L-R (back) Shannon Snover, Cherie Ellmers (office), Betsy Gifford (office), Blythe Roycroft, Pat Laliberté, Beth Costigan, Susie Rohrbaugh (office), Dawn LeVay (office), Anna Penny, Suzanne Ehrenzeller (office), Hannah Ehrenzeller
(middle) Suzanne Moreno Murley, Gerren Mobley, Katie Wiltshire, Juliet Malit, , Heather Iler, MiMi Lee McCloskey
(front) , Alina Ramirez,
(not pictured) suzanne laliberté clark, Darra Gasper, Beth Peele, Willie Hinton, Tori Junell, Misha Nikitine, Jim Strong, Ronnie West
Suzanne founded the Cary Ballet Conservatory
and the Cary Ballet Company in August of 1995, when she relocated from
New York with her family. Originally from Miami, Florida, she studied
ballet daily, from an early age, at some of the finest schools and
attended intensive summer programs with company affiliated schools,
throughout the country, annually. As a teenager, she toured as a member
of Ballet Florida and South Florida Ballet companies. She graduated
from New World School of the Arts and was the 1985 national recipient
of the prestigious ARTS Honors scholarship award. She chose to continue
at New World School of the Art's College/Professional Division, as the
only scholarship recipient. The choice enabled her to continue
performing professionally with Miami Ballet and Momentum Dance Company,
and pursue her love of teaching at several respected ballet schools.
Suzanne enjoyed taking part in Miami’s booming arts culture which
included many collaborative events and opportunities such as performing
Balanchine’s Serenade, staged by Allegra Kent in Miami City Ballet’s
inaugural season. In December of 1989 she moved to New
York where she continued teaching, performing and training with
world-renowned teachers in Manhattan. In 1990 she became the artistic
director/owner of the New Paltz School of Ballet, NY, where she trained
ballet students of all levels, through professional, and founded the
semi-professional Hudson Valley Regional Ballet Company. For five years
she directed the school, providing her students with the skills to be
accepted into major professional companies and/or be awarded
scholarships from universities with prestigious dance programs.
Although Suzanne loved her students and was very proud of the wonderful
school she had developed, the “southern girl” never felt at home in New
York. After extensive searching for a wonderful place to live and raise
her two boys, Dustin and Brennan, she realized the need for a higher
level of training in North Carolina’s Capital region. Eager to fill
that need and become part of the beautiful, friendly community she fell
in love with, Suzanne and her family relocated to Cary in August of 1995
and opened Cary Ballet just 5 months later. Through her years of
experience, she developed a unique curriculum where students truly
enjoy being pushed to their highest potential. Because serious ballet
training is demanding and those students become passionate about their
art, she believes in establishing nurturing relationships- offering
sound advice, positive correction and gentle guidance. Following her
lifelong dream, Suzanne has put her heart into bringing together a
beautiful loving environment with the finest possible training. Through
the Cary Ballet Conservatory, she has assembled an outstanding faculty
of dance professionals with extensive performing and teaching
experience as well as a thorough knowledge of anatomy in relation to
dance. They meet often to share ideas and discuss students' individual
progress. Her goal is to make each student an important member of the
school, building their confidence and self-esteem so that they may
dance and achieve their goals freely and without inhibitions. Over the
past 14 years Cary Ballet has made a positive difference in so many
lives. This remarkable success has already earned a national reputation
and the conservatory has become one of Cary’s most treasured assets.
