Summer Intensive Faculty
Artistic staff and school faculty of Kansas City Ballet combine to create one of the best summer intensive offerings in the country. Our world-class guest instructors bring additional expertise that is unmatched.
2019 Guest Teachers
Native Houstonian Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars.
She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 as a Corps de Ballet, 1987 was promoted to Soloist and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and was one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world.
Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in all the classics. She created the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her “a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her.” Ms. Anderson has performed across the globe as a guest artist.
In 1990, Ms. Anderson received The Special Jury Award in the USA International Ballet Competition and in 1996, the International Critics award in Chile. In April 1999, she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She’s been featured in the People magazine and Pointe, as well as on the television programs “A&E Breakfast with the Arts,” “CBS News Sunday Morning,” and the game show, “To Tell the Truth.” She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, National Council of Jewish Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Houston City Council, Texas Legislature, and the United States Congress and the list goes on. In 2000, Ms. Anderson was chosen to be an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has received 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Award for contribution to the dance world. Most recently, Ms. Anderson received the Barbara Jordan, Breaking Barriers award from the Harris County Democratic Party.
In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role in Houston Ballet’s education department where she conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career. She also teaches Master classes at conservatory dance academies around the world. Her pointe shoes are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Her greatest production to date is her son Lawrence Turner, who is not a dancer
Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr. Cooper currently living in San Francisco. However having spent a considerable amount of time growing up in NYC and the Bay Area, he considers himself a native of both coasts. Over his career he danced with two major companies, San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem, with the latter with whom he was a principal dancer with for 9 years. His travels touring with these companies have taken him all over the world.
Mr. Cooper started dancing at the age of five, when he began taking ballet classes at Richard Thomas’ New York School of Ballet. At the age of 13 Mr. Cooper received a full scholarship to train at the San Francisco Ballet School. He soon became a recipient of the Robert Kirby Scholarship, as well as the first to receive the Lew Christensen Scholarship for best male dancer. In 1989, bypassing the obligatory apprentice year, he was made a full company member.
During his time with San Francisco Ballet, Mr. Cooper danced a wide range of the repertoire. During Mr. Cooper’s nine years dancing with Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal dancer, he danced leading roles in such ballets as Balanchine’s Apollo, Prodigal Son, Agon, Allegro Brillante and Stars & Stripes; Albrecht in Giselle; Robbins’ Fancy Free; Ashton’s Thais pas de deux; Glenn Tetley’s Sphinx & Dialogues; Smuin’s A Song For Dead Warriors and St. Louis Blues and many others.
Notable guest appearances have included being invited to dance lead in Stars and Stripes for New York City Ballet’s Balanchine Centennial Celebration, playing the part of Apollo in Central Park’s Summer Stage Balanchine Centennial Tribute; Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ashton & Balanchine Gala; in the Miami International Dance Festival, Washington Ballet’s Giselle, Dance Brazil’s Festival in Bahia, Brazil, Rebecca Kelly Ballet’s 25 Anniversary, and with Dances Patrelle he has danced the lead in Mr. Patrelle’s Macbeth, as well as dancing in his “POP” & Ms. Meredith’s “Pair of Jacks pas de deux”; Lexington Ballets Fabric of Dance Galas 2 &3, Ballet Virginia International,Virginia Ballet Theatre, Ballet NY, Configuration Dance, Lexington Ballet and many others.
In March of 2007 Mr. Cooper created his first one act, full-length contemporary ballet for Virginia Ballet Theatre, an homage to the 1960’s spy film genre called, Mr. Evil and The Forever Diamond. Most recently in 2010, Mr. Cooper was invited to choreograph a 37 min. full-length contemporary ballet work called, Universal Residue for Lexington Ballet. In 2011, Mr.Cooper was also invited by new Dance Theatre of Harlem director Virginia Johnson, to be a part of their Harlem Works 2.0 Series, where he danced a new pas de deux choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultre called “Believe”, created on him and former Broadway & ABT great Ashley Tuttle.
Until 2007, Mr. Cooper was also involved in and part creator of a National Outreach Program for kids at risk, called Athletes For Kids (AFK), involving professional dancers and star professional athletes. Although most of his time and attention is now focused on teaching, mentoring & choreographing, Mr. Cooper continues to dance as a freelance dancer on various dance projects and galas nationally and internationally. He also continues to be apart of the Lines Ballet School teaching staff & New York City Dance Alliance. Currently he is also co-creator & Director of a new national summer program called Modas Dance Summer Program.
Iliana Lopez career began at home in Venezuela and continued through the San Francisco Ballet, the Cleveland Ballet and as soloists with the Deutsche Opera Berlin and the Deutsche Opera am Rhein in Dusseldorf, then in 1987 she became a Principal Dancer with the Miami City Ballet where she remained for eighteen successful years as guest principal dancer. She has performed for different Ballet companies internationally as well as the most important Dance Festivals and Galas of Stars in the World. She performed all of the leading roles in the classical repertoire as well as in the works by Balanchine, Bejart, Van Manen, MacMillan, Petit, Nebrada, Gamonet and Kylian, among others.
