The Academy of Kim Robards Dance
Artistic Director/CEO Kim Robards Dance
(Modern, Pilates Reformer, Repertory, Composition)
Kim is respected as a teacher of her own technique which provides a solid technical base for dancers. As a leader in dance education, she founded The Academy of Kim Robards Dance in 1990. She has previously served as a guest faculty at Denver Ballet Theatre, taught on the faculty of The Academy of Colorado Ballet for 15 years and formerly taught at Colorado College in Colorado Springs for five years. She has been a leading Dance Teaching Artist for the Aesthetic Education Institute of Colorado, and has presented hundreds of residencies throughout every corner of Colorado through her own company’s educational programming, as well as through various artist-in-residence programs including those sponsored by Young Audiences, ArtReach, and Denver Ballet Guild.
For her full biography, please see The Artistic Director page
LaRana Skalicky (Associate Executive Director) (Modern, Creative Movement, Boys' Class, Ballet, Jazz, Tap) has been a Company Member since 1988 and a Teacher at The Academy of KRD since it was founded in 1990. She teaches all levels of modern dance as well as tap and modern repertory. In addition to her work as a teacher, LaRana also serves KRD as a dancer and administrator. She was selected for an Associateship with the Rocky Mountain Women's Institute, has been a Dance Teaching Artist for the Aesthetic Education Institute of Colorado, serves on The Scen3 Denver SCFD Tier III marketing committee, the CAST3 Leadership Team, and the Board of Directors for The Aurora Cultural Arts District. LaRana teaches at The KRD School, in KRD's educational outreach programs, and at the Denver Ballet Theatre. She graduated cum laude with honors as one of four $20,000 Four Years Honor Scholars from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Philosophy. LaRana is originally from Salina, KS. She plays the cello and has a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do. LaRana wishes to thank her mentor Kim Robards.
Alexis Drabek (Ballet) returns to KRD this season having first in 2001 served as a Company Member, Faculty Member and Academy Manager. Throughout this period, Alexis has often returned to Denver to perform with KRD including the company’s tour to Beijing, China in 2008. She began her training at the Belliston Academy of Ballet in Littleton, Colorado where Kim Robards was her first instructor of modern dance. At the age 16, she attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. Alexis moved to California in 2003, where she danced with the Oakland Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet. She served as Associate Artistic Director of Berkeley City Ballet and Ballet Mistress of Company C. Alexis is married to Nate Drabek and they have three children: Anne Marie, Laurel, and Jonathan.
Michael Bateman (Creative Movement, Boys' Class, Praise Dance) is in his first season with Kim Robards Dance. He began his formal dance training at local dance studios in New Jersey (Fran’s World of Dance and Carol Brown School of Dance.) In the summer of 2000, he was invited to attend the Alvin Ailey Summer intensive in New York where he studied ballet, Graham Technique, and Afro-Brazilian. In addition, he studied abroad in the Fall of 2000 in the Dominican Republic and learned more about latin social dances while pursuing his B.A. in Spanish. He began teaching Spanish in 2001, and during his time in New Jersey studied with Princeton Ballet School and The Ailey School in ballet, modern, hip hop, and Afro-Brazilian. He has taught with Princeton Ballet (guest teacher-jazz), Vessels of Praise, Work of Art Dance, Fran’s World of Dance, Praise International Ministries and the Hallel Dance Ministry at Colorado Christian Fellowship. Michael has danced with several praise dance companies, as a soloist at events in New Jersey and Colorado, and performed in community theater and musical theater productions (such as Colorisms) and is an actor with the Murder Mystery Company of Colorado.
Gretchen Hughes (Ballet, Pre-Ballet) is in her first season with KRD. She is from Atlanta, Georgia and has been dancing since the age of 3. She received the majority of her classical training through high school from The Northeast Atlanta Ballet in Lilburn, Georgia. With the Northeast Atlanta Ballet, Gretchen performed several premier roles. Gretchen supplemented much of her dance training by attending rigorous summer intensives with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet. Additionally, Gretchen earned her bachelor’s of the arts degree in dance with a concentration in ballet from Kennesaw State University. She danced with Ballethnic Dance Company in Atlanta, Georgia for three seasons. She could not be more excited to be dancing in Kim Robards Dance.
Scott Roush (Accompanist) is an active multi-instrumentalist, composer, music educator and the accompanist for Kim Robards Dance. Scott grew up in Milwaukee, WI and after receiving a BFA in Percussion Performance from UW-Milwaukee in 2008, he relocated to Denver. Scott got his start accompanying modern dance at UW-Milwaukee and since has accompanied for Paul Taylor Dance Company, Milwaukee Ballet, Danceworks, & Hannah Kahn. Scott is also active in several bands, including King Cardinals, Rossonian, Robby Peoples & the Bankwalkers, and his solo drumming act, Crazy Gorilla Drummer.