Faculty and Administration
Bobbie Jaramillo, Co-Director
Bobbie began her training in Louisville, Kentucky where she joined the Louisville Civic Ballet at the age of nine and worked her way from corps de ballet to prima ballerina, appearing in such ballets as Giselle, Les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, Carmina Burana, and The Nutcracker. She has danced and worked with such legends as Mia Slavenska, Andre Eglevsky, Lupe Serrano, Royes Fernandez, Toni Lander, and Fernand Nault and has been mentioned in the book "Who's Who in the Ballet World". Bobbie began teaching dance at the age of fifteen and at age eighteen operated her own dance school. She also studied voice and piano at the prestigious Gardencourt at the University of Louisville. Bobbie's versatility allowed her to work in the theater where she appeared as Anita in West Side Story, Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Rashomon (with Actors Theatre of Louisville), and A Most Happy Fella, many to rave reviews as well as appearing in several summer productions. Bobbie moved to New York City and within ten days landed a job in the National tour of Hello, Dolly! with Betty Grable in which she performed as a dancer and was also given the understudy to the role of Ermengarde which she performed twenty-eight times. When this tour had ended, she joined another, this one starring Ginger Rogers and Dorothy Lamour. This time Bobbie was given understudy to the major role of Irene Molloy. During an appearance in this role, the world renowned pianist Van Cliburn was so taken by her performance that he asked to meet her. Bobbie went to work for a well-known children's theatre company owned by CBS performing many ingenue roles. She also appeared as Polly in The Boyfriend and Lady Larkin in Once Upon a Mattress. In the New York area she worked in Gypsy with Margaret Whiting and Promises, Promises with Orson Bean. She was also cast in a starring role in an off-Broadway production. Bobbie was called upon once again to do Hello, Dolly!, this time on Broadway with Ethel Merman. After the show succeeded in becoming the longest running show on Broadway, she and her husband David decided to start a family. After having three children (one single birth and twins) in twenty-one months, they moved back to David's hometown of Denver. Bobbie went back to teaching. She also began to ice skate and since 1976 she has been a ballet coach for figure skaters both on and off the ice. She was the assistant choreographer for the closing ceremonies for Skate America in Reading, PA. in 2003. In addition to beginning the children's program, teaching and choreographing for the David Taylor Dance Theatre Academy of Ballet for eighteen years, Bobbie has choreographed musicals at Heritage High School over the last ten years, taught tap in Heritage High Schools now defunct Theatre Topics dance class, and has taught at Front Range Community College. She and her daughter Alison opened LBA in the fall of 2003. Bobbie currently has students dancing all over the country. Many are on scholarship at prestigious dance programs in universities, another studied on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet in NYC, one is currently enjoying great success in Hollywood, and still others have also gone on to dance professionally, both in ballet and musical theatre. She also has wonderful former students who have decided not to pursue careers in dance now enjoying other options. She treasures all of her students, former and present and celebrates all of their many successes.
Alison Jaramillo, Co-Director
Alison was raised in Colorado and first received her training with her mother Bobbie, and then with teachers Lynelle Mossholder, James Clouser, and Debbie Mercer, and later on scholarship at the Pennsylvania Ballet School, well as summers at the Boston Ballet School on scholarship, Joffrey Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the Houston Ballet Academy. In 1988, Alison won the 1st place Florence Ruston Award and a $1,200 scholarship at the Denver Ballet Guild Scholarship Competition. She first joined the David Taylor Dance Theatre professional company at the age of sixteen and returned in the fall of 1998 where she was featured as Clara in The Nutcracker, and performed principal roles in many works over five years, including her favorite, James Wallace's The Storm. Previously, Alison danced with the Dayton Ballet for six years performing in over sixty ballets, including works by such legendary choreographers Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, Robbert Joffrey, and Antony Tudor, and then joined Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland, Oregon, and was most recently a principal with Boulder Ballet. Career highlights include being personally chosen to perform Balanchine's Tarantella by former NYCB ballerina Patricia McBride, as well as performing principal roles in works by Washington Ballet's artistic director Septime Webre, and former Joffrey Ballet dancer Christian Holder. She also performed a principal role at the 2003 Skate America closing ceremonies. She has taught dance for over twenty-five years including serving as the interim director of the Dayton Ballet School Ensemble and co-directing Movin' On, a dance group for mentally challenged teens and adults. In 2003, she won Best Choreography for her work at the Dance Educators of America conference. She has been a regular guest teacher at Denver School of the Arts, taught ballet for Heritage High School's Theatre Topics class and up until recently taught at Centennial Academy for Fine Arts Education in Littleton. She has coached dancers to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes at both YAGP and the Denver Ballet Guild and her contemporary choreography has placed at YAGP and StarQuest.
