Wes Chapman - International Classical Ballet Teacher, Coach & Répétiteur
A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Chapman graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1983 with the Duane Dushion Award and the Prix d’excellence de Danse Award. After dancing for Alabama Ballet for one season Chapman joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1984 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal Dancer in 1989. With ABT, Chapman performed all the leading roles in the ballet repertoire and in works by many of the twentieth century’s master choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Jiri Kylian, Fredrick Ashton, Mats Ek, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham and Antony Tudor. He also created leading roles in Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 and Twyla Tharp’s The Elements. Chapman has appeared in Dance in America, the film Dancers and the documentary Ballet as well as numerous television shows and featured on national news broadcasts. In 1993, he joined the Bavarian National Ballet as a principal dancer before returning to ABT in 1995. Chapman appeared with Hamburg Ballet, English National Ballet, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Finnish National Ballet as a guest star.
In 1996, Chapman was named Artistic Director of Alabama Ballet. During his leadership, the company grew from 16 to 44 professional and apprentice dancers. He also founded the Alabama Ballet School, the apprentice pre-professional training program, Alabama Ballet Summer Program and Gorham’s Bluff Summer Residency. Chapman received the Distinguished Career Award from the University of Alabama in 1998, Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 in 2004, and was named Alabama Arts Ambassador by Governor Bill Riley in 2007. Chapman restaged for Alabama Ballet many of the full-length classical ballets including Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Coppelia as well as various one act works such as Paquita, Raymonda Act III and Carnival in Venice. Chapman acquired Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, stared in Alabama Public Television’s Jekyll and Hyde, and the Making of Romeo and Juliet.
Mr. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named Artistic Director of ABT II in 2007-2011. Chapman oversaw the ABT Summer Intensive at the University of Texas Austin, hosted ABT’s Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Young People’s Ballet Workshop and ABTKids. He also performed with ABT in various character roles and taught company class on a regular basis. Additionally he serves as a national spokesperson for Regional Dance America and as dance advisor for Angelina Ballerina. Beginning in January 2012-April 2013 Chapman was engaged as Artistic Advisor for Ballet San Jose in California where he oversaw all artistic aspects of the organization. During the fall of 2013 Chapman has served as Artist in Residence for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and stages Costa Rican National Nutcracker and hosted the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS in June of 2014. August of 2014 marks the launching of “Revolutionary Principals of Movement” teaching method, Mr. Chapman is partner and master teacher for RPM and will be holding teacher training workshops in Palm Beach, Florida. Most recently Wes has been serving as guest teacher for London's Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet
Roger Van Fleteren - Associate Artistic Director, Alabama Ballet & Resident Choreographer
Roger Van Fleteren, Associate Artistic Director, is a native of Michigan where he began his training at the age of twelve with Charmaine Shick. Van Fleteren is a former American Ballet Theater soloist and also performed as a principal dancer with the London City Ballet, where he danced with Alabama Ballet Artistic Director Tracey Alvey. Van Fleteren has performed in repertoire by Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov and danced the title role in Agnes Demille’s last ballet, The Other. Van Fleteren began his career at Alabama Ballet with Wes Chapman in 1996 as Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer. His original choreography for Alabama Ballet includes Romeo and Juliet, Dracula, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Van Fleteren’s original world premieres, Bach Variations and Be Major are two Panoply award winning works. His work, Concert Fantasy, premiered in March 2006, and was underwritten by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In 2006, Alabama Public Television’s documentary on Alabama Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award. Van Fleteren’s innovative choreography and passion for the dancer has been instrumental in the world-class performances by the company. Van Fleteren was named an official ambassador for Alabama’s 2007 Year of the Arts. Van Fleteren worked with John McFall and the Atlanta Ballet in 2007. He was appointed Alabama Ballet Associate Artistic Director in 2008 and served as guest teacher with American Ballet Theatre II. In 2009, he choreographed Messin' with Mozart for Alabama Ballet and choreographed for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program where he was a guest teacher. He was commissioned to choreograph for ABT II in the Fall of 2009. He originally choreographed Snow White for TCD in 2006.
Thomas Helms - Composer & Organist
Thomas Helms, a native Floridian, was self-taught until his college years. A graduate of the University of Alabama and Texas Christian University, he was awarded the latter’s coveted Performer’s Certification for his excellence in performance. After studying abroad, he has enjoyed an active touring schedule as a concert artist all across the United States and Canada. He has been a featured orchestral soloist performing the symphonic works of Mozart, Jongen, Saint Saens as well as numerous commissioned works. As a composer and arranger, Mr. Helms has written thirteen movie scores and, following the success of his Dracula, he completed Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, his second commission from the Alabama Ballet. Mr. Helms composed the musical scores for Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Snow White and The Little Mermaid. An organist at heart, he has served congregations from Texas to Florida, including his tenure as Director of Music for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Not content to spend all his time on the bench, Mr. Helms’ talents in the tonal direction of the pipe organs industry are also widely pursued. As a tonal finisher, voicer, and designer, he has completed four of the largest pipe organs built in the United States in the last fifty years, including the mammoth instrument at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. Mr. Helms is an avid collector of classic cars and also enjoys rave reviews for his excursions into the culinary arts. He is presently completing three new pipe organs in Fort Myers, Florida.
Kyle Seguin - Instructor - Columbia College, Chicago, IL; Owner, One Hundred - Chicago, IL
Kyle Seguin began his dance training in Huntsville, AL before attending the University of Alabama as a full scholarship dance major. From 2001-2008, Kyle danced with The Alabama Ballet in Birmingham, Alabama where he performed many principal roles including, Count Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppelia, El Capitan in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, and the title roles in Dracula and Romeo and Juliet. Kyle is a personal trainer, a Stott trained Pilates instructor, holds a BS in Psychology with honors from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and is currently adjunct faculty at Columbia College, Chicago where he teaches ballet, Pilates, and anatomy. In March 2010, Kyle opened One Hundred, a Pilates and Dance studio in Chicago’s East Lakeview neighborhood. Tuscaloosa audiences have seen Kyle as Clara’s Dream Prince/Cavalier in several TCD Nutcracker productions and as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake. Kyle choreographed “Sans Vue”, a contemporary ballet on Tuscaloosa Community Dancers and has taught many Master Ballet Classes for the company.
Jennifer Lauren has performed for Miami City Ballet for eight seasons and was promoted to Principal Soloist in 2015. She previously performed with the Alabama Ballet for eight seasons. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she began her training with Rebecca Tingle. She also studied with Louise Crofton, Monica Barnett Smith, Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren. During her tenure with Miami City Ballet she has performed many principal works by renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Alexi Ratmansky, Justin Peck and Liam Scarlett. While at the Alabama Ballet Jennifer performed many Principal roles from most all full-length classics to Balanchine works and even Eliot Feld's Mr. XYZ with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She has performed all over the United States including the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York. She has danced in Paris at TheTheatre du Chatelet, Austria, and Germany. Jennifer joined Tuscaloosa Community Dancers at the age of 12 and since 1991 danced the roles of Polichinelle, Friend of Clara, Clara, Columbine Doll, Snow Soloist, and Mirliton in their production of The Nutcracker. She was the recipient of the Druid Arts Home Grown Award, awarded to artists who have made a significant contribition to their art form on a national or international level. In 2014, Jennifer was named Dance Magazine's Top 25 to Watch. Jennifer has been featured as TCD's guest artist as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, Odette, the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and the title roles in Snow White, Paquita, Sans Vue, Black Swan Pas De Duex, Sugar Plum Fairy as well as Dream Clara in The Nutcracker for many years. She frequently coaches advanced ballet students and teaches master classes.