Distinguished Alumni

KEVIN CAHOON

Kevin Cahoon made his New York stage debut in The Who’s Tommy and has gone on to originate the roles of George in The Wedding Singer, The Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ed, the hyena in The Lion King, as well as roles in the recent  revival of The Rocky Horror Show, all on Broadway. Cahoon played the title role of Hedwig in Hedwig and The Angry Inch Off-Broadway. Other off-Broadway credits include the role of Ellard, opposite Matthew Broderick, in the revival of The Foreigner, for which Cahoon received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor, Charlie Dreyer in The Shaggs: Philosophy of The World and Phil D’Armano in Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party. Cahoon created the role of Hans Christian Anderson in Stephen Schwartz’s My Fairytale. On television, Cahoon has guest starred on NCIS, Canterbury’s Law, Hope and Faith, Law and Order and Modern Family. In film, he can be seen in Disney’s Mars Needs Moms, Woody Allen’s The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, as well as The Thing about My Folks, Sudden Manhattan and One Night. Cahoon has directed several of BAHBT’s musicals including Grease, Annie, Hairspray, Seussical and Bye Bye Birdie. Most recently, he played Jr. Jr. in MOONSHINE: THAT HEE HAW MUSICAL at The Dallas Theatre Center.

CAITLIN CANNON

Caitlin Cannon is a director, choreographer and teacher. Caitlin began her professional career straight out of high school as a Rocket at Radio City in the Christmas Spectacular. Other performing credits include several Theatre Under the Stars productions, a Principal Dancer in Houston Grand Opera's Show Boat and an Artist in Residence with Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre. As a choreographer, her credits include Figaro 90210 (assistant choreographer, Off-Broadway,) Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grease, Annie, Singing in the Rain and Music Man. Recently she has begun teaching all levels of tap at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. For more info on Caitlin visit caitlin-cannon.com.

CHERYL EBARB

Cheryl Ebarb appeared on Broadway in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in the role of Shy. She has performed professionally with various touring shows and stock companies in Houston and around the United States.

LAUREN FRERE

Lauren Frere trained at RAFA and BAHBT and has also trained with the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensives. Lauren was invited to the 2005 Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York and from 2006 to 2008, Lauren was a Company Member with Sarasota Ballet. Lauren is currently with the Columbia Classical Ballet in Columbia, South Carolina.

VANESSA HANDRICK GARNER

Vanessa Handrick Garner made her off-Broadway debut at the age of 7 as Kathy in Really Rosie. After graduating from Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts, she      appeared in the National Tour of Bye Bye Birdie with Tommy Tune and Ann Reinking. In 2000, Vanessa wrote and recorded her first solo album – “A Letter Home to You.” Her record        received national radio airplay, as well as a Just Plain Folks award in 2001. Her song “Not The One” was featured on the hit TV show Dawson’s Creek. Vanessa appeared as Louise in BAHBT’s production of Gypsy, starring Andrea McArdle, as well as BAHBT’s production of Oklahoma!, playing Laurey. She is the founder and artistic director of Nashville Theatre School.

KIM HARDIN

Kim Hardin was awarded a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Workshop in New York. Only 30 students in the country were selected for this exclusive program which was directed by Richard Englund, director of American Ballet Theatre II. Kim was also offered a contract with Joffrey Ballet in 1985. She has received numerous scholarships including the San Francisco Ballet School and the National Association of Regional Ballet’s Craft of Choreography.

KIMBERLY FIELDS HARGROVE

Kimberly Fields Hargrove was accepted for 4 consecutive summers at the prestigious School of American Ballet, which is the training facility of the New York City Ballet formed by George Balanchine. Kimberly was also the recipient of scholarships to San Francisco Ballet and the Boston Ballet.

AYMAN HARPER

Ayman Aaron Harper was born in Houston, Texas in 1979. He trained as a dancer and choreographer at BAHBT while attending the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts. At the age of 17, Harper began his career at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 1999, he was asked to join the Nederlands Dans Theatre II, where he worked with some of the great contemporary choreographers in the dance world. In 2001, Harper began his inspiring relationship as dancer and stager for William Forsythe, which brought him to companies and theaters around the world. All the while, Harper was still developing his own voice as a choreographer creating works for BAHBT, The Forsythe Company, Nederlands Dans Theatre II, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Deutsches National Theatre & Staatskapelle Weimar, Deutsches Theatre Göttingen and other various companies and universities. Harper currently resides in Berlin, Germany working as a freelance choreographer, teacher and dancer.

ALLISON PAIGE HENNING

Allison Paige Henning had her stage debut at age 4, when she appeared as a bluebird in RAFA’s production of Alice in Wonderland. She went on to become a member of the BAHBT Company, dancing in such productions as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Swan Lake and Coppélia. She spent several summers studying with companies including Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre - Orange County and American Ballet Theatre - New York. Along with her love of ballet, Allison also became involved in RAFA’s Broadway Studio Workshops. It was from this love of the stage that Allison decided to study acting at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school. Upon completion of her studies, she was asked to join the AADA Company for an additional year, where she appeared in plays including Ring Round the Moon, Some Girls and Dangerous Liaisons. After AADA, Allison was cast in the First National Tour of Mel Brooks’ production, Young Frankenstein. Since then, Allison has appeared in the independent film WEAR. She continues to live, study and work in New York City. Allison wishes to thank Ms. Lynette for her unwavering and endless support.

