Faculty

Cory J. Fragoso-Gram

Executive Artistic Director, MFA

Cory J Fragoso-Gram began his dance training at the preprofessional academy Canton Ballet, in Canton, OH, under the directorship of Cassandra Crowley: There he was notably given the rare opportunity of intense study in pointework, an area of the art form unique to few male dancers. Training progressively, Mr. Cory also studied with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School; danced on scholarship at The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center in New York City; and graduated high school from The Harid Conservatory, the prestigious arts institution in Boca Raton, FL. After receiving a full four-year scholarship to Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

Having already performed in the corps de ballet of Indianapolis’s premier ballet company, Ballet International, Mr. Cory was scouted in 2000 by Dayton Ballet and began his professional career. In Dayton, he performed leading roles in ballets by renowned choreographers and directors Luis Fuente, Steven Mills, Septime Webber, Robert Joffrey, Dermont Burke, Mark Diamond, and Jeffery Graham-Hughes.

Mr. Cory left his professional career in the fall of 2004 after receiving a full stipend scholarship to the M.F.A. program at University of Arizona’s School of Dance. There he continued to develop his teaching and choreographic skill while performing leading roles in masterworks by George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Melissa Lowe, Paul Sanasardo, James Clouser, and Jory Hancock.

After graduating with his Masters of Fine Arts in 2007, Mr. Cory took up a directorship position at Dance Makers Studio in Yuma, Arizona, and in 2008 resumed his professional career with Ballet Tucson under the directorship of Mary Beth Cabana. In 2010 he left the company to take an adjunct faculty position with Pima Community College, where he continued to instruct dance technique classes in ballet, modern, jazz and dance conditioning until 2012. He has continued dancing as a guest artist with Art.If.Act Dance Project, a contemporary ballet company in Tucson, and Ballet Tucson.

Mr. Cory has trained extensively in the pedagogical art of dance and has been practicing as an instructor since 2001. He has thoroughly enjoyed working through Tucson and Phoenix with the students and families since 2004, and looks forward to sharing his knowledge, passion and love for the arts with you at BC Dance.


Kassandra Alvarez

Acrobatics Instructor

Kassandra was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, where she graduated high school. At the age of five she discovered her love for competitive cheerleading and began her training at Tucson Cheer Academy. She always had the dreamed to one-day compete at the Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando, Florida. Commonly known as the olympics in Allstar cheerleading. To fulfill this dream she commuted to Scottsdale, AZ three days a week to compete with her team RAGE at Desert Storm Elite. During the three years she cheered with DSE, she was apart of a team that had numerous national titles under their belt, won two full paid bids to worlds, and placed seventh out of ninetynine teams at the Cheerleading worlds.

Kassandra’s specialty is in elite tumbling and stunting/partner. She loves teaching kids how to tumble and reach their goals, and can spot levels 1-4. Practice really does make perfect in her eyes and like great teachers she believes repetition is the key to success. She looks forward to working with your dancers for years to come.


 Juan José Arévalo

Music Director

JJ is a bassoonist who is currently a student of Dr. William Dietz at The University of Arizona School of Music. A native of South Texas, he relocated to Tucson from Ann Arbor, MI, a few years ago. His initial collegiate studies began at Oberlin Conservatory of Music. While at Oberlin, he also participated in numerous Theater & Dance Department productions.

At UofA, JJ has performed as a bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the orchestras and has toured with the Wind Ensemble. He is also a member of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra.

As a champion of new music, he premiered Green Ravine in 2013, a piece written for him by composer Matthew Fields and co-commissioned a new Bassoon Sonata from composer Jim Stephenson. The new award-winning opera Illegal Alien by Alfonso Molina is also project JJ has been privileged to premiere in the USA and in Mexico his international debut with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Sonora.


Krista Barker

Dance Instructor | Resident Choreographer

Krista has been dancing since the age of 4. Her performances have taken her all over the United States, Canada, and Japan. She has had the opportunity to showcase her passion for dance through television, videos, concert tours, and live stage performances. In addition to Krista’s own talents as a performer, her award winning choreography has been featured on SYTYCD, America’s Best Dance Crew, Hip Hop International, and at schools, night clubs, live shows and national competitions. She specializes in stylized jazz, technique, lyrical and fitness. Krista is an original member and Director of Automatic Response, and has been a proud member since 2005. They have been featured on season 1‘s America’s Best Dance Crew, Apollo presents American Icons and numerous stage production shows. “To inspire, and be inspired” is what Krista lives by. Credits Include: Aaron Carter Jukebox Tour, Aaron Carter Japan Tour, Britney Spears Onyx Tour, Star Search, FAMEUS, West Coast Dance Explosion, Conversations of Lust, American Icons Live as Janet Jackson, America’s Best Dance Crew, The Goddess Concept.


Becky Belanger

Modern Instructor | Resident Choreographer

Becky Belanger began her dancer training at Dance Theater West in Phoenix, AZ. There she fell in love with the Artform and developed a strong foundation in both ballet and modern dance.

She attended high school New School for the Arts, a performing arts charter school in Scottsdale, AZ. The she was offered a scholarship to study abroad at the prestigious Newtown High School for the Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia. Becky then attended the University of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania on scholarship and received her BFA in modern dance performance. She also holds a professional dance diploma from the Laban Center in London, England.

After years of dancing professionally, Becky moved to Tucson and attended the University of Arizona, where she received her MFA in dance performance.


Brenna Comer

Assistant Instructor

Coming soon..

 

 


Tammy Dyke-Compton

Pre-Pro Instructor

Tamara Dyke-Compton is an Assistant Professor at The University of Arizona School of Dance in Tucson, Arizona. She teaches jazz technique, modern technique, choreography and dance ensemble. In addition she also teaches a section of Dance History and Teaching Methods. She earned her MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography and performance from the University of Arizona in 2013. In 2003, she earned her BFA from the Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy and Lawrence Rhodes. Tamara has been on faculty at many dance schools, community colleges and dance conventions across the U.S. and Canada. She has been on faculty for Dance Masters of America, Domain Forget in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and The Dance Project in Toronto,Ontario, Canada. Tamara has also subbed for David Marquez at Broadway Dance Center in NYC, and The Alvin Ailey School in NYC. During the summers Tamara is the co-director of dance with her husband Chirstopher Compton at Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Tamara has performed principal roles for Twyla Tharp, in her Broadway first national tour of “Movin’ Out,” from 2003-2008, and toured with the first national Broadway tour of “Fame” the musical from 1998-2000. She has appeared in various industrials, music videos, commercials and benefits performing with stars such as Paula Abdul, Patti LaBelle, Mary Kate and Ashley Olson and Ted Danson and working for choreographers such as Michael Rooney, Marguerite Derricks, Jimmy Locust and Joe Lanteri. Tamara has been a company member with NOVA Ballet and Convergence Ballet in Phoenix, Arizona. Dancing with The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Tamara was proud to perform the works of choreographers such as Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Peter Chu, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Jose Limón. She was one of Aszure Barton’s first company members with Aszure Barton and Artists, at the Joyce Soho in NYC, Tamara also performed with Robert Battle’s Battleworks at City Center Studios in NYC.

Her choreography has been seen at The Clark Studio Theatre in Lincoln Center, The Juilliard Theatre, Ballet Jazz De Montreal, Jazz World Congress, Tokyo Japan, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Domain Forget Performing Arts Camp, The Stevie Eller Theatre, Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College and many dance schools across the USA and Canada. Her choreography was chosen to be performed at The Benjamin Harkarvy Memorial at The Juilliard Theatre in 2002. During Tamara’s education at the University of Arizona she was able to choreograph the musicals “Nine” and “Batboy” the for University of Arizona School of Theatre Film and Television. Also, during her graduate degree she served as an adjudicator for The Arizona Jazz Dance Showcase. In 2013, Tamara was the recipient of The Ralphie Spirit Awardfrom The University of Arizona School of Dance.


