A native of San Francisco, California, Ken Verdoia joined public television in 1981 after serving in newspaper, radio and television reporting positions in California, Colorado and Utah. An honors graduate of San Jose State University in California, Ken has also studied at the University of Utah, the University of North Carolina and Cambridge University in England.In his 23 years of work at the University of Utah’s public television station, Ken has been the recipient of more than 100 regional, national and international awards for journalistic and broadcast excellence. While producing dozens of documentaries exploring historic, social and political themes, he has been honored with sixteen Emmy Awards.
One of the most respected and widely recognized local journalists in the country, Chris Vanocur is now celebrating nearly three decades on the air in Utah.
Chris has been honored with America's most prestigious journalism awards -including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Columbia University Dupont Silver Baton and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Reporting. Locally, he has also received several Rocky Mountain Emmys, as well as top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. .
He also hosts On the Record, seen every Sunday morning on ABC 4.
Margene served on the West Valley City Arts Council from 1992 to 2006 as the dance and theater specialist. She served as co-chair for two years and also served as chairman for two of those years. In 1992 Miss Margene received the George Washington Gold Medal of Honor from the Freedoms Foundations at Valley Forge for her accomplishments with children. In the year 2000, Mayor Gearld L. Wright of West Valley City awarded Miss Margene with the “Mayor’s Citation of Excellence” Award for a decade of service and fostering the Arts in West Valley City. Her groups have been featured on ABC4 for the Community News Segment “A Person you can Count On”, KSLTV5 “Arts in West Valley City” and FOX13KSTU “Big Buddha” Cool School of the Week.
Miss Margene is married to Kevin Conde and they are the proud parents of three accomplished children and grandparents of eleven grandchildren. She devotes her life to enriching the lives of our youth through positive teaching experiences, through performance opportunities as well as supporting all other cultural art forms. Many of Miss Margene’s students in dance and music have become accomplished dancers, actors and dance scholarship recipients at Utah universities going on to get their BA in dance from those institutions.
Janet has owned and artistically directed her studio since 1978. Janet serves as a board member for Southern Utah University’s College of Performing and Visual Arts National Advisory Board. She served 16 years as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Ballet Department, University of Utah (1984-2000), where she taught jazz, tap, musical theatre, choreographed for Utah Ballet, Ballet Ensemble, and produced the University Fine Arts Crimson Collage for ten consecutive years. She was a guest teacher and choreographer (1992-2004) for the Interlochen Arts Academy and has also served on faculty for the 2003 RDA Mid-States Festival, Ballet West Academy Summer Intensive, Boise State Summer Dance Festival, Ballet Idaho’s Summer Intensive, Black Hills Dance Theatre, and St. Paul’s School, NH. She completed her degree in Psychology, B.S., University of Utah 1974.
Peter’s career with Ballet West spans 30 years. He joined the artistic staff in 1998 after a 16-year career as a corps member and, later, a soloist with the Company. During his ballet career, Peter was especially noted for his character roles. He currently serves as Director of Educational Programs and Ballet West Academy, and continues to appear as a guest artist with Ballet West.
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RDT presents Charette. Don't miss the madness as choreographers create new dances in record time! This dance competition must be seen to be believed. Celebrity Judges and the Audience will choose the winners!. Bring your wallets for drinks, prizes, and bribes. It's a performance, party, and fundraiser you can't miss!
Nathan Balser, originally from Springville, UT, is currently a faculty member of Western Wyoming Community College’s Theatre and Dance Department where teaches Modern, Ballet and Jazz and is the artistic director of the student dance company, Desert Dance Theatre. He has also choreographed several musicals including Oklahoma! and The Drowsy Chaperone. He graduated from the University of Utah with an MFA in Modern Dance and Brigham Young University with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation. Before teaching at WWCC, Nathan performed in several Broadway musicals including Promises, Promises and Legally Blonde and was a member of RDT from 2000-2002. Nathan’s favorite pastime is playing at home with his wife and two daughters and eating really good Thai food.