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Deanna Seay danced for twenty one years with the Miami City Ballet after graduating as a
student of Melissa Hayden from the (University of) North Carolina School of the Arts in 1989. As
a scholarship student at (U)NCSA, she won a Level 3 award from the National Foundation for
Advancement in the Arts before joining Miami City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in
August 1989. Named a Principal Dancer in 1998, she was featured extensively throughout the
repertoire, including works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor
and was known for her intelligence, musicality, and "deeply felt sense of movement" (Miami
Herald) whether performing the title role from Giselle, or the dual role of Odette and Odile from
Swan Lake. Referred to by critics as "absorbingly musical" (New York Times), "incandescent"
(Miami Herald), and "the standard-bearer of Balinchinean finesse" (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-
Sentinel), she performed a broad spectrum of Balanchine ballets, receiving critical acclaim for
performances in roles ranging from the second pas de trois in Agon, and the principal female
role in Square Dance, to principal roles in Allegro Brillante, Concerto Barocco and Diamonds
from the full-length Jewels. During her career, in addition to working closely with Edward Villella
on many principal roles, she also worked with coaches such as Patricia Neary, Violette Verdy,
Allegra Kent, Suzanne Farrell, Maria Calegari, Susan Pilarre, Susie Hendl and Bart Cook, and
in 1999 was chosen to work with Maria Tallchief for the Balanchine Foundation Interpreter's
Archive. Dedicated to preserving Balanchine's key roles as interpreted by their originators, the
Balanchine Foundation filmed Ms. Seay being coached by Ms. Tallchief in the principal female
role of Allegro Brillante.
In addition to her responsibilities as a Principal Dancer, Ms. Seay also served as a rehearsal
assistant to the Miami City Ballet artistic staff, helping to prepare dancers and coach them for
performance. Ms. Seay has been on the Miami City Ballet School faculty for both the summer
and winter programs, and has also served as guest faculty for Boston Ballet's Summer Dance
Program in Newton and has taught master classes in many schools across the United States.
At the request of the Balanchine Trust, Ms. Seay has staged excerpts from Who Cares? and
The Nutcracker for The Portland Ballet, in Portland, Oregon. In 2009, Ms. Seay served as
a preliminary panelist for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts' YoungArts
program, and in 2010, served on a grants panel for the Miami Dade Cultural Affairs Council. Not
limited to ballet only, Ms. Seay, with her husband Mikhail Nikitine, co-founded Seanik Arts in
January 2009, a contemporary performance ensemble dedicated to creating new work that blurs
the distinction between performance and visual art.
Dedicated to helping students find the truth in their expression through a clean, beautiful
technique, Ms. Seay hopes to be able to share her own love of dance with all of her future
students. She retired from the stage in 2010.
photo by Steve Caras
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began her early training in Huntsville, AL. At age 16, she began
training with Michael and Susan-Quinn Williams, in Pensacola, FL and
performing professionally with First City Dance Theater. She quickly
became the lead dancer and Jr. Company Director at their affiliate
school, The Dance Centre. Later, Darra accepted a scholarship to train
with the world renowned Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and spent the
next four years pursuing her career in the windy city. While in
Chicago, Darra danced professionally with the Gus Giordano Dancers
while she continued earning an excellent reputation for teaching and
choreography at the Gus Giordano Dance Center and studios in and around
the Chicago area. She also appeared with Touch Dance Ensemble and James
Kelly Choreography Project and was a guest soloist at the 1994 Jazz
Dance World Congress. Darra's other credits include performing in
videos on VH1 and MTV as well as appearances on PBS, FOX, and ABC's
Wide World of Sports and as a featured dancer in casino shows. Having
received many honors and awards, Darra has become a very sought-after
teacher and choreographer throughout the United States. She directed
the Jazz Program at The Dance Center of Colorado Springs, where over
seven years; she brought the program to a nationally respected level
and developed a pre-professional touring company.While in Colorado,
Darra choreographed extensively for
the US Air Force Jazz Band and USAF Band of the Rockies touring
companies along with coaching Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets
Cheerleaders. Darra's choreography has become a staple at the Arizona
Jazz Dance Showcase and her dancers have received scholarships to Gus
Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, University of Arizona, Tuscon and
countless other universities and summer programs. She continues to
teach Master Classes and stage choreography for schools and companies
throughout the country.
In 2005, Darra was recruited by Suzanne Clark to join the Cary Ballet
Conservatory faculty. CBC dancers love her high energy, bold, hands-on
teaching style. As director of CBC's Jazz Program and affiliate Jazz
3D Project, Darra has utilized her extensive training and performance
background to further heighten the level of CBC's jazz program,
exposing her students to many styles
of contemporary dance such as Classical Jazz, Broadway Jazz, Lyrical,
Hip Hop, and Ethnic. Having a vast network of contacts throughout the
jazz dance community, Darra draws the foremost Master Teachers working
today, for workshops and choreography exclusively for CBC students.
