Michelle Davis (Artistic Director, Instructor)
Michelle is entering her 13th year as the director of Miami Valley Ballet Theatre and is thrilled to be developing the community that is MVBT. Known for its ability to allow dancers to grow and push themselves to succeed in a safe and loving atmosphere, where expectations are high and where peer mentorship is a learned skill, Michelle encourages MVBT dancers to be not only great dancers, but great people.
Her passion for dance education, for all, has led to the development of the Without Limits dance program for adults and youth with disabilities as well as community partnerships with the Inside out Art Studio, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts and the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton.
Michelle has a BA in education and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Miami University. She meshes her understanding of child development and her lifetime love of dance and dance education into her classes as well as her management of students and programs at MVBT.
Kodee VanNort (curriculum Director)
Kodee Van Nort is thrilled to begin her 13th season with Miami Valley Ballet Theater. Kodee began her dance experience on the plains of Western Nebraska with Vaudeville veteran, Iris Besaw. Ms. Besaw’s intense training formed Kodee’s interest in dance as a craft, art, discipline, and language.
She continued her dance journey at the University of Wyoming where she earned a BA in Theatre and Dance. She was the first undergraduate to teach non-major classes at the university. She performed for four years in the UW Dance Touring Company with favorite roles being; the original role of ‘White Buffalo Woman’ in the ballet Cattle Kate; classical roles such as ‘Pimpinella’ in Pulcinella; World Premier contemporary role of ‘Meander’ in The River; and character work in Le Bourgeois Gentihomme by Molière. Upon graduation, Kodee served as assistant choreographer and performed the lead role of the "Phoenix" in The Cherokee National Heritage Center’s “Trail of Tears”. Missing the classroom, Kodee created and implemented dance classes for the P.E. department at Western Nebraska Community College. It was this love of pedagogy that continued her educational journey at Sam Houston State University where she earned her MFA. While at SHSU she served as a graduate teaching assistant as well as performed and choreographed for the Spectrum Dance Company. Before relocating to Ohio, she shared her love of dance with students at Austin Dance Company, Western Oregon University, and Silverton Ballet and Performing Arts. She performed with Ad Hoc in Manchester England where she was able to explore performance and choreography through improv with the community. Locally, Kodee has taught at Contemporary Dance Theatre, AVO School of Ballet, Mason Dance Center, The Academy of Dance Arts, and Cincinnati Ballet. Kodee has worked with several local choreographers such as Judith Mikita, Diane Germaine, Jeri Gatch, and Susan Moser. Her latest work was presented by OhioDance in the Young Artist Dance Series. Kodee currently serves as curriculum director and virtual instructor at MVBT after her recent move to Boston. She serves as an active Ex-Officio for OhioDance and is a Certified Master Practitioner in the Language of Dance®.
Melissa Slater (Ballet Instructor)
Melissa began her dance training at the age of 4 with Janet Carleton. Throughout her childhood she studied with teachers under Janet, as well as teachers at CCM. Melissa attended summer study at the National Ballet School of Canada. Melissa taught for Janet Carleton, before pursuing a career in business and spending time with her husband. We are excited to have Melissa teaching our level 3 students for the second year with MVBT!
Mark Provart (slammers)
Mark comes to MVBT after 20 plus years in Los Angeles working in the world of entertainment. He has a BFA with an emphasis in Musical Theater Dance and has had an extensive career as a drummer, dancers singer, song writer and instructor. His credits include: Disney's Universal Studios Hollywood, Princess Cruises, NBC's The Voice, FOX Television's American Ido, ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Mark was a founding member of America's #1 "Stomp" style percussion troupe Rhythm Extreme performing around the world for over 15 years. He is thrilled to be here in Hamilton at MVBT!
Tracey Bonner (Jazz)
Tracey is the dance coordinator within the theatre and dance program at Northern Kentucky University. She is an active freelance choreographer, director, master teacher, and performer, in the greater Cincinnati region and beyond. During her three-year tenure at NKU, she has increased exposure and revenue for dance at NKU, facilitate an artistic residency with the Taylor 2 division of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and created and established a new performance program at NKU: The emerging Choreographers Showcase, an all student choreographed and produced showcase.
As a performer and member of Actors Equity Association, Tracey has performed in venues across the country including touring companies of A Chorus Line, Show Boat, and West Side Story. She has served as Choreographer and/or director for the Radio City Rockettes, Bank Street Theatre in NYC, Laguna Beach Dance Festival, The Arts Center of coastal Carolina, The Kentucky Conservatory Theatre, Woodford and the Human Race Theatre to name a few.
