Master Classes


Every year, the School of Dance brings world renowned dancers and choreographers to the University of Utah for our popular Master Class Series. Some of our most recents guests include Susan Jaffe, Calvin Kitten, Jeremy Blanton, Roni Mahler, Eloy Barragán, and BODYVOX, to name a few.

Coming up next...

Saturday, February 10, 2018  Marriott Center for Dance
Community Master Class, Intermediate/Advanced ($30) | Check in begins at 8:30am, class from 9:00-10:30am with Joan Kunsch
Community Master Class, Advanced ($30) | Check in begins at 11:30am, class from 12:00-1:30pm with Pablo Piantino
Teacher Observation ($20) | Check in begins at 8:30am, class from 9:00am-1:30pm

Pablo Piantino

Pablo Piaca0d6da997c7f811cdca8d4563c6a22c Mntino is originally from Mendoza, Argentina, where he began dancing at the age of 14. His training includes private seminars with Héctor Zaraspe and studies at both the Colón Theatre Ballet School and The Juilliard School where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts. After dancing with both the Colón Theatre Ballet Company and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Pablo joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1999 where he danced a broad span of classical and neo-classical repertory. In 2005, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Twyla Tharp, among many others. Pablo received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Education from the University of Washington in June 2015, where he was also a member of Chamber Dance Company. During the past years, he has taught at the University of Washington, George Mason University, West Virginia University, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and The Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program among several other institutions. Pablo has remounted works by Hubbard Street’s Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Arizona, George Mason University, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Tulsa Ballet. He has also restaged, with his wife Penny Saunders, Jardí Tancat by choreographer Nacho Duato, both at the University of Washington and at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Pablo is very excited to be joining the faculty of the School of Dance at the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2017.


 Joan Kunsch

joan 1Now in her 30th year on Nutmeg's classical ballet faculty, Joan's 2014-2017 seasons have included  guest teaching for the Estonian National Ballet School in Tallinn, Stockholm's Balettakadamien for professional freelance dancers; company classes for Ballet Idaho and Canada's Ballet Jorgen and  summer intensives at the Maritime Conservatory, Halifax, NS.  She has taught  in Oslo (Kirkenaer Ballettskolen), Stockholm (the Swedish Ballet School), London's Royal Ballet School and RAD Teacher Training Program, Iceland's National Ballet School and throughout the USA. She  served as Ballet Mistress to MOMIX and Ballet Mississippi, has taught by invitation of Pilobolus dancers, and in university dance departments (Butler, SMU, U. of Utah and SUNY-Binghamton). Students she has co-trained have joined over 70 professional companies, including The New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Richmond Ballet, Colorado Ballet and many others.  Her choreography has been performed in Norway, Sweden, Canada and the USA and includes works for concert stage, sacred space, TV and outdoor sites such as Jacob's Pillow. She has written for Pointe Magazine, and produced a poetry book "Playing With Gravity" (Antrim House, 2007)  and CD (2011).   With her sister Kathi Byam, she performs in the duo "Flute Meets Poem." Joan served for five years on the Connecticut Dance Alliance Board of Directors.


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Recent Guests

Susan Jaffe

Recognized as one of the leading ballerinas of her time, Ms. Jaffe has performed in many Opera houses throughout Europe and the United States. In 1980, at the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov, she joined American Ballet Theatre and became well known in the dance world at an extremely young age. Her debut in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center was made when she was plucked from the corps for the 1980 opening night season to dance opposite recently defected Alexander Godunov in the pas de deux, Pas d’Esclave, from Le Corsaire. Since then, she has received critical praise for her interpretations of such roles as: Odette/Odile (Swan Lake), Kitri (Don Quixote), Nikiya & Gamzatti (La Bayadere), Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Swanhilda (Coppelia), Tatiana (John Cranko’s Eugene Onegin), Kate (Taming of the Shrew), and the title roles in GiselleLa Sylphide, & Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia and Manon

Ms. Jaffe has also worked with and performed the repertoire of many of the 20th century’s most prominent choreographers, including George Balanchine (ApolloMozartianaWho CaresTheme & VariationsBallet ImperialViolin ConcertoLa Sonnambula, Bourree Fantasque), Anthony Tudor (Jardin aux LilasUndertowGala PerformanceDim Lustre), Kenneth MacMillan (ManonThe Sleeping BeautyRomeo & Juliet, Requiem), Jerome Robbins (Afternoon of a FaunOther DancesN.Y. Opus Jazz), Roland Petit (Carmen), Twyla Tharp (Push Comes to Shove, Everlast, SextetHow Near Heaven, Bach PartitaAmericans WeKnown By Heart), Nacho Duato (Without Words), Jiri Kilyan (Stepping Stones) and James Kudelka (Cruel WorldStates of Grace). 