Jennifer Haws, Jazz, Pre-Ballet
Jenn exhibited her love of dance as a two year old when she took her first dance class in Southern California. Her dance education has included jazz, ballet, modern, hip hop, tap, Mexican folk, Tahitian, and African. Her passion for the art motivated her to achieve a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from University of Colorado Boulder where she was a three-time recipient of the University Dance Award. Jennifer has trained under Wes Veldink, Jessica Hendricks, Nancy Cranbourne, David Capps, and Denise Donovan. Her dance experiences include a scholarship to Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School, performing with Wide Awake Dance Theater, the Damsels Dance Company, and at the 1999 Opening Ceremonies for the World Ski Championships in Vail. Jennifer also co-directed and choreographed concerts in Boulder in 2001; Dance Feast in New York in 2004; and KTCU's Disco Ball in New York in 2007. She has created choreography for Alameda High School theater department as well as judging for CHSAA and WHSAA spirit state competitions. Jennifer takes her distinctive talent in jazz dance throughout the country teaching master classes and judging for StarQuest dance competition. She has been a teacher and choreographer for over 25 years in California, Colorado, and New York. Jenn teaches a mulit-faceted jazz style and pre-ballet at LBA.
Lorita Travaglia, Pre-Professional Ballet
Lorita is originally from New Zealand. She was trained in both the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus and the Russian Vaganova system. In her 20-year professional stage career, she danced with the Berlin Ballet, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and International Ballet Rotaru and has been a guest dancer with many companies. She has danced principal roles in a wide repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary. Lorita has been teaching since 1986. She established a pre-professional, full-time training program in New Zealand and directed Canyon Concert Ballet in Fort Collins for three years. In September 1999, she joined Colorado Ballet as repetiteur and director of the Apprentice Program; in 2006 she was promoted to Ballet Mistress under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs. Her choreography includes the Angel of Buenos Aires, Equanimity, Aspects, Pictures at an Exhibition and Piazzolla for Colorado Ballet and a full-length The Nutcracker for Canyon Concert Ballet. Lorita graduated from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2000 and has a private practice in Denver. She is an avid tango dancer and is the Creative Director of Parasol Arts. Lorita has a beautiful young daughter named LiLi. She teaches in the Pre-Professional Division at LBA.
Debra Mercer, Pre-Professional Ballet
Debra has been teaching and performing in Colorado for over thirty years. She has a B.A. with honors in Dance from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She has been a principal dancer with the Jackson Ballet, Colorado Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre, and other local companies around the state. She is currently teaching ballet at Colorado College and is a member and Ballet Mistress of the Ormao Contemporary Dance Company, both in Colorado Springs. She has also taught for the Boulder Ballet, Boulder Ballet School, and taught at Miller's Dance Studio for fifteen years. She is fortunate enough to have studied with some of the best ballet teachers in the world, including Antony Tudor, Enrique Martinez, Milenko Banovic, James Clouser, Marjorie Tallchief, and George Skibine to name a few. She has studied from master teachers in the Bournonville, Vaganova, Cecchetti, and Royal Academy of Dance syllabi and travels to Taos, New Mexico every summer to study the Balanchine repertory with Jillana, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Debbie teaches Ballet 5-8 and Adult students at LBA.
Ashley Paige Romines, Ballet
Ashley Paige Romines began her dance training at age ten in Sevierville, Tennessee, and at age sixteen continued on to pre-professional ballet training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She then studied on scholarship at the University of Oklahoma and graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in ballet pedagogy. Ashley Paige performed professionally for three seasons with Northern Ballet Theatre in New Hampshire and taught at several ballet schools throughout the northeast. During her training and professional career, Ashley Paige had the honor to learn from such inspiring teachers as Marcia Dale Weary, Darla Hoover, Mary Margaret Holt, Donn Edwards, Dennis Marshall, Melinda Howe, Leslie Hench, Laurie Jones, Denise Vale, Jeremy Lindberg, Karyn Edison, and many others. Additionally, Ashley Paige received her Pilates mat certification through Power Pilates.
