Webster Dance News

Nicole Reuther Whitesell Joins Faculty
Summer Intensive 2014
Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner to set Antony Tudor's Continuo
Jon Lehrer Master Class
Ballet Memphis Master Class
Alicia Graf Mack Master Class
McKerrow Sponsored by Speaker's Committee Jan 27

Nicole Reuther Whitesell Joins Faculty

Nicole Whitesell

Nicole Reuther Whitesell will join the faculty at Webster Dance in Fall 2014 to teach Modern II. Nicole is a dancer and Assistant Rehearsal Director for MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) in St. Louis.

"Nicole is a dynamic performer and passionate educator," says Webster Dance Chair James Robey. "We are excited that she will be joining us this coming semester to share her energy, insight, and experiences."

Nicole graduated magna cum laude from Missouri State University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Nicole moved to New York City to dance with Dodge Dance Company. While in New York, Nicole also danced with the Amy Marshall Dance Company and Luxdance. A passionate student of pedagogy, Nicole taught in New York at the Posey School of Dance and was an assistant teacher at Ballet Tech under the direction of Elliot Feld.

Nicole joined MADCO in 2009 and has enjoyed working with guest artists Cecil Slaughter, Keith Williams, Michael Uthoff and Alcine Wiltz. 

Summer Intensive 2014

Webster University’s Department of Dance will host it’s third annual Summer Dance Intensive July 28 through August 1 in the Jean and Wells Hobler Center for Dance on its main campus in Webster Groves, MO. The intensive will feature students from around the country as well as faculty who have taught around the world, such as Michael Uthoff, Executive and Artistic Director of Dance St. Louis.

“We are thrilled to be offering such an amazing dance experience to high school aged students,” says Webster University Department of Dance Chair James Robey. “With so many of our department faculty offering classes during the intensive, it really gives participants an exciting, inside look at the program we offer here at Webster University.”

The Summer Dance Intensive includes daily classes in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Aerial, Injury Prevention, Improvisation and Composition. Both Webster Dance faculty and professionals working with dance companies in the St. Louis area teach these classes. 

“The dance scene in St. Louis is notably on the rise, and Webster’s Department of Dance is a college program utilizing the internationally renowned dance professionals that have relocated here to continue their work,” says Robey.

Faculty for the 2014 Summer Dance Intensive include Michael Uthoff, Ashley L. Tate, Monica Bremer, Maggie Dueker, Dawn Karlovsky, Mariko Kumanomido, James Robey, and Beckah Reed.

Summer Intensive 2014 is for intermediate to advanced dancers ages 13 up through college. For more information, click Summer Dance Intensive.

Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner to set Antony Tudor's Continuo

The Webster University Department of Dance is pleased to announce that acclaimed ballet dancers Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner will be restaging Antony Tudor's Continuo for the Webster University Dance Ensemble. Special thanks to Sally Bliss and the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust for this opportunity. Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.

Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of Mary Day, where she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Killian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full length classics such as, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world. Among them, American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.

Jon Lehrer Master Class

Webster University will host a master class on Friday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. with Jon Lehrer of LehrerDance from Buffalo, N.Y.

“Jon’s athletic and dynamic approach to dance makes the students excited to work with him and experience his energy,” says James Robey, chair of the Department of Dance in Webster’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. “This should be a kinetic and fun workshop.”

The class will take place in the Large Studio in the Loretto Hilton Center’s Jean and Wells Hobler Center for Dance. Lehrer danced in the companies of Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, and John Passafiume Dancers. He has choreographed on several companies, including Thodos Dance Chicago, Instruments of Movement, Momenta Dance Theatre, Louisiana Dance Theatre, Le Jazz Groupe from Monterrey, Mexico, and Kannon Dance of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Ballet Memphis Master Class

Ballet Memphis will present a master class sponsored by Dance St. Louis at Webster University on Saturday, January 25 from 11:00am to 12:30pm. The instructor will be Ballet Memphis ballet mistress Tamara Hoffman. The class is open to ages 13 to adult, at an intermediate to advanced level.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Alicia Graf Mack Master Class

The Webster University Department of Dance welcomes Alicia Graf Mack of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, who will instruct a master class in the large studio of the Jean and Wells Hobler Center for Dance in the Loretto-Hilton Center on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 11:30 a.m.

Along with credits including Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Mack has also been a guest performer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and musical artists Andre 3000, Beyonce and Alicia Keys. She is the co-founder of Daisha and Alicia Graf Arts Collective, and is the recipient of the Columbia University Medal of Excellence and Smithsonian magazine’s Young Innovator Award.

McKerrow Sponsored by Speaker's Committee Jan 27

The Webster University Speaker's Committee is sponsoring Amanda McKerrow to speak on Monday, January 27 from 1:30 to 2:30. The event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.