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Anna has been in the dance and performing
industry since she was four years old. She started from arrhythmic
gymnastics where she won certificates and trophies until the age of
ten. She then was accepted into the Choreographic College of Ballet in
Belarus where she studied classical, folk, modern and other styles of
ballet. During this time she traveled with the college all over Eastern
and Western Europe such as Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, Latvia,
Vietnam, and all parts of Russia. She performed in international
competitions representing the country of Belarus. Anna has performed
leading roles in many ballet’s including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker,
Corsair, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and Raymonda. She performed for
the Queen of the Netherlands and for Chelsea Clinton. Anna was also an
actress in the movie “Russian Arc” which made the Guinness Book of
World Records for non stop taping in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg,
Russia. Being the Valedictorian of her graduating class she went to the
United States with the International Group of Performers in 1998. Anna
traveled the U.S. performing folk and classical Russian ballet while
teaching children and adults. From there she worked and performed with
the Carolina Ballet and was also teaching gymnastics and ballet for
children. She was recognized as a beautiful example of a classically
polished professional ballerina in the movie “A Parents Guide to
Ballet”. Anna is excited to begin her fourth year teaching at the Cary
Ballet Conservatory, where she is adored by her students. She’s
especially eager to continue implementing all of the wonderful ideas
which have blossomed from her position as Cary Ballet’s “Children’s
Ballet Mistress.” Anna also devotes much of her time to the Cary Ballet
Company, coaching dancers and staging choreography. She is extremely
committed to our CBC students and teachers, implementing the most
effective syllabus and strategizing for optimal results. An integral
part of our Cary Ballet family, Mrs. Anna is also a wonderful Mommy to
her beautiful son, Alec.
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Robb Beaman has recently moved to the area from Kinston, NC where he was the owner/director of Studio '86 Danceworks. He has studied dance for 26 years from various instructors, including Gregory Hines, Frank Hatchett and Gus Giordano. A bulk of his training was acquired from Broadway Dance Center under the VOP Jazz dance methodology. Robb holds a BS in Business Administration from ECU where he was a substitute tap instructor. He served as Chairman/Choreographer for Kinston's Junior Miss Program, selected as the nation's Most Outstanding Local program. He also served as talent coach for Dana Reason, Miss North Carolina, 2003. Robb has held the position of Co-Director of the Kinston Summer Theatre and 'Moppetts' Children Theatre for four years. In addition to teaching at his own studio, he has taught pre-professional tap and jazz at the Greenville Civic Ballet.
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Beth Costigan joined our Cary Ballet faculty
in the fall of 1997 upon relocating to Cary with her husband John and son
Jack. She began her training with Chicagoland studios including
the Ruth Page foundation and the Lou Conte Studio. She holds a BA in
Theatre/Dance from Northern Illinois University where she was awarded a
Talented Student Scholarship and an Outstanding Service Award. Beth has
performed professionally with Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble,
Dancescape, The American College Dance Festival, The N.I.U.
Alumni Company and most recently with the Harrison Dance Company in
Atlanta, GA. Prior to moving to Cary, Beth was Assistant Director of
the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre in Marietta, GA. for three years. Beth
now lives in Cary with her husband, John, her son Jack and her
daughter, Grace. She has been a wonderful asset for Cary Ballet,
teaching over the past twelce years. In addition, she has remained an
active leader in all aspects of the conservatory and the company. Beth
is especially recognized for the numerous outstanding original works
she choreographed for our Cary Ballet Company.
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Willie Hinton, a native of New York began dancing at the age of 16 at Enloe Gifted & Talented Magnet High School in Raleigh, NC. He was also a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. Upon graduating Willie attended the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts where he received his BFA in Dance.
Willie has toured nationally as well as internationally with The Rebecca Kelly Dance Company (NY), Jubilations Dance Company (NY), The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), and Dance Kaleidoscope (IN). He was also a guest dancer with Chuck Davis's African American Dance Ensemble (NC), Binghamton's New York's TriCity opera company where he was the featured dancer in their production of Samson & Delilah.
