1600 W Douglas Ave Wichita, KS 67203
Recently appointed Artistic Director of Ballet Wichita, David Justin joins the company after serving in academia for 17 years. David has also been an interim ballet master and men’s program coordinator for Kansas City Ballet, and was the founding artistic director of American Repertory Ensemble. In Austin, TX, David was a co-producer of the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival as well as a professor at UT Austin.
Formerly a principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, a soloist with San Francisco Ballet and beginning his career with Boston Ballet, David has toured the globe extensively and has a broad repertoire that includes principal roles in the classical repertoire and works by choreographers including Ashton, Balanchine, Bintley, Caniparoli, de Mille, Forsythe, Kylian, MacMillan, Morris, Taylor, Tharp, Tudor, Robbins, Welsh, and York.
David’s dancing was described as “alluring and mercurial,” “polished,” “brilliant,” and “fearless.” David’s own critically acclaimed choreography has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Choreographic Institute (NYCB), Dance Gallery NYC, Ballet Builders, American College Dance Association, International Choreographer’s Showcase, National Choreographer’s Initiative, and universities and performing arts schools.
Presented with international acclaim, reviews of his choreography describe it as “surprising,” “poetic,” “athletic,” “inventive,” and “intelligent.” David holds a Master’s degree in Dance in Education and the Community from the University of Birmingham, England.
Brette Sweeney has moved around her whole life. She graduated from the Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University and earned her Bachelor of Science in Ballet in 2011. Upon graduation, Mrs. Brette danced with Rochester City Ballet from 2011-2014 and then as Lead Artist with Ballet 5:8 from 2014-2022. Throughout her ballet career she has had the privilege of performing in many ballets including: soloist roles in Balanchine’s Serenade, Western Symphony, Raymonda, Who Cares?, and principle roles in Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo as the Rancher’s Daughter, Anthony tudor’s Lilac Garden as Caroline as well as Twyla Tharp’s Noir. She has also performed many soloist and principal roles in Ballet 5:8’s repertoire, including Hester Prynne in Scarlet. Mrs. Brette is very thankful for all the teachers, coaches and family who have helped her achieve her goals as a dancer. Mrs. Brette began teaching in 2008 and has taught many levels since then but her passion is to help teenagers pursue their passion for ballet. While at Ballet 5:8, she was coached and guided to becoming their Trainee Program Ballet Mistress in 2015. Then promoted to Trainee/Conservatory Director in 2019 and became Associate Artistic Director in 2021. She also holds a RYT-200 certification in Yoga.
Taylor has been a dancer with Ballet Wichita for 5 years. He has guest choreographed and directed Ballet in the Park – The Little Mermaid at Ballet Wichita. While studying Cecchetti and Balanchine ballet methods he also learned various classical forms of dance, including tap and jazz at Friends University under the direction of Stan Rogers and Sharon Rogers.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Tim T.V. Cao is a former Kansas City Ballet Second Company Dancer and has performed with the Kansas City Ballet in ballets such as The Wizard of Oz and Swan Lake. He has trained with the American Ballet Theatre School and the Kansas City Ballet Day Time Program for the past five years. He also has experience in musical theatre and is a former Broadway performer from Matilda the Musical. His technical dance education ranges from classical ballet forms, classical and contemporary partnering, modern, jazz, hip hop, to singing and acting.
Katie was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She started dancing at the age of 3 for the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet (CLMB). While there she received training in the Vaganova method, tap, jazz, lyrical and character. After high school, Katie went on to college at Butler University in Indianapolis and law school at the University of Kansas. Since returning to Wichita in 2016, Katie has danced with Ballet Wichita for the last five seasons. She has danced roles such as Snow Queen, Ariel, Cinderella, Spanish Soloist, Aurora and Bluebird. Katie also teaches advanced and intermediate ballet for the Ballet Wichita Institute. In addition to dancing, Katie has been Company Manager for Ballet Wichita for 3 years now and has designed numerous costumes for Nutcracker, Cinderella, Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty. In 2018, Katie, along with fellow dancer Taylor Cunningham-Osterman, choreographed, directed and produced The Little Mermaid. In 2020, Katie also created, directed, choreographed and produced Sleeping Beauty with Sarah Walden.
Hannah Chandler is attending Wichita State University double majoring in Dance and Exercise Science to become a physical therapist in the future. She trained at Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center for fifteen years and has been a company member with Ballet Wichita for eleven years dancing in The Nutcracker and Ballet in the Park. Her favorite roles have been the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, Ariel, and Aurora. In recent years she has studied at Ballet Magnificat, Kansas City Ballet, and Oklahoma City Ballet while in high school.
Liberty Joy is from Casper, Wyoming and is currently studying Dance and Music Theatre at Wichita State University. She started dance at age seven and started teaching her senior year of high school at a local studio in Wyoming. One of Liberty’s core values is to work hard and be passionate, and she finds passing that on to her students through teaching is just as important as teaching dance itself.
Macy Joachims has danced for 15 years total and performed for 10 years at Ballet Wichita. She has thoroughly enjoyed participating annually in The Nutcracker, Ballet in the Park, and various other productions. Macy currently attends Wichita State University, seeking a degree in elementary education with plans to graduate in May 2024. Macy is so excited to return to BW as a faculty member!
Julia is a Ballet Wichita alum, and danced with the company from 2009-2019, performing roles such as Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker and the title role in Cinderella. Julia grew up training under Jill Landrith, and has attended summer programs with the American Ballet Theater, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Ballet Arizona, and Kansas City Ballet. She was a 2021 Koch Cultural Trust Grant recipient. Currently, Julia attends Texas Christian University School for Classical & Contemporary Dance, pursuing a B.F.A. in Ballet and minor in Movement Science on an academic scholarship. She is honored to be the School Administrator for Ballet Wichita!