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Conservatory Instructors

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Sarah Cat-Hendricks

Master Instructor / Conservatory Performing Arts Director

Miss Sarah started dancing at age 2 and she is one of the founding members of the Plano Dance Theatre.  She is an honors graduate of Sourthern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance.  She is a certified Zumba instructor and has her Fitness Instructor Specialist Certification.  Sarah has been teaching and choreographing for a variety of schools over the last 15 years, including studios and school districts in the Dallas area as well as South Dakota, New York City and most recently Toronto.  Many of Sarah’s students have gone on to receive top awards at national competitions, scholarships to summer workshops and top Universities and Conservatories.  While at SMU, Sarah was cast in repertoire most notably by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Maurice Bejart and Martha Graham.  Sarah has had the honor of performing professionally, the Martha Graham solo, “Lamentation” commissioned by the Dance Notation Bureau and the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble.  Notational score and films of her dancing are now at the Library of Congress in New York for Graham’s “Lamentation” and “Primitive Mysteries.”  After graduating from SMU, Sarah toured Europe dancing as a guest artist for companies in Berlin and the Netherlands, landing in New York where she worked with idance and 360 Degrees Dance.  Sarah’s commercial work includes dancing for Radio Disney, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon, and Sally Beauty conventions as well as filming or Chuck E Cheese commercials and in house videos.  While dancing is her passion, teaching is her reward.  She believes there is a place for everyone in the dance world. She loves helping her students find their way.  Sarah is excited to be moving back to the metroplex and working with the growing family of PDT Dancers.

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Darci Fortune

Conservatory Academic Program Director

Miss Darci has been an Academic Instructor at all levels for more than 22 years.  She has served in the class room as

High School English Teacher and Debate coach., Middle School English Teacher for gifted-and-talented/at-risk students, English Literature, History, and Government Teacher at a local private school, Adjunct Faculty at Collin College, ESL Grammar Instructor for Collin College, Developmental English Instructor for Collin College, English as a Second Language and American Speech Instructor, and the Officer and Vice President on the directorial board for a private school.  She has consistently received outstanding evaluations from students and directors/managers, and there are several companies who request her specifically for the  design and teaching of their courses. She understands that there are various methods of learning and teaching; "I try to employ as many

methods as possible to ensure that each student grasps the information he or she may need to be successful." 

For the last 15 years, Ms. Darci designed and authored multiple classes for over 50 companies while

working with Collin College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education Divisions.

These classes include but are not limited to:

• Better Business Writing

• Proofreading and Editing

• Technical Writing

• Email and Written Communication in Business

• Proofreading and Editing

• Conflict Communication

• Creating Good Writing

• English as a Second Language – Grammar

• SAT Test Prep

She currently serves on the Gunter ISD Foundation and Trust (GIFT) Board and on the GIFT scholarship selection committee.

PDT is proud to have Ms. Darci as our Conservatory Program Director.  If your child is looking for an alternative to public school and he or she is interested in the performing arts, Miss Darci would love to help your child maximize his or her full potential!

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Katie Wilcox

Owner / Master Instructor / Ensemble Director

Ms. Katie Wilcox,  began her dance education at the age of 2.  She attended her first competition at the age of 6 brining home awards both regionally and nationally for for talent and performance through out her youth. At 12 years old, she began traveling to a variety of prestigious schools around the country to expand her education.  She attended Ballet Chicago, Ruth Page Foundation School of Ballet, Gus Giordano Dance Center, Lou Conte Dance Center, Joffrey Ballet New York and Ballet Magnificat, to name a few. She performed several leading roles in productions, including the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker.

Upon high school graduation, Ms. Wilcox moved to Chicago IL, where she earned her BFA at Columbia College Chicago. She continued her dance training through out the city, studying with company members of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Chicago and Gus Giordano.  Due to a spinal injury, she set her performance career aside, and discovered her true love of choreography and teaching. She taught at several schools in the Chicagoland area before relocating here to Plano in 2005 to open The Plano Dance Theatre, (Now PDT Dance Arts).

Since Ms. Wilcox began teaching, she has earned countless awards and accolades for teaching and choreography.  More importantly, she and the other PDT staff members have raised many students in the arts that have won countless awards themselves for their outstanding work & technique. Many have gone on to colleges & careers in the performing arts with scholarships and accolades for their excellence.  

Ms. Wilcox is also an adjudicator for national talent competitions, sharing her knowledge with students across America.  She is the primary choreographer for the Plano East Senior High School show choir and provides freelance choreography for corporate performances. Ms. Wilcox maintains personal relationships with many of the students that have grown through PDT and she finds her purpose in positively effecting the lives of young students.  

