Facebook Live at facebook.com/kcballet
March 9, 2022
KCB Dancer Chat moderated by Dana Knapp (President and CEO of ArtsKC) with Kansas City Ballet dancers Sidney Haefs, Whitney Huell and Taryn Mejia.
Join us for a free Facebook LIVE Dancer Chat. This KCB Community Engagement and Education program is designed to engage the broader public with the professional dancers of Kansas City Ballet. Moderated by various members of the community, these chats provide a window into professional dancers’ lives, current creative work, and experiences.
All Dancer Chats take place on Facebook LIVE.
Meet the Moderator
President and CEO of ArtsKC
Dedicated to the advancement of art, design, and education, Dana Knapp has been the President and CEO of ArtsKC since 2017, focusing services to ensure inclusive engagement and equitable investment in the regional arts and culture ecosystem. Prior to her work at ArtsKC, she served as Director of Programs for the Mid-America Arts Alliance deploying regional and national grantmaking, touring exhibitions, and professional development programs for arts professionals. Before focusing on arts administration, she was a practicing designer and capital project director. She worked for twenty years at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art leading the Bloch Building planning and construction. She began her career as an exhibition designer. Dana holds degrees in Design and the History of Art & Architecture from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Missouri -Kansas City. She has advanced education in fundraising, civil mediation, and is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute. Throughout her career, she has provided consultative services in education, strategic planning, and executive leadership. She served as a founding board member of the Center for Architecture and Design and is a current member of the KU School of Architecture and Design Advisory Board, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Missouri Citizens for the Arts.
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
Sidney Haefs was born in Los Angeles, CA. She began her training at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy under the direction of Corinne Glover. Participating in Royal Academy of Dance Exams, she holds her Advanced 2 certificate with distinction. Ms. Haefs later graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet and a Minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She then joined KCB as a trainee in 2018 before joining the company as an apprentice the following season. During her time with KCB, she has performed in Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Adam Hougland’s Carmina Burana, and Devon Carney’s The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
Joined KCB in 2012
Taryn Mejia was born in Kansas City, Missouri and received a majority of her training on full scholarship at the Kansas City Ballet School and the School of American Ballet, performing Waltz Girl in Serenade for the SAB workshop. Ms. Mejia was given her Corps de Ballet contract with the New York City Ballet and performed numerous Balanchine and Robbins ballets including, Stars and Stripes, Jewels, Symphony in Three Movements, West Side Story Suite, and The Cage. Ms. Mejia is in her 9th season with the company and has been featured in numerous roles in The Nutcracker, Alice (in wonderland), The Four Temperments, The Sleeping Beauty, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Wendy in Peter Pan, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sylvie Pas From William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, the Lead Woman in James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and the Principal girl in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Diamonds. Some of her favorite choreographers to originate roles for include Matthew Neenan, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Price Suddarth.