Deborah Bean has a diverse dance background that includes training from leading teachers Natasha Grishin of Ballet Arts, Michael Simms of Stephens College, Harriette Ann Gray (formerly of Humphrey Weidman), and Bella Lewitsky. Deborah danced professionally with the Harriette Ann Gray Dance Company and Ballet Oregon. After retiring, Deborah became known for her teaching skills at programs including Reed College Dance Workshop, School of Ballet Omaha, Minnesota Dance Theatre School, the Academy of Professional Ballet in Portland, and she is frequently invited to guest teach. After moving to Idaho Falls, she founded Idaho Falls School of Ballet, which has a record of producing dancers who receive college dance scholarships and positions in preeminent summer intensive programs. Idaho Falls School of Ballet has been involved in collaborations with professional musicians as well as the Idaho Falls Symphony. The school has an ongoing relationship with Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho. Students have participated in YAGP, the Northwest Dance Festival, community events in Sun Valley, Idaho as well as local productions with the Idaho Falls Arts Council. Her credentials also include a BFA in Dance.
Arynne Belger began dancing at age three and has continued dancing ever since. She received extensive training in classical ballet with esteemed professionals including Janice James and Becky Gili. She performed multiple solo and principle roles in several dance productions, including regional competitions and full length ballets. After high school, Arynne was the recipient of several talent and academic scholarships that allowed her to continue her education at the University of Utah, Department of Ballet. Arynne received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and graduated with honors. While at the University of Utah, Arynne completed course work in the following aspects: classical ballet technique, variations, pas de deux, jazz and modern dance techniques, choreography, teaching principles and philosophy, musicality, injury prevention, and nutrition. She was also involved in the majority of departmental productions. Arynne was a member of the internationally recognized Utah Character Dance Ensemble. Arynne has enjoyed dancing and teaching in Utah, but is excited to be returning to her hometown of Idaho Falls, sharing her love of ballet.
Mariko Downs is a Southeast Idaho native who has been dancing since the age of five, training primarily in advanced gymnastics and ballet. She studied under Janice James of the Ballet Society for three years, and then moved to Boise to pursue an education and dance career. In Boise Mariko studied ballet with Marla Hansen, Co-Artistic Director of Idaho Dance Theatre. She later joined the company and performed contemporary ballet for three years in the Boise valley and on tour. She has been featured as a soloist in many of Idaho Dance Theatre's original works, and also worked with young children in the Leaps and Bounds Educational Outreach program. While dancing with the company, she did receive a BA in Communication and hopes to continue on to receiving a Master's Degree in Dance. Mariko teaches contemporary dance at the Idaho Falls School of Ballet and has received recognition for her innovative choreography. In addition, she is a certified Pilates and yoga instructor.
Nic Gili began his dance training in his mother’s studio, Studio One, in Idaho Falls. At the age of 17, he began training at the Kirov Academy and at summer intensive programs with Ballet West and Boston Ballet. Nic’s professional experience includes solo and principal roles with Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in Romania and New Jersey Ballet. Most recently Nic danced professionally with Ballet Idaho, and he frequently performs as a guest artist throughout the Northwest. Nic’s repertoire includes several roles in The Nutcracker, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Esmerelda Pas de Deux and Pas de Dix, and Trilogy.
Diedre Sakota has been teaching dance for 15 years and enjoys teaching all genres and all ages. She is excited to join Idaho Falls School of Ballet as an instructor. In her youth, she had the privilege of dancing on two pre-professional dance companies, Dance in Flight and Ricochet Modern Dance Company. She received her ballet training through the Royal Academy of Dance with Barbara Wilson and was awarded with Distinction in her examinations. While pursuing her undergrad at BYU-Idaho, Diedre had the opportunity to perform with Dance Alliance and toured Ecuador, Peru, Russia, Canada and the United States and was selected as assistant director her senior year. After graduation, she married the love of her life and has moved every couple of years. In 2014, she founded a professional dance company called Aspire Dance Company in Meridian, Idaho. Aspire is still in operation under the direction of Justene Vaterlaus. Diedre has taught for several studios as well as University of Idaho and Clark College and is currently adjunct faculty for BYU-Idaho. As Co-Director of The Dance Collaborative she loves sharing her passion for dance as an art form with others and continually pursues new ways to create and innovate through dance. She is excited to continue her education as she will begin her Masters Degree in Dance Technique Pedagogy this fall. Diedre is the mother of four beautiful children and loves the adventures and journeys she and her husband are constantly finding themselves in.