Faculty

Beckah ReedBeckah Reed (Voigt)Professor of Dance, Artistic Director, Composition, Theory. At Webster University, Beckah served as the Program Head and Department Chair from 2006-2013 and has been teaching dance at Webster since 1986. Her focus has been modern technique, composition, dance history, improvisation, pedagogy, and somatics.

Beckah served as co-artistic director for Wishbone Dance Theatre, a company with homes in two Missouri cities and as co-artistic director for GASH/VOIGT Dance Theatre (GVDT), an all women's contemporary dance theatre ensemble based in St. Louis. Beckah (Voigt) created full evening length works collaborating with Susan Gash and a variety of nationally and internationally renowned composers, visual artists, writers, and videographers. The company toured throughout the world to countries such as Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Russia, Taiwan, Costa Rica, China, and Germany. GVDT spent fifteen years self-producing their work, conducting educational residencies and international cultural exchanges. The company received support from numerous private individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies such as the US Department of State.

Beckah later founded ANNONYArts, a St. Louis-based performing arts company dedicated to supporting a consortium of independent movement and performing artists, and served as Artistic Director from 2003-2013. Beckah has been very involved with the American College Dance Festival, serving on the Board of Directors for two terms. In addition, she served on various boards of arts organizations and on panels for arts funding agencies such as the Missouri Arts Council and the Regional Arts Commission.

Beckah's choreography, best described as theatre dance, draws on the use of props, voice, and the motivation of human interactions to create her pieces. Beckah enjoys her work in somatics, including qigong and taiji, focusing on healing energies and moving meditations.

james robeyJames Robey Assistant Professor of Dance, Department Chair, Ballet, Modern, Composition, Theory. James was Founding Artistic Director for the Bare Bones Dance Project in New York City and James Robey Dance in Connecticut. He currently works as an independent choreographer, is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and is author and creator of the Robey Jazz Dance Technique and Syllabus™. He has an MFA degree in Contemporary Choreography and Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BFA in Dance from the University of Akron. He has been a faculty member at The Hartt School/University of Hartford, the University of Akron, Long Island High School for Performing Arts, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Manhattan Motion Dance Studios, Broadway Dance Center, The Dance Institute, and Ohio Dance Theatre. He has taught master classes at Yale University and for studios throughout the U.S., Guam, Canada, and Japan. James served as Director of the Modern and Jazz programs at Eastern Connecticut Ballet; directed the dance program at Western Reserve Academy; and was Director of Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance for over 10 years.

Along with creating over 30 new works for his own companies, he choreographed original works for Connecticut Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theatre, CelloPointe, Full Force Dance Theatre, Ohio Dance Theatre, MADCO, Wellesley College, University of Akron, Naugatuck Valley Community College, and Artists for Peace. He also choreographed for the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra's productions of "Histoire du Soldat" and “Dances from Gloriana”, the 5x5 Dance Festival at St. Joseph's College, CT Meets NY Dance Fest at Dance New Amsterdam in NYC, Ridgefield 300: A Concert Celebration, Locust Contemporary Dance Works, Zig Zag Ballet's “A Celebration of Men in Dance” in Vermont, Connecticut, and New York, Dancing In The Streets in St. Louis, and was awarded commissions from the Connecticut Choreographer's Forum and the Connecticut Dance Alliance. In addition, he is a two-time finalist in the Leo's Choreography Competitive Event at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Buffalo and Chicago.

His professional performing career included the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, Connecticut Ballet, New York Dance Theater, Ground Works Dance Theater, Off Center Dance Theater, Ohio Dance Theater, Covenant Ballet Theater of Brooklyn, Cleveland Opera, Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Busch Gardens. James has served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Dance Alliance; on Connecticut Ballet's Danbury Dance Initiative Task Force; on the creative team behind the Young Choreographer's Festival in Stamford, CT; and presented papers and workshops at the National Dance Education Organization's National Conferences, at the Hawaii University International Conferences on Art and Humanities, and at Advancing Creative Thinking: Imagination to Innovation. James writes for his blog, The Mindful Dancer, which includes an article on Why Webster Dance Works.

michael uthoffMichael Uthoff Adjunct Faculty, Artistic Director of Dance St. Louis, Ballet. Michael is an internationally renowned artistic director, choreographer, teacher and dancer, assumed the newly titled post of artistic and executive director of Dance St. Louis on July 1, 2006.  Uthoff was born in Santiago, Chile, to former dancers, Ernst Uthoff and Lola Botka, both of the Jooss Ballet and founders of the Chilean National Ballet. He started dancing after high school and a year later arrived in New York to attend the Juilliard School of Music, School of American Ballet, and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. He danced with the José Limón Company and was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet.

