Summer Intensive Faculty Announcements 2018

We are so excited to have a number of world renowned Dance Educators join our amazing faculty this Summer for our annual Intensive program! Additional Faculty Members to be Announced! Audition on Fridays in Carmel Valley or Saturdays in Scripps Ranch, Click here for more information!

Guest Faculty

Michael Fothergill will be heading up our Young Men’s Intensive Program and teaching our Pre-Professional Division Students.

Michael Fothergill began his training in central Iowa, and furthered his dance education as a full-scholarship recipient of the Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. Michael has taught at Steps on Broadway and the Peridance Capezio Center, and subsequently accepted prominent appointments as a principal dancer in companies across the United States and abroad.

As an educator, Michael frequently travels across the United States, Canada, Japan, and France. He is a frequent guest instructor for the Cecchetti Council of America where is is the founding Artistic Director of the Enhanced Men’s Training Program. Michael recently completed his fourth year on the faculty of Samford University, located in Birmingham, AL. This year marks Michael’s return appointment to the distinguished panel of judges at Japan Ballet Association’s Hokkaido Ballet Competition. Michael has recently been appointed the Artistic Director of Ballet Arkansas after a 7 year stint as principal dancer and choreographer with the Alabama Ballet.

Catharine Garratt-Fothergill will be teaching both ballet technique, pointe and variations select weeks of the Pre-Professional Program

Catherine Garratt-Fothergill trained at the Alabama Dance Academy, and Alabama Ballet Center for Dance before completing her studies with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary. Catherine joined the Louisville Ballet, and shortly thereafter, the Alabama Ballet. Catherine danced leading roles in the all of the paramount classical ballets, and in numerous works by esteemed choreographers.

For several months of the year, Catherine travels throughout the United States and abroad as a sought after guest instructor, repetiteur and ballet mistress. She is a frequent guest instructor for the Cecchetti Council of America.

Catherine joined the team at Ballet Arkansas in July of 2017 as the Associate Artistic Director, after giving her final performances with the Alabama Ballet and holds degrees in Sociology and International Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Kim Sonderegger will be teaching Ballet Technique, Pointe and Variations/Choreography during select weeks of our Pre-Professional Program

Kim Sonderegger was born in Minneapolis, MN. She received her ballet training at the schools of Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Houston Ballet and under notable instructors such as Marjorie Mussman, David Howard, and Willie Burmann in New York City. Ms. Sonderegger was associated with Ballet Arizona for 20 years, first as dancer, performing corps and soloist roles for 10 years, and later as teacher and interim School administrator. During her tenure at the School of Ballet Arizona she was, for four years, Associate Professor of dance at Arizona State University, teaching ballet technique and related courses. In 2008 Ms. Sonderegger joined the faculty of Miami City Ballet School as a primary teacher. At MCBS her choreography was regularly praised for its sensibility, musicality, and creativity. Working with Miami City Ballet company leadership and national dance educators, Ms. Sonderegger researched and produced the school’s Self Study for accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Dance. Ms. Sonderegger was invited by Kee Juan Han to join the full time faculty of the Washington School of Ballet in 2013, a position she held until recently. She was responsible for Professional Training Program students and upper school levels, also working with TWB trainees and company dancers. She choreographed regularly for student performances, and staged ballets from the classical and neoclassical repertoire.

Ms. Sonderegger has taught and choreographed for students across the United States as well as in Japan and South America. She holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Summa cum Laude) from Arizona State University, and has worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East, Spain, and the United States. In 2016 she joined the faculty at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD, and is guest teaching across the United States


Year-Round Faculty

Rebecca DeNies will be teaching Ballet Technique, Pointe and Variations throughout the program.

Rebecca DeNies Rebecca DeNies, began her dance training with Connecticut Concert Ballet, under the direction of Wendy Fish-Lawrence and David Lawrence. After studying for several years, she began to assist in teaching classes and was offered a position on faculty. Rebecca attended summer intensives with The American Ballet Theater, The Rock School and The Hartt School’s Summer Program, From Studio to Stage with Bruce Marks. Rebecca received her BFA in Ballet Pedagogy from The Hartt School of Dance at The University of Hartford on scholarship. While in the BFA program, she was cast in works by choreographers including Victor Plotnikov, Emory LeCrone and Charlotte Griffin. While pursuing her degree she accepted a faculty position in the Hartt Community Dance Division, where she later served as the Program Director.

Miah Nwosu will be teaching ballet technique, Pointe, Choreography and Progressing Ballet Technique throughout the program.

