(Beginning August 27, 2018*)
*Classes begin promptly at the times listed. No late entry into classes will be permitted. Instructors may be substituted from time to time without notice. Class cancellations will be posted in advance, both here and on The Big Muddy Facebook page.
Brandon Fink began his training at the Oklahoma City Ballet Conservatory. Graduating with honors, he received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance on scholarship from the University of Central Oklahoma. His pre-professional experience includes R.A.C.E. Dance Company and UCO Kaleidoscope Dance Company. Upon graduation, Brandon attended the American Dance Festival School in Raleigh/Durham, NC where he was selected for the 2011 Past/Forward Gala to perform Twyla Tharp’s “Sweet Fields.” In 2012, he was selected for the River North Dance Chicago Summer Apprenticeship Program under the direction of Frank Chavez. He was a company member with the Modern American Dance Company from 2011 – 2016 as well as a member of the Ensemble in Fiddler on the Roof at the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis in 2016. His choreography has been presented at the University of Missouri St. Louis, the University of Central Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic University, the American College Dance Festival, the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, the St. Louis Arts Alliance, the American Dance Troupe, The Big Muddy Convergence Trainee Program, and MADCO. He is also the color guard director at Parkway Central High School as well as a Visual Consultant for Rockwood Summit High School. Brandon is in his second season with The Big Muddy Dance Company and he will join the Ensemble in The Wizard of Oz presented by Variety Children’s Theatre.
Geoff was born and raised in St. Louis. His journey to dance began with gymnastics, which he practiced from the age of seven to sixteen. During his sophomore year in college he began his dance training and in 2011, he earned a BFA in theatre and dance from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. After graduating, he worked as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor for aTrek Dance Collective and the Dance Co-op. Geoff was hired to perform with The Big Muddy in fall of 2011. He has choreographed on the Ashleyliane Dance Company, the SIUE dance department, and the Southeast Missouri State University dance department. Geoff currently works with the company's pre-professional training program by teaching, choreographing, and mentoring aspiring dancers.
Mr. Enos, artistic director of The Big Muddy Dance Company, trained primarily at Ben Stevenson's Houston Ballet Academy under Clara Cravey, Steve Brule, Claudio Muñoz, and Priscilla Nathan-Murphy, as well as at the Maria Vegh Ballet Centre. He then went on to dance for several years with the Houston Ballet, followed by eight years as a company member with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mr. Enos is also an accomplished choreographer, having created more than 30 works on companies across the U.S., including the Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Met, Nashville Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet, among others. His approach to teaching, in addition to emphasizing strong technique, places a heavy focus on artistry, musicality, and finding the individual voice of each dancer.
Dustin Crumbaugh (Houston, TX) began his formal dance training at Houston Metropolitan Dance Company's pre-professional second companny, Houston Met Too. Since graduating high school, he spent two years as a dance major at Point Park University where he performed works by renowned choreographers such as Margo Sappington, Robert Battle, and Harrison McEldowney. He completed his traineeship with Ballet Austin, where he performed works by Stephen Mills, Gina Patterson, Septime Weber, and Dwight Rhoden, and trained at LINES Ballet, where he studied under master teachers such as Alonzo King, Maurya Kerr, and Amy Raymond. Dustin joined Houston Metropolitan Dance Company as a professional company member in 2005, and in 2007 joined Luna Negra Dance Theater under the direction of Eduardo Vilaro, performing works by Edgar Zendejas, Alejandro Cervera, and Gustavo Ramirez Sansano. He then danced on scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and participated in Springboard Danse Montreal, working with Jose Navas/Cie Flak and Julian Barnett. In 2009, he performed with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater until joining The Big Muddy Dance Company in 2011, with whom he has performed works by Lauri Stallings, Lou Conte, Paula David, and Harrison McEldowney. As a member of The Big Muddy since 2011, Dustin co-directs the Convergence Trainee Program alongside Brian Enos.
Christine Knoblauch-O’Neal, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice in Dance, performed for twenty years with such companies as American Ballet Theatre, the National Ballet, Dancers, and the Cincinnati Ballet. Dr. O’Neal danced in the film Turning Point, performed as Kristine in A Chorus Line, and toured with dancers to Italy’s Spoleto Festival. She was asked to perform Jennifer Medina’s Courtesan during the Spring to Dance Festival at the Touhill Center for the Performing Arts through Dance St. Louis in 2008. In addition, she was one of fourteen choreographers featured in Dance St. Louis’ Contemporary Moves concert in May 2004, premiering her work Black, Pearls, and Harry.
Dr. O’Neal has choreographed over fifteen works for Washington University Dance Theatre. Also, she has choreographed and performed in eight of her own works and the works of five international and regional choreographers in the faculty concerts,Dance Close Up. In addition, she has choreographed for the department’s musicals and theater productions including: Three Penny Opera (2010); Fiddler on the Roof (2006); Violet (2006); Much Ado About Nothing (2006); Into the Woods (2006); Hair (2005); The Awakening (2004); The Good Man from Szechwan (2004); All’s Well That Ends Well (2000); Shooting Magda (2002); and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2001).
