LI-CHOU CHENG started his professional training when he was thirteen at the Beijing Dance Academy in China. At the age of nineteen he joined the Beijing Central Ballet as a dancer, soloist, and also served as a ballet master and rehearsal director for company. Since immigrating to the United States in 1980 he served as Assistant Professor at the University of Utah and Arizona State University. In 1988, Mr. Cheng was named the Principal teacher for both the Boston Ballet Company and School. Recently retired, Mr. Cheng was Professor of Professional Practice in Ballet with the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University for 28 years. As a guest teacher in demand nationwide, he has worked with many ballet companies and their summer dance programs such as Pittsburgh Ballet, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Met, Ballet Austin, Indianapolis Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Ballet Oregon, North Carolina School of the Arts and Walnut Hill School of Arts. His international teaching experience includes The National Ballet School of Canada, The National Institution of Arts in Mexico, the Taipei National University of Arts and the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in Taiwan.
NATALIE BRACKEN is a performer, teacher, and choreographer in the DFW area. She graduated with a BFA in Ballet and a BA in Political Science with Departmental Honors from TCU where she was a Fine Arts Guild scholarship recipient. She went on to receive her M.Ed in Educational leadership through UNT. Natalie received her early training in Fort Worth, Texas from Gayle Corkery, Carrie and Li-Chou Cheng, Debbi Jo Utter, Dian West and Barbara Wood. She is currently on the dance and theatre faculty at Fort Worth Country Day and teaches at the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet and Dance Concept. In the past, Natalie has also enjoyed teaching for Texas Christian University, Texas Ballet Theatre and the Dian West Studio. She was a company member of Texas Dance Theatre and the Festival Ballet of North Texas and continues to enjoy performing in the DFW area as a freelance dancer. Natalie has been fortunate to perform in many ballets including George Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, Stephen Mills’ Women in Light, and Petipa’s Giselle, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote. Natalie is level three certified in the Progressing Ballet Technique Method. In her free time, Natalie enjoys pursuing photography though her small business, NBrackenPhotography.
MARIE HARBOUR began dancing at the age of seven taking ballet classes at Texas Ballet Theater and the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet. Marie has taught ballet at Gayle Corkery’s school under the guidance of Gayle Corkery for six years. She earned her B.A. in Dance Education at Texas Women’s University, where she learned more in depth teaching techniques in ballet, modern and ballroom. While at Texas Woman’s University, Marie was a member of their International Dance Company, an ensemble that traveled all over Texas performing a variety of dance genres at public and private schools, festivals and conferences. She also performed in multiple informal and formal dance performances and participated in Musicals. Marie has taught ballet in public and private schools, community events, studios and workshops throughout the DFW metroplex. Marie loves working with and helping students of all ages experience and understand the wonderful art form of dance.
DEVYN WOODRUFF received her early ballet training in Fort Worth, Texas from the Stanova Semikov Ballet Academy. She continued her ballet training at the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet in Fort Worth, Texas studying under Gayle Corkery and Carrie and Li-Chou Cheng. She also attended the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts where she studied jazz, ballet and modern dance. She went on to earn a B.F.A. in Dance from West Texas A&M University graduating Summa Cum Laude. There she studied a variety of dance genres as well as teaching and choreographic techniques and performed in a various works by faculty and guest artists. She has danced professionally in The Texas Outdoor Musical Drama, with the Festival Ballet of North Central Texas, and with the Dallas Opera. She currently teaches at Kids Who Care and the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet. Devyn is also a classically trained vocalist. She enjoys continuing to perform as freelance dancer and singer in the DFW area.
NATALIE ARNOLD SINCLAIR began her formal ballet training at the age of 9 with George Skibine and Marjorie Tallchief at the Dallas Ballet Academy. At the age of 13, she performed the role of Clara in The Nutcracker with the Dallas Ballet. She also trained at Southwest Ballet Center, Pennsylvania School or Ballet and School of American Ballet in New York. She made per professional debut with Fort Worth Ballet and performed with the company for 11 years before dancing two years with Cleveland Ballet. Some of her favorite leading roles include: Rubies from Jewls, Embraceable Pas de Deux in Who Cares and the Second Violin in Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Natalie has attended two teaching seminars with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and taught at Amy Blake School of Dance, Chara School of Dance and Royal Dance Academy. She has also taught at the Forcher School of Dance summer intensive in Irving, Texas. This will be her third year with the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet.
ISABELLA RODRIQUEZ graduated cum laude from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet and Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies. Prior to TCU, Isabella trained at various studios in her hometown of El Paso, Texas and attended summer intensives with San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet, where she was offered a position in their year-round pre-professional programs. During her time at TCU, she performed both solo and ensemble work in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations staged by Willy Shives, Giselle and Paquita staged by Dr. Jessica Zeller, Balanchine’s 3 Themes (excerpt) from The Four Temperaments®, Valse Fantaisie®, and original works by Toni Pimble and General McArthur Hambrick. Isabella is currently on the dance faculty at All Saint’s Episcopal School, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and Texas Ballet Theater. This will be her second year with the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet and she is looking forward to a tremendous year of working with her students.
HANNAH BELL began her formal training at the age of nine at Gayle Corkery School of Ballet. She studied under numerous instructors including Gayle Corkery, Olga Pavlova, Paul and Maria Mejia, Margo McCann, and Li-Chou and Carrie Cheng. Hannah also was a teaching assistant for Gayle Corkery. She has been able to use her love of dance in on mission trips, at church dance programs, and by opening her own studio in Aledo. Hannah is also a nurse. Hannah is excited to share her many passions with the students at the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet.
Master classes have been taught by some of the most illustrious names in the ballet world.
VIOLETTE VERDY, former principal dancer NYCB, former director of the Paris Opera Ballet and the Boston Ballet
ALLEGRA KENT, former principal dancer of the NYCB
SUKI SCHORER, former principal dancer of the NYCB and now premiere teacher at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the NYCB
COLLEEN NEARY, former principal dancer of the NYCB and now director of the Los Angeles Ballet
EDWARD VILLELLA, former principal dancer of the NYCB and former director of the Miami City Ballet
DANIEL DUELL, former principal dancer of the NYCB and now director of Ballet Chicago.
MARIE-CHRISTINE MOUIS, former principal dancer Boston Ballet
SILAS FARLEY, current NYCB company member.