Faculty - 1 to 12 of 12


Michelle Dolighan-Rodenbeck



Owner/Director, Ballet/Pointe Instructor

Michelle Dolighan-Rodenbeck was trained as a full scholarship student at the School of American Ballet in New York City, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Academy of Colorado Ballet. Ms. Dolighan-Rodenbeck was the 1st place winner at the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancers Scholarship Competition and received the highly coveted Florence Ruston Award of Excellence. As a principal dancer for Colorado Ballet for 12 years, her many leading roles included the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odeile in Swan Lake, Lilac Fairy and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Myrtha in Giselle, Lucy in Dracula, Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, principal roles in Alvin Ailey's The River and principal roles in George Balanchine's Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, Rubies, Western Symphony and Who Cares?. She has appeared as a guest artist throughout the U.S. as well as toured as a guest artist with the International Stars Gala in the United States and Mexico.

With an impressive teaching resume throughout Colorado and the United States, she has utilized her vast knowledge of ballet to create the highest quality ballet programs at dance schools throughout Colorado, whether recreational or professional. In 2004 she was invited as a guest instructor for the Hula I Kala Dance Intensive on the island of Waikiki. In 2005, she returned to Colorado Ballet as a teacher in the Children's Program and served as Director of the Academy of Colorado Ballet from 2006-2009. During that time she also staged and rehearsed all children chosen to perform in Colorado Ballet's professional productions including The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Coppelia. Ms. Dolighan-Rodenbeck also co-founded the Academy of Colorado Ballet's highly successful competing and performing company formerly known as Aspirations. She continued instructing young dancers of the Academy of Colorado Ballet as a ballet and pointe instructor until June 2010.

Ms. Dolighan-Rodenbeck long had a vision of her own school where students could thrive with the highest quality training in all genres of dance in a warm, nurturing, positive environment. Her vision came to light with the opening of her own school Classic Dance Academy in July 2010.


Heather Marsh-Schieck



"Classic Dancers" Company Director, Tap, Jazz & Lyrical Instructor

Ms. Marsh-Schieck began her dance education at age 5 and has studied with a wide range of dance professionals from around the nation.  Her extensive training background includes classical ballet and pointe, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop.  She is a graduate of Casper College and the University of Wyoming where she earned her BFA in Theatre and Dance.  Her collegiate dance production credits include Dancing Near the Edge of Chaos, The Secret Garden, Pulcinella and Brahm’s Waltzes.  Regional theatre credits include Grease, The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Romeo and Juliet and Carousel.  Ms. Marsh-Schieck is currently an Artistic Consultant to Rocky Mountain School of Dance in Casper, Wyoming where she served as the Artistic Director for 12 years.  While with RMSD, the studio’s competition group won a number of overall titles and regional championships and her outstanding choreography has been recognized at several regional competitions.  She has also staged over 17 musical theatre productions working with both amateur and professional groups. 

Many of her former students can now be found dancing and teaching professionally in Denver, New York City, Virginia, Las Vegas, Utah and California, or pursuing dance and theatre educations in prestigious conservatory and university programs around the world. 

Since moving to Denver in 2007, she has taught extensively with a number of Denver-area studios and worked with several competition groups.  She has been with Classic Dance Academy since 2011, she was named the company director of CDA's competing and performing company "Classic Dancers" for the inaugural 2011-2012 season and has been leading the dancers to success ever since!

When not dancing, Ms. Marsh-Schieck enjoys spending time with her daughter Savannah, son Ethan and husband Todd.  Passionate about dance, she feels blessed to have the opportunity to share the gift of dance with others. 


Julia Brown

Julia Brown

Julia grew up in Casper, Wyoming where she began dancing at the age of 3. Her dance training includes ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, modern, and contemporary. She began competing at the age of 8. While competing she won many overall titles under the direction of Heather Marsh-Schieck. She was fortunate to train under many other well-known instructors such as Tony Coppola, Monte Black, and Marsha Knight. Julia performed with the San Diego Ballet, the Moscow Ballet, and the Western ballet in their traveling nutcracker performances. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Julia helped coach the Kelly Wash High School Dance team as well as choreographed and staged routines for the high school’s musicals.

Outside of dance, Julia works as a pediatric nurse and spends her time with her daughter who is a dancer at CDA and is a member of the Classic Dancer’s Competition team. Julia is excited to join the CDA faculty and share her love of dance with others.


Janelle Cooke-Hinkley

Janelle Cooke-Hinkley

Ballet Instructor

Janelle began studying ballet at the age of four in Derry, New Hampshire.  Her primary training was in Royal Academy of Dancing.  She also received her training from the Academy of Colorado Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Interlochen Arts Academy.  In 1995, she received the Young Artist Award for excellence in dance.  After graduating from high school, Janelle became an apprentice with Colorado Ballet, and one year later was invited to join the company as a member of the corps de ballet.  She was promoted to soloist in 2003.  Her roles with Colorado Ballet include Sugarplum Fairy and Arabian in The Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Myrtha in Giselle, Helena in Christopher Wheeldon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Phrygia in Spartacus.  She has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Who Cares, and Stars and Stripes; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs; Paul Taylor’s Company B; Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring; Frederick Ashton’s Façade; and Alvin Ailey’s The River.  She has also danced featured roles with many contemporary choreographers including Michael Pink, Lila York, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jessica Lang, and Toru Shimazaki.  Janelle appeared as a guest artist in the Arabesque Festival with First State Ballet Theatre in Delaware in 2004 and 2005, and performed in Okamoto Ballet's Don Quixote in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008.

Ms. Cooke-Hinkley has been teaching and coaching classical ballet for over fifteen years and is a favorite among many schools throughout Colorado.  She is very excited to return to the Classic Dance Academy faculty, inspiring excellence and being inspired by the beautiful, young dancers of CDA!


Alisa Felin

Alisa Felin has been a dancer for nearly as long as she has known how to speak. The language of dancing has taken Ms. Felin around the world, and back again, to the heart of her beginnings, experiencing the joyful, meaningful discoveries found within dance.  Ms. Felin began her career as a dancer at the age of three at a dance studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. There began a lifelong passion for dance, including Tap, Jazz, and Ballet, along with the fundamentals for what would become an impressive dance career.

Ms. Felin is an award-winning Dupree Dance Competition performer whose dance studies notably include intensive study under the renowned Jean Paul Comelin at The School of Arizona Ballet.

While attending Arizona State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and Sociology, Ms. Felin's studies included collegiate level Modern Dance, Improvisation, and Ballet. The rigors of collegiate training prepared Ms. Felin for a prominent role pursuing her lifelong dance passion; Ms. Felin danced for three years as a professional cheerleader, earning a noteworthy position with The Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders as Captain.

Upon earning her degree from ASU, Ms. Felin was distinguished with an invitation to join Cheerleaders of America, an elite group of dancers featuring former NFL cheerleaders. In her role within the organization, Ms. Felin performed for military troops around the world, traveling to destinations worldwide, including Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.  Pursuing her dance passion around the world, Ms. Felin eventually returned to her roots upon moving to Denver in 2004. The joy of childhood dance and instruction is where Ms. Felin's passion for the art began, and it is where she has invested her talent and heart. 

Ms. Felin has spent nearly the last decade as a dance instructor specializing in Creative Dance, Tap, Jazz, and Ballet, while raising her three children alongside her husband Paul.  Ms. Felin joins Classic Dance Academy after having spent four years as a highly regarded and sought after children’s instructor with Academy of Colorado Ballet, as well as a former instructor at Cherry Creek Dance and Sweatshop Dance.  Her dance passion enlivens all aspects of her life, passion, and joy, including her entrepreneurial spirit. Ms. Felin owns and operates Alisa’s Dance Party (www.alisasdanceparty.com), offering premiere entertainment for children's dance parties in the Denver area.

With wholehearted kindness, exceptional talent, and warm radiance, Ms. Felin is a standout among standouts. She is passionately aligned with the stellar principles and integrity of Classic Dance Academy and eager to work alongside, once again her former colleague and friend, Michelle Dolighan-Rodenbeck.


Staci Kinkead Fox

Staci Kinkead Fox


           Staci Kinkead-Fox is originally from Martinsburg, WV and received her formal training from Inwood Performing Arts Company in Inwood, WV. While there she was trained in the Royal Academy style of ballet, as well as, jazz, modern and Broadway tap. At the age of 14, Ms. Fox was accepted as a full scholarship student to the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. There she was trained in the Vaganova method under the instruction of Ludmilla Morkovina.

            Upon graduation, Ms. Fox joined Colorado Ballet as an apprentice and was then invited to join as a corps de ballet member one year later. In 2003 she was promoted to a soloist. Ms. Fox’s roles with Colorado Ballet include “Myrtha” in Giselle, “Fleur de Farine” and “Diamond Fairy” in Sleeping Beauty, “Mercedes” and “Anita” in Don Quixote, “Fortune” in Carmina Burana and “The Cowgirl” in Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo”. Ms. Fox has also danced featured roles with many contemporary choreographers including Michael Pink, Peter Pucci, Donald McKayle, Toru Shimazaki, Septime Webber and Doug Varone.

            Ms. Fox retired from Colorado Ballet after the 2004 season to pursue career opportunities in veterinary medicine all the while staying true to her roots in the dance world by teaching at many dance facilities in Colorado, West Virginia and Maryland.


Niki Kraft


Niki Kraft was born and raised in the small town of Scottsbluff, Nebraska where she began her dance training under the instruction of her mother, Jacque Hofmeister. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2013 with a BFA in Theatre and Dance with a concentration in dance performance. While at the University of Wyoming, Niki trained in ballet, modern, pointe and jazz dance techniques. During this time, she performed in the repertory of her instructors Lawrence Jackson, Jennifer Deckert, Margaret Wilson and Marsha Knight, as well as that of Bill T. Jones, Andre Megerdichian, Keith Saunders and Maurice Watson. Niki spent the summer of 2012 studying at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre where she furthered her knowledge of the Horton technique.

Upon graduation, Niki moved to Denver to pursue a dance career and has since danced with the Moraporvida Contemporary Dance Company, the Avatar Movement Dance Company, the Nu World Contemporary Danse Theatre, and is currently in her fourth season with the Davis Contemporary Dance Company. Outside of rehearsals, Niki enjoys teaching within the Denver dance community and is a barre fitness instructor at The Ballet Physique and a CycleStar at CycleBar Southwest Plaza. Niki is thrilled to be joining the wonderful staff and students of Classic Dance Academy!


Jacob Mora

Jacob Mora

Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Boys Foundation Instructor

Choreographer, actor, dancer and musician Jacob Mora hails from Denver, Colorado where he works in dance, music and film. As Artistic Director of Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, Jacob fuses both cultural and contemporary movements and music styles, ever expanding his continued exploration of relationships and the human experience. Jacob has garnered international success as a performer, teacher and artist.   He has been seen dancing with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, Hannah Kahn Dance, and Santee Smith Group. He has had the pleasure of working with Choreographers such as Donald Mckayle, Betty Jones, Milton Meyers, David Rousseve, Eleo Pomare, David Dorfman and Lisa Race, among many.

   Existing as a fiercely passionate educator and promoter of dance culture, Jacob unites different genres of movement, both traditional and progressive to bring together peoples of different cultural and socioeconomic groups to embrace the art and joy of dance. As an emcee and musician Jacob’s reach is similarly diverse. He produces, creates and performs with multiple bands across the genres of Hip Hop, Electronic and avant-garde styles of music.  Jacob teaches nationally and internationally conducting workshops and residencies on Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop and Conditioning the Spirit.  He has been on faculty with the University of Wyoming, UNLV  the New York Institute of Dance, as well as guest artist and teacher for many other schools, festivals and institutions.


Maria Mosina


Ballet Instructor

Ms.Mosina was born in Moscow and graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia. Upon graduation, Ms. Mosina joined the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company and was immediately chosen for principal roles. She toured the world appearing on all major European, American, African and Asian stages. She performed leading roles in all major productions as a member of the Company, as well as a guest artist with many other festivals, galas, and companies. Among the most memorable are the International Arts Festival in Spoletto, Italy, Gala Performance in Memory of Nureyev in Ufa, and Fernando Bujones Gala in Miami, FL.  She also proudly holds a commemorative diploma for appearing in the Royal Variety Performance before Her Majesty the Queen of England.

Ms Mosina was invited to join Colorado Ballet as a lead principal dancer in 1995. In her 20 years with the company she has performed all major roles in classical productions such as Clara and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Sylphide in La Sylphide, Odette-Odille in Swan Lake, Aurora and Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle in Giselle, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Kitri in Don Quixote, Taglioni in Pas de Quatre, The Dying Swan, Le Spectre de La Rose and pas de deuxs from Le Corsaire, Talisman, Paquita, and Les Sylphides.   Ms. Mosina has shown her talent in neoclassical, modern and contemporary choreography in master pieces such as Balanchine’s Apollo, Rubies, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Stars and Stripes, and Who Cares? as well as Christopher Weeldon’s  A Midsummer Night Dream, Peter Pucci’s Size Nine Spirit (as seen on PBS), Alvin Ailey’s The River, Martha Graham’s monumental Appalachian Spring, Agnes de Mille's  Rodeo, Paul Taylor's Company B, Sir Frederick.Ashton's Facade, Anthony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading and Echoing of Trumpets, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs and In the Upper Room, Michael Pink's Dracula and  The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stanton Welch's Of Blessed Memory, Martin Fredmann's  Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, A Little Love, Mon Dieu, Sachertorte, Silent Woods, Dreamspace ( as seen on PBS), Donald McKayle's JamNation, Septime Webre's Where the Wild Things Are, C.Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No.1, L.Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Cottschalk and more.  Ms. Mosina is constantly praised for her incredible talent and artistry as well as her sincere passion for dance

Ms. Mosina has appeared as a guest artist at various prestigious dance festivals and galas across the United States. Additionally, she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine and in an article in Dancer Magazine.

