Faculty - Special Guest Teacher:

Karen Uphoff - Former Corps de Ballet ABT, Ballet, Pointe, Variations

Karen Uphoff

Karen Uphoff

Karen Uphoff began her ballet training with Jehrin Alexandria and Bud Johansen at the age of ten in Olympia, Washington. She continued her training in Killeen, Texas under the tutelage of Margaret Newcomb and Renee Gillenwater. At age fifteen, Uphoff was accepted to the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC and awarded a scholarship to study for three years under renowned ballerina Alla Sizova and Ludmila Morkovina. Upon graduation from high school, Uphoff joined the Colorado Ballet, dancing the roles of Medora and an Odalisque in excerpts from Le Corsaire.

Uphoff joined American Ballet Theatre in 2003 as a member of the corps de ballet, performing worldwide for thirteen seasons. Her repertory with the Company includes the Winter Fairy in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet, the Queen in The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, a Big Swan in Swan Lake, Anna in La Sylphide, Terpsichore in Sylvia, soloist roles in Black Tuesday and Everything Doesn't Happen at Once, and a leading role in Sechs Tänze, along with roles in several Balanchine ballets and all of the major classical ballets.

Uphoff retired from the company in July 2015 and since has been guest teaching and the mother of one!

Philip Beamish-Consultant/Creator of Beamish BodyMind Balancing™, Classical Ballet Technique/Ballet Coach, Personal Coach to Allesandra Ferri (ABT), Evelyn Hart (Royal Winnipeg Ballet) and others


Philip Beamish

Philip Beamish danced as a soloist with Atterballeto, Italy's foremost ballet company. He has danced all over Europe with many major ballet companies, and toured extensively internationally with La Scala Opera House.

For the last 13 years of her career, until her retirement in 2007, Philip was Alessandra Ferri’s personal trainer and coach. He travelled with her all over the world, working constantly with her and all her partners in class and rehearsals for all her major roles.

Other major stars who have solicited Beamish’s training include Evelyn Hart, Maximilian Guerra, Tamara Rojo, Manuel José Carreño, Robert Tewsley, Roberto Bolle, and Polina Semionova. His protégés have won medals at the major competitions: Varna, Helsinki, Jackson, and Lausanne.

Among the companies with which Beamish has been associated are: La Scala Ballet, English National Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Ballet de Nancy, Finnish National Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and Companía Nacional de Mexico.


The Beamish Bodymind Balancing® technique was created to train all levels of dancers. It is the product of many years of investigation into the relation between the mind, the body, and energy flow. The end result is that dancers are able to align the body and focus the mind to obtain maximum results while eliminating unnecessary tensions.

The exercises Philip had developed enable dancers to reshape their bodies, calm and focus their minds, with spectacular results on and off stage. The technique is a tool to maintain a healthy, youthful body, a focused mind, a balanced emotional state, and avoid chronic injuries. It also promotes self-esteem, and prolongs the ability not only to dance longer, but to live a richer and more satisfying life.



Vincenzo Lapertosa

Contemporary Ballet, Choreography, Acting,
Beamish BodyMind Balancing™ 

Vincenzo Lapertosa

The Italian artist Vincenzo Lapertosa is a professional Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer and Actor. He obtained his Degree in Dance at the National Academy of Ballet in Rome and graduated with a degree in Choreography.  His award winning Choreography piece "The Clown" was highly praised as a choreographic masterpiece.

Mr. Lapertosa trained in Ballet  with Maestro Philip Beamish, Nina Trofimova, Madame Darvash, Inna Zubcowskaya (Russia), and Dance Contemporary with Peter Goss (Paris). He has danced as a Soloist for, Birgit Cullberg, Milan Ballet, Aureliana Dance Company, Gartnerplatz Theatre as well as other companies and International Festivals. In addition he has been a guest choreographer throughout Europe and is praised for his originality and his unique use of music in theater. He has collaborated with Choreographer Aurelia Baumgartner. 
Mr. Lapertosa has been Ballet Master for Piccinni Ballet (Italy), Ulm Staatteather (Germany), Aureliana Dance Company (German ). He has acted in the Film " Appassionate" 1999, and in the Venice Film Festival.

