Kasandra Gruener, MA | Director of Education Outreach
Creative Movement | Modern Dance | Challenged Children | Teacher Training | Contemplative Education
Oregon native Kasandra Gruener has a BA in Dance from Mills College and an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. She was a member of San Francisco based Margaret Jenkins Dance Co., and founded her own company, Henry Harris Green. In her 35+ years as a teaching artist, she has conducted master classes, workshops, and daily technique classes in dance studios, NEA-funded Artist-in-Schools programs in the Midwest, private and public K-12 schools, colleges, community centers, hospitals, group homes, and child care centers. A specialist in teaching at-risk youth, Kasandra earned the 2007 and 2009 Young Audiences’ Sunburst Award for commitment to arts education. In 2009, Kasandra was a guest professor at Portland State University in the theatre department’s dance minor program. She presently serves on the Community Arts Team, a committee of arts and education leaders working to assist Portland’s Regional Arts and Culture Council (a 2010 Kennedy Center Partner in Education) in its efforts to expand arts education and professional development in our schools.
OBT’s Teaching Artists
Sarah Brown | Teaching Artist
Sarah began dancing as a child with the University of Utah’s Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Studio. She has a BFA in modern dance from the University of Utah and an MFA in dance from Mills College. Sarah performed with the Chicago Moving Company and as a guest artist with Repertory Dance Theatre. Sarah participated in the 2002 Winter Olympics Arts Festival in Salt Lake City, UT. She has performed historical reconstruction of works by Doris Humphrey and Helen Tamiris.
Sarah has taught children and adults of all ages. She has taught in private studios, preschools, public schools, community centers, and in assisted living facilities. Sarah has taught with the Malashock Dance Company School, Malashock Education Outreach, and Chicago After School Matters. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization. Sarah is thrilled to be part of OBT Education Outreach and to continue to share her love of dance with others!
Hannah Downs | Teaching Artist
Ballet | Creative Movement | Early Childhood Education
Hannah began her formal dance training at Colorado West Ballet in Grand Junction, CO and continued her training at Ballet West Conservatory in Salt Lake City, UT. She obtained her B.A. in dance from the University of Oregon and has performed professionally with Ballet West, Aspen Ballet Company, Dance Theatre of Oregon, and Traduza Dance Company. Hannah began teaching dance in 2000, and has worked extensively with children 3 through teen in private studios, community centers, child development centers, pre-schools, and public schools. She joined OBT as an Outreach Teacher in 2006.
Brook Manning | Teaching Artist
Brook began her dance career with Los Angeles Ballet, training with John Clifford and Irina Kosmovska and performing with the company in Petipa and Fokine ballets. She performed for many years as a soloist with Palos Verdes Ballet and danced solo roles in the works of Donald Hewitt and Arturo Fernandez, and in feature film and music video work.
Brook was awarded a scholarship for excellence in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and earned her Master’s Degree in Performance Studies. She has taught ballet at Bates College, University of Hawaii and Portland Community College. She has travelled to 25 countries in order to experience dance and theatre in its cultural context.
Currently, Brook is particularly enjoying her new position as Dance Historian and Lecturer at OBT. As a Teaching Artist, she has had the pleasure of teaching and talking about dance with seniors through OBT’s “Community Connections” program. She also documents and evaluates the Education/Outreach programs in schools in the Portland area and beyond.
Robyn Ulibarri | Teaching Artist
Robyn Ulibarri began her dance training at Southwest Washington Dance Center, and began teaching in 1990. She developed a love for musical theater while attending Centralia College, and has appeared in and choreographed numerous productions. Robyn earned her B.A. in dance from Columbia College Chicago in 2004 and has taught for various studios, theater camps, Portland’s S.U.N program, community colleges, and community centers for the last 25 years. Robyn began at O.B.T. in 2011, specializing in work for OBT’s partnership with the Right Brain Initiative. She is thrilled to be a part of the EdOut team!
Allison Wales | Teaching Artist
Allison began her formal dance training in Toronto, Canada where she studied with the Pickering School of Ballet, Quinte Ballet School, and faculty from the National Ballet of Canada. She has studied and performed with L’Academie Meditterannean de Danse, and Ballet D’Europe in Marseille, France, and worked with companies such as Toronto Dance Theatre, Cadence Contemporary Ballet and ProArte Danza. Allison began teaching in 2008, and has taught with numerous studios, childcare & community centers, public schools, and arts organizations. Specializing in teaching for at-risk youth, she has created arts integration programming and social & emotional learning through the arts for such organizations as Teach for India, Project Philippines, and Artists Striving to End Poverty. Allison is thrilled to be part of the OBT EdOut team, and excited to share the joy of movement with students in the Pacific Northwest!