KTB 2016-2017 Faculty
Jess Berto began her dance career right here at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. At the age of sixteen she left home to continue her dance training at the performing arts high school, Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California. Upon graduation, Jess continued her education and dance training in New York City at Marymount Manhattan College. She soon transferred to University of Arizona where she graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance.
Jess is a former member of the professional dance company 7Dancers and a former instructor at Cherry Creek Dance, both of which are located in Denver, Colorado. She has also danced professionally with 3rd Law Dance and Evolving Doors Dance, both based out of Boulder, Colorado. Jess has also studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Alvin Ailey, Dance New Amsterdam, Steps on Broadway, and Broadway Dance Center, just to name a few.
Lauren Elizabeth Gates enrolled in her first ballet class at KTB at the age of seven. She studied ballet throughout high school, and her fascination and love for the style lead to her enrolling in tap and jazz as well. While studying at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Lauren became a member of the school’s Dance Ensemble, instructed by Brian Jefferey, and learned a whole new kind of passion for dance through her studies of modern dance, body percussion and modern jazz. Lauren was involved with First City Players during her high school years and has also studied basic yoga and multiple types of Indian dance while on her exchange to India.
Lauren plans to continue her dance career and graduate with a BFA in the future. Until then she is honored and thrilled to be an instructor at the dance studio that became a second home to her and is where she found her true passion. She hopes to pass on her love of dance to her students and looks forward to the many lessons she is bound to learn in return. Lauren loves the community in Ketchikan and is very excited to be giving back to the place that has supported her throughout her life.
Chelsea Goucher, Instructor
Chelsea Goucher was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska and was a student of KTB from 1995 until graduating high school in 2006. In the ten years she attended KTB, Chelsea studied ballet and jazz and enjoyed performing the roles of Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Chelsea continued to dance for several years while at Lewis and Clark College and took a closer look at choreography and modern dance. Chelsea is currently employed full-time at Alaska Marine Lines as an Account Representative. She tries to get onstage as much as she can and enjoys being involved with Gigglefeet, First City Players, and the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council. Chelsea is proud to call Ketchikan her home and is excited to be returning to KTB!
Lani McElroy began her dance career at Dominique’s Studio of Dance in Morgan City, Louisiana. During her 17 years there, she performed many roles in the annual spring productions, served as a student demonstrator and, was a member of the Besse Dance Troupe, the studio’s competition team. Lani has performed at various community events, including Mardi Gras balls and local festivals, and danced the lead role of Clarisse in the St. Mary Arts and Humanities Council production of “Nutcracker: La Louisianne.”
Lani attended Louisiana State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) and a Minor in Dance, becoming a member of the LSU Theatre Department’s Dance Ensemble. After graduating in 2012, Lani returned home to teach and choreograph at Dominique’s Studio. She began working at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet in August 2014 and has loved getting to know the amazing students, faculty, and community here in Ketchikan.
Kimberly Stone was born and raised in Ketchikan, AK, and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA in 2013. Kimberly became involved in the Ketchikan arts community at a very young age when she enrolled at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. KTB fostered her love of the arts and dance training until she graduated from high school. Her love of dance led her to explore other art forms, and she discovered another passion in music. This led her to pursue her Bachelor of Music Education degree at PLU.
During her time at PLU, Kimberly studied secondary choral and elementary music education and performed with music and dance ensembles. She was a dancer and choreographer for the University Congregation liturgical dance group, and performed and toured internationally with the Choir of the West, University Symphony Orchestra, and University Jazz Band. She had the opportunity to teach elementary music and high school choir in practicum and student teaching settings and attended workshops and conferences to learn new teaching techniques and learn how to advocate for arts education. For two years, she volunteered with underprivileged youth on the Tacoma hilltop, providing a positive influence and teaching them to dance, sing, play, and have fun. Kimberly believes that art education is an imperative part of childhood education and a strong tool for developing confidence. She is excited to share her love of dance and music with her students.