Miah Nwosu began seriously studying ballet at age eight at The Scripps Performing Arts Academy shortly after participating in a Miramar Ranch Elementary After School Program. She trained at Scripps Performing Arts for seven years, primarily under Lili Griffths, former Soloist with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, continuing her studies at City Ballet of San Diego in the highest level of their pre-professional division. She performed with the company in the Nutcracker, their company premiere of “Don Quixote,” and various other productions and spent a summer training at The Ailey School in New York City. Miah later attended Fordham University in New York City, training at The Ailey School, Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center.
Upon her return to San Diego, Miah joined C. Anthony Cole Repertory Theatre and later La Diego Dance Theatre for its inaugural season. She was rehearsal coach and dancer representative for the company, had the pleasure of teaching audition classes for both companies and has served as a guest teacher at several local dance schools.

Miah has acted as head choreographer for SPAA since 2003 and has successfully mounted original productions and set full length classical ballets including The Nutcracker, Prokofiev’s Cinderella, Ballet Does the Rat Pack, Glazunov’s The Seasons, La Boutique Fantasque, Grand Pas de Quatre, an original version of Les Rendez-vous, a full length ballet original, Thumbelina, a beautiful restaging of Coppelia, Fokine’s Les Sylphides and numerous original one act and evening length ballets.

Since 2003, Miah has developed a highly effective, comprehensive training program at The Academy that has provided students with the spring board and support system to launch them successfully into collegiate and professional dance programs including Indiana University, San Francisco Ballet School, Nevada Ballet Theatre, The Boston Conservatory, California Institute for the Arts, UCI and multiple summer intensive acceptances (several with scholarships) to prestigious programs across the nation.

Miah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art with a Photography concentration and handles all Graphic Design, Photography and Print Work for SPAA and SBT. She currently teaches Ballet III and up at both locations and overseas all Academy programs. She is also the Artistic Director of SPAA’s youth company in residence, Scripps Ballet Theatre.

Gary Sevani teaching Classical Character dance during our 2014 program. Mr. Sevani will teach Character again during our 2018 Pre-Professional Program.

Gary Sevani is the former Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Synthesis Performing Arts Center, an organization he founded in USA 1996. His 30 years of international teaching experience has included dance education for children (K- 12) and professional training for adults.  Gary Sevani graduated from the College of Classical Dance in Russia and received a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from State University of Performing Arts in Moscow, Russia. Gary studied under and collaborated with internationally known dancers and choreographers such as Nadejda Pavlova and Vladimir Gordiev, Igor and Margarita Smirnova, and artistic director of the Musical Theater of

Moscow Boris Baranovsky. He later went on to create Synthesis Modern Ballet Dance Company in Russia and developed touring productions that were seen throughout Europe and the United States.

Since moving to United Stats and forming Synthesis Performing Arts
Academy, Gary has become an avid arts advocate throughout his local
community presenting performances including the “GEVA Awards Show” “The Nutcracker”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Christmas Carol” Musical. Gary is guest instructor at several dance schools in Italy and Japan. He is also an honorary board member and master teacher at State Institute of Performing Arts in Moscow, Russia.

Ballet Produces Results at Scripps Performing Arts Academy

Dance begins with BalletA balanced education for all children must include ballet and performing arts. Just ask any Mommy how she feels when she sees her toddler walk on their toes for the very first time. We were all born to dance! Dance begins with ballet!

First of all, developing a young person to explore their unlimited potential is a responsibility that takes “A 3-Legged Stool-” student, parent and ballet teacher. Executive Director and fine woodworker, Drew Skinner, reminds us that a 3-legged stool doesn’t wobble. It’s created to balance, just like a ballet dancer.

Furthermore, here at Scripps Performing Arts we recognize that performing ballet is the essential balance for a complete dance education.  This is why. . .

We balance our ballet classes with optional, beautiful productions.   This is especially relevant to how our students develop their artistry, confidence, and discernment. There is no need to participate in expensive dance competitions or costly recitals.  Our students have the opportunity to perform with our youth company, Scripps Ballet Theatre which is artistically directed by Miss Miah Nwosu.

See Scripps Ballet Theatre Perform

Finally, our students use their gifts and talents to make our world a better place. Due to our philanthropic performances, we have helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy organizations throughout San Diego County. These include: UCSD Medical Center, The Scripps Miramar Library Center, Hidden Valley House and more.

UCSD NICU Largest Single Donation

Perhaps an interesting coincidence is the simultaneous rise in popularity of dance competitions (a multi-billion dollar, unregulated industry) and bullying. Most of all, we are not alone in the case against competition. Leading science also shares our view…

The Case Against Competition-Alfie Kohn

Ballet Wings to FlyTherefore, we are proud to inspire our students from the inside-out to be great performers and great people. They are tenacious in an effort to master their current level of ballet before moving ahead to the next level. Because we utilize a Montessori approach, we are able to encourage our students to have a healthy respect for all ages and abilities. Furthermore, they understand that promotion to the next level is their own personal journey.