LAURA ELIZABETH HENNING

Laura Elizabeth Henning began dancing at RAFA at age 4. She danced with BAHBT from ages 13 to 18 where she appeared as Snow Queen, Rose and Sugar Plum Fairy, to name a few. Laura also developed a passion for musical theatre through participation in the RAFA Broadway Studio Workshops. Upon graduation from Clear Lake High School, Laura moved to New York to attend college. In her first year of college, Laura auditioned and was cast as a Radio City Rockette. In 2009, she won the role of Cassandra in the National Tour of CATS. Other musical theatre credits include CanCan (Westchester Broadway Theatre), Camelot (TUTS), Spamalot (TUTS), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (TUTS), and various regional productions of CATS. Laura earned her degree in Philosophy and French from NYU. She would like to thank all the teachers she has had at RAFA and send her profound gratitude to Ms. Lynette!

MAXIMILLIAN ISAACSON

Maximillian Isaacson started his dance training at the age of 8 at RAFA under Lynette Mason Gregg and Luis Fuente in Webster, Texas. In 2010, Max attended the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre. Max has had the opportunity to perform with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. He danced with the Orlando Ballet as a company member and is currently teaching at Carolina Ballet.

DONTEE KIEHN

Dontee Kiehn is a director and choreographer with diverse experience in dance and theatre. Presently, Kiehn serves as the Choreographic Associate for the Broadway musical An American in Paris, alongside the world-renowned ballet choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Additional choreographic credits and collaborations include The Addams Family (Broadway, US National Tour, Australia, Brazil and Argentina), Next to Normal (Broadway, US National Tour, Japan and Korea), The Winter’s Tale (NY Public Theater at the Delacorte, Choreographer), Pride and Prejudice (Eastman Theatre, Choreographer), Romeo and Juliet (Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Choreographer), Toxic Avenger (Alley Theatre of Houston, Choreographic Associate), Saved (Playwrights Horizon, Choreographic Associate), I Got Fired (New York Musical Theatre Festival and Daegu International Musical Festival, South Korea, Choreographer), Hansel and Gretel (Houston Grand Opera, Choreographic Associate). Kiehn has appeared onstage in the original Broadway revival companies of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters and 42nd Street, as well as The Addams Family starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. Kiehn also holds a BPA in dance performance from Oklahoma City University.

MIRAL KOTB

Miral Kotb is a Columbia University graduate who holds a degree in Computer Science. She started her career as a software developer at Bloomberg where she discovered her passion for writing software and developing apps. Kotb founded iLuminate in 2009, a company based on the technology she created–where performers dance in the dark wearing costumes that illuminate wirelessly to complement the music and choreography. Kotb’s innovative technology has been used by some of music’s brightest stars. From the Black Eyed Peas to Chris Brown to Kotb’s very own dance company (who appeared and came in 2nd place on America’s Got Talent), they’ve all used the technology to light up the stage. Kotb found a way to combine her two passions — dance and software development. In 2013, Kotb returned to BAHBT with iLuminate to perform in Celestial Mechanics and participate in BAHBT’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event, Smart Girls Rock!, at Space Center Houston to encourage middle school age girls in STEM.

JESSICA LU

Jessica Lu is a Faculty Research Astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii. A former National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow, she has a PhD in astrophysics and astronomy from UCLA and researches the galactic center, star formation and super-massive black holes. This twice named recipient of Hubble postdoctoral fellowships, received her undergraduate degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was also a member of MIT’s sailing team and received All-American Women in Racing honors from the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association in 2000. Lu, a former BAHBT company member and BAHBT Scholarship Endowment Council recipient, cites the experiences and discipline of her many dance years with BAHBT, together with the influences of growing up in the Bay Area near NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Galveston Bay sailing community, as a great foundation for her success. In 2013, Lu returned to BAHBT and created and taught a STEM curriculum for Smart Girls Rock! Encouraging middle school age girls in STEM careers.

MARY SUE NASVABDA

Mary Sue Nesvabda has danced with Houston Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, as well as Hubbard Street in Chicago. She was the 1985 RAFA Scholarship recipient and was also awarded a scholarship from the San Francisco Ballet School.

ERIN PATAK

Erin Patak trained at the Royal Academy of Arts under Soili Arvola, Leo Ahonen and Misha Bart and at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. She also spent the summers of 1999 and 2001 at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Erin has danced with both Houston Ballet II and Houston Ballet. With BAHBT, she has performed such leading roles as the title role in Cinderella and the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.

LOUIS SALETAN

Louis Saletan, a graduate of the High School of Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, was accepted at the School of American Ballet and attended classes in the summer of 1984. Louis was a 1986-1987 recipient of a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Award.

TRINA SIMON

Trina Simon, a former Radio City Rockette, performed annually in their Christmas and Easter Spectaculars. She has performed on Broadway at the St. James Theater in the 1993 and 1994 Gypsy of the Year award shows. With a BFA in Theater from Texas Christian University, Trina is a former company member of BAHBT.

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