OUR TEAM

Maia Wirth

Artistic Director
Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor
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Caitlyn Van Houten

Program Director
Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor
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Katie Mundt

Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor

Jenna Finkelstein

Dance Instructor
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Lanie Dreibelbis

Dance Instructor
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Juliet Ballinger

Dance Instructor

Gabby Fekete

Enrichment Staff

Maia has been teaching music and dance for more than fifteen years as both a private dance and music instructor and a public school educator, and was a semi-finalist for the Wake County Public School System's Teacher of the Year Award in 2011. Maia earned her B.A. in Dance and B.S. in Music Education from Elon University where she studied as a N.C. Teaching Fellow and Presser Music Scholar.  She is fully trained in Facilitative Leadership and Positive Behavior Intervention & Support and is always working to learn more about how to effectively manage her classroom and business for the success of all involved.  Maia has also trained extensively in the A+ Schools Program, an arts-integration and multiple intelligences based approach to teaching, learning, and school reform.

A dedicated yoga practitioner in her own life, Maia completed her Children’s Yoga Instructor Certification at the Asheville Yoga Center in 2013. She has performed as a vocalist and dancer throughout Europe and the United States and has shared the stage with the N.C. Symphony, Ben Folds, David Dorfman, Springs Dance Company, elan Vocal Jazz, and many more. When she is not teaching, dancing, or bending, Maia serves as a board member for Pawfect Match Rescue & Rehabilitation, and has been on the leadership team for the Morrisville Innovation Foundation’s East Meets West Festival since 2014.  She has a passion for service and giving back to the community and loves sharing this passion, along with her love for teaching and the arts, with her students and the Morrisville community.

Maia's most favorite role in life is being "Mama" to her son, Gunnar, who you'll often see hanging out at the studio! He loves to help clean the floors. check the mail, reorganize the props, and interrupt ALL of her phone conversations.

Maia Wirth
Artistic Director
Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor
 
 

Caitlyn began her dance journey at the age of 2, studying under several talented instructors including Open Arts’ very own Ms. Maia. As a student she dreamed of teaching and choreographing for students of her own one day. That dream came true when she became a part of the Open Arts Instructor Family in 2016.

Caitlyn has worked with many different age groups since becoming a dance teacher, offering classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acro dance . She has extensive training in Early Childhood Dance Education and holds certifications as an Acrobatic Arts Instructor, Once Upon A Ballet Instructor and as an Intellidance Method Instructor. She strives to maintain a positive and encouraging atmosphere in all of her classes where students feel confident in their individual power to succeed. Her main goal as a dance educator is to meet each student where they are and teach her students about the power of movement and how it  impacts the world around them.

With a passion to dance and perform herself, Caitlyn has studied alongside So You Think You Can Dance finalist, Katheryn McCormick, and some of Walt Disney’s master choreographers and performers.

If you find Caitlyn outside of the studio, she will most likely be just that: outside! She enjoys being outdoors on a hike or walk and loves spending time with her sweet fur babies Leo and Mowgli. She also enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and on the art canvas.

Caitlyn
Van Houten
Program Director
Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor

Katie is a Meredith College alumna where she received a degree in Dance Education. She completed her student teaching at Leesville Road High School to earn a K-12 licensure. After graduating from Meredith, Katie long term subbed at Garner High School and served as the Dance Educator at Holly Ridge Middle for two years. 

While attending Meredith, Katie was actively involved in the dance program where she served as co-manager of the modern dance company, Meredith Dance Theatre. She was also a member of Meredith Jazz and Tap Company all four years in her college career. Katie also served as President, Vice President and Secretary for the dance honor society, Nu Delta Alpha. She loved to perform and was constantly onstage at every dance performance at Meredith. Katie has been dancing for close to 20 years and now shares her love for dance with her students as a dance teacher. Katie was the recipient of the North Carolina Dance Alliance’s annual event scholarship for three years. Katie has trained under many great dancers and choreographers such as Tyce Diorio, Chris Judd, Dave Scott, Mia Michaels, Brooke Lipton, Carol Finley, Dr. Sherry Shapiro, Alyson Colwell-Waber, Marilyn Chappell and the famous Rockettes. She is a certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor.