In 1972, Uthoff established the Hartford Ballet in Hartford, Connecticut. For the next 20 years, as artistic director, he developed the company into a national institution that toured throughout 49 states. He commissioned works by both new and established choreographers, and created more than 100 ballets for the company himself. In 1992, Uthoff accepted the position of artistic director of Ballet Arizona, a post he held until 1999. From the time that Uthoff created his first dance for the Joffrey Ballet in 1967, his ballets have entered the repertory of companies all over the world. His large-scale works include The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, Awakening, Dias de Muertos, and Romeo and Juliet. He has directed opera and choreographed for opera companies internationally, and has served on the Board of Dance/USA and panels of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Uthoff's recent career as guest teacher, choreographer, and artistic advisor includes entities such as the government of Chile, the Shanghai Ballet of China, the California Ballet of San Diego, Portland Opera Performing Institute, Andanza Dance Company of Puerto Rico, the Ballet Estable of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he held the post of artistic director, and his own Michael Uthoff Dance Theatre, which premiered in 2003. His teaching continues at the university level in the dance departments at University of Missouri-St. Louis and Webster UniversityHe has been awarded a Laureates Degree from the Harford College For Women; an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri St. Louis and was recognize by the Arts and Education council for the Excellence in the Arts Award 2013.

Uthoff recently completed a recreation for MADCO in St. Louis and a new work for Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, OH to music of Alice Cooper. He also choreographed for New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida, for the final performance under retiring Dean Daniel Lewis in Spring 2011. Among other recent dance works are Galleria, premiered in February 2007 by Boston Conservatory, and Honorable Sky, which he created in August 2007 for 30 X 30, the 30th anniversary celebration of BalletMet Columbus.

maggi duekerMaggi Dueker Adjunct Faculty, Jazz, Ballet, Director of Webster Summer Dance Intensive. Maggi is a St. Louis native and Summa cum Laude graduate of Webster University.  While in school, she performed with Webster Dance Theatre, Webster University Dance Ensemble and as a member of the Equity Ensemble at the Muny.  Upon graduation, she moved to Chicago where she trained on scholarship with River North Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Center and Melissa Thodos and Dancers.  She performed regionally and internationally with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II.  In addition, she performed as a freelance artist with Melissa Thodos and Dancers and Chicago Arts Project, among others.  She taught dance at Northwestern University, Giordano Dance Center and at various studios throughout Chicago.  She also worked for Royal Caribbean International and served as the Dance Captain to her cast.

Since returning to St. Louis in 2005, Maggi has served as an adjunct faculty member at Webster.  She has choreographed for the Webster University Dance Ensemble and her choreography has twice been selected to appear in the Gala Concert for American College Dance Festival regional conferences.  She also teaches at Renee Johnson's Dance Studio where she is the Assistant Director of the competitive team.

alan schillingAlan Schilling Music Director. Alan began his musical career at the age of four as a tap dancer. At age eleven, while performing with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, he appeared on the “What's My Line?” syndicated national TV show as the “youngest timpanist in America”.  He toured Europe with the American Youth Band and Chorus and was a charter member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra under conductor Leonard Slatkin. Schilling served as the program administrator of the Music, Dance and Missouri Touring programs of the Missouri Arts Council.  He is a graduate of the St. Louis Conservatory of Music where he studied with St. Louis Symphony percussionists John Kasica, Thomas Stubbs, Rich O'Donnell and timpanist Richard Holmes.  Returning to the dance world as the Director of Music in the Performing Arts Area - Dance Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Schilling composed and premiered electronic and acoustic works for modern dance and performed his real-time electronic composition, “B-4-U-GO” live at the Riverside Dance Festival in NYC.  He recently returned to NYC to perform with the SLSO at Carnegie Hall.

As the Music Director of Webster's Dance programs, Alan accompanies tap, ballet and modern dance classes, guest artist master classes, and in collaboration with the dance faculty, composes music for and accompanies the Webster University Dance Ensemble performances.

As a free-lance percussionist, he performs and records with various St. Louis area groups including: the Fox Theatre Orchestra, the Muny Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The New Opera, the Poor People of Paris, and his own percussion duo, Bare Bars.  Schilling can be heard on various recordings by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra including the SLSO's Percussion ensemble Nonsuch recording of “Ogoun Badagris” based on Haitian rhythms.

lorianne haganLorianne Hagan Adjunct Faculty, Jazz, Ballet. Lorianne has studied all forms of dance, acrobatics and acrobatic gymnastics for over thirty years. As a dance major at Webster University, she performed with Webster Dance Theatre and Webster University Dance Ensemble. Lorianne attended American Dance Festival where she was selected to perform company repertoire of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Paul Taylor Dance Company. She performed with Taylor 2 in their production of "Esplanade".

