Faculty

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GAYLE CORKERY is the director and instructor for all levels of the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet. She studied at American Ballet Theater School in New York City and then performed with the Fort Worth Ballet and the Dallas State Fair Musicals. Ms. Corkery received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Texas Christian University where she studied ballet, theater, voice and literature. She performed and taught ballet in Germany for two years and returned to Fort Worth to open the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet in 1970. In 1972 she was selected to  participate in the School of American Ballet Services to Ballet Students and Teachers under a Ford Foundation Grant. This program was designed to further the development of professional ballet instruction in the United States. By special invitation Ms. Corkery attended the last teaching seminar of George Balanchine, the director of the New York City Ballet. She also attended seminars of the Paris Opera Ballet in Paris and the Kirov and Bolshoi Academies in Russia. Ms. Corkery developed the FWCD Ballet Department in 1983 and served as the director for 27 years. Ms. Corkery directed eight ballet training DVDs for children with NYCB pianists Steven Mitchell, Whit Kellog, and Tim Grundman.

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CARRIE CHENG was born in Miami, Florida and started her training with Thomas Armour of the Miami Conservatory. She continued her training under Dulce Anaya and the Jacksonville Ballet Theater. She earned a BFA in ballet from the University of Utah with a full four year scholarship. She has danced professionally with numerous companies including the Utah Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Boston, North Atlantic Ballet and Ballet Concerto and has made guest artist appearances throughout the United States, Mexico and Taiwan. She has been a guest teacher for summer ballet programs for schools such as; Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Texas Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Boston. Internationally, she has taught in Taiwan and China. Cheng has been adjunct ballet faculty at Texas Christian University, Tarrant County College and served on the board of directors for the Dance Council of North Texas. She was an instructor in ballet for Texas Ballet Theater School in Fort Worth from 2008-2016 and is currently the director of ballet at Fort Worth Country Day. She received a National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teachers Award in 2005-2006 and teacher of the year for Texas Ballet Theater School for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Carrie Cheng is an “ABT” Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT* Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT* National Training Curriculum.

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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.

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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. Natalie served on the staff at Broadway Theatre Project and has enjoyed teaching for Texas Christian University, Texas Ballet Theatre and the Dian West Studio. She was a company member of Texas Dance Theatre and continues to enjoy performing in the DFW area as a freelance dancer and a soloist with the Festival Ballet of North Texas. Natalie has also enjoyed dancing with Karl Marshall Productions and working with choreographers including Melissa Thodos and Christopher D’Amboise. Natalie has been fortunate to perform in many amazing ballets including George Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, Stephen Mills’ Women in Light, and Petipa’s GiselleSwan Lake, and Don Quixote. Natalie is certified in the Progressing Ballet Technique Method. In her free time, Natalie enjoys pursuing photography though her small business, NBrackenPhotography.  

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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.

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JULIA KAMILOS is working toward a BFA in Ballet at Texas Christian University. She is a senior in the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at TCU. Julia previously trained at The School of the Sacramento Ballet and graduated from St. Francis High School. Julia has created and performed roles in residency works choreographed by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, LeeWei Chao, and Ron Cunningham. She has been featured as a soloist in classical ballets including Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, and Giselle, restaged by Li-Chou Cheng and Jessica Zeller. Julia is a Nordan Fine Arts Scholar and is the historian of the Alpha Chapter of Chi Tau Epsilon Honor Society within the TCU SCCD. After graduation, Julia hopes to pursue her dream of dancing in a professional ballet company.


GUEST TEACHERS
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.