WBT FAMILY: ARTISTIC DIRECTORS/INSTRUCTORS

ASHLEY CLOS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Classes: Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Pointe, Jazz, Adult

Ashley Clos was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia and grew up in The Woodlands, Texas. She began dancing at age 4 under the guidance of Karyn Simon-Poland at the Woodlands Civic Ballet. Ashley performed numerous roles with WCB across 13 years of training. Notably, she danced the parts of Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy in “Nutcracker.” Ashley was a Knox Gingham Girl under the direction of Tara Gourley in 7th and 8th grade-serving as an officer both years. She was part of The Woodlands High School Varsity Highsteppers her 9th grade year. For the remainder of her time in high school, she attended The Woodlands College Park and was the first Major of the Reveliers Dance Team in 2007-2008.

Ashley received a BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University in 2012, graduating cum laud. She returned to Sam in 2014 for graduate school where she earned an MFA in Dance across three years of study. Her choreography and research has been showcased at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City, the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center in Brooklyn, the American College Dance Association South-Central Adjudicated and Informal Concerts, and the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM. In 2018, Ashley was awarded a choreography residency through the Dance Gallery Festival to create work in the beautiful Catskills of NY state. She also had the privilege of studying in Lucca, Italy for 3 weeks with the Dance Italia festival in 2016.

Ashley has published over 30 previews and reviews with Houston Press and Dance Source Houston. She is now an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Lone Star College - Montgomery, an Arts Administrator at Hunter Dance Center, and a teacher throughout the greater Houston area.

Ashley specializes in ballet, modern, contemporary, improvisation, and dance composition.

ROBERT CLARK ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Classes: Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Pointe

Robert Clark was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. Robert began his dance career in the year 2000. His first passions were jazz and tap. Ballet didn’t come until much later. He began his undergraduate career at New Mexico State University where he first affirmed his passion for ballet. Part way through his degree this passion led him to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Joan Karlen, the ballet mistress, has been one of the single biggest influences in his approach to ballet pedagogy.

While at UWSP he had the pleasure of working with international artists like Joan Karlen, Jeanie Hill, Michael Estanisch, and Eddy Ocampo. He eventually left school to pursue dance with companies such as R/E Dance, Twin Cities Ballet and Black Label Movement Company. However, he decided to return to Las Cruces in 2012 to finish his undergraduate degree. While at NMSU Robert worked with international choreographers and artists such as Debra Knapp, Paco Antonio, Lucy De Gues, Pablo Rodarte, and Bill Evans. In 2013 Robert found his way into an audition for the graduate program at Sam Houston State University.

He began pursuit of his MFA in 2014 and Completed it in 2017. At Sam he worked with Dana Nicolay, Elijah Gibson, Erin Reck, Dionne Noble, Andy Noble, David Deveau, and Jennifer Pontius. He also took master classes as part of the Dance Gallery Festival all three years there. Since moving to the Greater Houston Area Robert has been a company Member of Nicolay Dance Works dancing shows such as Beyond, Romance, and The Wynne Home Nutcracker. He Also has had the privilege of dancing for Pilot Dance Project in Mind the Gap and Barnstorm. He also performed in 2017 Austin Dance Fest and Barnstorm for the independent artist Timithy Child. More recently Robert has begun guesting for studios in the area which has led him to begin sharing his passion and knowledge with the next generation of dancers. He has been an Adjunct Faculty member at SHSU since January of 2018. He began teaching in studios in 2015.

TIMITHY CHILD ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Classes: Ballet, Strength & Conditioning, Jazz, Adult

Timithy Child is a teacher, performer, and choreographer. Since graduating from Sam Houston State University with his MFA in dance, he has taught various styles of dance to both children and adults at The Huntsville Dance Connection and Enrich Gymnastics and Dance Academy. He has performed as a member of Nicolay Dance Works, directed by Dana Nicolay; Noble Motion Dance, directed by Andy and Dionne Noble; Ash Dance Works, directed by Rebecca French in Houston; and Haven Arts Theater, directed by Amy Barnes. Tim’s athletic background began in high school with a strong foundation in competitive sports. He was prominent member of both the basketball and track teams. When he transitioned to college for his Bachelor’s at New Mexico State University, he decided to explore his creative side.

After much experimentation in the arts, he found a passion in dance as it afforded him both his creativity and his previous athletic training. During his time at NMSU he was able to study and work with many choreographers including Debra Knapp, Ann Gavit, and Bill Evans. At Sam Houston State, he studied with Andy Noble, Dana Nicolay, Jenifer Pontius, and Erin Reck. Tim’s creative work has been presented at the American College Dance Festival with nomination for the national convention in 2012. His work has also been performed in the 2017 Austin Dance Festival, and the 2017 Barnstorm Dance Festival in Houston.

