Yuka Fukuda

Yuka Fukuda, originally from Tokyo, Japan, trained at Tokyo Junior Ballet and Asami Maki Ballet Arts. Upon coming to the United States, she trained at George Mason University in Virginia and The Ailey School in New York City. On graduating in 1999, she was invited to join Ailey’s second company Ailey II, performing with them from 1999–2002.

Yuka went on to be a company member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre for two years. She performed in six productions of The King and I, including at the venue Papermill Playhouse, as well as several national tours. She played the role of Victoria in Cats at West Virginia Public Theater. She served as an assistant choreographer for the production of Gospel Gospel Gospel directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid. She has worked with renowned choreographers such as Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Donald Byrd, Ronald K. Brown, and many more.

As a teacher, she has taught at the Nang Young Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, Dallas Black Dance Academy, and headed up the Modern department at Champs Charter High School for the Performing Arts. She is also a faculty member at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Lula Washington Dance Theater, and City Ballet of Los Angeles.

She has completed her Horton pedagogy training with Anna Marie Forsyth.

Johnnie Hobbs III

Johnnie Hobbs III is a tap dancer, film director, teacher, performer, and coloring book collector. He’s worked with such theater companies as The New Freedom Theatre, Adren Theatre Company, Interact Theatre, and Matrix Theatre. A 2004 graduate of Philadelphia’s The University of the Arts.

His talent of tap dancing was showcased at “Showtime at The Apollo”, the inauguration events in Washington DC for President Barack Obama, and The Guatemala Dance Challenge in Guatemala. His first directorial effort was in 2012 with a tap dancing short film drama called NOSTALGIA starring Dule Hill (The West Wing, Psych) and tap dancers Sarah Reich, Jason Samuels Smith, and Chloe Arnold. The film went on to be accepted to film festivals around the country. He’s directed three other short films since then.

Johnnie’s been a guest speaker at University of Colorado, Temple University, Santa Monica College, and Art Institute to name a few. He is an adjunct professor at colleges AMDA and Studio School. Johnnie really likes chocolate milkshakes.

Timothy Lynch

Timothy Lynch is from Mineola, NY, and received his dance training from the School of American Ballet. In 1993, Tim 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. Tim’s rich performing experience includes character roles such as Carabosse in Ronald Hynd’s Sleeping Beauty, Herr Drosselmeier in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker, and Gamache in Kevin Mackenzie’s Don Quixote.

Film works include the role of Nick Bottom in the BBC production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tim 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 received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, graduating summa cum laude. Tim has been guest faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, and Western Washington University.

He founded Seattle Dance Project in 2007, where he was both Artistic Director and a dancer. He has performed works by Donald Byrd, James Canfield, Pat Catterson, Molissa Fenley, Kiyon Gaines, Edwaard Liang, Wade Madsen, Eva Stone, Kent Stowell, Olivier Wevers, Ellie Sandstrom, and Hilde Koch. Tim has choreographed for Cornish College of the Arts, Dance Contemporary, and the Creative Dance Center. He 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. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continues to find ways to further his professional development.

Tim served as the Academy Director for BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio from 2014–16. He created a boy’s program, expanded the pre-professional trainee program and rebranded its adult dance fitness classes. His choreographic work in Columbus has been showcased at the Ohio Dance Festival and at the Capitol Theater.

In 2016, Tim and his family moved back to the West Coast and in 2017, he co-founded the Lynch Dance Institute in San Diego with his wife Alexandra Dickson. He recently obtained his yoga certification and teaches at Core Power Yoga. Tim began working at the Colburn Dance Academy in 2017 and is grateful to Jenifer and James for including him in the fantastic work taking place at Colburn.

Romy Karz Rapoport

Romy is a native of Southern California. At the age of 15, she became a student on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet (the official school of The New York City Ballet). At 17, she was chosen by Peter Martins to participate as an exchange student with The Royal Danish Ballet, and at age 18 she joined The New York City Ballet, where she danced for nine years. She has performed principal and solo roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments, Who Cares, La Valse, Symphony in Three Movements, Agon, and Concerto Barocco.

