Shanon Barker and Thomas Breuckman are the new owners of the Stites Performing Arts Center. Shanon is a native of Portland and a former student at the Stites Center as well as several other local dance studios. She has been teaching dance and baton twirling for over 30 years, first beginning her teaching career teaching tap dancing and baton twirling in her mother’s basement. Shanon taught Jazz, Tap and International Dance in the Jefferson Performing Arts program for 10 years. Additionally, she is a baton teacher who has coached throughout the world and taught national and international champions.
Shanon has a deep love for children and the arts and has made teaching the arts her lifes mission. Thomas Breuckman has worked with children in school and other settings for the past 22 years, as a teacher, counselor and administrator. While not a dancer, he is very supportive of the arts and loves to see children develop the artistic side of their lives. Thomas has been involved with arts programs in school, volunteer and studio settings. Currently, he is principal at DaVinci Middle School. Back to top
Julane Stites career in the performing arts is expansive and impressive. Julane is Artistic Director of the Jefferson Dancers as well as head of the Jazz Department at Stites Performing Arts Center. She began dancing at a very early age and showed that special gift from the beginning. First appearing in a Portland nightclub at the age of 15, Julane was a principal dancer on Broadway at the age of 17 and appeared in such shows as The Happy Time, and Promises, Promises. Other highlights include national TV specials and commercials, including The Tony Awards and the Ed Sullivan Show. Julanes choreography is known and respected throughout the dance profession. Her resume includes choreography for numerous musicals including Civic Theatres West Side Story, and Will Vintons California Raisins. This past summer, Julane was a principal in the local production of A Chorus Line. Truly multi-talented, Julane is an accomplished singer, actor, dancer, choreographer and dancer. Back to top
Bobbi Jo began her dance training at the age of three, studying tap, jazz and polynesian dance with Shanon Barker. At six years old, Bobbi joined the Kelly Kadets Baton Corps where she combined her athletic skills with dance technique. She continued dancing and twirling and was a member of State, Regional and National Champion Baton Twirling teams. Bobbi attended the University of Montana and Portland State University, graduating with a degree in Health and Fitness Promotion. Throughout her college years and since, Bobbi has taken numerous dance, health and fitness classes with an emphasis in tap, jazz, and aerobics. Bobbi Jo loves to work with children and her experiences as Youth Program Coordinator with the American Red Cross as well as her dance training make her an ideal addition to the staff of the Stites Performing Arts Center. Back to top
Barbara Greco earned her B.A. in K-12 (seconday choral emphasis)
Music Education in 1983 from Pacific Lutheran Universiy. She began her
performance experiences at Parkrose high school, Portland. Barbara was
the only student during those years to simultaneously be in choirs, orchestra,
concert and marching bands, and drama. In high school, she was a member
of the 1979 All-Northwest Choir which regearsed and performed for the
Music Educators Conference in Billings Montana. Barbara played cello with
the Stradivani Strings Quartet as well as performed wocally with the ensemble
for private events.Other performance experience includes flute, percussion,
musicals, opera worksop productions, plays, and flag team with The One
More Time Around Again Marching Band. Barbara has taught music at Oregon
School of Music and Dance and Young Musicians and Artists Summer Camp.She
has extensive experience as a substitute music teacher in Portland and
East county school districts. Currently, she substitutes for Reynolds
school district. Barbara volunteers at Wilkes Elementary tutoring the
cello students and coordinating the art literacy volunteers. Directing
church choir and childrens Christmas programs have also been part of her
music education background.
Ms. Remington’s outstanding career has included positions
as soloist and principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, the
Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Ballet of England, the Netherlands Dance Theatre
and the Harkness Ballet. Her roles have included the ballerina roles in
“Scotch Symphony”, “After Eden” and “Raymonda
Variations”. She appeared opposite Margot Fonteyn in “Cinderella”.
In addition to classical ballet, Ms. Remington performed on Broadway in
Allen J. Lerner’s, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”.
Her teachers have included such eminent artists as Margot Fonteyn, Erik
Bruhn, Jerome Robbins, Robert Joffrey, Serge Grigoriev and Sir Frederick
Nemra Khan has performed professionally and taught Middle
Eastern Dance for over 20 years. She has been the featured dancer at Athens
West, Grecian Gardens, Spiro’s Athena and Plakas, in Portland. Additionally,
Nemra Khan has been guest performer and master teacher up and down the
West Coast including Canada and Hawaii. Taught by America’s top
Middle Eastern Dancers, Nemra Khan specializes in interpretive style.
