Int/Adv Ballet Intensive Instructor Bios

Katherine Williams, soloist with ABT (Monday, August 12th)

Katherine Williams was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and began her early training with the Hawaii State Ballet. After moving to Maryland with her family, she studied at the Ballet Royale Academy under the direction of Donna Pidel.  She was awarded the Youth Grand Prix at the 2003 Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in New York, and was a Top 12 Finalist at the 2005 Finals. In 2003, she was awarded a full scholarship to the Boston Ballet Summer Dance program.  From 2004 to 2006, she attended American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensives as a National Training Scholar and, in 2006; she also attended the Stiefel and Stars Summer Program.

Williams joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT in the Fall of 2005 and remained there until joining ABT’s Studio Company in January 2007.  Williams joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in December 2007 and the corps de ballet in June 2008.  She was promoted to Soloist in September 2018.

Her repertoire with the Company includes a Shade in La Bayadère, an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, the Dryad Queen and a Flower Girl in Don Quixote, Myrta, the peasant pas de deux and Moyna in Giselle, the Spanish Dance and one of The Nutcracker’s Sisters in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Fairy Violente (Temperment), Gold Fairy and Cinderella in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Fairy of Sincerity in The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de trois, a big swan and the Italian Princess in Swan Lake and roles in AirsCompany BContinuoHer Notes, In the Upper Room and Jardin aux Lilas.

She created roles AfterEffect, Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once and Songs of Bukovina.

Maria Royals (Tuesday, August 13th)

Maria Royals is the Dance Department Chair at the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland. She has been actively engaged in the Baltimore dance landscape for the past 24 years teaching, dancing, choreographing and costuming students and professionals. Her teaching experiences encompass ballet, modern dance, pointe, variations, partnering, language of dance and dance composition. Maria was named the ‘Dance Educator of the Year’ for 2015 by the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education and Dance and was recognized by the Baltimore County Board of Education and the Baltimore County Education Foundation for her excellence in teaching. In 2016 Maria was named the National Dance Teacher of the Year by SHAPE America and has presented in that role at conventions in Virginia, Maryland, New York and New Jersey. Maria has also presented for the NDEO and MDEA and is a member of CORPS de ballet. She has been on the teaching staff at the Howard County Ballet, Carroll County Ballet, Morton Street Dance Center, Peabody Institute, and Spotlight Studio of Dance and has taught masterclasses throughout the Baltimore/Washington area.

Adrienne Canterna (Wednesday, August 14th)

Kirov Academy of Ballet scholarship graduate Adrienne Canterna is the recipient of numerous national and international awards including winning the GOLD medal at the 1998 USA International Ballet Competition at 15 years old. Other prestigious awards include the Grishko Award of Excellence in Ballet, Teen Miss Dance of America and more. Ms. Canterna is a proud brand ambassador for CAPEZIO. Adrienne tours North America, Europe, Asia and Australia as a dancer, choreographer, model & juror. As a Principal guest ballerina she danced the roles of Gamzatti in "La Bayadere", the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker", and Kitri in "Don Quixote" with the Universal Ballet in Seoul, Korea under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov. She has also danced with the Washington Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet in NYC where she was partnered by dance superstar Desmond Richardson. She has appeared in numerous galas worldwide including the "Vail International Dance Festival", "Dance Open" in Russia, "Gala de Danza", "Dance Against Cancer" in NYC and "Les Gala des Etoiles" where she performed "Le Corsaire" pas de duex with international ballet star, Carlos Acosta. She appeared as a soloist in the PBS television tribute to Placido Domingo, in a segment directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen. She can be seen as a ballet soloist in the motion picture "Step Up". Adrienne is a brand ambassador for Flexistretcher. Ms. Canterna has modeled for the athleisure brand MPG Sport. Adrienne is the choreographer & co-creator of the international hit dance show "ROCK the Ballet". After touring over 30 countries since 2008, RTB continues to wow audiences across the globe. Adrienne was a special guest performer & choreographer on FOX TV's "So You Think You Can Dance". In 2013 she created & choreographed the world premiere of Rasta Thomas' "ROMEO & JULIET" in Europe to rave reviews from critics & audiences alike. In 2014, Adrienne founded BAD BOYS of BALLET & they became Semi-Finalists on Season 9 of the hit TV show "America's Got Talent". During her run as Juliet on the West End in 2015, prestigious UK dance critic Graham Watts wrote "Adrienne created a ballet for the Snapchat age. Dancing as Juliet in her own choreography, Canterna’s exciting portrayal is delivered with a cocktail of personality and movement that mixed a quirky dollop of Lady Gaga, a touch of burlesque, the length of Sylvie Guillem’s limbs and the hyper-flexible spine of an Olympic gymnast". Most recently, Ms. Canterna choreographed, directed & starred in the world premiere of “Rock the Ballet X”. Die Welt culture critic wrote “Adrienne Canterna’s spectacular and ingenious choreography rendered the audience breathless”. RTBX is currently touring Europe to sold out audiences. Adrienne is the proud mother of daughter Anami Halo and Founder of SweetBird Productions.

Audra Johnson (Thursday, August 15th)

Audra Johnson, a New Jersey native, received her early training from Christine Taylor and Luba Gulyeava and went on to continue her studies at The New Jersey Ballet School, The Harid Conservatory, and The Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education. She spent various summers studying at The Eglevsky Ballet, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, and The Harid Conservatory. She has danced professionally with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, The Washington Ballet, and American Repertory Ballet. Ms. Johnson has performed several principal and soloist roles in classical ballets such as “The Sugar Plum Fairy” in The Nutcracker, “Raymonda” in Kirk Peterson’s Glazunov Varations, the principle role in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, and “The Russian Soloist” in Balanchine’s Serenade. Some of her Balanchine repertory includes Concerto Barocco, Divertimento from “Le Baiser De La Fee”, Episodes, Gounod Symphony, and  Stars and Stripes.

Ms. Johnson has also been featured several  Twyla Tharp’s pieces including Eight Jelly Rolls, Octect, and Nine Sinatra Songs and has performed in works by Jerome Robbins, Kirk Peterson, Harrison McEldowney, Graham Lustig, Susan Shields, Douglas Martin, Laurie Stallings, and Melissa Barak.

Ms. Johnson has taught at The Washington Ballet, Berrend Dance Center, Princeton Ballet School, North Jersey School of Dance Arts, Ballet Nova, and as a guest teacher at Olympia Dance Center in Olympia, WA. In the summer of 2018, Ms. Johnson had the honor to teach at Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center. She is currently on staff at Maryland Youth Ballet.

Rebecca Voelpel (formerly Houseknecht) (Friday, August 16th)

Mrs. Rebecca Voelpel, formerly Houseknecht, is a dance and barre fitness instructor residing in Baltimore, MD. Rebecca grew up performing and competing throughout the United Sates and attended the Kirov Academy of Ballet school, where she studied under Mme. Ahkmedova, among others. She also attended Maryland Youth Ballet, directed by Michelle Lees. She was awarded the Future Star award in Dance Spirit Magazine and attended the YAGP National Finals in New York, NY in 2005 and 2009. In 2011 she was a cast member of the award-winning documentary film “First Position.”

 

After graduating high-school, she became a company member of The Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C., where she performed soloist roles, such as, the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, The Pas de Trois in Le Corsaire, and Miss Liberty in Septime Webre's The Nutcracker. In search of becoming a well-rounded dancer and professional, Rebecca enrolled at Towson University. While there she led the 17-time National Championship winning dance team to 4 consecutive titles during her time as the captain. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Healthcare Administration, Mrs. Voelpel, taught at multiple studios across the nation, teaching various classes including; ballet, jazz, contemporary, conditioning and technique.

 

During her time teaching at various studios, Rebecca fell in love with coaching and developing dance technique in children of all ages. Rebecca currently guest teaches at local studios and schools, including the McDonough School, as well as teaching barre fitness classes at multiple locations including Brick Bodies.