Carrie graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000. During her time at VCU she performed in faculty pieces by Chris Burnside and the late Audrey Jung, and trained with amazing faculty and guest artists such as: Chris Burnside, Barbara Grubel, Arnott Mader, Judy Jacobs, Audrey Jung, Melanie Richards, Nicolas Leicter, Judy Steel, Martha Curtis, Scott Putnam, Taylor 2 Dance Company, BeBe Miller, and many others. She was selected to attend American College Dance Festival in 2000 for her piece “Phantasm”, and again in 2001 for her performance in "Reel Elements". In 2002 she moved to NYC to study with Skip Costa and other NYC based dancers. While there, she realized that her true passion in dance was with her students. She returned the following year to continue teaching and has built a modern department at CDC that cannot be matched, and in 2006, she became the owner of CDC.
The founder and artistic director of CDC's acclaimed contemporary company, dELIRIUM (est. 2006), she has received numerous awards for her choreography including Outstanding Contemporary, Outstanding Partnering, Choreographic Distinction Award, Outstanding Concept and her personal favorite; "Most Interesting Use of Music". In 2008, her piece, "The Fly" won 1st place Overall High Score, the "Judge's Choice Award", and a Choreography award. "Apologize", a piece she co-choreographed with Lauren Myers, won 2nd place overall at NYLA Dance competition. Carrie has also done choreography for Cosby High School's dance team, Titania.
Most recently, Carrie performed around the Richmond and D.C. area with rva dance collective. In their first season, rva performed at the Jack Guidone Theater (D.C.), Artworks Studios (RVA) and Grace Street Theater (RVA). Their evening length show, 'breakthrough', received rave reviews by the Richmond Times Dispatch and they were the 2010 recipients of the Theresa Pollak Excellence in Arts Award in dance. She resigned from the company in 2011, after 2 seasons, to focus solely on the studio.
Carrie is thrilled to be in her 8th year as Chesterfield Dance Center's owner and director, and proud to say that this is her 16th year teaching at CDC. She is overwhelmingly grateful to be able to do what she loves every day.
Having grown up in Florida and North Carolina, Katherine has had the opportunity to train at multiple places throughout the east coast. She began her extensive training with Mrs. P’s Dance and Acrobatic Studios in South Florida where she joined the company at the age of 6. While traveling to conventions, Katherine’s earliest influences were Barry Youngblood, Mallory Graham, and her jazz teacher, Scott Benson. When Katherine was entering the sixth grade her family relocated to Cary, North Carolina and began dancing at North Carolina Dance Institute and Cary Ballet Conservatory. She finally found her home at Cary Dance Productions under the direction of Tondalaya Pearson and became a member of the company.
Katherine continued her training throughout high school where she focused on Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theater and Hip-hop. On the competitive circuit, Katherine was a scholarship finalist at West Coast Dance Explosion and won a hip-hop scholarship to Los Angeles from Adrenaline Dance Convention. She was also very involved in high school by being a member (Captain) of the dance team, President of Mixed Chorus, and in school musicals; playing "Bonnie" in Anything Goes and choreographed Guys and Dolls her junior year. After high school, she attended East Carolina University and recently graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. During her time at ECU, Katherine was in multiple faculty and student productions. Her own choreography was well received by her professors and peers due to her high-energy style that focuses on attention to detail and character.
Throughout college, Katherine continued to attend conventions so that she could soak up as much knowledge from a variety of teachers and provide fresh and stimulating techniques to her students. While teaching at a local studio, she also commuted back to Cary to choreograph for her old studio. Due to her success in dance team, Katherine was asked to lead and judge auditions for two high schools in the Raleigh Area and has worked with Manchester and Midlothian High School Dance Teams here in Midlothian.
Katherine prides herself on being a teacher who keeps her choreography and teaching styles fresh and challenging, while maintaining a very strong focus on the technique and athleticism of dance. To her being a dance teacher is an extraordinary opportunity to share her passion of this art form and to motivate students the way that her teachers have motivated her. This is Katherine's 4th year teaching here and is thrilled to be part of the CDC family!
