Faculty Biographies

Artistic Director: Intro to Dance, Jazz & Modern Program Instructor
– Jennifer Bourgeault

She holds a B.A. in Dance from DeSales University where she studied the classical Modern techniques of Limon, Cunningham, Horton, and Taylor as well as the Cecchetti method of Ballet under Trinette Singleton. Additionally, Jennifer has trained with the Paul Taylor dance company and David Parsons dance. While in Philadelphia, Jennifer was a soloist with the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s “The Pearl Fishers” and “Aida”. Upon returning to her native state of Maine in 2006, she established Collective Motion (CM), a collaborative modern dance company. With CM she has had the opportunity to work with Maine’s best dancers and choreographers presenting work throughout Maine and New England. Most notable Maine performances include, “The Magic of Christmas” with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Maine Island Dance Festival, and “Been here Before” an evening work by Collective Motion. In 2013 Jennifer founded Collective Motion Arts Center. With over fourteen years of teaching experience in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Pointe, and Modern she looks forward to sharing and exploring the craft and art of dance for many years to come.

Jenn’s classes are educational, enthusiastic, and an all-around good time. Jenn is a kind teacher who loves to work her dancer’s brains as much as their bodies!

Musical Theater & Level 1 Program Instructor
– Rachel Epling

Rachel completed her BFA in Dance and BA in Biological Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017— discovering an enriching, complementary interplay between the two. While attending UCSB, she had the opportunity to perform works by Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, José Limón, Andrea Miller, and Jacqulyn Buglisi, along with many other wonderful choreographers. Rachel was a member of the UCSB touring dance company and has performed in England, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and NYC. Following graduation, Rachel had the pleasure of teaching and performing professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rachel performed her own work at SF Movement Arts Festival 2019, with Caroline Liviakis Dance Company (CLDC), and with Mogli’s Movers Artist Collective. She appeared as a soloist in the CLDC film “Better Than You Doin You” which has been shown in film festivals worldwide. She moved to Maine in the summer of 2020, by way of Brooklyn, New York. Since arriving in Maine, Rachel has been exploring with her dogs, teaching at Dance Moves Maine, and recently had the absolute pleasure of performing with the Ballet Bloom Project as a part of Portland Bach Experience’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Carnival Concert & Community Celebration & The Fairy Queen”.

Rachel’s classes are lively and exciting. Rachel is an exuberant teacher whose love of dance is clear to all her take class with her!

Ballet and Pointe Program Instructor
– Rose Hutchins

Founder and artistic director of Ballet Bloom Project, a project-based contemporary ballet company, Rose Hutchins holds a BFA in Dance with a ballet emphasis from Utah Valley University. Currently located in Maine, Rose has danced, taught, and choreographed across the nation for more than a decade, earning the respect of those she works with for her expertise, work ethic, and artistry. Some notable achievements include her award-winning choreography Degas; her choreographic work Embark, featured at Regional Dance America/Pacific; and her scholarly research “Sociopolitical Influences on the Creation of the Ballet Giselle,” which was published in The Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, with the distinction of “best paper” in the arts division. Rose is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance with an emphasis on contemporary choreography and performance at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Rose’s classes are elegant, consistent, and full of strong technique. Rose is a sweet teacher who loves to make Ballet accessible for all of her students.

Hip Hop Program Instructor
– Chelsea Shanks

Chelsea Anderson has been dancing for over 20 years with training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Hip Hop. She spent 8 years in the Portland Youth Dance Company formally known as “Upbeat Feet” before moving on to Fordham University where she furthered her passion for movement through a student-run dance company called “Expressions Dance Alliance”. During her 4 years with EDA, Chelsea was instrumental in choreographing, dancing, and serving the board as events coordinator, successfully producing two shows per year. Her specific love for Hip Hop came shining through during these years becoming known for her ability to “rock it out”. Chelsea is a member of the Collective Motion Dance Company, sharing her love for performance and choreography in several shows throughout the area.  Preschool teacher by day, Chelsea could not be more excited to extend her passion for enriching young minds through the beautiful art of movement.

Chelsea’s classes are fun and funky! Chelsea is a high-energy teacher who loves to start the dance party with her students!

Tap Program Instructor
– Kate Whalen

Kate Whalen has been dancing since the ripe old age of 4  studying Tap, Ballet, and Musical Theater Jazz. She studied with Spotlight Vermont, the Vermont Conservatory of Ballet, and the University of Vermont. She has taken master tap classes at Steps in New York City as well as with Lisa Hopkins, Jeannie Hill, Josh Hilberman, and Michelle Dorrance. Kate taught Tap, Ballet, and Musical Theater jazz at Spotlight Vermont for 14 years as well as Tap at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to teaching, Kate has always been very active in theatre beginning with her first show in 1985. She has performed on stage in countless shows and has enjoyed the new challenges of being a director and choreographer, most proudly taking on those roles for Lyric Theatre Company’s Mary Poppins in Vermont. Kate relocated to the Portland area in 2019 and is thrilled to share her passion and love of dance, especially the joy of Tap, with her new community in Maine.

Kate’s classes are full of energy and style. Kate is a fun teacher who pushes her dancers to perform to the max!