Staff

New Dance Instructors Always Welcome!

Fidalgo DanceWorks, a thriving non-profit in Anacortes devoted to dance education, seeks to expand its excellent team of instructors. We offer classes for all ages in many forms, including ballet, hip hop, modern, tap, jazz, and more. Inspired by dance and passionate about passing on the art? Come join our creative staff! Competitive wages. Call (360) 299-8447 or contact us at dance@fidalgodanceworks.org for more information.

Our Members of Staff:

Julie Wenzel

Executive Director

A vibrant and active presence in community theater, Julie comes to Fidalgo DanceWorks with significant experience in leadership and fundraising as well as a deep commitment to arts education.

Julie began her love affair with dance as a musical theater performer. A lover of all performing arts, Julie finds nothing more rewarding than watching an audience be transported to another world by the magic unfolding on stage. Previously the Artistic Director of The Merc Playhouse in Twisp, she is thrilled to find a new home here in Anacortes.

With a BA in theater from the University of Washington as well as a certificate in directing for stage and screen, Julie brings 15 years of experience as a performer and director to her work in the arts. She lives in Anacortes with her husband and three children.

Our Dance Instructors:

Shari Bernhardt

A former instructor with Dance Masters of America with more than 20 years of teaching and professional dance experience, Shari has trained throughout the US, Canada and Spain with some of the greatest tap artists of all time, including Savion Glover, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, Terry Brock, Chester Whitmore and Ray Bussey. In addition to her extensive professional work in dance and theater, she has taught tap, jazz and musical theater for studios throughout the Northwest.

Brandy Bowen

Brandy has been dancing since she was 3 years old learning tap, ballet, jazz and pointe. She was part of her Dance Company in college and truly enjoyed the diverse experience of dance styles and choreography. That was when she realized she truly loved choreographing. After college, Brandy performed with various dance studios and became an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and taught Les Mills Body Jam classes. Brandy is currently our Hip Hop instructor for both students and adults. She has 4 boys and enjoys dancing every day and hiking with her husband and kiddos.

Rebecca Launius Brown

Rebecca Launius- Brown began dancing at the age of three. After studying ballet, tap, and jazz from several different studios in Oklahoma, she joined the Tulsa Ballet School under the direction of Moselyn Larkin and Roman Jasinski, formally of the Ballet Russes. She was a member of USA Ballet as an apprentice and soloist. While studying ballroom at the Fred Astaire school of dance, she fell in love with swing dancing and began performing with the Memphis Belle Swing Society.

After moving to Anacortes Washington and 2002, she taught ballet for the Northwest Ballet School and was Ballet Mistress of the Northwest Ballet Theatre.

Christina Krejer

Christina trained with former New York City Ballet principal Lynda Yourth and continued her studies with the California Ballet Company under Paul Koverman and Maxine Mahon, where she performed in both classical and contemporary ballets in roles from corps to soloist. She attended numerous prestigious summer programs, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and the Washington Ballet in Washington, DC. She has also performed with the San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Maui On Stage, and Maui Song & Dance. Her teaching experience spans national and international boundaries, with positions in California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Turkey.

Darby Loescher

At the very young age of 3, Darby fell in love with all things dance and it has been her passion ever since. Raised in Texas, she began her classical ballet training at Tuzer Dance Center and continued training through high school at Chamberlain School for the Performing Arts. Although her education was primarily ballet focused, Darby was trained in many other forms including Modern and Jazz. After high school, she briefly apprenticed with Epiphany Dance Arts in Dallas, Texas.  After injuring both of her knees and enduring years of recovery, Darby has turned her talents and love of dance to teaching, where she has found her true passion.

Alexandra Morgan

Alexandra has been dancing for over 17 years and received a BFA in Dance from Western Washington University. Specializing in modern and choreography she traveled to Montreal, Quebec for her BFA capstone to work with Montreal Dance. In college, she was also one of six dancers selected to work with the Liz Gerring Dance Company from New York to re-stage their piece "She Dreams in Code." Alexandra has worked with Alonzo King, Bliss Kohlmyer, Risa Larsen, Alison Clancy, and Robert Moses. She has been inworks by Jesse Beck, Jordon Isadore, Amelia Eisen, Hanna Hofmann, Yelena Holt, Theresa Gensler, Lovie Bucknell, Azriel LaMarca, Richard Merrill, Susan Haines, Penny Hutchinson, and Nolan Dennett. She currently is working on her Pilates certification through Balanced Body and is a member of Bellingham Repertory Dance.

Jeanne Robson

Jeanne has been with Fidalgo DanceWorks since its founding. Trained in classical ballet and modern dance, she began her early training at the Atlanta School of Ballet and the School of American Ballet in New York. In Seattle, Jeanne danced professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Western Washington University and enjoys teaching all ages.

Silja Shjarback

Silja has danced since she was three years old, starting with ballet and moving to modern in high school. She entered UCLA as a dance major, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology – the study of movement; and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Calfornia State University at Long Beach. She practiced as a Physical Therapist in Seattle for ten years, where she danced at the Creative Dance Center. She has two daughters with her husband Eric and enjoys exploring movement with young children!

