Arlene Minkhorst | Director of Education
Arlene Minkhorst graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada in 1976, and from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 1979. She performed in numerous productions with the RWB Company before directing her energies into teaching full-time.
Ms. Minkhorst first joined the RWB School faculty in 1979, and was appointed Vice-Principal in 1991. At the commencement of the 2002-2003 season, she was appointed Associate Director, and in July 2004, she took over the Directorship of the RWB School from Founding Director, David Moroni, C.M.
Ms. Minkhorst has taught all levels of ballet and pointe technique, repertoire classes, conducted rehearsals for performances, and taught in the RWB School Professional Division Teacher Training Program. She has toured Manitoba and neighboring provinces with Concert Hour Ballet, the School’s performing group, and presented lectures about dance and dance training in Manitoba public schools. Ms. Minkhorst continues to teach classical ballet and pointe technique, teaches in the Teacher Training Program, and rehearses students for performances.
A dedicated pedagogue in classical ballet training, Ms. Minkhorst regularly pursues opportunities to further her own knowledge of her chosen field, and has travelled to observe classes, performances and operations at other internationally recognized schools.
Prior to taking over the Directorship of the RWB School, Ms. Minkhorst recognized the importance and need for the RWB School Professional Division Ballet Academic Program to have integrated academics and ballet training. She subsequently developed, pursued and implemented a supportive academic/dance structure with Winnipeg school divisions, middle schools and high schools.
In 2008 she established a highly successful partnership with the Collegiate at the University of Winnipeg that continues to inform the present model of the Ballet Academic Program to this day, allowing students to attain a strong academic education concurrently with their professional dance training.
Her commitment to a dancers’ education and to the importance of dance education for all has led to additional U of Winnipeg connections for students. U of Winnipeg’s Faculty of Education recognizes the work completed by graduates of the RWB School Teacher Program, allowing them to designate dance as a teachable minor.
In the late 1990s, Ms. Minkhorst oversaw the restructuring of the Recreational Division. She facilitated the creation of programs that were specifically designed to encourage boys to participate in dance. This program continues to be highly successful and now provides dance instruction to up to 250 boys each year.
During her tenure Ms. Minkhorst forged partnerships and raised the School’s profile within the international dance community. The School is now a partner with the Prix de Lausanne and enjoys exchange programs with the New Zealand School of Dance and Canada’s National Ballet School.
Ms. Minkhorst has accepted engagements to work as a guest teacher and adjudicator for dance festivals and dance competitions across Canada and the United States. She has been a member of the jury for the Youth America Grand Prix in New York, the Prix de Lausanne, the Japan Grand Prix, and the Tanzolymp in Berlin, Germany.
Most recently Ms. Minkhorst embraced a new strategic partnership with Canada’s National Ballet School and Physical and Health Education Canada, entitled Sharing Dance. Sharing Dance is Canada’s National Ballet School’s flagship community outreach initiative offering free dance programs for all Canadians to get healthy, active and artistically engaged. Ms. Minkhorst’s commitment to this program has helped to support over 40,000 Canadians sharing dance in 2018.
Under her direction the RWB School has continued to produce notable dancers including Sophia Lee, RWB Principal Dancer, Saeka Shirai, RWB second soloist and silver medal winner in Varna IBC 2016, Jesse Fraser, Zurich Ballet, Zach Rogers, Czech National Ballet and Ryan Booth Vienna State Ballet.
Ms. Minkhorst joined Tulsa Ballet during the 2018-2019 school year and is delighted to be working with the talented students and staff of Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education as we engage our communities through our shared love of dance.
Julie Marquet | Faculty
Julie was born in Perpignan, France. She started her dance education at the age of five at the Ecole de Danse Classique Pascale Pavageau in Perpignan. In 2001 she continued her training at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Danse de Marseille and graduated in 2005. After graduation she danced at the Opéra Municipal de Marseille in the Corps de Ballet. Julie was a Corps de Ballet member of the Stuttgart Ballet from 2006 – 2015. Her repertoire includes La Sylphide (Schaufuss), Othello (Neumeier), Romeo and Juliet (Cranko), Swan Lake (Cranko), among many others. She joined Tulsa Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet for two seasons from 2015-2017, and retired the following year to join our full-time TBCDE Faculty and raise a family with husband and Principal Dancer Arman Zazyan.
Carla López Ponlla | Faculty
Born in A Coruña, Spain, Carla trained at the Professional Conservatory of Dance with Luciano Gómez and Carmen Ponlla. She danced with Ballet Carmen Roche, Zürich Junior Ballet, Víctor Ullate Ballet and Barcelona Ballet, where she performed Soloist roles under the artistic direction of Ángel Corella.
Carla won first prize in the National Dance Competitions of Zaragoza, Torrelavega and A Coruña (Spain) before joining Tulsa Ballet in 2012 as a member of the Corps de Ballet. Her repertoire with the company includes There, Below (Kudelka), Classical Symphony (Possokhov), One/End/One (Elo), Company B (Taylor), Uniko/Juxtaposed (Cong), Blue Bird Pas de Deux (Angelini), Bolero (Fonte) and In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated (Forsythe), and Infra (McGregor), among others.
In 2016, Ms. López retired from the company in order to join our full-time TBCDE Faculty.
Beatrice Sebelin | Faculty
Beatrice graduated from the school of the Teatro all Scala in 2002. She then joined the Teatro all Scala Company, where she danced from 2002-2003, and later danced with the Compagnia Neoclassica di San Remo del Teatro Ariston and Compagnia Nazionale Italiana of Rome. She joined Tulsa Ballet in 2008 from Balletto di Milano, and was promoted to Soloist in 2013, where she performed until retirement in 2016. She has performed works by Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, Edwaard Liang, Val Caniparoli, Adam Hougland, Nicolo Fonte, Alejandro Cerrudo, William Forsythe and Ben Stevenson. Her repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, Excelsior Ballet, Notre Dame de Paris, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Rooster, Gnawa, Company B and The Nutcracker.
Amy Parker | Faculty
Amy Parker, originally from Chesapeake, VA began her dance training at the Academie de
Ballet. She furthered her studies at the Virginia Ballet Theatre and attended the Universal
Ballet Academy (presently Kirov Academy of Washington DC) summer intensive. Ms. Parker was a trainee with Ballet Magnificat!, later dancing professionally with Light Of The World Ballet and Arrows International. She served these companies in various roles such as Ballet Mistress, Directors’ Assistant, Administrator, and Booking Coordinator, guest teaching for events such as Project Dance. She has performed many original works by Jeff and Natalie Lewis, Ashley Rollinson, Hannah Beaver, Juri Sebastian Voborsky, and Tobin James, touring
nations including the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, Israel, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan,
Malaysia, and the USA.
In 2020, Ms. Parker worked with The Promise at the Texas Amphitheater, later returning for
The Promise Of Passover, serving as Choreographer, Dance Captain, and Dancer. Ms. Parker
has taught ballet throughout the Oklahoma City Metro area since 2015, and is passionate to
see her students achieve their highest potential as artists.