in 2005. With the assistance and guidance of West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Virginia Holte, Megumi has played and arranged music for numerous performances, including “Nutcracker”, “Les Sylphide”, “Don Quixote”, full length “Swan Lake”, “Coppelia” and “Alice In Wonderland” to name a few. Besides accompanying the dancers at West Hawaii Dance Academy, Megumi teaches piano to children and adults.
Her Debut CD “Ballet Class: Music From Hawaii” was recorded in 2010 and is available for purchase at CD Baby and amazon.com.
“ Ballet Class with Alice in Wonderland: Music from Hawaii, Volume II is released in December , 2012
Soili Arvola Ballet
Soili Arvola was accepted to the Ballet Academy of the National Opera House in Helsinki Finland at the age of eight. After graduating from the Academy at age 17, she was invited to join the National Ballet of Finland, touring with the company around the world. Among her numerous honors, Ms. Arvola won a Bronze Medal and Diploma for High Artistic Achievement in Women's Senior (Professional) Category at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. She has appeared as guest ballerina with the Finnish National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Chicago Ballet, Houston Ballet, London's Royal Ballet Choreographic Group, indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Ballet lnternational de Ochi of Japan, and with many symphony orchestras, opera companies, and civic ballet companies throughout the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Arvola has performed as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, the title roles in Giselle and Cinderella, Swanhilda in Coppelia Kitri in Don Quixote and many others.
Leo Ahonen Ballet
Leo Ahonen was accepted to the Ballet Academy of the National Opera House in Helsinki Finland at the age of six. He joined the National Ballet of Finland at the age of 14, and at age 17 guest performed with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad and the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. At the famed Vaganova Choreographic Institute in Leningrad Mr. Ahonen became a private student of Mr. Konstantin Shatilov and received the "Kirov Trained" Certificate at graduation. Mr. Ahonen won a Bronze Medal in the Men's Senior category at the Second International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. He was a principal dancer and company teacher for the National Ballet of Holland, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the National Ballet of Finland. With his wife Soili Arvola he danced as a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and was hailed by critics as The Flying Finn, West Coast Nureyev, and the Fantastic Finn.
Alaine Haubert Ballet
Alaine Haubert , a fourth generation Californian, has the unique distinction of having been associated with America's three major companies. She received her training from age fifteen at the School of American Ballet in New York City where she studied with George Balanchine and his illustrious post-Diaghilev faculty. After graduation from high school she performed with San Francisco's Pacific Ballet, and then joined the national touring company of Camelot. In 1965, after a year on the road with Camelot, Alaine joined American Ballet Theatre, where she performed corps de ballet, soloist and principal roles. She was coached, during this period by such diverse and exciting choreographers as: Tudor, DeMille, Robbins, Feld, Culberg, Lander, and Tetley, and also danced the classics.
In 1969 Alaine joined the Joffrey Ballet as principal dancer performing leading roles in many ballets including The Green Table, The Dream, Feast of Ashes, The Moor's Pavane, The Still Point, The Three Cornered Hat, Cakewalk and Le Bleu Danube. After nearly a decade with the Joffrey Ballet, a serious back injury ended Alaine's performing career, and she began teaching and coaching in such wide-ranging locations as Europe, Japan, Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean. In 1986 Alaine moved to Hawaii where she was on faculty at the University of Hawaii for seven years.
In 1993, Alaine was invited by Kevin McKenzie to return to New York as Ballet Mistress for American Ballet Theatre, where she instructed, coached, and rehearsed the world's leading dancers for four years. Alaine now makes her home in California where she was on faculty at California State, Long Beach for six years. She continues her association with ABT and annually travels the U.S. auditioning dancers for ABT programs. She has been the Artistic Director various Summer Intensive programs. In spring 2002 Alaine had the honor of adjudicating the Pacific Region for Regional Dance America (RDA) and in 2003 was adjudicator for the Southwest Region. Alaine now continues to travel world-wide, offering master classes and workshops and scouting for future ballet professionals.
