Copyright © 2019 King Douglas
Ms. Brianna Furnish, Founder 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.