Rachel Edris

Dance Instructor | Acrobatics Program Coordinator

Rachel Edris, a Tucson Native, grew up dancing all throughout Southern Arizona. Through her childhood she danced at various studios throughout the Tucson and Phoenix area, including Tempe Dance Academy where her interest for acro was piqued. As she reached her late teens she started focusing on developing herself to become a dance instructor, taking classes in both dance (Ballet, Modern, and Jazz) and professional development at Pima Community College. She has taken classes and studied under standout professionals including working on and receiving her M1 certification through Acrobatic Arts developed by Mandy Yip. She currently studies techniques taught by Alixa Sutton and shares in the developing of her acro specific technique with a worldwide community of professional Acrobatic Arts certified instructors and professionals including Mandy Yip, Tyler Ayers, Steve Maltezos, Joey Arrigo, and Rick Tija (senior talent scout for Cirque Du Soleil.


Wendy Ellis

Dance Instructor

Wendy received her BA  in Dance from University of California Irvine School of Arts and MFA from University of Arizona School of Dance . Wendy focused on multiple genres of dance studying modern under  pioneer Donald McKayle, Doug Nielson, Amy Ernst, Sheryl Freeman (Lewitsky, Limon, Horton technique) Jazz: Christine Baltes, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams, Hama (Giordano, Luigi, Classical technique) Ballet: David Allen, Diane Diefenderfer ,Larry Rosenberg, James Clouser. She continued studying  techniques outside of school throughout Chicago and Los Angeles eventually earning a scholarship to Perry Mansfield Performing Arts school

During professional dance career she was represented by LA Bobby Ball Dance agency where she danced for Film, TV, and Industrials.  Wendy also danced with Jazz Spectrum Dance Company, Synthesis Dance Company and had many dance roles for multiple Civic Light Operas. During her career, became a Certified Pilates Instructor and earned additional Pilates License i.e Buff Bones, BB Arc, Fletcher Level 1 ,Towelwork, Spine Corrector.  Eventually , opened her own Pilates /Dance Studio in Texas where she worked with aspiring dancers (Houston Ballet Rep, Dance Teams), Elite Gymnasts, Baseball clients, physical Therapy, Pink Ribbon, novice clients to  professional NFL Houston Texan and Beijing/ Rio Olympic Sprinters,   

As a Dance Professor at Northwest Vista College and San Jacinto College wendy was Assistant Director for Dance company ,  started her own  501c3 Dance company, Align Dance Theater, became Affiliate and Coordinator of Case West University Dancer Wellness Program . During her multi genre teaching choreography years at studios and colleges started to incorporate the importance of dance /pilates in a technique class  which led her current certification in Marie Walton-Mahon (RAD technique)  Progressive Ballet Technique.  

Wendy’s highlight has been receiving a Choreography Grant from the city of San Antonio where she Choreographed, Performed, help compose music, produced, managed and directed  the Evening of Arts . Her works have also been performed throughout many states.


 zackary kelleyZachary Kelley

Tap Instructor

Zachary Kelley has been training in dance for 14 years. He is from the Seattined at the natiole, Washington area and tranally recognized Allegro Performing Arts Academy. He has trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theater, and Ballroom. Zach has trained with some of today’s most influential choreographers such as Gregg Russell, Ryan Lohoff, Chloe Arnold, Bobby Newberry, Jojo Gomez, Kim Wolfe, Mike Minery, Wildabeast, and many more.

Zach has also won numerous scholarships and has been recognized for his talent, and choreography regionally, as well as nationally. Zach currently dances in the Los Angeles based Tap Company, Rithem Dance Co, directed by Ryan Lohoff. He also teaches on convention for Step Up 2 Dance and assists on various conventions. Zach enjoys traveling and being able to choreograph and teach students all over the country. His goal is to help all of his students reach their dance goals; whether that is to succeed at recital, or book jobs for music videos, college dance programs, and professional dance companies.

