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DW teachers bring impressive backgrounds in movement to the valley

JACKSON, Wyo. — For nearly half a century, Dancers’ Workshop (DW) has been providing our community with world-class dance education and performances for students and audiences of all ages.

DW’s curriculum is designed to lead students in a progression from foundational basics to advanced performance and creative ability. The talented, experienced, and creative instructors in the School at DW bring decades of experience to their classes. While wearing many hats in our organization, they are experts in their field who bring an impressive array of distinguished professional dance backgrounds to Jackson.

Here are highlights from the bios of a few of the faculty at the School at DW:

Eric Midgley, School Director

Eric was born in Canada and originated dozens of roles as a principal dancer over 25 years of working with world-renowned choreographers. He is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and performed internationally with Ballet Florida, Ballet Austin and as a guest artist. He has been a director, founder, choreographer and designer. He has taught for over 30 years and brings his versatility to bear in the studio.

Mr. Midgley has been Artist In Residence at Interlochen Arts Academy, and Ballet San Angelo – developing their pre-professional program, before joining Dancers’ Workshop in 2016. His ability to draw connections between varied dance styles and everyday movements with common sense and humor is at the root of his teaching style.

Michaela Ellingson, JRC Director

Michaela began her training at Dancers’ Workshop. She received her BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. During this time, she also received her Pilates Certification with Simona Cipriani through the Art and Science of Contrology Pilates Training Program in Purchase, N.Y. She then danced with EDge Postgraduate Company at London Contemporary Dance School receiving her MA in dance. At DW, Michaela is the Junior Repertory Company Director and teaches in the youth and Pilates program. She is also a member of Contemporary Dance Wyoming.

Erin Whitesell, Assistant School Director

Originally from Georgia, Erin studied at The Georgia Ballet and at age 16, was one of only 12 finalists selected to study for six weeks at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and later received an invitation to attend the international program year-round. In 2013, after attending an exchange program in Melbourne, Australia with the Australian Ballet School, she joined Atlanta Ballet’s second company and began teaching for the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education.

She was later promoted to an apprentice with the company, working with world renowned artists and choreographers. Her passion for teaching aspiring artists continues to expand as she begins her third year as an instructor with Dancers’ Workshop

Francesca Romo, Rehearsal Director – CDW

Francesca was born in London and graduated from the Royal Ballet School. After seven years of vocational training she went to The London Contemporary Dance School and danced for The Richard Alston Dance Company. After a six week American tour, she fell in love with the United States and moved to America in 2006 where she co-founded Gallim Dance Company based in New York City.

She has toured both nationally and Internationally and has set work on major Dance companies in Europe and America. Francesca teaches Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® as part of the Wellness program at Dancers’ Workshop. She is also a Rehearsal Director and Co-creator with Contemporary Dance Wyoming.

Gina Patterson, Artist in Residence

During her long career as a principal dance artist, Ms. Patterson was known as a versatile, consummate performer, dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, Ballet Florida and as an international guest artist. A 2020 Bogliasco Fellow, her award-winning choreographies appear in the repertoire of nearly 30 dance companies internationally.

She educates through classes, creativity workshops, and multi-disciplinary collaboration with young artists of all ages, working with Arts Umbrella, Dancers’ Workshop, Interlochen Arts Academy, Point Park University, Goucher College, Mercyhurst University and the University of Iowa. Her distinctive teaching style empowers students to find a personal connection to movement. Ms. Patterson teaches modern, contemporary, choreography, ballet, pointe and variations.

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