Alumni

 

ARTISTIC STAFF

Karen
Alwin,
Founder
Wendy
Miner,
Artistic Director
Megan
Berlint-Nicko,
Ballet Mistress

 

Karen Alwin – Karen Alwin has taught dance for more than 40 years. She was the owner and founder of Alwin School of the Dance (1975-2010) and the founder of The Performers Ballet & Jazz Company. Ms. Alwin is a member of Dance Masters of America, Cecchetti Council of America, and Chicago National Dance Masters. Ms. Alwin holds a teacher’s certificate for Intermediate Professional grade for Cecchetti Method through Cecchetti Council of America. She takes great pride in the quality of this company’s productions and workshops and the training and experience the company offers both students and guests.
Wendy Miner began her study of dance at the age of three under the instruction of Karen Alwin. Wendy also grew up as a member of The Performers Ballet & Jazz Company. She began teaching and coaching rehearsals at age 14 and performed leading roles in Performers’ productions. Wendy went on to study ballet at both the University of Utah and Chicago Ballet and studied jazz at Lou Conte’s school in Chicago and EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Wendy danced with companies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, including Touch Dance Ensemble and Luis Fuente Ballet New Mexico. Wendy has taught Master Classes across the country and was on faculty with Lines Ballet School. After returning to New Mexico, Wendy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of New Mexico with additional studies in biology and nutrition. She is currently on faculty at Alwin School of Dance and has received her Teacher’s Certification for Cecchetti grades one through four. In addition to teaching, Wendy is an accomplished choreographer and has commissioned full-length shows for both The Performers and Santa Ana Star Casino as well as numerous ensemble pieces and solos. In 2010 Wendy became the new Artistic Director of The Performers Ballet and Jazz Company. Wendy and her husband Allen are the proud parents of three children.
Megan Berlint-NickoMegan Berlint-Nicko began dancing at the age of 2.5. She received her early training in the Cecchetti method under the tutelage of Karen Alwin. Megan trained with Marin Ballet in San Rafael, CA under Margie Swarthout, and Nutmeg Conservatory with Sharon Dante. Megan danced with, Performers Jazz and Ballet Company under Lynn Cox, The New Mexico Ballet Company under David Chavez, as well as Ballet Theatre of New Mexico. For these companies, Megan has danced leading roles including The Nutcracker, Petrushka, Carmina Burana, Jungle Book, The Red Shoes, Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rite of Spring, Dracula, Cinderella and Carmen.
Megan started her teaching career at the age of 15 and has taught for a number of studios in New Mexico, including Lana’s School of Dance, Ballet Theatre of NM, New Mexico Ballet Company, Alwin’s School of Dance, Fishback’s, The Performer’s Ballet and Jazz Company, and Magnify Dance Center. Megan’s choreography has been featured in studio recitals, competitions, and several productions.
Megan is a Qualified Associate Member of the Cecchetti Council of America and holds her Teachers Certification for Grades 1-VI as well as her student certifications.
Megan traveled to Sydney, Australia and trained directly with Marie Walton-Mahon on the PBT program and now is the Owner/Director of PBT US. She has traveled and trained many teachers around the USA and Canada on the PBT US Program as well as being an Exterior Provider for Royal Academy of Dance USA. Megan trained in physiotherapy techniques with Lisa Howell, Physiotherapist and Owner of the Ballet Blog.
Megan is passionate about teaching dancers how to train safely along with emphasizing the love and dedication to the art. She is currently teaching Ballet, Pointe, Cecchetti, Jazz, PBT US Classes/Workshops, as well as being a freelance coach. She is married and has two children.