In 2014, he was chosen to represent the Grand Canyon University Dance program at the American College Dance Festival (ACDA) with a tap solo. He continues to train in all styles so he can provide the best training for his students. Zach also recently graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s in Pre-Medicine with a minor in Dance Education.


Lauryn Manning

Dance Instructor

Lauryn Manning began her dance training at the age of 9 at Showbiz Kidz Danz in Tucson, Arizona.  She began competing at the age of 10 and began attending a variety of conventions at the age of 11.  She subsequently trained at a Tucson Dance Company and Tucson Dance Academy.  During this time, she trained in a variety of styles of dance including Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Acro, Tap, Ballroom, Musical Theater, and Pom.

Throughout her dance career, she has taught many styles of dance in all levels.  She has a love for children and is compassionate about passing on all that she has learned through her years of dance.  

She also was a part of her high school dance company for 4 years.  She went on to be a part of the Grand Canyon University Dancers for 4 years where she served in several supporting positions ending with Captain during her senior year.  Most recently, she graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with an Emphasis on Health Education in April 2017.


Kelsea Moore

Dance Instructor

Coming soon..

 


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Melina Mora

Hip-Hop Instructor

Coming soon..

 


Lucinda Peralta

Academics Director

Coming soon..

 


Madison Puffenbarger

Assistant Instructor

Coming soon..

 


Cody Toscano

Ballet Instructor

Cody is a native of Tucson and grew up mostly in the Northern Bay Area in California. She began dance at 6 in San Jose. Cody trained in all dance forms as well as gymnastics but pursued a classical ballet route by the age of 12.

Cody attended many schools in the Bay Area but mostly worked under Roni Mahler and Dennis Nahat of Ballet San Jose. She attended the ballet program at University of Utah in prior to dancing professionally.

Cody has danced with Ballet San Jose of Silicon Valley, San Jose Youth Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet, California Ballet and City Ballet. She has enjoyed many roles but her favorite endeavors have been in Swan Lake. She also favors and cherishes her independent works in San Francisco.

Returning to Tucson, Cody is happy to have recently retired from dancing herself and grow into the next chapter of her life with her husband and two beautiful children. She is so excited to engulf herself in furthering the arts here at The Ballet Conservatory of Dance Music & Art. Cody has given her heart and soul to the artistry, beauty and passion of dance. She would have had it no other way.


Norman Walker

Ballet Instructor

Renowned teacher, choreographer, and arts administrator, Mr. Walker studied Dance with Gertrude Shurr, May O’Donnell, Martha Graham, Robert Joffrey, Valentina Pereyslavic, Nala Najan, and many others. He has taught for the O’Donnell-Shurr Studio, Bathsheba and Bat-Dor Companies, New Zealand School of Dance, Ballet Philippines, H. S. Of Performing Arts in NYC, Utah State Univ., Butler University, and was Chair of Performing Arts at Adelphi University. He has taught all over the world. Mr. Walker was Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and School, was chosen as Dancer of the Month for Dance Magazine, is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and in Who’s Who in America.

As a dancer he was the lead dancer in his own company and with May O’Donnell Dance Company. He has appeared or was guest artist with Yurok and Guest Artists, Pearl Lang and Company, Pauline Koner and Company, Boston Ballet, Ballet Philippines, among others.

Mr. Walker and his partner, Cora Cahan, have appeared as Guest Artists with the Shreveport Symphony, the New Orleans Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic Symphony. He has restaged several works of Ted Shawn for a number of companies as well as dancing Shawn’s roles. 

As a choreographer of over 245 ballets and modern dance pieces, from major solos to full-evening works he has created works for such companies as Norman Walker Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Ballet Philippines, Bathsheba and Bat-Dor Companies, Boston Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope, Adelphi Dance Theatre, Dennis Wayne’s Dancers, National Ballet of China, and many more internationally.


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Ashley Yewell

Dance Instructor

Coming soon..