At present Mr Lapertosa guest teaches ballet in Munich, Germany, and runs a studio in Alberobello, Italy. He is interested in Butoh and Philosophy dance. He holds a degree in Philosophy.

Becky Erickson

Ballet, Pointe, Beamish BodyMind Balancing™

Becky Erickson

Becky Erickson

Becky has graced the stage as a principal ballerina since the young age of 18. Becky primarily trained with the Cache Valley School of Ballet in Logan Utah, after graduating from the CVCB's syllubus she had further training with Dance West, NYCB, Ballet West, Inishfre Irish Dance, and the Northwest Dance Intensive. Becky has performed for many professional and community theatres including: Cache Community Theatre, Cache Valley Civic Ballet, Utah Festival Chorus, Inishfre Irish Dance (performed locally in Utah and on Tour) and Fox 13's "So You Think You Can Dance," competing in Las Vegas for Season 8. And yes she has met all the judges.

Becky has performed many roles; some of her favorites include: Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen (The Nutcracker,) Lilac Fairy, Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella (Cinderella), Alice (Alice in Wonderland), Swanilda (Coppelia), Princess Helena (Firebird), Lucy, Nina, Lead Vampire (Dracula), The Rose (Beauty And The Beast), Paquita (Paquita), Kitri (Don Quixote), and Black Swan (Swan Lake). Becky was voted Most Valuable Company member by the Board of Directors for the CVCB in 2012. Becky is also a professional judge for the Utah Dance Fest, going on 5 years as an adjudicator. Becky has set traditional Choreography as well as her own choreography for many productions over the years, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Nutcracker and CVCB's Choreographer's Showcase. Becky is Currently working on her own "Peter Pan" ballet.

Stephhelp Martina

Becky still enjoys a career of performing as well as teaching, she is in high demand for master classes as well as a guest artist in the West and Midwest States; offering technique workshops along the way. Becky has been teaching since 2001, she has taught every age group from toddlers to adults. Her passion for dancing shines through her teaching as you see her students blossom with confidence and movement.

Currently Becky was selected to be in the national book called Dance Across the USA, as a featured dancer at Glacier National Park.

Becky resides in Providence, Utah with her Husband and three beautiful children.

Jessica Hamblen-Klepper

Ballet, Modern

Jessica Hamblen-Klepper

Ms Hamblen-Klepper began her classical training at the Atlanta School of Ballet, under the direction of Robert Barnett and Andrea Pell. In addition to Mr. Barnett and Ms. Pell, her teachers there included Maniya Barredo, Gaynor Grange, Stanislav Issaev and modern technique with Carl Ratcliffe and Alex Pelham. While in Atlanta she performed in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and David Lichine's Graduation Ball. In 2000, Ms. Klepper received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. There her primary influencing teachers included Kitty Daniels, Pat Hon, Wade Madsen, Magali Messac, Terry Sparks, Llory Wilson, and Deborah Wolf. Since 2002, she has taught ballet and modern dance at the Maple Valley School of Ballet. Ms. Klepper's works have been performed by Olympic Ballet Theater, Atlanta School of Ballet summer workshop, Maple Valley Ballet, and Chimera Dance Theater. In 2005 she became the director of Maple Valley School of Ballet.

Ms. Hamblen-Klepper’s teaching philosophy centers around finding the balance between respect for one’s body and it’s individuality, while fulfilling the demands and rigors of classical ballet.

Dean Speer

Partnering, Ballet, Choreography,
Author of  "On Technique"

Dean Speer

Dean Speer

With more than three decades of experience teaching and training dancers, Dean Speer brings in-depth knowledge to each of his classes. A ballet major and graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle from which he holds a B.F.A. degree, Mr. Speer pursued training in Cannes, Paris, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Canada, among others, in addition to studying in the Seattle area.

Mr. Speer, while still a student, had been a demonstrator for Intermediate and Advanced classes at the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance in New York, and performed professionally with two modern dance companies, including one repertory company whose works ranged from “classic” modern dance work as old as 1950 to the new and experimental, plus one company which performed only the works of its artistic director. Roles include ‘The Revivalist’ in “Appalachian Spring” to principal and solo work and an original cast member in many pieces. Mr. Speer taught Graham Technique for many years until “retiring” and is very happy to be back giving Graham Technique classes.

