Director: Valerie Holgers
The Acadèmie de Ballet Classique (ABC) was founded by Valerie Holgers, a former professional ballet dancer, a Marylhurst College scholarship recipient, a Certified Pilates Instructor, and a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). Mrs. Holgers holds a Bachelor’s in Arts degree from Marylhurst College and entered into the MBA program at Marylhurst College. Her personal dance training encompassed many notable ballet masters and mistresses throughout the dance world and are too numerous to mention here.
At her former school, Multnomah Arts Center Ballet Program in Portland Oregon, Ms Holgers’ students achieved much success with their RAD examination scores, and several of those students moved on to enjoy their own professional dance careers. She has taught for Marjorie Soriano, June Taylor, Pacific Ballet Theater, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Marcelle Renoux, among others.
In 1999 Mrs. Holgers moved to Bend, Oregon, and in 2006 she opened ABCBend, where she continues to demonstrate a high level of success with her RAD exam scores. Additionally, some of Mrs. Holgers’ students have attended the Royal Academy of Dance’ Pre-Vocational Summer Intensive Program in Long Beach California, The Goh Academy in Vancouver, BC, June Taylor School of Dance Summer Intensives and The North Carolina School of the Arts. Others have gone on to companies such as Colorado Ballet, Harlem Ballet Theater, and Oregon Ballet Theater.
Mrs. Holgers has also taught Classical Ballet and Pilates at several notable dance and fitness establishments and programs throughout the Oregon area, such as Oregon Ballet Theater, Pacific Ballet Theatre, Western Ballet Theatre, Athletic Club of Bend, and Sage Springs Spa.
Contemporary, Jazz & Hip Hop Instruction: Alesa Terry
Mrs. Terry joined our faculty September 2011 and brings with her expertise, boundless energy and creativity.
Alesa Terry began her career as a dance educator and choreographer before she was out of high school. She is currently the director of Dance Velocity and has spent the previous eight years as an instructor for Sunriver Dance Academy. Alesa teaches classes in various styles of modern, ballet, hip hop, creative movement, composition, and jazz dance. Through high quality learning experiences and an encouraging environment she inspires to pass on her love for the art form of dance.
Ms. Alesa studied as a dance major at University of Oregon and on a dance scholarship to Lane Community College. The majority of her education comes from teacher and mentor Mary Matthews of the North Bend High Schools modern dance program. Some of her most memorable dance training includes master classes and Summer intensive programs with Vera Altunia of the Kirov Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Bill T. Jones, Pilobolus, Lars Lubovich, Shapiro & Smith, and Hubbard Street of Chicago. Ms. Alesa performed with Dance Theater of Oregon and various Lane Community College and University of Oregon performances. She has performed and choreographed numerous dance and theater productions.
Pre-Ballet Program & Adult Ballet Instruction: Charah Leis
Ms. Charah trained in ballet, modern & jazz dance for 10 years. Training at the Vermont with a former New York City Ballet dancer,then at the Pacific Ballet Theatre School (now Oregon Ballet Theater). Then took a very long break,by taking the Royal Academy of Dance Grade 6 examination.
Says Ms. Charah,”Once my daughters developed a passion to dance, I couldn’t stay away. So I re-entered the world of ballet, studying first at Central Oregon Ballet School, then at ABC.”
Ms. Charah has taken several of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) teachers’ intensive courses: Pre-school Ballet, Pre-Primary, Primary in Dance. Last year, she and Ms. Valerie traveled to Tualatin the Vocational Grades Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate teachers’ intensive. Then most recently
the new RAD Grades 1,2 & 3.
Ms. Charah, “I have had the privilege of teaching many small dancers over the last few years at this wonderful studio.” Our students love Ms. Charah’s classes and we’re thrilled to have her teach for us.
Principle Pianist: Constance Gordy
Ms. Gordy joined ABC in 2007 and has thrilled dancers, parents, examiners and teachers alike. Her talents as a dance accompanist places her in high demand in Central Oregon. Playing for a ballet class requires many skills, adaptation and quick reaches for varying music books as teachers move through students through their exercises and enchainements.
Constance Gordy has been happily involved in the dance and theatre community since moving to Bend four years ago from Jackson Hole, WY with her love Rich Shields. She began her dance musician career in Princeton, NJ with the Princeton Ballet School (school of the American Repertory Ballet) while attending Westminster Choir College for piano performance and pedagogy (B.M. 1992). During her Masters pursuit at Concordia University (M.A. Music Performance and Psychology, 1999) in Montréal, Québec, Constance was accompanist for Elaine Aidelbaum’s ballet school (now Miss Elaine’s Ballet and Dance World). For ten years, Constance performed throughout the West in resorts and national parks, as well as a short stint with the Pacific Northwest Ballet (the rainy weather drove her back to CA). Upon moving to Bend in Fall 2007, Constance contacted Valerie about playing for her ballet school and has thoroughly enjoyed playing for Valerie and the girls ever since. This past Fall, Constance was Music Director/Pianist for CatCall Productions’ Chicago. In addition to CatCall, Constance has performed in numerous theatre productions with 2nd St. Theatre and Mountain View High School.
Costume Mistress: Sara Farina
Mrs. Farina has been with ABC since its inception in 2004. She tirelessly cares for and catalogues our costumes for all our events. Her skills have kept our costume room and shop in good order for these past 7 years. She ensures that each student has their costume properly labeled and available for all each event. It is a direct result of her efforts that allow us to offer a rental program, saving parents hundreds of dollars each year.