Suzie Balser, originally from Sandy, UT, is an adjunct faculty member at Western Wyoming Community College teaching modern and jazz dance as well as acting. At Western, she recently directed Flowers for Algernon, choreographed for the student dance company, and the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BFA in Music, Dance, and Theatre. Her performance experience includes playing the lead role in Mamma Mia! and South Pacific. Her greatest accomplishments thus far are raising her two daughters, keeping her husband in line, and preparing for the arrival of her third child in late June (a boy). She is pleased to be exercising her choreographic muscles for Charette.
Jacque Lynn Bell finds truth a poor substitute for the things that go on in her head between 2 and 6 AM. Nevertheless, all of the following are verifiable facts: (a) She was stuck in the elevator at Juilliard with Twyla Tharp; (b) Mark Morris cooked dinner for her (carrots and trout, very nice); (c) She showed Mikhail Baryshnikov to his seat at the Metropolitan Opera; (d) She has performed spontaneous dance improvisations at both the Taj Mahal and in a tribal hut in Thailand; (e) She has put more newborns and octogenarians on this stage than everybody else in this competition put together; (f) has taught and/or choreographed at the U of U, BYU, USU, UVU, WSU, RDT, CDT, R-W, and from Panguitch to the Philippines and beyond; and (g) has been known to sleep with one of the other contestants here tonight.
This is Barton Poulson's fourth Charette but the first one where he is doing anything more than schmoozing, eating free food, or cueing music. He realizes, however, that tonight's honor has less to do with being a former RDT board member, an overeducated academic and psychology professor at Utah Valley University, or a born-again freshman art student at the University of Utah while on sabbatical from the former university, but instead has everything to do with who he is currently sleeping with. (He was advised to reveal that himself before Newt Gingrich's Super PAC got hold of that information.) He and his mysterious counterpart live in Salt Lake City and have three wonderful children.
Melissa Anast was born and raised in Price, Utah, (America). She was afraid of the outside world, so she stayed in Price and earned an Associate of Science degree. Melissa then attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received her BA in Dance Studies and Pilates Certificate. She travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland with Louis Kavouras from UNLV and performed for a month in the Fringe Festival. One of Melissa's pieces was chosen for the Gala Conncert at the American College Dance Festival. Then she got really daring and moved to Oakland, California to attend an all-women, private liberal arts college... Mills College. There she received her MFA with emphasis in choreography. During her 6 years teaching at USU- Eastern (formally CEU), she has choreographed over 55 pieces. Melissa's favorite foods are Gyros and Sushi.
Stephanie Terry Richards grew up in St. George, Utah and began her dance training at Ballet Arts of Southern Utah under the direction of Gretchen Rowe. Stephanie attended Southern Utah University and received her Bachelor of Science in Dance Performance. While attending SUU, Stephanie was a member of the Cedar City Junior Ballet Company and performed in many ballets for the community. Just last summer, Stephanie traveled to Wuhan, China and participated in the dance collaboration of SUU and The Hubei Dance Drama Theater performance of "The Dream of Helen". Stephanie is starting her first year as an adjunct faculty to USU-College of Eastern Utah teaching ballet, beginning pointe and dance ensemble works. This is Stephanie's first time participating in Charette and her favorite animals for this month are flamingos and peacocks.
Nicholas Cendese was born and raised in Salt Lake City. He graduated from the University of Utah’s department of modern dance with a BFA in the spring of 2004. Nicholas danced with Children’s Dance Theater until graduation from high school, after which he received the Elizabeth R. Hayes dance scholarship. He was also chosen as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Fine Arts. He performed as a guest for RDT in the Olympic Arts Festival production of With My Red Fires. In 2004, Nicholas started RawMoves with the amazing Natosha Washington, which won a SLAMMY in 2005. He is thrilled to be teaching for Miss Margene’s Creative Classroom and South Valley Creative Dance. This is his tenth year with RDT.
Natosha Washington is a Georgia peach that came to the University of Utah to get her BFA in modern dance, which she received in May of 2004. Before graduating from the University, Natosha had the honor of representing the University at the American College Dance Festival Nationals held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Natosha is continuing to choreograph as Co-Artistic Director of RawMoves with Nicholas Cendese and is teaching classes at Judge Memorial High School.
*See Nick & Natosha's world-premiere, 'What You Leave Behind' in RDT's show, Passage (March 22-24, 2012)