Tracey received her BFA from Shenandoah University, her MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and continues to pursue additional academic interests. She has received mulitple awards and recognitions for her artistic work, and most recently served as an Al Smith Artistic Fellow for the Kentucky Arts Council (2017) fpr jer wprl cp,bomomg dance and social justice.
Tracey maintains production of concert and theatrical work outside of NKU and continues to teach at multiple locations in dance and theatre where she seeks to empower young artists to greatness.
Jay Goodlett (ballet)
Born at Dayton’s Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Jay Goodlett attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati for nine years. Mr. Goodlett majored in dance, drama, and musical theatre before training at the School of American Ballet for several years. While at SCPA he performed in numerous musicals including The Wiz (Wizard), Annie (Rooster), Pinocchio (Honest John) and The Music Man (Winthrop). Notable ballets he has performed include: Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, Beauty and the Beast (Beast), On the Town (Sailor) and A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Puck). He won a Corbett Mayerson award for Dance at SCPA 1992. In 1990 he began his directing career with “Pirates of Penzance” a shared effort with then artistic director Jack Louiso.
By the age of 18, Mr. Goodlet joined the Cincinnati Ballet and rose quickly thru the ranks to Senior Soloist by 2002. Mr. Goodlett has performed in numerous full-length productions including The Nutcracker (Nutcracker Cavalier, all Divertissments), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio, Tybalt), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon, Puck), Don Quixote (Espada), Coppelia (Franz),Cinderella ( Prince), Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desire’), and Giselle ( Albrecht). He has also performed in numerous Balanchine ballets such as The Four Temperaments, Jewels, Stars and Stripes, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Agon, Who Cares, among others. Mr. Goodlet has worked with many ground breaking contemporary choreographers such as John Butler, Val Caniparoli, Trey McIntyre, Victor Kabanieav, Amy Seiwert, Adam Hougland, and Stanton Welch. Recently he performed Mauricio Wainrots Carmina Burana. Mr, Goodlett was also invited to perform A Fine Balance by Sarah Slipper at the Benois De La Danse Festival in Moscow, Russia. Mr. Goodlet has had the opportunity to dance in countries all over the world such as Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Amsterdam, France, and Germany.
In 1991, Mr. Goodlett began his Choreographic career with Scarlotti Trio, performed by the SCPA Dance Ensemble. Since then he has choreographed several pieces for the Cincinnati Ballet, most notably “Juste Une Autre Chanson et Danse”, “Quatro Suite” and “Graceland”, a collaboration with Cincinnati Ballet artistic director Victoria Morgan. He has also lent his choreography and/or directing talents to the St. Louis Opera theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Commonwealth Theater Company, Miami University, Northern Kenucky University, Purdue University, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Landmark Productions as well as community theatre and high schools, conducting workshops, and teaching private lessons in his spare time.
Mr. Goodlett’s teaching career started well before leaving high school. Since that time he has taught for the Cincinnati Ballet, Toledo Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Toledo and Cecchetti Council of America. Area schools that have used Mr. Goodlett’s expertise include: Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Northern Kentucky University, Purdue University, Miami (Ohio) University, The School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Cincinnati), Dance Etc, Ann Elise Von Ottengen School of dance, The Studio for Dance, Miami Valley Dance Company (Kettering, Ohio), Mason Dance Center, Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet and the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati where he served as an Associate Artistic Director and also the Artistic Director of Education and Outreach. During his decade of service with TCT he has performed, written plays, developed workshops, composed, choreographed and directed, and was the founder and Managing Director of TCT Academy which included year-round classes, Summer Camps and Summer Productions for aspiring young artists.
Lydia Davis (ballet, modern, choreography)
Lydia Davis has danced for eighteen years and is happy to now be teaching for MVBT. She participated in the Blue Lake Dance Ensemble, won the Virginia Budge Award for the arts, and was presented with the Maggie Patton scholarship in 2018 through the Ohio Dance festival. She also was invited to showcase her choreography at the Ohio Dance Festival, and performed in the Area Choreographer's Festival. Currently, Lydia is exploring visual art, dance, and writing and Northern Kentucky University and is happy to be teaching ballet, modern, and choreography.
