Faculty BCV 06152013

Cindee Velle

As a young dancer performed in the National Ballet’s production of the “Nutcracker” under the direction of Frederick Franklin in Washington, DC. As  child she studied with Miriam Williamson in College Park, MD. As a teenager she studied with Ellen Young at the Ellicott City Theater Ballet and later with Caryl Maxwell in historic Ellicott City, where she was one of the original company members of the Ellicott City Ballet Guild. She also performed in and choreographed several musicals in high school, and in college performed in local community theatre. Upon completing her B.A. in dance from Towson State University, she danced professionally in “Unto These Hills” in Cherokee, N.C. Since 1983 she has directed her own dance school, Ballet with Cindee Velle, at the Long Reach Community Association in Columbia, MD.  She also directs several after-school dance programs in the Baltimore/Washington area.

Cindee currently co-directs and performs with the Ellicott City Can Can Dancers. She has a special interest in worship dance, choreographing and performing in liturgical performances on special occasions.The Columbia Chamber Ballet was started under her direction in 1991 and continues to perform throughout the year at seasonal events, competitions, malls, museums, and senior centers. Cindee has completed several dance teacher workshops in the Vaganova method, and workshops with Finis Jhung in New York City. She continues to take dance classes in local studios and frequents classes at the Maryland Youth Ballet and the Broadway Dance Center.


Kathy Culler

Kathy earned her teaching degree in Early Childhood Education from Frostburg State University. She has taught Preschool, Kindergarten and second grade. Her early dance training was with Peggy Lynne. She continued her studies with Sylvester Campbell, Caryl Maxwell and Kathi Ferguson. She has attended teachers’ workshops in the Vaganova system of classical dance. Kathy has danced locally with the Ellicott City Ballet Guild and the Ellicott City Can Can Dancers.


Rachel Otten

Rachel is an alumna of The University of Maryland College Park with a B.A. in Dance and an A.A. in Business. While attending Maryland, she studied with Modern, Choreography and Jazz artists Ed Tyler, Maurice Fraga, Ludovic Jolevelt, David Parsons, Giselle Mason, Alzine Wlitz, Alvin Mayes, Anne Warren, Mim Rosen, Sylvia Drucker, and Maria Rodgers. Rachel has been performing with The Howard County Ballet Company under the direction of Kathi Ferguson since 1998. Rachel’s various productions include: The Nutcracker, Alice and Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Cinderella and she is currently the Artistic Director’s Rehearsal Assistant. Rachel teaches technique classes to beginning through advanced students at Ballet with Cindee Velle and coaches competition students of all ages and levels. In addition to being an accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer, Rachel has worked extensively with The Aurora Dance Company.


Kristin Lessans

Kristin Lessans has been teaching and choreographing dance to children and adults for over 25 years. She earned a BFA from Towson University in Dance Performance and Choreography. Her experience includes teaching ballet, creative movement, contemporary and jazz dance styles. She performed with Camille Izard and Dancers, Ballet Theatre of Annapolis and Ellicott City Ballet Guild. Kristin also developed a high school dance course at Chapelgate Christian Academy and is choreographer for their high school musicals since 2004.In addition to teaching technique in a studio setting, Kristin choreographs and performs liturgical dance for special events and worship celebrations.


Shelly Maykuth

has been teaching dance to both children and adults for over ten years. She taught and choreographed Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Lyrical, Gymnastics, Ballet, Preschool and Exercise at Kat & Co. Dance Studio, Morgantown, West Virginia and Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She was soloist for the Kitchen Sink Dance Company directed by Michael McGowan and has instructed summer dance camps at West Virginia University and at local dance studios. Shelly is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Arts School, majoring in Jazz. She has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from West Virginia University with a major in marketing and a minor in Dance and Spanish. In 1994, she performed live on ESPN at the Hula Bowl. Shelly has attended numerous classes, clinics and workshops with the Canadian Dance Company, Step Stewart, Fiona Morris, David DeMarie, Joe Tremaine and Katy Lyon Palmbo. Shelly and her students have competed nationally, receiving numerous top ten and overall awards.


