Andrew and Merry Kuharsky - Directors
29th Dec 2016 | by: Andrew Kuharsky

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The Greenville Ballet School’s Rebecca Lee is a native of Greenville, where she started her dance training at the Greenville Ballet School when she was six years old. She has three sisters who also all took dance lessons, two of them with the Greenville Ballet School. She has eight (going on nine) nieces and nephews, and one of them, Emma Sox, is currently dancing with the Greenville Ballet’s senior company.

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee and Andrew Kuharsky in Coppélia

She has a long history of performing in our production of The Nutcracker including three years as a Soldier, three years in the Party Scene, as well as Angels, Candy Canes, Spanish, and Chinese. Since she has been on our faculty you have seen her featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dewdrop, Arabian, and this year as the Russian soloist. She has also danced numerous roles in many spring performances over the years as well as the starring role of Swanilda in our 2014 and 2016 productions of Coppélia.

During her four high school years Rebecca Lee attended the dance program at the Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center where Mr. Kuharsky and Jan Woodward were her teachers. Her two sisters Angela and Stephanie also attended the Fine Arts Center dance program, so Mr. K lived through THREE Lee sisters! The summer after her junior year she attended the S. C. Governor’s School for the Arts dance program at Furman University where Mr. Kuharsky was on the faculty along with Edward Villella (former NYC Ballet principal) and Robert Barnett (former Atlanta Ballet director). She remembers that there were great teachers and she had a lot of fun!

Rebecca LeeShe received her B.F.A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from Columbia College, an all girls school with a large dance program where she had the opportunity to try her hand at choreography, worked closely with faculty member Christian von Howard, and performed with The Power Company. After college she taught at Ballet Spartanburg for a year and then lived in NYC for a year where she danced with Christian von Howard in the Von Howard Project and with the Garage Girls a Go-Go.

Rebecca Lee then headed to Florida State University where she earned her M.F.A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography. Her teachers there included Suzanne Farrell (former NYC Ballet principal), Gerri Houlihan (who later came to Greenville to direct the S. C. Governor’s School for the Arts dance program), Dan Wagoner (whose company did several residencies at the Fine Arts Center and prepared dinner at the Kuharsky’s log home the day they moved in), Sheila Humphries from England’s The Royal Ballet, Anjali Austen from Dance Theatre of Harlem, Rick McCullough, and Lynda Davis. Rebecca was also in a dance film (Embodiments of Silence), choreographed and directed by FSU professor Tim Glenn, that was shown around the world (see clip at bottom). She worked with Clay Taliaferro on Jose Limon’s piece There is a Time, and also performed dances by Alan Danielson (Limon Company), and Monica Bill Barnes. During her grad years Rebecca trained one summer with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet in Pittsburgh, PA, and performed works by Maria Caruso who was recently featured on TEDxtalk.Rebecca Lee

While in Tallahassee, Rebecca was a company member with Dance Repertory Theatre and a guest artist with Wildwood Ballet. She taught for FSU Summer Dance Intensive, Tallahassee Ballet, and Pas de Vie Ballet Company, and taught FSU non-major dance classes.

Since her return to Greenville she has choreographed for Converse College, Columbia College, Ballet Spartanburg, Tallahassee Ballet and the Fine Arts Center.  She performed with Weird Al Yankovic at the Peace Center in 2015 as a dancer in his song Smells like Nirvana.

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee with Wierd Al Yankovic

She currently teaches for the after-school A.R.M.E.S. program at the Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center and directs a dance program at Woodmont Middle School as well as serving on the Greenville Ballet School’s faculty.

Rebecca Lee enjoys salsa dancing, and the company of her dog (Maddie, a Yorkie) and cat (Trina the Ballerina). When she’s not busy with all her teaching jobs, you may find her working at The Sock Basket. Our Pre-Ballet and Elementary Ballet students love “Miss Rebecca” and she gets our oldest students moving in new and exciting ways in our Modern Dance class each week. We are very proud to have Rebecca Lee teaching at the Greenville Ballet School.

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About the Author: Andrew Kuharsky

Mr. Kuharsky is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School. He was an apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet in New York, a principal dancer with The Atlanta Ballet, and a soloist with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. He has directed the dance programs at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and the Greenville County Schools' Fine Arts Center.