MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
Ballet Arts employs only qualified, educated, ADULT instructors in all dance styles.
Instructor's Photo Credits: Linda Culver
Judi has been Co-Owner of Ballet Arts since 1991 and has been a faculty member of Ballet Arts since 1977 under the direction of Jerre James and Betty Joachimi. Judi began dancing in Grand Rapids at Phil Oosterhouse Studio where she also performed with the Oosterhouse Company. She studied the Cecchetti method of ballet and has taken student exams grades I, II, and III and teacher exams I, II, III, and IV. Her dancing continued in college and later as a member of Ballet Michigan Ensemble later to be known as Ballet Arts Ensemble. She has attended workshops such as, the Russian Ballet Seminars with Jurgen Schneider and Janina Cunovas, and the David Howard Dance Intensives at Western Michigan University. Judi has a strong interest in pre-ballet and became nationally certified to teach 3-7 year old students through the Little People’s Creative Workshop. She continues her dance education by attending the Cecchetti Council of America’s Summer Dance Intensive for teachers at Hope College. Judi currently teaches pre-ballet, early classical ballet, and Cecchetti classes grades 1-elementary level at Ballet Arts.
Judi has been a member of the Ballet Arts Ensemble Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Cecchetti Council of America. Judi has previously served as co-chair of the Western Michigan Cecchetti Committee. She currently serves as the treasurer of the Western Michigan Cecchetti Committee. Judi has participated in the MAGIK-Making Arts Grow in Kalamazoo program and in other dance related program in area preschools and public schools.
Judi coached Freshman, Junior Varsity, and Varsity cheerleading at Mattawan High School for eight years and was a competitive cheerleading judge with the Michigan High School Athletic Association for 23 years.
Judi currently resides in Kalamazoo with her husband Steve, they have two daughters, Janelle and Katie.
Cathleen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marietta College (Ohio). She grew up in Grand Rapids (Michigan) and studied with Sally Seven, soloist with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and founder of the Grand Rapids Civic Ballet. While in Grand Rapids, Cathleen was active with the Civic Theatre and summer stock’s Circle Theatre. She continued her dance studies at Western Michigan University where she appeared both as a performer and guest teacher.
A 7-year participant of the Russian Seminar with Jurgen Schneider and Janina Cunovas, Cathleen continues her education at workshops presented by leading dance professionals around the country.
Cathleen has been teaching ballet and character dance at Ballet Arts since 1982 and became co-owner of the studio in 1991. In 2001, she became Artistic Director of Ballet Arts Ensemble (BAE) after serving as performer and Ballet Mistress since its inception in 1982. Her love for ballet is reflected in BAE’s repertoire. She is most noted for her productions of full-length ballets includingNutcracker, Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf, The Magical Toy Shop, The Skaters, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, Red Shoes, Aladdin’s Magic Lamp, andCafé Parisian.
In 2010, Cathleen premiered a brand new production of the fairytale, The 12 Dancing Princesses. This father-daughter artistic creation—with original piano music composed by W. Dale Crooks, Cathleen’s father—brought together BAE and members of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) under the baton of Dr. Barry Ross.
In addition to full-length ballets, Cathleen's choreography encompasses many musical styles and subjects. Spanish Concerto, A Wee Bit of Irish, Friends, A Right to Spring, and Southern Suite are a sampling of her many works. Her mini ballet, Just Playing Around, was performed with live violin and piano accompaniment; and It's All About . . . , a piece in three sections, was created in collaboration with local artist Kirk Newman and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
Her choreography has been selected on numerous occasions for performances with the KSO’s Youth Concert Series and Family Discovery Series as well as the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. The movie debut of her choreography can be seen in Cherry, which was filmed in Kalamazoo and featured at the 2010 Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival.
In 2016, Cathleen received the annual WMU Partners in Dance Community Dance Advocacy Award that celebrates significant accomplishments in advancing and supporting dance in the greater Kalamazoo area through volunteerism, artistic achievement, teaching, and administrative leadership. She is also a member of Partners in Dance and Dance Masters of America.
Eun-Kyung Chung holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Dance
from Ehwa University (Seoul, South Korea), the world’s largest female
educational institute and is one of the most prestigious universities in South
Korea. Mrs. Chung is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has
successfully completed the Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3
of their training curriculum. She is also a certified Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis®
trainer who enjoys sharing these methods with people.
Mrs. Chung was a principal dancer at Seoul Ballet Theatre prior to moving to
Germany in 2010. She joined Mainfranken Theater Würzburg as a soloist under
the direction of Anna Vita and worked with Youri Vámos, Ihsan Rustem, and Ivan
Alboresi. Later, she joined Landestheater Coburg under the direction of Mark
MaClain as a principal dancer and choreographer.