After her performance career, Ashley Paige focused on her teaching, choreography and ballet administration career. In 2007, Ashley Paige joined Springfield Ballet in Springfield, Missouri, as the Artistic & School Director, where she spent twelve years. While there, she choreographed and staged an annual production of The Nutcracker as well as several original full-length and one-act classical and contemporary ballets. Additionally, she attended Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s Teacher’s Workshop several times, which was instrumental in her approach and philosophy for training dancers from tots to pre-professionals.
Ashley Paige recently relocated to Denver with her husband. She is delighted to join Littleton Ballet Academy and have the opportunity to share her passion for ballet.
Jamie Lane Youtsey, Conditioning
Jamie has had ten years of dance training with teachers at LBA but her first love is figure skating. She has had 21years of figure skating experience in Free Skating, Ice Dance, Moves in the Field, and Synchronized Skating. She is a four time national competitor in Synchronized Skating and is also a US Figure Skating double gold medalist. Jamie has been a Professional Skaters Association (PSA) coach for five years and a PSA rated coach in both Free Skating, Moves in the Field, Dance, and Choreography. She is also a PSA Sports Medicine committee member. Jamie has been a myopatterning instructor for eight years. She teaches conditioning at LBA.
Erin Skufca, Ballet
Erin has over 30 years of dance experience. She began her training of Ballet in Northern California, at a Balanchine based studio. During those early years she traveled around the state receiving numerous scholarships to master classes and summer intensive programs. At the age of 13 Erin was accepted into the Alabama School of Fine Arts under the direction of Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski. She has danced various roles with professional companies around the country including, Sacramento Ballet under Ron Cunningham and Barbara Crockett, Alabama Ballet, Fort Lauderdale Ballet, several Regional California Ballet companies including, Palos Verdes Peninsula Performing Arts under Patricia Stander and Dudley Davies. While studying in college to become a Registered Nurse, she began teaching at a local ballet studio and really enjoyed transferring into a new role. She has taught all levels of ballet as well as competition teams. Teaching has always been a very rewarding experience for her, and she feels fortunate to be along side the wonderful faculty and talented students at LBA.
Adrianne Hampton, Musical Theatre, Tap
Adrianne is an award-winning musical theatre performer and choreographer. LA credits include being a two-time Scenie Award and ITL Award winner for her performances in Chicago and Born Yesterday. She recently performed Cassie in A Chorus Line at Sierra Repertory Theatre, performed several supporting roles at the Candlelight Theatre, Sheila in A Chorus Line at Centerstage in Fontana and danced professionally in a contemporary dance company in Orange County. She also played Val in A Chorus Line under the direction of Kay Cole.
Denver credits include being the first Cassie to perform the original choreography that was used in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line under the direction of Michael Gorman at Town Hall Arts Center. She also starred as Cassie in A Chorus Line at the Pace Center, has performed many performances at the Arvada Center and was Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot at the Vintage Theatre. She recently won Best Actress for her performance as Olive in Bullets Over Broadway at the Vintage Theatre. She earned 3 nominations from Broadway World: two for Best Actress in Billy Elliot, Bullets over Broadway and one as Best Choreographer for Mary Poppins. Adrianne also won Best Choreographer at the David Marlowe Awards for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Teaching credits include, Long Lake Performing Arts Camp NY, International Arts Camp SD, Elite Dance Academy LA, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Littleton Ballet Academy, Palos Verdes Performing Arts Academy, Venue Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet Academy, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids, was a full dance scholarship student at Steps and Broadway Dance Center in NYC and danced in many dance industrials in NY. She is currently the founder of Broadway Bootcamp in Littleton. Adrianne teaches musical theatre and tap at LBA.
Karina Okoren, Pre-Ballet
Karina began dancing at 3 years old under the tutelage of Irina Hamilton with Soul Motion Underground. She continued her training with Ali and Bobbie Jaramillo at Littleton Ballet Academy where she had the privilege of performing the roles of Clara in The Nutcracker, the Sprite in Cinderella, and Ozma in The Wizard of Oz. Karina continued to dance at Brigham Young University as she studied Human Development and Contemporary Dance and performed with the contemporary performance company, Dance Ensemble. A kidney transplant recipient at the age of 14, Karina believes in the power of dance to synchronize mind, body and spirit as a means of healing and expression. Karina is currently applying for Dance Therapy graduate programs to help others heal through movement.