 

CONTRIBUTING CHOREOGRAPHERS

Lynn
Cox
Andrea
Basile
Rebecca
Krumel

REHEARSAL DIRECTORS

Joanna
Harbaugh
Natalee
Maxwell
Allison
McDonald
Delaney
McKee
Carol
Payne

 

PROFESSIONAL ALUMNI

Andrea
Basile
Megan
Berlint-Nicko
Lynn
Cox
Deanna
Encinias
Jason
Franklin

 

Joanna Harbaugh
Joanna
Harbaugh
Faye Hideko
Warren
Adrienne
Kerr
Rebecca
Krumel
Hannah
Lagerway

 

Natalie
Lambelet
Natalee
Maxwell
Allison
McDonald
Delaney
McKee
Kelsey
Paschich

 

Stina
Paulsen
Carol
Payne
Brooke
Trimble
April
Weber
Melanie
Weber

 

Mandy
Wenk
Jesse
Zimmerman

 

Andrea BasileAndrea Basile has performed with several dance companies including The San Francisco Ballet, ODC Dance, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Kate Weare Company, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Smuin Ballet, and The Foundry. Alonzo King choreographed “Pas” for Homer Avila and Ms. Basile, which premiered with Axis Dance Company, and was also featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She has been teaching for many years in genres such as ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary ballet, improv, and composition classes. Ms. Basile has been an instructor at many dance schools including Alwin’s School of Dance, LINES Ballet School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Cincinnati Ballet Academy, Marin Dance Theater, and the ODC School. She has also greatly enjoyed teaching for dance companies such as ODC Dance, Smuin Ballet, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, and Robert Moses’ KIN.  Currently, Ms. Basile resides in Albuquerque, NM and is very excited to be part of the faculty at Magnify Dance Center.
Lynn CoxLynn Cox studied under such noted teachers as Erik Bruhn, Francoise Martinet, Alfonso Cata and Robert Barnett. She was recognized by the National Federation of Music Clubs and received the first place honor in their ballet division. Ms. Cox went on to dance professionally with the Atlanta Ballet for several years, performing such classics as Serenade, Sleeping Beauty, Carmina Burana, Raymonda, Allegro Brilliante and The Nutcracker. She previously held the position of Ballet Mistress for two regional companies and was the Pre-Professional Division Head for the Marin Ballet. She is currently the resident choreographer and Associate Division Young Dancer Division Head at Marin Dance Theatre. Ms. Cox is a vital part of MDT’s training program. She is skilled as a teacher on all levels: she now oversees and trains the faculty, with Mrs. Bassing, creating an atmosphere for all the dancers that is both developmental and consistent. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding choreography.
Deanna EnciniasDeanna Encinias grew up in Albuquerque and received her early dance training from Karen Alwin and Lynn Cox (Atlanta Ballet). Later she studied with Suzanne Johnston, Luis Fuente (Joffrey Ballet), Mel Tomlinson (NYCB), and Melissa Hayden (NYCB). She studied flamenco at UNM with Eva Encinias-Sandoval, and continued her studies of flamenco, jota, and escuela bolera in Madird. At age 16, Deanna started teaching ballet at Alwin School of the Dance and later at various studios in Albuquerque, as well as Walnut Hill School in Boston. She has also taught flamenco and esucela bolera at the University of NM. She has performed ballet and flamenco around the country, and has recently retired from the stage, but enjoys her career as a teacher.
Jason FranklinJason Franklin trained with the School of American Ballet, where he danced principal roles in Bourree Fantasque and Christopher D’Amboise’s Tribute. Jason also studied on scholarship in summer programs at San Francisco Ballet, Kaatsbaan, ABT New York, Boston Ballet, and Harid Conservatory. Prior to BNC, he danced with J.A.R. Productions, Cincinnati Ballet, Queen City Ballet, New York Choreographic Institute, and Performer’s Ballet and Jazz Company. At BNC, Jason has danced leading roles in Garrett Ammon’s Love of My Life, An Occasional Dream and Moulin Rouge. Jason has also performed in Ma Cong’s Inner Voices and Passion, There and Joshua Blake Carter’s Mothertongue. He has choreographed for BNC for the past two seasons. Jason plays the guitar and enjoys the outdoors.
Joanna HarbaughJoanna Harbaugh has been teaching dance to children of all ages for 9 years. She began her study of dance at the age of four under the instruction of Karen Alwin. Joanna became a member of The Performers Ballet & Jazz Company and danced in Performers’ productions as well as Touch Dance Ensemble until graduating high school. She then began coaching rehearsals for The Performer’s Ballet and Jazz Company and has also taught in The Performer’s Summer Intensive workshop for 9 years. In 2006 Joanna she became the Stage Director for The Performer’s production of Christmas Joy. Joanna went on to study Elementary Education at the University of New Mexico. She is currently teaching for Albuquerque Public Schools and is on faculty at Alwin School of Dance.
Faye Hideko WarrenFaye Hideko Warren began her dance training with Karen Alwin at age 5. As a child, she danced with The Performers and was in Christmas Joy for 10 years. Her early achievements in dance include winning a silver medal at the YAGP international Student Competition, passing the Cecchetti Advanced Professional level, and being a National Training Scholar at the American Ballet Theater for five years. At the age of 15, Miss Warren moved to New York City to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater Studio Company. Miss Warren is very thankful that she was given many opportunities to study under many world renowned, inspiring ballet masters and choreographers and to perform in Europe as well as the United States. Currently, Miss Warren is pursuing acting in California.

