Please join us for our Free Facebook Live KCB Dancer Chats; a new community engagement and education series designed to engage the broader public with professional dancers at Kansas City Ballet. Each Dancer Chat provides an opportunity for the public to get to know different company dancers through relaxed, informal conversations sharing their unique perspectives on various topics of the day. Moderated by prominent members of the community and arts lovers these engaging Chats will reveal backgrounds, extraordinary experiences, and strong relationships between professional artists.
Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
Moderator Nicole Jacobs Silvey with Kansas City Ballet dancers Whitney Huell and Naomi Tanioka
Meet the Moderator
Nicole Jacobs Silvey is a community-minded connector who strives to empower others to live their best lives. In 2018, Nicole launched Connection Coach KC where she serves as the President and Founder. As a connection coach, Nicole connects people to their purpose and passion so they can reach their full potential. Passionate about diversity, inclusion and philanthropy, Nicole created a training series called At the Table that assists not-for-profit boards with the intentional recruitment and retention of board members from diverse backgrounds. The training series focuses on the principles of shared power and inclusive leadership as the foundation of a strong board culture.
In addition to her work as an executive coach, Nicole is also a sought after consultant and speaker. She has served as a speaker for universities, businesses and not-for-profit organizations with speaking engagements ranging from keynote addresses to small group discussions.
Nicole is a collaborator at heart and has linked arms with Kiona Sinks to form The Roundtable whose mission is to convene crucial community conversations around key topics in Kansas City. She is also the Co-Founder of the Sisters’ Circle GKC, a giving circle for African American women, and the Rise Tribe, a group of professional black women who host a podcast called Life in the Middle that addresses the unique complexities of life for women of color.
Nicole earned her BA in Psychology from Rockhurst University as well as her Not-for-Profit Fundraising Certificate from the UMKC Bloch School of Management.
She has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in KC, Woman to Watch by the Central Exchange, is a member of the 2018 Class of Rising Stars (The Independent Magazine) and has also been named the 2018 Emerging Volunteer by NonProfit Connect. Most recently, she was selected to be a part of the inaugural class of the Band of Angels Rock Stars.
Meet the Dancers
Joined KCB in 2014
Company Member Whitney Huell trained at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities under the tutelage of Stanislav Issaev and Robert Barnett. She then attended Indiana University earning a B.S. in Ballet and Psychology before joining Ballet West. With Ballet West, Ms. Huell performed featured roles in Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Petite Mort, and Jewels. In January 2011 she was one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch and was also featured in the September 2012 issue of Pointe Magazine. With Kansas City Ballet, Ms. Huell has performed works by Amy Seiwert, Adam Hougland, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Monique Meunier, Stanton Welch, Edwaard Liang, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett and Jerome Robbins and has been featured as The Lead Woman in James Kudelka’s The Man in Black, Caterpillar in Alice (in wonderland), 3rd Theme in The Four Temperaments and Jeté Woman in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. In 2018 she was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Devon Carney’s production of The Nutcracker becoming the first African American in KCB history to perform the role.
Joined KCB in 2019
Toshiko Ballet Studio. Naomi was accepted to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in Canada, where she concluded her 6 years of professional ballet training including the aspirant program. In 2014, Naomi joined Ballet Arizona, where she had the opportunity to perform cygnets in Swan Lake, Pas de Six in Napoli, Walpurgisnacht, Western Symphony, and The Sleeping Beauty. She then joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2016, and the next two seasons. Naomi had the opportunity to perform ballets choreographed by Victoria Morgan, George Balanchine, Kirk Peterson, Septime Webre, Devon Carney, Adam Hougland and Nicolo Fonte, and worked with choreographers such as Penny Saunders, Myles Thatcher, Kate Wear and Travis Walls.