Resident Faculty

Tim Veach (Artistic Director/School Director – All ITP Levels, Boys Program) is the Artistic Director and founder of Columbus Dance Theatre where he is the resident choreographer, teaches in the school and serves as chief administrator. He holds an M.F.A. in choreography from The Ohio State University and a B.F.A. in acting from The University of Illinois. He has trained extensively with some of the leading ballet and modern dance instructors including: David Howard, Diana Cartier, Warren Conover, Jan Erkert and Shirley Mordine. Mr. Veach has choreographed dozens of works for Columbus Dance Theatre including its signature ballet, Matchgirl. For more than two decades he has worked as a performer and choreographer touring internationally and throughout the U.S. with both ballet and contemporary dance companies. His choreography for dance, theatre, and opera has been presented by: Opera Columbus, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, WOSU-TV, The Crested Butte Music Festival, The Toledo Opera, Contemporary Dance Fort Worth, The Lancaster Arts Festival, JazzMet, The Ohio State University, Towson University, Illinois State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and New York Central Ballet among others. Mr. Veach has directed and/or choreographed dozens of plays and musicals. Among them are: Sweeney Todd, Phantom, Romeo and Juliet, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Fiddler on the Roof, Marriage of True Minds, Trojan Women, A Chorus Line, Camelot, Out of this World, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Christina Kirk’s Conversations with Judith Malina. He is a nationally recognized teacher having taught at numerous universities and festivals throughout the U.S. and has held academic positions at: The Ohio Wesleyan University, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, Wright State University, and Bowling Green State University. His students have gone on to dance in professional Companies including: Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Hubbard Street Dance Company, The Louisville Ballet, The Nashville Ballet, and Cleveland Dancing Wheels. Many of his students continue to gain acceptance at leading summer and resident programs including: The Juilliard School, The School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Louisville Ballet, the Chautauqua Dance Institute, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. He has worked extensively with Opera Columbus having now choreographed for the Opera for the past six seasons. His choreography for OC’s Hansel and Gretel was celebrated in Opera News as “spellbinding dance.” In 2010 he directed Berlin to Broadway, the music of Kurt Weill for OC. Mr. Veach continues to serve as the chief administrative director of CDT and has authored dozens of successful grants on behalf of the organization. In 2005 he received a citation of merit for his work on behalf of the arts by the Ohio Senate. In 2009 and 2010 he was nominated for the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s award for Artistic Excellence.

Mae Chesney (ITP C), a native of Baltimore, Maryland, graduated in 2010 from the University of
Conservatory of Music with a BFA in dance.  She began her training with Ellen Gniasdowski and Dawn Verona at the Gniasdowski Studio of Ballet at age 7.  Mae graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts as a Ballet major in 2006 where she trained with Norma Pera, Debra Robinson Deckelbaum, Anton Wilson, Sandra Lacy and Stephanie Powell.  Mae has attended summer
programs with the Washington School of Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and Lines Ballet.  She has performed in pieces by Yi Qi Cheng, Jiang Qi, Michael Tevlin, Dierdre Carberry, Shellie Cash, Vivi Flindt, Hannah Baumgarten, Diego Saltorini, Maureen Fleming and Charles Moulton.  Mae has also had the opportunity to perform in Balanchine’s Serenade, and more recently danced the lead in Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht.  She is in her fourth Season dancing with CDT.

Stefani Crea (ITP A, Ballet I, and Dance III) began her training in Columbus, Ohio under Irveline Evans.  She later continued her training  at Columbus Dance Theatre in the Intensive Training Program.  Stefani is a  graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music where she received a BFA in ballet performance.  While at CCM, Stefani had the opportunity to perform in Balanchine’s Pas de Dix staged by Frederic Franklin, and work with highly acclaimed butoh artist Maureen Fleming.  Stefani also danced with Ballet Theatre Midwest in Cincinnati, Ohio while she was earning her degree.  Stefani is excited to be back in Columbus and dancing and teaching with Columbus Dance Theatre for her fourth season.