Jamie Skates, a native of New York, began her dance training at Coupe Dance Studio under the tutelage of Nenette Charisse. She continued her training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and went on to dance with the Richmond Ballet for four seasons. While in Richmond, she performed in ballets such as Colin Connor's Vestiges, Mauricio Wainrot's Now and Then, Vladimir Angelov's Bouncing Light, Macolm Burn's Cinderella, and Balanchine's Serenade, Valse Fantasie and Who Cares.
Jamie continued her career with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in Annapolis. She performed roles such as Hester in The Scarlet Letter, Carmen in An American Southwest Carmen, Jo in Little Women, and the Snow Queen and Dewdrop in The Nutcracker. Jamie was Ballet Mistress to the professional company for four years and a Faculty Member in the school teaching ballet, acting for dancers, dance histroy, pre pointe, and pointe for five years. She staged and rehearsed works on the company as well as staged and choreographed works for the school and local high schools.
In 2008, Jamie retired from dancing and moved back to Richmond where she continues to teach dance and spend time with her three beautiful children. This is her 4th year teaching for CDC.
Michelle Bettin, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, has danced professionally with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Columbus Dance Theatre (OH), Manassass Ballet Theatre (VA), and Ballet Teatro Internacional (DC).
She has performed various works from Paul Taylor's “Airs” to Fokine's “Chopiniana”, and has danced leading roles in Balanchine's “Valse Fantasie”, Tim Veach's “The Match Girl”, and Mark Mejia's “The Wizard of Oz”, “Cirque du Ballet”, and performed in Mary Apick's “Beneath the Veil” at the Alex Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2001, Michelle was a semi-finalist in the XII International Ballet Competition, Trujillo, Peru. She later returned that year to teach American jazz dance in Lima, and Arequipa, Peru.
Michelle received her BFA in dance performance and choreography from Towson University in 2005 and has recently been on faculty with The Washington School of Ballet as both a ballet and jazz instructor. Michelle has also been on faculty with Stageworkz, Theatre Arts Project for ten years, and created the syllabi for their ballet program.
As a teacher, Michelle is very proud to say that some of her students are dancing in Boston Ballet II, the Sacramento Ballet, and have toured in “A Chorus Line”. Having held a certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Michelle is able to teach exercises and stretches to prevent injury and promote the best dancer her students can be.
“A teacher must possess many qualities – firmness and softness, patience and perseverance and sturdiness… But above all is love for children, desire to train them up, all of them, both week and strong. And, creativity in one's approach to one's task is also above all…” - Lyudmila Sakharova
Catherine Faszewski began her dance training at the age of three at Royal Dance, and at the age of six, moved to Chesterfield Dance Center, where she continued her dance training, for the next 12 years, in modern, jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, lyrical/contemporary, and hip hop. Catherine excelled quickly and soon became the youngest member of CDC’s first competition team, Jazzworld.
In 2006, she became one of the original members of CDC’s esteemed competition team, dELIRIUM, winning several awards for performing and choreographing group and solo pieces. Traveling the Virginia and D.C. area with the team, she was privileged to take class from artists such as: Marvin Millora (CDC alum on tour with Justin Bieber), Scott Jovovich, Danny Wallace, Stacey Tookey, Ivan Koumaev, Jaime Goodwyn, Mark Meismer, Barry Lathers and Travis Wall.
While a student at Clover Hill High School (2010 alum), Catherine was a member of the Cavalette Dance Team and was the Captain her junior and senior years. While on the team, Catherine was chosen to be a member of the National Dance Alliance Dance Team to perform at the Thanksgiving Day Game in Hawaii and the Eastern Dance Association All-Star Team to perform at the Orange Bowl in Florida. She was also a member of both the All-girls and Mixed Show Choirs at Clover Hill and was chosen Dance Captain her sophomore, junior and senior years. As a member of the show choirs she was selected Best Female Performer each year.