Romy has appeared on national television on the Dance in America broadcast of An Evening with Balanchine and the movie The Nutcracker. Ms. Karz Rapoport has 30 years of teaching and choreographing experience for ballet students of all ages, and holds a certification as a yoga instructor as well. She is passionate about helping dancers of all ages maintain healthy technique as they pursue their passion.

Janie Taylor

Janie Taylor was born in Houston, TX where she began her ballet training at age two with Gilbert Rome. She trained at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans from 1993–1996. After attending two years of the summer program at the School of American Ballet, she became a full-time student in the fall of 1996. While a student at SAB she originated a featured role in Christopher Wheeldon’s Soirée Musicale for the spring workshop performance in June of 1998. She received the Mae L. Wien Award at the SAB Annual Workshop and was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet. A month later, she became a member of NYCB’s corps de ballet. She was promoted to the rank of Soloist in February 2001 and to Principal in 2005. During her career with New York City Ballet she originated roles in ballets choreographed by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, and Justin Peck. She also performed featured roles in numerous ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, as well as pieces by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Susan Stroman, Twyla Tharp, and Miriam Mahdaviani. Ms. Taylor appeared in the film Center Stage directed by Nicholas Hytner which was released in 2000.

She retired from the New York City Ballet on March 1, 2014 and began working as a répétiteur setting ballets on companies around the world. At that time, she also started a career in costume design. Her designs can be seen at the New York City Ballet, and L.A. Dance Project. Ms. Taylor has been teaching dance at Colburn since 2016. She is currently a dancer and rehearsal director for L.A. Dance Project.

Genevieve Labean Page

Genevieve Labean Page is a former professional ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet, where she danced for nine years on stage and in televised performances in theaters around the world, including at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. She danced in a variety of roles in ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins among others, and originated roles in Peter Martins’ Thou Swell, Bach V Concerto, Chichester Psalms, Reliquary, and Harmonielehre, and in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of The Animals and Soirée Musicale. She also had a featured singing role as Rosalia in West Side Story Suite. As a child, Genevieve performed with Joffrey Ballet and New York City Ballet, sang in various commercial jingles and voiceovers, and had a starring role in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

After leaving the company, Genevieve appeared in the movie Black Swan alongside Natalie Portman, with choreography by Benjamin Millepied, and also recorded and released an album of original songs on iTunes, called “Unscripted”. A few of her songs have been placed on soundtracks for various TV shows and films. She performed as a singer-songwriter in NYC at various venues such as Rockwood Music Hall and The Bitter End, and was a featured singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at the famed Blue Note Jazz Club. She is proud to bring a wealth of musical knowledge to her work as a dance teacher.

In addition, Genevieve has worked as a dance critic at the esteemed New York Post, writing published reviews for dance companies such as Alvin Ailey.

Genevieve received her training and education from the Joffrey Ballet School, The School of American Ballet, Le Lycée Français, The Professional Children’s School, and Columbia University.

Melinda Sullivan

Melinda Sullivan is a Los Angeles-based artist with a diverse career in dance, television, and theater. She studied under the Jazz Tap Ensemble, California Dance Theater, and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. After touring with Disney’s High School Musical and the 25th Anniversary cast of Cats, Melinda became a So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 Finalist and All-Star. Her film and television credits include La La Land, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Academy Awards, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and most recently an on-camera choreographer for the Disney+ series Encore. Melinda is a recipient of the Capezio A.C.E. Award and Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” She is thrilled to be a guest artist and collaborator with Dorrance Dance, premiering new work at the Joyce and Jacob’s Pillow. Sullivan is on faculty at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and continues to share her love for dance with students around the world.

Kelly Ann Sloan

Kelly Ann Sloan has been Ballet Chair of the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts since 2014. She began her ballet training at the New Jersey School of Ballet, and then attended Indiana University School of Music where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet and Outside Field in Journalism.

For the next fifteen years, Kelly Ann danced as a company member with the Cincinnati Ballet then Los Angeles Ballet, and also performed with Cincinnati Opera, LA Opera, San Diego Opera, Barak Ballet, National Choreographers Initiative, and Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet.