Caryl Maxwell

Caryl is our guest artist in residence, who came to this area from New York City, where she performed with the Metropolitan, New York City and Philadelphia Lyric Operas, the Radio City Music Hall Ballet and the Larry Richardson Modern Dance Company. She holds a B.A. degree form Mercer University and certificates in the Cecchetti technique, earned while on a scholarship with the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. She has attended numerous teaching seminars including the National Ballet of Canada and those in the Vaganova Syllabus, as well as teaching seminars to dance instructors. Ms. Maxwell, a former faculty member at Towson State University, the Maryland Ballet and the Marietta Civic Ballet in Georgia, has guest taught at numerous schools throughout the region. Most recently she directed Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet and the Ellicott City Ballet Guild for over 25 years in historic Ellicott City, MD. Currently she is Director of Schools for Dance for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and is giving master classes throughout Maryland.


Shani (Candace) McKindra

Shani started dancing at the age of 6, at Arabesque Dance studio in Columbia  for 2 years. She then transferred to Ballet with Cindee Velle, where she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, and participated on the competition team and The Columbia Chamber Ballet. Throughout High School, she continued at the Studio, and joined the Dance Team at Oakland Mills high school. Upon graduating from high school, she went to Virginia Intermont College where she studied Ballet, Pointe, Modern, and Jazz  for two years. Shani then transferred to Point Park College in Pittsburgh where she studied Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Tap, Folk, and Dunham technique. She graduated with a B.A. in Dance, with a concentration in Jazz.  She has attended several Master classes, continues to take class and had the opportunity to perform with Neil Young on stage. Shani is thrilled being back home with Cindee Velle’s Studio. She also teaches at Worthington’s P.T.A Program, and St.Patrick’s Catholic  school.


Aimee Velle Moran

Aimee Velle Moran is the founder of Merge, which she began in early 2010. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University in May 2008. She began training at the age of three at Ballet with Cindee Velle in the Baltimore/Washington area, where she was also a member of the Columbia Chamber Ballet for nine years. She has received training in a variety of dances styles including, ballet, jazz, lyrical, pointe, tap, and modern. Most recently she performed with Royal Caribbean as a dancer on the Enchantment of the Seas. Aimee has also taught children and adults of all ages in multiple areas of dance since she was fifteen. Aimee is very passionate about her dancing and hopes to continue growing in her professional career, along with her teaching.


Debbie Braun

Debbie teaches Jazz, Tap and Ballet extensively throughout Howard County and beyond. In addition to being on the faculty at Stonehouse she has developed and instructs our PTA dance program at Centennial Lane Elementary School. She also co-directs and performs with the Ellicott City Can Can Dancers. She has studied Jazz with Wally Saunders, Paula Lynn and Tim Roberts. Debbie was awarded a scholarship at the Maryland Ballet under the direction of Danny Diamond. To keep current with the latest dance styles and trends in dance education she attends dance classes and seminars at studios in Washington DC, New York City and locally. She also directed the Hip Hop Kids who performed at the Preakness Celebration. Her acting credits include “Runaway Bride”, “Cecil B. Demented” and numerous TV commercials.


Nikki Slack

Nikki is currently pursuing her B.A. in Dance Performance and Education at Towson University. At the age of seven, she began taking dance classes at Turning Pointe dance studio in Catonsville. At age eleven Nikki started her choreography career by directing dance routines for various home school   productions such as “Lost in Time,” and “You’re a Good man Charlie Brown.” Nikki came to Ballet with Cindee Velle in 2001 where she participated in many of the productions put on by Cindee Velle. Nikki later joined the competition team for which she choreographed many pieces and won awards for her choreography. She also was a member of the Columbia Chamber Ballet, performing the Nutcracker at local festivals, museums, malls and senior centers. Nikki’s teaching experience began as an assistant teacher while she was an advanced dance student. Recently she taught creative movement to children in the Howard Count Head Start summer enrichment program. Currently she teaches dance classes at our PTA program at Centennial Elementary School.