Distinguished Coaches & Choreographers

Lorin Johnson

Lorin Johnson worked under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Helgi Tomasson. He danced professionally with the San Francisco Ballet. He was a guest artist with the New York City Ballet and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. He created original roles in ballets by renowned choreographers such as Ulysses Dove, Clark Tippet and Agnes DeMille, among others, and worked with some of the 20th century's most influential choreographers, including Glen Tetley, Kenneth Macmillan, Twyla Tharp, and Jerome Robbins.

Johnson’s choreographic work has been described as “dynamic” and “electrifying” and has been seen both in the US and abroad. His pieces were presented in the Fabbrica Europa Dance Festival in Florence, Italy; Celebrate Dance 2010 in Los Angeles; the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Invitational Dance Festival; the Laguna Dance Festival, directed by Jodie Gates; SOLA, directed by Regina Klenjoski; and the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Springs. He has been artist in residence at such universities as Skidmore College in New York, and at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in Southern California.

Johnson has choreographed for the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company for the 2005 Ballet Pacifica Academy production of The Nutcracker and has created seven original works for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive program since 2004. In 2003, Sergio Trombetta, the dance critic for Danza & Danza, wrote that Johnson's premiere for the Fabbrica Europa Dance Festival, Moto-Bio: Bodies in Movement, was "a work of extraordinary interest," and the Glendale News Press reported that Johnson's work, My Breath Comes Differently, was "the best performance" in Celebrate Dance 2010. In 2008 Johnson choreographed the full-length opera L'Orfeo for the CSULB Opera Institute in collaboration with LA Opera director, Thor Steingraber, and has also created an original interpretation of Beethoven's The Creatures of Prometheus for the New West Symphony's 2008 season.

In 2009, Johnson founded Body Current Dance, a contemporary dance company based in Southern California, which has enjoyed invitations from throughout Southern California. Johnson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dance Department at California State University, Long Beach, where he teaches courses in ballet technique and composition. His writings on dance have been published in Dance International magazine and in academic journals such as Experiment and Musyka. Johnson has also presented papers at international conferences, such as CORD. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Southern California.

Maria LaMance

Maria studied locally with Paul E. Curtis and then at the San Francisco Ballet School before majoring in dance at San Francisco State University, where she studied anatomy, kinesiology, and sports medicine. Maria has danced for numerous bay area modern and ballet companies and independent choreographers, and has toured throughout the United States, as well as internationally to Belarus, Poland, France, and Scotland.

She currently dances for Moving Arts Dance, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Huckabay McAllister Dance, and Dance Through Time. Maria teaches ballet, character dance, and modern dance.

Cristina Ross McClelland

Christina first fell in love with “Nutcracker” while performing nine years with the San Jose Dance Theatre, under the direction of Paul E. Curtis and Shawn Stewart. She received her B.A. in Social Science, her teaching credential, and supplementary authorization in Dance at San Jose State University. In 1993, she met Maggie Parungao-Ferla in a ballet class at SJSU, which led to her teaching at DTI for 8 years. Christine has been a full-time dance teacher at Independence High School since 1998, and now teaches at James Lick High School as well.

Shannon Lily Parker

See Residencies

Andrea Tallis

Andrea Tallis, born in Los Angeles in 1962, studied many styles of dance with specific early influences from Irina Kosmovska, John Clifford and Melissa Hayden, Stanley Holden and Benjamin Harkarvy. She continued her education through her teenage years, under scholarship, with the Pennsylvania Ballet School and the School of American Ballet in New York.

Andrea worked as a soloist with Makarova and Company and as a principal dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. She danced main roles in many pieces including Copelia (Balanchine), Romeo and Juliet (Cifford), Les Sylphide (Petipa), Scotch Symphony (Balanchine), Swan Lake (Balanchine), Flower Festival (Bournonville), Toreodore Pas (Flint), Nutcracker (Clifford), Cindrella (Clifford), Paquita (Makarova). Also, she danced in Concerto Borocco, Seranade, Valse Fantasie, Ramonda Variations, Pas de Dix and other pieces by George Balanchine.

Andrea joined Ballet Frankfurt in 1983 under the direction of Egon Madsen and subsequently from 1984-1999 worked for William Forsythe. She worked extensively on the development of creations and concepts with William Forsythe during the years with Ballet Frankfurt. This work includes pieces such as Gange, Artifact, LDC, Love Songs, Say Bye Bye, Isabel's Dance, Impressing the Czar, New Sleep, SOS, The Questioning of Robert Scott, The Vile Parody of Address, The Loss of Small Detail, Alien Action, Eidos Telos, Invisible Film, and others. She is now a reconstructor for William Forsythe's pieces.

Andrea is a teacher of classical ballet technique, composition and improvisation as well as a choreographic assistant, ballet master and reconstructor. She was based as ballet master with the Gothenburg Ballet 1999-2002 and then worked freelance until Oct 2009. She has been teaching classical ballet, reconstructing pieces, such as full length Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, and others. She has taught classical ballet and assisted creations for companies such as The Royal Danish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater, Gothenburg Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Houston Ballet, The Portuguese National Ballet, and The Vienna State Opera Ballet. During this period she has worked on pieces by choreographers Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Sidi Larbee Cherkaoui, Jacopo Godani, Didi Feldman, Twyla Tharp, Martino Muller, Pascal Touzeau, Per Isberg, Tero Saranin, Tim Rushtin, Alicia Alonso and William Forsythe, and others.

Since 1999, she is the classical ballet professor at The University of Music and Performing Arts, Frankfurt am Main, Germany in the department of Contemporary and Classical Dance.

Olivier Wecxsteen

We are proud to introduce Mr. Olivier Wecxsteen, one of our distinguished teachers and supporters. Mr. Wecxsteen was born in France, and received his training at the Princess Grace Dance Academy of Monte-Carlo under the tutelage of Marika Besobrasova. At nineteen, he began dancing professionally with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

Mr. Wecxsteen has danced professionally as a principal dancer with Boston Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and has been a guest artist with prestigious companies throughout North America, including San Francisco Ballet. He has also participated in international galas such as An Evening with Ballets Stars, and Diamonds of World Ballet in Moscow. Mr. Wecxsteen's likeness has been featured in an extensive Italian photo essay, Lâ Architettura de la Danza by Alberto Moretti, on a book and postcards by eminent photographer Helmut Newton, and also on the stamp of the Principality of Monaco.

In Canada, Mr.Wecxsteen took part in a documentary film “Danser à tout prix” that premiered at the World Film Festival of Montreal. Mr. Wecxsteen has coached many dancers and has taught extensively in the US, Canada and Asia. Mr. Wecxsteen joined Dance Theatre International/San Jose Youth Ballet in 2010, teaching advanced levels, and choreographs for the DTI Repertory Company.