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Guest Artists

Guest artists bring a variety of new styles and approaches to the Carthage learning environment. Their time with Carthage dancers offers concentrated opportunities for artistic growth and development while bridging the academic environment nurtured at Carthage with multiple professional dance communities. Recent artists include:

“It was great to work with someone who has worked with the actual choreographer and performed the etude many times. I loved [guest choreographer Marisa Ballaro’s] hands-on approach with all of us dancers. She helped so much, especially with the details of the dance. She even coached us on how to breathe during the dance.”

— Emily Park ’14

Hayley Kenney

Hayley Kenney, a native of Tampa, Florida, holds a BFA in Dance from Florida State University. A passionate performer, educator, and choreographer, she has studied with a wide variety of teachers including, Lynda Davis, Laura Glenn, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Anthony Morgan, Carolyn Adams, and Rebecca Lazier. She has performed works by Robert Battle, David Parsons, Colin Connor, Anna Sokolow, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Danny Grossman, and many others. She is a member of Dancing Legacy, the performing and teaching ensemble of the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI). Working with ADLI fuels her enthusiasm for performance, dance history, and dance education. She believes in educating dancers not only to be performs, but to be dance patrons and advocates. She is a former member of the Boston-based companies, BoSoma Dance Company and Sokolow Now!, and a former faculty member at the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival, where she taught conditioning and repertory. She is currently on faculty at The Dancing Arts Center in Holliston, Massachusetts, where she teaches technique, repertory, and conditioning.

Hayley is also a certified Pilates instructor with over 12 years of teaching experience. She is passionate about working with the non-dancer population to support their physical fitness goals. Hayley resides in the small New England town of North Attleboro, Massachusetts with her husband and their three children.

Kerry Gallagher

Kerry Gallagher started her dance career at the School of Performing Arts under Arlene Begelman and Barbara Braverman in New Milford, Conn. She then studied at the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City under such teachers as Alexandra Danilova, Elise Reiman, Richard Rapp, Kay Mazzo, Helene Dudin, Antonia Tumkovsky, Muriel Stuart, Andrei Kramarevsky. While at SAB, she had the honor of performing with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. She spent summers training at the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., under teachers Olga Kostritzky, Bojan Spassoff, Stephanie Wolf, Peter Martins, Stephanie Saland, Heather Watts and other members of the New York City Ballet.

Ms. Gallagher is a professional performer, instructor, and rehearsal coach immersed in the rich legacies of American dance. Her professional career began when she became a member of Annamaura Silverblatt and Co. from 1989 to 1991 where she performed works by Martha Graham trained. She joined Fusionworks Repertory Dance Company under artistic director/founder Deb Meunier from 1991 to 2001 performing works by choreographers Art Bridgman and Myrna Packard, David Dorfman, Pooh Kaye, Creach and Koester, David Parsons, Sita Fredrick, Deidre Morris, Laura Bennett, and Deb Meunier.  She began her teaching career at the Fusionworks School where she taught ballet and began teaching modern dance residencies in public elementary schools throughout Rhode Island. She danced with Classics Dance Theatre Ballet Company under Artistic Director Catherine Barribal from 2001 to 2010 performing works by Catherine Barribal, Janet White, Justin Sherwood, as well as her own choreography. She danced with Adam Battlelstein of Pilobolus from 2003 to 2008 performing his work in school systems throughout the country. In addition, she danced with the MacArthur Dance Project from 2007 to 2010 under artistic director Browen MacArthur touring throughout New England.

Ms. Gallagher began working with the American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) in 2001 while dancing the Parsons Repertory Etude with Fusionworks. In 2005 she was asked to join Dancing Legacy, the performing company of ADLI. With ADLI and Dancing Legacy, Kerry has performed, taught and coached the Repertory Etudes of David Parsons, Robert Battle, Danny Grossman, Donald McKayle and Anna Sokolow all over the country. She is honored to be currently working with ADLI on developing the Limon Etude in conjunction with Carla Maxwell, Artistic Director of the Limon Company. In addition to teaching ballet and modern dance, Kerry has taught dance to children with special needs in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is a co-director of Artists in Motion, a 501c3 student pre-professional dance company in residence at Fineline Theatre Arts. She is currently developing a program with fellow co-directors Elizabeth Parkinson and Arlene Begelman to bring dance to children with special needs in New Milford, Conn. Kerry is a certified teacher of the American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Program in Primary Level through Level 5.

Emma Draves

Emma Draves is a performer, choreographer, and teacher based in the Chicago area. As a performer, she has worked with many artists including the Chicago Children’s Choir, Ensemble Espanol, Hedwig Dances, Lookingglass Theatre, Yo-Yo Ma/The Silk Road Project, and Mordine & Company Dance Theater for which she also served as assistant artistic director. Trained in bharatanatyam under Hema Rajagopalan, Ms. Draves continues to perform with Natya Dance Theatre. As well, Ms. Draves draws on her experience with modern and bharatanatyam to create her own hybrid choreography under the Kalpana/Draves Dance Collective. Recent grant support has come from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Chicago Cultural Center, and Links Hall. Ms. Draves is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, and she has taught workshops in ballet, modern, bharatanatyam, and her own hybrid contemporary movement at several universities and through residencies with Chicago Public Schools. Recently, Ms. Draves presented her research on classical and contempory Indian dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Emma has her MFA from UW-Milwaukee. For more information, visit

Faith Halaska

Faith Halaska is an exquisite performer, innovative choreographer, and passionate teacher. Beginning her training at a young age, Ms. Halaska has stayed committed to her passion for dance by continuously achieving new levels of expertise and training. She now holds a bachelor of arts in dance from San Francisco State University, a master of arts in education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and is a certified STOTT pilates instructor. With more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Halaska has studied, instructed, and performed all over the United States. She has had the privilege of working with world-renowned artists such as Frank Hatchet, Arturo Fernandez, Albirda Rose, and Wendy Diamond. Additionally, Ms. Halaska’s extensive list of accolades includes Gainesville Ballet, Ga.; Embaje Dance Company, Calif.; and Imagine Dance Company, Minn. Her award-winning choreography includes “The Nutcracker” (2006 and 2007), “West Side Story” (2008), “Anything Goes” (2007), “Reif Dance Company Showcase” (2007, 2008, and 2009), and “Innovation in Motion” (2009).

Valerie Gonzalez

Valerie Gonzalez received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was a guest teaching artist in the dance program of Western Michigan University and has served on the faculty of several diverse New York, Chicago and Wisconsin studios. Ms. Gonzalez is one of the original master teachers of Dance Exchange, a collaborative workshop with schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Valerie has trained and performed with notable companies such as Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II, River North Chicago Dance Company, Chicago Arts Project, Joel Hall Dancers and TJ & Co. Dance Theatre. Valerie’s experiences have allowed her to perform across the country and internationally. She has choreographed for the Second Avenue Dance Company, TJ & Co. Dance Theatre, Terpsichore Dance Company, Lake Forest Dance Academy’s Prelude Dance Theatre, numerous competitive entries, high school musicals and orchesis groups. Valerie is thrilled to be able to mentor students through the art of dance and creates her classes as a place of creative expression.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …