Dance Faculty

Faculty in Dance

Patrick Roddy

Program Director Dance
Performing Arts Season Coordinator
Resident Instructor (tap, jazz)

Patrick Roddy joined the faculty of Creighton University in 1993. Patrick's earliest training in ballet was with Valerie Roche, founder of the Creighton Dance Program. As instructor of tap and jazz, he has served as choreographer for many Creighton musicals, including the award-winning and sellout performances of Chicago and West Side Story.

At the age of 13, Patrick was a featured soloist at Radio City Music Hall in Everybody Tap! (with choreography by Peter Gennaro) and A Rockette Spectacular starring Ginger Rogers. From 1978 1992 he worked and studied professionally in New York and Los Angeles, dancing on national tour with Mitzi Gaynor and on television in the 1986 Academy Awards telecast. Patrick was an assistant to Ron Field for the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics.

In addition to his work on the faculty at Creighton, Patrick has a well-developed connection to the Omaha dance community. He has presented annual workshops for the Omaha Dance Teachers Association, taught in local studios, and has done choreography for local theater and dance companies for over 30 years.

Patrick has been a frequent guest instructor at The Fairbanks (Alaska) Summer Arts Festival. His other numerous teaching engagements have included Iowa State University, the Iowa Dance Theatre, the Donna Reed Festival in Dennison, Iowa; and the Plumb Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. Patrick has been awarded four Theatre Arts Guild (Omaha) Awards, and two Omaha Entertainment Awards for Outstanding Choregraphy of a Musical.

Liz Alford

Liz (Elizabeth) began her classical ballet training at age 7 in St Louis, MO. By age 9 she was dancing in Louisville, KY, and by age 14 quickly began performing professional roles with the Louisville Ballet. Throughout her dance training Liz studied  at the Chautauqua Ballet School, School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet Academy, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School all with full scholarship . At age 16 she was invited to be a full time student at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of the New York City Ballet. While a student at SAB Liz danced in  Columbia Pictures 1998 film, Center Stage. Liz began her professional career with New York City Ballet at age 18. Later Liz went on to receive her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work and Communications from Gordon College then moved to China where she choreographed, performed, and taught many styles of dance to students of all ages and walks of life during her 10 years there.  Liz won first place in the 2006 Beijing TV Arts in our Land competition in Southwest China. Liz has been teaching Advanced Ballet at the Omaha Academy of Ballet since 2015. She has also choreographed works for the Omaha Academy of Ballet, Omaha Dance Project, Nebraska Opera Project, and Creighton University. 

Deborah Carr

Deborah A. Carr, originally from Boston, MA, began her training with David Shields (of the Royal Ballet) and David Drummond (soloist with Boston Ballet). While still in Boston, she performed with the Boston Festival Ballet and Copley Square Ballet. She then danced with the Connecticut Ballet and Ballet Omaha, performing leading roles in the Nutcracker as well as roles in ballets by such noted choreographers as George Balanchine, Lew Christensen, Loyce Houlton, and Bruce Wells. After retiring from the stage she began teaching, eventually to become Ballet Mistress to the Omaha Theater Ballet Company and the Artistic Director of the Omaha Theater Student Company. Deborah was awarded the Nebraska Arts Council Award for choreography for her ballet Pridelands, which has also been performed at the Regional Dance America Festival. She continues to teach and choreograph at Heartland Conservatory of Dance and has been on Creighton's faculty since 2010.

Kelly Hanneman

Kelly Hanneman began her career in Omaha, NE at the Omaha Academy of Ballet and Creighton University. She studied under the direction of Valerie Roche, A.R.A.D, Patti Zukaitis and Lynne Nevin. She received her B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 1989. She toured internationally with MOMIX and Pilobolus performing on stage, television and film. Since returning to Nebraska in 1997, Kelly has served on the faculty of the University Nebraska Lincoln, Creighton University, and the University of Nebraska Omaha. She has also taught, choreographed and/or performed for the Omaha Academy of Ballet, Opera Omaha, Mannheim Steamroller, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Bluebarn Theatre, Omaha Symphony, the Rose Theatre, Omaha Modern Dance Collective, and numerous other venues. Kelly is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Yoga Teacher.

Patti Zukaitis

Patti Zukaitis received her BFA in dance from Creighton University in 1974 and graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dance in 1986.  She is Co-Director of The Omaha Academy of Ballet and adjunct faculty in Creighton's dance department.  She holds the Associate Diploma through the ISTD Professional Teaching Examinations.