In addition to his performance career Willie's love of teaching allowed him to teach across the US, and abroad at several colleges and universities. He was also the elementary choreographer for "Evening of Entertainment," Durham North Carolina's annual scholarship fundraising event for high school seniors where he worked with over two elementary students. He also taught, and choreographed on the North Carolina State
Panoramic Dance Project.
Willie's passion to inspire, and motivate young people allowed him to be on staff at the School of the Richmond Ballet where he taught jazz, and modern to all the levels within the school. He also was a mentor/teacher to the traineeâ€™s and apprentices of Richmond Ballets professional company. He was also a teaching artist for their outreach program "Minds in Motion" an affiliate of the National Dance Institute founded by world famous dancer Jacques de'Amboise. Philadelphia's "Freedom Theater" where he choreographed
and performed, and SPARC (School of the performing arts in the Richmond community).
In addition to his teaching involvement with "SPARC" he also choreographed and performed in their "Live Art" concert with several of Virginiaâ€™s leading musicians and composers. He also choreographed Chicago, Smokey Joe's Café, and Ragtime for their summer stock showcases. The University of Richmond commissioned Hinton to choreograph their fall production RENT.
Willie has also taught at Richmond Ballet's summer intensive, Virginia Commonwealth University's summer intensive, Carolina Ballet's summer intensive, and The School of Dance Arts summer intensive. Hinton is also trained in the National Dance Institute (NDI-NM) method of teaching children founded by world famous dancer Jacques d'Amboise. Willie's international teaching has taken him to Bolivia South America where he was in charge of the jazz/modern department at The Estudio de Capezio. He was also a guest teacher at the University of Bolivia, and the American High School.
Among many of Willie's accomplishments he was nominated and won the "Artsy" award for "best choreography" in the Richmond community given by Richmondâ€™s VA Theater Critic's Choice members for his choreography for the African American Repertory Theater's Black Nativity. It was also awarded a citation from Christopher Newport University for being an outstanding educator. The American Dance Festival in Durham North Carolina awarded him the 2013 Dance Professional Workshop scholarship.
Presently Hinton is the Artistic Director of North Carolina Arts in Action, an affiliate of
the National Dance Institute.
Mrs. Iler began her training at a small school in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio. While still in high school Mrs. Iler moved to New York City to attend the School of American Ballet and less than a year after moving to the City, Mrs. Iler was chosen by Mikhail Baryshnikov to attend the School of Classical Ballet, the school for the American Ballet Theater. In 1990, Mrs. Iler was hired by Edward Villella to become a company member with Miami City Ballet where she performed corps, soloist, and principal roles in numerous ballets. Mrs. Iler also had the privilege to study and train with the San Francisco Ballet School, The Richmond Ballet, and Ballet Met. Following her professional dance career, Mrs. Iler graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Toledo. She has been on faculty with the Miami City Ballet, The Reston Conservatory Ballet in Virginia, The Toledo Ballet, and Ballet Theater of Toledo. Most recently she served as ballet mistress for St. Louis Ballet where she was responsible for rehearsing company repertoire including the classics Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake as well as neo-classical works by Balanchine and Christopher D'amboise. She is currently on faculty with St. Louis Ballet School where she teaches, coaches, and choreographs dancers of all ages and skill levels.
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Tori Junell is originally from the small town of Princeton, Massachusetts. Ever since she was 2 years old, she has been an aspiring dancer and performer. She spent the first 12 years of her dance training in West Boylston Massachusetts at the Diane Kelly Dance Studios. For 8 years she competed in several competitions and traveled with her team. In 2007, her family decided to move to Cary, North Carolina. Her search for the finest school to further her dance training led to Cary Ballet Conservatory where she has felt at home ever since. Throughout the past few years at CBC, Tori has worked as a Teacher's Assistant, performed several key soloist roles and has performed extensively with The 3D Project. She is currently interning with the company and the studio to further her desire for a career in dance. As a senior, she has applied to UNC-Greensboro as a double major in dance and fashion. She hopes her students can identify with the passion for dance she has cultivated over her 16 years of training. Tori hopes to someday open her own dance studio and teach other students the art of dance.
