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, as 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.
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 the 2016-2017 season, 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.
Yi Wang | Faculty
Yi was born in ChongQing China, and studied at the Beijing Dance Academy (Vaganava curriculum) in Beijing, China. While there, he received full scholarships every year for seven years and graduated with Honors . He was awarded a gold medal in the Junior Ballet Group of the Fifth National Juvenile “Tao Li Cup” Dance Competition in 1997, Junior Finalist at the Paris International Ballet competition in France in 2000, and Third Prize (Bronze Medal) in the Senior Division (age 20-25) at International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2001.
Yi danced with Tulsa Ballet for six years as a Principal member of the company. Prior to dancing with Tulsa Ballet he was First Soloist and Principal with Zurich Ballet in Switzerland and Universal Ballet in South Korea. During his 13 year performing career, Yi has performed principal roles in works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Marcello Angelini, Ben Stevenson ,Twyla Tharp, Hans van Manen , Kenneth MacMillan , Ma Cong, Heinz Spoerli, and others. Yi has been invited to the Final Gala of the Youth American Grand Prix in New York City as the Guest of Honor, and the Denver International World Star Performance to give a Guest Star Performance.
In 2012 Yi retired from performing and began teaching. He returned to China to work with ChongQing Ballet as a Guest Ballet Master/Choreographer for a year. While there, he created his first full length ballet Finding Shangri-La. He developed his own ballet workshop in ChongQing with more than 150 students, and also worked with the Chinese Dancers Association to create educational programs for children’s dance. Yi has been invited to provide instruction for dance teacher training throughout China and has trained over three hundred teachers in the past three years.
In 2016, Yi returned to Tulsa Ballet to join the Center for Dance Education as a faculty member and is excited to start his new career.