Jaime Kotrba (ITP A and ITP B) was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Manton, Michigan and received her primary training in Traverse City, Michigan with Betsy Carr and Interlochen Arts Academy. She attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem School before joining the professional company with which she toured nationally and internationaly dancing works by George Balanchine, John Taras, and Michael Smuin.  In 2006, Ms. Kotrba helped found the Janusphere Dance Company based in New York City.  Additionally, she has danced with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and Balletmet Columbus and continues guest dancing with Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, TN and Viewpoint Dance in New York City.  This is Jaime’s fifth season dancing with Columbus Dance Theatre!

Gavin Mark McNally (ITP B) started his training with Fort Wayne Ballet at the age of eight. He furthered his studies at Interlochen Arts Academy performing lead roles in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, he then went to Indiana University to train with Violette Verde. He joined the Kansas City Ballet where he performed works including Todd Bolender’s Danses Concertante, Twyla Tharp’s As Time Goes By, and George Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.  Mr. McNally returned home to the Fort Wayne Ballet performing roles including Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummernight’s Dream.  He spent a year in New York City dancing with various companies and furthering his movement studies.  He is excited to have returned to the Midwest, dancing his fourth season dancing for CDT and his first year teaching in the School of Columbus Dance Theatre.

Chloe Mellblom (Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Dance II) originally from Boise, Idaho, started her training at the age of 7 at Ballet Idaho with Cathy and Jeff Giese and Lisa Moon. When she was 12, Chloe moved to Columbus where she received training from Columbus Youth Ballet and BalletMet Academy where she danced under Sharon Daye, Susan Dromisky, Dimitri Suslov, Maria Glimcher, and Sonia Welker. Chloe came to CDT in 2009 and continued her training in the Intensive Training Program. She has had the opportunity to dance in Matchgirl, and in Tim Veach’s production of Star Wars: The Ballet. She has performed various variations and choreography staged by Savannah Biedenbach, Anne Adair, Tim Veach, Kristina Isabelle, Shelby Bakies, and Judson Veach. Having graduated from the CDT Intensive Training Program Chloe is now an Apprentice to the Company.

Cheston Repola ( Boy’s Program) began his training in Reno, Nevada. He then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to train at the Goh Ballet Academy. Cheston studied under Jian Rong Sheng, the Ballet Master and former dancer with the National Ballet of China. Through this relationship Cheston was given the opportunity to train and dance with the Liaoning Ballet in Shenyang, China. While with Liaoning Cheston trained with Ballet Master James Amar, and instructor Alexander Federov. Upon his return from China in 2010, Cheston became a member of NB2, the second company of Nashville Ballet in Tennessee. He performed many public performances as a part of Nashville Ballet’s Outreach and Community Engagement program. Cheston was quickly moved into the position of Company apprentice the following year. While in Nashville he performed various roles in   The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Carmina Burana, and The Rite of Spring.  This is Cheston’s second season dancing with CDT.

Seth Wilson (Ballet/Modern/Boys Program – ITP A and ITP B and Boys Program) started his dance training at the age of 4, under the late Stanley Bates in Queens, New York. A native of Queens, Seth continued his training throughout New York at many institutions such as Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Ballet Hispanico. He also trained at LaGaurdia High School for the Performing Arts and later attended Purchase College State University of New York. Seth has toured internationally in Germany, Costa Rica, and Bermuda, as well as within the United States. Seth has performed with Dance Theatre of Harlem’s, Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble, Alvin Ailey, New York Theatre Ballet, Opus Dance Theatre and Viewpointe Dance. Seth has been a guest artist with Fred Benjamin, Creative Outlet with Jamel Gaines, and has danced for Lincoln Center Outdoors under Earl Mosley. Recently Seth has performed with Janusphere Dance Company in the company’s debut in Santa Barbara, California and Brooklyn, New York. This is Seth’s seventh season dancing with CDT.