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Juliet Celeste Malit brings over 30 years of dance experience to us. Mrs.
Malit was born in the Philippines and has danced intensively and
performed in Ballets, Modern Dance, Folk-International Dances, Musical
and Jazz productions. She has a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and Dance. She also holds a Master Degree in Dance with a specialization in Dance Composition. During this time, she was with the University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe. Aside from their regular University performances, they also performed for the president of the Philippines, dignitaries, consulates and for the tourism in the Philippines.
Mrs. Malit trained in the Philippines under Pinon, Alice Reyes, Corazon Inigo, Rene Hofilena, Norman walker, Eric Cruz and Nez Jardin.
In addition to her regular dance classes, She has attended 10 years of Intensive dance summer program at CCP, Philippines.
She is the co-founder and Honorary Chairman-Choreographer of the "Integrated Performing Arts Guild"
(IPAG) - a dance, music and drama group in the Contemporary Philippines
Theater which is one of the top cultural groups there.
In the United States, she has worked closely with Joan Wolf, Helena Baron, Mark Jelks, Joanne
Koob Brown, Mary Carpenter, Sheila Hellman and many more respected
dance artists. She was the Children's Ballet Mistress for the Bergen
Dancenter / Bergen Dance Theater in New Jersey. In January 1997, she joined the Cary Ballet Conservatory where she still teaches
and choreographs for the Cary Ballet Company and the 3D Jazz Company. Furthermore, she has been the choreographer for the Philippine Dance Company of North Carolina. In 2003, she was nominated for the Raleigh Medal of Arts for her achievements in the performing arts.
In addition to teaching dance at Ballet studios, she has taught Physical
Education at St. JosephÂ’s School in Bogota, New Jersey and St. Mary
Magdelene in Apex, North Carolina. At these schools, she was also a dance
instructor and has produced, choreographed, and directed performances such
as Peter and the Wolf, Oliver, The Nutcracker, Aladdin, All That Jazz, Godspell,
School House Rock, Christmas Plays and more. Her latest production, Over the
Rainbow, was based on the classic play, The Wizard of Oz. She wrote, directed,
and produced Over the Rainbow for her musical theatre production class at St. Mary Magdelene.
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MiMi did not discover her love for dance until
she was already a young teenager. She trained intensely focusing on
jazz and was teaching by her third year of study. In 1993 she moved to
North Carolina to pursue a BSE in Electrical Engineering and Computer
Science from Duke University. She continued to dance in college, taking
African dance classes and joining Duke's African American Dance
Reperatory. MiMi was a choreographer for a student-run musical theatre
group and was also a member of the Duke Dance team, eventually serving
as both Vice-President and President. In 1997 she was a NCA Danz
All-American and danced in the half-time show at the Hula Bowl. Dancing
and teaching at the Cary Ballet Conservatory, MiMi
lives in Apex with her husband Scott spending most of her time with her
sons, teaching at Cary Ballet and working with the
CBC Jazz Company.
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Gerren Mobley, a native of South Florida,
began studying dance at the age of three, becoming a very serious young
dancer training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, and
acrobatics at "Palm Beach School of the Arts". In 1996 he moved to NC
and continued training intensely with the Cary Ballet Conservatory.
