GRAND RAPIDS BALLET SCHOOL FACULTY & ADMINISTRATION

Grand Rapids Ballet School has long enjoyed a reputation for providing the highest quality of dance training . The School offers a complete curriculum designed to achieve a unified style. The distinguished and diverse faculty of thew GRBS is comprised of current and former dancers from the Grand Rapids Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, PNB, Slovak National Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Luna Negra, St. Louis Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Chicago and the Romanian National Ballet.

Melanie Anderson Brossiet

Mrs. Brossiet loves teaching ballet! She has over thirty years of expertise as a professional ballerina, choreographer, and master instructor. She graduated with top honors from the Interlochen Academy of the Arts, majoring in dance, and pursued her professional career with The Cleveland San Jose Ballet and The Chautauqua Dance Company of NY, before advancing as a soloist, then principal with The Washington Ballet, Augsburg Ballet Germany, and Grand Rapids Ballet. Highlights of her career include performing in our nation’s capital for the president and first lady, being a featured dancer at Lincoln Center and The Joyce Theater NYC, Sadler’s Wells London, and sharing the stage with Rudolph Nureyev at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After serving on the college faculty of GVSU Dance Department, she founded her own injury preventative studio, balletmore, and was the Artistic Director for 17 years. She is thrilled to again be working alongside her former colleagues, Mindy and Attila Mosolygo, continuing to pass along her passion and knowledge of dance to the next generation of artists.

James Cunningham

James Cunningham is originally from Little Hocking, Ohio. His early dance education began at age 10 from the Mid Ohio Valley Ballet Academy. In 2010, he graduated from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. While earning a BFA in dance on full scholarship, he was also able to begin his career as a professional dancer with Cincinnati Ballet in 2008. There, James performed roles such as Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet, Country Boy from Fancy Free, Principal Pas de Deux from Rubies, Escamillo from Carmen, the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, and Kashchei from Firebird. James danced with Cincinnati Ballet for 11 seasons and was promoted to Soloist in 2016. Cunningham has worked with many choreographers; Adam Hougland, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jennifer Archibald, Justin Peck, Ma Cong, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Trey McIntyre, Val Caniparoli, Nicolo Fonte, and Yuri Possokhov. In 2016 and 2017 James was selected to be a dancer for the National Choreographers Initiative. Beginning in 2014, James has taught year round for the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. His choreography for Prohibition Condition was selected for Director’s Cut in 2016. That year he also created a ballet for the fall showcase at the University of Cincinnati. Chamber music groups in Cincinnati have commissioned him for short works that cater to site specific venues. James has also contributed choreography for an annual benefit concert in Columbus, OH. Proceeds go to the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation. He has also created works for Cincinnati Ballet II. In 2017 he made a duet in collaboration with musician Brice Dessner that opened the Music Now Festival. His most recent solo work, Mercurial Impulses, appeared at the 2018 USAIBC for bronze medalist Chisako Oga.

steven houser grand rapids ballet dancer

Steven Houser

Steven began his ballet training at the age of six in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He has studied at Metro Dancers, Portland Community Ballet, Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. He also spent summers studying on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Steven joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2004, was made a full company member in 2005, and was promoted to soloist in 2007. He joined the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011. Steven has performed nationally and internationally in Japan, Korea, Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska, and at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Jillian Gasper

Jillian grew up in Gowen, Michigan where she began her dance training at the age of 11. She was classically trained in Ballet through the Cecchetti method and in many dance styles including pointe work, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip-hop, as well as the opportunity to participate in competition teams. She is a 2011 graduate of Hope College where she earned a bachelors degree in dance with a focus on performance and choreography and a minor in psychology. During her time at Hope College, she performed and choreographed many original pieces. Post graduation she had the opportunity to travel to Buffalo, New York and take part in the Lehrer Dance summer intensive. She has been teaching at Grand Rapids Ballet since 2014 and she continues to share her passion for dance by teaching and choreographing at various locations.

Nicholas Gray

After having spent some time away from the Grand Rapids Ballet following his apprenticeship with the Company, Nicholas is excited to return to the organization to join the Grand Rapids Ballet School’s faculty! With him, Nicholas brings a wealth of knowledge in many different dance styles from his studies at The Milwaukee Ballet, The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where he received his BS in Ballet with an outside field in Theatre and Drama. While Nicholas feels honored to have danced ballets by Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, and Martha Graham, he feels that some of his greatest professional accomplishments have been offstage through his work as the Manager of Menu and Recipe Development at Rise Authentic Baking Co. and as the Maître d’Hôtel at The Søvengård restaurant. Nicholas is excited to bring a fresh energy to the studio with the mindset that dancing, above all else, should be fun!

