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.
Born and raised in St. Joseph, Minnesota, Katie Dehler began her ballet training at the Stroia Dance Studio. She continued her studies on scholarship with the University of Utah’s Department of Ballet, earning a BFA with a performance emphasis. In 2000, Katie joined the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In her thirteen seasons with ASFB, Katie had the great honor of being a part of 21 original creations and dancing the works of many of the world's leading choreographers including Nicolo Fonte, Jorma Elo, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Alejandro Cerrudo, Cayetano Soto and Twyla Tharp. The School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is thrilled to have this outstanding artist, a leading American contemporary ballet dancer, on its faculty.
New York City-born Marisa Paull Gorst trained at the School of American Ballet and the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. As a child she performed with New York City Ballet, and then later with Miami City Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Dances Patrelle, Bergen Dance Theater, Westchester Ballet Company and Neville Dance Theater. Marisa also danced in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian Hotel and Casino. Marisa brings to the School of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet 12 years of teaching experience. She served as artistic director and head instructor at the International Ballet School of Bled, Slovenia, and director of youth dance at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Her teaching credentials also include a number of private studios including Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, the Rock School of Dance and Dance Fusion in Las Vegas.
Stephen Straub began his training in Syracuse, NY with Marianne Gray, Deborah Boughton and Deborah Adamson; later training on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet under Peter Boal, Andre Kramarevsky and Jock Soto. Prior to joining ASFB, Stephen was a corps de ballet member at the Kennedy Center's Suzanne Farrell Ballet. After dancing with ASFB in Aspen, Santa Fe, throughout the US and around the world Stephen transitioned right into teaching. He has taught for Boulder Ballet School, Longmont Dance Theatre, Tahoe Youth Ballet and CU-Boulder. Teaching at home in the Roaring Fork Valley is his favorite!
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.
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.