Summer Dance Intensive Faculty

Photograph of Susie ThielSusie Thiel is a multi-media artist, choreographer, performer and educator. She is the Director of the Dance Program and Assistant Professor of Theatre & Dance at the University of Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western Michigan University and her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan. Prior to her graduate training, Susie lived in New York City for eight years where she performed, taught and choreographed in a broad range of venues. She has performed with several modern dance companies, including the New York Dance Collective, Genesis Dance Company, Sharon Fogarty Dance Theatre and the Impulse Initiative. Her modern, jazz and musical theatre choreography has been produced throughout New York, Kentucky, Georgia and Michigan. Her musical theatre choreography for The Days of ’98 Show ran for three seasons in Skagway, Alaska. Susie has choreographed for UK Theatre & Dance and Opera's Theatre productions Thoroughly Modern Millie, Romeo and Juliet, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. She is artistic director of the UK Winter Dance Concerts where her choreography is also presented. Most recently Susie’s choreography has been seen at the American College Dance Festival, and at the Seagle Music Colony’s production of 42nd Street.

Susie was awarded a Rackham International Research Grant to conduct research on traditional folk dance forms in Turkey. The power of Turkish folk dance to unite people across cultures has informed her MFA thesis choreography, which was presented in concerts in March 2011. She has presented her research at the National Dance Education Organization.

Through study at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in partnership with Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York City, Susie became a Certified Health Counselor working in holistic nutrition and lifestyle counseling specializing in dance artists. She has offered health-counseling sessions for individuals and groups at the National Dance Education Organization, the University of Michigan, the University of Kentucky, The Paul Taylor Summer Dance Intensive, The Brooklyn Music School and Brant Lake Dance Camp.


Photograph of Theresa BautistaTheresa Bautista is a freelance dancer, choreographer and instructor who has been hailed by the Louisville Courier Journal as a “delight to watch” on stage. She has performed with Ila Conoley’s ICONography Dance, The Susie Thiel Collaborative, Anna Sapozhnikov’s MOYAMO Dance, Jan Street Dance Theatre, Rachel James, jan street dance theatre and Art! Art! Barking Dog Dance Company. Ms. Bautista is the founder and Co-Producer of Moving Collective, a Louisville, KY-based organization that presents concerts to promote the work of establishing and emerging choreographers of modern and contemporary dance. She has choreographed works for the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Louisville Dance Theatre, Berea College Modern Dance Troupe, the UK Dance Ensemble, Moving Collective, The Center for Women and Families and Empujon. Her work Victims, received Gala honors at the Southeast Regional Ballet Festival in Montgomery, AL and her work, Go Round was recently seen at the Regional Alternative Dance Festival in Kalamazoo, MI. In addition to teaching adjunct at UK, Ms. Bautista also teaches at the University of Louisville both adjunct and at the Dance Academy, Louisville Ballet School, Allegro Dance Theatre and Ellen’s School of Dance.


EveMarie Bessenbach is adjunct faculty within the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kentucky, and she is on faculty for the UK Summer Dance Intensive. She earned her Master of Arts in Arts Administration at the University of Kentucky, and she served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Arts Administration.

EveMarie has been adjunct faculty within the School of Accelerated Degree Programs at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri since 2015, and she has been on faculty at the Frankfort School of Ballet, Lexington Ballet School, Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Academy of Performing Arts, and Krupinski Academy of Dance, as well as BalletMet Columbus, where she served as an academy instructor and a teaching artist in the Education Department. EveMarie is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

EveMarie graduated from Butler University on scholarship with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy, Summa Cum Laude with Highest Departmental Honors. She also received the first Eileen Poston Dance Scholarship, and she performed with Butler Ballet and Butler Chamber Dance. EveMarie has danced professionally with the Lexington Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, and Hosanna Sacred Arts, as well as four seasons with Missouri Ballet Theatre as a demi-soloist. She is currently a company artist with Allegro Dance Project in Lexington. EveMarie has worked with numerous choreographers, such as Ron de Jesus, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jimmy Orrante, Kenneth Tolle, and Robert Philander Valentine. Her favorite roles include the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Autumn Fairy in Cinderella, and Miss Molly in Hard Rock Ballet.