Adrienne Kerr began ballet in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Karen Alwin and Deanna Encinias. She was a Performers member for seven years and was blessed to be a Sing Your Praise soloist as well as the Little Drummer Boy soloist for their 20th Anniversary performances. The youngest student in Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program, Adrienne also received scholarships to other internationally-recognized curricula. In Youth America Grand Prix competitions, she earned multiple third place honors and performed in the New York national finals. Kerr made her professional debut in Stowell/Sendak’s The Nutcracker (Chinese) while a scholarship student at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In 2008 at age 17, she joined Ballet Idaho where she has originated roles for Artistic Director Peter Anastos, among others. In addition, she has studied Principal parts from Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, and Don Quixote with Gelsey Kirkland in New York and performed the title role in Firebird, Snow Queen in Nutcracker, Kitri in Don Quixote and Odile in Swan Lake with Ballet Idaho.

Adrienne is also a performer with Boise Dance Co-op, a professional contemporary ensemble, teaches jazz classes and private ballet as a faculty member of Ballet Idaho, and has a 3.85 GPA at Boise State University.

Natalie LambeletRebecca Krumel grew up outside Albuquerque, New Mexico and trained at Alwin School of the Dance under Karen Alwin. Crucial to her dance training at Alwin’s were Karen Alwin, Lynn Crawford-Cox, Luis Fuentes, Joetta Jercinovich, Wendy Miner and Deanna Encinias. She performed in Christmas Joy and other performance opportunities with the Performers for eight years. During that time she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix regional and NYC finals, and studied on scholarship at the Cecchetti International Summer School in Holland, Michigan, Marin Ballet Theatre, the Washington Ballet, Boston Conservatory, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet. Rebecca passed the highest level of the Cecchetti Method of Ballet at age 16. Rebecca later performed with Boston Ballet, BBII and Columbia City Ballet. In 2008, Rebecca began pursuing her B.A. at the University of South Carolina with a double major in English Literature and Writing and Dance Performance and Choreography. She has performed works by Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Lynn Taylor-Corbett with the USC Dance Company and has choreographed some of her own works for the stage. In 2010, Rebecca studied abroad at the University of Leeds, England, focusing on English literature and writing performing arts reviews.