Gerren has attended many master classes, workshops and summer intensive
training programs working with some of the dance world's most respected
professionals including former principal dancer of the Joffrey Ballet
Jerry Satinoff, Miami City Ballet director, Edward Villella and North
Carolina's own Gene Medler. He still continues to train with some of
nation's finest dancers and choreographers, frequently visiting
Broadway Dance Center in New York City and various dance conventions
across the East Coast. Over his pre-professional and professional
career, he has performed in the Opening Ceremonies of the Special
Olympics, Miami City Ballet's Nutcracker and Carolina Ballet's Carmen,
danced and choreographed for the NCSU Modern Dance Company, performed
at the American College Dance Festival's Gala, and as a lead dancer in
the Cary Ballet Company. As a recent graduate of North Carolina State
University's College of Management, Gerren is thrilled to continue
teaching and being an influential part of Cary Ballet's premier jazz
company 'The 3D Project'. Gerren looks forward to choreographing
new and exciting works for the company's upcoming
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Suzanne Moreno Murley graduated with a BA from Point Park College (University) in Pittsburgh, PA. She returned to the Washington area to perform ballet, modern and jazz with Arlington Dance Theatre and other performing groups. Suzanne and her husband, Scott, moved to North Carolina in 1995. She has been very involved with Cary Ballet Conservatory since its opening in 1997. With the inception of the pre-professional Cary Ballet Company in 1998, Suzanne has worked extensively with the ballet company; serving as the Administrative Assistant/Assistant Director and choreographer for this non-profit organization. Her work with the ballet company is very rewarding and makes Suzanne a proud member of the Cary Ballet Faculty.
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Misha Nikitine trained at the Perm Choreographic Academy in Perm, Russia, and also with Truman Finney at the School of the Hartford Ballet. He began his performing career at the Stanislavsky Theater in Moscow, and went on to dance as a Principal Dancer with Hartford Ballet, Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Carolina Ballet. He has performed leading roles in a diverse spectrum of works, ranging from Balanchine classics such as Allegro Brillante, Jewels, Prodigal Son and Apollo, to classical full-lengths (Giselle, Coppelia, Swan Lake), to original roles in works by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Damien Woetzel and Christopher Wheeldon. He has also choreographed several contemporary works, and in 2009 co-founded Seanik Arts, a contemporary performance ensemble.
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Beth Peele received her B.S. in Dance Education from UNC-Greensboro. She has taught dance in the greater Raleigh area since 1996. Beth is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance, but tap is her specialty. She enjoys combining her love of both dance and music in the rhythmic, percussive dance form. Her classes incorporate various styles of tap from Broadway style to rhythm tap and hoofing. Her students are encouraged to find their own personal tap style, challenge themselves technically, and to gain the confidence to experiment with tap improvisation. Originally from Pennsylvania, the Joan Harris Centre dance studio was her second home throughout her childhood. After high school, Beth attended Temple University as a dance major. While a student there, she was accepted into the Philadanco apprentice company with a full scholarship to study ballet and Horton technique at their school. After moving to NC and graduating from UNCG, she taught ballet and modern dance at a high school in High Point, NC before moving to Raleigh. Beth was the tap director at Pierrette Sadler Danceurs Studio in Raleigh for ten years, where she trained hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to professional careers in dance. Beth has been a guest tap artist, judged national dance competitions, and received awards for her tap choreography. She lives in Cary with her husband, Chris, and their three children.
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Alina Ramirez began dancing at the young age of three. Her pre-professional
training took place here at Cary Ballet Conservatory, where
she was a founding member of our pre-professional ballet company. During
her years at CBC, she danced many featured roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy
in The Nutcracker, and Odette in their company's performance of Swan Lake.
After graduation, she continued her training at a collegiate level and received
her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance Education from East Carolina University in
December 2010. There, she had the great privilege of studying under principle
danseur, Timour Bourtasenkov, and prima ballerina, Galina Panova, whom featured
Alina as the principal dancer in an original role in 2010.
