Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School / Santa Fe / Director / Faculty

Director / Faculty

Gisela Genschow

School Director

Ms. Genschow is the director and principal teacher of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School in Santa Fe. A native of Hamburg, Germany she trained with the Hamburg State Opera under Peter van Dyk and Victor Gsovsky. She danced professionally with the Hamburg State Opera, Ballet de Wallonie, Opera de Lyon, Ballet Theatre Contemporain, Ballet du Rhins, and Tanzforum Koln. Throughout her career she toured Europe performing classical ballets as well as contemporary works. She had the opportunity to directly work with George Balanchine as well as numerous other renowned choreographers such as Pierre Lacotte and Lois Falco. After moving to the United States, Ms. Genschow was a faculty member of Fort Worth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre under company director Patricia Wilde and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. In 1992, she moved to Santa Fe and took over the directorship of Santa Fe Dance Foundation, now The School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Karen Brettschneider

Early Childhood Training, School Administrator

Karen started ballet at the age of six in her hometown of Elgin, IL training with Lisa Boehm, former prima ballerina of the Deutsches Opernhaus, Berlin, Germany and the Stadt Theater, Berne, Switzerland. As a teenager, Karen also studied jazz with Lisa’s son, Frank. Karen supplemented her training at the Lisa Boehm School of Dance with summer programs at the Ruth Page Foundation (Chicago), the Lou Conte Dance Studio (Chicago), North Carolina School of the Arts, and Yorkshire Ballet Seminars in Ilkley, England. Karen attended Barat College of DePaul University in Lake Forest, IL. While in college, Karen was a member of the Barat Repertory Dance Company and was selected to dance in choreography by Rory Foster (ABT), Eileen Cropley (Paul Taylor Dance Company), and Gerald Otte (Nikolais Dance Theatre). After graduation, Karen joined the Zephyr Dance Ensemble, Chicago’s only all-female dance company. After several years with Zephyr, Karen decided to transition from performing to teaching and joined the faculty at the North Suburban School of Dance, North Shore School of Dance, Dance Academy of Libertyville, and Chicago Ballet Arts. Karen was the director of the dance company at St. Scholastica Academy in Chicago, IL. She choreographed for the Barat College Children’s Theater productions of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and choreographed and performed in The North Shore Nutcracker. Karen is thrilled to share her love for dance with the youngest students at the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School.

Tara Debevec


Tara Debevec earned her B.A in Performing Arts Dance from Saint Mary’sCollege of California, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has dedicated her life to dance performance and instruction, touring the world as a performer and dance educator for over three decades. Her career has taken her across the United States, Europe, and New Zealand, performing, instructing, choreographing, and producing shows that reflect her passion for the art of dance. Her many professional credits include performing for the RoyalFamily at the Festival of London, for Bally’s Jubilee! in Las VegasNevada, as well as touring as the choreographer and production consultant for Celebrity Enterprise.Her experience and exceptional teaching abilities are reflected in her internationally popular DVD series, Now We’re Dancin’, and her choreography can be seen in movies such as Lightning Jack. Tara currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she is sharing her love for dance a san Arts Administrator and Dance Educator.

Christine Spizzo


Born in Belleville, Illinois, Christine Spizzo trained at the San Francisco Ballet School, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the School of American Ballet in New York. After graduation, she danced with the National Ballet of Washington (DC), the Ballet Repertory Company (NY), and American Ballet Theatre in 1975. A soloist with ABT, Spizzo appeared in numerous Live from Lincoln Center and Dance in America telecasts, the Herbert Ross films The Turning Point and Dancers, and in Baryshnikov’s The Nutcracker and Don Quixote films. Spizzo was a Principal dancer with Ballet Arizona from 1988-1990 and with the Nureyev & Friends North American tour in 1990. She performed in the Broadway company of Phantom of the Opera from 1990-2000. Also, during that time, Spizzo was an adjunct faculty teacher at both NYU and SUNY/Purchase and in 1996 served as Artistic Coordinator of ABT’s inaugural Summer Intensive Program. She has remained a principal teacher in all subsequent ABT Summer Intensives in NYC and Austin, TX. She is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum instructor. In 2000, Spizzo joined the dance faculty at UNCSA, where she worked for 10 years, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. Widely recognized for her teaching, and staging of classical ballet repertoire, she has been a guest at various schools all over the U.S., New York, North Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School is thrilled that Christine has moved to Santa Fe, and we welcome her to our staff.