Artistic/Executive Director, Owner, Ballet
Mr. Kaiser started dancing when he was four years old. He is one of five brothers that made up a professional tap dancing group. The “Kaiser Brothers” grew up outside of Seattle and toured the United States throughout their childhood. Mr. Kaiser began his professional ballet career at age sixteen with Pennsylvania Ballet under the Direction of Barbara Weisberger. Mr. Kaiser returned to Seattle and joined Pacific Northwest Ballet under the direction of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. For fifteen years he performed a wide range of repertoire. Mr. Kaiser danced roles from world-renowned choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Kent Stowell, Marius Petipa, Anthony Tudor, Lar Lubovich and Glen Tetley. Mr. Kaiser danced a very diverse repertoire from Paul Taylor’s “Company B” to George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Divertissement Pas De Deux, George Balanchine’s “Serenade” to almost every male role in Kent Stowell’s “Nutcracker” from the Prince to Drosselmeyer. In addition Mr. Kaiser enjoyed dancing Anthony Tudors “Jardin Aux Lilac”, Mercutio in Kent Stowell’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Glen Tetley’s “Voluntaries.”
After retiring, Mr. Kaiser was appointed Ballet Master with Oregon Ballet Theatre and later promoted to Associate Artistic Director under the direction of James Canfield. While at the Oregon Ballet Theatre Mr. Kaiser staged works choreographed by James Canfield, George Balanchine, Donald Byrd, Robert Joffrey, David Parsons and Val Caniparoli.
Mr. Kaiser has an extensive teaching background throughout the United States that includes Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Dance Educators of America, Tulsa Ballet and many more.
Mr. Kaiser’s ties to the ballet world can be felt throughout the United States. His older brother Roy Kaiser, was the Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia for over twenty years. His younger brother Russell danced with New York City Ballet and is now Assistant Artistic Director for Boston Ballet. Ken and Dan Kaiser are both Artistic Directors of ballet schools and regional companies.
Mr. Kaiser was appointed Artistic Director of Evergreen City Ballet (ECB) in January 2008 and recently resigned his position to fulfill other exciting opportunities within the industry. Mr. Kaiser has choreographed many original works while bringing in new choreographers such as Kiyon Gaines and Price Suddarth from PNB to create new works for the Performance Division. Mr Kaiser enjoys bringing in guest faculty such as Lindsi Dec, Jonathan Porretta, James Moore, Jerome and Laura Tisserand and others from throughout the country to allow students a broader outlook on dance. Mr. Kaiser believes anyone who wants to learn dance should have the opportunity to do so. Mr. Kaiser began an outreach program in 2009 that had reached over 40,000 underprivileged students throughout the region. Mr. Kaiser is excited to bring his years of dedication and experience in the field of dance to IDT and this rapidly growing area of the Northwest.
Ballet, Modern, Program Director
Danielle Wilkins is from Kentucky where she trained for ten years at the Louisville Ballet School as well as attending The Youth Performing Arts High School. In her Junior year she attended The Joffrey Ballet School’s Summer Intensive which inspired her passion to dance in New York. She received her BFA degree in dance pedagogy from the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music, during which she performed at the Kennedy Center as a soloist in Jean Grand Maitre’s Uroborus. Danielle trained in NYC at The Alvin Ailey School and The Limon Institute and worked professionally in New York with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Mary Seidman and Dancers, Mimi Garrard Dance Company, and danced in a site specific project at Grand Central Station with choreographer Steven Koplowitz. After moving to Seattle in 2003 she worked with Marco Carrabba, Seattle Jazz Dance, and Spectrum Dance Theater; in which she performed in PNB’s Celebrate Seattle Festival at McCaw Hall and the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Danielle appeared as a “Shark girl” in the 5th Avenue Theater’s production of West Side Story and danced under the direction of Peggy Hickey in The Seattle Opera’s production of The Pearl Fisher’s. Danielle danced with DASSdance for eleven seasons performing several times at Diane von Furstenberg-The Theater and in many Festivals including the D.U.M.B.O Dance Festival NYC and Dance Now Festival at the Joyce Soho. Danielle served as the Assistant Artistic Director at Whidbey Island Dance Theatre and as the Ballet Mistress for Evergreen City Ballet. Danielle has been teaching Ballet & Modern for over 15 years and is very excited to join IDT this season.
Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Children’s Program, IDTPG Lead Choreographer
Amy was born and raised in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. After choosing dance over intensive gymnastics at the age of 9 she began training in various styles, including classical ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and contemporary dance. She danced competitively in Canada, Seattle and New York City (NYCDA Nationals) receiving numerous awards and scholarships to train at professional studios in Los Angeles such as Edge and Tremaine studios. As a member of Rachael Poirier’s pre-professional company Danzmode, Amy had opportunities to perform at various festivals, clubs and concerts including Lollapalooza throughout her high school dance career.
She is a proud graduate of the University of Utah’s internationally recognized Department of Modern Dance where she studied with master teachers and choreographers such as Shari Lane, Abby Fiat, Stephen Koester and Doug Elkins. As part of the University’s Performing Dance Company she was able to perform repertory and new, original works and was honored to be a featured dancer her senior year. Throughout her 12 year teaching career Amy has gained valuable experience teaching at private studios, and public schools.
As a certified K-12 dance instructor she has directed dance programs and developed curriculum for public middle and high school dance programs in Miami and Arizona. Before coming to Issaquah Dance Theatre, her extensive experience as a dancer/performer, choreographer, program director, and dance instructor qualified her to serve as a core faculty member at the highly respected Ballet Nova Center for Dance in Falls Church Virginia, where she was a revered instructor of jazz, contemporary dance, hip-hop, introductory ballet, and creative movement. Amy is dedicated to educating and mentoring dancers in a positive, caring, yet challenging environment, where they can learn, grow, and take risks.
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, BOMA (Best Of My Abilities) Therapeutic Dance, Children’s Program
Emmy teaches compassion, creativity, and communication through the art of dance. She has professionally performed and taught ballet, pointe, jazz lyrical, contemporary, salsa, partnering, and hip hop for the past ten years across the USA and Kenya, focusing on dance as a tool to break down barriers and build communities. Emmy has experienced first-hand the life changing effects of dance, and her gratitude shines brightly in her teaching style.
Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Children’s Program
Shannon comes from Salt Lake City, Utah and has studied dance since the age of 5. She has trained in Korean folk dance, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Modern Dance. She also had the opportunity to study at the EDGE Dance studio, Performing Dance Center, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Joffrey Ballet School, Parson’s Dance Company Summer Program, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and American Dance Festival. Mrs. Adams graduated Cum Laude in 2004 from the University of Utah with a BFA in Modern Dance. At the University of Utah, she performed with Performing Dance Company and as a guest performer with Utah Ballet.
Shannon has a great love and passion for teaching. She has taught and choreographed for various studios and high-schools in Utah and most recently for Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. Outside of dance, Shannon loves being in the outdoors, cooking, learning new languages, being involved in her church community, and traveling with her husband, Sam. Shannon is honored and excited to continue teaching at IDT as a very loved, veteran teacher!
Mireya grew up in Panama City, Panama where she received her early dance training at Panama’s Escuela Nacional de Danzas. After moving to México, she continued her training and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance. She joined Ballet de Monterrey in 2004 where she had the privilege of performing in works under the direction of former American Ballet Theater principal dancer, Robert Hill. She has danced in the Pacific Northwest with 127 th St. Dance Company and Inception Dance Theater. She currently dances with Ballet Bellevue, where she has performed in its last nine productions. She is excited to continue onto her second year of teaching at IDT!
