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.
Shelby Bakies (Grade I and Grade II and ITP II/III) has danced for 14 years, 5 of those with Columbus Dance Theatre. She has danced various roles in Roberta Taylor’s The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and was featured as the Wolf in Tim Veach’s Peter and the Wolf and as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. She has danced multiple roles in Tim Veach’s signature ballet Matchgirl and with CDT in the Opera Columbus’s The Merry Widow. As well as being a faculty member with The School of Columbus Dance Theatre she has served as a choreographer for several CDT student performances and was the first former CDT student to create work on the company with her piece Dischord.
Stefani Crea (Ballet – ITP I and Grade 3) 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 recent 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 returned to CDT last Season as an Apprentice and was promoted to a Company position this year.
Amelia Larkin, (Ballet/Pointe – ITP Program – All Levels) originally from Taylor Mill, KY, began her dance training under the private tutelage of Mona Williams. Ms. Williams encouraged her to begin training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet, where she eventually had the honor of performing with the Cincinnati Ballet in various ballet’s including The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and The Three Musketeers. Upon graduation she continued her training under, Violette Verdy, Guoping Wang, and Jacques and Virginia Cesbron at Indiana University. As a ballet major in the Indiana University Ballet Theater program, Amelia performed principal roles in many classical and contemporary works including Odette in Act II of Swan Lake, The Lilac Fairy in Act III of Sleeping Beauty, Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade, the 3rd movement pas de deux in Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi, and various solo roles in world premiere ballets created by John Clifford and Jacques Cesbron. Amelia came to Columbus Dance Theatre in 2006. Since joining the company she has performed with Opera Columbus in La Traviata, The Merry Widow, La Boehme, and The Pearl Fishers. She has been featured in CDT’s Emmy nominated The String Machine as well as numerous CDT premieres. She became a faculty member for The School of Columbus Dance Theatre in 2008. Entering her sixth season with CDT, Amelia is looking forward to the challenging and varied work that is integral to the creative mission of Columbus Dance Theatre.
Alexandra Napoli (Pre-ballet) began her dance training in Pittsburgh, PA at The Dance Company for the Performing Arts under the artistic direction of Patricia McKeown. She has attended the Vaganova Summer School with Mansur Kamaletdinov, director and master teacher; The Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Summer Intensive Workshops, The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Workshops. Alexandra attended Wright State University as a dance major before acquiring an apprenticeship opportunity at the Columbus Dance Theatre in 2005/2006 with Tim Veach. While at CDT, Alexandra had the title role in The Match Girl and danced in numerous roles with the Company. In 2007/2008 she danced as a company member in Victoria, B.C. with the Canadian Pacific Ballet under co-artistic directors Roberta Taylor and Graham McMonagle performing various roles in a number of classical ballets. Alexandra is very excited to be back at CDT with Tim Veach and have the opportunity to continue her dance career.
Chloe Mellblom (Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet) 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 was promoted to Company Apprentice this Season.
Seth Wilson (Ballet/Modern/Boys Program – ITP I and ITP II 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 fifth season with CDT.
Guest and Summer Faculty 2011-2012
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.
Melinda Baker (Ballet) Melinda Baker’s professional career encompasses three decades of achievement as a performer, teacher, choreographer and administrator, including featured performances for PBS, and international ballet companies. Melinda appeared with Chicago Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, Eglevsky Ballet, Garden State Ballet and BalletMet. Her choreographic commissions include the full-length “Puss “N Boots” for The Lancaster Festival, ‘El Amor Brujo” for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen in 2006, and “Selections from Le Cid” for the Encore Wind Symphony in 2009. Ms. Baker’s production of “The Nutcracker” had its Michigan premiere in 2002 presented by Dance Arts Academy, for whom she has been faculty for the last ten years. Ms. Baker was the founding co-director of Michigan Dance Collective, and a founding company member of Columbus Dance Theatre.
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.
Susan Mann (Ballet) performed with professional companies, including the Hartford Chamber Ballet, Das Bonner Ballet, and the Sharir Dance Company before receiving her M.F.A. in 1987. She is the recipient of Maryland State Arts Council Awards for both Solo Dance Performance and Choreography, and she has created more than 20 works in four different genres – ballet, modern, dance for the camera and aerial dance – since she joined the dance faculty at Towson University in 1989. Her areas of expertise include the teaching and presentation of ballet, repertory and composition. She has choreogrpahed multiple works for CDT in both New Dance Project and Women’s Dance Project.
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.