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Summer Intensive 2020: Meet your teachers

Incredible guest instructors coming from around the US to you (with health precautions in place).

Kirsten Cooper ( both weeks)

Ms. Cooper trained in Los Angeles with many teachers, assisting Rhonda Miller and Jeff Amsden. She danced in various stage, film, and video productions, and was a principal dancer for Costa Cruise Lines. She now runs a pre-professional jazz company in the Seattle area, and is teaching for the 8th year at Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer School and Dance This Intensive with Seattle Theatre Group. Her choreography has been seen at Bumbershoot Arts Festival (Seattle), Tanzommer Dance Festival (Austria), Sign of the Times (Westlake Productions), PONCHO Gala (Seattle) and at Theatre Ballet of Spokane. Many of her students have gone on to careers in the professional world of dance, performing and teaching. Her former dancers have performed with Backstreet Boys, Fiona Apple, Black Eyed Peas, Paul McCartney, and Celine Dion, as well as the Broadway tour of "Wicked", LA based Hysterica Dance Co., Evolutions, and Soul Escape.

Timothy Lynch (week 2 only)

Mr. Lynch is from Mineola, NY. He received his dance training from the School of American Ballet, his BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and his MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. In 1993, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, and performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Four Temperaments, and works by Jerome Robbins, Kent Stowell, and Paul Taylor. He originated roles in works by Donald Byrd, Val Caniparoli, Kevin O’Day, Mark Dendy, Kent Stowell, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Film works include the role of Nick Bottom in the BBC Production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He became co-director of PNB’s Outreach Youth Performing Group in 2001 and began teaching in PNB’s Dance Chance program. In 2003, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a full-time faculty member, where he choreographed and helped shape the men’s program for over 10 years. He has been a guest faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, and Western Washington University. He founded Seattle Dance Project in 2007, earned the KOMO Kids First Award for mentoring local youth in 2011, and was awarded Educator of the Year 2012 from the Dance Educators Association of Washington.  From 2014-2016, Mr. Lynch served as the Academy Director for BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio.  Most recently Tim and his wife Alexandra opened their own studio, Lynch Dance Institute, in San Diego. Tim is also a certified yoga instructor.

Alexey Kulpin (week 1 only)

Mr. Kulpin is a graduate of the University of Culture and Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in ballet methodology and choreography. Mr. Kulpin joined the faculty of The Haird Conservatory in 2016. In 1998, he was the Grand Prix winner at the Muse of St. Petersburg Ballet Competition. As a professional dancer, he has performed many soloist and principal roles in both classical and contemporary ballets in Russia, Israel, and the US. He has danced with St. Petersburg State Opera Ballet, St. Petersburg State Male Theatre by Mihailovsky, Ballet Israel, City Ballet of San Diego,  Grand Rapids Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater, Stars of St. Petersburg Municipal Theater of Music Dance,  and Krasnoyarsk Dance Ensemble.

Mr. Kulpin specializes in teaching classical ballet, male and female variations, and character dance. His teaching career includes the Ballet Israel School, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet, Charleston Ballet Company and Northern California Dance Conservatory. Currently he is a master guest teacher across the US, adjudicating, coaching, choreographing, and instructing upcoming generations. He has staged classical variations and choreographed solos for performance and ballet competitions, including Youth America Grand Prix.

Leigh Schanfein

Ms. Schanfein is a freelance dancer, choreographer, teacher, and independent researcher in the fields of kinesiology and biomechanics.  Leigh trains and performs in modern, ballet, and contemporary dance with various small dance companies and venues, and has performed in commercial productions including on stage with comedian Hannibal Buress as part of the Oddball Comedy Tour, during Fashion Week NYC for designers such as Malan Breton, and for brands such as Xerox, Suave, Oreo, and Estee lauder.  She is a regular guest instructor and choreographer for dance schools around the country. 

Leigh received her M.S. in kinesiology with a specialization in biomechanics from Purdue University, and her B.S. in animal physiology and neuroscience with a minor in dance from the University of California San Diego. She has received multiple awards for her research including two through the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, and worked for five years as the research associate at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries. Her research has largely focused on the mechanisms by which humans control balance and how sensory feedback is integrated for the control of posture, but has also covered a wide range of topics concerning injury prevention among dancers.  In 2015, she joined the faculty at Barnard College as adjunct lecturer of biomechanics in the department of dance.  Leigh is a contributing journalist for Dance Informa Magazine.


Register Now!

To register and pay using credit card, please access registration through Dance Studio Pro:

To register and pay with cash or check, made out to School of Classical Ballet, please download, fill out, and send us the registration form found here:  Deliver or mail to:  Montana Dance Center, c/o summer intensive, 701 Daniel Street, Billings, MT 59101

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