Children’s Ballet Program
Hailey Watters, born and raised in Seattle has been studying dance for most of her life and has had the opportunity to train, perform, and travel all around the United States honing her craft. Hailey studied at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City for two years and went on to receive her B.A. in Creative Studies with a concentration in Dance from the University of Washington. She has interned at the The John F. Kennedy Center in the “Performing Arts for Everyone”/Millennium Stage department in Washington D.C. where she assisted in the production of a host of multidisciplinary performances. She also had the pleasure of interning at Dance/USA where she helped plan their 2015 Annual Conference in Miami, FL. Before joining IDT Hailey worked at Pacific Northwest Ballet School as an Administrative Assistant. She is thrilled to join the administrative and teaching team at IDT!
Musical Theatre and Acro
Matt Lang is happy to be joining the team at IDT! Matt works as an educator in theatre, dance, and gymnastics in the greater Seattle area. Matt is the co-founder and Managing Artistic Director of Studio 18 Productions. Matt studied Musical Theatre at both Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. For the past 12 years, he has worked in many aspects of Seattle theatre. As an actor, he has performed at many theaters including: Seattle Children’s Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, ArtsWest, Showtunes Theatre Co., SecondStory Repertory, Seattle Musical Theatre, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, and Renton Civic Theatre. Favorite roles include: Bobby, Company; Mark, Rent; Curly/Dream Curly, Oklahoma!; Bobby, Urinetown; Anthony, Sweeney Todd; Kevin, Weird Romance.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, John is a purebred Emerald City Seattlite. Ever since the age of 8, John has been tapping his toes after being influenced by legends such as Gregory Hines, Fred Astaire, and of course, Gene Kelly. Starting off in tap, he then moved into ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. But tap dancing was always his number one love. At the age of 13 is when the drama bug hit when he started attending Roosevelt high school in Seattle, and musical theatre opened up a whole new world. John started working professionally in theatre straight out of school with companies such as the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Opera, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Village Theatre with roles such as Mark in “A Chorus Line”, Eddie Ryan in “Funny Girl”, Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and his favorite, Don Lockwood In “Singin’ In The Rain”. It wasn’t until just a couple years ago that John developed a love for teaching dance. He worked in childcare from 2008 to 2015 and it was there that his talents for communication and teaching really grew. John uses his experience in both professional theatre and childcare towards his teachings. In his classes you don’t just learn the steps. You learn style, technique, improv, and how to tell a story through your movement.
Rachael McGinnis Parnell
Rachael (McGinnis) Parnell was born in Olympia, Washington and began her formal dance training at the age of nine at Johansen Olympia Dance Center. Along with performing dance Rachael also competed in national and international baton twirling competitions. In 2006 she traveled to Rome Italy, winning 5th place with her pairs partner. In 2007 she won the silver medal in the team division in Toronto Canada. Rachael was accepted with scholarship to The University of Hartford: The Hartt School in 2010 and earned her BFA in Dance Pedagogy in 2014. Studying under the direction of Stephen Pier, Nina Watt, Hilda Morales, Samantha Dunster, and many others, Rachael explored various forms and techniques of dance. Through her many internships at The Hartt School Rachael fell in love with the art of teaching both ballet, and contemporary dance. Over the past three years Rachael has taught for Johansen Olympia Dance center, and choreographed numerous dance festival pieces for Ballet Northwest.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Allison Montgomery has been a part of the dance world for the past 20 years. Trained by reputable instructors such as Wade Walthall, Alice Burgesson, and Kevin Kaiser, Allison learned Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, and Modern. Over her years of instruction, she had the opportunity to dance summers with Ballet Magnificat!, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and American Ballet Theatre. Once turning 18, she became part of the Company performing group for Evergreen City Ballet, as well as a Company member for DASS Dance, a Seattle-based Modern company. After moving to Pullman for college, she continued her dance career as an instructor at Sanctuary Dance, teaching all levels of dancers in several styles. She has since graduated Washington State University with a Bachelor’s in Wildlife Ecology with Exotics Certifications. Allison is now entering her second season teaching here at Issaquah Dance Theatre.