Originally from Augusta, Georgia, Michael trained, performed, taught, and choreographed at the Columbia County Ballet, under the instruction of Ron Jones. Though accepted into the Ballet Magnificat! Trainee Program when he graduated high school, Michael decided to attend three years of ministry school at the Georgia School of Ministry. During the next few years, he founded a dance ministry at his home church to allow students from any background to have affordable and quality dance instruction. After graduating GSM, Michael moved to Jackson, MS, to join the Ballet Magnificat! Trainee Program. He was soon promoted to Company Artist with the company and for the next two years had the opportunity to travel all over the United States, Europe, and Asia. Michael then followed the Lord’s leading to Iowa where he is continuing to combine dance and ministry as the Artistic Director of Encounter Performing Arts Company.
Originally from Washington State, Olivia grew up studying ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and modern at Irenes’s School of Dance. During her training there, she had the opportunity to perform many lead roles with the studio company, and was also offered a support cast role with the New York Ballet Theatre. Later Olivia furthered her ballet training with former principal dancers and instructors from Pacific Northwest Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. After receiving several scholarship awards, Olivia attended summer dance intensives with Cornish College of the Arts, The Evergreen City Ballet, and Ballet Magnificat! Following high school, Olivia was asked to be be a Trainee with Ballet Magnificat! She was soon promoted to Company Artist with the company where for the next six years she had the opportunity to perform and minister to over 20 countries including, Europe, Russia, Africa, Central America, Canada, and the United States.
She then followed her fiancé, Michael Viator, to Iowa to be the Assistant Director of Encounter Performing Arts Company.
Director of Ministries
As the Director of Encounter Grace Ministries, Anna Horvath oversees all the programs and ensures that the quality of a seamless education can be felt whether you are enrolled as a toddler in the studio program or a blossoming young professional in the performing arts company. Anna takes care of the day to day worries in order to give your Artistic Director and Assistant Director the ability to spend their time serving your student as they excel in the learning of dance and life.
(RTS) Registered Teacher Status, (CBTS) Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies - Royal Academy of Dance, (AAM1) Acrobatic Arts Module 1, (AAM2) Acrobatic Arts Module 2, (PBT) Certified in Progressing Ballet Technique, Certified in Alixa Flexibility module 1, BFA musical Theatre