About Us » Faculty

Josie Johnson, Director - Ballet, Pre-Ballet, Pointe

Josie trained at Orange County Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she received a B.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy. She danced professionally with Dance Connecticut/Hartford Ballet, Connecticut Opera, Roxey Ballet, and ARC Dance Productions. Guest credits include Eliot Feld's Mr. XYZ with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Kirk Peterson’s The Nutcracker with the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Josie has taught and choreographed extensively throughout New Jersey and Connecticut, and locally at Washington Contemporary Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, and ARC Dance Productions. Josie has taught at Saint Martin's University, and she and her husband Ken are Co-Artistic Directors of Ballet Northwest.

She is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher, successfully completing the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum in New York. Johansen Olympia Dance Center is proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 8 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development.

Ken Johnson, Director - Ballet, Pointe, Partnering

Ken trained at Johansen School of Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, and the School of Hartford Ballet. He attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet on scholarship. Ken danced professionally with Hartford Ballet, Dance Connecticut, and Connecticut Opera, as well as at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Following his retirement from performing, Ken received a B.A. from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. In addition to teaching dance, Ken has worked extensively in fundraising for American Repertory Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Connecticut, ACT Theatre, and Tacoma Art Museum. Ken and his wife Josie are also Co-Artistic Directors of Ballet Northwest.

He is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher, successfully completing the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum in New York. Johansen Olympia Dance Center is proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 8 level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development.

Jennifer Dobson - Pre-Ballet

Jennifer is a life-long Olympia resident. She trained at Johansen School of Ballet and has danced with Ballet Northwest for many years. In recognition of her service to the company, she recently was honored with the Becky Jo Hellman Award. Jennifer has attended a dance teacher workshop at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. A mother of two sons, she has also operated her own childcare business.

Chrissy Drabek - Jazz, Tap

Chrissy was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and trained in Broadway-style tap, hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. She also choreographed drill team competition routines and was a member of a competitive Houston drill team. A national first runner-up soloist, Chrissy moved to Washington, D.C. where she learned street tap and was a member of the TAPestry performance dance company. Since moving to Olympia, Chrissy has choreographed for the Black Hills Dance Team and has actively been interested in promoting dance in the community by participating in various festivals and events. Her lifelong dream would be to dance around the globe learning all forms of dance from Irish to Tango.

Xijun Fu - Ballet

Originally from Qingdao, China, Xijun Fu began his professional ballet dance training at age 12 with the Beijing Dance Academy. He spent 20 years dancing professionally, including performing as a guest artist with Ballet de Santiago in Chile, and appearing in the PBS special Dance for Two Countries, filmed in China. In 1994 Mr. Fu was asked to join the Lexington Ballet Company in Lexington, Kentucky, which he directed for three years. In 1998 he led an effort to maintain professional dance in Central Kentucky by co-founding Lexington’s professional ballet company, Kentucky Ballet Theatre. Mr. Fu and his wife, Fang Li, are the owners of Fuzi International.

Bud Johansen - Ballet

Bud studied at the Andahazy School of Ballet in Minnesota, and in New York City with Fredric Franklin, Edward Caton, and Yurik Lazowski, among others. He worked with several schools and ballet companies in Minnesota, and was the Chairman of the Ballet Department at College of St. Theresa. Bud served as the Artistic Director of Ballet Northwest for 35 years, co-founded Johansen School of Ballet, and was on the faculty of The Evergreen State College for nearly 30 years. Bud has choreographed a broad range of productions including ballets, jazz, and musicals.

Mary Johansen - Ballet

Mary trained with numerous teachers across the country, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Theresa with concentrations in Ballet and Music. Mary danced with Minnesota Collegiate Ballet, Southern Minnesota Regional Ballet, and Ballet Northwest. In Minnesota she taught at the Cynthia Hart Hudspith School of Ballet, College of St. Theresa, St. John's School, and operated her own ballet school. In Washington, she has taught at The Evergreen State College, Centralia College, and Johansen School of Ballet which she co-founded and directed for 35 years.

Tami Palmer - Tap

Tami started tap and jazz dance lessons at the age of 4 and has been dancing ever since. In the late 70's she moved to Olympia to study dance at The Evergreen State College and danced with Ballet Northwest for 9 years. She has taught at Johansen's for over 20 years, including beginning ballet and tap.

Nancy Rawson - Hip-Hop, Jazz, Stretch & Strengthen

Nancy received a BA in Theatre/Dance from Cal State Fullerton, and trained extensively in modern, jazz, ballet, tap, and mime. She performed with Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage in Las Vegas and Radio City Music Hall in New York, as well as in Japan. Nancy also danced in various cabaret shows in Nevada, and was a founding member of the Los Angeles-based Mime/Dance/Theatre group Innerchange. Locally, she has performed with Wild Grace Modern Dance Theatre and Ballet Northwest. Her choreography credits include numerous high school, college, and community musical theater productions including Olympia Family Theatre and Tumwater High School. Nancy is also a Certified Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor.

Linda Robb - Ballet, Pre-Ballet, Pre-Jazz/Tap

Growing up in a military family, Linda received her dance training all over the world. She graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with main focus on the performing arts, and performed with Ballet Northwest. For five summers Linda studied at the Bill Evans Summer Dance Intensive for teachers. She has also attended workshops with renowned Kinesiology professor Karen Clippinger, and trained at the Summer Dance Institute at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle. Linda has taught at Johansen School of Ballet for over twenty five years, and has served as a rehearsal assistant for Ballet Northwest.

Iyun Harrison - Modern

Iyun is currently on faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, and the artistic director of ASHANI DANCES, a Seattle-based dance company. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. He danced professionally with Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico of New York, National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and Ailey II. Mr. Harrison has danced work by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Michael Smuin, Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty and George Faison. Additionally, Mr. Harrison has taught/choreographed for the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Ailey School, American Dance Festival, Jamaica School of Dance, University of the West Indies, University of Illinois, American College Dance Festival and Webster University.

Barbara Rowe – Downs’ at Dance, Musically Me

Barbara completed her classical ballet training and major examination with the Royal Academy of Dance in South Africa. She joined the Jazzart Contemporary Dance Company in Cape Town, South Africa in 1978 as a dancer and teacher, and has guest taught throughout the world. A teacher and studio owner for over 30 years, Barbara enjoys a wide spectrum of teaching from Musically Me, an interactive infant/toddler class with parents to creative movement, ballet, and jazz. Barbara has also enjoyed the privilege of teaching dance classes to students with special needs for over a decade.

Ann Sanders - Ballet, Pointe, Pre-Ballet

Ann Sanders received her early training at Johansen School of Ballet and Festival Dance Academy. For high school she attended the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts, and also trained during the summer at the School of American Ballet and Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary. She completed her training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ann received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Washington State University.

Patrick Wigren - Hip-Hop

Bio coming soon.