Melanie directs The School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in Aspen and teaches the advanced divisions from Level 1A through Level 5. She brings over 20 years of professional dance and teaching experience to the students of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Ms. Doskocil danced professionally with ballet companies such as the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Oakland Ballet Company, Ballet Arizona and Nevada Ballet Theatre. She continued her career transitioning into contemporary and modern dance with Odyssey, in Utah, A. Ludwig Dance Theatre in Arizona and the internationally acclaimed Mia Micheal’s R.A.W. Ms. Doskocil began teaching in 1995, for the City Ballet of San Diego, under the direction of Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich. She continued her professional dance career while teaching at the nationally recognized Center Stage Performing Arts Studios in Utah, where she created a pre-professional ballet program that she directed. Melanie is thrilled to now call Aspen her home and cherishes every moment she spends teaching.
A native of Shelton, Connecticut, Eric Chase’s first dance instruction was from his mother at Jill Chase Dance Studio. He pursued training at New Haven Ballet, around New England, and in New York City. Eric attended Pittsburgh’s Point Park University where he received a BFA in dance. For twelve years he was a professional dancer with Milwaukee Ballet II, Hubbard Street 2, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, working with influential choreographers Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, Trey McIntyre, David Parsons, Ohad Naharin, Edward Liang and Twyla Tharp. Eric’s rich teaching experience includes the schools of every professional company for whom he has danced. He is honored to share his experience with the next generation at The School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Alessandra Strickland’s international ballet education began in her home city of Rio de Janeiro at the Maria Olenewa State School. After winning a ballet scholarship at 13, she moved to Europe to attend the State Ballet School of Berlin. She then transferred to Austria, where she graduated from the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera and Hohere Internatschule des Bundes. Alessandra danced professionally in Brazil, the U.S., and as a trainee with the Vienna State Opera Ballet. She has won awards in several international ballet competitions including the Concurso Brasileiro de Danca and the Festival de Danca de Joinville. An experienced instructor for dancers of all levels, Alessandra has coached young dancers in ballet, variations and repertoire. Upon her return to Rio in 1997, Alessandra taught young children at Mira Flores and other private schools. Alessandra moved to Aspen in 2007 to improve her English and learn to ski. This year she happily joined the faculty of the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In 2013, Alessandra attended American Ballet Theater’s Certified Teacher training in New York, completing ABT’s National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary through Level 3.
Katrina Toews is an arts administrator, teacher, dancer, choreographer and Pilates trainer. Toews recently completed her tenure of 18 years working with The Washington Ballet, 14 years as the director of The Washington Ballet @ THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus) in SE DC. She directed TWB@THEARC, the largest satellite of the school and headquarters for the education and community engagement programs overseeing 1400 students. This campus was dedicated to diversifying the field of ballet and bringing in talent from the DC Public schools and supporting them into a progression working towards company eligibility. Prior to this work she was a professor of dance at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, and danced with Bosmadance and Carla & Co., both in Washington, DC. Katrina also coached elite athletes as a Pilates Trainer at Body Dynamics, Falls Church, VA. Her accolades include being the recipient of the 2008 MetroDC Dance Award for Outstanding Youth Performance and performing at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama in 2010. Also, in 2010 she was the winner of the Young Alumni Award from Bethel College for her work with youth in the field of dance. Toews holds an M.A. in dance from American University, Washington, DC. and a B.A. in fine arts and elementary education from Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. Toews founded and directed K2 Dance Company, whose work has been described by Washington Post critics as “solidly crafted quality” and choreography that “stands out.” Katrina and her family recently moved to Aspen and she is excited to join the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet family!
When members of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are not touring the world, they can often be found teaching at the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.