Teresa McKenzie Brubaker – Artistic Director
Teresa McKenzie Brubaker is the Artistic Director of Raise the Barre and Raise the Barre School of the Arts. She began her training as a dance instructor while she was in high school, performing with the Delaware Dance Company in Newark, DE. She received her BFA in Dance Education at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where she studied under many great dancers, including Barbara Sandonato of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and tap legend LaVaughn Robinson, whose style greatly influences her tap classes and choreography to this day.
During and after college, Teresa worked as a dancer, and puppeteer at Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA, and two National Tours with Sesame Street Live. She was honored to perform across the United States and Canada, and to direct a Sesame Street promotional performance with Gift Gate Toys in Manila, Philippines.
For the last 25 years, Teresa’s focus has become preparing and supporting the next generation of artists. She has done this with her teaching and award-winning choreography on both the East and West Coasts, in high schools, colleges, private dance studios, churches, and musical theater companies. Upon coming to Orange County, she developed the Entertainment Department at Adventure City theme park, where she auditioned, hired, and trained the original puppeteers, wrote and directed the shows, and was the Director of Entertainment. Since that time, Teresa has contributed to the direction, writing, choreography and stage management of dozens of performances with a multitude of organizations.
In order to best serve her students, Teresa is always continuing her education, taking classes with other teachers, researching new training and education techniques, and studying with some of the best performers and directors in the world. A wonderful example of this is her attendance of the Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City, where she attends lectures, and participates in sessions led by the professionals currently working on Broadway. While in New York, Teresa attends Broadway shows as part of the workshop, each with talkbacks from the performers and crew. By keeping her finger on the pulse of the Entertainment Industry, Teresa is most capable to prepare the next generation of artists to be a part of it.