ARTISTIC TEAM

Patricia Berrend

Artistic Director

PATRICIA BERREND is the former Associate Director of the Washington School of Ballet and a Washington School of Ballet alumna. Her fifteen years of professional experience included companies in Kiel, Bremen, and Hamburg, Germany, as well as in Washington, DC. As a member of the internationally known Hamburg Ballet, she worked with choreographer/director John Neumeier. As a founding member of the Washington Ballet, she had the opportunity to work with choreographer Choo San Goh, dancing in several of his works, including the original casts of Fives and Birds of Paradise.

During twenty of her twenty-eight years at the Washington Ballet, Ms. Berrend served as Répétiteur for Mary Day's popular The Nutcracker. She also served as Director of The Young Dancers, a group of pre-professional students who served in the Washington Ballet's community outreach programs. She has received numerous distinguished teacher awards, including honors from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, the National Foundation for the Arts, the Saraband Dance Festival, and Outstanding Teacher award for the Youth America Grand Prix. Ms. Berrend has coached students who have won prestigious international, national, and regional ballet competitions. In 2004, she coached Puanani Brown, First Place Awardee, Senior Division, at the National Youth America Grand Prix, New York. Ms. Berrend also received her second Outstanding Teacher Award for that national competition.

Erin Du

ERIN DU received her formal ballet training at Princeton Ballet School. In her senior year of high school, Ms. Du was invited by then Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet, Septime Webre to join ARB. In 1999, she moved to Washington, DC to join The Washington Ballet where Ms. Du performed leading roles in various classical and neoclassical ballets. She has also had the privilege of performing featured roles by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Lila York, Trey McIntyre, and Septime Webre. In 2005, while maintaining her position with The Washington Ballet, Ms. Du joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, performing soloist roles in some of George Balanchine’s most beloved ballets. The Washington Times recognized her soloist performance in Clarinade as being one of the best performances of the year in their annual Cheers and Jeers column. Ms. Du joined American Dance Institute in 2008 as a full time faculty member and was School Director from 2010 to the Spring of 2015. For the next year, she worked alongside her husband and long-time colleague, Runqiao Du as Co-Director of the Future Artists Initiative, a new scholarship program promoting diversity in dance. Ms. Du has been an adjunct faculty member and guest teacher at Towson University. Ms. Du has taught master classes nationally and internationally. In addition to her performing and teaching career, she has served as repititeur, setting Septime Webre and Trey McIntyre’s ballets on companies worldwide.

Runqiao Du

RUNQIAO DU was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of 11, he was selected and awarded a scholarship to study at the famed Shanghai School of Dance. Upon graduating with honors in 1989, Mr. Du moved to the United States to begin his performing career with The Washington Ballet. During his nearly 20-year tenure with TWB, he performed various leading roles in classical and neoclassical ballets. He has also had the opportunity to dance leading roles choreographed by some of today’s most influential choreographers including works by Christopher Wheelden, Nacho Duato, Mark Morris, Edwaard Liang, Septime Webre and Twayla Tharp. In 2000, while maintaining his position with The Washington Ballet, joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a principle dancer. Under Ms. Farrell’s coaching, Mr. Du danced some of the most beautiful ballets created by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Maurice Bejart. After his illustrious performing career, Mr. Du joined Towson University Dance Department in 2008 as Full Time Lecturer where he currently teaches Ballet Technique, Ballet Repertory, Men’s Class, Partnering, and is Artistic Director of the Towson Dance Company. From 2009 to 2016, he worked at American Dance Institute. Throughout his tenure there, he worked alongside his wife and long-time colleague, Erin Du as faculty member, Artistic Director of the School and Ballet ADI, and Co-Director of Future Artists Initiative, a new scholarship program promoting diversity in dance. Mr. Du has been a guest artist and guest teacher nationally and internationally. His choreographic work has also been presented in various companies, festivals, and competitions, including the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Center.

Robin Gilbert

ROBIN GILBERT received her BFA in Dance from the University of Utah and is a graduate of Jane Bittner's Dance Center. She previously taught dance in Virginia, Arizona, and Potomac, Maryland.

Erica Molina Hudak

ERICA MOLINA HUDAK received her teacher certification in Ballet, Modern and Jazz from the Dance Masters of America. Growing up, she studied at Maryland Youth Ballet and later at the Washington School of Ballet and has attended North Carolina School of the Arts and National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.
Winner of the Washington Post Music and Dance Scholarship, Ms. Molina has performed in and choreographed various major productions, including High School Musical, and has taught at various studios in the Washington area.

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