Guest and Summer Faculty 2013-2014

Anne Adair (Ballet) has danced at the international level for some of the world’s great ballet companies including the Royal Danish Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Aldrich received her training at The National Ballet of Canada and has danced in the full range of classical and contemporary repertoire. She has danced in works by leading choreographers including the premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Everlast for ABT where she also danced with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Anne came to Columbus to dance for BalletMet where she was a principal dancer for six years. She joined the CDT Faculty six years ago and has taught both the Company and and ITP classes. She danced as a guest artist with the Company in 2007 to perform in Ten Cents a Dance for WOSU Public Television.

Kristina Isabelle (Modern) originally from Columbus, Ohio is the artistic director of Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and director of HighJinks Productions. Isabelle earned her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School and an MFA in dance and choreography from The Ohio State University. She has danced with Bebe Miller, Stephen Petronio, Earth Circus Productions, Grimaldi Circus, and Jordan Fuchs to name a few. Her choreography has been produced in Columbus, New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Fort Worth, England, Ireland and Poland at the Bytom International Dance Festival. She has been a finalist in the BalletMet choreographers project in 2004, 2006 and 2008. She is a resident choreographer for Columbus Dance Theatre for both the company and the Intensive Training Program. Alongside her professional work, Isabelle has also spent the last decade teaching dance, composing works, and constructing dance-related events for various universities, studios, and organizations. She has served as a guest artist and adjunct professor for The Ohio State University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenberg University, Alfred University in New York, and The College of Lake County in Illinois. In 2003-2004 she was the artistic director of the Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics and currently teaches for Columbus Dance Theatre and Infusion Dance. She has been a guest artist at Fort Hayes for the last two years and has written and directed numerous shows for Richland Academy of the Arts in Mansfield, King Arts Complex, and Dublin Dance Centre. Under HighJinks she has created and performed in events throughout Columbus and nationally on MTV and in the Nuclear Cowboyz tour 2010 for Feld Entertainment.

Judson Veach (Ballet, Repertoire, Men’s Class, Partnering) trained for eleven years at Columbus Dance Theatre where he was named an apprentice to the Company in 2007 season. Among his teachers at CDT were: Anne Adair Aldrich, Kennet Oberly, Roberta Taylor, Kristina Isabelle, and his father, Tim Veach. He has danced in original works by Stella Kane, Kristina Isabelle, Mark Diamond, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Kennet Oberly, and Tim Veach. He danced the role of Dream Hansel in Opera Columbus’ Hansel and Gretel and danced the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Lancaster Festival in 2004. Mr. Veach attended The Julliard School Summer Dance Intensive in 2007 where he studied with Andra Corvino, Alexandra Wells, and Alexander Proia. In the summer of 2008 he attended the Chautauqua Summer Dance Intensive where he was the recipient of the Chautauqua Dance Circle Scholarship and studied with teachers Daniel Ulbrecht, and Mark Diamond among others . He studied on scholarship at the School of American Ballet in New York studying under Peter Martins, Jock Soto, Peter Frame, Andrei Kramarevsky, and Jonathan Stafford and is currently a Company Member with the Nashville Ballet where has danced a range of reperoire including: The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, and Peter and the Wolf. He will dance in a premiere of a new solo, His Own Skin, choreographed by Tim Veach in CDT’s Tim Veach Dance concert in 2012.

Laura Wade (Ballet) Laura is originally from Toledo, OH, and has choreographed for advanced students at Northwestern University, Evanston School of Ballet, Ruth Page Foundation and Youth Performing Arts School. She was the artistic director for Akasha Dance Co. and is the present assistant artistic director at Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Other professional and teaching experience includes River North Dance Chicago, Visceral Dance Center, MoMing Dance and Arts Center and Stephens College.

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