Hannah LagerwayHannah Lagerway received her BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and her Graduate Diploma from the Laban Centre in London, England. She is a former principal dancer with Spectrum Dance Theater and has also performed throughout Europe and Asia with Wideman/Davis Dance, Company Flak and Compagnie Cas Public among others. Hannah’s own choreography has been performed in the USA, Canada, England and Japan.
Natalie LambeletNatalie Lambelet Originally from New Mexico, Natalie began her ballet training under Karen Alwin and Luis Fuente. At age 14, she received a full merit scholarship to Marin Dance Theatre, where she studied with Margaret Swarthout, John Meehan, Kevin Mckenzie and Alonzo King. Natalie has been accepted to various workshops, including Ballet West, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago, Alonzo King Lines and Martha Graham Conservatory. Natalie studied privately with Shelia Rozann before being awarded the Marsha and Phillip Dowd scholarship, where she trained under Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair at Ballet Chicago. Natalie has been a member of Ballet Chicago Studio Company, and as a guest artist with New Mexico Ballet Company. Most recently, Natalie has been coached privately by Gelsey Kirkland, and is a guest artist with Continuum contemporary ballet company and freelancing in New York City. Creatively, she has been commissioned to choreograph for Rio Rancho High School, Westport Dance Academy and UNM benefit concert. She was also a faculty member at the School of Ballet Chicago, an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico and currently teaches at the School of Steps on Broadway.
Natalee MaxwellNatalee Maxwell has studied dance for 12 years through Alwin School of the Dance. Her education started with ballet under the direction of Karen Alwin, and she later became a member of the Performers Ballet and Jazz Company. She has been a participant and finalist of the Youth America Grand Prix international ballet competition, where she has performed her own choreographic works. Natalee has taken master classes with Alonzo King’s LINES ballet faculty, and rehearsed under Lee Wei Chao who choreographed a solo piece for her to perform at YAGP. Recently she received a full scholarship to Ballet West in Utah, where she spent the summer perfecting the art off ballet. At 18, she has returned to New Mexico to further her studies of ballet and studio art at the University of NM, and to perform with the New Mexico Ballet Company. She will be coaching students who wish to perform in YAGP, as well as teaching beginning classes at Alwin’s and directing pieces for “Christmas Joy”.
Allison McDonaldAllison McDonald was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She trained with Karen Alwin since age three, and had the privilege of dancing for the Performers Ballet and Jazz Company from 1996 – 2007. She also had many opportunities to compete in National and International dance competitions, as well as choreograph award winning pieces for these competitions. In 2009, Allison began her dance career at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She has danced in the shows “Celebrate the Season” and “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”, and has danced in classic Disney parades such as “Celebrate A Dream Come True”, “Block Party Bash”, and “Disney’s Electrical Parade”. Allison is also a rehearsal director for Christmas Joy, and has the honor of dancing the role of “Mary” in the 2010 show. She has also taught ballet, jazz, and hip hop at Alwin School of the Dance.
Delaney McKeeDelaney McKee has been a part of Christmas Joy and a supporter of The Performers for the greater part of her life. As a dancer in the show for eleven years and later as a rehearsal director, Christmas Joy has always been near and dear to her heart. After graduating from The Performers and going on to complete college at Azusa Pacific University, she now works in the Office of Mayor Berry as his Boards & Commissions Liaison. Being a dancer, however, has always remained a big part of her identity, and she is thrilled to continue to be involved with such an amazing artistic group like The Performers.
Kelsey PaschichKelsey Paschich is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in dance from Point Park University. Kelsey has danced and performed with The Moscow State Classical Ballet (Moscow, Russia), DCDC2 (Dayton, Ohio), Thodos Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL), River North Chicago Dance Company (Chicago, IL), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the Interdansa Dance Festival 2010 (Costa Brava, Spain). During this time Kelsey had the honor of performing in the ballets Don Quixote, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Spartacus, Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldate”, and Swan Lake. She was fortunate enough to perform in Russia, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, New York, Chicago, and many other parts of the United States. She has worked with choreographers such as: Ann Reinking, Lucas Crandall, Robert Battle, Lar Lubavitch, Margo Sappington, Kevin O’Day, Alan Heinline, Joanie Smith, Frank Chavez, Melissa Thodos, Zac Whittenburg, Curtis Uhlmann, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, and many more. Kelsey has a passion for performing, teaching, and choreographing. She has been teaching dance to all ages for many years. Kelsey is thrilled and honored to be a part of Keshet Dance Company.
Stina PaulsenStina Paulsen began her dance training with Karen Alwin at the age of 5. She danced with The Performers Ballet & Jazz Company and participated in Christmas Joy for 9 years. Her early accomplishments include passing the Cecchetti Advanced diploma level and winning several awards at YAGP international competitions. At the age of 15 Stina moved to Vienna, Austria to train for a year after receiving a scholarship through YAGP. After her freshman year of college pursuing a Dance Major on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma, she is currently continuing her education at UNM while teaching at Alwins where her dance career began. 
Carol PayneCarol Payne began her dance studies at age 3 under the direction of Karen Alwin. She danced with the Performers Ballet & Jazz Company for eleven years. She began teaching and running rehearsals at age 15, and currently holds her teacher’s certificates for Cecchetti grades 1-4. Carol graduated in the spring of 2012 with a BFA in Film & Digital Media and a minor in Computer Science from UNM. Currently, she works for a local visual effects company called Pivot Visual Effects. Carol is also on staff at Copper Pointe Church, where she creates videos, print, and other visual media. She is also the founder of the now-thriving dance ministry at Copper Pointe. Though her career is in film, Carol’s love and passion for dance never fades.
Brooke Trimble

