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.
Founder, Consultant, Ballet, Conditioning, Children’s Classes, Certified Gyrotonic® Level I, II, Specialized Equipment, Gyrotonic Pre-Trainer, Gyrokinesis®
Alicia Parrish is the founder of Issaquah Dance Theatre with over 22 years teaching experience. A Bay Area native, dancing since the age of 5, she received her classical ballet training in San Jose, Oakland, Palo Alto and San Francisco, having unique opportunities to train and perform with world class professional dancers and artists.
After the birth of her second child, Alicia focused on teaching for the next several years, later relocating to the Seattle area and opening the doors to IDT in 2000.
Alicia’s passion for dance and all that is movement drew her to train to become a certified GYROTONIC® Trainer in 2005, thus allowing her to specialize in conditioning and rehabilitation for dancers and the general public. She and her husband Scott, also a skilled bodyworker, Certified Gyrotonic Trainer and doctorate student of Physical Therapy- are tight partners in this field to this day. This combined love of movement, dance and health was the foundation of our mission statement at IDT!
In 2006, Ms. Alicia also founded the Non Profit Organization ‘Eastside Youth Dance Theatre’ and has produced numerous Nutcracker, Storybook Performances and Classical Ballets with casts of over 150 dancers, dazzling large audiences of all ages. She serves on the board for Alexander Academy of Performing Arts in Maui, Hawaii, and continues to teach in Southern California and Seattle. She is renowned for her positive demeanor and passionate, inspirational style of teaching. A mother of three children ages 22, 18, and 9, she is a strong advocate for children, our communities and the arts.
Ballet, Stage and Production Manager, IDT Performing Group Director
Amy Thompson was the Artistic Director of the Ellensburg Youth Ballet for seven years during which time she choreographed and staged many full length ballets including Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, and Coppelia. She has taught Ballet, Pointe, Variations, and Partnering for over ten years. She has also choreographed several musicals including Fiddler on the Roof and Brigadoon.
In addition to performing in multiple productions, Ms. Thompson has worked backstage as a Stage Manager for many organizations including IDT. Ms. Thompson trained at the Washington Academy of the Performing Arts in their Conservatory Program. We welcome Ms. Amy back for the next year as IDT Performing Group Director and veteran teacher for our ballet program!
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, 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.
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.
Jennifer Porter grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. She trained with Ballet West and First Chamber Dance Company and attended high school at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts. She began her professional career dancing with The Washington Ballet in Washington, DC and then Pacific Northwest Ballet where she performed works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Kent Stowell, Jerome Robbins, Nacho Duarto, and many others. Jennifer was the Artistic Director of Ballet Bellevue for three years where she created two original full length ballets: “The Snowman” and “Firebird”, as well as many contemporary works including “With Remorse”, “Velvet Romance” and “Childish Things”. She has has created works for The Katy Hagelin Dance Project, Inception Dance Theater and her highly acclaimed “Sacred and Profane” for Burmer Music. Her piece, “Vim” was recently performed in Croatia.
In addition to choreography, Jennifer has been teaching for 20 years and has enjoyed working with not only professional dancers, but students and non-dancers: choreographing Musicals, Graduation dances, and the occasional Flashmob all over the state.
Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Hiring Manager, IDT Performing Group Manager
Born and raised in the Seattle area, Mary has been dancing since the young age of three! For 10 years she competed regionally and nationally, receiving various convention scholarships and awards. Mary graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC in May 2009 with a B.A. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Cinematic Arts, and a Minor in Dance. While living in Los Angeles, she explored the commercial dance world in Hollywood and worked with and assisted various choreographers at EDGE Performing Arts Center, performed with S.H.E. Dance Company and UnBound Dance Ensemble, served as the Operations Coordinator for the LA Contemporary Dance Company, and was the Company Manager and Assistant Artistic Director of the USC Repertory Dance Company.
Since relocating to Seattle, Mary peroformed with New Vision Dance Company, the Mo-dazz Alumni Group, and as a guest performer for other choreographers. Ms. Mary served as the IDT Studio Manager for over three years as well as teacher and choreographer for many of IDT Performing Groups. Mary is currently working towards her doctorate in Physical Therapy, and continues to work with IDT has one of our veteran, most loved teachers and as an integral part of our leadership team! She is honored to be such an integral part of the IDT family!
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!
Ramona was born in Australia and moved to Spain at 3 years old. At 9 years old, she moved to America, where her ballet training began. Ramona trained at the Nevada Festival Ballet School under Margaret Banks where she performed and joined the Company. During her summers, she attended Houston Ballet Academy, later followed by the Joffrey Ballet School of New York’s summer program. At 17 years old, Ramona was asked to stay year round at the school on a full scholarship.
At the end of this year she was hired to dance in “The Nutcracker” with the Dayton Ballet Company. Ramona then moved back to Australia, where she danced with Ballet Theatre of Queensland, Australian Theatre Ballet, Tasmanian Classical Ballet, and attended the Queensland University of Technology’s Dance program. She then moved back to the USA where she danced with South Florida Ballet Theatre, Nevada Ballet Theatre and later was a principal dancer with Ohio Dance Theatre & Sierra Nevada Ballet.
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!
Ballet and Children’s Program
Amanda Hoke has been dancing since 2001, during which time she has trained at many different studios, including WAPA (Washington Academy of Performing Arts), Ballet Bellevue, and (since 2009) Issaquah Dance Theatre. Though Amanda’s primary focus is classical ballet, she has background in contemporary ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz, tap, musical theatre, and swing dancing. During her time at Issaquah Dance Theatre, she has performed as Clara, Dew Drop, Sugar Plum, and Swanhilda, to name a few roles. She started working at IDT in the fall of 2015 and loves spending her time at the studio, dancing as well as teaching. As a member of the IDT Eleve Dance Company, Amanda can be found at the studio many days a week taking classes and rehearsing for performances. When she is not at the studio, Amanda is studying at Bellevue College where she is earning her degree in Digital Media Arts. She is so excited to continue working at Issaquah Dance Theatre and looks forward to sharing her love of dance with her students, just as so many amazing teachers have shared it with her.
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!
Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary
Brianna grew up in Washington and began dancing when she was three years old. After joining her studio’s competition team, she began competing across the country. Brianna has participated at NRG Dance Project Nationals in Arizona, The Pulse Dance Nationals in New York City, the Dance Awards in Las Vegas, Celebrity Nationals at Sea out of Texas and California, and attended a summer intensive in 2015 at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. She has received numerous awards and scholarships to train at the Edge PAC in Los Angeles and at regional/national conventions. She holds the title of Vancouver Teen Outstanding Dancer with New York City Dance Alliance and Radix Teen Core Performer. Currently on weekends, Brianna is traveling around the country with Celebrity Dance Conventions as one of their professional assistants. She is also a member of Josh Scribner’s professional company, Alchemy Tap Project.
Her freshman year of high school, Brianna joined the Cambridge Program at Bethel High School for highly capable students. Now, she is online schooled through the Orcas Island School Districts Oasis Program, maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Brianna enjoys teaching all genres of dance. She specializes in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Contemporary. She even has had her choreography recognized with awards at various competitions here in the Northwest and she hopes to pursue a career in choreography later on in life. After high school, Brianna hopes to continue with her passion for dance either with a professional company or at a school in New York, possibly Julliard. Brianna is very excited to be a part of the IDT team!