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with Departmental Honors, Ms. Hagan ventured into the professional arena by moving to New York. While living in New York City, she continued training at Broadway Dance Center, Dance Space and Steps on Broadway. Lorianne was honored to work as a performer, director and choreographer with past members of Cirque du Soleil in the extravaganza "Circo Magnifico". Lorianne is a former member of MOVE, a St. Louis based dance company.

Lorianne's students have gone on to successfully work at the Muny, Stages St. Louis, National tours, Broadway productions and various local and national productions. Lorianne has been honored and selected of only eleven instructors in the country to be highlighted in the February 2010 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. The article entitled "Doing it All" respected Lorianne's work in the field and featured her success as "being a teacher who does it all."

Currently, Ms. Hagan continues to share her passion for dance and acrobatics by teaching and choreographing for artists throughout the St. Louis area. She has spent her summers teaching for US Performing Arts Camps, a pre-professional camp striving to promote and develop the growth of performing artists in America. Lorianne's newly formed company, Hagan Creative, specializes in private dance instruction and choreography for various types of performance. Beginning in the summer of 2013, Hagan Creative will expand its programs by offering summer intensives and workshops. Lorianne is a member of National Dance Education Organization, Missouri Dance Organization and United States Gymnastics.

ellen isomEllen Isom Adjunct Faculty, Jazz, Ballet. Ellen has had a versatile career in dance since graduating with her B.A. from Webster University. She has danced in modern companies in Chicago and St. Louis. She has performed around the world aboard Royal Viking and Royal Cruise Lines. Ellen is a proud member of Actors' Equity and has performed in musical theatre venues regionally in the United States including the Goodman in Chicago and Stages St. Louis. Ellen has choreographed a variety of musicals, plays and/or dance pieces in the St. Louis area for professional venues including Stages St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New Jewish Theatre , Echo Theatre, and The Temporary Theatre Company. She has also choreographed musicals for both Webster University and St. Louis University. She is on faculty at several St. Louis area schools including Visitation Academy, the Stages' Performing Arts Academy and On Your Toes Dance Studio.

Ellen is privileged to teach students of all ages and abilities. At Webster, she presently teaches beginning ballet and intermediate ballet and jazz which she finds particularly rewarding. Building a strong foundation in ballet and jazz is important to the success of a dancer and developing the keen mind-body connection of a dancer is beneficial to all students.

mariko kumanomidoMariko Kumanomido Adjunct Faculty, Modern. Mariko, originally from St. Louis, MO, studied at Alexandra School of Ballet under Alexandra Zaharias. She attended Washington University in St. Louis for two years, where she studied dance with Christine O'Neal, Mary-Jean Cowell, David Marchant, and Cecil Slaughter, and finished her degree at University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she trained with Paula Weber, Jennifer Medina, and Michael Simms, earning her BFA in Dance. She moved to New York City, and received a Fellowship at the Ailey School. In New York she danced professionally with Buglisi Dance Theater, Jessica Danser/Dansfolk, and C.Eule Dance. In 2010-2011 she studied at the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, training in Graham Technique, and completing the Graham Teacher Training Program, and performing with Graham II. While in NYC, she also taught beginning ballet and creative movement at Ballet Hispanico. She recently moved back to St. Louis to dance with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Co, under the direction of Jennifer Medina. She is currently teaching creative movement at St. Louis Ballet, and modern dance and ballet at COCA. She loves teaching and dancing, and is thankful for the love and support of family and friends.

monica newsamMonica Newsam Adjunct Faculty, Aerial, Indian Classical Dance. Monica, artistic director of En L'Air Aerial Dance Company, was born in Panama and discovered her passion of movement and dance at age five marking the beginning of a life long journey in defining her vision. Encompassing four continents she has assembled an international body of work - dance and choreography. She received her BFA at the National School of Dance and Folklore in Havana, Cuba where she performed professionally with the Cuban dance company "Retazos" in Cuba and Ecuador. Upon her return to Panama she created the first contemporary dance company "Creadanza" that performed throughout Panama.

She continued her studies in India receiving a Post Graduate Diploma in Indian Classical Dance and Yoga. In India she taught ballet and contemporary dance at the International American and French schools. Her successful performances in New Delhi garnered invitations to perform in both Paris and Italy. Returning home again this time as a professor of dance for the University of Panama she continued performing extensively in central and South America.