Bryce Lee, Ballet
Bryce was born in Missouri and started his professional training at 12 at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in Laguna Hills, CA. In the summer of 2011, he attended School of American Ballet, then was asked to stay for the Winter Term program from 2011-2012. He attended several summer courses on full scholarship including SAB, Miami City Ballet and Colorado Ballet. Bryce has received several awards in classical and contemporary forms of dance as well as 1st place, semi-finalist at YAGP Europe, and two-time YAGP Finalist Qualifier. He joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2013 and was promoted into the Company in 2015. Bryce teaches the Advanced Boys and Pas De Deux. He also coaches and performs as a guest artist with Littleton Youth Ballet.
Jonelle Mireles, Pre-Ballet, Ballet
Jonelle started taking ballet classes from Bobbie Jaramillo at the age of 12 and then later studied under Nikoloz Makhateli before becoming a professional dancer. She danced with BalletMet and Ballet Tucson where she had the opportunity to dance in leading roles and to work with John Gardner, Amanda McKerrow, and Jeffery Graham Hughes. Jonelle began teaching ballet while she was still a student, helping Miss Bobbie with the younger dancers. She also taught pre-ballet classes at a local pre-school in Tucson and went to elementary schools teaching an outreach program for Ballet Tucson. She retired from dancing professionally and moved to Denver to start a family where she began teaching for LBA in 2014.
Melissa Pottberg, Pilates Reformer
Alexis Drabek, Ballet
Alexis received her early training in Littleton, Colorado. She was awarded scholarships to the summer programs of School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1993 & 1994, Alexis received 2nd place/$1200 award in Category II at the Denver Ballet Guild. In high school, she attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and then went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School in NYC. Alexis performed with David Taylor Dance Theater, Kim Robards Dance, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Company C Contemporary Ballet and danced leading roles in works by Charles Anderson, Colin Conor, James Sewell, Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor. From 2009-2014, Alexis served as Ballet Mistress for Company C Contemporary Ballet where she worked closely with many choreographers including Patrick Corbin, Dennis Nahat, Peter Anastos, and Susan Jaffe. In addition to teaching, Alexis stays busy raising her three kids and performing with Jayne Persch/BRIAH Danse.
Ellen Kerkhoff, Ballet
Ellen (formerly Kreutzer for those who are familiar with the Denver dance community) was a mainstay in the Denver dance scene in the late 80’s and 90’sperforming as a principal dancer with David Taylor Dance Theatre. As a teen she performed with both Denver Civic Ballet and Colorado Ballet and has also danced professionally with Hannah Kahn Dance Company and Colorado Repertory Dance. She has taught dance for over sixteen years to a variety of ages and most recently was on the faculty of Off-Broadway Academy of Dance. Ellen has her master’s degree in social work and she has also worked with children and families in educational and mental health settings. She is married to Todd and they have a beautiful daughter named Greta. Ellen teaches the Adult Beg/Int Ballet and also teaches in LBA’s summer program.
Whitney Waugh, Modern
Whitney is an independent dance artist, specializing in contemporary/modern dance technique, education, performance, choreography, and healing through holistic and somatic approaches to the body.Growing up mainly in Tennessee, her love for dance came a bit later in life. As an athlete, she decided to get her fine art credit in high school by taking a beginner dance class. Unbeknownst to her, she would fall in love with it. More importantly, dance would save her life. By accident she came into the dance world, and by intention she has made dance and movement a burning passion, an everlasting commitment, and a life purpose. Whitney studied Chemistry in college and also earned two minor degrees in Biology and Dance. While she was in college, her desire to dance became stronger than ever. She was as involved as she could be in the dance program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, TN. At one pivotal moment in her junior year, she realized that dance was too important to give up. With medical school in her immediate future, she made the most difficult and fulfilling decision of her life. Dance was not just something she did; it was inside her heart and soul. She was going to pursue dance, not just as a performer, technician, and choreographer, but also as a healer.She scraped money together and jumped on a plane to Phoenix, AZ to interview as a master candidate in Fine Arts-Dance at Arizona State University. With her acceptance letter, came an overwhelming flood of emotions. She was really going after her dream…it was real. Throughout her three years in graduate school, she taught dance at the university level, performed in multiple dance concerts, and choreographed at least one piece per semester. While