Katherine Koning

Katherine grew up in Holland, Michigan where she began her dance training. She trained in ballet and contemporary; in addition, she volunteered as an apprentice teacher. In 2018 she became a resident assistant for Grand Rapids Ballet’s summer intensive. The following fall she joined the Grand Rapids Ballet School’s faculty. During the summer of 2019, Katherine had the opportunity to further her dance training as part of Ballet 5:8’s Collegiate and Choreography intensives. In April 2022, she will receive her bachelor of science in biochemistry from Calvin University. During her time at Calvin University, she minored in dance as well as performed and choreographed. Katherine continues to share her passion for dance through choreographing and teaching.

Sarah Marley Grand Rapids Ballet

Sarah Marley

Ms. Marley was born on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, training in the Cecchetti Method with Sonja Dickerson-Faust and Heidi Wright. She continued her training under the direction of Peter Stark with the Orlando Ballet School and was accepted into the trainee program at age fourteen, performing in the corps de ballet alongside the professionals. Ms. Marley was invited by the legendary Fernando Bujones to join the company in 2004 and danced with the company for the next six seasons. That same year she became part of the Orlando Ballet School faculty, teaching various levels and adult ballet classes regularly. Ms. Marley has also danced with the San Diego Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, the San Diego Opera, Chicago Repertory Ballet, and Smuin Ballet. Through the course of her career, Ms. Marley has performed soloist and principal roles in classical and contemporary works by Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Michael Smuin, Maurice Causey, Helen Pickett, Bruce Marks, Amy Seiwert, Patrick Corbin, Kenneth von Heidecke, and Garrett Ammon among others.

Kate Matlack

Kate Matlack is a Registered Teacher and Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance as well as a Certified Instructor of Progressing Ballet Technique.  She danced professionally with Texas Ballet Theater and has performed internationally with TALK Dance Company and The Messiah Project. She served as administrator as well as full-time instructor of Texas Ballet Theater School for two years before taking on the directorship of Credo Dance Academy for eight years. In 2016, she relocated to Virginia and was adjunct faculty at Old Dominion University, The Governor’s School for the Arts, and Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company/Virginia Ballet Theatre.  In 2019, Ms. Matlack and her family moved to Grand Rapids, MI where she is currently based. Ms. Matlack began her dance training under the tutelage of Peggie Wallis, Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance. She completed the RAD’s Vocational Graded Exams with Distinction. In 2004, Ms. Matlack competed in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York, NY. In 2005, she continued her training at The Ailey School. She has trained extensively with Master Teacher and Choreographer, Steve Rooks, former Principal Dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company. In 2013, she completed the Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma with Distinction at The Royal Academy of Dance, London, UK. In her free time, Ms. Matlack enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children and curling up with a good Dorothy L. Sayers detective novel.

Attila Mosolygo, Director & Junior Company Artistic Director

Attila was born in Kisvarda, Hungary. He received his early training at the National Ballet Institute in Budapest. After moving to the United States, he joined the Joffrey Ballet School. He has performed as a guest artist with Mobile Ballet, Bravo Dance, Harrisburg Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Attila spent sixteen years as a company dancer and eight years as a Ballet Master at Grand Rapids Ballet. As a company dancer, a few of his notable roles include The Prodigal Son in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Max in Septime Webre’s Where The Wild Things Are, Charlie Chaplin in Gordon Peirce Schmidt’s Flickers, Tibalt in Mario Radacovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and Melancholic in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Attila became the Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company in 2011 and School Director in 2017.  For the Junior Company, Attila has choreographed Snow White, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Carnival of the Animals, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, and The Wizard of Oz.

Mindy Mosolygo, School Curriculum Coordinator

 Mindy has been teaching at the Grand Rapids Ballet School since 1996. She received her early training under the instruction of Charthel Arthur and Robert Estner at Grand Rapids Ballet School. Mindy danced professionally with Grand Rapids Ballet for 15 years before retiring in 2009. She was the company’s Ballet Mistress for 2 years before becoming the School Curriculum Coordinator in 2011. Mindy is married to Attila Mosolygo (School Director and Junior Company Director). They have a daughter, Vivian, and a son, Cameron.