When Katie is not in the dance studio, she enjoys spending time with her fiance and dogs. She also enjoys baking and cooking. While in college Katie’s apartment was known to always have something baking in the oven.

Katie is so excited to be a part of the Open Arts community! She looks forwards to a great dance season!

Katie Mundt
Company Co-Director
Dance Instructor
 

Jenna began dancing at City Ballet in Raleigh, NC, where she trained in ballet, modern, and jazz. She continued to dance during her four years at North Carolina State University, where she completed a minor in Dance and performed with the State Dance Company. While at NC State, she performed at the Wake Forest Dance Festival and the American College Dance Association Regional Conference, in addition to numerous University concerts. She also had the opportunity to choreograph several works and hopes to choreograph more in the future. 

Jenna is so excited to be teaching modern and jazz at Open Arts! These are her favorite styles to teach and perform and she looks forward to helping her students express themselves through movement. Her classes blend several different techniques to offer a challenging, fun, and exploratory approach to dance. 

Outside of dance, Jenna loves hiking, traveling, and cooking. She also works as a physical therapy technician, where she is learning more about injury prevention and recovery. She is so happy to be joining the Open Arts community for the 2021-2022 season!

Jenna Finkelstein
Dance Instructor
 
Lanie Dreibelbis
Dance Instructor

Lanie began dancing at the age of 3 in Daphne, Alabama. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical and was Snow White in her company’s ballet of the Disney movie Mirror Mirror. After high school, Lanie attended Auburn University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering while teaching ballet, creative movement, tap, jazz, and lyrical at Variations Studio. She aims to provide a safe place and positive atmosphere for her students to not only grow in their passion of dance, but also grow in confidence, kindness, diligence, and strength. Lanie loves to have fun and encourage her students in and outside of the classroom! 

 

Outside of the dance studio, Lanie is a Management Engineer for the Duke University Health System. She loves to be outside, spend time with her family and friends, play tennis, and watch Auburn football. Lanie is so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Open Arts family and can’t wait to dance with each of you this season!

 
 
 

Juliet is a recent graduate of Apex High School and is currently working towards a Fine Arts degree at Wake Tech to extend her love for the arts into a future career. She has ten years of dance experience, 6 of which were at Open Arts. Though she's experienced many styles of dance, she has always had a huge passion for modern and jazz in particular.

Her favorite dance memories include choreographing for our annual OAPC Galas, contributing to a piece performed on a Broadway stage, teaching our lovely dancers for our performance in Times Square, and working on our awesome summer camps in years past.

She has volunteered as a Teacher’s Assistant at Open Arts for several years, and is beyond honored to start teaching this year!

Whenever taking classes at Open Arts in the past, her philosophy was to have fun but reach goals. She is so excited to share that with her dancers this year and to create a loving environment where they are pushed towards both!

Open Arts holds such a special place in Juliet's heart and she's so ecstatic to return!

Juliet Ballinger
Dance Instructor

Gabby is our resident "Love Your Body" Queen here at Open Arts although you may also find her wrangling baby dancers at Showcase, keeping us organized at Costume time, and building all the props that require a glue gun. She's also the Co-Creator and Director of our Brave Fearless Friends Program. She is passionate about helping young people grow up feeling good about their bodies and all they can accomplish after losing her beloved sister to an eating disorder.  She is a low-key expert of all things Juvenile and Young Adult Fiction & she loves mentoring young people through the stickiest parts of life.
Gabby is the proud mom of Open Arts Dancer Olive and her son Evan and everyone's favorite furry studio greeter, Ruby!

Gabby Fekete
Enrichment Staff