MISSION: Ballet Renaissance is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to educating and inspiring youth and the community through the art of classical ballet.
HISTORY: Established in Michigan in June of 1997, Ballet Renaissance has a long history of building bridges that span urban and suburban communities, uniting individuals in common vision. Sustaining the traditional, Ballet Renaissance remains open to new visions of hope and creative solutions to modern challenges. A long history of alliances with various artists and organizations, poises Ballet Renaissance for its current partnerships. In 2011, Ballet Renaissance expanded the scope of its mission, and established a second branch in Colorado.
Ms. Brianna Mr. Radek
Ms. Brianna Furnish, Founder
Ms. Furnish is a native of Dallas, Texas and the daughter of a classically trained modern dancer who taught Martha Graham technique at Southern Methodist University. After dancing alongside her mother from an early age, Furnish, following in her mother's footsteps, began formal studies in the Graham technique at age 5, under the tutelage of Juilliard graduate, Ms. Jerry Bywaters Cochran. At age thirteen, Furnish was encouraged to begin ballet training as a means for augmenting her chances for a professional modern dance career. She began private studies with Denise and Evelyn Brown and a year later began training on talent scholarship with Dallas Ballet’s professional program, under the direction of Royal Danish Ballet‘s Flemming and Vivi Flindt. It was there that she first met and trained with the late great Madame Nathalie Krassovska, former prima ballerina with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, who became a significant mentor in Furnish’s personal and professional life. A year later, after relatively little ballet training, Furnish was accepted to the acclaimed School of American Ballet in New York, where she had the exceptional opportunity to study with such ballet greats as Mme. Alexandra Danilova, Suki Shorer, Mme. Antonina Tumkovsky, Andrei Kramerevsky and Stanley Williams. She was then accepted to train an additional year at North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied under the careful attention of former New York City Ballet principal dancer, Ms. Melissa Hayden. Furnish danced for several regional companies in Dallas and Tennessee, including Krassovska’s Ballet Jeunesse and Tennessee Ballet (Memphis), while continuing private instruction with both Mme. Krassovska and the late Robert Scevers (Harkness Ballet). It is Krassovska and Scevers, along with Danilova, Hayden and Bywaters, who Furnish attributes with having shaped her own teaching style most profoundly. After moving to Detroit to pursue medical studies at Wayne State University, Furnish became involved with the Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, where she taught ballet for the college and was given the opportunity to stage a ballet for Detroit Public School's "All City" High School dancers and teach a special ballet outreach series. Inspired by the passion of Detroit students, Furnish founded Ballet Renaissance in June of 1997, as a means of fostering local talent and inspiring community. She taught college ballet as Adjunct Professor for Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Dance (1996-2004), served as full time high school ballet instructor for Fraser’s Arts Academy in the Woods (2006-2007), and as Ballet Master Class Instructor throughout the Detroit Public Schools (1996-2011). In 2006, after ten years of work in the city, Furnish completed a degree in Dance from Wayne State University's Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, the school through which her inspiration for “Ballet Renaissance” had originated. In 2011, along with Co-Director, Mr. Radoslaw Kokoszka, Furnish had the opportunity to establish a second branch of Ballet Renaissance in northern Colorado.
Mr. Radoslaw Kokoszka
Mr. Kokoszka is a native of Wodzislaw Sl., Poland. He began his early ballet training as a boarding student at the Ludomir Rozycki Ballet School in Bytom, Poland . At age 13, he moved to the United States with his family, settling in Hamtramck, MI, and was introduced to Ballet Renaissance through the 1999 American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive. He trained and performed as Furnish’s ballet partner and founded the first annual Ballet Renaissance Summer Intensive for Kids. He received numerous talent scholarships and trained at a number of prestigious professional schools including: the Harid Conservatory (FLA), Boston Ballet (MA), Kirov Academy (Washington, DC) and the renowned School of American Ballet (New York), from which he graduated. Mr. Kokoszka was part of New York Choreographic Institute before dancing professionally for Carolina Ballet, New York’s emerging Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, where he had the great honor of performing George Balanchine’s Don Quixote for the annual acclaimed Edinburgh Dance Festival in Scotland (2006). Kokoszka has trained and performed alongside the world’s greatest talents, and brings a wealth of knowledge and resources to Ballet Renaissance.
