John Magnus received his training at the University of Cape Town Ballet School, after which he joined the Cape Town City Ballet. He relocated to the United States in 1980, serving as ballet master for the Nevada Dance Theatre and the New Jersey Ballet school and company.

In 1986 Mr. Magnus joined the faculty of the Joffrey Ballet School in New York – the last teacher to be chosen by co-founder Robert Joffrey before his death. Mr. Magnus also taught at the Joffrey Ballet Company and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He was appointed artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet School in 2005.

Mr. Magnus served as artistic director of the Joffrey Midwest Dance Summer Intensive for nearly two decades; it was renamed Magnus Midwest Dance in his honor after his departure in 2010 and has transitioned into Magnus Northwest Dance.

Mr. Magnus serves as artistic director of Portland Festival Ballet and as president of American Readers Theatre, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community arts organization promoting literacy through the performing arts.





Teal Darkenwald – Jazz


Teal Darkenwald teaches jazz, ballet, and modern technique classes as well as a variety of science-related dance lecture courses at East Carolina University, where she is a past recipient of the Teaching Grant Award from the University of North Carolina system. Ms. Darkenwald has been a guest artist at the University at Buffalo, Glendale Community College, and Salve Regina University. Her choreography has been performed at such notable venues as Dance Theatre Workshop (now New York Live Arts) and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York City.

Ms. Darkenwald is the founder of Ultra Barre®, a barre-based supplemental training method designed to lengthen and tone the muscles. She has taught Ultra Barre® master classes throughout the United States and uses this method to train her students at ECU. Ms. Darkenwald has certified instructors including dancers from the Joffrey Ballet and Boston Ballet, as well as university professors and dance and Pilates instructors throughout the country. Most recently, she was asked to teach an Ultra Barre class and present research using functional supplemental training to improve postural misalignments in dancers for the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science conference in Seattle, WA.

In addition to teaching, Ms. Darkenwald serves on the advisory board and performs with Balasole Dance Company in New York City. Her professional affiliations include the National Dance Education Organization and the American College Dance Festival Association. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Ms. Darkenwald taught at the University of Arizona, Glendale and Scottsdale community colleges, and Ottawa University. She also served as co-director and resident choreographer for Physical Graffiti Dance Company.

Ms. Darkenwald earned her MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography from the University of Arizona and her BFA in dance performance and BS in exercise science from the University at Buffalo in New York. Education and certification also includes a 480-hour, one-on-one Pilates training program, a Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® Intensive, and holistic health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Erica Edwards – Ballet

Edwards headshot color

Erica Lynette Edwards, a company member at The Joffrey Ballet, was one of the first dancers in the Arpino Apprentice program in 2000. She trained at the Salt Creek Ballet School, where she performed major roles in the pre-professional ballet company. Ms. Edwards attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Bryant Ballet on merit scholarships; American Ballet Theatre; Royal Winnipeg Ballet; and the Ruth Page Foundation. She also trained two years at Butler University in Indianapolis on talent, academic, and leadership scholarships.

Ms. Edwards’ Joffrey repertoire includes Apollo, Appalachian Spring, Cinderella (Fairy Godmother), Dark Elegies (4th Song), Deuce Coupe (Lead), The Green Table (Partisan Woman), INFRA (Lauren), In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated(Isabel), Light Rain (Pas de Deux), The Nutcracker (Snow Queen), NY Export: Opus Jazz! (Static Girl), Les Patineurs(Red Girls), Square Dance, Le Sacre du Printemps (Chosen One), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Aria 1), and Viva Vivaldi(Soloist).

Ms. Edwards aims to share the experience of dance with others by teaching at church, community, school, and outreach programs throughout the Chicago area. In 2001 the Chicago Sun-Times spotlighted Erica as a “Black History Maker,” and in 2002 she was The Joffrey’s nominee for the Princess Grace Foundation Award. Ebony magazine featured Ms. Edwards as a Young Leader of the Future in the Arts in 2003. She is featured with The Joffrey Ballet in Robert Altman’s movie, The Company.

Jeffrey Stocker – Acting

Jeffrey Stocker is a professional acting coach and an accomplished director. His clients perform on the Broadway stage, on television, and in motion pictures. Mr. Stocker has directed more than 100 stage productions and readings in New York – at the National Arts Club, Players Club, Princeton Club, and City College of New York. Collaborations include award-winning playwrights Edward Albee and Christopher Durang.

Mr. Stocker is director of theater arts at Portland Festival Ballet. In addition, he has been on the teaching faculty of the Joffrey Ballet School in New York and the Magnus Midwest Dance summer intensive (which transitioned into the Magnus Northwest Dance summer intensive), where he created the highly successful program Acting for the Dancer.

Mr. Stocker ran the Film Acting Studio of New York from 1978 to 2009 and currently serves as artistic director for the Presby Players in Port Jervis, NY. He has directed for the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, as well as ”Dear World,” part of the Lost Treasures Collection, at Lakewood Theater Company in Lake Oswego. He is founder and director of American Readers Theatre, a not-for-profit performing arts organization promoting literacy through the arts, with companies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Oregon.

Lavinia Magliocco – Pilates

laviniamaglioccoLavinia Magliocco, Pilates instructor and consultant, was trained in classical ballet at North Carolina School of the Arts and School of American Ballet. She came to Pilates after a life-threatening illness in 1990; with the help of her teacher and mentor, Mona Williams, and physical therapist Jacqui Haas, she was able to return to performing as a classical ballet dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City at the age of 27, after a hiatus of eight years. In 1998 she put aside performing to focus on teaching as a path of expression and exploration. Lavinia is a certified Pilates master teacher and owner of Equipoise in Portland.Lavinia has taught in Cincinnati at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and at venues such as Studio Maestro in New York and School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She has published articles and dance reviews for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Antenna Magazine, Pilates Forum, and Dance Magazine. Lavinia holds a BA degree from University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts and Sciences.