Samantha Conte (modern)
Samantha Conte is a performer, dance educator, and choreographer. She is entering her 3rd year on staff at Miami Valley Ballet Theatre. Her previous training includes fourteen years at South Dayton School of Dance under the instruction of Gina Walther, Gigi Gardner, and Erin Robbins. In 2012, Samantha was awarded the "Monticello Award for Emerging Choreography” for her work, Inferno, which was selected to perform in Montreal as a part of Regional Dance America. She then continued her training at Ball State University, and In 2017, received her BFA in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from Ball State University. As a student she attended ACDA, and was given the opportunity to perform in her peer’s work, which was chosen as first alternate for performance at the Kennedy Center. , She was recently hired to teach in Hamilton area pre-schools to give children early exposure to dance. Over the course of her dance training and professional career, Samantha has worked with guest artists, such as Sidra Bell, Rodney A. Brown, Leslie Dworkin, Cody Szarko, John Litzler, Ruka White, William B. McClellan, Jr., and Debbie Blunden-Diggs. Samantha spent three seasons as a company member with Mamluft&Co. Dance in Cincinnati, Ohio and is now a company dancer at Hixon Dance.
Rodney Veal (modern, ballet)
Rodney Veal, an independent choreographer and interdisciplinary artist who serves as adjunct faculty for Sinclair Community College. In addition, he currently serves as Career Community Coordinator for Sinclair Community College. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a B.S in Political Science and Visual Arts. He received his M.F.A in Choreography from The Ohio State University. Rodney currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Ohio Dance as President and also on the boards of Levitt Pavilions Dayton, HomeFull, WYSO, and Dayton Live!
In addition, he can currently be seen as the Host of the Emmy© Award winningTelevision series THE ART SHOW on Think TV & CETCONNECT.
Amanda Lopez-Kurtz (ballet, modern)
Amanda is an arts administrator, organizer and artist, living and working in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her BFA in Dance and a MA in Art History from Ohio University, where she studied contemporary performance art and theory and disability studies and performed works by Stefanie Batten Bland, Sean Curran, Marina Walchili, Travis Gatling, and Ruben Graciani. Most recently, Amanda has worked for the Cornish College of Arts in Seattle after being with Movement Research in New York City and serving as Artistic Director of Factory Street Studio in Athens, Ohio. She has performed with independent choreographers and companies around the country including Noelle Chun, PelMo Physical Theater group, Julie Cruse, Rachel Janes and Alyza Delpan-Monley and has presented work at the Performance and Time Arts Series as well as with Athens Dance Collective. She is delighted to be back at MVBT after taking a brief break while starting her family!
Sylvia Chervus (tap)
Sylvia Chervus is a 5th year senior at Northern Kentucky University pursing a BFA in Dance as well as a BA in Elementary Education. Growing up in Versailles, Kentucky she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and kickline. Sylvia has been teaching dance for 7 years and hopes to continue learning and growing with her students as she gains her degree and enters the world of education. A brief list of her performance credits include the Woodford Theatre Something Extra Series, NKU’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase 2019, American College Dance Association South Conference 2018 and 2019, and NKU’s Dance ’20.
Alvin and Kelvin Mantey (Urban Dance)
Going into their second year with MVBT, the Mantey twins, Alvin and Kelvin, come from a family with two sets of identical, male twins! The Mantey twins arrived in the US from Ghana six years ago with no dance experience whatsoever! Their love and passion for dance and the arts led them to pursue show choir at Hamilton High School. Quickly advancing skill as self-taught dancers, they soon began to choreograph for the show choir before they graduated from high school. They joined the MVBT family in 2019 and teach urban dance. Alvin is an aspiring medical student who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, and Kelvin is in the Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science program at UC as well. They currently work with some of the best show choir choreographers in Ohio, as well as multiple high school show choirs in the TriState area. We are excited to have them as part of the MVBT family and they are thrilled to be in Ohio!
Tanya has been a yogi for 10 years and is driven by her passion for health and wellness. Through the practice of yoga she has cultivated an intuitive understanding of the body and mind connection. This interest drove her to pursue her 200hr yoga certification rooted in Ashtanga. By studying and receiving her certification at Its Yoga, in Cincinnati in 2016.
She has comprehensive training in Asana technique, anatomy, meditation, philosophy and pranayama. Tanya enjoys teaching various styles and levels of yoga with the understanding that we are all unique and ever changing individuals. In addition to being committed to our students, Tanya is committed to self practice, personal inquiry and growth. She believes in yoga's transformative qualities and is extremely grateful to share them.
In addition to her passion for yoga, Tanya is a visual artist, who is a graduate of the Art Institute of Cincinnati and is also a Licensed practical nurse.
We love having Tanya's love of Yoga and wellness expertise to share with our students and parents at MVBT.