 

Ms. Wilcox's primary focus is to ensure that all students know they have a place on the stage, that each child can learn self expression through the arts and that through dance they have a voice.  Her passion is to help young students grow, gain a healthy sense of self worth and learn life lessons to carry them successfully throughout their lives.

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William Agliata

Master Conservatory Instructor

Originally from Rome Opera, Mr. Agliata received his formal dance training and performed extensively. Later in his career he moved to New York City, where he danced and performed professionally for over 20 years. He danced at the Metropolitan Opera, served as a ballet master and movement coach for the new NYC Opera, worked in contemporary companies, motion pictures and as an extra dancer in the Royal Ballet production of Cinderella for the Lincoln CenterFestival at the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Agliata also danced as a guest for Nevada Ballet Theater in Beauty and the Beast at the Smith Center and finished the season as a ballet master for the Nevada Ballet Academy. I taught the boys’ program and choreographed their piece in the final spring performance of La Fille Mal Gardée, which was also performed at the Smith Center. Most recently, he danced in a newly choreographed production of Camelot with Pacific Festival Ballet in Los Angeles. Furthermore, he taught ballet, contemporary and classical jazz at Pasadena Dance Theater, Westside Ballet, California Dance Theater, Burbank Dance Academy, Pasadena Civic Ballet, Long Beach Ballet, Millenium Dance Complex, Connecticut Ballet and Woodbury Ballet.  PDT Dance Arts Conservatory is proud to welcome him to our staff this year.

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George Patterson

Master Conservatory Instructor

Born and Raised in Chicago,IL 

George “Gmo” Patterson has performed and taught all over the globe. He started his journey with Chicago’s world-renowned Jesse White Tumblers. He is from and represents the Sammy Dyer School of Theater in (Chicago), which is also responsible for Ted Levy, Idella Reed, Bril Barrett, Jumanne Taylor, and Cousin Donnetta “Lil Bit“Jackson. 

 

After graduating from high school, George immediately moved to NYC to join Savion Glover’s Broadway show, Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk, which won 4 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards. During his time with the show, he worked alongside Jason Samuels Smith and Dulè Hill, star of the television shows Psych and The Wonder Years (2022).  George starred in The American Millennium Celebration at the White House w/ Bill Clinton, Hoofing and Banging the tour with Baakari Wilder in Frankfurt Germany, and Supper Club, the Broadway show, with Larry Marshall in New York and Sweden. He has had the honor to perform and share the stage with countless greats; Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, Arthur Duncan, Dianne Walker, Reggio the Hoofer, Ernest "Brownie" Brown, and Harold "Stumpy" Cromer, to name a few. He recently performed in Nico Rubio’s J Dilla Tribute performance in Chicago.

 

Some of his teaching credits include St. Louis Tap Festival under the direction of Robert L. Reed II,

LA Tap Festival (Debbie Allen Dance Studio), Broadway Dance Center (NY), Steps on Broadway (NY), NewYork City Dance School in (Stuttgart Germany) and many more! 

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Kate Bishop

Master Conservatory Instructor

Known for her rich tone and emotive performances, Kate Bishop, American mezzo-soprano, is increasingly recognized for the brilliance of her instrument. Mrs. Bishop has performed the roles of Quiltlover in Michael Ching's RSBE, Madame Kirsten in John Duke’s Captain Lovelock, and Famigliari and Amori in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Additionally, she has sung in scenes programs as Hansel from Hansel and Gretel, Mercédès from Carmen, Old Lady from Candide, and Third Lady from Die Zauberflöte and has also prepared the roles of Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel as well as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Bishop earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baylor University in 2021, where she has been involved in the Baylor Opera Theater, A Cappella Choir, and Chamber Singers. She has also studied at the Taos Opera Institute in 2021.

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Alexis Leffel

Master Conservatory Instructor

Alexis is a ballet and pointe instructor from McKinney, Texas. For the past 4 years, she has trained dancers of all levels in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and Progressing Ballet Technique. Her most recent experience includes being both an instructor and school coordinator at Texas Ballet Theater School Dallas. Alexis received a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma and completed additional studies in anatomy, physiology, and body science for dancers. Her dance training began at a young age and over the past years she has studied from notable instructors including Clara Cravey, Mary Margaret Holt, Michael Bearden, and Ben Stevenson, O.B.E. Alexis is a certified instructor in both Progressing Ballet Technique and Pilates. Additionally, her choreography was recognized and awarded the Miguel Terekhov Choreography Award for outstanding choreography in ballet from the University of Oklahoma. Above all, Alexis believes that dance should be both challenging and enjoyable for her students and accessible to all.