Debra Pearse Rogo - Artistic Director

Debra grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She trained from the age of nine until seventeen in the Cecchetti (Italian) Method of Ballet, passing all her exams, including her teaching certification, with Honors. She also received teaching and performing opportunities with the National Theatre and Ballet Victoria. After finishing her schooling she was offered a position with the Sydney City Ballet Company where she stayed for three years before moving to the United States.

Debra was the Ballet Mistress and then became Artistic Director of Ballet Omaha, a professional company with its own school. In 1987 Debra and her husband, Joel, moved to Washington State to buy a small ballet school, the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet. After more than 30 years it is now the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet and Music with 650 dance and 150 music students.

Under Debra’s direction, MCB hosted Regional Dance America/Pacific’s Ballet Festival in 1990, 1995, 2005, and 2010. This event brought together 22 amateur and professional ballet companies and internationally known dance teachers and lecturers for a 4-day convention. MCB has performed at Chop Shop: Bodies of Work, USA/International Ballet Competition, and in Austria with the Tanzsommer Austrian Arts Festival. MCB was among the first pre-professional companies to perform at the SPRING TO DANCE Festival in St. Louis, MO. Debra has served as Chairman of Regional Dance America/Pacific, and as President of Regional Dance America. She served on the National Honorary Committee for the USA International Ballet Competitions and has been the Executive Director of Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography Conference.

Debra has been a guest teacher in Bermuda and many USA schools and universities. In 2013 she was proud to have been a guest teacher at the Australian Cecchetti Conference, in 2014 at the International Cecchetti Conference and the summer of 2016 at Cecchetti USA.

Under Debra’s direction, MCB has grown to be a valuable resource in this community, providing young students with a level of arts education that goes well beyond what they can receive in our local school system. In recognition, Debra received the City of Richland 2014 Contribution to the Arts Award.

 

Renée Adams - Director of Programs and Outreach

Inspired by her early concert dance training and career as a professional dancer, Renée knows that the arts have the capacity to transform entire communities. She is a native of Eastern Washington, a graduate of Yakima Valley College and is the current President for Leadership Tri-Cities Class XXIV. As Director of Programs and Outreach for Mid-Columbia Ballet she primarily focuses on outreach program development and support to the Board of Directors. In 2017, she joined the Arts Center Task Force and currently serves as Executive Director. She has performed with Spectrum Dance Theatre, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, BodyVox and numerous independent projects. Renée has held numerous faculty positions including the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet and Music, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Northwest Dance Project, among others. Passionate about arts education, she has led dance residency projects in Chicago Public Schools, the Portland Metro area and throughout the Mid-Columbia region.