Academy of Ballet Guest Instructors

Jenna Johnson Daniel Precup Jen Martin

Jenna Johnson’s performing career began at 19 with Atlanta Ballet under Robert Barnett and John McFall and with the Chautauqua Ballet Company under Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride performing in ballets by Kirk Peterson and George Balanchine. She then left for Europe to begin a two year residence as Guest Artist with the Romanian National Opera Ballet. Here in addition to the grand full length classical productions, she was chosen to dance soloist roles for contemporary choreographers Richard Wherlock, Alexa Mezincescu and Gigi Caciuleanu. Ms Johnson was offered her first principal contract at the age of twenty-two with the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater with whom she spent six years touring Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Scheherazade/Zobeida in Scheherazade, Myrta in Giselle, Mercedes in Don Quixote and the title role in Carmen. Upon her return to the United States, she expanded her repertoire to include works by Dwight Rhoden, Robert Moses and Christopher Wheeldon as well as classic roles such as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Nikia in La Bayadere, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the title roles in Giselle and Raymonda rounding off her career with Oakland Ballet and Ballet Tucson.

Jenna’s initial ballet instruction came from Yvonne Chouteau, a principal dancer of the Ballet Russes and one of the “Five Moons,” the five famed Native American ballerinas. Johnson’s early education also included Ballet Oklahoma’s professional school and the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. Later as a full scholarship student of the Harid Conservatory, Ms Johnson had the opportunity to study with two other “Moons”, Marjorie Tallchief, the first Native American to be named “première danseuse étoile” in the Paris Opera Ballet and her sister, Maria Tallchief, prima ballerina and star of the New York City Ballet. Here, Ms Johnson was able to layer her early Balanchine training with methods of the Paris Opera and Vaganova schools. Summers she studied at the San Francisco Ballet School, the School of American Ballet and the Rock School for Dance Education.

Her nineteen years of teaching experience includes ballet technique for ages three to adult, variations, classical repertoire, Pilates, conditioning, stage makeup and dance history. She has been invited as a guest teacher to multiple schools throughout the US and as far as Cyprus and Kuwait. Students under her tutelage have gone on to successful careers at Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Ballet Bejart Lausanne.

Daniel Precup is a graduate of the acclaimed Floria Capsali National High School of Dance in Bucharest, Romania. He joined the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater at 18 and was able to work personally with Oleg Danovski, Gigi Caciuleanu and Germinal Casado. Rising to the rank of Principal Dancer, he was featured in the company’s many international tours in the role of the Mandarin in The Miraculous Mandarin, Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Siegfried in Swan Lake. He continued his career in the United States to dance with the Oakland Ballet and Ballet Tucson for whom he performed the role of Dracula in the ballet Dracula, Albrecht in Giselle, the Prince in Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty. He danced Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Cavalier and later, Herr Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker. Following his retirement to the position of Ballet Master and Choreographer, he has created works for the company to great audience response. His unique choreographic perspective can be seen in his Boler-O, Gemini, Mosaico, Steps, Love Songs, Carmina Burana, Carmen, Divertimento, Perseus and Andromeda, and The Lady of the Camellias.

As a teacher, Mr. Precup prides himself on inspiring the confidence and individual growth of each of his students. Former students have pursued careers with Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Bejart Lausanne. He teaches classes in Classical Ballet Technique, Variations, Pas de Deux, and Character Dance.

Jen Martin bio to come! We are thrilled to have her joining us!