Ms. Betty Ms. Lisa Ms. Nena
Ms. Elizabeth Crall Mawhinney - Detroit Instructor
Ms. MaWhinney began her dance training in Mansfield, Ohio, at the Ethyl Battin Dance Academy and attended summer programs at the School of American Ballet in NYC and Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts. She received a B.A. degree in dance and an M.A. degree in theatre, respectively, from Butler University and The Ohio State University. Her performing credits include dancing with the Ruth Page Chicago Opera Ballet, Radio City Ballet, Emily Frankel Dance Drama Company of NYC, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, and summer stock companies under Equity contract in Minneapolis, Seattle, Ohio, New Jersey, and Indiana. In Detroit she is a member of the adjunct faculties of Marygrove College, Wayne State University, and Ballet Renaissance. Previous faculty positions include teaching and/or developing courses in dance and theatre movement for Radford University in Virginia, University of Oregon, Butler University, and Wayne State University where she was also a faculty member of the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive for several years. While tenured at Butler University she was resident choreographer for the Butler Ballet and received grant support for dance history research conducted in France. After moving to Detroit in 1987, she served on the Board of Directors of the former Michigan Dance Association and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Detroit Dance Collective. She is a long time supporter of, and instructor for, Ballet Renaissance, and a member of Ballet Renaissance's Advisory Board.
Ms. Lisa Levy - Detroit Instructor
Ms. Levy is a metro Detroit native who grew up in Farmington Hills, MI. She discovered dance at age 4 years old, falling in love with ballet immediately and insisted that her parents sign her up for classes. She attributes the bulk of her early studies to Detroit’s Carole Cotter (a former Boston Ballet ballerina), for whom Levy also taught children’s classes. Later, Levy studied with the late acclaimed ballet instructor, Mr. Iacob Lascu (Marygrove College and Oakland University Dance Departments), and as a high school student, had the privilege to perform as a corps de ballet member for Lascu’s well-respected production of “The Nutcracker.” Levy supplemented her classical training with various Summer Ballet Intensives, including those at Marygrove College and the International Ballet Seminar (instructors: Gelsey Kirkland, Janina Cunova, Mikhail Lavrovsky, Audre Deckmann Mendel, Ute Mitreuter, Victoria Rockhill-Schneider, Jurgen Schneider, Mark Spivak, Margarita Zagurskaya). She holds an Associate Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s of Science in Behavioral Science (Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology). She has a long history of work with agencies that assist children facing particularly difficult challenges, including agencies which assist children in crisis and children with autism. At Ballet Renaissance, her passion for ballet meets her commitment to help children. Levy has taught for Ballet Renaissance since 2011 and is a particularly generous, patient, committed and significant member of our Michigan Ballet Renaissance family.
