Director Biographies

elizabeth-head-shot-150x150Elizabeth Lau | Outreach Director
Elizabeth has been eagerly involved with Portland Youth Dance as a Board Member and Choreographer since 2007. She was originally drawn to PYD for its unique focus on the artistic process versus competition and its deeply rooted mission to serve those in need. She brings a great deal of experience to the Outreach Program through her previous work teaching at-risk children and teens at inner city schools in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, including the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, the Campagna Program through A Dream in Color Dance and various workshops with George Washington University’s performing arts group BLAZEN.  While attending GWU, where she received a degree in marketing and dance, she developed a love for hip-hop dance while taking classes with Culture Shock DC and at The Joy of Motion Dance Center.  Elizabeth currently teaches hip-hop, jazz, and dance imagination at Casco Bay Movers in Portland, Maine and dances with indiedanceworks. She has over ten years of experience teaching and thrives on continued training with choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, and Monsters of Hip Hop. Her personal mission is to contribute to the community by sharing her passion for dance with all those who desire to express themselves through the art form.

Kate Marchessault | Artistic Director, Company & Company II
Kate has been involved with Portland Youth Dance as ballet instructor and as a choreographer since 2001. She is thrilled to take the helm of the versatile, non-competitive, student dance company, with a primary focus on the creative process and sharing the joy of dance with the greater community. Kate’s prior experience includes performing throughout New England and NYC with Impulse Dance Co., The Choreographers Group, Ram Island Dance, Rhythm Factor, Artmoves, and indiedanceworks. She has over twenty years of experience in teaching and choreographing for private studios, UMass at Amherst Extension, Dean College, and outreach programs in K-12 classrooms throughout Maine’s public schools. Her students have gone on to major in dance at prestigious colleges and to perform professionally in the US and abroad. Kate serves as Director of Casco Bay Movers Dance Studio and teaches Jazz dance at Bates College.

Alexandra James Bell | Artistic Director, CREW

Alexandra James Bell, originally from the Portland area, is a graduate of College Chicago, where she earned her BFA in Choreography. Since graduating, she has taught and performed dance in Chicago, St. Louis, New York and Portland. While in New York, Alexandra co-founded Swift Urban Movement Project, a non-profit dedicated to promoting healthy, active and social lifestyles through arts and recreation.

While actively teaching, Alexandra is also diving back into creating, by means of improvisation. Her work explores the self in relation to the Other – the terms by which we define ourselves in relationship to, against and in accordance with one another.

Alexandra travels back and forth from Portland to New York to continue teaching, performing and working actively with Swift Urban Movement Project. She has also joined the Bates Dance Festival as the Admissions Director, and is excited to be teaching actively around the greater Portland area.

Kristina Glanville | Artistic Director, CREW 2

Kristina Glanville has been training, performing, and teaching in the Portland area for the past ten years. She began her training at Casco Bay Movers and was a member of Portland Youth Dance for three years. As a member of PYD’s hip hop crew, Dynamix, Kristina had the opportunity to train with some of the hottest hip hop choreographers from New England and NYC. She also had the opportunity to work with her mentors to develop outreach programs for youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Portland, Mayo Street Arts, STRIVE, LearningWorks, and several elementary schools in the greater Portland area. As an alumnus of PYD, she continues to work with the program to further share her love of dance with the community. In addition to teaching at a handful of other studios in southern Maine, Kristina continues her training at Casco Bay Movers, where she takes weekly hip hop, jazz, and modern classes. She travels often to Boston and New York City to train with choreographers from Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, Phunk Phenomenon, and Broadway Dance Center. Kristina is currently majoring in communications and minoring in dance at the University of Southern Maine and is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Casco Bay Movers.