In 1999 she co-founded Gramo Danse Company with her sister Graciela Newsam completing her desire to take dance into the community. Gramo Danse continues to fulfill her dream of performing and educating children about the power of dance. Newsam continues her relationship with Gramo Danse as performer and contributing choreographer.

Newsam received a Master Degree in Education at Lindenwood University in 2003. She began exploring aerial circus techniques that allow her to offer the audience another perspective in her artistic work. She has performed in France, Italy, India, Ecuador, Salvador, Cuba, Bahamas and Missouri. Currently Monica teaches aerial dance and choreographs for the Dance Ensembles at Webster University. In 2011 Newsam worked under ANNONYArts to produce her show entitled "Aerial Fusion" which has now turned into En L'Air Aerial Dance Company.

jan cosbyJan Feager Cosby Adjunct Faculty, Tap. Jan has taught tap at Webster University since 1990.  Formerly on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and the Ballet Conservatory of St. Louis, she also teaches at DaySpring School of the Arts. In 1988 she founded and was artistic director for Tapsichore, a contemporary rhythm tap company that toured regionally and collaborated with dancers Acia Gray, Suzanne Grace, musicians Kim Portnoy, Ken Palmer, Paul deMarinis and composer Bob Chamberlin among others.  She was one of eleven tap artists chosen from an international pool to work with the late tap master Charles “Honi” Coles at the Colorado Dance Festival's first Tap Creative Residency.  Since then she has performed and taught tap improvisation and technique for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the St. Louis Tap Festival, St. Louis Dance Festival, the Missouri Arts Council's Missouri Touring Program and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.  Jan served as a Regional Representative for the International Tap Association for several seasons and sat on the Steering Committee for that organization during its early years.

Prior to founding Tapsichore, Jan toured nationally as performer and teacher with the award-winning Metro Theater Company.  Her work with MTC included performances at the Kennedy Center, the Detroit Institute of the Arts and at Powell Hall with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Also an early musician and recorderist, Jan was a guest member of the Ganzfeld Quartet and a long-time member of the St. Louis Early Music Band.  She currently teaches recorder at Lighthouse Co-op where she has also taught Music Appreciation and Creative Movement. Her poem Nobody Knew You was published in 2009 by Paraclete Press.

dawn karlovskyDawn KarlovskyAdjunct Faculty, Modern, Alexander Technique. Dawn is a prolific choreographer whose thought provoking, athletic, and emotionally candid dances have been commissioned and presented by universities, modern dance companies and theatre companies both regionally and nationally.  Ms. Karlovsky is the founder and artistic director of Karlovsky & Company Dance, a contemporary modern dance company dedicated to exploring and nurturing the art of dance with innovative choreography that celebrates the human experience.
 
Dawn's recent work focuses on developing dance for the camera. Her video, Closer, created in collaboration with New York-based choreographer, Megan Nicely, was presented at the American College Dance Festival – ScreenDance Festival in March 2011. Dawn's choreography has been commissioned and presented by Webster University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Utah, American College Dance Festival (ACDFA), Dance St. Louis, Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), Christopher Watson Dance Co. (Minneapolis), Ressl Dance!, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, That Uppity Theater, and others. Dawn Karlovsky came to St. Louis in 1998 after dancing and touring with companies in San Francisco, Louisville, and Chicago including Afterimages Repertory Dance, California Contemporary Dance, and GASH/VOIGT Dance Theatre here in St. Louis, and in addition, performing with many independent artists including contact improvisation works with Andrew Harwood, David Marchant, Liz Claire, and Angela Culbertson, project collaborations with Mary Ann Rund, and performing Isadora Duncan repertoire under the direction of Dr. Alice Bloch. Locally, her choreography has been presented in festivals including Spring to Dance, St. Lou Fringe Festival, Dancing in the Street, St. Louis Dance Festival, and Contemporary Moves hosted by Dance St. Louis. Full evening concert programs by Karlovsky & Company Dance are presented annually.
 
Karlovsky holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Northern Illinois University. Dawn Karlovsky is a faculty member of the Performing Arts Department at Washington University and the Department of Dance at Webster University in St. Louis, dance faculty at COCA, and a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.



mary ann rundMary Ann Rund Adjunct Faculty, Modern. After finishing her MFA program in 1988, Mary Ann continued her studies in NYC, concentrating on the Jose Limon technique and research at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.  It was in NYC that she discovered the power of yoga and somatics.  Today, both are incorporated into her teachings.

