Department of Physical Education - Dance
THERESE YOUNG obtained a BA degree in Dance from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, where she danced with the Minnesota Dance Repertory Theatre. She continued her studies in Dance at Texas Woman’s University where she graduated with a MA in Dance.
While in Texas she studied with the Nikolai dance company for a year, and took classes and workshops with professionals such as the Alvin Ailey Company, Twyla Tharp, Utah Dance Repertory Theatre and Madame Beriosova from the Royal Ballet of London. She also studied jazz with Gus Giordano and has completed a ballroom intensive at BYU.
Therese is an Associate Professor of Dance, and the Director of the Dance Program at Central Washington University where she is responsible for curriculum and program development, along with teaching dance history, pedagogy, and dance technique classes.
Therese also directs and develops original choreography for the University's performance dance company "Orchesis." Her choreography has been accepted and shown in National Dance galas around the country. Therese was the WAHPERD Dance Educator of the Year in 2011. In March 2020, her choreography "Hay There" was selected for the Final Gala Performance at the NW Regional ACDA conference in Spokane, WA.
GABRIELLE McNEILLIE originally from Rochester, New York, received her early training at Brockport School of Dance and Performing Arts and the Rochester City Ballet. She graduated cum laude from The University of Akron with a BFA in Dance Performance. After working for almost a decade as a Dancer and Dance Captain for Carnival Cruise Lines Entertainment, Gabrielle earned her MFA in Dance/Choreography from The University of Arizona.
As an Assistant Professor in the Dance Program she teaches a wide variety of technique and theory courses including; Ballet, Choreography, Functional Alignment for Dancers, and Injury Prevention, as well as co-directing and choreographing for the Orchesis Dance Company. Prior to her time at CWU Ms. McNeillie taught at Pima Community College, The University of Arizona and various private studios in New York, Washington, Ohio, and Arizona.
In 2015 Ms. McNeillie became a licensed Fletcher Pilates® teacher. Her research interests in injury prevention have been strengthened by her Pilates training, and have been presented as part of various conferences including; the National Dance Education Organization, the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, and the Dance Science and Somatics Educators conference.
(Photo by Ed Flores)
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ALEX EYRE is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and began his studies at 15 in ballroom, folk and ballet and was a member of the New Performing Dance Company.
Alex studied modern dance at UNC Chapel Hill with Foster Fitzsimmons, Dianne Eilber, and Marian Turner. He performed with the Carolina Playmakers before entering the North Carolina School of the Arts where he received a BFA in Ballet with Summer sessions at the San Francisco Ballet School and in musical theater performance.
Alex was member of Florida Ballet at Jacksonville from '79-'81, then spent three years in New York studying with David Howard.
Michael Blue began his early training at the San Francisco Ballet School and Idyllwild Arts Academy. After being introduced to the Bella Lewitzky technique at Idyllwild he was prompted to further his exploration into Modern Dance at the Codarts University in the Netherlands. While there he studied the techniques of Graham, Laban and Horton, along with more Contemporary dance styles. He has worked with companies both regionally and nationally such as Khambatta Dance Company, Béjart Ballet, and the Limón Dance Company. Additionally, he has performed commissioned works by prominent choreographers such as Wade Madsen, Bill Evans, and Michele Miller.
Blue has choreographed professionally for over ten years. His efforts have spanned a wide array of styles, from contemporary dance to movement for actors. Among his more recent endeavors, Blue has engaged in choreographic and improvisational work with butoh dance artists in Japan, such as Mushimaru Fujieda and the Physical Poets. While in Japan, Blue also created a short butoh dance film with cinematographer Cintia Garai entitled “Forgotten Horizon”, inspired by the Salvador Dali painting by the same name. Through this work Blue explored the cultural effects of abandoned homes in the Japanese countryside.
Blue is also a dedicated dance instructor, having taught modern, contemporary, and improvisational dance styles in local studios throughout Washington state, as well as Friday Harbor High School. Currently Blue is a Lecturer in the Dance Program at Central Washington University where he teaches Modern Dance and choreographs for the Orchesis Dance Company. Most recently, Blue co-founded the Ellensburg Dance Collective with colleague Gabrielle McNeillie of CWU.