He is the Founding Director of the Chehalis Ballet Center (doing business as Southwest Washington Dance Center) – and former Artistic Director of Chattanooga Ballet (Tennessee). He has been a guest master teacher throughout the Northwest including Dance Masters of America and in British Columbia.

Mr. Speer has taught all levels of graded children's ballet studies; Company Class; Creative Dance; Modern Dance Technique (Graham-based); Pointe; Variations; Character; and Fundamentals of Partnering. He has worked extensively with both children and adults and has created and written his own graded syllabus of classical ballet study and teaching guide, Notebook II Dance Teachers. Mr. Speer coordinated nine highly-regarded annual regional workshops for dance teachers. Mr. Speer was a pre-registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dancing in London, England, qualifying him to teach the Pre-Primary through Grade VII Children's Syllabus.

Dean Speer CoachingStudents of his have studied with or are currently at Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, University of Utah, the Harid Conservatory, Walnut Hill, and Dance Lab (Walla Walla, Washington).

As a choreographer his work has been filmed for national television, and he has created many ballets for the concert stage using a diverse selection of composers as well as for the opera – plus dances for students, many recital programs, and lecture/demonstrations.

He performed with Repertory Dancers Northwest, American Theatrical Motion Art Dance Company, Bellevue Civic Ballet (a Regional Dance America company), and the Seattle Ballet Ensemble of which he was a founding member, plus numerous guest appearances.

He has served as an adjudicator for several arts and scholarship programs and contests and as a consultant for several organizations and has been on the board of directors of many dance-related organizations. He was appointed by the Governor to the State of Washington Combined Fund Drive Steering Committee, is a past president of the Cornish College of the Arts Alumni Association Board of Directors, and was the Chair of the University of Washington Combined Fund Drive for two years. In 2008, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Teaching and Choreography by the Mrs. America Pageant (Washington).

Deanna Carter

Choreography, Contemporary, Ballet

Deanna Carter (Assistant Professor), a Seattle native, has worked extensively as choreographer, director and ballet mistress and guest to international companies in Mexico and throughout Europe. As ballet mistress and guest, Carter has trained companies in Europe, such as Aterballetto, Teatro San Carlo, La Scala, The Leipzig Ballet and deanna_carter.shtmlthe ABCDancecompanie. As choreographer, Carter has created original works for the Leipizig Ballet, starts of La Scala and the Dessau Ballet, as well as choreographing for operas and musicals at the Anhaltisches Theater in Germany. In Mexico City, Carter had her own Dance Group and choreographed for several of Mexico’s professional contemporary dance companies.

Carter’s works have been presented in Europe, Latin America, Russia, Australia, the USA and Canada. In the United States, Carter has been awarded the National Choreography Plan of Regional Dance America and several Monticello scholarships for choreography. In June of 2004, BalletMet, Columbus Ohio’s professional company, presented Carter’s original work, Colores de Alma, in their first New York season at the Joyce Theater. While at The University of Iowa, she has created several works, including Two Part Concerto, which was performed at the 2004 Dance Gala, a LIVE in Concert.

Desiree Valdivinos

Ballet, Beamish BodyMind Balancing, Ballroom

Desiree Valdivinos

Presently pursuing her Master’s in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Desiree began her ballet training at the tender age of 6 in Chehalis Washington at Southwest Washington Dance Center. There she studied ballet, modern, rhythmic gymnastics, hula, and jazz for 14 years performing in yearly productions of The Nutcracker  as well as Dance Festival and various jazz competitions throughout Washington state.

From corp de ballet roles, to soloist she was promoted her senior year as principal, performing many of the expected roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, and Spanish Bull. It was here that her love and drive for ballet pushed her to audition for Anaheim Ballet’s Company where she performed with the Company as soloist in The Nutcracker, various school performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and visual medias such as Dancing in the City! at the Anaheim Grove, found on YouTube.

Apart from being a professional dancer, her drive and passion for the medical field motivated her to pursue her Bachelor's and resulted in the completion of a BS in Physiology at Seattle Pacific University. After performing with City Opera Ballet of Bellevue, as well as contemporary companies such as The Black Floor Collective, Desiree  brings a wide array of knowledge and expertise from the classical ballet realm to the latin ballroom and salsa genres.

