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JENNIFER HARDESTY

Artistic Director, Instructor

Jen grew up in Paradise, California and started dancing at Northern California Ballet when she was 7 years old.  She immediately fell in love with the art form and from age 11 onward she started going to summer intensive programs around the country.  She attended intensives through Boston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.  She also spent a summer training with George Balanchine's protégé Suzanne Farrell on her private island in upstate New York.

Jen got accepted on scholarship to Walnut Hill School of the Arts (now Boston Ballet School), a boarding school for ballet dancers and other aspiring artists in Natick, Massachusetts where she attended high school.  She had the opportunity to perform at the Wang Center in Boston and the Kennedy Center in New York City.  

She then went on to pursue a college education and received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in Gerontology from University of San Francisco.  She helped teach ballet to college students and also danced in a Ballet Folklorico group, with the privilege to perform at San Francisco Giants baseball games.

After graduating, Jen moved north to pursue her doctorate in physical therapy from Pacific University outside of Portland, OR.  She now lives and works as a physical therapist in Port Townsend, WA.  She and her husband Kurt have a lovely baby boy named Asher.

Jen is beyond excited to share her love for ballet with the City of Port Townsend.  She is humbled by the opportunity to be the Artistic Director and an instructor at Port Townsend Ballet.

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AILI EMILIA KOTNIK

Ballet and Modern/Contemporary Instructor

Aili Emilia hails from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where her drive to dance was nurtured early on at Hopkins Dance Center, with additional training at Continental Ballet School. Aili considers herself fortunate to have danced professionally with Threads Dance Project, a Minneapolis-based contemporary dance company, since 2015. She has also had the joy of working with Crash Dance Productions and Contempo Physical Dance, both based in Minneapolis. Aili has been teaching at various studios in the Twin Cities for 6 years; most notably, as a primary dance teacher with Lundstrum Performing Arts since 2015, where she taught modern dance, jazz, tap, and of course ballet. Aili is very excited to enjoy a new chapter of her life here on the Olympic Peninsula!

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ANNA TALLARICO

Ballet and Moder/Contemporary Instructor

Anna Tallarico is a student at Northwest University. She has danced ballet and contemporary for 16 years, and has received training from a number of schools around the state, including Ling Hui's Dance, InMotion Performing Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Galletta's School of Dance, where she performed as Clara in their 2018 Nutcracker and represented them at the Youth America Grand Prix. Last year, she transitioned to teaching and coaching at Kirkland Dance Center. She is very excited to be a part of Port Townsend Ballet. 

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OLIVIA MORNINGSTAR

Ballet Instructor

Olivia Rose Morningstar moved to Port Townsend with her family when she was 3 years old.  She is 4 th generation in the entertainment industry and is a singer, musician, and artist, but her passion is dance. She has studied ballet, contemporary, and jazz for 14 years, and has trained at The Galletta School of Dance, Ling Hui’s Dance, Seattle Theatre Group, and InMotion Performing Arts Studio. She is currently a company member of Dance Ensemble Northwest.  She is a junior at West Sound Academy and in her spare time is president of the local FIRST Robotics Team, 4918 The Roboctopi. Olivia is thrilled to join the Port Townsend Ballet team and to bring her love of dance back to Port Townsend.

PAIGE WICKENS

Acro Instructor

"I was a competitive gymnast for 6 years and did the sport for 12. I am also an acro dancer. I was a coach for three years and was taught how to spot, give corrections in a manner people will respect while everyone is also having fun and learning lots!"

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TESSIE OTTAWAY-CHUNG

Board of Directors

Tessie started ballet in 2006 with Hanneke & Co. in Davis, California. She was in biannual shows including the Nutcracker, A Midsummer's Night Dream, La Sylphide, and Coppelia. She stopped dancing in 2015 after a knee injury. These days, she practices yoga and even teaches occasionally. She also works as a Youth Advocate at Discovery Behavioral Healthcare and is working on a Human Services degree through Western Washington University. She still adores dance and the performing arts and is so honored to be a part of the board of directors.

SARAH DIMON

Board of Directors

Sarah Dimon has over 25 years of teaching Early Childhood Education in the public schools, and many years as a ballet parent. Sarah’s interest in classical music and art forms has been nurtured through her lifelong love of cello, string ensembles and orchestral repertoire.

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WILLIAM DICKEY

Board of Directors

Born in Seattle, William, fell in love with the Pacific Northwest from the moment he could start exploring the mountains and coastlines. Besides hiking and outdoor exploration, William is an electronic musician with a knack for digital audio production. He does his best to blend the two by recording sounds from nature and including them in his productions. He has performed his own music around Port Townsend and acted as the resident DJ for Mystic Monkey Yoga in 2018.

 

As a founder of the Ravenswood art community and homestead in 2017, William is interested in bringing together the people of Port Townsend and in cultivating the creativity of groups. He is honored to be a member of Port Townsend Ballet and will be contributing his musical engineering and community-building talents towards the success of this project.

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KURT HARDESTY

Facilities Manager

Kurt has been maintaining facilities for over 10 years.  He is an avid janitor and loves mopping.