Dancing together with CF: faculty

Nora Burkitt

Nora holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, training under Mary Pat Henry, Gary Abbott, DeeAnna Heitt and Tobin James. She teaches students of all abilities as the Adaptive Dance Coordinator and lower school teacher for the Kansas City Ballet. She worked with people living with Parkinson's Disease in A Tulip Unfolding, a two-year performance project which shared their stories and movement contributed by the storytellers. She is a member of the KC Contemporary Dance company in Kansas City, Missouri. She trained at the Kansas City Ballet, studying under Ballet Mistress Karen Brown, Kimberly Cowen, Lisa Thorn Vinzant, Tamara Sanders, and Master Hyuk-ku Kwon. Former Artistic Director, William Whittener cast Burkitt in Todd Bolender's Nutcracker with the Kansas City Ballet. She attended summer intensive programs at the Alvin Ailey school and the Kansas City Ballet. 

Amanda Estep Killen Amanda holds a Bachelor of General Studies from Missouri Western State University with minors in Theatre, Musical Theatre, Dance and Entrepreneurship.  She started dancing at the age of 3. The same year she started dancing, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (read her story here). She is a professional choreographer and has been involved with dance in one way or another since she was three years old. Amanda has choreographed Mary PoppinsBeauty and the Beast, and Footloose for Robidoux Resident Theatre. She was honored with two Ruby Awards from RRT for Best Choreography. She also choreographs for Platte County Show Choir and Owasso High School Theater Department. Amanda has also worked with Cameron High School’s Show Choir, Theater Department, and Pom Squad. She was on the Mystics Dance Team at Missouri Western State University for four years, captain for three, and assistant coach for one year. She was on her high school dance team all four years, captain for two years, and choreographed all of her high school musicals. Amanda is eager to pass on her love for dance and theatre!

She is generous and thinks of others. She is loyal to her friends and reaches out to organizations such as the Cystic Fibrosis Education/Awareness Days and events, the CF Great Strides Walks, Healthy Buddy program, Shoes for Orphan Souls, food pantry, soup kitchens, and Scouting for Food/Second Harvest Food Bank. 

Suzanne Ryanstrati

Suzanne holds a Master's of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Iowa. She is a faculty member at the Kansas City Ballet School and Störling Dance Theatre's Conservatory of Dance. She worked extensively with dancers living with visible and invisible disabilities or conditions. This includes dancers with Multiple Sclerosis, Polio, Depression, Cystic Fibrosis Bi-polar, Polio, Spina bifida, Anxiety, Osteoporosis, Attention Deficit Hypotension Disorder, Low vision/Blind, Brain Injury, Parkinson's Disease and conditions as a result of suicide attempt. She was the Artistic Director of Ryanstrati & Co, a professional dance company featuring dancers with and without visible and invisible disabilities. She lives with a disability as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury.  She is passionate about human rights.