During her years with the Miami City Ballet she originated many of the principal roles of the company repertoire such as Carmen, Prokofiev Piano Concerto, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, D Symphony, Aria, Purple Bend, Concerto for la Donna and Tobiniana. Mrs. Lopez performed all the leading roles of the company’s Balanchine repertoire, such as Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, Theme and Variations, Tchaikovsky Pas Deux, The Nutcracker, Symphony in C, Scotch Symphony, Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Agon, Divertimento 15, La Source, The Prodigal Son, Western Symphony, Bugaku, Raymonda Variations, Apollo, Symphony in Three Movements, among others.
Mrs. Lopez was featured on the cover of many important Dance magazines including, Dance Magazine (1997), Pointe Magazine (2000) and Dancer Magazine (2004).
Her dedication and passion for her career earned them special awards such as the Orden Arturo Michelena in Venezuela, the Key of the City of Baton Rouge in Louisiana where she was declared “Honorable Mayor”, the Proclamation of Miami-Dade County by Mayor Alex Penelas, the Proclamation of Hialeah by Mayor Raul Martinez, who declared “March 12th” the Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero’s Day, a special award by the “Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts” for her contribution to the Arts, and a special award from the “Jackie Gleason Theatre” for her outstanding contribution to the Arts in the city of Miami Beach.
Mrs. Lopez was selected by the National Museum of Dance in the United States to place her Pointe Shoes in their permanent exhibition.
She performed for President Gerald Ford, President Bill Clinton and the First Lady Hillary Clinton being invited afterwards to the White House, the Ex-Prime Minister of Israel Isaac Shamir, and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Since her retirement in 2004, Mrs. Lopez has worked as Ballet Mistress and répétiteur for the Miami City Ballet, Ballet Gamonet, Ballet de Monterrey in Mexico, Ballet de Santiago in Chile, Ballet de la Opera de Bordeaux in France, as guest touring Ballet Mistress with Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo and Ballet Nacional de Lima in Peru.
Since 2012, Mrs. Lopez together with her husband Franklin Gamero serve as Artistic Directors at the Gulfshore Ballet in Fort Myers, Florida.
1986–1994 SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
Shannon moved through the ranks of the Company under the direction of Helgi Tomasson; rising from Corps de Ballet to Principal artist in 1990, where she danced many of the Companies Classical and Contemporary Repertoire. Some of the leading roles include Princess Aurora and The Bluebird pas de deux in Tomasson’s Sleeping Beauty, The Ballerina in Jerome Robbins The Concert, leading roles in William Forsythe’s In the middle somewhat elevated and New Sleep, Glen Tetley’s Tagore and Paul Taylor’s Company B. Ms Parker took part in many creations with the likes of David Bintley, Mark Morris and Helgi Tomasson as well as having danced extensively in the Balanchine repertoire. Principal roles include, Tarantella, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, Theme and Variations, Rubies, Serenade, Third and Fourth movement in Symphony and C, Who Cares? And Bugaku, to name just a few.
1994–1999 NORTHERN BALLET THEATRE
Shannon joined Northern Ballet Theatre under the direction of Christopher Gable. Leading roles include, Juliet in Massimo Marricones, Romeo and Juliet, as well as the Niece and Belle in Marricones, A Christmas Carol. Mina from Dracula, Cinderella, Stepsisters and Stepmother from Cinderella, Odette/Odile from Swan Lake, the Title role from Giselle and Kitri from Don Quixote; all of which were created and choreographed by Christopher Gable and Michael Pink. She also created the role of Anne Bronte as well as dancing the role of Charlotte Bronte in Gillian Lynne’s, The Bronte’s.
1999–2004 BALLET DU RHIN
Shannon ended her performing career with Ballet Du Rhin in France after five years of dancing most of the Companies leading roles, under the directorship of Bertrand D’At. These include Odette and Russian as de deux from D’Ats Swan Lake, the Title role and Peasant Pas de deux from Maina Gielguds Giselle, Steptext and Vile Parody of Address by Forsythe, the lead duet from Tetleys Voluntaries, Lucinda Childs Chamber Symphony, Dance and Mandarin, Gross Fuge by Hans van Manen and lastly, Jiri Kylians Stomping Ground. Davide Bombana created many roles for Ms Parker. Some of those include, Aus de Ferne, Beyond Skin and the role of Marie from his acclaimed Woyzeck where Ms Parker re–created the role. And finally she danced the Pas de deux in Agon as well as both title roles from Concerto Barocco, by Balanchine. Nine months after retiring Ms Parker was invited back to Ballet du Rhin to re–create the role of Odette for D’Ats Swan Lake. She has since been teaching for Northern Ballet School, Northern Ballet Theatre, York Scholars, The Dance Space, The Arts Garage, Preston College, Horsforth Summer School, and for Gillian Hurst’s Associate programme.
As well as continuing to teach around the World and run Workshop Shannon is Co – Director to her Summer School OPES and runs an Associate programme