Catherine currently attends Virginia Commonwealth University in pursuit of a BFA in Dance and Choreography and was selected to be in several senior and junior projects. As part of the freshman showcase, Catherine was one of five students selected from a class of over 40 to be in a special faculty piece. At VCU, she has been able to study under amazing faculty and guest artists such as: Judith Steel, Martha Curtis, Scott Putnam, Melanie Richards, Christian Von Howard, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Stefanie Batten Bland. Catherine is excited to be back at CDC as a 3rd year teacher and proud to be part of such an extraordinary faculty.
Kirsten began dancing at the early age of three, in West Virginia with Randy Lamb at Bluefield Dance Theatre. It was there she found her love of dance. She began competing nationally at age 8 and won overall high score at her very first competition. She continued to compete nationally and traveled the east coast dancing with many choreographers and participating in summer intensive programs. She also performed leading roles in several ballets including The Nutcracker Suite, Copellia, and Swan Lake while in high school.
Kirsten attended Radford University and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in contemporary and classical dance. While there, she studied with Dagmar Jelincic, Margaret Devaney, Dr. Peggy Hunt, Inessa Plekhanova, Ben Archangel, Natalie Marone and danah bella and also worked with danahbelladanceworx, a modern company based in Southwest Virginia. Kirsten participated in Dancing on the Edge, Fall Dance Fest, and several student choreography shows and performed in The Nutcracker and Copellia with the Radford University Ballet Theatre.
After college, she traveled the east coast teaching master classes, judging nationally, and dancing as a guest artist with several modern dance companies and now stays busy choreographing for competition teams in Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina. Kirsten excels in all forms of dance including hip-hop, ballet, modern/contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre and is very excited to be in her 3rd year at Chesterfield Dance Center.
Felix began his dance training at the age of 15 at The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts in Bethlehem, PA. He holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. While at VCU, Felix had the opportunity to work with many faculty members, peers and guest artists such as Monica Bill Barnes, Geri Houlihan, Meisha Bosma, Heidi Weiss and many others. He also had the opportunity to present many of his works in the VCU student concerts. He was awarded “Outstanding Performer” by the dance program in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
After college, he had the blessings of presenting his work and performing for and with his peers in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Durham, and Richmond. He is also the Associate Artistic Director of The Maeko Project that is based here in Richmond, VA.
He furthered his studies of dance at The American Dance Festival during and after college. While there, he was given the opportunity to work with Bessie Award winning choreographer Faye Driscoll in her world premiere of “There Is So Much Mad In Me.” While there, he met legendary improvisational master Ishmael Houston-Jones which lead to him performing in Houston-Jones‘ Bessie Award winning piece, THEM. Since he became a part of this piece in 2010, he has performed it multiple times in New York and has traveled to The Netherlands, Paris, Berlin and Los Angeles for performances.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Felix loves being able to share his knowledge and love of dance with a younger generation. His classes hones all the knowledge he has and explores the possibilities of growth for not only the students, but for himself as well. It is a never ending learning process for all bodies in his class room. Through different mediums, techniques and styles, Felix continues to push the boundary of the world of dance to further experiences and growth. Mr. Cruz is extremely excited for his 2nd year with the cdc family!!
Tony E Colden Jr of Portsmouth Virginia began his dance training at the young age of five. Tony began learning genres ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and African dance at a local studio in Portsmouth Gail Harts Dance Company, and later continued education in the magnet dance program at Chruchland High School.
Tony attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned his BFA in Dance and Choreography, and worked with numerous artist, Gerri Houlihan, Heidi Weiss, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Tania Issac, Robert Battle and many faculty as well. Upon graduation from VCU Tony received full scholarship for the Deeply Rooted Dance Productions Summer intensive in Chicago IL where he was an apprentice.
Tony later worked with the Starr Foster Dance Company and began his teaching Journey at Henrico High School in the Center for the Arts Program. Tony is currently still with Henrico, and River City Dance Theater. Tony continues to educate himself to bring forth new and bright ideas to today’s youth. He strives to teach the unspoken language of the body to deepen the structure of his work.
This is Tony's 2nd year at Chesterfield Dance Center.