Annabelle Vergne

A native of France from a French mother and a Tunisian father, Annabelle was professionally trained for Ballet in Paris in the Russian Vaganova school style of Ballet with masters Serge and Solange Golovine, Irina Grejbina, and later Nelly Kolytcheff from the Bolshoi. During her professional training she also studied Modern, Jazz, Character, Flamenco, and Belly Dance. Her training also included history of music, ballet and anatomy applied to ballet. She worked as a ballet instructor, performer, assistant choreographer at the Ecole de danse de la SFP in Paris while also being a professional dancer in a modern dance company. Here in Washington she has taught at Turning Pointe Dance Center in Bothell, Pacific Dance Company and Northwest School in Bellingham, and currently teaches at Premiere Dance Center in Stanwood as well at the Allen Grange Education Center in Bow.

Janet Wilken

Janet has been dancing since she was five years old. She has taught Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Tumbling, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, and Pointe in Illinois for over 15 years at studios, park districts, and for local theater groups. Janet has taken master classes from Arthur Duncan, Brenda Buffalino, Judy Rice, and Randy Duncan, to name a few. She earned her Master Dance Educator Certification from Chicago National Association of Dance Masters in 2011. Earned an Associate of Arts with a transfer in Early Childhood Education from Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois in 2016. Janet enjoys sharing her love of dance with others and educating young minds for the future.

Linda Johnson

Linda started dancing at the age of four. Ballet was her first love and she trained in the Cecchetti method. She added jazz, modern and ballroom and participated in competition teams for modern and ballroom dance. She continued to dance in college, was part of the college dance company and earned her AA with an emphasis on dance. While in college, Linda discovered her love of teaching. She has taught in California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington. She was the artistic director at the Northwest Dance Center. Linda loves teaching and sharing her love of dance. She lives in Oak Harbor with her husband Eric and four children.

Michelle Linak

Michelle Linak has danced since she was five years old and began teaching in 1995. After graduating high school, she continued her education of dance with the South Carolina Dance Conservatory, and also with the Milwaukee Ballet School.

She has performed in, and choreographed numerous Annual productions and Nutcracker performances with Skagit Valley Academy of Dance & Camano Dance Academy. Michelle has also performed in the Nutcracker with the Nancy Whyte School of Ballet & in the productions of 'Moulin Rouge' held at the Skagit Valley Casino, and 'As the River Flows' held at the Skagit Valley Community College.

Part of her continuing education included multiple workshops and classes from world renowned choreographers. Michelle started choreographing for other studios, students and shows, all of which provided different atmospheres & technique levels to teach. Seeing goals and achievements made by the students has instilled in her a passion for teaching. She has guest taught at Dancing For Joy, T.A.G. (Theatre Arts Guild) Fidalgo Dance Works, PacWest, Dansations Performing Arts Foundation. & Dimensions of Gymnastics.

In her many years both dancing, teaching and performing, Michelle has developed a strong passion and love for dance and enjoys the personal expression that it allows.

Deborah Magallanes

Deborah Magallanes teaches both our Dance For Parkinson’s (Dance For Fun and Balance) and our new Tai Chi Qi Gong classes. She is also part of the international teaching team of Dance for PD® (a Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn PD Support Group project), is a Teaching Artist for the Seattle Theatre Group program and has been teaching dance to persons with movement challenges for more than 15 years.

Deborah’s formal training began in the ballet studio of Shirley Ross. Starting in 1975 Deborah studied and performed Northern and Eastern African Dance. In 1992, she began the study of the Chinese arts and dance with Xue Zhi Wang of Beijing China. Deborah was a performer in Pat Graney’s Movement Meditation Project and continues as a Performance Artist with the Chinese Cultural and Arts Association (Wu Dang).

In the world of Tai Chi and Qi Gong, Deborah is recognized as a Golden High Master in the Wu Dang Gate Lineage from Wu Dang Mountain Taoist monasteries. She holds a Second Degree Black Belt in martial arts and has won 1st and other high place trophies in Tai Chi Forms competitions at the local, regional and international levels. She is also a Certified Instructor in several Tai Chi For Health® programs and is an East Asian Medicine Practitioner (retired). Martial arts and Traditional Chinese medicine are important components of Tai Chi and Qi Gong practice and study. Her training and rich experience in both these fields allows Deborah to bring these traditions to her Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes making them richer and allowing students to explore this form of exercise and development more fully.

Janet Rutz

Janet joyfully moves and dances with the beautiful children in the Therapeutic Movement Classes (autism movement class) at the elementary schools here in Anacortes. Janet has a background and education in human nutrition and is a registered dietitian. Her passion for health and wellness lead her to explore dance/movement. She completed the Autism Movement Therapy course in 2016. Janet continues to learn and grow in order to help her students explore their own dance rhythms. She lives in Anacortes with her husband and 3 children. She also enjoys anything that has to do with the outdoors and being with her family.

Board Members:

  • Peter Kuhnlein

    President

  • Heather Hernandez

    Vice President

  • Annette Woolsey

    Secretary

  • Dana Andrich

    Treasurer

  • Ashley Ayers

    Board Member

  • Heather Hernandez

    Board Member

  • Mary Staley

    Board Member

  • John Guinn

    Advisory Member

  • Emily Schuh

    Advisory Member

  • Vicki Stasch

    Advisory Member