Meet The AOD Faculty
Artistic Director, EBT Performance Division
Ballet & Jazz Instructor
McKenna Sevruk has been dancing for nearly two decades and has been teaching dance for over six years. She was a member of the Ensemble Ballet Theatre Performance Division for nine years, performed as a principal dancer for two, and was an extra for several years before that. McKenna was trained under Liz Anderson and Kimberly Wooten during her time with the company and acted as Assistant to the Director for several productions after graduating in 2017. In the Winter of 2021, McKenna became the Artistic Director of the Ensemble Ballet Theatre Performance Division and a board member for the Academy of Dance. She continues to teach Ballet, Pointe and Jazz during the week.
McKenna attended Western Washington University where she continued her ballet training under the direction of Cher Carnell while also studying Sociology and Psychology - she graduated with a degree in both in 2020. McKenna's passion has always been educating the youth in dance and in academics. When McKenna is not teaching at the Academy or directing the Performance Division's upcoming production, she is an Assistant Teacher in a Kindergarten classroom.
Studio Director, EBT Academy of Dance
Peyton Nay began dancing at the age of three, quickly finding her passion for the art. She performed with the Ensemble Ballet Theatre Performance Division for over 14 years, two of which as a principal dancer. Studying under Liz Anderson and Kimberly Wooten, Peyton trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz and partnering. After graduating from EBT in 2017, Peyton went on to attend Washington State University where she received her degree in Business Administration in Finance. In 2020 she returned to Ensemble Ballet Theatre as an instructor with the EBT Academy of Dance. Peyton continued to develop her love for the performing arts in Orlando, FL where she worked in entertainment operations for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. Peyton recently relocated back to Washington state and is thrilled to be the Studio Director with Ensemble Ballet Theatre Academy of Dance. She hopes to share her love of dance with each student, while also supporting an organization that has meant so much to her.
Ballet & Contemporary Instructor
Brittnay Baldwin started her training in Seattle, WA at the age of four and went on to graduate Cum Laude from Chapman University in Orange, CA with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Communication Studies. Following her graduation, Brittnay danced for Holland America Cruise Line where she performed on the seas of the Mediterranean, Baltic and Caribbean. During her career, she has been a featured soloist in the Capezio A.C.E. Fashion Shows, danced on the prestigious stages of Irvine’s Barclay Theater and New York’s Miller Theater in Sarah Mann’s award winning “P-noki (Puppet Edit)”, danced in Max’t Out under the direction of Jonni Homsey, and appeared in numerous Chapman University performances, including the 27th Annual American Celebration. An experienced teacher, award-winning choreographer and masterclass instructor, Brittnay brings her passion and love for dance to all ages and styles.
Tara Fox began dancing at a young age in the tiny town of Willits in northern California, but was later invited to train at a larger ballet studio in the neighboring town of Ukiah under the direction of Mary Knight. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Mendocino Ballet, where she performed numerous parts in the Nutcracker, the title role in Alice in Wonderland, and in many shorter classical and contemporary pieces. At the age of 15, Tara became the company's "student ballet mistress" and began teaching younger students for Ms. Knight, as well as helping run rehearsals for the company's productions. Her family relocated to Oregon in her senior year, where she continued her training at the Eugene Ballet Academy. After graduation, Tara decided to pursue academics, earning a degree in mathematics and a Master's in Teaching from the University of Puget Sound.
Tara teaches at STMS in the Tahoma School district, but keeps ballet a part of her life by instructing at EBT's Academy of Dance and helping with its performance division.
Hip Hop Instructor
Charles Carson has always had a passion for moving. He began dancing by pop-locking and waving from watching artists such as Michael Jackson and Chris Brown. The first style he started learning was Krump dancing, focusing on chest pops, arm swings, jabs, and stomps. Krump has heavily influenced Charles’ style for over thirteen years now and helps with his sharpness and precision. Charles values execution and delivery when performing, while also experimenting with freestyling and finding new ways to open up his body. In 2012, Charles decided to leave the Krump scene and local events like World of Dance and All-Styles Battles. Instead, he began focusing on his Hip Hop instruction and choreography. Charles trained with Hip Hop heavy hitter Isiah Munoz at Koncrete Studios. This inspired him to pursue his own journey as a dance instructor and established a foundation from which his future choreography would come from. Charles began teaching at multiple dance studios, working non-stop to build, progress, and grow in his craft. He believes that as long as you remain passionate and keep your head in a positive place, you will always come out on top.
