Faculty

Rob Kuykendall

Rob KuykendallRob began dancing at age 12 in Evansville, IN and soon moved to Birmingham, AL to train with Thor Sutowki and Dame Sonia Arova at The Alabama School of Fine Arts. He has worked professionally with Alabama Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Orlando Ballet and most recently with Boulder Ballet. Rob has a diverse training and teaching background in Vaganova, Bournonville, Paris Opera and Cuban methods, having learned from such greats as Fernando Bujones and Wes Chapman. In 2009, Rob won the Youth America Grand Prix “Most Outstanding Teacher Award”. Many of the students he has taught and coached have won top awards at YAGP and The Denver Ballet Guild’s Young Dancers Competition. They have also received scholarships to some of America’s top schools; including Kirov Academy in Washington DC, Pacific Northwest Ballet and School of American Ballet. Many have also gone on to professional careers at some of America’s premiere companies; including American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, American Repertory Ballet and Miami City Ballet as well as prestigious international companies such as The Royal Ballet and Staatstheater Nurnberg in Germany.

Chandra Kuykendall

Chandra Kuykendall is from Parker, Colorado and trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet from 1988 until graduating in 1997. In 1996, she won the Denver Ballet Guild Competition and received the prestigious Florence Rustin Award. She also attended summer programs at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail (under full scholarship), Kirov Academy of Ballet, San Francisco Ballet Academy and School of American Ballet. After graduating from the Academy in 1997, Ms. Kuykendall joined Colorado Ballet. She spent the 1998-1999 season with Leipzig Ballet in Leipzig, Germany under the direction of the brilliant choreographer Uwe Scholz. She returned to Colorado Ballet in the fall of 1999. With Colorado Ballet, Ms. Kuykendall has danced numerous principal roles including Princess Aurora and Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Giselle and Myrta in Giselle, Medora in Le Corsaire, Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Cinderella in Cinderella, Dryad Queen in Don Quixote, Lucy in Dracula, Titania and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the principal role in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the 2nd Violin in Concerto Barocco, the Crossover Girl in Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room, the Mother in Glen Tetley’s The Rite of Spring, the Brown Girl in Celts, the Kick Girl in George Balanchine’s Rubies and principal role in Theme and Variations. Her favorite of these roles was the tragic Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. She has also been featured in Antony Tudor’s Leaves Are Fading, Stanton Welch’s Of Blessed Memory, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, S. Webre’s Where the Wild Things Are, Edwaard Liang’s Feast of the Gods, Jodie Gates’ Embellish, Emery LeCrone’s Archetypes, Val Caniparoli’s In Pieces, Jessica Lang’s From Foreign Lands and People and De Profundis, Mathew Neenan’s The Faraway, Amy Seiwert’s Traveling Alone and Things Left Unsaid, Carmina Burana, Great Galloping Gottschalk, Yes, Virginia, Another Piano Ballet and Martin Fredmann’s A Little Love as well as his Dreamspace shown on PBS. Ms. Kuykendall was featured in the August 2013 issue of 5280 Magazine highlighting seven of Colorado’s athletes.  Chandra’s professional dancing career has brought forth many teaching opportunities as well.

Victoria Spangler


In 2009, Victoria graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. While earning her degree, she performed in original works by Gabriel Masson, Onye Ozuzu, and Erika Randall, and studied under Patricia Renzetti, Robin Haig, Nada Diachenko, Larry Southall, and Nii Armah Sowah. Upon graduation, Victoria performed numerous featured roles as a member of Louder Than Words Dance Theatre, a professional Contemporary Modern and Jazz company based out of Denver, CO, under the direction of Chris Harris. In 2012, Victoria co-choreographed, and performed, in an original, evening-length work titled “Four Letter Words”, which premiered in on the main stage at the Parker Town Hall Arts Center. A Colorado native, Victoria received her early training at the David Taylor Dance Theatre, International Ballet School, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. During this time, she was fortunate enough to study under Nikoloz Makhateli, Milenko Banovich, Milton Meyers, James Clouser, and Debra Mercer, among others. She attended many intensive programs throughout this time, including the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA, where she spent a summer training directly under world-renowned dancer Fernando Bujones. While still in high school, Victoria was a member of the Apprentice Company with the David Taylor Dance Theatre for multiple seasons. Upon graduation, she spent two years, on scholarship, studying Ballet at Friends University, and dancing with The Wichita Ballet Theatre, both under the direction of Stan K. Rogers. Victoria has been teaching and choreographing in the Denver/Boulder area since 2007. Her pieces have won numerous awards at various competitions, including NUVO, KAR, StarQuest, Rainbow, and many others. This is Victoria’s third season with DAB.

