Teachers’ Bios

  • Recent Posts

    Celebrity Dance Challenge Results

    To see who won what in the 11th Annual Celebrity Dance Challenge, click on Performances/Celebrity Dance Challenge.

    Wine & Cheese Coming in April!

    Thursday, April 27
    5:30 – 8 p.m.
    Depot Great Hall
    $40 presale/$45 at door

    Sample wines and craft-brewed beers, nibble on hors d’oeuvres provided by seven of the area’s finest restaurants, and in the silent and live auctions bid on all sorts of merchandise, special opportunities, and gift baskets.

    To make reservations, call the Ballet, (218) 529-3742.

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  • Artistic Executive Director Robert Gardner trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet. He danced with the Joffrey Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. He has taught nationally and internationally, including at the School of the Cleveland Ballet and Lou Conte Dance Studios in Chicago, and taught master classes at the Columbus [Ohio] Youth Ballet, Ball State [Indiana] Dance Theatre, the Shreveport [Louisiana] Metropolitan Ballet, University of Minnesota, and others.

    LilaAnn Coates White, Minnesota Ballet Principal Teacher, trained at the National Academy of Arts, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She apprenticed with the Des Moines Ballet, taught at the Allegro Dance Theatre, Tennessee, and was a company member of the Minnesota Ballet from 1986–93. An assistant professor of dance at the University of Minnesota Duluth, she is also AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE® certified, Primary-Level 5.

    Suzie Baer, School of the Minnesota Ballet graduate and teacher, also studied on scholarship at summer programs of Point Park University and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. Promoted from Senior Apprentice to full company member in the 2009–10 season, she has danced such roles as Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While a student, she served as an assistant with the Creative Dance class, which she now teaches.

    Linda Carrillo trained at the University of Utah, Ballet West in Salt Lake City, and the Joffrey Ballet in New York. She also performed and toured with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She trained in the Vaganova technique and is certified in the Cecchetti Method.

    Nancy Gibson began teaching for the School of the Minnesota Ballet in 1974 and served as Artistic Director of the Minnesota Ballet 1988–92. She leads workshops for both teachers and coaches and has been on the faculties of L’Academie de Ballet du Saguenay in Quebec, JAS Dance Centre in the Twin Cities area, University of Minnesota Duluth. She also teaches at Madill Performing Arts Center.

    Laura Goodman trained at the School of the Minnesota Ballet and attended summer programs at the School of American Ballet Theatre of New York, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She danced with the Minnesota Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and as principal guest artist with regional ballet companies. Laura attended teacher workshops led by David Howard and Beverly Spell and has over twelve years of teaching students of all ages and abilities.

    Paige Kohler graduated from the School of the Minnesota Ballet and also studied at summer intensives at North Carolina School for the Arts, Joffrey New York, Boston Ballet, and Joffrey Midwest. She has danced professionally in the area and served as dance captain for Duluth Playhouse musicals. On the Education Team at the Duluth Playhouse, she has also co-directed and run the ballet program for the Spooner School of Dance since 2002.

    Alex Loch comes to ballet from a background in gymnastics. At St. Cloud University he earned a B.A. in English with a minor in dance. In Seattle he danced with Khambatta Dance Company and taught ballroom, Latin, and swing dance. He danced with the Minnesota Ballet in the 2010–11 season as a trainee.

    Renee Moe studied dance at UMD and in New York City. She founded Sterling Dance in Grand Marais in 1994. She has performed with Keane Sense of Rhythm Tap Co., Ressl Dance, and Project Lulu.

    Erin Wourms, teacher and graduate of the Ballet’s school, danced as an apprentice for a year and then four years as a company member in such featured roles as Marie in The Nutcracker and as Odette in Swan Lake Act II.

    Nikolaus Wourms, Minnesota Ballet company member and teacher, graduated from the School of the Minnesota Ballet, served as apprentice, and then has served as company member for eleven seasons, dancing such featured roles as the Prince in The Nutcracker and Albrecht in Giselle Act II.