Alina's passion for teaching
started at CBC, where she began her teaching career in 2003. She continues to teach
at the conservatory as well as choreograph for The 3D Jazz Project Company. Alina
taught at the Carolina Ballet's Youth Summer intensive program in 2011, as well as
master classes at ECU, and has choreographed for public school dance companies,
musicals and collegiate dance teams. Currently, she is a company member and
choreographer for Elevate, a local performance and production dance company,
where she has been able to perform and travel all over, including New Orleans,
Pinehurst. Alina is looking forward to continuing her carrier in dance performance,
choreography, and instruction, and feels blessed to be able to pursue her passion for
photo by Bert McLendon
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Blythe began her training at New Jersey School of Ballet at the age
of 5. When she was 11 years old, Blythe danced the role of Clara in NJB's Nutcracker which required a solo variation and pas de duex. She also had the opportunity to be
in an off-Broadway production of the Merry Widow performing with stars like Judy
Kay and Richard White. At the age of 12, her family moved to Pittsburgh where she
joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. During her time in the school, she was chosen
to dance with the company in the ballets Aurora's Wedding and Ballet Imperial at age
14, Giselle at age 15, and The Four Temperaments at age 16. Blythe also had many
performing experiences with PBTS in spring performances, lecture demonstrations,
and touring performances dancing in ballets such as Allegro Brillante, Serenade, and
Tarentella and performing the lead roles in Don Quixote, Odette and Odile from Swan
Lake, and 2nd violin in Concerto Barocco. At age 16, Blythe had a unique opportunity
to film Raymonda Variations dancing the variation and pas de duex coached by Patricia
Wilde for the Balanchine Foundation. She finished high school a year early and, after
auditioning for PBT company, joined the company as an apprentice. Blythe danced with
PBT for two years enjoying parts in ballets such as Jewels, Dracula, Western Symphony,
Symphony in C, Who Care's, and The Nutcracker. That summer, she taught a children's
class at PBTS. She continued to teach that year for Dance Alloy. Blythe attended
college and received a degree in elementary education and a minor in speech. Since
graduating, she has been a nanny, preschool teacher, 2nd grade teacher for five years,
lead teacher in the elementary department, and ballet teacher at a dance studio in Florida.
Blythe has been married to her Navy veteran husband for five years. They recently
moved to Cary in May 2010.
photo by Randy Choura
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Shannon Snover - Tap Instructor. A New York
native has been dancing all of her life at some of the finest schools
including STEPS and Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan. Her
professional career began at age 18 dancing, singing, and acting for
Walt Disney Productions. Shannon starred as Snow White, Alice in
Wonderland, and Wendy (from Peter Pan) in many shows and tours and
spent two seasons at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan. Since then she has
performed in many television and stage productions including a feature
role in the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar with members of
the original movie Ted Neely and Carl Anderson. Shannon taught in New
York for eight years and also taught master classes and Workshops at
dance centers and universities across the country while on tour.
Shannon and her husband Tim relocated to NC in 1995 and she has been
teaching tap and jazz for Cary Ballet since we first opened in January
of 1996. They now have a loving home with four wonderful children.
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Having recently moved to North Carolina, James spent the last 10 years in
San Francisco dancing with Smuin Ballet, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, and
the Lawrence Pech Dance Company among others. Prior to California, he
performed with Koresh Dance Company, Ballet Dallas, Eugene Ballet/Ballet
Idaho as well as numerous guestings around the United States. He has toured
Europe and Australia as well as participating in the Vail International Dance
Festival. After finishing his performing career Mr. Strong began teaching in and
around the Bay Area before he and his wife and two children moved to the Triangle.
He is currently a "stay home" dad to his young daughter but is thrilled to be back
in the studio.
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Ronnie West began studying dance six years ago under Kirstie Spadie and Hip Hop teacher Dywon Fischer. He has also studied at "The Pulse" student and teacher workshops in Atlanta and NYC, briefly at "Koresh" in Philadelphia under Collete Tini, and at the Cary Ballet Conservatory. A natural study, Ronnie began assisting six months into his training and went on to teach by the end of the first year. Five years later he has choreographed for several televised events including the high-end fashion show "Strut 2008," the 2007 NBC17 Tree of Lights, NCSU's College of Design Art to Wear Show, and the 2009 Educator's Ball. He has also choreographed for performing artists including Morrison Poe and The Never. In the past year, several area high schools have invited him to teach as a guest artist. While Ronnie's resume reflects a largely Hip Hop-related background, he takes influence from Modern, Contemporary, Ballet and even every day life to inspire his pieces. He continues to grow as both a student and teacher.
