Patricia Dickinson began training with Nancy Robison and the Southern Ballet of Atlanta under Karen Conrad, formerly with American Ballet and Pittman Corry. She was a scholarship recipient at the North Carolina School for the Arts, studied at The Graham Conservatory in New York, and received a BFA degree with honors from Southern Methodist University. Ms Dickinson danced with the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Ballet, where she worked with such choreographers and teachers as George Skibine, Marjorie Tallchief, and James Clouser. She has performed in film and commercials, and has produced fifteen record albums for the ballet classroom and three instructional videos. Ms Dickinson’s continuing teaching, performing, and choreographic career spans the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. (See Ms. Dickinson’s full bio.)

Our faculty are well-educated, highly trained professionals in the art of dance who have danced professionally, taught at the University level and have been international guest artists.

Jeanne Frye-Mason began dancing in Dallas, Texas and went to Arts Magnet High School with Patricia Dickinson Wells. She was fortunate to work with many wonderful dancers like Bella Lewitzky Company in California and meet Martha Graham. She won a National Foundation for the Arts Award in dance and choreography, which earned her eight scholarships to top dance universities. She went on scholarship to New York University, TISCH School of the Arts, where she was able to dance and choreograph in New York. She then went to Florida State University where she danced in Dance Repertory Theatre. After a dance injury, she moved to New Mexico to finish her BFA in dance from UNM and then went back to earn her MA and PhD in Gifted/Learning Disabilities with a minor in Environmental Education with a balanced passion in education, creativity and nature. She taught Nature Dancing in Dallas and around Albuquerque and at the Albuquerque BioPark for 12 years combining dance and nature observation/facts and has published articles on this program. Jeanne’s experiences include a balance of dance, education, nature, educational research background, professional dancing, teaching in public schools, and leading educational programs with private organizations and universities. She currently does contract and volunteer work in these areas combining dance, nature and gifted education and she loves animals, hiking, classical music, art, reading and teaching nature seminars along the trails. She cares very much about safe and healthy dance and movement styles for a lifetime of healthy dancing and life-long learning. She has three wonderful children and loves teaching modern dance, choreography and improvisation at Dance Theatre of the Southwest.

Beth Griffin began her ballet studies with Terrell Paulk of the Atlanta Ballet and Sonia Manzi of the Vienna State Opera Ballet. She danced with Mr. Paulk’s regional ballet company before continuing her dance studies in college where she earned a BSEd in biology education. She had the privilege of performing in many classical and contemporary works, including Swan Lake, Cinderella, Les Sylphides, Nutcracker, Giselle, Graduation Ball, and Paquita. She continued study with Duncan Noble (North Carolina School of the Arts), Andree Harper (Ballet El Paso), Marc Ligon (American Ballet Theater) and Maria Hirsch (Ballet de San Juan). In 1994 she and Ms. Hirsch co founded the Columbus Ballet in Georgia where Beth served as assistant artistic director, artistic director and executive director for over 10 years. In 2003 Beth founded the Columbus Ballet Conservatory at Columbus State University where she organized a training program that served as a school to the Columbus Ballet. For over 30 years Beth has taught and directed classical ballet, served as choreographer for the Miss Columbus and Miss Georgia pageants, served as choreographer for the Springer Theater and Columbus University Theater department working on such productions as A Christmas Carol, A Doll’s House, and Nunsense. During her time in Albuquerque she has had the privilege of serving as ballet mistress and rehearsal coach for area companies and continuing to train dancers in classical ballet. Beth is currently on faculty at Dance Theatre Southwest and serves as a primary rehearsal coach for Festival Ballet Albuquerque.