She is blessed and forever grateful to have been under the instruction of renowned masters such as Philip Beamish, Jehrin Alexandria, Vincenzo Lapertosa, the late Kabby Mitchell, and Lawrence Rosenburg. Desiree’s love for the medical field and passion for dance drives her to make a long and lasting impact as a future physician with a specialty as a nutritionist, working specifically with ballerinas and professional athletes.

Jehrin Alexandria

Director, Beamish BodyMind Balancing™, Ballet, Pointe, Aqua Ballet, Self Care

Dean Speer

Jehrin Alexandria

Jehrin is a director/teacher/performer. She grew up in Detroit, MI and danced  with the Severo Ballet Company until she was 17.  She moved to  New York City to pursue a career as a professional ballerina.  Her main teacher who influenced her teacher style to this day was Maggie Black and Marjorie Mussman.  In addition she studied extensively with John Prinz, Larry Rhodes, Flemming Halby, David Howard, Ferdinand Nault, Finis Jhung, Robert Denvers, Ernie Pagnamo, Lonné Moretton, Christina Bernal, Patricia Wilde, Helen Douglas, partnering class with Ivan Nagy, and ijazz with Frank Hatchet..

She has performed as soloist and principal with Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater, Off Broadway's Buffo, Syzgy, The Brattleboro School of Dance, Yashindah and Ballet Northwest.

Jehrin is a certified Pilates Instructor and worked in Pilates(c) under Carola Trier, Fran Lehan and the Anderson-Kasacove Studio. She trained intensively in Gyrotonics(c) at the White Cloud Studio in Seattle, with founder Julio Horvath and Magali Messac.

Jehrin is also certified in Sports Injury and Massage from The Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge, MA under the direction of Ben Benjamin. She owned and operated her own sports massage clinic for over 10 years and ran the clinic at Stratton Mountain, VT.

In addition to teaching ballet for the past 30 years and performing, Jehrin has directed and performed in her own African drum and dance troupe, worked with the Thurston County, Lewis County and Pierce County areas school systems helping to bring dance to all communities.

Jehrin trained and taught with Developmental Movement Therapist Bette Lamont as well as studied with Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, expanding her age range of movement classes from babies to adults as well as working with autistic children.  In 2012 she received her certification as a teacher of the Beamish BodyMind Balancing™ technique.

As a director and administrator Jehrin has directed 24 annual summer dance programs in Olympia, WA and brought in professional dancers and teachers from all over the world. A big part of her program always offers scholarships to underprivileged students.  She also offers workshops throughout the country with guest teachers.

Jehrin has been teaching ballet for the last 28 years as faculty at The Evergreen State College.  In addition she is director of Living Arts Dance Center and teaches classes in ballet, pointe and Beamish Bodymind Balancing. Jehrin works freelance as a guest teacher in Ballet as well as leads workshops throughout the country in the Beamish BodyMind Balancing™ technique. She teaches private lessons in studio and on line. In addition Jehrin is a certified facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie and works in addiction programs. Her mission as she sees it it to help facilitate students and teachers to have access to techniques that help maintain a healthy body and attitude in the field of dance.


*Guest instructors subject to change without warning, although featured we do not guarantee their participation.



  • Testimonials

    "Last year was my first year going to any dance intensive and I didn’t know what to expect. Northwest Dance Intensive helped me improve my flaws more than ever. Unfortunately I had injured my foot foot a couple weeks before the intensive. The teachers definitly did not let this stop me from getting the full experience at NDI. I learned more in 3 weeks than I could ever imagine, such as the correct way to hold my body and how to use my muscles and lines correctly to improve my dancing. My technique has been better than ever after taking class with Phillip and Jehrin. I have also learned from all of the teachers to be myself while i’m dancing and that it isn’t about the steps, but its about how you interpret the steps in your dancing. This is a life lesson I will cherish forever. They were so understanding of any problems or flaws anyone had. I made so many amazing friends and had a blast in the dorms as well. I cannot express how much I appreciate everyone there for making me a better dancer and a better person and i can not wait for next year!"
    Gracie Hassing
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