Classes: Modern, Contemporary, Strength/Stretch, Improvisation
Alyona Amato (Suslova) was born and raised in Russia, Siberia. In 2011 she won a grant to study contemporary dance at the American Dance Festival and decided to move to Wilmington where she joined The Dance Cooperative as a teacher, dancer and choreographer. Her background includes contemporary, modern, ballet and improvisation. She likes to create choreography and performances based on the dancer’s own individuality and experience. She believes everybody can dance, even if they haven’t danced since their childhood. As a teacher she pays special attention to the quality, strength and fullness of a dancer’s movement.
Classes: Ballet, Jazz
Debra Berger began her professional career at the age of nine when she performed with the New York City Ballet Company. Debra was a student at The School of American Ballet and performed with the company in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Harlequinade. She studied modern at the Alvin Ailey School and jazz with Luigi, Charles Kelly and Nat Horne.
Growing up in New York City she had the opportunity to study acting at HB Studios and voice with some of the greatest teachers in musical theater.
Her performing credits also include: A Chorus Line, West Side Story, I Ought To Be In Pictures, and Educating Rita.
As a director, choreographer, and teacher, Debra has traveled extensively, teaching ballet and jazz in the U.S. and Brazil. Debra is a certified Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms. She recently moved toWilmington, and is thrilled to contribute to the performing arts in our community.
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.
Sue Meier teaches 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.
Classes: Modern, Jazz, Improvisation
Recently nominated a Women to Watch by Wilma Magazine, Kate Muhlstein is the Board President of the Dance Cooperative as well as a choreographer, teacher, and performer with the company. Earning her bachelors of fine arts from Sam Houston State University in 2005, Mrs. Muhlstein danced for Rednerrus Fiel Dance Company (now Aimed Dance) during their inaugural season. Shortly after, Kate moved to Wilmington and began choreographing and performing for Dancealorus, North Carolina Dance Festival, Wilmington Dance Festival, and many commissioned works for corporate events and fundraisers. Mrs. Muhlstein has entered a new phase of her dance career and started teaching younger children and high school dance clubs in the last two years. A Renaissance woman, Kate dabbles in other art forms and particularly focuses on fashion/costume design and jewelry as well as painting.
Photo Credit: Joel Vannfuller
Classes: Ballet, Modern
April Scott grew up in Frederick, MD and began her dance training at Mid-Maryland Performing Arts Center. She received a BA in Dance and Psychology from Goucher College, and later, a BA in Visual Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She had taught and choreographed for various studios in South Carolina and Maryland and performed with regional dance companies including Goose Route Dance Theatre, Renacer Dance Company and 365 Dance Company. April moved to Wilmington in January 2015 and is excited to continue teaching, dancing and choreographing at The Dance Cooperative.
Linda Ann Larson is a Dance Cooperative core member and an MS analytical chemist. Her dance background includes a BFA from SUNY Purchase and 20 years performing in NYC with various modern dance companies and recording artists. Eight years in Wilmington have provided her with unique opportunities to present her work including NCDF and Dance-a-lorus. Linda’s approach to choreography and teaching incorporates intricate timing and expansive use of musicality and athleticism to encourage the dancer to reach their peak potential. Her extensive background in Graham and Pilates has shaped her approach in how she guides an individual to physically achieve their goals as well as mindfully maintain a healthy approach to dance and a healthy body.
Sam fell in love with dance through her high school’s dance program. She went on to receive Bachelors of Arts in Dance from UNC Greensboro. While at UNCG she had the opportunity to study at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, UK and fell in love with dance all over again. Her senior year she was lucky enough to work with Helen Simoneau, Loren Gronendaal and perform in Martha Graham’s ‘Steps in the Street’ under the direction of Duane Cyrus. Following graduation she was awarded a place at the University of Chichester’s MA Dance Performance program in 2010. In a turn of events, she found herself in Wilmington, NC and at the Dance Cooperative. In 2017 Sam completed her 200 RYT with the Kunga Yoga School. She is grateful for the community and support she has found at the Dance Cooperative and looks forward to sharing her passion and experiences.
Our Board of Directors
President: Kate Muhlstein
Vice President: Dodi Levy
Secretary: Abbey Nobles
Treasurer: Kim Cameron
Board Members: Rebecca Busch, Rachael Crawford Goolsby, Jenn Guerra, Qaadir Hicks, Clare Kiley, Karla Nobles