Most of all, they strive to be the best they can be, rather than being “the best!”  In addition, students experience the shift in an environment from unhealthy competition to nurturing excellence.  We are thrilled to support the next generation of students to live their dreams by falling in love with ballet.

We welcome you to join us today!  Experience a balanced ballet and performing arts education here at Scripps Performing Arts Academy.  As a result, we bet you’ll grow wings to fly!

Hear What Our Alumni Have to Say

It’s Intensive Time!

Advanced dancers after class with Mr. Jerry Kokich

Advanced dancers after class with Mr. Jerry Kokich

Every year we can hardly wait for the last week in July, as it means the start of our Pre-Professional and Intermediate Intensive programs!

We love welcoming new and current students and guest faculty to work intensively on ballet, pointe, jazz and modern techniques, as well as pilates and body maintenance classes!

This year we were excited to welcome Jerry Kokich (former Joffrey Ballet dancer) joining us for week 2, Gary Sevani (a skilled Vaganova technique teacher), joining us for week 2 and 3 and Deborah Kenner (a faculty member of Pacific Northwest Ballet) for week 3!PPI wk1_008

There’s nothing quite like the buzz in the air when the studios are filled to the brim with focused, attentive dancers.  This year, in addition to year round students, we were joined by an alumni student training at San Francisco Ballet, a student from Hawaii and several local dancers training at different schools!

Next year’s intensive will be held July 27-August 14, 2015 and stay tuned for information regarding our Winter Audition Prep Workshop/Intensive that will be held again over Winter Break this year.

Dancers in Character Class with Mr. Gary Sevani

Dancers in Character Class with Mr. Gary Sevani

We’re looking forward to a wonderful Summer Intensive performance tomorrow in the Vincent Paul Black Box! Hope to see some of you there!

And here’s a fun fact: Mr. Sevani’s son plays the role of Moose in the Step Up dance movie series!

New Year, New Classes, New Performances!

Battle 1Our All- Youth production of The Nutcracker, performed by Scripps Ballet Theatre and dancers from the Academy was a wonderful success and was enjoyed by over 2,000 audience members this past season!

In true Scripps Performing Arts Academy fashion, where we recognize the value and importance of performance in any young thespians life, we’re moving right from the Nutcracker into our Spring season.  This year that includes our 6th annual American Girl Fashion Show, the Scripps Ballet Theatre’s 3rd annual Ballet in the Box performances, School House Rock Live, Jr., Creativity en Tap, our 1st annual Tap AND Jazz show, and our original All-School performance of Thumbelina!

Nadia, 15, at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy Intermediate Intensive Program

Towards the end of the school year I saw an invitation to the Intermediate Intensive at Scripps Performing Arts Academy.  I became so happy and started counting down the days until it started. Until then, I took open classes in July to keep up my technique throughout the summer.  The last day of open classes, I was told that I would have the wonderful opportunity to attend the Pre- Professional Intensive for the first week. After I was told this news my excitement went out the window.

Nadia working on her own choreography in Contemporary class

Nadia working on her own choreography in Contemporary class

At the Pre- Professional Intensive I had the chance to work with Amanda Kofsky, Ryan Beck, and Miah Nwosu. Each teacher inspired me to do better, and to be better. I grew so much in just that one week. I don’t think I had ever been so sore before. Ms. Kofsky taught us ballet and contemporary, during ballet we incorporated floor barre which really helped me with my turnout and helped with placement. We also had the chance to do our own choreography, which was something that I never thought I could do. With Mr. Beck we focused on jumps and turns, he also helped me a lot with placing the head and arms in the proper place to make the movement gorgeous. We did pre- pointe with Ms. Miah and by the end of the week I could feel a difference. Being in the Pre- Professional Intensive for only one week helped me to improve so much.

Thankfully I had the weekend to let my body rest after the first week and then I was off to the ISI Week 1 Day2_002Intermediate Intensive. Our instructors were Robyn Shifren, Teresa Wells, Caryn Glass, Miah Nwosu, Lori Katz, and Audrey Bondoc. In these two weeks we had Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, Modern, Pre- Pointe, Jazz, and Choreography. I was glad to be doing this intensive because I got to work on the little things and trying to perfect movements. Yoga was a fun class for me because all though a lot of the movements were familiar to me it was nice to be able to relax and focus on how I was moving and my breath. I would have to say that my favorite class overall would have to have been jazz because it something so familiar and comes the movements come very naturally to me. Unfortunately, I was unable to do the performance at the end of the intensive, but I did learn all of the dances and they were amazing and I was very happy to have learned them. I will always remember those three weeks of my summer, and they were by far the best weeks and I was happy to spend them with all of my closest friends, the best teachers and at the perfect studio.