About Us: Artistic Staff

Michele Antonioli (Artistic Director) is an Associate Professor in the University of Montana School of Theater and Dance, teaching ballet, pointe, kinesiology and pedagogy. She studied professionally with the Harkness Ballet School and the School of American Ballet before dancing with the Houston Ballet and the Frankfurt Opera Ballet. She has a B.S. in Geology and a M.F.A. in Ballet from Texas Christian University. She has directed the Garden City Ballet's productions of Cinderella and The Nutcracker.

 

Heather Adams (Choreographer) has been involved in the Missoula community arts scene for many years — teaching and performing at various local events, festivals, parties and volunteering her time to local non-profits. She was on staff at the University of Montana School of Theater and Dance and continues to work with the Missoula Children's Theater as a performer and choreographer for summer camps and community shows. She founded the Downtown Dance Collective where she acts as Executive Director and Instructor. Heather has worked locally and regionally choreographing for musicals including Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Forbidden Broadway, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Chicago, West Side Story, HAIR, Music Man, and Footloose. Future projects include 9 to 5 and A Grand Night for Music. "Thank you for the opportunity to share in this wonderful holiday tradition. It meant so much to me as a child and created memories for a lifetime. I am excited to give back and help the spirit of The Nutcracker grow on!"
 

Marie Barnett (Choreographer) was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance method in the San Francisco bay area, completing Elementary through Advanced levels as well as earning the Royal Academy of Dance teaching certificate. Marie has performed classical and contemporary roles with San Luis Obispo Civic Ballet and Golden State Ballet. As a choreographer, she has set everything from classical variations to Broadway musicals. Before moving to Montana, Ms. Barnett was the owner and artistic director of the Ballet Conservatory of Saddleback Valley. She is currently enjoying teaching Ballet, Jazz, Pilates and Yoga here in the Missoula valley.

 

Nicole Bradley Browning (Choreographer) is a dance artist and educator based in Missoula, Montana. She has performed, improvised, presented choreography and taught throughout the US and in Taiwan. She is interested in making dances reflective of the human experience, relationships and intimate contact between people and place, and finds great inspiration in building collaborative engagements between dance and other disciplines albeit music, media, poetry, theatre or science. Nicole specializes in contemporary modern dance, contact improvisation, improvisation, composition and dance ethnography. She serves as a professor of dance at the University of Montana.

 

Lisa Deer, Owner/Director of On Center Performing Arts, enjoys sharing her diverse training with the performers of Missoula. Lisa has traveled the world with a career that spans almost thirty years. Before devoting her life to the education of young artists; she was a principal performer in Las Vegas’ “Jubilee” and “Enter the Night”; she was also a soloist for two contracts in Japan; she traveled the islands on Royal Caribbean’s “Monarch of the Sea”; she did several national tours and countless industrials. Her television and film credits include “Casino”, “My Giant”, “The Watcher”, and “Honeymoon in Vegas”. Lisa has taught and performed internationally in countries including Thailand, Egypt, and Japan, and was the spokesmodel representing Las Vegas in Switzerland. She continues to be involved in corporate production and in the past year she stage managed or directed for companies including Microsoft, RSA, Chrysler, Nuskin and Cisco. Furthermore, she has recently been accepted into the BA program for Media Arts at the University of Montana. Studying dance with such greats as Robert Joffrey, Michael Maule, Edward Villella, and Luigi, she is proficient in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre. Her greatest joy is sharing her knowledge with the children of Missoula and seeing them rise to their full potential by following their dreams.

 

Jordan Dehline Burt (Choreographer) graduated from the University of Montana in 2008 with a BFA in Dance Education and Choreography/Performance. She has performed as a company member with Bare Bait Dance, Headwaters Dance Company, the CoMotion Dance Project, and Plateau Ballet Repertory Theatre of Washington. Jordan currently teaches in Missoula County Public Schools as part of Spark! Arts Ignite Learning. Jordan is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has succesfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is the co-author of Dance Integration: 36 Dance Lesson Plans for Science and Mathematics, released by Human Kinetics in June 2014.