Dr. Knoblauch-O’Neal participated in the panel discussion "Musical Theater as Liberal Inquiry: The Pathway to Craft" with colleagues Anna Pileggi and Lisa Campbell along with presenting her own research, "Welcome to the World of Parallel: A Journey from Ballet to Ballroom" at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii, January ’07. She co-presented with Jennifer Medina "The Mature Artist: An Embodied Story" at the CORPS de Ballet, International Conference, July ’09 in which she also performed Medina’s solo Courtesan. For the 2011 CORPS de Ballet conference, Dr. O’Neal presented her research on the work of the Répétiteurs of the Tudor Trust in restaging the ballets of Antony Tudor. Also, and as part of the Antony Tudor Dance Studies Curriculum Development Committee created by Sally Bliss, Executor of the Tudor will and Trustee of the Tudor Trust, Christine joined fellow committee members in presenting the newly designed curriculum during the 2011 CORPS de Ballet conference.
Dr. Knoblauch-O’Neal attended Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar graduating with an AB in theater. Her M.A.L.S. thesis from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, culminating with performances of As Is, a classical ballet, structured improvisation with the Webster Dance Theater at Webster University, St. Louis, MO, was featured in the Summer/Fall 2001 edition of Contact Quarterly.
Her awards include a bronze medal from the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, a State Department medal in recognition of her accomplishment in Varna, the Washington University in St. Louis’ ArtSci Faculty award, and, most recently, the 2009 CORPS de Ballet International Service Award.
Dr. Knoblauch-O’Neal successfully defended her dissertation: "Preserving a Legacy, Preserving Ballet History: Restaging the Ballets of Antony Tudor" on March 18th, 2013.
Mr. Erik Hoffman was born and raised near Baltimore, Maryland. He trained for a decade with the West Virginia Ballet, under the artistic direction of Carolou Brown Russell. Following high school graduation, Erik moved to New York City to train for an additional two years before transitioning into a trainee program with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and subsequently, with Ballet West in Salt Lake City. He had the opportunity to perform with both companies, in productions such as Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, Gerald Arpino’s The Nutcracker, and Adam Sklute’s The Sleeping Beauty. Erik also had the privilege to perform at the New York City Center, for the Career Transition for Dancers Gala.
Erik has spent his summers training with American Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Orlando Ballet. He also studied under the legendary ballerina, Suzanne Farrell. Erik danced with St. Louis Ballet from 2011-2016, and danced notable roles in a variety of ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, Christopher D’Amboise, Brian Enos, Emery LeCrone, Adam Sage, Michael Uthoff, and former New York City Ballet principal, and St. Louis Ballet artistic director, Gen Horiuchi.
Erik is a House Manager at HavenHouse St. Louis, a non-profit organization in Creve Coeur, which provides a community of support, and the comfort of home, for those traveling to St. Louis for medical care. Currently, Erik is a BSN, RN student at Goldfarb School of Nursing, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Maggi is a St. Louis native and Summa cum Laude graduate of Webster University. While in school, she performed with Webster Dance Theatre, Webster University Dance Ensemble and as a member of the Equity Ensemble at the Muny. Upon graduation, she moved to Chicago where she trained on scholarship with River North Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Center and Melissa Thodos and Dancers.
She performed regionally and internationally with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II. In addition, she performed as a freelance artist with Melissa Thodos and Dancers and Chicago Arts Project, among others. She taught dance at Northwestern University, Giordano Dance Center and at various studios throughout Chicago. She also worked for Royal Caribbean International and served as the Dance Captain to her cast.
Since returning to St. Louis in 2005, Maggi has served as an adjunct faculty member at Webster. She has choreographed for the Webster University Dance Ensemble and her choreography has twice been selected to appear in the Gala Concert for American College Dance Festival regional conferences. She also teaches at Renee Johnson's Dance Studio where she is the Assistant Director of the competitive team.
Robert Poe is originally from Aiken, SC and began dancing with Carl Crosby at Crosby's School of Dance. Later, for high school, he graduate from the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities with honors. Once graduated, Robert performed as a dance artist with the Columbia City Ballet, the Nashville Ballet, Cedar Lake II, The Missouri Ballet Theatre and even the Nashville Opera before finding his way to The Big Muddy Dance Company where he is walking into his 6th season. Robert's passion for dance education has led him to teach in studios all over Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Nashville and Illinois while his choreography has been seen on the Nashville Ballet as well as their training company (NB II), Missouri Ballet Theatre, The Big Muddy Dance Company and most recently, Texture Contemporary Ballet. Beyond teaching and choreography, Robert is on fire for the Senior Embrace program that the company provides to the community and sits on the Senior Outreach Committee. Robert will also be serving as Rehearsal Assistant this season and is humbly blessed to work with such passionate and talented artists.
Born and raised in California, Marc received his education at the University of California, Irvine. His career in Chicago began in 2006 with Lucky Plush Productions and Mordine & Co. Dance Theater. In 2008 he joined DanceWorks Chicago as a founding dancer under the direction of Julie Nakagawa. Since then he has performed in Chicago, across North America and in Europe with Luna Negra Dance Theatre, RubberBanDanceGroup, The Seldoms and others. Currently, he is an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions and a dancer and choreographer with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre.
As a choreographer, Marc's work has been seen at Dance Chance: REDUX, Duets For My Valentine, Dance Chicago, and others. In 2015 Marc was recognized by Art Intercepts as one of "5 Dancers to Observe in 2015". He received an Individual Artist Program grant from the City of Chicago for his work with Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and was invited to perform his choreography at the Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
Marc has conducted workshops, master classes, and teaching residencies across the country for dance studios, professional companies, university dance programs and community organizations.
Founded in 2016, DISASTERdance serves as a vehicle for Marc’s research as a performer, choreographer and educator. For more information, visit www.disasterdance.com.