Called "one of San Francisco's leading dance teachers", Henry Berg has, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, "carved a strong artistic niche as a teacher". With a career that spans over three decades in dance, film, television, theatre and academia, Mr. Berg has established himself as one of the foremost dance teachers in the country. His guest teaching engagements now include annual seminars for the Boston Ballet, the Academia Anna Pavolova in Bogata,Columbia, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Educators of America, Oregon Dance Academy, and the Village Dance Arts in Los Angeles. Mr. Berg traveled to Japan where he taught seminars in Tokyo and Nagoya, staging "American Ballet Selections" in 1994 for several companies there. Mr. Berg began his dance career in Hollywood, California, appearing in such films as "State Fair", "How The West Was Won", and "Babes In Toyland". In 1962, he joined the San Francisco Ballet. Subsequently, he danced for over seven years with the Joffrey Ballet and assisted choreographer Twyla Tharp in New York City. In 1975, Mr. Berg created the Pacific Ballet Company with co-founders John Pasqualetti and Sue Loyd. He also joined the faculty of the San Francisco Ballet. The list of directors, dancers, and choreographers Mr. Berg has worked with include: George Balanchine, Robert Joffrey, Gerald Arpino, Lew Christensen, Ann Sokolov, Kurt Joos, Jon Hart, and Margaret Jenkins. Additionally he has worked with skaters John Curry and Peggy Fleming, cartoonist Charles Schultz, and has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Timour began his professional education with the Moldavian Opera House and the Bolshoi Ballet. Upon coming to America he danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet, New Jersey Ballet and the New York based Daring Project. In 1998, Mr. Bourtasenkov joined Carolina Ballet as a Principal dancer and founding member of the company.. Mr. Bourtasenkov has choreographed works for Carolina Ballet, Infinity Ballet, New Jersey Ballet and most recently, the New York Choreographic Institute, using New York City Ballet members. His ballets include Light and Dark, sections of Messiah, Rag House, Elements, Memories, Visions, Intrigue, Dance of the Spirits, Fallen Dreams and Tango! Tango! Tango! Mr. Bourtasenkov won the Bronze Medal in the VII Massako Ohyo World Ballet Competition of Osaka, Japan and the V International Competition of Paris, France. He was awarded a jury prize at the 2nd Luxembourg International Ballet Competition. Mr. Bourtasenkov has appeared in two USSR movies: The Long Way and The Magic Star. In 1996, he filmed Little Red Ridinghood, directed by Davis Koplan and choreographed by Elena Tchernichova. In 1996, Mr. Bourtasenkov became the Artistic Advisor of Infinity Ballet and in 2005 he was named the Artistic Director of Carolina Performing Arts Center in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Former Guest teachers/dancers
Marina Terwilliger Pre Ballet, Primary Ballet
A Mauka Lani Graduate, Marina began training with WHDT when she was 5. Ms Terwilliger went on to become Miss Kona Coffee 2002, attended UH Manoa as a Dance Major for 2 years, and returns to the Big Island Hawaii after pursuing a commercial print modeling career in New York City.
Kim Jackson Tap
Kimberly started dancing at age 5 and has taken classes in tap, acrobatics, jazz, ballet, modern, and ballroom, with her passion being tap dancing. She studied in Montana, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Virginia and Hawaii, and has participated in several international tap festivals in Portland, Oregon and New York, NY. Kimberly also writes children's books. For her "day job" Kimberly is an estate planning attorney in Kona.
Miho Morinoue Ballet, Contemporary, Modern Jazz
Miho Returned to Hawaii after a 10 year career as a professional dancer with “Complexions” Dance Company in NYC. She designed costumes for Dance Theatre of Harlem and other, to name a few.
Jamy Woodbury Hop Hop Lyrical Jazz
Jamy’s formal training was with Cleo Parker Robinson . His work can be seen on the Academy Awards ¹91-¹99, the American Music Awards, Showgirls, Salsa and many other TV and Film Projects. He is on the faculty for MAPA and WHDT.
Karen Stubbs Modern Technique & Repertory
Ms. Stubbs holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Bachelor of Arts from Mesa State College.
She has attended the Pilates teacher training program in Boulder, a two week intensive workshop in kinetic awareness with Elaine Summers, and is also well versed in Swiss Ball technique.
Christopher Dolder Modern
Mr. Dolder, currently a professor of Dance at U.C Berkeley, holds a Masterof Fine Arts degree in Dance from Mills College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Art/Dance from U.C. Berkeley. As a professional dancer, Mr. Dolder was a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, BARD/east dance group, NYC, and Guest dancer for Berkeley Ballet Theatre. He is the Director for the Bay Area Dance Company, and Artistic Director and co-founder(with Anne Westwick) of "Christopher Dolder and Friends" dance company.
Darla Hoover was trained at the renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary and completed her studies on a full scholarship at the School of American Ballet. In 1980, after choreographing a solo for her in the NYC Opera production of Bourgeois Gentilhomme, George Balanchine invited Daria to become a member of his New York City Ballet. From 1980-1991, Ms. Hoover appeared as a featured soloist in ballets such as Balanchine's La Valse, Chaconne, Harlequinade, Bello delta Regina, as well as Peter Martins' Eight Easy Pieces, Rossini Quartets, Sonata di Scarfatti, and Jerome Robbin's Fanfare. Upon retirement in 1991, a full schedule of guest appearances throughout the United States and Europe made for an even further expansion of her repertory of experience. Ms. Hoover has now focused her attentions to teaching and staging ballets. In addition to her positions as the Associate Artistic Director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Artistic Advisor of Ballet Academy East's graded children's program in Manhattan, Ms. Hoover guest teaches all over the world. Working as a distinguished repetiteur, Ms. Hoover stages works for the George Balanchine Trust and for Peter Martins, Ballet Master-in-Chief of the New York City Ballet. Recent stagings have included George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Divertimento#15, ValseFantaisie, Aliegro BriHante, Stars and Stripes and Rubies as well as Peter Martins' Eight Easy Pieces and Fearful Symmetries.