Brooke Trimble is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she began training under the direction of Karen Alwin at the age of three.  She was a member of the Performers Ballet & Jazz Company from 1993-2004.  Brooke received her B. A. in Dance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  While at UNLV, Brooke was on the Rebel Spirit Dance Team, the Dean’s Honors List for Academics, and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  Brooke then became a member of the Las Vegas Gladiator Goddesses as a dancer for the AFL.  Brooke taught at a studio in Las Vegas from 2006-2010 where she choreographed for local and national competitions.  Brooke is now the proud owner of B. Sharp School of Dance which she recently purchased in Henderson, Nevada.  In addition to owning a dance studio Brooke is also working on her Master’s Degree in Business Administration and go-go dances for many of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. 

April WeberApril Weber graduated in May 2011 from Point Park University with a B.S. in Sport, Arts & Entertainment Management. She has performed with groups including Throb, Theatro Nuevo Mexico, back-up dancing for Trini D, and Project.E.D. Arts in New York City. She also performs and choreographs for Point Park University’s IMPULSE. April created and runs her own hip hop workshop called “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop Workshop”. She has danced all over the world in cities like LA, New York and Sydney. April graduated from the Public Academy for Performing Arts and is an alumni of Alwin School of the Dance and The Performers Ballet & Jazz Company. She has experience in film, print, television, and theatre as well as teaching ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop around Albuquerque and Pittsburgh.
Melanie WeberMelanie Weber Since graduating from The Performer’s Ballet and Jazz Company in the Spring of 2010, Melanie has moved to Tucson, Arizona to further her education at The University of Arizona. She is currently taking classes in modern and jazz dance through the UA dance program and is hoping to minor or major in dance in the near future. She has also joined a local dance studio by the name of Breakout Studios and has performed with A Tucson Dance Company, under the direction of choreographer Todd Wilson.
Mandy WenkMandy Wenk was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She trained under the direction of Karen Alwin, Deanna Encinias, and Wendy Miner at Alwin School of the Dance. Mandy was awarded the Bronze Metal in 2003 at the Youth International Ballet Competition. In 2004 and 2005 she placed in the Women’s Top 12 at the Youth American Grand Prix. In 2006 Mandy moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a scholarship student at the Rock School for Dance Education. In 2007 she won 3rd Prize at the Youth American Grand Prix and from there was selected to train with the Houston Ballet. Other schools she has trained with include American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. In 2009 Mandy graduated from Keystone National High School and is presently enjoying her first season with Ballet Austin.
Jesse ZimmermanJesse Zimmerman began dance training in Albuquerque with Karen Alwin at Alwin School of the Dance. After attending high school at Walnut Hill Performing Arts in Boston, he danced with Sacramento Ballet. Mr. Zimmerman has been a guest artist with Buckman Ballet of Memphis, Eugene Ballet under Toni Primble and with Ballet Theater of Boston. He then danced as a company member with Ballet Austin for 4 years. Locally, he has danced with New Mexico Ballet Company, Ballet Repertory Company and most recently in the inaugural concert for Festival Ballet Albuquerque.