While in NYC, Mary Ann danced in several productions at Dance Space, The Field, the Cunningham Studio, and City Hall in addition to producing a full evening of her work at the Ruth Currier Studio. Returning to STL, Mary Ann joined Suzanne Grace's Burning Feet Dance (1992-1997), followed by Gash/Voigt Dance Theatre (1998-2003).  She taught dance and creative movement at Mary Institute & Country Day School for fourteen years, directing the Dance Club, producing the annual May Fete event, and choreographing musicals.

Additional teaching includes Washington University Performing Arts Department since 1994, American College Dance Festival 2005, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Center of Creative Arts (COCA), Ballet Conservatory, Alexandra Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Missouri Fine Arts Academy, TUNZA Environmental Conference 2004, Holy Trinity School, and the Wellness Center.  Along with Dawn Karlovsky, Mary Ann has taught an ongoing adult Community Modern Dance class since 1996.

Mary Ann has produced/directed several concerts with colleagues in St. Louis including Moving Voices (2007) and Harvesting Grace (1999), both benefits for cancer programs, and Dance Detour (1996).  Her choreography has been included in various venues such as Dance St. Louis's Contemporary Moves, Dancing in the Streets, Washington University's Dance Closeup, Dine on Dance, 60 x 60, Joan Lipkin's Women's Bodies, Women's Lives and Peace Out, Venus Envy, COCA's Faculty Concerts, SIUE's Dance In Concert, Young Audiences, Missouri Fine Arts Academy, Webster University's Dance Ensemble, Washington University's Dance Theatre, Florida Dance Festival, The Field in NYC, and the 2005 International Children's Environmental Conference. Mary Ann believes in the authentic expression and honest experience of the deeper self through movement.

dr billDr. Bill Russell MA MFA DC DABCSP Coordinator of Dance Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention, Cross Training. Dr. Bill specializes in the treatment of Dancers, Musicians and Actors  and maintains an on-site clinic for Webster students, treating acute and chronic injuries using a variety of physical medicine techniques and Pilates based exercise programs. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan University, holds a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians in sports medicine, and has studied Acupuncture extensively in China and the United States. He is an active member of The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and Performing Arts Medicine Association, and has published numerous articles and lectured nationally and internationally on Dance Medicine.

In addition to his Performing Arts Medicine Practice he is an Internationally known artist, exhibiting works in Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom. In St. Louis his work can be seen at ARTICA and The Contemporary Museum and as sets for ANNONYArts. Dr Russell graduated from Pittsburgh University with a BFA and MA and Washington University with a MFA in Multimedia.  He has danced with Sara Shelton Mann and Off Track Dancers and studies African Dance via Katherine Dunham Technique and Black Dance USA.

nina reedNina Reed Costume Design and Construction, Costumer for Webster University Dance Ensemble. Nina works professionally with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, both based at Webster's Loretto Hilton Center.

melissa gerth headshotMelissa Gerth 500-hr RYT Yoga. Melissa is a certified Professional Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher. She has taught yoga at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA, Wat Suan Mokh in Chaiya, Thailand, Fontbonne University, Webster University, and several yoga and dance studios throughout CT and Saint Louis. Her devotion to yoga and spiritual seeking brought her to Haridwar, India where she studied yoga and ayurveda at the Santosh Purinam ashram; to Wat Suan Mokh in Chaiya, Thailand where she studied Buddhist meditation; and to France and Spain where she walked the 800 km pilgrimage – Camino de Santiago. In addition to her love for yoga, Melissa is an actor, singer and dancer. She has performed professionally throughout NY and CT with Axial Theatre Company, James Robey Dance Company, and Edgar Cortez Dance Theatre. She has her BA in Voice from the University of Akron, her 500-hr yoga teacher certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and is an MA in Theatre candidate at Fontbonne University.

gary hublerGary Hubler Professor Emeritus. Gary Hubler joined the Webster faculty in 1973 and served as the artistic director for Webster Dance Theatre. He has performed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and at The Muny in St. Louis. He has trained with many well-known teachers including Leon Danielian, Edna McRae, Matt Mattox, and Luigi. He continues to work as a guest artist, teacher, and choreographer throughout the Midwest. After 33 years of teaching, Gary Hubler retired from Webster University in May of 2006.

In honor of Gary Hubler's retirement after 33 years at Webster University, the 2006 Spring Concert featured many alumni who returned from across the country to take part in a celebration of Gary's career. Alumni danced side-by-side with current members of Webster University Dance Ensemble in reprised pieces of Hubler's from as far back as 1987.The title of the concert, From Swan Lake To Swan Song, referenced the fact that Hubler's first professional performance was in Swan Lake on the stage of Kiel Opera House.