Meet our 2017 Summer Intensive Guest Instructors

Therese Laeger

Ms. Laeger was a member of Cleveland Ballet’s corps de ballet (1979 – 1980) performing in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cleveland’s repertoire.  She returned to Birmingham the following year to work with international ballerina, Dame Sonia Arova and resident choreographer Thor Sutowski at the Alabama Ballet.  Following her career as a soloist and principal dancer with the Alabama Ballet (1981 – 1987), she continued as Ballet Mistress and served on the dance faculty at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, (1987 – 1996).   Her pedagogical studies include participation in workshops with the Paris Opera Ballet (1997); London’s Royal Academy of Dance, (1999); and the Vaganova teaching method, (2002 & 2004).  She continues to stage works by Canadian choreographer Jorden Morris (Verite and Elle est Quatre) and ballets by Thor Sutowski including Raga Manjkamaj and The Red Shoes for the Atlanta Ballet (1987-1996).  Also, she served as Chair of the Alabama School of Fine Arts Dance Department (1997 – 2007).  Currently, she is Adjunct Professor teaching ballet for the University of Montevallo Theatre Department; Teaching Artist at The Dance Foundation, Executive Producer of the documentary “AROVA” and Ballet Mistress for AROVA Contemporary Ballet.

Ravenna Tucker Wagnon

As a dancer, Malaysian-born Ravenna Tucker, began dance training in Hong Kong then at the Royal Ballet Upper School in London. In 1978 she won the Adeline Genée Gold Medal Competition, and in 1979, the French Foundation Prize at the Prix de Lausanne. She joined The Royal Ballet in 1979, and was named “Dancer of the Year” by Dance and Dancers magazine in 1984. On promotion to principal dancer in 1985 she danced the title roles in the Royal Ballet versions of the classics. In 1990, she joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet until 1996. Tucker has also performed with Singapore Dance Theatre, International Dance Day 2001 in Manila, Rose Borromeo Dance Company (Flamenco), Ecnad Project Ltd., Project Dance London (2011), and the inaugural Mississippi Dance Festival (2012).

Wagnon taught as a full-time dance lecturer at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, and guest taught for Singapore Dance Theatre, Debra Colker Dance Company, the Mississippi Dance Festival, the Alabama Dance Festival, American College Dance Association 2013 and 2016, and competitor classes of the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson in 2010 and 2014.

Wagnon has served as Secretary for the Dance Association (Singapore)/World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2001 conference, Artistic Committee of Singapore Dance Theatre, and as Artistic Director of Singapore Dance Legacy: The Unsung Heroes – Tony Llacer in 2004. She has examined for the Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal and judged various ballet competitions in Britain, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. She was a member of the selection committee in 2010 and an evaluator in 2014 for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

Wagnon is a certified teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance, the Commonwealth Society of Teachers’ of Dancing (Australia), Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates, and holds a Masters of Creative Industries from Queensland University of Technology in Australia. She is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at Belhaven University and is married to Stan Wagnon.