The daughter of a professional ballet dancer, Erin Kalb spent most of her life in a ballet studio exploring various dance styles and developing her technique with local instructors in Maple Valley, Washington. Throughout her dance career, Erin trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, the Summer Dance Lab, and the Joffrey Ballet in New York City and has taken classes from such professionals as Misty Copeland and Ethan Stiefel. Upon graduation from Ensemble Ballet Theatre's Performance Division in 2016, Erin elected to pursue a path in Elementary Education at Seattle Pacific University and went on to earn a Master's in Education from Eastern Washington University. For the past several years, Erin has taught a fifth-grade highly capable cohort at Cedar River Elementary in the Tahoma School District while serving on the faculty at the Academy of Dance. Erin seeks to encourage the development of endurance, artistry, musicality, technique, terminology, and performance through her ballet classes. Whether in the studio or the classroom, Erin finds purpose in cultivating a love for learning and appreciation for the discipline of knowledge.
Jazz & Combo Class Instructor
Savannah Norton began receiving her dance training at the age of four, studying ballet, tap, and jazz. She has fond memories of the incredible performances and wonderful friends she gained while dancing with Ensemble Ballet Theatre. She performed as a Performance Division company member with EBT for most of her childhood. Though her time in EBT was unfortunately cut short due to an injury, Savannah has never failed to keep her love of dance alive. In high school and college, she performed dance roles in local musical theater productions as well as volunteered for over six years as an assistant dance instructor to her long time mentor and late friend, Miss Alison Forney. Savannah is honored and excited to carry on Miss Alison’s legacy by sharing the magic and joy of dance with EBT Academy’s students by providing foundational instruction in ballet, tap, and jazz. When she is not dancing, Savannah works at an elementary school with multilingual students to grow their skills and confidence in the English language.
Born and raised in Washington, Cathleen VanBuren began her dance training at age 5 and quickly fell in love. Her primary styles of dance include Ballet and Contemporary, but she has also studied Tap, Jazz, and Flamenco. She has trained with several studios including Evergreen City Ballet, Ensemble Ballet Theatre, and Washington Contemporary Ballet. After graduating high school, Cathleen attended Western Washington University, where she received a BFA in Dance, a BA in Spanish, and a minor in Mathematics. During her time at Western, she had the opportunity to perform in many pieces choreographed by faculty, students, and guest artists, as well as choreograph three pieces of her own. She also attended the American College Dance Association’s Northwest Conference for three years. As a part of the BFA program, Cathleen traveled to New York, to work with accomplished choreographer, teacher, and filmmaker David Fernandez, who choreographed a new solo for her. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2019, at which time Cathleen was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in Dance.
After college, Cathleen spent a school year in Cazorla, Spain, working as an English Language and Culture Assistant in a primary school. While there, she continued dancing by taking Flamenco classes. Since returning, Cathleen has participated in Bellingham Repertory Dance’s 7 Day Dance Festival, DASSdance’s 2020 virtual performance of Seattle City Nutcracker, Rhapsody Winterguard’s virtual season and several parade performances. Cathleen works as a Paraeducator in the Tahoma Transition Program and is the Director of the Tahoma Color Guard. She is also a staff member with Rhapsody Winterguard and the Administrative Director for DASSdance. Cathleen loves to teach and work with children and is a firm believer that anyone and everyone can and should dance. She is excited to join the faculty at Ensemble Ballet Theatre!
Combo Class Instuctor
Katie Baker is thrilled to be joining the Ensemble Ballet Theater staff this year as a combo class instructor. Katie started dancing at the age of three in Westchester, PA. Over the next several years she continued with dance and was accepted into a high school conservatory program offered at Washington Academy of Performing Arts, in Redmond, WA. Katie trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary and performed in multiple musical theater and ballet productions. During her time at Washington Academy of Performing Arts, Katie trained with renowned performers Ann Reinking, Deborah Hadley and Kelly Willis. After graduating high school, Katie attended the University of Washington where she continued her performing arts training. Katie earned her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music in vocal performance with an emphasis in opera and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and continued to take dance courses on campus. Currently, Katie serves as the music director at St. Barbara Catholic Church in Black Diamond where she weekly selects music, sings at mass, and leads a youth choir. In her spare time, Katie enjoys baking and spending time with her family.