EveMarie’s choreography has been presented at Butler University, Governor’s Derby Celebration, Capital City Expo Festival, and Junior Miss Pageant in Kentucky, Lexington Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, BalletMet Dance Academy, Missouri Ballet Theatre, Riverfront Dance Festival, and American Dance Troupe. She was selected to participate in the 2017 Indy Convergence, a two week residency in which artists of various disciplines collaborate to create new works of art. EveMarie also choreographed a new work, Joy Unspeakable, as a guest choreographer for Magnum Opus in Madison, Wisconsin in 2018.


Photograph of Lauren WardLauren Ward holds a B.A., summa cum laude, in Theatre and Dance from the University of Kentucky. She continued her studies at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC. While there, she attended class at Broadway Dance Center. Lauren is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor.  She enjoys every opportunity to share her passion for Hip Hop dance. Lauren loves working with students as they discover their enthusiasm and confidence for Hip Hop through her choreography. 


Missy Lay Zimmer is transforming the dance world with her choreography’s unique style and musicality. Her New York City credits include: the Broadway and National companies of Cats as Victoria (the white cat), Jesus Christ Superstar (Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson), SNL “I’m 50” with Molly Shannon, MTV appearances, VH1, and Broadway Cares and Equity Fights Aids Choreography Award co-Recipient for The Easter Bonnet along side Broadway choreographer Chris Gatelli (Newsies). Films: Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster (Jodie’s Double).

Choreography credits include: Mariah Carey “All I Want for Christmas”, Peter Frampton, husband and wife duo, Over The Rhine, rapper Rakim, Tarkan (Turkish pop star) music video, Joc Jams (Tommy Boy Records), Orion Pictures, Paramount Productions, Cincinnati Ballet (8 years), Exhale Dance Tribe ‘25 to Watch’ Dance Magazine (11 years) and Kings Productions. Missy has also been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance, Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine and Cincinnati's City Beat, Enquirer, Post, and CIN Weekly.

In Cincinnati she won the 2008 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Critical Achievement for her Choreography, in the original musical, ‘Christmas Yet To Come’ (Know Theater). Missy also has choreographed, ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ with Cincinnati Shakespeare Theater. New Stage Collectives Full Monty and The Carnegie’s (KY) production of Xanadu.

Photograph of Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard standing together on an old playhouse stage.Missy has been on faculty at the acclaimed Broadway Dance Center in New York City and has taught at numerous colleges and universities as adjunct faculty at Dean College (MA),Cincinnati Ballet, University of Cincinnati (CCM), Cincinnati Performing Arts High School (SCPA) , University of Kentucky, Wright State University and Northern Kentucky University. She and her partner Andrew Hubbard taught in 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. Their non profit dance company Exhale Dance Tribe is slotted to perform in New Zealand in 2017.

Lay-Zimmer has judged and taught for convention/competitions; JUMP, ACCESS BROADWAY, Dance Directives, SHOCK, Thunderstruck, Star Systems and Talent On Parade to name a few for over 15 years. Missy is a proud graduate of the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH. Missy understands her creativity is the ultimate form of expression while here on this earth and continues to inspire others to honor their unique artistic expression/path.


Andrew Hubbard was on faculty at the acclaimed Broadway Dance Center in New York City and has taught at numerous colleges and universities as adjunct faculty at Dean College (MA), Cincinnati Ballet, University of Cincinnati (CCM), Cincinnati Performing Arts High School (SCPA) , Wright State University, Northern Kentucky University, UK and national Dance Festivals, including Auckland, New Zealand (Okareka Dance).

Hubbard and partner Missy Lay Zimmer have co founded Internationally recognized contemporary jazz company, Exhale Dance Tribe, Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch’. Exhale premiered at Merce Cunningham Performance Studio in 2008 in (NYC) and Skylab in 2010 (NYC) and in 2011/2013 performed as finalists in the Capezio ACE Choreography Awards in (NYC). In addition they have choreographed for Cincinnati Ballet's New Works Program (2009-2011) Retrospect, Barre et Trois and premiered Burning Moon (2012), Infamous Love Songs with International music talent, Over The Rhine. Their choreography can also be seen in Cincinnati Ballet’s new Nutcracker, Arabian. Hubbard and Lay-Zimmer have been honored with a Princess Grace nomination from Cincinnati Ballet for 2010-2011 for Excellence in Choreography. The last work they set on CBC was their work for the FRAMPTON LIVE project where legendary rock and rock icon played LIVE to their piece entitled Anthology.

Andrew and Missy are co owners of, Planet Dance Cincinnati, a dance education performance project and training facility for Exhale, located in downtown Cincinnati's rapidly growing and vibrant arts community.