About

Board of Directors

Norine Brown-ARAD, AISTD, LCUSA

Norine Brown received her early dance training in Vancouver, Canada, and furthered her education at the Hammond School of Dancing in Chester England where she attained diplomas in Modern, National, RAD Ballet, Imperial Ballet, Anatomy, and Ballroom.  Ms. Brown joined a French touring company and traveled extensively throughout Europe later returning to Vancouver to begin a ballet-teaching career.

In 1986, Ms. Brown and her husband, Jeff, moved to Sacramento, CA, where she has continued her training and qualification in the Cecchetti method.  Ms. Brown is an active West Coast Committee member in addition to serving on the Board of Directors.  Ms. Brown teaches at workshops and summer schools throughout the United States and Canada. 

Ms. Brown is an active board member of SADA (Sacramento Area Dance Alliance) for the past 20 years currently serving as Corresponding Secretary.  SADA is a non-profit company that offers workshops and scholarships to local dance students.  Some of Norine's former students have advanced their careers to become dancers with major Canadian and American ballet companies.  Ms. Brown enjoys teaching dance to all age groups whether they desire a professional career or are attending classes for pure enjoyment. 

Judith Hawkesworth-AISTD, FCUSA, FCCA, Examiner, Administrator

Mrs. Hawkesworth holds her Associate Diploma with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London, England, and her Fellowship with Cecchetti USA and Cecchetti Council of America. She is current CUSA Administrator, Residential Summer Course Coordinator, Liaison to the Eastern Committee and sits on the CUSA Board of Directors. She was appointed Examiner for Cecchetti USA in August 2012. 

Mrs. Hawkesworth received her Cecchetti training from Elizabeth Baird, Aleta Davis, and Marnell Himes-Ushijima. She offers over forty-five years of professional dance instruction experience which includes: preparing students and presenting students for Cecchetti ballet examinations, creating a written syllabus for pre-school and primary levels, coaching classical variations, choreographing ballet production and competition pieces, producing and directing a fuil length "Nutcracker" for Ballet Etudes, a non-profit youth ballet company and training teachers in levels pre-school through advanced. 

Judith served as Ballet Director for two highly respected Performing Arts and Commercial Dance schools in the Orange County, CA area for 20 years. She was a staff member of Huntington Academy of Dance, under the direction of Marnell Himes-Ushijima for 15 years. 

Judith considers her proudest accomplishment her many former students who have gone on to embrace teaching as their chosen careers. Her vocation is to use her life experience and training as a dance educator to nurture the minds, bodies and spirits and enrich the lives of children through the love of dance. 

In 2005 Judith relocated to South Carolina. She is currently a staff member at The Dance Place in Camden, directed by Ari Dickinson and Stephanie Caldwell. 

 

Sylvia Palmer Zetler, FCUSA, Examiner

Ms. Zetler started dancing with Kay Armstrong in Vancouver, B.C.  She won a scholarship to the National Ballet School in Toronto, and then was taken into the National Ballet of Canada.  She also studied at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and with many of the foremost European teachers in London and Paris.  Ms. Zetler performed for many years with the National Ballet of Canada and with the Canadian Opera and CBC TV in Toronto.  She holds a MFA degree in Creative Teaching Techniques and is a Fellow and Examiner with CUSA.  Ms. Zetler received two Canada Council of Arts grants devoted to the betterment of the dance arts.  She is Head of the Dance Department of the California State Summer School of the Arts.  Her students grace the stages of many companies in the US and Great Britain.

Denise Rinaldi- FCUSA, FISTD, Examiner 

Denise Rinaldi has been involved with Cecchetti USA for approximately 34 years, currently serving as the Executive Director.  She has been an active participant on the Western Committee (serving as secretary, bookstore coordinator, and then chairperson) and now serves on the board of directors.  She has been examining for the organization for several years and greatly enjoys having that opportunity to see the wonderful work put forward by our member teachers as well as getting to know the members on a more personal basis.  Ms. Rinaldi studied with a wide variety of teachers with her primary training in the Cecchetti method under the guidance of Sheila Darby.  Her school annually submits students for Cecchetti exams and the company provides valuable performing experience throughout the year; most notably a full length Nutcracker with orchestra.  In addition to running a school and a pre-professional ballet company, Ms. Rinaldi works at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Project Manager for the student government.  This position has gained her valuable expertise in leadership, organizational principles and human resources.  As a senior manager for the Associated Students at UCSB Ms. Rinaldi oversees a budget of $9 million dollars, supervises their publications and computer departments and oversees a variety of campus projects.  As the primary responsibility of the CUSA Executive Director is to oversee the business aspects of the organization, Ms. Rinaldi is happy to have the opportunity to use those management skills gained in her work at UCSB to benefit CUSA. 
 
