ANNE FIRMENDER, School Director, has trained at a number of prestigious schools including The School of American Ballet, California Institute of the Arts, and Cornish College of the Arts (where she received her BFA in Dance). Anne has performed and choreographed on both the east and west coast with numerous choreographers. She has taught dance in public and private schools to students of all ages and backgrounds since 1982. Anne is a founding member of the Dance Cooperative.
NANCY PODRASKY CARSON received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance from Northern Illinois University and went on to perform and choreograph with many regional companies before moving to Syracuse, NY. Nancy taught technique classes at various performing arts schools while performing and choreographing with the Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company. She also taught Modern and Jazz classes at Syracuse University in both the Theatre and Health and Physical Education departments. Nancy currently teaches technique classes, dance history, and choreography and UNC-Wilmington. She is a founding member, teacher, dance, and choreographer at the Dance Cooperative. Nancy recently taught Modern classes for the Carolina Ballet’s summer residency program at UNCW.
LINDA LARSON landed in Wilmington five years ago after dancing and touring in NYC for 20 years with various modern dance companies and recording artists. Linda holds a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase and a BS in Biology from UNCW. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in Chemistry at UNCW. Linda indulges her passion for dance by being an active participant in the Wilmington dance community. She submits entries regularly to the North Carolina Dance Festival and Dance-a-lorus, and is part of hte Dance Cooperative family as an instructor and mentor.
SUE MEIER teachs all levels of ballet. She started her training in Midland, MI, studying ballet, jazz, and musical theater. Sue danced and taught in Sweden before continuing her training in ballet and modern at Michigan State University. Sue studied and taught in NY and NJ before moving to Wilmington.
KATE MUHLSTEIN is a Texas native with a BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Since graduating, Kate has performed with the Rednerrus Feil Dance Company, Forward Motion Dance Company, and the Dance Cooperative. Kate moved to Wilmington in July, 2007, after attending the American Dance Festival in Durham and falling in love with North Carolina. She has been teaching the beginning modern class for teens/adults for the last two years. Kate also choreographs and dances any chance she can.
MAGGIE MOORE has a BFA in Dance and a minor in Management from George Mason University. She is currently working toward elementary education teaching licensure at UNCW. While she grew up dancing and competing in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, Maggie found her niche in the contemporary concentration. Originally from Roanake, VA. Maggie has also lived and dance in Florida and Maine. After performing in the 2010 North Carolina Dance Festival, Maggie joined Forward Motion Dance Company. With over 10 years of dance instruction experience, Maggie is excited to join the Dance Cooperative faculty this season.
SUZANNE PALMER has a BA in Dance from the University of Colorado and is a founding member of the Dance Cooperative. She teaches modern dance, yoga, and African dance. Suzanne also teaches West African Dance master classes for UNCW and creative movement classes at DREAMS. Suzanne facilitiates classes in community building using creative movement for Turning the Wheel Productions, Inc., both nationally and locally. She was lead artist in the three-year residency project with the African American Dance Ensemble and an artist in residence at the Brunswick County Arts Day.
TRACIE RABALAIS began her dance education at the age of 5 in Burlington, NC. her background includes ballet, jazz, modern, and competitive cheerleading. In 2000, Tracie moved to Wilmington to attend UNCW, where she received her B.A. in Communication Studies. While at UNCW, Tracie performed with the UNCW dance team. Tracie also performed for six seasons with the Wilmington Hammerheads, and for two seasons served as the team’s head coach and choreographer. Tracie is also a member of Forward Motion Dance Company. She has performed in a number of events including Dance-a-lorus, the North Carolina Dance Festival, Celebrate the Arts, and Arts Sensation. Tracie is honored to be a part of the Dance Cooperative and is looking forward to another great year of dance!
TRILBY SHIER studied dance with the Ballet School of Chapel Hill under the direction of such choreographers as M’Liss Dorrance, Carol Edwards, Diane Eilber, Jennifer Potts, and Rebecca Amos. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, Trilby began teaching at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill, where she developed a creative movement class for children with special needs and taught pre-ballet, creative movement, ballet, and jazz. Trilby taught at the Ballet School for ten years. She has performed with the Ballet Company of Chapel Hill, Jacques d’Amboise, Appalachian Dance Ensemble, and the Whirlwind Jazz Ensemble. Trilby has also toured with Amy Smith Pierce and dancers for the North Carolina Dance Festival and was a dancer in the film “Bolden” which is soon to be released in 2010. Trilby has lived in Wilmington since 2005, performing in shows such as Dance-a-lorus, NCDF, Arts Sensation, and Arts Poetica. In addition to being a member of the Dance Cooperative faculty, Trilby is a Physician Assistant in pediatric surgery at NHRMC and with Cape Fear Pediatrics.
JENNIFER SPRINGER has a BS in Dance Education from ECU, where she performed in faculty and student performances. For many years Jennifer taught ballet, tap, jazz, and modern to many levels and all ages at Greenville Dance Company. She has taught in the Brunswick County Schools and coached the South Brunswick High School Dance Team. Jennifer currently teaches and performs for the Dance Cooperative.
HEATHER TILL is a certified yoga therapist and teacher as well as a certified Pilates instructor. Heather was introduced to yoga while attending Appalachian State University where she earned a BS in Psychology and a minor in Dance. She greatly enjoys being a part of Wilmington’s growing dance and creative movement community and performing with such a talented group of people. Heather currently maintains a private yoga therapy practice and offers classes, workshops, and trainings in gentle, restorative, and women’s yoga.
KEITH WELBORN – Keith is a Hip Hop instructor and an aspiring actor in film and theater. Keith has been a performing artist for a majority of his life, reaching sufficient mastery in hip hop dance to be able to teach others. He can be seen around town in various stage performances. Keith has received newspaper, internet, and magazine recognition for his talent.
BRITTANY WETZEL began her dance career at age 4. At 10 years old, she began studying at CC & Company Dance Complex in Raleigh. Brittany traveled around the nation with their completion team under nationally recognized choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Tabitha and Napoleon, Dee Caspery, Nick Bass, Mandy Moore, Jason Parsons, and Lauren Adams. After graduating high school, Brittany attended Appalachian State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Dance. Brittany has performed and choreographed pieces in a variety of professional performances in North Carolina. Last summer, she had the opportunity to tour the southeast with Intimation Dance Company under the choreography and direction of Laura Valentine. The Dance Cooperative is pleased to welcome Brittany to the family!