 

Marie Hopper (Costume Mistress) was born and raised on a small farm in Stevensville, Montana. "I have two sisters and one brother. My Mom taught all of us to sew. We grew up sewing our own clothing, wedding dresses, quilts and whatever else that could fit on a sewing machine. We have made lots of quilts as a family as each child graduates or gets married. I worked my way through college in Billings doing repairs on all the bell bottom jeans for everyone on campus. I went to school for a degree in Special Education but met my husband to be, Clay, in Missoula in 1975 and moved back to the area. I have two children, a son Jeff and daughter Megan. I went to work in the schools working as a para-educator in Special Education for the next 26 years. I began working with visually impaired students in the last 10 years and learned braille during that time. I retired in the spring of 2014, and now work for Beach Transportation as a special education bus attendant. It gives me more time to sew and do the many things that I love. Clay and I are still finding our way around partial retirement but so far so good. This will be my third year working for Garden City Ballet doing alterations for the costumes. I love the work and seeing the children in the costumes and how excited they are about them."

 

Jes Mullette (Choreographer) was born and bred in the mountains of western Montana. She holds an MFA in Experimental Choreography from The University of California, Riverside and a BA in Dance/Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Montana. A classical ballerina for the first 12 years of her career, her current work is an amalgamation of her early training and the practices of contemporary dance and improvisation, contact improvisation, and somatics, and is inspired by a constant negotiation with her relationship to grace. During her time in Missoula, Jes has been a member of Headwaters Dance Company, has performed and choreographed for Bare Bait Dance Company, and co-founded the Wrecking Crew Dance Company with her dance partner Anya Cloud. She has also taught dance at the University of Montana, Ballet Arts Academy, and Big Sky High School through the MoDE Project. Mullette is thrilled to participate in the magical tradition of The Nutcracker this year and would like to thank Garden City Ballet for the opportunity.

 

Colleen Rosbarsky (Choreographer) is on the faculty at Ballet Arts Academy in Missoula where she teaches ballet and jazz classes and choreographs for the BAA Studio Company.  She has a B.F.A. in Ballet from the University of Utah. Earlier in her career Ms. Rosbarsky performed as a company member with Utah Ballet, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre.  In recent years Ms. Rosbarsky has segued into musical theater performance, appearing in Chicago at the University of Montana and Footloose at MCT.  This December Ms. Rosbarsky will appear as Cindy Lou in MCT's production of Winter Wonderettes. In 2012 Ms. Rosbarsky served as one of the director's for Garden City Ballet's The Nutcracker and she is delighted to be involved in the production again this year.    

 

Lindsey Schwickert (Choreographer) began her training in Whitefish, Montana at the age of four. Soon traveling to Kalispell, MT, she became a passionate member of the Northwest Ballet Company. Performing in several Nutcracker productions, Spring Showcases and also as a guest artist for Azure Vision Dance Company, her desire to constantly dance landed her at the University of Montana in 2008. Ms. Schwickert has danced and taught with Headwaters Dance Company, CoMotion Dance Project and SPARK! and is currently dancing with Bare Bait Dance. Lindsey is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Along with dance, Ms. Schwickert loves outdoor activities and traveling the world. She is also finishing the last semester of her MBA at the University of Montana.

 

Lori Stevens (Choreographer) began her dancing career at the age of 3 with Valentine’s School of Dance in Orchard Park, New York. She moved to Montana at 17 and studied Elementary Education at The University of Montana. She attended ballet classes at the University of Montana and then with Kitty Van der Linde at the YWCA and Third Street Studio. Lori then continued her study of Classical Ballet with Jan Snow at Dance Works.

Kitty Van der Linde produced Missoula’s first Nutcracker in 1982. Kitty, Lori and two others founded the Garden City Ballet in 1984. Lori was an original member of Garden City Ballet’s first Professional Company, and served on the board of directors as the Dancer’s Advocate.  

 

Lori has been a classical ballet instructor and choreographer for Garden City Ballet, Dance Works and the Missoula Dance Academy. Lori’s repertoire includes roles in 24 Nutcrackers, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Montana Sweet, Spartacus, Scheherazade, Rodeo and various original ballets.  She also has performed in productions with Missoula’s Children’s (Community) Theater including Jesus Christ Superstar. Lori also was the director of The Garden City Wooden Shoe Dancers, an original group created by Kitty Van der Linde as part of her Dutch heritage.

 

Lori’s first grandchild was born in August 2008 in Libby, Montana. Upon giving her granddaughter a tutu for Christmas at the age of 2 1/2, she realized the need for classical ballet classes in Libby and so Libby Ballet was started in February of 2011. Lori, with the help of many in the Libby area, produced, directed, choreographed and costumed 3 Nutcrackers, 2 original ballets, Rodeo, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream and excerpts from Swan Lake, Giselle, and Les Sylphide.

Lori is thrilled and also extremely honored to be back with Garden City Ballet and working with this tremendous group of talented artists. Her life’s passion for dance and bringing that passion to the youth of Missoula continues with exuberance!