MMPAC’s teaching staff is made up of professionally-trained dancers with diverse backgrounds in performing, teaching, and choreographing. Many have advanced degrees and professional certifications. We are always accepting applications from new potential teachers. Download an application form here.
Kimberly Price began her professional dance training in NYC at the age of seventeen. She studied with masters such as Luigi, Charles Kelly, David Howard and various professionals from the Broadway Dance Center. After auditioning and earning a scholarship to Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Kimberly moved west. While in Chicago she also began work on her Bachelor’s degree in Theater at Loyola University. Kimberly returned to Maryland in 1989 and opened her first school - The Middletown Center of Dance. The school quickly grew and evolved into the Mid-Maryland Performing Arts Center. Kimberly remains committed to the basic principle that dance is for everyone at every age and that MMPAC should instill a lifelong love of dance in every student. She founded UnBound, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to extend the experience of dance to those of differing abilities. Kimberly received her Graduate Certificate in Dance at American University in Washington, DC in 2005. She is an active member of the local and regional arts community and is among the first to implement the National Standards for Dance Education at her studio.
Esperanza Alzona has had an extensive professional dance career as a soloist and principal dancer of the Baltimore Ballet Company, the Center Dance Ensemble, Prince George’s Ballet Company, the Greg Reynolds Dance Company and the American Dance Ensemble of Pittsburgh, along with numerous appearances as a guest artist with various companies in the United states and Italy. An award-winning choreographer, Ms. Alzona holds a teaching diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance, an AA in Humanities & Social Science, a BA in Psychology and an MA in Public Communications. She taught dance, performed and choreographed in northern Italy for six years, and from 1987 to 1991 she directed her own contemporary dance company based in Turin. She returned to the USA in 1991 and joined the staff of MMPAC where she continues to set choreography on her students, independent artists and professional dance companies. Ms. Alzona has been an adjunct professor of dance at Shepherd University, where she also holds the position of Music Operations Manager.
Lauren Carnesi is a Maryland choreographer, artistic director, and teaching artist. She received her early trainging from Mid Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts and received her BFA, cum laude, in Dance Performance and Choreography from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shennandoah University. She was the 2012 recipient of the conservatory’s Elizabeth Weil Bergmann Choreography Award. Lauren is a teaching artist at many Maryland dance studios. She regularly teaches many genres of dance and works with student company members at Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center as the Dance FX Co-Director and choreographer along with Harford Dance Center as a choreographer and rehearsal assistant. In addition to teaching at dance studios, Lauren is on faculty at The Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore City as their dance instructor.
Lauren’s true passion is found in choreography; her work has been selected for performance at many venues including the American College Dance Association’s Mid Atlantic regional Gala, Manhattan Movement and Arts (NYC), City Center Studios (NYC), Hatch Studios (NYC), The Secret Theater (NYC), Jack Guidone Theater (DC), Athenaeum Theatre (Chicago), Ohrstrom-Bryant Theater (VA), Armstrong Concert Hall (VA), Shingleton Dance Space (VA), and the Chesapeake Theater (MD). Lauren’s work has also been performed at the Macedonia National Opera and Ballet Theater and in other performance venues in England, Greece, Macedonia, and Spain. One of Lauren’s most notable accomplishments is her work as Artistic Director for Harford Dance Theatre’s summer contemporary dance performance series. After the great success of Oona (2014) and KINETIC CANVAS: Edward Hopper (2015), Lauren was asked back for a third year to direct Harford Theatre’s next summer production, KINETIC CANVAS: Claude Monet set for performance in July 2016.
In September 2013 Lauren was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Lauren has vigorously fought to take control of the disease. In August 2015, Lauren decided it was time to share her honest experience with others and to raise awareness for Lupus. InvisibleWings Dance Project was then crafted with the mission to share Lauren’s story and generate awareness about the disease. She is currently working with dancers to create choreography that serves the company’s purpose of awareness, inspiration, and education. The company had its premiere performance at the Hatch Performing Series in December 2015.
