Kathleen Francis Director of Francis Performing Arts Company Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap
Kathleen Whitman Francis grew up in Alma and began dancing at age 10, studying ballet, tap and jazz. Four years later she was teaching and beginning to choreograph. She continued her Cecchetti ballet and pointe training with Doris Marsh in Saginaw during high school and college. Moving to Chicago in 1976, she trained professionally for 4 years, taking daily classes in ballet, jazz and tap. She studied extensively at the Lou Conte Dance Studio, and was privileged and fortunate to study daily with Lou Conte, as well as Claire Bataille. Kathleen danced as an apprentice member of the newly formed Hubbard Street Dance Company. She also studied at the Ruth Page Foundation (ballet) and Gus Giordano Dance Center (ballet, pointe, jazz, modern). Kathleen later studied in Red Bank, NJ, with Bob and Rosemary Boross in the Matt Mattox jazz technique.
Primary training Jazz: Lou Conte, Claire Bataille, Gus Giordano, Bob Boross, Rosemary Boross, Meribeth Kisner Tap: Lou Conte, Jimmy Payne, Bob Boross, Sarah Savelli, Tracy VonderHaar, Lane Alexander Ballet: Birute Barodicaite (Royal Academy/BATD, Russian), Stella Applebaum (Cecchetti, BATD), Anida Sedala (Cecchetti), Rosemary Boross (BATD), Doris Marsh, Greg Begley Pointe: Doris Marsh, Stella Applebaum, Anida Sedala
Additional training Jazz: Patti Obey, Matt Mattox, Frank Hatchett, Bob Rizzo, Joe Lanteri Tap: Barbara Phillips, Bril Barrett, Thommie Retter, Diane Walker, Julie Cartier, Bruce Stegmann Ballet: Larry Long, Finis Jhung, Warren Conover, Zena Rommett (floor barre) In addition to her professional experience with Hubbard Street Dance Company, Kathleen had the opportunity to work with choreographers Gus Giordano and Michael Shawn in industrial theater and danced in a variety of musical theater shows and revues in the Chicago area. She gained backstage production, photography, art and direction experience as Associate Producer of audio-visual and corporate theater for various production companies in Chicago and New York City.
Teaching experience includes: Lou Conte Dance Studio (Chicago); Gus Giordano Dance Center (Evanston, IL); Studio One (Evanston, IL); Red Bank Dance Academy (NJ); Linda Lee Dance Studio (Alma). Adjunct Professor of Dance at Alma College since 1991 and choreography for the Alma College Dance Company.