MEET OUR TEACHERS
The Dance Centre's faculty comes from around the globe and is composed solely of instructors with professional training, education, performing and teaching experience. Each instructor brings a distinct personality, background and style. Collectively, they provide students with exposure to all of the major ballet curricula: Royal Academy of Dance, Vaganova Method, Balanchine, and Cecchetti Syllabus.
Director / Ballet / Pointe
PATRICIA BERREND is the former Associate Director of the Washington School of Ballet and a Washington School of Ballet alumna. Her fifteen years of professional experience included companies in Kiel, Bremen, and Hamburg, Germany, as well as in Washington, DC. As a member of the internationally known Hamburg Ballet, she worked with choreographer/director John Neumeier. As a founding member of the Washington Ballet, she had the opportunity to work with choreographer Choo San Goh, dancing in several of his works, including the original casts of Fives and Birds of Paradise.
During twenty of her twenty-eight years at the Washington Ballet, Ms. Berrend served as Répétiteur for Mary Day's popular The Nutcracker. She also served as Director of The Young Dancers, a group of pre-professional students who served in the Washington Ballet's community outreach programs. She has received numerous distinguished teacher awards, including honors from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, the National Foundation for the Arts, the Saraband Dance Festival, and Outstanding Teacher award for the Youth America Grand Prix. Ms. Berrend has coached students who have won prestigious international, national, and regional ballet competitions. In 2004, she coached Puanani Brown, First Place Awardee, Senior Division, at the National Youth America Grand Prix, New York. Ms. Berrend also received her second Outstanding Teacher Award for that national competition.
Ballet / Pointe
ERIN DU received her formal ballet training at Princeton Ballet School. In her senior year of high school, Ms. Du was invited by then Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet, Septime Webre to join ARB. In 1999, she moved to Washington, DC to join The Washington Ballet where Ms. Du performed leading roles in various classical and neoclassical ballets. She has also had the privilege of performing featured roles by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Lila York, Trey McIntyre, and Septime Webre. In 2005, while maintaining her position with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Du joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, performing soloist roles in some of George Balanchine’s most beloved ballets. The Washington Times recognized her soloist performance in Clarinade as being one of the best performances of the year in their annual Cheers and Jeers column. Ms. Du joined American Dance Institute in 2008 as a full time faculty member and was School Director from 2010 to the Spring of 2015. For the next year, she worked alongside her husband and long-time colleague, Runqiao Du as Co-Director of the Future Artists Initiative, a new scholarship program promoting diversity in dance. Ms. Du has been an adjunct faculty member and guest teacher at Towson University. Ms. Du has taught master classes nationally and internationally. In addition to her performing and teaching career, she has served as repititeur, setting Septime Webre and Trey McIntyre’s ballets on companies worldwide.
Ballet / Pointe / Boys Division
RUNQIAO DU was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of 11, he was selected and awarded a scholarship to study at the famed Shanghai School of Dance. Upon graduating with honors in 1989, Mr. Du moved to the United States to begin his performing career with The Washington Ballet. During his nearly 20-year tenure with TWB, he performed various leading roles in classical and neoclassical ballets. He has also had the opportunity to dance leading roles choreographed by some of today’s most influential choreographers including works by Christopher Wheelden, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, Edwaard Liang, Septime Webre and Twayla Tharp. In 2000, while maintaining his position with The Washington Ballet, joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a principle dancer. Under Ms. Farrell’s coaching, Mr. Du danced some of the most beautiful ballets created by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Maurice Bejart. After his illustrious performing career, Mr. Du joined Towson University Dance Department in 2008 as Full Time Lecturer where he currently teaches Ballet Technique, Ballet Repertory, Men’s Class, Partnering, and is Artistic Director of the Towson Dance Company. From 2009 to 2016, he worked at American Dance Institute. Throughout his tenure there, he worked alongside his wife and long-time colleague, Erin Du as faculty member, Artistic Director of the School and Ballet ADI, and Co-Director of Future Artists Initiative, a new scholarship program promoting diversity in dance. Mr. Du has been a guest artist and guest teacher nationally and internationally. His choreographic work has also been presented in various companies, festivals, and competitions, including the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Center.
Beginner Ballet / Ballet
ROBIN GILBERT received her BFA in Dance from the University of Utah and is a graduate of Jane Bittner's Dance Center. She previously taught dance in Virginia, Arizona, and Potomac, Maryland.
ERICA MOLIN HUDAK
Modern / Beginner Tap / Beginner Jazz / Hip Hop
ERICA MOLINA HUDAK was born and raised in the DC Metropolitan area. She studied dance at Maryland Youth Ballet and Washington School of Ballet and also has a strong foundation in modern, jazz, tap, flamenco and hip hop. As a young student, she danced at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, with the American Ballet Theatre in their production of The Nutcracker and La Corsaire. She also performed with the Universal Ballet of Korea in their production of La Bayadere.
She attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she was a contemporary major. While there she performed with Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and with the Limon Dance Company. She pursued a professional career as a dancer after college in DC, where she joined DanceEthos, as an original company member. Erica discovered her passion for teaching and choreographing at a very young age. She currently teaches and choreographs at several DC-area studios such as, Berrend Dance Centre, Maryland Youth Ballet, Joy of Motion, Imagination Stage and Metropolitan Ballet Theater. Erica has choreographed multiple solos for students attending YAGP from Berrend Dance Centre and is looking forward to submitting her first ensemble piece this year.
Ballet / Pointe / Variations / Character
DMITRI MALIKOV graduated from Bolshoi Ballet Academy (Russia) in 1987. He was a soloist and principal dancer with Donetsk Ballet Company, L'vov Ballet Theatre, Moscow City Ballet, and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. He has performed internationally in the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Italy. In 1994 and 1995 Mr. Malikov appeared in the International Festival Stars of World Ballet and in 1995 he was promoted to Highest Category Ballet Artist. Mr. Malikov's repertoire includes many of the most famous classical roles, including the Prince in Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Cavalier in Chopiniana, Albrecht in Giselle, Franz in Coppelia, Oberon in Midsummer Night's Dream, José in Carmen Suite as well as many modern and contemporary works and many works of the world famous choreographers. He is featured in the books A Young Dancer's Apprenticeship by Olympia Dowd and Annapolis: A Portrait by Roger Miller.
Ballet / Pointe / Contemporary
THERESE GAHL received her primary dance training from the Washington School of Ballet under the tutelage of Mary Day. In 2007, she became a member of Ballet West II in Salt Lake City. Since then she graduated with cum laude honors from George Mason University, where she received a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology. She joined CityDance School and Conservatory and has had many roles in the institution and has since expanded into the lower and upper school. She as also taught at many other dance institutions in the area, including the Washington School of Ballet and Maryland Youth Ballet. In 2017, she completed her diploma certification for Dance ICON Smart USA Method, International Consortium for Advancement in Choreography, founded by Vladimir Angelov. As a contemporary ballet choreographer and performer, she presented her work at the Sidney Harman Hall Center with the VelocityDC Festival and at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS 2018 Festival in Washington, DC. In the fall of 2018, she was an adjunct professor/guest choreographer at Towson University and guest choreographer at Georgetown University. Recently she presented her newest work as part of the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival 2019 at the Lang Theatre in late February. She has been a performing local artist with Teatro de Danza Contemporanea and Gin Dance Company. She is currently a member of Stephanie Droycott’s Motion X Dance DC.
Tap / Jazz
ROGER RIGGLE has a degree in drama from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC and has choreographed, directed and produced numerous operas and musical theatre productions, including Ain't Misbehavin', High Spirits, Carousel, Gypsy, A Salute to Richard Rogers, Pippin, The Music Man, La Cage aux Folles and the world premiere of Triplets. For eight years, Mr. Riggle was the Associate Producer of TheatreFest, a theatre-in-residence program at Montclair State University in New Jersey where he worked with many celebrities of stage and screen, including: Leslie Uggams, Susan Lucci, Debbie Reynolds, Kim Zimmer, Pattie LuPone, Olympia Dukakis and Betty Buckley. He directed operas at the annual Amalfi Music Festival in Italy for 10 years; toured as a performer with the National Players, the oldest classical touring company in the United States and Canada, and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. In the past three Summers, Roger has directed and choreographed South Pacific, Carousel and Oklahoma! in Durban, South Africa. Roger is the President of Roger Riggle Make Up, LLC as a professional makeup artist.
Ballet / Pointe / Tap / Pilates
ALLISON CANNON graduated with a BFA in Ballet from University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied with Susan Jaffe, Jannet Zerbe, Jared Redick, Misha Tchoupakov and Eva Draw. Before attending UNCSA she studied at Berrend Dance Centre with Patricia Berrend, Dmitri Malikov, Runqiao Du, Erica Molina and Roger Riggle. While at UNCSA, she performed soloist rolls in Marius Petipa's Raymonda and Paquita and Balanchine's La Source. She has also performed corps roles in Ethan Stiefel's Nutcracker. She had the pleasure of performing with Olney Ballet Theatre where she was a soloist in Choo San Goh's Octet and principal rolls in Mary Day's The Nutcracker. Allison recently danced with the Virginia National Ballet where she performed with the corps, solos and lead roles.