Jonathan Riseling began his dance training at the High School for the Performing Arts in New York City, and graduated as a recipient of the Helen Tamiris Award. While still in school, he held scholarships at the Jeffrey Ballet School and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Upon graduation, he was asked to join the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and after two years there he auditioned for and was accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Jonathan left after four years, to dance with a number of other companies; among them that of Jennifer Muller/The Works. He also worked with Judith Jamison, assisting her in choreographing and staging her works, until she formed her own company, The Jamison Project. There he held the position of Assistant Rehearsal Director to Ms. Jamison, and danced lead roles as well. In September of 1990 he was awarded a 'Bessie' for his performance of a principal role in her ballet "Tease".
Andrei Jouravlev was born in Russia. He received his dance training at the famed Perin State Choreography Academy of Russia and went on to become a Principal Dancer of the Perin State Opera and Ballet Theater. In the beginning of his career he worked with the famous ballet Mistress from Kirov Ballet, Ms Ter-Stepanova, performing the leading role of James in "La Shyphida". He won a Diploma (1992) and the Silver Medal (1994) in Russia and a Bronce Medal (1993) in Japan's ballet competitions. Touring internationally with the "Stars of the Kirow and Bolskoy Ballet", he has performed in Italy, England, Czechoslovakia, China, South Korea, Poland and Germany.
Eloisa Enerio born in Manila, Philippines, started her training at age 12 with the Royal A academy of Dance in Manila. Upon completion of her r.a.d. exams, she continued her studies with Felicitas Radaic, William Morgan and Basilio. Eloisa has performed with Dance Theatre Philippines, Ballet Philippines, Berkley Ballet Theatre, Canada's Ontario Ballet Theatre. She is currently a principal dancer with Ballet Pacifica in Irvine, California. During her long association with Ballet Pacifica, she has danced lead roles in Nutcracker, Les Sylphide, Graduation Ball. She has also been featured in ballets by Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Antony Tudor, David Allen, Molly Lynch, and others. She is best known for her emotional performance as Emily in Jerry's "Our Town, and the title role in Robert Sund's "Carmen".
Christina Summer Gibbs
Born in Newport Beach, California. Began training at age 12. Studied in Los Angeles, California from 1987 to 1991 with Yvonne Mounsey, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Studied with Margot Fonteyn in New York, New York in 1988.Studied at the Bolshoi School in Moscow, Russia in 1989.
Has worked with Stanley Holden (Royal Ballet), David Allan (National Ballet of Canada), Rosemary Valaire (Royal Ballet), and Veronica Tennant (National Ballet of Canada).Attended summer sessions at the School of American Ballet for 4 years on merit scholarships.Studied full-time at the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1992. Currently coached by Carmen Rozenstraten, formerly of the Dutch National Ballet and lines Contemporary Dance and Kristine Elliot, formerly of American Ballet Theatre.
Spencer Gavin Hering
Spencer Gavin Herring, born in Munich, Germany, began his training with his mother Cecilia Hering at the School of International Ballet in Redlands, California. He has received scholarships from Pacific Northwest Ballet School, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education and San Francisco Ballet School. Spencer has performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet. He has danced principal and solo roles with Redlands Festival Ballet, Inland Dance Theatre, Pasadena Dance Theatre, Golden State Ballet and Dance Kaleidoscope. He is presently under contract with Ballet Pacifica, where he has performed works by Paul Vasterling, David Allan, Rick McCullough, Anne Marie De Angelo, Raymond Van Mason and other notable choreographers. For the past two seasons, Spencer has been highly praised in his work in their ballets.
Michele Gaines Jazz and Musical Theatre
Michele Gaines spends most of her time in California directing and choreographing musical theatre productions. She has staged La Cage Aux Folles. Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Secret Garde, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie, Big River, Mame, Ino the woods, and several original productions as well at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts. The Desert Theatre League has honored her with awards for "Best Direction" and "Best Choreography" for a musical or opera, and honored her with the prestigious Sydney Harmon Award for "excellence in theatre, both on and off the stage". She is also an award winning educator in dance and musical theatre, currently on the faculty of College of the Desert, and formerly on the teaching staffs of Los Angeles Pierce College, ISOMATA, University of the Nations, and is contracted as a master teacher for the Los Angeles, Palm Springs. And Desert Sands Unified School Districts.
She holds a lifetime teaching credential in the fields of dance, speech and drama. She is also the lead resident teaching Artist in dance for the McCallum Theatre Institute's Aesthetic Education Program. She owned her own dance academy for ten year and currently teaches on the staff of other local studios. While residing in Hawaii, Michelle became affiliated with West Hawaii Dance Theatre, and was pleased to returned to the islands to work with Ms. Holte twice a year until she passed away in 2010.