Mrs. Chung moved to the United States in 2016 and worked with Charlottesville
Ballet Company (VA), Proia Dance Project (GA), Traverse City Dance Project
(MI), Neglia Ballet (NY), TAKE Dance (NY), Koresh Artists Showcase (PA), and
Princeton Festival (NJ). She has taught at Central Virginia Ballet and Forest
Dance Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia and she is currently a visiting professor at
Randolph College and a part-time faculty at Western Michigan University.
Janelle began her dance training at Ballet Arts. Janelle joined the faculty of Ballet Arts in 2005. She studied under past and present Ballet Arts instructors. She also attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Dance Olympus as well as numerous master classes through the Cecchetti Council of Michigan. Janelle was a member of Ballet Arts Ensemble for 4 years where she performed in the Nutcracker, Aladdin’s Magic Lamp, Café Parisien and Peter and the Wolf. She has also been a guest performer with the Ensemble. Janelle studied the Cecchetti method of ballet and successfully passed exams in grades I, II and III. Janelle is nationally certified to teach three to seven year old students through the Little People’s Creative Workshop. Janelle teaches pre-ballet and beginning teen ballet at Ballet Arts.
Janelle currently teaches for Gull Lake Community Schools where she teaches 2nd grade at Kellogg Elementary. She is the chair of the reading school improvement team, serves as a mentor for new teachers and is a trustee on the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation board. Janelle has also worked with the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program where she worked with KBS staff to revise and enhance the Agricultural and Ecology Trail for K-5 students.
Janelle holds a Bachelors of Science from Grand Valley State University a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Aquinas College, and holds a Professional Teaching Certificate. She currently resides in Kalamazoo.
Cathy graduated from Western Michigan University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree, which included a minor in dance. She began taking dance lessons at the age of three. Her training included ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, and modern dance. After graduating from W.M.U. she performed for one year with Ballet Garneau in Roswell, Georgia. After returning to Michigan she continued to take classes at W.M.U. with Eugene Mills. She continued her instructional training by attending the Little People’s Creative Workshop™ in Greenville, North Carolina.
Cathy has taught children’s church classes for preschoolers through elementary age since 1990 and has home schooled her daughters through high school. She has choreographed amateur musical productions for both children and adults in local churches, private schools and for Homeschool Performing Arts of Kalamazoo. Cathy began teaching Pre-Ballet at Ballet Arts in 2001 and Beginning Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Teen Dance at the Portage Y.M.C.A. in 2004.
Cathy lives in Kalamazoo with her husband Rob and their three daughters. All three girls have been students at Ballet Arts since 1993 and have been performing members of the Ballet Arts Ensemble.
Debra Norton holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University (WMU) and has been teaching dance in the Kalamazoo area since 1991. In addition to teaching at Ballet Arts her current teaching credits include Woods Lake Elementary School – A Magnet Center for the Arts, WMU, and Education for the Arts Aesthetic Education Program (EFA – AE). She directs three dance companies at Woods Lake Elementary and is on the EFA – AE Summer Institute Training Team. Debra also taught for Lincoln Center Institute’s National Educator Workshop, Kalamazoo Arts Integration Initiative and for Blue Lake Fine Arts Junior Day Camp.
Continuing her dance and teaching education, Debra has attended seminars around the country with leaders in the dance and education field. She has studied creative dance with Anne Green Gilbert, music, movement and arts integration with Kerri Lynn Nichols, ballet with David Howard and Finis Jhung, character dance with former Kirov dancers Vladimir Kolesnikov and Nina Kolesnikova. She studied arts integration at The Kennedy Center, aesthetic education at Lincoln Center Institute and has attended many National Dance Education Organization annual conferences. She holds several student and teacher Cecchetti certificates and in the summer of 2016 she successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive and became certified in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Debra actively choreographs and performs in the Kalamazoo community. She is a member of National Dance Education Organization and Michigan Dance Council. She serves as a board member and treasurer for WMU Partners in Dance and Ballet Arts Ensemble. She was the 2014 winner of the Greg Jennings Be Great School Challenge for Kalamazoo County and the WMU’s Partners in Dance 2017 Community Dance Advocacy Award winner.
Debra and her husband Michael live in Kalamazoo and enjoy studying ballroom dance together.
Erin began dancing at Ballet Arts School of Dance in 1986. She studied for 15 years under Judi Holland, Cathleen Huling, Jerre Locke James, and Suzie Stambeck. Erin was selected to become a member of Ballet Arts Ensemble (BAE) and performed with the company for 6 years. In high school, she participated in Kalamazoo’s Education for the Arts program and studied with Elizabeth Brown and Patricia Plasko.
To further her dance education, Erin attended summer programs at Cecchetti Summer School, David Howard Student Intensive, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and Grand Rapids Ballet. In 1996, she traveled to Europe, performing with Blue Lake International Dance Ensemble. Erin continued her studies at Western Michigan University, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in dance and nursing.
In 2012, she became a member of Ballet Arts Ensemble’s Board of Directors; and in 2014, she accepted the position of BAE’s Ballet Mistress.
Erin currently resides in Portage with her husband Matt, and their two children, Ruby and Miles.