Bethany Lenhart is currently a Fellow of the Cecchetti Council Of America, holding the Advanced Certification (FCCA). She serves as the First Vice President and current Liaison Coordinator of the Executive Board. Bethany has held the offices of President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, and General Board Chairman. She received the Sylvia Hamer/Margaret Marsh Scholarship and attended the Cecchetti Teacher’s Course in England. She has choreographed for several regional dance companies in the USA and Canada and was associated with the former Flint Ballet Theatre. Bethany has received the Children’s Champion Award and is listed in the International Who’s Who of Professionals.
We are very excited that Bethany has joined the Link Family and Faculty.
Andrew Murphy was born in Sydney, Australia. He began his dance training at the age of ten in Canberra, Australia with Betsy Sawer. He studied under the guidance of Kelvin Coe, Gary Norman, Dale Baker, and David Ashmole. He trained under the guidance of Stanly Willams, Johnny Eliasen, Jurgen Schneider, Wilhelm Bumann, Jonathan Kelly, Desmond Kelly, and Rudolf Nureyev.
In 1989 Mr. Murphy joined The Australian Ballet, was promoted to soloist in 1991, and to senior soloist in 1993. With The Australian Ballet principal roles in Maina Gielgud’s production of The Sleeping Beauty; Graeme Murphy’s production of The Nutcracker; Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Don Quixote; Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon; John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew; Andre Prokovsky’s Anna Karenina; Maurice Béjart’s Songs of a Wayfarer and Le Concours; Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow; Sir Frederick Ashton’s A Birthday Offering; George Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Tchaikovshy Pas de Deux; Ninette de Valois’ Checkmate; Mikhail Fokine’s Les Sylphides; Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land and Sinfonietta; Harald Lander’s Etudes; Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries; Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; and Stanton Welch’s Of Blessed Memory and Divergence.
Mr. Murphy created roles in Stephen Baynes’ The Catalyst and Beyond Bach. In 1996 Mr. Murphy joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a senior soloist and was promoted to principal dancer in 1998.
Mr. Murphy continued to expand his repertoire to include principal roles in the Galina Samsova/David Bintley production of Giselle; Peter Wright’s productions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, and The Sleeping Beauty; Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, Elite Syncopations, and Song of the Earth; David Bintley’s Edward II, Far From The Madding Crowd, Hobson’s Choice, Arthur part I and part II, Choros, Concert Fantasy, Flowers of the Forest, and Tombeaux; Sir Frederick Ashton’s Enigma Variations, Les Patineurs, Scenes de Ballet, Symphonic Variation, Voices of Spring, The Dream, and The Two Pigeons; George Balanchine’s Agon, The Four Temperaments, Symphony in Three Movements, Theme and Variations, Western Symphony, Orpheus, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue; Hans van Manen’s Grosse Fuge and Five Tangos; and Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room.
Mr. Murphy created the role of Lancelot in David Bintley’s Arthur 1 and Arthur 2, Romeo in Shakespeare Suite, the autumn section of The Seasons, principal roles in Nutcracker Sweeties and The Protecting Veil; James Kudelka’s Le Baiser de la Fee; Lila York’s Sanctum; and Stanton Welch’s Powder.
In 2003 Mr. Murphy joined Houston Ballet as a principal dancer and continued to expand his repertoire to include principal roles in Ben Stevenson’s production of The Nutcracker and Four Last Songs; Stanton Welch’s Pecos Bill; George Balanchine’s Apollo, La Valse, and Theme and Variations; and Lila York’s Celts. Mr. Murphy has created principal roles in Natalie Weir’s The Host; and Stanton Welch’s Big Sky and Cline Time.
Mr. Murphy has appeared as a guest artist in galas around the world and has received the Vasiliev Award of Encouragement at the International Ballet Competition in China. Since his retirement in 2007, Mr. Murphy has been guest performing, guest teaching and is presently instructing at the Ben Stevenson Houston Ballet Academy.
Mr. Murphy is married to former ballerina Sabrina Lenzi and they have a beautiful daughter Sophia.
Sarita began her early ballet training at Rochester School of Dance. At the age of twelve, she was selected to dance with The American Ballet Theatre in their production of Le Corsaire. At age 13, Sarita was accepted into the Michigan Ballet Theatre Company Rochester Hills, MI – Cornelia Sampson, Artistic Director..
During her tenure with Michigan Ballet Theater, Sarita felt a strong calling to dance for the glory of God and became a member of the Studio’s christian dance company, Grace Dance Ensemble. Currently, Sarita teaches worship classes at The Link from beginning A through advanced levels, Mustard Seeds (creative movement for 3 year olds) and Pre-Ballet 1 and 2.
Sarita has a huge passion for teaching young girls to dance for the glory of God, and believes it undoubtedly has the ability to change lives by its beauty and power. Sarita is a student at Oakland University pursuing a graduate degree in Elementary Education.
Melissa Brading holds a B.F.A. in dance education from the University of Central Oklahoma.
While living in Oklahoma, she was on faculty at Victory School of the Arts where she taught jazz, tap, and hip hop and worked with the competition teams. She choreographed for many productions of Victory Church, including serving as dance director on the worship DVD, “Resonation”.
After graduation, Melissa went on to dance with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, Texas, under the direction of Randall Flinn. While in Houston, Melissa taught tap, jazz, modern and ballet at Houston Academy of Dance and West University Dance Centre. She also had the opportunity to choreograph for Ad Deum, Ad Deum II, Houston Met Too and Episcopal High School. Under Ad Deum, Melissa was fortunate enough to work with Youth With a Mission in the Netherlands, choreographing and preparing teams for street performances. Melissa now resides in New York and spends her time dancing, choreographing and walking dogs. She is also an all-star box officer at Dance Theater Workshop/New York Live Arts. Since moving to New York, she has danced for Sarah Council, Hope Boykin, Amanda Selwyn, Chris Ferris, Crystal Davis, Michael Ingle, Megan Harrold and Nejla Yatkin.