(Aug. 27 - Sep. 1, 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 received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance 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 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. Brandon was a company member with the Modern American Dance Company (2011 - 2016), The Muny – Fiddler On The Roof (2016), Variety Theatre – Wizard Of Oz (2017) & The Little Mermaid (2018). He is also an active member of the Actors’ Equity Association and The American Guild of Musical Artists. Brandon’s choreography has been presented at the Big Muddy Dance Company & The Convergence Trainee Program, 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, and MADCO. He works with various high school marching band winter guard programs throughout the St. Louis metro area as well as the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Brandon is in his fourth season with the Big Muddy Dance Company.
Geoffrey Alexander was born in St. Louis, MO. He spent the majority of his childhood singing, acting, and studying gymnastics, but it wasn’t until college that he found his passion for dance. He earned his BA in Theatre and Dance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he began his formal training in modern and ballet. His professional career began with the aTrek Dance Collective working with internationally renowned artist such as Germaul Barnes, Jon Lehrer, Mathew Janczewski, and Alicia Graf. His desire to further his development led him to teaching aTreks contemporary classes and intensives. In 2011 he auditioned for, and became a founding member of, what became The Big Muddy Dance Company, directed by former Hubbard Street dancer Brian Enos. Throughout his career with the company he has studied from and performed works by notable choreographers such as Lou Conte, Harrison McEldowney, Lauri Stallings, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Kate Skarpetowska, Robert Moses, Robyn Mineko Williams, Daniel Marshalsay, Gabrielle Lamb, Shannon Alvis, and Brian Enos. In recent years he was able to revisit his love of musical theatre through various Variety Children’s Theatre productions including: Peter Pan, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Disney’s Mary Poppins, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and the Wizard of OZ. When he’s not dancing himself Geoffrey regularly teaches contemporary and jazz workshops, and choreographs at various studios, universities, and companies throughout the St. Louis area.
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 ( Aiken, SC) began dancing with Carl Crosby at Crosby's School of Dance. He graduated high school from the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities with honors. For the past 15 years, Robert has performed professionally with the Columbia City Ballet, Cedar Lake II, the Nashville Ballet, and the Nashville Opera, the Missouri Ballet Theatre, and for 2 years in a row, Opera Theater of St. Louis where he recently performed in the critically acclaimed, world premier of "Fire Shut Up In My Bones". He sits on the Senior Outreach Committee for Big Muddy's Senior Embrace program as well. Robert's passion for dance education has led him to teach in studios all over South Carolina, North Carolina, Nashville, Illinois and Missouri 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 Texture Contemporary Ballet. Most recently, Robert has become Co-Director of Ballet 314, a professional ballet company based here in St. Louis with the desire to showcase local talent within this community.
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.