Ms. Jaffe’s European engagements have included performances with The Royal Ballet, The Kirov Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, The Munich State Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet in Milan, The Vienna State Opera Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, and The English National Ballet.

In 2003 she hosted Dance New York, a weekly local TV show co-produced by Dance Magazine and WNYE-TV Channel 25. Other television and film appearances include several Dance in America programs, Angie with Geena Davis (1994), and Ballet, a documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman (1995). 

One month after her retirement from American Ballet Theatre, Ms. Jaffe was invited back for the position of the advisor to the Chairman and the President of the Board of Governing Trustees. She also serves as the artistic coordinator of the Youth America Grand Prix, and the Chairman of the Artists Committee of “The All-Stars,” a group that helps underprivileged children develop learning skills through performance. On September 8, 2005, Ms. Jaffe & Ms. Risa Gary Kaplowitz founded the Princeton Dance & Theatre Studio in Princeton, New Jersey.

Mads Eriksen

Mads Eriksen grew up in Copenhagen Denmark, where he attended The Royal Danish Ballet School. After his graduation in 2002, he joined The Royal Danish Ballet, where he danced soloist roles in works by Bournonville, Balanchine, Neumeier, Lander and Ratmansky. In 2007 Mr. Eriksen joined Ballet San Jose, dancing various soloist and principal roles.

Mr. Eriksen began teaching at Ballet San Jose School in 2008 and was named Senior Faculty in 2012 and Principal Faculty in 2014. In 2016 Mr. Eriksen was named Principal of The New Ballet School in Downtown San Jose. Mr. Eriksen is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. In 2014 Mr. Eriksen was invited to guest teach at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre’s JKO school.

Stephanie Marie Powell

Professor Stephanie Marie Powell is a California native and Dance Program Director at Long Beach City College. Throughout her academic teaching career she has taught courses in Dance Appreciation, Composition, Classical Ballet, Pointe, Modern Dance, Jazz, Turns, Zumba, Dance Conditioning, Stretch and Relaxation, Dance History, Hip Hop Dance History, Performance Workshop, Yoga and Pilates. Professor Powell is a certified instructor of the New York City Ballet Workout, Zumba, and Body Arts and Science International Pilates with a Dance Specialization. She is the principal interpreteur of the choreographic works for the legendary choreographer Donald McKayle and works closely with him while restaging his works around the globe.

Ms. Powell's dance training began with Cindy Trueblood at the Civic Dance Center in Bakersfield, California and her studies continued on scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington and the School of American Ballet in New York City. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Sociology and Education and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance with distinction from the University of California at Irvine as a Chancellor's Fellow, where she was honored with the Celebration of Teaching Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. She danced professionally and toured internationally with major dance companies such as the Oakland Ballet Company, the San Francisco Opera, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Donald Byrd The Group, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Ms. Powell was a performer in the Los Angeles Pantages Theater production of the Broadway show "Lion King" where she danced featured principal roles as well as performed as a principal singer and actress. Additionally, Powell has modeled internationally for Redken and Trevor Sorbie of the UK. She has appeared on television in the Grammy's, on the Jay Leno Show and has danced commercially for artists such as MC Hammer, Kenny G., Janet Jackson, and Beyonce Knowles.

Professor Powell continues to dance as a performing artist today and has taught and choreographed her own work in contemporary dance and ballet throughout the US, Australia, Europe and Asia.

Calvin Kitten

Calvin Kitten began his dance training at the California Ballet School in San Diego and furthered his training at the Tbilisi Choreographic Institute in Soviet Georgia and also at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Calvin was then invited to join the Joffrey Ballet, and danced with them, both in New York and Chicago, from 1991-2010.

During his 19 years with The Joffrey, Calvin performed works by Arpino, Balanchine, Massine, Cranko , Ashton, Tharp and Kudelka, dancing many principal and soloist roles including Apollo (Apollo), The Green Table (Profiteer), La Vivandiere Pas De Six, Les Patineurs (Boy in Blue), Les Presages, The Nutcracker (Snow Prince, Cavalier), Parade (Chinese Conjurer), Prodigal Son (Prodigal Son), Square Dance (Lead Couple), Romeo & Juilet (Mercutio), Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), Tarantella, and Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux.

Calvin received two Ruth Page Awards for his 1997 performance of the Chinese Conjurer in The Joffrey’s reconstruction of Leonide Massine’s Parade and for his portrayal as the title character in George Balanchine’s Progidal Son. He has also been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine and was named one of the “25 Dancers to Watch” in 2001. Calvin has been on the faculty at Chicago Ballet Arts, The Ruth Page Center of the Arts, California Ballet, Ballet West Academy, Regional Dance America, and the Joffrey Academy of Dance, among others. Calvin is one of a few repetiteurs entitled to reproduce Gerald Arpino’s works.

Calvin served as faculty in the Department of Ballet from 2010-2015 after which time he accepted the position of Directof of Ballet West II Company.