Elizabeth Fernandez

Elizabeth Fernandez

RMSA Co-Founder, Executive Director, Choreographer & Instructor

Elizabeth Fernandez graduated with honors from the University of Northern Colorado where she received degrees in Dance Teaching/Movement Analysis and Dance Kinesiology. While at UNC, Elizabeth was a member of the University of Northern Colorado Dance Theatre and Colorado Dance Theatre. With these companies, she performed in many ballets and was ballet mistress for both these companies. While at UNC in 1996 and 1997; Elizabeth received the Department of Dance Award because of her involvement and contribution to the department.

After graduating, she moved back to Cody, Wyoming where she co-founded Rocky Mountain School of the Arts in 1997 and non-profit Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre in 1998 in Cody, Wyoming, with her mother Cynthia Kaelberer.

Under Elizabeth’s direction, RMSA and RMDT trains students of all ages in the art of dance and theatre, focusing on building dancers with a strong and diversified foundation,  emphasizing technical training and performing. The cornerstone of RMSA is the significance placed on each dancer’s individuality, and how each person’s distinctive contributions build alliance with others, self-confidence, perspective, and discipline.  RMSA dancers have gone on to train with the Joffrey School of Ballet, Houston Ballet School, Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Rhapsody James.

Elizabeth is an experienced choreographer who has choreographed and produced several short works in ballet, contemporary, and musical theatre genres. For over twenty-two years she has produced RMDT’s annual Nutcracker Ballet, which has become a yearly holiday tradition for the area. In 2008, she choreographed the musical Once on This Island for The University of West Florida.  In 2016, she brought her own original musical Wild West Spectacular to stage, which attracts tourists from all over the world during the summer season in Cody, Wyoming. In 2019, she was one of four guest choreographers hired to set a piece for the University of West Florida Theatre Department's end of year UWF Dance Ensemble performance.

Throughout the years, Elizabeth has received dance training from such names as Jeffrey Rockland, Sandra Minton, Robert Barnett, Christina Monroe, Cherie Noble, Katherine Kramer, and David Taylor. Elizabeth attended The Russian American Foundation’s Bolshoi’s Ballet Teachers Certification program. In the summer of 2018, she graduated from their highest level, and received her teacher certification from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York.

In 2019, Elizabeth was featured as one of the Women in Wyoming: Portraits & Interviews of women who shape the West. This project has become an Exhibition and is featured at Buffalo Bill’s Center for the West in Cody, Wyoming until August 2020.

Still performing, Elizabeth continues to take classes in New York at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey, and master classes throughout the United States.

Cynthia Kaelberer

Cynthia Kaelberer

RMSA Co-Founder and Sole Piano/Music Instructor

Cynthia Kaelberer has taught piano privately for more than 40 years; the last 20 of which she has taught at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts. She co-founded Rocky Mountain School of the Arts with her daughter, Elizabeth Fernandez, in 1997.

Over the years she taught music at Wapiti School for three years and has been on the faculty of the Montana Music Institute since 2003. She sat on the Park County School District No. 6 Board for 4 years and was a member of the NCOC Board (which is affiliated with Northwest College and the community orchestra and chorus). Cynthia has been an active member of the Music Teachers National Association since 1977.  She has served as the Competitions Chair for the Northwest Division of MTNA for 2 terms and has been an officer in every capacity at the state level (WMTA). To add to her repertoire, Cynthia has been an organist at her church for over 40 years and in 2018 she became the accompanist for RMDT's Wild West Spectacular the Musical during their summer seasons.

Cynthia was born and raised in Wyoming and Montana. Her husband, Robert Kaelberer passed away in 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Robert was a huge supporter of the studio.

Brittany Schneider

Assistant Director

Brittany is a highly experienced dancer and instructor. She has been dancing for over 17 years and is a former Rocky Mountain School of the Arts student. Brittany performed in the Nutcracker for 9 years and as a student she received the role of Sugar Plum Fairy, a role typically performed by a professional ballerina; with principal male dancer, Michael Cook of Ballet Arizona.
In the spring of 2018, Brittany was promoted to RMSA/RMDT Assistant Director and she specializes in hip hop, jazz, and tap. She has received dance training from such names as Leslie Feliciano, Katherine Kramer, Lane Napper, Cheri Noble, Katharine Penza, David Thomas, and our very own Elizabeth Fernandez. Brittany continues to take classes in New York at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey, Peridance, and other master classes in the United States.

Mary Sims

Office Manager

mary@rockymountainschoolofthearts.com

Heidi Rasmussen

Operations Manager

heidi@heidicpa.com

Jennifer Kaelberer

Jennifer Kaelberer

Director of Public Relations

jen@rockymountaindancetheatre.org

RMSA Dance Instructors

and student teachers

Elizabeth Fernandez

Elizabeth Fernandez

Tap: Preschool, Kindergarten

Ballet: Preschool/ Kindergarten/ Ac 1/ Ac 1b/ Ac 2/ Ac 1b/Ac 4/ Advance

Ballet & Pointe: Ac 5/ Advance

Contemporary: Ac 5 / Advance

Brittany Schneider

Jazz: Ac 2b/ Ac 3/ Ac4 /Ac 5/ Recreational

Tap: Ac 2b / Ac 3/ Ac 4/ Ac 5/ Advance

Hip Hop: Ac 1b/ Ac 3 /Ac 4/ Ac 5/ Advance /Recreational

Jumps & Turns

Mikayla Burichka

Academy 4 Ballet/Pointe & Contemporary

Margaret Burkhart

Meg Burkart

Academy 4 Ballet

Kyla Cossaboon

Kindergarten, Ac 2B Ballet

Emily Cole

Academy 1 Jazz/Hip Hop , Academy 2B Ballet

Kayla Collier

 Ac 1 Jazz/Hip Hop

Gabrielle Crum

Academy 2 Jazz/Hip Hop, Academy 2B Contemporary

Alexa Etter

Academy 1 Tap, Academy 2B Contemporary

Solie Jackson

Academy 4 Ballet & Contemporary

EmRee Johnston

Academy 1 Ballet

Emily Morris

Preschool

Lily Whitman

Academy 2 Jazz/Hip Hop & Tap