OBT’s Community & Education Instructors
Director of Education & Community Engagement & 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!
Ballet Historian & 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.
As a Teaching Artist, she has the pleasure of teaching and talking about dance with all ages during Field Trips to OBT and the PhotoArt Encounter program. She also documents and evaluates the Education Outreach programs in schools.
Ballet Bridges Program Director & Teaching Artist
Robyn Ulibarri began her dance training at Southwest Washington Dance Center, and began teaching at age 15. 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 over 30 years. She recently earned her Elementary Teaching Certificate, and is thrilled to support the growth of the Ballet Bridges Program!
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!
A native Oregonian, Kasandra began her career as a teaching artist of dance in 1972 after growing up with ballet training in Astoria and Portland. Since that time she performed internationally with San Francisco, CA based Margaret Jenkins Dance Co, developed her own dance company, Henry Harris Green, and toured nationally as an Artist in Schools funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. In the Bay area she taught at MJDC studios and Marin Ballet among others. She received a BA in Dance from Mills College- Oakland, CA, and an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University- Boulder, CO. Locally she has received two awards from Young Audiences honoring her commitment to arts integration in the Portland Metro community, and received Oregon Dance Education Organization’s esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Gruener helped start the Northwest Teaching Artist Network and was instrumental in initiating and developing Regional Arts and Culture Council’s The Right Brain Initiative, representing RBI at a national conference held at John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C.
After 29 years as a teaching artist and arts administrator with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ms. Gruener retired from her position as the DIrector of Education Outreach (now titled Education and Community Engagement) in 2020. During her tenure with OBT she engaged with a full range of students, educators and families. Her work occurred in therapeutic care centers, Head Start centers, public and private schools, after school programs, college settings, and educator conferences. During that time she created performances for student audiences, wrote curriculum study guides for classroom teachers, and mentored a staff of teaching artists who provided dance residencies in schools, primarily Pre-k-5, that aligned with national standards for dance in education and arts integration with school curricula. This work impacted over 30,000 people annually. Kasandra believes that the lifelong study of and participation with dance benefits all humans, allowing each learner the opportunity to integrate one’s body, mind and emotional spirit into a balanced, creative, and powerful whole.
Jill is a passionate creative with a focus on movement, dance and cultural exploration. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Directing. In her youth, Jill was a member of the American Contemporary Ballet Company where she trained with Elizabeth Abts. She also studied and performed African dance with Obo Addy.
Jill taught, directed and choreographed musical theatre for over a decade at Park Academy. She currently gets energized teaching Ballet to enthusiastic Portland Public Schools students through the community outreach program with OBT. She also is a resident artist with Young Audience where, through creative movement, she teaches programs that honor the African American experience and the lessons of resilience. She recently began working with the powerful and talented group at PassInArt, who embodies her mission in bringing awareness to the community about the invaluable contributions, history and culture of African Americans’ in the arts.
Beca began dancing at the age of three, after her clumsiness sent her to the emergency room four times that year. She immediately fell in love with the art form, and has remained in that love ever since. She received her BFA from Missouri State University in 2009, in Musical Theatre with an emphasis in Dance. There she danced with Inertia Dance Company, Tent Theatre, and God and Country Theatre. She began teaching in 2010, highlighting the body’s inherent joy of movement. Beca has taught Ballet, Contemporary, Creative Movement, HipHop, Tap, and Jazz to ages 2 – 18 in various studios, community centers, and summer camps across the Portland Area. In 2019 she started Firefly Dance, a silly – yet structured — Ballet and Creative Movement studio, while running a dance program at Childpeace Montessori School as well as choreographing for the Portland Lesbian Choir. She is elated to join this team of fantastic educators, and happy to report she now has enough grace to keep her out of that emergency room!