Dance Alumni bios

Beth Rodriguez began her dance training at the University of Louisville Dance Academy. After graduating from Ball State, Beth moved to NYC where she began fostering a performance career. Since then, Beth has worked with various emerging choreographers, including Lexington Dance Collective, Beth Portnoy, Elizabeth Reynolds and M. Lindsey Smith. Beth has also worked with noted artists Sarah Skaggs, Caroline Liadakis/Chet Walker 8&a1 Productions, Orquidea Dance/Kimberly Hope Jewart, Elizabeth Eastman, Courtney Drasner, Deborah Damast, Katiti King and Jana Hicks.

 Beth's choreography has been shown at Williamsburg Arts Nexus, Dixon Place, BRIC, The Merce Cunningham Studio, and Brookly Arts Exchange in NYC. Her Louisville debut took place with Moving Collective in January, 2007.

Beth is also a teaching artist. She has taught within outreach settings, has instructed special need populations, and was dance faculty at various schools, most recently at Indiana University Bloomington. She has also offered master classes as a part of International Modern Dance Festivals in Poland, Belarus, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Beth recently earned her Master's from NYU. She currently freelances in the Louisville area, and is continuing the work of Beth Rodriguez Dance Projects locally. (

Billy Blanken grew up performing with the famous Muse Machine under the direction of Nat Horne in Dayton, Ohio and studying dance at the Gary Geiss School of Dance. Billy attended Ball State University on scholarship graduating with a double major in acting and dance. While at Ball State, Billy danced with Anderson Young Ballet and Project in Motion. While with PM, Billy performed in lecture demos in the Indiana Public School System educating students about the dynamic relationship of dance, physics, kinesiology, and anatomy. During Billy's last year of university, he received invitation to attend the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on full scholarship. Billy trained two years at Joffrey. During that time he performed with the Joffrey Ensemble, and in their first production of Nutcracker. He also produced the Joffrey School's first Student Choreographic Workshop.

After finishing his work as a student, he started his professional career as a company member of Amy Marshall Dance Company. He was a company member of Les Grand Ballets Grandiva. While with Grandiva, Billy performed in 6 tours to Southeast Asia and Japan, as well as 2 NYC engagements. He is currently a member of Ajkun Ballet Theatre, based in New York City.

Some of Billy's freelance credits include principal guest artist with Brooklyn Ballet, Catherine Gallant Dance, Atlantic City Ballet, Mobile Ballet, Lane & Co Arts, Eidolon Ballet, Neville Dance Theatre, Ballet Mink Colbert in Las Vegas, and performing Michael Foley's work in the Howl on the Road Festival at Lincoln Center, also with Lane and Co Arts he performed in O Balleto at the NY Fringe Festival and Jacob's Pillow, East Village Dance Project at the Skirball Theater in New York City, and Dances Patrelle's Nutcracker in New York City. He is currently a guest artist with CoDa21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Billy is collaborater, writer, producer, choreographer and performer of "the intimacies project" with fellow dancer Jordan Marinov, filmmaker Bill Hayward and Musician/ Playwright Anna Elman. 'the intimacies project' is a daring display of the danger of intimacy and the impossibility of love incorporating art, film, text, dance, and music. 'the intimacies project' was sponsored by the Time Square Alliance and performed to an audience of over 250,000 people a day over a 10 day engagement in a store front of Port Authority, and was also been featured in Galapogos Arts Center in Brooklyn and the Rover Soho.

Some of Billy's modeling credits include working with famous dance photographer Lois Greenfield in her Celestial Bodies Exhibit, 2011 Dance Calendar, and continually in her on going project entitled Breaking Bounds. Billy was featured in Men's Italian Vogue Magazine, and has been seen in Artstone Dance Theatrical Catalogue, and in promotional materials for Shen Tao Studio.

As a teacher, Billy has taught at the East Village Dance Project, with Brooklyn Ballet's 'Elevate' program, and in New Jersey Public school as well as at Montclair State University via the Amy Marshall Dance Company.

Debra Denys Smith has lived and worked in New York City for the past seven years. In the past year alone, she taught and choreographed for numerous dance schools and theatre camps and performed on the Broadway stage in the annual benefit Nothing Like a Dame. Her favorite performing credits include:

  • A Christmas Carol (Madison Square Garden)
  • Anything Goes (Lincoln Center Benefit starring Patti LuPone)
  • Funny Girl (The Actors Fund Benefit)
  • Fame! (European Tour)
  • Steel Pier (National Tour)
  • Crazy For You (PBS Great Performances)

Currently you can see Debra revisiting her role as a Rockette for her third season in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York. She is a proud member of AEA and AGVA.
Debra Denys Smith resume

Jackie Trippeer
Jackie Trippeer resume

Megan Lindsay has a BS in dance performance from Ball State and an MA in dance/movement therapy from Columbia College Chicago. She is currently teaching jazz and ballet at Indiana University Northwest and serves as the artistic director of the student dance company. She is an independent choreographer and has set choreography on the Orchesis Dance Company, Wheel World Dancers, Rebound Dance Company, Northwest Theatre Guild, and the Dancer's Studio Ensemble. She is a cofounder of Rebound Dance Productions, which presents an annual festival of dance, music, and art in Chicago. 


Department of Theatre and Dance
Arts and Communications Building, Room AC 306
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-8740
Fax: 765-285-4030
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