Dominic Guerra was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the age of nineteen he was awarded a scholarship from the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City where he received formal training in classical ballet and modern dance with a focus in the techniques of Lester Horton and Martha Graham. In 2001, Mr. Guerra became a professional company member and principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet. Guerra’s showmanship has been depicted in roles such as the Dancing Master in Cinderella, Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Droselmeyer in Graham Lustig’s Nutcracker. Mr. Guerra has shaped roles in “VISTA” by Graham Lustig and “Exorcising Man” by Lauri Stallings. Other roles that showcase his dynamic sense of movement and expression include Dominique Dumais’ -a part between parts- and Amy Seiwert’s Monopoly. Mr. Guerra has also danced with Luis Fuentes Ballet in New Mexico, Connecticut Ballet and Zig Zag Ballet. His most recent role was as the lead in Festival Ballet Albuquerque’s production of Dracula, A Love Story. Mr. Guerra holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

Kyle Linzer began his study of dance as a senior in high school after being prompted to do so by his martial arts instructor. (It’s never too late to start!) Since that time, he has had the privilege of studying on scholarships with teachers from American Ballet Theater, Joffrey, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Paris Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi, Hubbard Street, Ballet Aspen, as well as teachers from Twyla Tharpe’s and Martha Graham’s companies. His training includes classical ballet, modern, jazz, pas de deux, character dance, and yoga. In addition to teaching and performing dance in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, Kyle stays in shape by also teaching Yoga and Pilates classes at Cleveland High School, Defined Fitness, Blissful Spirits Hot Yoga, and the Placitas Fire station, as well as nationally and internationally for various resorts in Alaska and the Caribbean. Kyle also teaches partnering pas de deux at Dance Theatre Southwest and has performed with FBA since its early years.

Allison McDonald was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She trained with Karen Alwin since age three in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and cecchetti. Allison has received awards in cecchetti grade levels I – VI, receiving pass commend and pass highly commend. She had the privilege of dancing for The Performers Ballet and Jazz Company from 1996-2007. In 2009, Allison began her dance career at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She has danced in the stage shows Celebrate The Season and High School Musical 3: Senior Year, and has danced in classic Disney parades such as Celebrate A Dream Come True, Block Party Bash, Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun, and Disney’s Electrical Parade. Allison had the honor of dancing the role of “Mary” as a guest dancer in Christmas Joy from 2010-2012 for The Performers Ballet and Jazz Company. She has also choreographed for the Performers Ballet and Jazz Company’s Project Jazz and teaches jazz at Magnify Dance Center. Allison has been a company dancer with Festival Ballet Albuquerque since 2011, dancing in The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment and The Firebird. In 2014, Allison danced the principal role of Snow Queen in FBA’s Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment. Allison has taught ballet, jazz, and hip hop in New Mexico since 2008. Most recently, Allison has taught classical ballet, pointe and jazz at Dance Theatre Southwest, with the 2015-2016 season being her fourth year on faculty.

Christo McMaster began dancing in 2012 when he participated in Festival Ballet Albuquerque’s production of Billy the Kid. He began his formal ballet training at Dance Theatre Southwest with Dominic Guerra and Patricia Dickinson Wells. He has since been
performing with Festival Ballet Albuquerque. Christo has recently performed with other companies such as Louisiana Delta Ballet, as a guest artist in their production of Beauty and the Beast, and more extensively with Connecticut Ballet, in the productions of Giselle and The Nutcracker, as well as various outreach programs. With his apprenticeship and trainee scholarship he studied under Mr. Brett Raphael, Director of Connecticut Ballet.

Ludmila Malakhov is a dancer with Festival Ballet Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She began studying dance at Ballet Repertory Theatre (BRT), then at Dance Theatre Southwest at the age of 7. Since then, she has appeared in numerous productions, including dancing Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment, Dracula, Firebird, Coppelia, dancing in two George Balanchine works, Serenade and Valse Fantasie, Peter and the Wolf, and is a founding member of Festival Ballet Albuquerque. Ludmila has also attended summer programs with Dance Theatre Southwest, BRT, the Moscow Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York, and the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C. She currently is on faculty at Dance Theatre Southwest and is a dance team coach at Sandia Preparatory School, both experiences of which have been incredibly rewarding. She is also currently studying Dance and Exercise Science at The University of New Mexico in the hopes of becoming a physical therapist for dancers.

“Shuga Shane” Montoya, a Native New Mexican, has been dancing for the past 16 years and teaching for the past 10 years. Aside from teaching, choreographing, and performing he organizes hip-hop based community events in Albuquerque such as the annual “Breakin’ Hearts” festival. Originally a b-boy or break-boy, Shane represents United Hip-Hop Family and Chief Rockers (Native based performing arts group). Throughout the years he has also expanded his dance disciplines to various styles such as Ballet, Jazz, House, funk styles and Latin, and has had the honor of performing with various companies such as Festival Ballet Albuquerque, Musical Theatre Southwest, and Dancing Earth (Indigenous Contemporary Dance Company). Traveling and meeting new people has played a vital role in his growth as a dancer, street performer, and mentor.