 

Betty Seibert-Fellow/CUSA, ISTD & Senior Examiner;
Maestro Cecchetti Final Diploma; Director of Examinations, CUSA;
Chair, Cecchetti International - Classical Ballet

Betty Seibert is honored to have served Cecchetti USA as Director of Examinations since 1994, and humbled to have been elected by her peers in 2008 as chair of Cecchetti International - Classical Ballet. Her teaching career - spanning five decades, four schools, and thousands of students - has been an extension of her unique background as a performer in her own right.

Ms. Seibert performed over a dozen leading roles in the classical ballet repetoire with the Florida Ballet Company, and became a featured dancer for the Sarasota and Asolo Opera Companies before becoming involved with musical theatre. She performed professionally in musicals and in dramatic plays for 14 years as a member of Actors Equity Association, where her favorite roles included Lola in Damn Yankees, Claudine in Can-Can, Dream Laurie in Oklahoma!, and Emilie in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

In addition to performing, she has choreographed 32 dance concerts for her own studios, and over 40 musical theater productions for Equity summer stock, opera companies, dinner and community theatre, colleges, and performing arts high schools from Maine to Floria. In the theatrical world, Ms. Seibert first gained experience as a director, which she continues to employ as she serves as Artistic Director of Cecchetti Ballet Theatre. She also directed the DVD documenting the syllabus contained in the Maestro Cecchetti Final Diploma, released by Cecchetti USA in 2010.

As a performer, choreographer, director, teacher, and examiner, Ms. Seibert's first priority has always been promoting the theatricality of dance as a true performing art, in the studio as well as on stage.

Deborah Vinton-FCUSA, FISTD, Senior Examiner

Deborah Vinton is a Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), London, England, and Fellow of CUSA.  She was awarded the Maestro Cecchetti Final Diploma in 1995 in London, England.  Ms. Vinton became an examiner in 1986 and has served on the CUSA board of directors for the past 25 years.  She has presented students and teachers for Cecchetti examinations consecutively for the past 35 years.  Many of Ms. Vinton's students have received scholarships to universities and have become professional dancers, teachers, and choreographers in the USA and abroad. 

Ms. Vinton received her early Cecchetti training with the Florida Ballet in Sarasota under Jean Spear, Fellow, Examiner, ISTD.  Ms Vinton attended pre-professional dance programs at the National Ballet of Washington under Frederick Franklin, at Jacobs Pillow with Margaret Craske, and the National Ballet of Canada with Carol Chadwick.  

Ms. Vinton received four years of intensive professional Cecchetti training in London, under the tutelage of two former students of Enrico Cecchetti, Nesta Brooking, and Laura Wilson.  The rare opportunity of learning from instructors who worked directly with Enrico Cecchetti is considered a milestone in the history of classical ballet.  Subsequently mentors Sheila Darby, Marvis Hoffman, and Richard Glasstone further developed and enhanced Ms. Vinton's Cecchetti teacher training. 

Ms. Vinton performed with the Royal Ballet Choreographic Group and Maryland Ballet where she performed in London and in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C areas respectively.  During her professional career, Ms. Vinton worked with Danny Diamond, Anton Dolin, Edward Villella, and Violette Verdy, among others.

Deborah Vinton has taught ballet and choreographed for dance companies and schools for more than 35 years; including the Deborah Vinton Dance Ensemble in New Paltz, New York, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and the Venice Ballet in Venice, Florida.  Ms. Vinton has been on staff for 25 years and continues teaching at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Booker High School in Sarasota, Florida.  She served as principal of the School of Sarasota Ballet for four years and artistic director of the Deborah Vinton School of Ballet in Sarasota.  Ms. Vinton was also a founding member of the Arts Community of New Paltz, New York. 

In 2003, Ms. Vinton founded the West Coast Civic Ballet (WCCB) in Sarasota, Florida, a community based, not-for-profit dance organization.  As Executive and Artistic Director, Ms. Vinton continues her mission to positively enhance and influence the lives of others through her commitment and involvement with the performing arts.