    And additional company professionals.


    Guest Summer Instructors 2016:
    Mario Nugaramario Nugara
    Mr. Nugara trained at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and has danced with our nation’s most prestigious companies. As a student, he danced with the New York City Ballet. He has also danced professionally as a company member with the Boston Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, and appeared on Broadway with Rudolph Nureyev. Mr. Nugara holds a BFA and MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 1991, the first ballet dancer awarded that honor, to Copenhagen, Denmark, in conjunction with the Royal Danish Ballet and the University of Copenhagen. During that time, he taught at the Royal Danish Ballet; Cullberg Ballet; Ballet Academy of Stockholm, Sweden; and at the New Danish Dance Theatre, the Marie Brolin‐Tani Dance Theatre, and Dansens Hus. He has extensive teaching experience in the New York and Los Angeles Metropolitan areas. Mr. Nugara is founder and present Artistic Director of the City of Angels Ballet in Los Angeles and Artistic Director of the California Riverside Ballet.

    Karl von Rabenau

    Karl Headshotcropped BWRaised in Duluth, Minnesota, Karl von Rabenau received his early dance training at the Duluth Ballet, now Minnesota Ballet. He continued his training at Minnesota Dance Theatre, the Boston Ballet School, and the San Francisco Ballet School. Mr. von Rabenau danced for ten seasons as a soloist for the Milwaukee Ballet. During his tenure with MBC he danced such roles as Iago in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, and The Blue Bird Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty. Mr. von Rabenau has also performed the lead roles in Choo San Goh’s In The Glow of the Night and Unknown Territory as well as George Balanchine’s Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Tchaikovsky Pas Deux, Serenade, and Allegro Brilliante. While with Milwaukee Ballet, Mr. von Rabenau also had the opportunity to dance in works by Petipa, Eugene Loring, David Parsons, Jean–Paul Comelin, and Lisa de Ribere.


    Prior to dancing with MBC, Mr. von Rabenau danced for five seasons with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. While dancing with PBT, he toured to Taipei, Taiwan, and fulfilled the dream to dance Balanchine’s Tarantella Pas De Deux. He also performed the role of Lucentio in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew. Other highlights of his time spent with PBT include dancing many works by George Balanchine including the 3rd Movement from Western Symphony, Benvolio in Bruce Wells’ Romeo and Juliet, as well as Agnes De Milles, Fall River Legend, and Falls in Alvin Ailey’s The River.

    Mr. von Rabenau began his career as a member of Boston Ballet II and apprentice to Boston Ballet. He has also performed with the Omaha Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet where he had the privilege to dance such roles as Harlequin pas de deux, Tarantella pas de deux and the lead in Divertomento No.13.

    Mr. von Rabenau’s second passion in life is teaching ballet. He has had the true pleasure to do this for the past 23 years throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States. He is currently on staff at the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. Mr. von Rabenau has also works with the Milwaukee Ballet II as one of the principal faculty for the last 6 years. It has been a privilege to teach class and set choreography on the talented dancers that have passed through this program. During the summer months Mr. von Rabenau returns to Pennsylvania where he has been invited to teach at Point Park University for the past 17 years and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA for the past 23 years.

    As a choreographer, Mr. von Rabenau has created numerous works for Point Park University’s International Summer Dance Program. He has had works performed in the Regional Dance of America Festivals in both the Northeast Region by CPYB and Lake Erie Ballet School, and Southeast Region by Classical Ballet of Memphis. In 2002, Mr. von Rabenau was invited to choreograph a pas de deux, Speranza for a Milwaukee Ballet presentation at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

    Three years ago Mr. von Rabenau in partnership with his wife, Jennifer Miller, created Lake Arts Project, which is a collaborative non-profit organization that finds new and innovative ways to further enhance arts education in high schools. Each year Lake Arts Project has collaborated with local high schools in the Milwaukee area to create one of a kind performances. Each year visual art and written word provided by the local high school students are transformed by professional choreographers into world premier ballets and dances that are performed by professional and high school dancers.