Yuka Oba-Muschiana

Yuka was born in Japan where she received her training from Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School. In 2006, Yuka attended English National Ballet School in the UK where she also danced many soloist roles. Upon graduating, Mario Radacovsky invited Yuka to join the Slovak National Ballet where she danced a variety of roles. Yuka was then invited to join the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 where she has since danced principal roles in ballets by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Olivier Wevers, and Penny Saunders. Yuka has won many competitions in Japan including NBA All Japan Ballet Competition, Saitama All Japan Dance Competition, UB All Japan Ballet Union Competition, International Ballet Competition in Yokohama and others. In 2013, Yuka had the honor of performing Olivier Wever’s The Sofa at the Joyce Theatre in New York and reprised her role in Seattle, WA. Yuka performed Le Corsaire Pas de Deux in the gala at The National Theatre in Tokyo and the Pas de Deux from Le Carnaval de Venise in Fukushima. In 2014, Val Caniparoli choreographed Clara on Yuka for the world premiere of The Nutcracker. She also choreographed Tomorrow Never Comes on Grand Rapids Ballet for their MOVEMEDIA program in 2015.

Gretchen Steimle

Gretchen was raised in Austin, Texas, and began her dance education under the umbrella of Tapestry Dance Company where she first pursued a multiform dance education. While there, she received training from Grace Holmes and David Justin. At 15, she moved from home to train with Boston Ballet School’s Pre-­Professional Program under the direction of Margaret Tracey. After attending a summer course at Pacific Northwest Ballet, she joined its Professional Division under the direction of Peter Boal. While in Seattle, Gretchen received training from diverse and talented faculty, performed in numerous company productions, and originated new roles through PNB Next Step choreographic program. During her first year at PNB, she was offered the opportunity to work with Dresden Semperoper Ballet and spent two months performing La Bayadére in Germany. Gretchen has attended summer programs with American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kansas City Ballet School, Ballet Austin, and Suzanne Farrell.

Taryn Ortega-Furgeson

Taryn started dancing at a local studio in North Branch, Michigan at the age of seven where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. In 2015 she received her bachelor of fine arts in psychology from Aquinas College where she was a member of the Aquinas College Dance Team. During her time on the team, she competed at a collegiate level in multiple styles of dance. She began volunteering with the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2012 as an assistant teacher in the Explorer Dance program. In 2013 she became a faculty member of Grand Rapids Ballet School and continued her work with the Explorer classes. Since then she has expanded her work into the Dance Immersion program where she shares her passion for ballet and dance to students at various local schools.

Nigel Tau

Nigel began dancing at age 10 with The Academy of Dance in his home town of Savannah, Georgia. In 2013, he became a trainee with Next Generation Ballet, and performed in the school’s own productions as well as with Opera Tampa and the Florida Orchestra. He went on to train with BalletMet on a full scholarship, where he performed and rehearsed alongside the company in shows such as The Great Gatsby and The Nutcracker. Since he started working with the company in 2015, he has been a part of tours to Kalamazoo, St. Louis, and Seattle, and performed in pieces such as Paul Taylor’s Company B, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Dangerous Liaisons, and Penny Saunders’ The Happy Price and Other Wilde Tales. In his time with the company has also had the privilege of working with choreographers such as Brian Enos, Jennifer Archibald, Dani Rowe, and Bruce Wells, among others. His first work, Errant Thoughts, debuted on the company in 2019.

Jessica Winter-Troutwine

Jessica grew up studying at the Grand Rapids Ballet School and performed alongside the professional company as a member of the GRBS Sr. Company. She attended Grand Valley State University and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. As a member of GVSU’s Dance Ensemble, she performed soloist roles in works by many artists including Thang Dao of Thang Dao Dance Company, Patrick Corbin, Mary Beth Cabana of Ballet Tuscon, and Michael Philips of Rioult. While at Grand Valley, Jessica was also member of GVSU’s Laker Dance Team, which competes nationally. After college, she danced professionally as a member of MoreDances Contemporary Dance Co. (Detroit), The Dance Hall Twigs (Chicago), and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago) before returning to Grand Rapids. Jessica has also been able to spread her love of dance through teaching. She has taught ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop styles at studios throughout Michigan and the Chicago area.

School Office

SarahJean Bos, School Administrative Director

Mary-Ann CarpenterSchool Receptionist

Audrey WalkerSchool Receptionist

Arianna Wisniewski, School Receptionist

Pianists

Ryan Blok

Idalmira Lopez

Mark Moran

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