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!
Rose Sunila (Modern and Yoga)
Rose Sunila is a dance educator, choreographer, and a Yoga Alliance registered RYT500 yoga teacher.
Born and educated in Finland, Rose received her BA and MA from the Dance Department of the Theater Academy of Finland.
“My journey in life has taken me to living on three continents, and I have been collecting my craft of dance and movement from these corners of the world. Whether teaching dance in the rural school system in Northern France, studying under Katie Duck in Amsterdam, experiencing Flying Low-technique with David Zambrano, or trying to grasp the cultural richness of Capoeira Angola in Brazil; all these experiences have formed me to be the mover and teacher I am today.”
Rose Sunila is excited to start her first year of teaching modern technique and yoga at MVBT, and to share her cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach to dance with her students.
Tracey Bonner (Jazz, Tap, ITC Facilitator)
Tracey Bonner is the Director of the Intensive Training Center and the resident Jazz and Tap coordinator for MVBT. She is also an Associate Professor of Dance within the School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University.
She has performed, choreographed, and/or directed educational programing in various ways and for a number of years and in various ways including touring and Broadway companies of A Chorus Line, Show Boat, Radio City Rockettes, and West Side Story. Regional theatres, national, and international companies and educational programs include: Stages St Louis, Barter Theatre, The Human Race Theatre, The Pirate Playhouse, City Center in New York City, Laguna Beach Dance Festival, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, The Kentucky Conservatory Theatre, The Woodford Theatre, Universidad de Sonora-Hermosillo, Wagner College, Miracosta College, University of California, Irvine, American Musical & Dramatic Academy (NYC), University of Memphis, California State University at Pomona, Long Beach City College, Colorado Mesa University, Azusa Pacific University, and specialty short term projects at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Eastern Kentucky University as well
Specialties and research interests are Improvisation toward performance, ethnographic identities through dance, and health and wellness in training the whole dancer toward a full human existence. Tracey is a board member and Certified teacher for Embodiology© and JazzXchange, a company based in Southern California that is focused on using creativity to create the change we want to see in the world.
Tracey has received multiple awards for her work as Choreographer and/or Director/Choreographer and you can read more about how she engages with artistic creations and educational environments on her website: www.traceybonner.com, or on Instagram: traceydancesnsings
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.
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.
Danita Scoggins has been teaching for more than 30 years. In between teaching jobs she was a featured dancer on Asuka, Japan & Holland America Cruise Lines and spent 3 years performing in Branson, MO. Other credits include: Kings Island, La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Sorg Opera, and Middletown Symphony, in addition to extensive choreographing experience. She was children’s rehearsal assistant to Mrs. DeWeese with the Moscow Ballet Co. Danita has a BFA in dance from Wright State U. and taught there for 7 years. She has also studied at the National Ballet School, Toronto. Childhood training was with DeWeese & Lubbers.
Teresa VanDened Sorge
Teresa VanDened Sorge, EdM is new to Cincinnati and currently teaches dance and dance education at Northern Kentucky University. She moved here from Philadelphia where she was the developer and founding Director of Koresh Kids Dance-an in school dance program which serves nearly 500 Philadelphia children each week. She was full-time lecturer of Dance and Dance Education at Muhlenberg College in Allentown PA for nearly a decade.. Her most recent danceworks include artistic collaborations with text, props, sculpture and video. Her work has been shown at multiple showcases in Philadelphia and Allentown, Northern Kentucky University, and most recently in St.Louis at the Big Muddy Festival. She has presented at the National Guild for Community Arts Education, ACDA conference, Jubilee Conference, Arts and Literacy Conference at UPenn, Teaching Artist Symposium, and the Temple Alumni Showcase. Teresa completed Anne Green Gilbert’s Summer Dance Institute for Teachers, as well as the Annual Institute for Arts and Transformation with Buildabridge International, where she has also served as teaching faculty and an Artist on Call. Teresa holds a BA in Dance Education and Dance Performance/Choreography from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and a Masters of Education in Dance degree from Temple University. Currently she is finishing her MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She is very excited to join the MVBT family!
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!
Cassie Wilson (Yoga)
Cassie Wilson is a yogi, dancer, and exercise physiologist who lives locally in Hamilton, OH. She began studying yoga during graduate school in Boston, MA in 2002, started teaching yoga classes in Houston, TX in 2006 while working at NASA, and most recently taught yoga classes at Miami University and Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. Cassie completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training program in 2016 and is currently completing an additional 300 hour training. Her classes are welcoming to all levels and infuses a variety of yoga types including hatha, vinyasa, and kundalini.