Adam W. McKinney
Adam W. McKinney has a diverse and accomplished background in arts leadership across the globe, having served as an arts organization director, tenured professor, choreographer, dancer, educator and activist. McKinney was most recently an Associate Professor of Dance in Ballet with tenure in the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University. There he taught courses in classical ballet, modern dance and choreography. He was the Co-Director/Co-Founder of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue. Previously, he was the inaugural Dance Department Chair at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe.
He has danced with some of the world’s preeminent dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Béjart Ballet Lausanne (Switzerland), Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet Company.
McKinney has led dance work with diverse populations across the U.S. and North America, and in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. A leader who is committed to making ballet and dance accessible to all, he served as a U.S. Embassy Culture Connect Envoy to South Africa through the U.S. State Department. McKinney has created community social justice and awareness projects including the interactive Fort Worth Lynching Tour: Honoring the Memory of Mr. Fred Rouse and “The Borders Project” at the Mexico/U.S. and Palestine/Israel borders. He was also honored with the NYU President’s Service Award for his dance work with populations who struggle with heroin addiction.
McKinney was named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee by St. Vincent DePaul. He holds a BFA in Dance Performance with high honors with a focus on classical ballet from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from the Gallatin School at New York University.
Mr. Annegarn became a rehearsal director after retiring as a Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre principal dancer in 2003. Mr. Annegarn received his advanced training from the Royal Ballet School in London and toured with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company before joining the London City Ballet in 1984. He was promoted to principal dancer two years later. A highly-acclaimed performer with both impeccable classical technique and powerful dramatic ability, Mr. Annegarn has also been a principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. His repertoire included Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, George Balanchine’s Apollo and Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land. Mr. Annegarn is married to former PBT principal dancer Erin Halloran and together they are the proud parents of their sons Aiden, Leo and Ronan.
Barbara Bears joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a rehearsal director in 2023. Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Bears received her early dance training from Victoria Leigh and James Franklin. She was the winner of the silver medal at the 1991 International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. Bears was a dancer with the Houston Ballet for more than 20 years, including as a principal dancer for 15 of those years. Houston Ballet’s diverse repertoire of classical, neoclassical, and contemporary ballets afforded her the opportunity to perform leading roles in various works and to create a significant repertoire. Bears created roles in over 30 different ballets, most notably roles in Stanton Welch’s Indigo, Marie, Romeo and Juliet, and The Four Seasons and Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Evening. After her retirement, she served as a teacher and coach for Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet 2, and the Ben Stevenson Academy before joining the professional company’s artistic staff as a ballet master in 2016. As Ballet Master, Bears staged works by Ben Stevenson and Stanton Welch and had the honor of working alongside many notable répétiteurs and choreographers. She is married to Garrett Gadbois, with whom she shares a son, Ethan, who is currently studying chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Principal Pianist/Music Administrator
A native of Belgium, Yoland Collin began his musical training at the Académie de Musique in Hannut where he later served as a piano instructor and accompanist. In 1998, Mr. Collin graduated from the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège with a Diplôme Supérieur in Piano and Premiers Prix in Chamber Music, Accompaniment, Solfège and Harmony. In 1991, he was awarded Premier Lauréat of the “Concours National du Crédit Communal de Belgique”competition. Mr. Collin relocated to Pittsburgh, his wife’s hometown, and joined the PBT School Staff in November 1998. In 2003, he was promoted to the position of company pianist. Mr. Collin also serves as the principal pianist for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra.
Photos: Anita Buzzy Prentiss