Ms. Nena WidtfelDt - Detroit Instructor
Ms. Widtfeldt, of Japanese-American heritage, grew up in the San Francisco area. Her classical training began at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek under the direction of Ms. Zola Dishong and Mr. Richard Cammack. In 2003, she attended the San Francisco Ballet School Summer Intensive and soon after moved with her family to Japan where she continued her classical studies, training at the Tokyo Ballet School in Tokyo, Japan. In 2005, Widtfeldt moved back to California and re-joined the Contra Costa Ballet Centre, this time, training and performing as a part of their pre-professional company. There she danced the roles of Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Rose Fairy in the Nutcracker, and Dark Angel in Balanchine's Serenade. She also had the opportunity to perform a lead role in Catching the Light, a contemporary ballet piece choreographed by San Francisco Ballet's James Sofranko. Widtfeldt moved on to attend the Brigham Young University in Provo, UT (2008-2012 ) and perform with the school's touring ballet company Theatre Ballet. There she studied a variety of styles of classical and contemporary ballet and had the opportunity to explore and develop her abilities as a choreography. She was awarded many dance scholarships including the Dance Talent Award and Dixie Stoddard Scholarship, and performed such roles as soloist in Les Sylphides, Fairy Godmother and Winter Fairy in Cinderella, and Snow Queen in Han's Christian's the Snow Queen. After graduating from BYU with a degree in Family Studies, Widtfeldt taught ballet for a variety of dance studios and in the summer of 2013, moved to Michigan with her husband. Widtfeldt began teaching for Ballet Renaissance in January of 2014 and is a wonderful and committed member of our teaching staff. She loves getting to know each of her students, and enjoys sharing with each of them, her knowledge and passion for classical ballet.
DANCE WITH US
Classes, Performances, Fund-raisers & Fees
Photo: Andrew Shafer
If you are interested in participating, please fill out reach us form below, and Ballet Renaissance will contact you directly with further information. Class assignment is initially based upon the age of the student (does not apply to adult students). Ballet Renaissance instructors will make final class placement recommendations based on observation of each individual student during the first several weeks of classes.
At Ballet Renaissance "Every day is picture day!" Aesthetics is an important part of the classroom environment and the art of classical ballet. There is a dress code for all children's ballet and teen ballet classes. There is no admission to class without proper dress code. (Adult Ballet students may wear appropriate ballet classroom attire of his or her choosing. We do require all adult students to wear proper ballet shoes for class – pink for ladies, and black or white for men).
Girl's Dress Code:
Plain black leotard (must be long sleeve), no straps (crop tops, sports bras, etc) should be visible; no skirts, leg warmers or other warm-up attire during the class itself; pink tights covering entire foot, pink leather ballet shoes (with draw strings tucked completely and securely inside the shoes); hair secured neatly in an "up do" (off face and back of neck). No jewelry. All girls are required to purchase a beige-colored camisole leotard. Camisole must be worn under costumes at all times (camisole may also be worn under classroom attire). Camisoles are important for keeping costumes clean and for preventing dancer’s skin from being irritated by the costume. Camisoles are worn like a bathing suit as a layer of modesty and provide a smooth aesthetic line under both costumes and classroom attire. Performance costumes are provided by Ballet Renaissance.
Boy's Dress Code
Plain white, fitted short sleeve t-shirt, black tights, black leather ballet shoes (dance belt required for teens). Performance costumes are provided by Ballet Renaissance.
Ballet Renaissance students perform twice annually (winter and spring) and at other times throughout the community.
Ballet Renaissance students and their families participate in semi-annual fund-raisers to support
Estes Park, CO
P.O. Box 3768
Estes Park, CO 80517
Detroit Monthly tuition fall 2016
Tuition is due by the 15th of each month. 10% Discount Does not apply.
$25 late fee after October 15th will apply
Pay in Full Detroit tuition fall 2016
10% Discount applies
estes park tuition is payable every 8 weeks in the form of cash or check to Center Stage
30 min classes: $6/class
45 min classes: $9/class
1 hour classes: $12/class
1.5 hour classes: $17/class
$20 annual registration fee
10% multiple class discount
Loveland Monthly tuition fall 2016
Tuition is due by the 15th of each month. 10% Discount Does not apply.
$25 late fee after the 15th will apply
Pay in Full Loveland tuition fall 2016
10% Discount applies
To make a tax deductible gift to Ballet Renaissance (Michigan or Colorado) click the Donate button below or mail your gift to Ballet Renaissance PO Box 3768 Estes Park, CO 80517. If your gift is in memory or honor of someone special, please kindly make a note in the memo section of your check. Thank you for your heartfelt, generous gift.