Hannah Engelke trained under the tutelage of International Ballet Medalist Ashley Canterna and Mary Moran at the Edna Lee Dance Studio in Glen Burnie, MD. She has also studied at Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Culver City, CA. She has received numerous honors including Dance Masters of America’s Petite, Junior, and Miss Dance of Chapter 17, the Mid-Atlantic. She has been selected as an Anne Arundel All-County Dancer, as well as a Maryland All-State Dancer. Hannah has been accepted into Alvin Ailey’s Certificate and Independent Study programs, as well as Towson University’s Dance Department. In 2010, she was accepted to Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, where she chose to studyfor the following year. Hannah has been a part of the lead faculty for Pinnacle Dance Camp in McHenry, MD for the past two years. She has also taught for Maryland Festival Ballet’s Ballet Intensive. She is currently pursuing a double major in both dance and psychology. She is also a member of the AACC Dance Company, where she is working with Lynda Fitzgerald and former Ailey II member, Torens Johnson.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Amy grew up studying contemporary and classical dance as well as theatre. She graduated Summa cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Choreography from Arizona State University. Through her professional training she has had the pleasure of working with Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Doug Varone and Dancers, Troy Powell of Ailey II, and master teachers from Nutmeg Conservatory. While in Phoenix, she performed with Footworks Dance Project for two seasons before moving to MD in 2006, where she trained at DC’s Dance Place and performed in Deborah Riley’s: Acts of Faith. Amy continued performing with Gooseroute Arts Collaborative under the direction of Kitty Clark for 5 seasons. Currently, Amy performs with Kista Tucker Dance Insights located in Washington DC.
Amy has had the pleasure of teaching dance at MMPAC since 2008. She emphasizes correct anatomical placement as well as body awareness in her classes and is currently studying Dance Medicine at Westside Dance Physical therapy in New York City.
Amy is also a Comprehensive Certified Pilates instructor through Power Pilates New York and is the Pilates Director at The Shala Wellness Center.
Chrissi Haynes graduated cum laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. In addition to her work at MMPAC, she has also taught at Carroll County Dance Center, Towson University Children’s Dance Division, Carroll County Performing Arts Center, and Tah-dah Dance Studio. Chrissi has preformed with the Towson Dance Repertory Company, as well as modern dance companies, Abstract Emotions and Goose Route Dance Theater.
Nicole Ruark has had the honor of performing and choreographing throughout the country as well as internationally. Her work as a professional performer includes favorite roles in Cats, The Will Rogers Follies, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Guys and Dolls and Sweet Charity. Ms. Ruark has staged ballets for numerous professional companies both in the US and abroad. Her contemporary work has landed her several awards including Top Honors and Outstanding Choreography at the Youth American Grand Prix in New York and Outstanding Contemporary at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland as well as gold and silver medals at the 2013 New York City Dance Alliance. She has extensive experience as a director and choreographer for universities, regional, and touring companies including such productions as: Pippin, Urinetown, Annie, Seussical, Little Shop of Horrors, Swing It! (national premiere) and Once on this Island. Ms. Ruark recently traveled with the cast from The American University to St. Petersburg, Russia for the international debut of the reworking of Jane Martin’s Talking With. In 2012, Ms. Ruark joined the dance faculty of the prestigious Broadway Theatre Project .
Ms. Ruark graduated cum laude from The American University with a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre. She attended The Joffrey Ballet School on full scholarship and is the recipient of the Herbert R. Brent Scholarship, the Herb Edelman Acting Award, American University’s Outstanding Musical Theatre Performer award, and the Greenberg Scholarship for the Performing Arts.
Kelsy Rupp, a graduate of The Radford University Department of Dance B.F.A program, is a teaching artist, choreographer, and dancer located in Western Maryland.
Kelsy is currently a company member of d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks and Light Switch Dance Theatre. Her training began at The City Ballet School under the direction of Lauren Clowser and Danielle Horochowski where her studies consisted of classical ballet, pointe, jazz, and modern techniques. While at The City Ballet School, she was a company member of The Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Company from 2004-2009 where she performed in full-length productions such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
During her tenure at Radford University, Kelsy studied and performed multiple works with the outstanding faculty at RU as well as guest artist Christopher K. Morgan. Kelsy also was offered an apprentice position with d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks, which allowed a touring dance career and experience as a rehearsal assistant while still being a student. During her senior year, she choreographed and produced her own modern dance concert, inter(person)al progression, under the direction of her mentor danah bella. Outside of Radford, Kelsy has attended, performed, and presented work at nationally recognized festivals such as The American College Dance Festival, Route 11 Dance Festival, Tennessee Dance Festival, Charlotte Dance Festival, Moving Collective, and more. Upon graduation from Radford University, Kelsy was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Radford University Department of Dance. Other achievements include receiving the Pegeen & David Albig Dance Scholarship, The Arts Society Scholarship, and a Who’s Who of American Colleges and Universities. After undergraduate work, Kelsy returned home to Maryland where she has been pursuing her dance career through dance education, freelance choreography, and dance performance.
Kelsy is currently a faculty member of the Hagerstown Community College Dance Department, Mid-Maryland Performing Arts Center in Frederick, MD, and The City Ballet School in Hagerstown, MD.