at ASU, she also became a member of a professional modern dance company, Dulce Dance Company. She performed with Dulce for two and a half years. She earned her MFA in dance from ASU in May 2012.In her dance career, Whitney has worked with so many talented and beautiful dancers, choreographers, and educators. She feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to expand her understanding and grow as a person and dancer from impeccable artists in the dance world. She has learned from and performed in works by many artists, both national and international, throughout her career, including: Gabriel Masson, Kim Neal Nofsinger, Marsha Barsky, Elaine Husted, Ivan Pulinkala, Mari Jo Irbe, Michelle Ikle, Zelma Badu-Younge, Erika Wilson Perkins, Chung Fu Chang, Gerri Houlihan, Michael Foley, Jennifer Mizenko, Teena Custer, Ursula Payne, Travis D. Gatling, Stacie Flood-Pop, Elizabeth Johnson, Nora Chipaumire, Ashleigh Leite, Dean Moss, Elizabeth Streb, Cristian Duarte, Eileen Standley, Tim O’Donnell, Candy Jimenez, Liliana Gomez, Chris Harris, Angie Simmons, Patrick Mueller, Maedee Dupres, Mary Fitzgerald, Karen Schupp, Rob Kaplan, John Mitchell, and Stefanie Batten Bland.Performing has always been fun, exciting, and challenging for Whitney. There was a piece of her, however, that had been left unfulfilled. After graduation, she realized something was missing. Her love for sharing experience through dance (in choreography, education, and as a holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit) was the next step. Now based in Denver, CO, it is her ultimate dream to become a dance artist who engages the audience by touching the spirit, provoking the mind, and pushing the physical boundaries in her choreography; a thoughtful, progressive educator who uses the knowledge gathered over the past thirteen years to develop her own style and purpose behind teaching dance; and a healer who uses movement, touch, and energy work to help people create their best life full of wholeness, health, and happiness. Whitney teaches the modern classes at LBA.
Peter Davison, Boyz Dance. Physical Theatre
Peter is originally from Santa Monica, California, began his career when he learned to juggle at age 12. Peter performed around Los
Angeles as a busker, and at the age of 18 he was cast as a juggler in the movie “Xanadu” with Gene Kelly. In 1980, Peter moved to Boulder,
Colorado where he began his formal dance training and became a founder of the trio Airjazz, which toured a unique mix of juggling, dance, and theater and appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. Since the 1990's, Peter has toured solo shows and appeared on the CBS, BBC, and Fox TV networks. He has performed as a dancer with several Colorado-based companies, and from 2004 to 2015, he was Co-Artistic Director of Boulder Ballet. His choreography has been performed by Boulder Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, David Taylor Dance Theater, Saint Paul Ballet, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others. Peter received the 2009 Ballet Builders award from New Choreographers on Point, which led to performances in New York City and excellent reviews from Dance Europe Magazine and NY Theater Scene. Peter teaches Boyz Dance and Physical Theatre.
Sarah Mielke Bjornebo, Pilates Mat
Sarah Mielke Bjornebo began her dance training in classical ballet with Esther Geoffrey at Colorado College in 1984. As a full scholarship student, trainee, and corps de ballet member, she performed with Milwaukee Ballet 1985-87 and 1990-91, Pennsylvania Ballet 1989-1990, and Boston Ballet 1987-1989 under the direction of Ted Kivitt, Basil Thompson, Dane Lafontsee, Bruce Marx, and Laura Young. Ms. Bjornebo was a featured soloist as part of the Kirov’s Return to New York Festival at the Lincoln Center in 1989. During college 1991-1995, Sarah explored Chicago’s contemporary and modern dance scene performing with Hubbard Street under the direction of Twyla Tharp, and with Kast and Company under the direction of Maggie Kast.
Upon graduation, Sarah returned to Colorado performing as a freelance dancer with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, David Taylor Dance Theater, Ballet Ariel, Colorado Dance Arts, Colorado Arts Project, Ballet Arts, and other local companies. As a company member and soloist 1995-2000 and 2009-2011, she performed for Kim Robards Dance. She retired in 2011 after performing Unstruck Sound set to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Ms. Bjornebo is a Peak Certified Pilates Instructor. Sarah has been teaching private and group classes in the Denver area for fifteen years at the Sina Center, Bally's Total Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, the Lamont School of Music - DU, and Pilates Plus. Sarah started training in Pilates in 1985 after a serious hamstring injury with Milwaukee Ballet. Pilates not only helped rehab the injury, but kept her body balanced and dancing for 25 years. Sarah is a Colorado native who loves camping, hiking, biking, gardening, playing guitar, singing, and playing outside with family and friends.
Anna Rutter, Studio Manager (Coming Soon)
Christene Woodward, Administrative Assistant (Coming Soon)