She has taught all levels of ballet and pointe throughout her performing career, primarily at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet School, Everybody Dance in Los Angeles, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet summer programs. Kelly Ann has choreographed works for the Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Island Moving Company, the Colburn Dance Academy, Regional Dance America festivals, Choreography Under the Stars Competition in Palm Desert, and most recently she created a full-length children’s ballet for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts was born in Sussex, England and began playing the piano at age four. From 1967 to 1975 Michael was Production Stage Manager for Harold Prince in London’s West End. In 1970 he was trained and became a dance accompanist for the Royal Ballet School. And in 1975 he moved to Los Angeles where he has since worked as a dance accompanist and composer.

Michael was formerly Senior Accompanist of the Stanley Holden Dance Center and Music Coordinator of the Sharon Disney Lund Dance School at California Institute of the Arts, as well as Music Director of Pasadena Dance Theater. Currently, he is Music and Technical Coordinator for the Community School of Performing Arts’s Community School Dance program and The Colburn Dance Academy, both programs of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at the Colburn School, as well as faculty/accompanist for the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive and West Coast company accompanist for the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, National Ballet of Canada, Mark Morris, Joffrey Ballet Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Royal Ballet of New Zealand companies. He has worked extensively with master teachers Finis Jhung, David Howard, Wendy Whelan, Justin Peck, Philip Neal and George Zorich, Glenn Edgerton, and many others.

Michael has appeared on numerous TV shows and the movie Six Weeks with Mary Tyler Moore. Michael has also played for Juliet Prowse, who endorsed his original dance record albums. Michael’s other compositions include four Music for Ballet Class CDs, one CD of original music for the Modern Dance Class, two CDs of original dance compositions Dancing Scores, Two Classical/New Age CDs Farther than the Sun and English Impressions, a special CD Reflections, a musical journey of the past thirty years, as well as three theater musicals and numerous commissioned dance scores. In 2007 his music was featured in the documentary film Divertissement: Every Day Dancers Stories. His latest ballet class CD Dancing Fingers was released in November 2009. In August of 2013 his latest CD Dreams of Kilimanjaro was released.

Author Christine Ann Kent has included a special CD of his music in her latest best seller women’s health book, entitled Saving the Whole Woman.

In 2004 he was a recipient of a special Lester Horton Award for Service to the Field.

In the fall of 2011 he composed the music for the DVD/film Ally Cat the Ballet Cat starring Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva.

In 2011, a special 40th Anniversary performance of his career as a dance accompanist was celebrated at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles.

In 2015 he composed the music for a ballet choreographed by Philip Neal which was performed by the Colburn Dance Academy and was also performed at the Youth America Grand Prix finals ballet competition in April 2016 in New York City.

In March 2016 his composition Patterns was performed by the Colburn Chamber Orchestra.

In June 2016 his composition Spanish Lady was choreographed and danced by flamenco star Yolanda Arroyo at the Colburn School Evening of Dance as well as Herencia Flamenca at The Alex Theater.

“Michael Roberts knows how to bring out the best in every dancer: his years of experience playing for the world’s best ballet dancers have equipped him with a unique understanding of what dancers need to hear to dance their best.”

Finis Young
Master Teacher

Dance Magazine – 1979
Described Volume 1 Original Music for the Ballet Class as “the one you should choose for your desert island (and) as being steeped in understanding… (with) Tchaikovsky smiling over his shoulder.”

Los Angeles Times Article “Accompanist as a Chameleon” – 1984
Mikhail Baryshnikov quote – “Michael is wonderful. His music cheers you up and rehabilitates you!”

Leslie Carothers formerly of the Joffrey and Pennsylvania Ballet
“Michael Roberts’ music is rich, varied and full of feeling. Movement is built intelligently and fully into every phrase.”

40th Anniversary performance

Zippora Karz

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Today, as a repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, Zippora teaches and stages Balanchine ballets for schools and companies around the globe.

She is a private instructor/coach in the Los Angeles area. Zippora joined the faculty of the Colburn Dance Academy in 2014, and the Glorya Kaufman School of dance, USC faculty as Artist in Residence, in the fall of 2015.

Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 21, Zippora is passionate about motivating others to take care of themselves and live their dreams. She is the author of her memoir, The Sugarless Plum, as well as her children’s story, Ballerina Dreams.