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ABT dance classes are fun, family-oriented, and challenging. Small class sizes in two charming studios allow ABT’s experienced instructors to focus on the individual needs of each dancer from 3 years in age to ageless! Your dancer will develop better coordination, more flexibility, increased self-confidence, and enhanced artistic expressiveness.

Your dancer will:

  • Enjoy a fun & creative age-appropriate curriculum

  • Socialize in a healthy & positive dance environment

  • Grow as a dancer at a comfortable pace

  • Learn Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, & more!

  • Participate in performances at The Stevie Eller Dance Theatre!

Come dance & be happy TODAY at ABT!


S T A F F

Cecily W Bressel, Director

Grace Rhyne, Teacher

Jan Berg, Teacher

Calista Olander, Teacher

Mia Rogers, Teacher

Willa Langworthy, Teacher

Raphael J Bressel, Office Administrator

Meredith Keith-Chirch, Office Administrator


Staff Bios

Cecily Bressel

  • Artistic Director and Owner of Arizona Ballet Theatre.

  • Former member of The Boston Ballet under founder and director E. Virginia Williams

  • Former member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, when John Taras was director.

  • Ford Foundation Dance Scholarship recipient.

Miss Cecily’s first professional performance with The Boston Ballet was The Nutcracker as Fritz. Arthur Fiedler was the conductor, and Maria Tallchief was the Sugar Plum Fairy that year.

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Grace Rhyne

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Grace Rhyne began dancing in 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah through the I CAN DO program with the Ballet West Academy. Since moving to Tucson in 2011, Grace has performed and choreographed with Safos Dance Theatre and the Esperanza Dance Project. Grace continues to study and perform modern dance, based in Graham technique, as well as ballet with the Arizona Ballet Theatre. Grace has been a faculty member at the Arizona Ballet Theatre since 2015. Grace has also participated in various summer intensive workshops including Joe Goode’s Performance Group “Plush” and the Ririe Woodbury Move-It Professional Workshop. When not dancing, Grace is a visual artist working in predominantly recycled materials with an art studio in Tucson. You can see her work online at www.cactusplanet.com.


Jan Berg

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Jan began ballet training with Anna Adrianova and Lorand Andahazy, former members of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jan joined the Andahazy Ballet Company and appeared in Carmina Burana, Swan Lake, Scheherazade, Les Sylphides, Los Seises, Pas De Quatre, and original works choreographed by the directors.

During her 7 years with the company Jan taught classes, studied Character Dance, and enjoyed master classes with guest teachers including George Zoritch and Jo Savino.

Jan joined the University of Arizona Dance Degree program and graduated with a BFA in Fine Arts with a Dance Emphasis. After moving to Tucson to pursue her degree, Jan taught classes and performed with local companies including Kalinka Russian Dancers and Dance Visions.


Calista Olander

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Hi, my name is Calista Olander. I am 19 years old, and I am the Jazz II/III and the Tap II/III teacher. I have danced with Arizona Ballet Theatre for 11 years, taking a wide range of classes from jazz to ballet to modern. I began teaching here when I was 16 years old, starting with beginning ballet and jazz/tap for 6-8 year old students. In addition to studio dance, I also took dance classes at my high school for four years, where I learned a great deal about choreographing and staging pieces.


Mia Rogers

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Mia Rogers has been moving and grooving since she saw her first Lawrence Welk Show at her grandparents’ house. She joined Arizona Ballet Theatre when she was 6, trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and modern throughout her adolescence, and has performed dozens of pieces in all genres with the studio. While attending University High School and participating in the dance program under Beth Braun for four years, she began teaching Pre-Ballet, Jazz I/II/III and Tap I/II/III at ABT; Since 2012, she has choreographed over 20 pieces for academic and studio performances. After starting her undergraduate career in Public Health at the University of Arizona and taking a small hiatus from teaching dance, she is excited to return to teaching Jazz I/II and Tap I/II to beginner dancers! Mia loves to see her students gain confidence and have fun while enhancing their coordination, creativity and technique.


Willa Langworthy

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Willa began dancing at Arizona Ballet Theatre when she was 9 years old, studying ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, and tap. She joined the faculty at Arizona Ballet Theatre while in high school teaching ballet, jazz, and tap classes. Willa moved to Northfield, MN to pursue her BA in Mathematics from Carleton College. While there she took modern and ballet technique classes at Carleton, as well as dancing and choreographing for student run performance groups. She taught classes and choreographed performance pieces at Northfield Dance Academy her senior year before graduating in 2017. Willa has recently moved back to Tucson and is so excited to be back dancing and sharing her love of dance with students at Arizona Ballet Theatre.


Substitute Teachers

Sofia Robbins

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Born in Tucson Arizona competed four years in USA Gymnastics prior to finding her greatest joy in dance. In Tucson she studied at various Tucson studios, including Arizona Ballet Theatre, and was given scholarship privileges to study with dance majors at the University of Arizona. At age fifteen she moved independently to Chicago to study at the Joffrey Ballet full time and the following year was awarded a Joffrey traineeship. Wanting to explore further options in the Balanchine realm, Sofia completed her senior year at the Miami City Ballet School. After graduation Sofia spent a year on scholarship, being mentored by Leslie Browne at The School of Steps in NYC. Following her year in NYC, Sofia continued her training as a fellow with Ballet Austin also on scholarship.

Sofia’s summer intensive training includes: Boston Ballet, two consecutive summers at the School of American Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Ballet Chicago, Bolshoi Ballet in NYC and Moscow, Russia, and ABT New York.

Sofia is delighted to be a part of the Arizona Ballet Theater family as a substitute instructor.


Chloe Ondracek

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Chloe grew up in Minot, ND and started dancing at age five, training with Rinat Mouzafarov in the Vaganova method of classical ballet. She has attended summer intensives in Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado, and New York. The highlight of her dance career was spending six weeks in Moscow, taking classes at the Bolshoi Academy and also studying Russian language and culture through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship program. Ballet remains one of her favorite hobbies along with horseback riding, reading, and traveling. Currently, Chloe is pursuing a PhD in mathematics at the University of Arizona. She is delighted to be part of the Arizona Ballet Theatre family and is looking forward to many more fun hours in the studio.


Melissa Portell

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Tap Nerd Alert! A late dance bloomer I am 10 years into my hoofing adventure. I know the joy of letting loose and making some noise after a hard day of work and school. It’s never too late to start (or return) and I would love to have you join me for a fun, upbeat class in a zero-stress environment. Come stomp your stress away!