Summer Intensive Instructors 2015

Summer Dance Intensive Instructors

Steve RooksSTEVE ROOKS began his dance training in Washington, D.C. He continued his training in New York City as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Mr. Rooks danced and toured with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and the Martha Graham Dance Company, where he performed for over a decade and achieved the rank of Principal Dancer.
Mr. Rooks has created a number of dances including “Cool River” that premiered at Lincoln center in 1996, and later became a part of the Graham Company repertoire. He was a 2004 winner of the National Choreographic Competition at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and created two solos for the 2004 Youth American Grand Prix Ballet competition. Mr. Rooks is currently Professor of Dance and Resident Choreographer at Vassar College, and a guest teacher with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Martha Graham Dance Company, American Academy of Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, and the International Summer School in Sydney, Australia. He has been awarded Vassar Research grants to travel to Riga, Latvia, Lusaka, Zambia, and in 2014 to Turku, Finland, where he choreographed “Plate Tectonics” on 24 dancers. Mr. Rooks has served as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival, and a new solo “Vista” premiered at the 2014 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Rooks would like to thank Jesus Christ for all that has happened to him.


josh wise bwJoshua Wise was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina always pursuing the arts but never saw himself in the world of dance. He began that journey of dance originally as a modern dancer and then furthering into ballet, receiving his training under the direction of Robert Ivey at the Robert Ivey Ballet in Charleston. Joshua has performed many times as a guest artist with the Spoleto Festival USA which is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. He attended College of Charleston with the prospects of being a veterinarian but the desire to use dance for the name of God was much greater. Joshua joined Ballet Magnificat!’s Trainee Program in 2011 and is now a company member with the Alpha Company.
martynaMartyna Downey, originally from Poland, began her professional ballet training with the National Ballet School where she received training from Nina Bielikova, Svietlana Gajda, Irena Tarasiewicz and many others. During her school education she danced with Grand Theatre in Lodz and Youth Ballet of Gdansk. She graduated from Gdansk State Ballet School with honors and was invited to a company position with Baltic Opera House Ballet, Gdansk, Poland.
After years of successful career with the ballet company, Martyna became a full-time missionary, working with International Mission Organization (Operation Mobilization Ships.) She served as a Creative Ministry Coordinator and traveled extensively throughout the world. After two years with Operation Mobilization, Martyna moved to America to became an Apprentice with Ballet Magnificat! Omega. She became a Company Member of Ballet Magnificat! Omega year later. In 2010 Martyna moved to Israel where she began teaching ballet as well as Pilates and Conditioning classes. Currently this mother of two, lives in KC where in her spare time, she teaches Pilates class for the Dramatic Truth school of the Arts.