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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.

June

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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.

Nathan Nirschl is a Seattle born and raised dancer, choreographer, and Dance/Gyrotonic teacher. Nathan attended SUNY Purchase in New York from 2013-17, where he received his BFA in dance performance. Upon completion, Nathan moved to New York City where he danced primarily with and was project manager for The DASH Ensemble. He continued teaching dance, freelancing performance work, and studying Gyrotonic. Some dance artists Nathan has had the pleasure of working for include Gregory Dolbashian, Doug Varone, Wesley Ensminger, Evangelos Poulinas, The Cunningham Trust, NYCB’s Bettijane Sils, Fernando Melo, and others. Nathan also had the pleasure of Teaching at The Graham School, The Juilliard School’s Summer Intensive, LINES Ballet, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Joffrey Ballet Dallas, and other institutions around the country. Nathan is currently dancing with 3rd Law Dance Theater in Boulder Colorado, teaching at Gyrotonic Bodhi, and will begin as faculty for Boulder Ballet’s training program beginning this Fall.

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.

August

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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 )

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