To add to her credits she also holds a master’s degree in methodology and pedagogy from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. She is an active ballet instructor across the United States and has participated as a master teacher and judge for the Youth American Grand Prix.  She is now in her 20th season as a principal ballerina with Colorado Ballet and is excited to be sharing her knowledge of dance by teaching throughout the United States.


Gwen Tripp

Gwen Tripp

"Classic Dancers" Company repetiteur, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Pre-Ballet/Tap combo

Gwen is a Kansas City native who began dancing competitively when she was 14 years old. She has been blessed to perform and train with many amazing companies over her career, including the Kansas City Ballet, the San Diego City Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Gwen has been invited to perform in many projects over her career. She performed in Suzanne Ryan Strati’s “The Strength to be Willing,” performed at the Folley Theater in Kansas City, as well as being featured in Strati’s “Ordo Virtum,” performed at the Lied Center in Lawrence, KS. She was also a corps de ballet dancer in the performance of Balanchine’s “Serenade,” performed at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in Kansas City, as well as being invited to dance in Daniela Musalardi’s “When the Lights Go Out,” at the Alvin Ailey 2012 Summer Sizzler. While attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s conservatory of dance, Gwen was invited to perform in many extracurricular performances, including Sabrina Madison-Cannon’s “Revisit,” performed at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, and Paula Weber’s “Carmina Burana,” performed at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Gwen finished her dance education by receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Dance in May of 2013 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She joined the Kim Robards Dance company in Aurora, CO after graduation and has been dancing and performing with Kim since then. She is currently in her second season with Kim Robards Dance. Gwen has been teaching a variety of dance classes to children and adults since she was 18 years old. Teaching is her true passion, and she is very excited to have joined the Classic Dance Academy as a teacher and a Company coach. She is excited to share her experience and knowledge with her new students.


Emily Speed


Emily Speed is from Argyle, TX and graduated from Marina Almayeva School of Classical Ballet. She has qualified and competed in Varna International Ballet Competition, Jackson IBC and YAGP Finals as well as being a World Ballet Competition Finalist and winning First Place in the YAGP regionals. This is Emily’s 6th season with Colorado Ballet during which time she has danced numerous roles including Clara and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty, Flames of Paris Pas de Deux, Little Sister in Anthony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire, Red Couple in Twayla Tharp’s Brief Fling, Lead Russian in Balanchine’s Serenade, Pink Couple in Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto, Pas de Trios and Cygnets in Swan Lake, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort and many more. Emily has also had the honor of performing Anthony Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading, Continuo and Jardin aux lilas with other companies throughout her career. Ms. Speed began teaching for Ms. Almayeva in 2008 and has since taught all over the country. Emily has been invited as a Guest Instructor in multiple Summer Intensives including Colorado Ballet, South Mississippi Ballet Theater and Mobile Ballet. Emily currently teaches throughout Denver and is looking forward to working with the Classic Dance Academy students this year.


Joshua Glenn

Joshua Glenn is a Hip-Hop Choreographer and Breakdance instructor from Aurora, Colorado. At age 12, Josh began to develop a passion for Hip-Hop dance and the art of freestyle. In 2012, he joined the Cherokee Trail high school Hip-Hop club where his passion for Breakdance began. He is currently majoring in journalism and public relations at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. In 2013, he landed his first teaching job as a Breakdance Instructor in Denver combining quality instruction paired with his welcoming personality, Josh’s career as a professional Dancer began to take flight.

In 2013, Josh’s talents awarded him an invite to join COhe Dance Crew, a competitive dance crew lead by Kayla Scott. Since joining, he has trained under a large variety of dancers and choreographers across the country including Buddha Stretch, Carlo Darang, Tight Eyez, Nappytabs, Bboy Cherrito, Emily Sasson and many others. Alongside COhe, Josh’s choreography has been performed at the Buell Theatre, CU Boulder and the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. He has also choreographed, competed and placed second in the Vail 8150 Urban Dance Challenge and Verve Hip-Hop dance challenge.

Josh takes his dance training very seriously and is always drawing inspiration from all areas of movement. He is a hard-working individual in and out of dance, and hopes to inspire and motivate all his students.


Faculty - 1 to 12 of 12