Joseph Nava’s ballet training began with Marshall Performing Arts Conservatory (MPAC), Dance Theatre Southwest, and 3 years with Ballet Chicago where he studied with Daniel Duell, Sheila Rozann and Ted Seymour. Early in his career, Joe was acknowledged for his choreographic talents winning the regional choreography award at Cathy Roe’s Ultimate Dance, and then earning the national title against top choreographers in the nation for his original work Waltz of the Mimes. He has studied Classical Ballet as was founded by Agrippina Vaganova, The Balanchine Method, Horton and Graham Modern Technique, Bulgarian Folk Dance, Flamenco, and Classic Jazz. Locally, Joe is the Office Manager at MPAC and staff teacher staff specializing in Classical Ballet and Partnering. Nava is a founding member of Festival Ballet Albuquerque whose performance credits include The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment (The Nutcracker, Fandango, Hummingbird, Spanish, Chinese), Peter and the Wolf (The Hunter), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom), Billy the Kid, and Dracula, A Love Story (Dr. Van Helsing).

Jordan Slocum has trained at Lana’s School of Dance, Tara’s Dance Academy, the National Dance Institute of New Mexico (NDI), Keshet, East Mountain Dance (EMD), Alwin School of Dance, and Dance Theatre Southwest (DTSW). She was also a member of Manzano High School’s Dance Team, and studied dance at the University of New Mexico with Simone and Vladimir Conde Reche, Eric Newton, and Donna Jewell. Jordan has taught all ages and levels of ballet and jazz, along with beginning and intermediate pointe, hip-hop, and modern/contemporary. She has participated as a dancer and dance captain for Landmark Musicals, and currently serves as Office Administrator, Assistant to the Director, rehearsal coach/director, and dancer for Festival Ballet Albuquerque, along with Office Administrator and dance instructor for Dance Theatre Southwest. She completed her bachelor’s in Criminology with two minors, studied abroad in Brazil and Cuba, and is in her final year of a Masters of Science in Information Systems and Assurances with the Anderson School of Management, where she is also a Graduate Assistant. This is her fourth season with Festival Ballet Albuquerque where she has performed George Balanchine’s “Valse Fantasie,” along with many other works.

Erin Swinney spent five years as a Soloist with Saint Louis Ballet. Growing up in Albuquerque, she trained with Randall Graham, Deanna Encinias, and Patricia Dickinson. As a student, she performed with the NMBC in Patricia Dickinson’s Dracula, The Nutcracker, and Billy the Kid. Erin attended summer intensive programs at the Joffrey Ballet, and the School of American Ballet, and went on to train year-round in New York at the School of American Ballet. In 2008, Erin joined the Saint Louis Ballet company, where she was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Arabian and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, as Summer Fairy in Cinderella, as Russian and Lead Swan in Swan Lake, and as Lilac Fairy and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. She performed principal roles in Christopher D’Amboise’s Tribute, Michael Uthoff’s William Tell Duet and Gen Horiuchi’s La Vie. She originated a soloist role in Pam Tanowitz’s La Tristesse De Saint Louis. She performed in Balanchine’s Serenade, Allegro Brillante, and Four Temperaments, as well as Gen Horiuchi’s More Morra, Le Reve, Retourner Encore, and Romantique. Erin has been featured as a dancer and actress in several short films, including Nightfall On Neptune (2013) and Cycles (2010). She recently performed with Festival Ballet Albuquerque in “Chorographer’s Showcase” where she was featured in George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie. Erin has her B.A. in Mass Communications.

Kendra Williams began her training at Dance Theatre Southwest, where she is now on faculty. She has participated in several productions for Festival Ballet Albuquerque, including The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment, Coppelia, Billy the Kid, Dracula, A Love Story, and several Choreography Showcases, where she has choreographed original works for FBA. Kendra is currently a student at the University of New Mexico, where she is training under Vladimir and Simone Conde Reche, and Donna Jewell. She has choreographed original works, and performed in showcases for UNM, and continues to pursue her dance training, and degree in dance.