Amy began her training under Shanon Barker at the age of
three and continued in the Jefferson High School Performing Arts Dance
Program. During her studies at Jefferson, Amy received training in tap,
jazz, modern and ballet and was a member of the Jefferson Dancers. She
has received instruction from exceptional local artists including Julane
Stites, Elena Carter, Fred Locke, Keith Goodman, Mary Osland and Terry
Brock. She has also worked with nationally acclaimed teachers and choreographers
such as Brenda Bufalino and Lowell Smith. Additionally, Amy has received
training from Patricia Brewer-Jones, Oregon Ballet Theater and Alvin Ailey
School in New York City.
Danielle J Rayley, known to most as DJ, began studying dance
with Shanon Barker at the early age of three. Shanon mentored DJ in Hula,
Tap, Jazz, and Baton. DJ's early enthusiasm and talent lead to entry in
local pageant shows such as, The Paper Doll, in which she won first place,
and the title "Miss Paper Doll", with her baton skills.
Donnie Lewis was born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon where he studied dance at the KCD Dance Studio and the Chitwood School of Dance. Donnie began his technical training in Hip-Hop, and later expanded to Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Swing, and Ballroom. Donnie started teaching at the age of 14 and has taken awards in many dance competitions, including 1st place in the 2001 Rickets Review and 3rd place in the 2001 Oregon State Fair Talent Competition. Donnie joined the staff at the Stites in January 2002, and is currently teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced Hip-Hop classes. Back to top
Lotti Baird joined the Stites Center in 2005. Originally from Germany, Lotti began her gymnastics training when she was 6 years old and competed throughout her high school years. She finished her competitive years at the German Gymnastics Festival (Deutsches Turnfest) in Munich.
When she was 16, Lotti became an assistant coach with a local team. She graduated from Georg August University with a degree in physical therapy. In 1981, Lotti earned her German Recreational and Competitive Gymnastics/Rhythmic Gymnastics license. Later, with her own two daughters competing, Lotti took advanced coaching courses and received her advanced German coaching license for pre-elite gymnastics and was an assistant coach with the German Jr. Olympics Team. She was also the physical therapist for the team.
Lotti moved to the United States in 1986 and has practiced physical therapy and coached gymnastics in Minnesota, Oregon and Washington. In 2003 and 2004, Lotti coached gymnastics in Vancouver. She retired from coaching competitive gymnastics in 2004, however was delighted to join the Stites staff to coordinate and teach the recreational gymnastics program.Back to top
From a young age, Emily aspired to be in the circus and often conducted her own circus shows with her siblings! Unlike most, Emily pursued these dreams. She trained at the Do Jump! Movement Theater School for 11 years where she had the unique opportunity to study dance, gymnastics, acting, and trapeze and aerial work. She also took contortion classes at the School of Acrobatics with Mee Seon Pierce, and acrobatics and aerial at the New Circus Arts under the direction of Charles Johnson. Emily also trained at Naydenov Gymnastics, and trained and taught contact improvisation with Reeva Wortel at SO&SO Laboratories.
Emily was able to use these skills to perform with Performing Wellness as a contortionist and actress. As a costumer for Umo (a movement theater production company), Emily had the opportunity to work with Cirque du Soleil company members. Emily also produced, performed, and costumed with Femmes Follies Fantastique; danced in the Whipping Hand (a local musical); and with Anatomize at the Portland Art Museum doing contortion and fire dancing.
Emily has a rich and diverse employment career: a trapeze and acrobatics teacher at the DoJump! School; Rigger for the Do Jump youth performing group, ‘The Zig Zags’; taught an integrated dance and visual arts summer program at the Bradley-Angle House; an individual skills trainer working with high-risk youth at the Perry Center and on staff with the District Attorney’s Office and the State of Oregon.
In 2004, Emily began teaching creative movement at the Stites Performing Arts Center. She offers a unique and creative approach inspired by her diverse background, and strives to create that atmosphere for her students.
Currently, Emily is working toward her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health at Portland State University.Back to top
John Gardner was artistic director of Pacific Festival Ballet for many years. He has had a stellar professional, worldwide performing career. He has danced many roles in the ballet classics with major companies. John Gardner danced with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Hamburg State Ballet before returning to Portland to start his own studio in 1982. Over the years, John has trained many dancers, beginner through professional.Back to top