Kristen Deppe

Kristen DeppeKristen started her diverse background of dance training in the suburbs of Chicago under Judy Chitwood and Larry Long.  Her ballet training continued at New York’s Joffrey Ballet School’s summer programs under John Magnus, Judy Rice and Francoise Martinet.  Kristen also has an extensive training in jazz and modern.  She has had the privilege to work and perform for such great choreographers as Alan Sener (Louis Falco), Mary Cochren (Paul Taylor), Basil Thompson (Royal Ballet, ABT), Lar Lubovich (ABT), Jeffrey Bullock (Pacific Northwest Ballet) and Mia Michaels (RAW & FOX television “So You Think You Can Dance”). Since her performing days, she has focused on teaching and choreographing. Kristen’s technical ballet background includes Balanchine, RAD, Cecchetti and Vagonova methods, and earned a teaching certificate from the Cecchetti Council of America in 2006.  Her jazz and modern technical backgrounds include Fosse, Luigi, Giordano, Horton, Graham and Limon methods.  Kristen received two degrees from the University of Iowa: BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Business Communications.

Oleg Dedogryuk

Oleg is originally from Russia. He is the Artistic Director for the Annual Nutcracker of Parker. Oleg brings more than 25 years of professional ballet experience to his students. After graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, he danced as a Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company, Leningrad Modern Ballet Theater (Eifman Ballet), Moscow Renaissance Ballet, The National Opera and Ballet Theater (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia), the City Ballet in San Diego, CA, and as a soloist with the Colorado Ballet from 2001 to 2005. While with Colorado Ballet, he choreographed numerous works including MIRACULA, SONG OF LOVE, MARIONETTES, ZORBA, and PASSIONS. He has performed in many classical and modern roles, most recently in A LITTLE LOVE, and DON QUIXOTE, and as Dracula and Lord Arthur in DRACULA.

Katrina Lairsmith


Katrina has never let anything stop her from dancing, and this has resulted in a life of professional accomplishment. Katrina started dancing as a teenager watching dancers at a local studio and practicing what she saw at home in her basement. In high school, she was selected to dance in the first magnet dance program in Denver, Colorado, which later became the Denver School of the Arts. She then earned a scholarship to study at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Studio. Katrina was a member of the first Denver Nuggets Dance Team. Los Angeles called to her, and she won a scholarship to the renowned dance studio, The Edge. It was at The Edge that Katrina met and studied with Mia Michaels, Tyce Diero, Brian Friedman, Terry Beeman, Eddie Garcia, Jackie Sleight, and Wes Veldink, as she developed her unique style of modern contemporary dance. She has influenced dancers, such as Misha Gabriel who was recently featured in This Is It, the memorial movie for Michael Jackson. Misha has danced for Michael and Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Omarion, Justin Timberlake and starred as Eddie in the movie Step up Revolution. Katrina recently sent her student, Keean Johnson, to New York City where played the role of Michael on Broadway in “Billy Elliot” and has now played Michael in the national tour of the show.

Martez Mckinzy


Originally, from Kansas City, Mo. Mr. Mckinzy studied with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey under the direction of Tyrone Aiken. He is a former company member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and is also a member of the Cleo Parker Robinson Academy of Dance faculty.

Mikaela Merrill Hill


Mikaela Merrill Hill is from Castle Pines, CO and is a proud graduate from Denver Academy of Ballet. She is so excited to be back! Mikaela received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance-emphasis in Ballet with a minor in Chinese from Brigham Young University. While there she performed with the University’s Ballet Company in various classical and original choreographic works. Mikaela had the opportunity to study under Ashley Parov (San Francisco Ballet), Summer Rhatigan (Royal Ballet), Suzi Wood (Ballet West) and many others. In 2016 Mikaela travelled with BYU Contemporary Dance to China where they toured for 6 weeks-performing, teaching and creating with students of all ages. Her love for the performing arts as a means of cultural collaboration led her to Taiwan for 16 months where she taught ballet and choreographed some original works for Hualien Dance Theatre’s repertoire. She is currently studying to receive her Master’s degree in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management from Colorado State University. She has interned and held positions at national and international organizations including Ohio Dance, Dance/USA-Fellowships to Artists, Callahan Consulting for the Arts and is currently interning with Colorado Ballet.

Jocelyn Green


Jocelyn Green is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and is currently in her first season as a dancer with Wonderbound dance company in Denver. She attended SUNY Purchase College, Conservatory of Dance for three years before leaving to pursue her professional career with Nashville Ballet’s second company. She joined Dayton Ballet in 2014 where she had the pleasure to dance many roles, her favorites being as Juliet in Septime Webre’s Romeo and Juliet and as Myrtle in Ron Cunningham’s The Great Gatsby. Another highlight was performing in Jiri Kylian’s Sechs Tanze. In the summer of 2018 Jocelyn attended the National Choreographer’s Initiative and enjoyed working with dancers and choreographers from around the country. She was also the recipient of a 2018/19 Artist Opportunity grant to pursue a choreographic project which culminated in the creation of the Dayton Dance Initiative. Jocelyn has been teaching ballet, pointe, and jazz, for many years and loves working with students of all ages!