Meet your Amazing Summer Intensive Instructors for 2023!
One of the best ways to learn something well is to learn from an expert.
We are bringing a group of supportive, fun, and talented experts to Billings to work with you.
Alexey 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 Harid 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.
Kirsten 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 9th 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.
Rachel Harris started dancing at Dance Productions, under the instruction of Lori Long and Denise Britzclarke-Clarke. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where she received her BFA with an architecture concentration in 2020. While in school, she also trained at Jacob’s Pillow, Ballet X, Abraham.In.Motion, and Ailey School summer intensives and was featured in a music video by popular artist Brandy. Upon graduation, Harris joined Zeitgeist Dance Theatre as an inaugural company member. In July 2020, Rachel joined Parsons Dance where she is in her third season and worked as Education and Outreach Director and Diversity Liaison for Parsons Dance.
Rachel has choreographed music videos, “About Sprouts” a Parsons Dance immersive experience for children, and created on Howard University’s BFA students. Harris was awarded the Gibney Dance Converge2Emerge Grant in 2021, named Howard University’s “Spring 2021 Emerging Choreographer to Watch,” and 2022 Professional / Emerging Choreographer Finalist for New Century Dance Project . She is also co-founder of “Make Space,” a program that provides opportunities to mentor and engage young Black artists. Harris works to maintain her performance and choreographic versatility while integrating environmentally-friendly technology into her practice.
Kelsey Dorr is currently a soloist with Inland Pacific Ballet. Her repertoire includes The Little Mermaid, Talisman, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Dracula choreographed by Arturo Fernandez, and many New Works including Ballerina set and choreographed specifically for her. She has danced with the Mikhailovsky Ballet of St. Petersburg in Flames of Paris, and in Sleeping Beauty with American Ballet Theater, choreographed and coached by Alexei Ratmansky. Concurrently, Kelsey danced with Pasadena Dance Theater and with Anaheim Ballet where she performed in La Esmeralda, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Paquita, Suite en Blanc, Masquerade and The Nutcracker. Kelsey also is a freelance ballet dancer around the LA area, where she was the main ballet dancer for One Direction’s music video, “Steal My Girl.” Her training includes a Vaganova background for her primary education continuing onto such institutions as Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, ABT and the European School ARTof under William Forsythe.
Michelle Vargo has danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for over 20 years. Appearing in over 40 different productions, she’s worked with choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Robert LaFosse, Graciela Daniele, Kelly Devine, Mark Dendy, Steven Hogart, Carolyn Choa and directors Franco Zeffirelli, Phelim McDermott, Des McAnuff, Michael Mayer, Robert LePage, Francois Girard and Bartlett Sher, among others.
A graduate of The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, Michelle’s early training was with Lee Garrard in Butler, Pennsylvania, while attending summer programs with Laura Alonso. Before graduating from high school, Michelle was hired for David H. Bell’s production of “Fame” with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, as well as four other productions that season, where she also worked with director/choreographer Rob Marshall. While guesting in classical ballets for various companies, Michelle’s career has ranged from dancing Victoria in “Cats” with Gateway Playhouse, to dancing on roofs in Brooklyn with Rindfleisch Dance, to dancing the twisted Cinderella character covered in raw egg and dough with Racoco Productions, for which she was named #5 in the "Top 10 Dance Performances of the Year" in the New York Times. She most recently made the New York Times Top 10 Dance Performances list as part of the Met’s Production of “Parsifal” while 6-months pregnant with her second child.
Michelle Vargo has taught extensively for the Joffrey Ballet School NYC, as well as conducting auditions throughout the U.S. for the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer program. She has taught for the Dancers of The Met , The Dance Conservatory, Mile Square Theatre, among others, and is currently a teacher and rehearsal director with New York Dance Project.
As a choreographer, Michelle has choreographed for Jesse Malin’s “Disco Ghetto” music video featuring Mary Louise Parker and for Harry Greenberger’s feature film, “Staring at the Sun” featuring Sarah Clarke. Her work has also appeared at the Juilliard School, Bowery Electric, City Center Studios, Alice Tully Hall for International Day of Yoga, with the Open Project (Provence, France), with Encounters Dance, and the Jacaranda School (Malawi),
During the shutdown Michelle was part of forming the Dancers of The Met collective. As a creative director and resident choreographer Michelle has choreographed for Open Culture , Arts ON AIR, En Plein Air, City Artists Corp at Brooklyn Children’s Museum , High Line Nine , and reimagined Magic Flute choreography for Instagram ( featuring Will Liverman )