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!
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.
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 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
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 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 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.