Although Tim will be moving to Georgia, He will remain on with WBT as Artistc/Technical Director and Instructor. We are grateful that he will continuing to teach classes via Zoom and will be returning to help us with our productions.

INSTRUCTORS

REBEKAH EVANS

Classes: Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Pointe

 

Rebekah Evans spent her early years moving around with her military family, but grew up mostly in Conroe, Texas. She began her formal ballet training with Payne Academy of Ballet in The Woodlands and had the opportunity to join and perform many principle and soloist roles with their studio company in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, and Etudes. In 2006, Rebekah was able to spend 7 months training and dancing with Utah Metropolitan Ballet as a member of their second company. There, she was also able to perform contemporary ballet works by award-winning choreographers, Heather Gray and Brittnee Squires. She is currently dancing at Lone Star College and studying to become a certified Occupational Therapy assistant. Rebekah is also mother to a beautiful 20-month-old little girl!

 

 

SHERRY PICKERT

Classes: Pre-Ballet

Sherry is wife to a loving, supportive husband, as well as the mother of two brilliant, beautiful daughters, one a senior Chemical Engineer at Texas A&M, the other a sophomore at The Woodlands High School, both of whom started ballet at the age of 3, just as she did.

Sherry graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in secondary education mathematics and a psychology minor.

She has been teaching pre-ballet students at The Woodlands Civic Ballet for the past 10 years and it has been very gratifying to watch so many of them grow and mature as they dance their way into their teens. The joy of seeing little girls go onstage to perform for the first time is a wonderfully heartwarming experience. She has also performed as Clara’s mom in the past four Nutcrackers, in addition to being a backstage Mom for nearly 20 years.

Though ballet requires hard work, seeing your daughter rush home from college for the chance to reprise her part as the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker shows the true joy in the heart of the dancer. That’s the love of ballet that Sherry looks to instill in her students.

DAVIE DICKINSON

Classes: Ballet

Davie danced with Woodlands Civic Ballet from 2007-2019. Her roles have included Clara (2014), Gretchen (2015), Reed Pipe Soloist (2018), and Snow Queen (2019) in The Nutcracker as well as the Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty (2018) and the Russian Princess in Swan Lake (2019). She has a passion for teaching and performing. When she isn’t dancing she is participating in choir, instructing at Woodlands Academy for Preforming Arts, or hanging out with her friends. Davie has enjoyed teaching alongside Ms. Susie since 2015. Davie is super excited to be a teacher and a student at Woodlands Ballet Theatre!

 

 

DASHAUN BERRY

Classes: Hip Hop

Dashaun Berry is a graduate of Conroe High School. While his primary employment is outside the field of dance, Dashaun has been instructing hip hop for over 9 years at several local studios. Dashaun instructs all levels of Hip Hop and has performed in halftime shows at basketball games and at local festivals. He also teaches private lessons and workshops. He loves to motivate and build student's confidence not only in dance but in life as well.

WELCOME TO WOODLANDS BALLET THEATRE

I am so excited to welcome your dancer(s) and family to Woodlands Ballet Theatre, an inclusive performance based studio specializing in Classical Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Jazz, Adult Classes, Boys Classes, Hip Hop, and Kids Movement. We also offer classes in Broadway Jazz, Tap, Drill Team, Stretch/Conditioning, and Choreography/Improvisation as interest allows.

This studio exists because of our incredibly talented and passionate Artistic Directors and Instructors who teach our dancers not only technique but how to take care of their bodies and many other life lessons. 

My name is Meredith French and I am the owner of Woodlands Ballet Theatre. I have a wonderful husband who supports me behind the scenes and two amazing children, Whitten and Linley who share a love for dance and are at my side for this adventure. I danced from the age of 2 1/2 until I was about 8 years old and then moving around prevented me from continuing my training, something I have regretted as the years have gone by. In college, I realized how much I missed dancing and took every class that I was able to enroll in. I discovered ballroom and modern but continued to miss ballet. 

In 2015, with the birth of my beautiful daughter, I knew that I wanted to introduce her to my passion when she was ready. She began dancing at 21 months old and has never looked back! In 2019, the studio she was dancing at closed and I began looking at the options available. I did not want a competition studio and wanted her to continue learning with kind, passionate and very experienced instructors. I had the increble fortune of visiting with my Artistic Director's Ashley Clos and Robert Clark who were teaching at the studio and together, we worked to create Woodlands Ballet Theatre. 

We realize that dance is not and should not be one size fits all. We want our dancers to be able to explore all the genres of dance and find out what they are truly passionate about. We also know that our dancers all have unique abilities, interests, and challenges and want to be able to teach them on a level where they can connect to dance in a way that makes sense to them. We look forward to getting to know your dancer and family. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Meredith French