Ronnie is originally from Asheville, North Carolina and attended C.A Erwin High School. He has always had a very strong interest in singing, and began working with difficult pieces at a young age under the direction and mentorship of Martha Weathers. Through a choral group called "Voices of the Laurel", she was largely responsible for making a great impact in the arts for Ronnie. Rebecca Caldwell, Band Director, instilled a sense of rhythm and tempo. Both paved the way to dance as Ronnie understands music on a compositional and detailed level; this allows him to connect to music not only physically and emotionally, but intellectually. Ronnie attended All-District Band (French Horn), All-State Chorus, Honors Chorus, and most notably N.C. Governor's School for Choral Music. N.C. Governor's School was the turning point in his thought process for dance as it was the first time he saw dance as an abstract art form.
Ronnie also attended the NCSU Prague Institute for Architecture and the NCSU College of Design. He received a Bachelors of Environmental Design in Archictecture from the School Of Architecture. He is currently in progress creating a business in Interior Design and Organizational Systems with colleague and friend, Heather Blackwell.
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Katie began her training in Cary, NC. During
her 13 years in school, she partook in numerous productions, including
Nutcracker, Annie and The Ruby Slippers. Katie went on to the
University of North Carolina at Wilmington to purse advanced training.
While earning her BA in Therapeutic Recreation, she performed with UNCW
Theatre/Dance Department, Wilmington Independent Choreographers, and
Cape Fear Theatre Ballet. While in Wilmington, Katie also taught ballet
at numerous studios. Katie and her husband Chase moved back to Cary in
2002. She is also proud to be a Certified Therapeutic Recreation
Specialist. Katie joined our faculty at Cary Conservatory in January
2003. Her love for children and passion for dance shows in her
teaching. Katie is delighted to be back at Cary Ballet Conservatory,
where she once was a student!
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Austin received a scholarship to the school of American Ballet when she
was twelve years old. At the age of sixteen she was hand picked
by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet. While
there, she danced many principle roles by both Balanchine and Jerome
Robbins. One of these was filmed for a PBS television special,
"Live From Lincoln Center". Additionally, she appeared with
Jerome Robbins in a TV special for NBC, "Live From Studio H". Ms
Austin also toured with the company throughout Europe and the former
Soviet Union. Leaving New York City Ballet, she went on to join the
Zurich Ballet of Switzerland. There she danced many principle
roles in works by Balanchine as well as Panov, Von Manon and Heinz
Sporli. When Rudolph Nureyev choreographed Manfred on the
company, Ms. Austin was given the opportunity to dance one of the
leading roles with him as well. She toured with Nureyev and the
Company to Italy, London, England's Convent Gardens. Returning to the
United States, she was invited to join the Pennsylvania Ballet as
principal dancer. There she went on to dance most of the
Company's contemporary works by many choreographers as well as the
classics such as Swan Lake, Coppelia, A Mid-Summers Night Dream and
both roles in Giselle and Myrtha. She danced the Sylph in La
Sylphide, staged by Peter Martins, now director of the New York City
Ballet, to again dance with Rudolph Nureyev, alongside Suzanne Farrell,
as one of the three ballerinas in Balanchine's Apollo. she danced
at a Gala Performance at the Academy of Music, hosted by Bill Cosby, in
which Grover Washington played the saxophone. Ms. Austin was asked by
Lynne Taylor-Corbett to be her assistant in Ms. Taylor-Corbett's
"The Dancing Princesses" commissioned by Edward Villella to be
choreographed for Miami City Ballet. This work premiered at the
Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on April 25, 1995. Ms. Austin has
taught in many schools in Florida including the American Cultural
Center in Miami, the Palm Beach Dance Center and the Miami City Ballet
School. Ms. Austin relocated to North Carolina in the summer of 1998 with
her husband Marin Boieru (principal dancer, Carolina Ballet) and
daughters Bianca and Olivia to join the faculty of the Cary Ballet
Conservatory, directed by Suzanne Clark and also to serve as the
"Ballet Master" for the Carolina Ballet, directed by Robert Weiss,
training their professional company members and staging
(photo credit for Debra Austin
- George Balanchine observing as Debra Austin performs Ballo Della
Regina Photo, Steven Caras)
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Autumn Mist Belk earned her B.A. in dance and studio art from the University of
Alabama and her M.F.A. in dance choreography from the University of Maryland.
Autumn has found her niche in academia being a part-time dancer and part-time
graphic designer; she currently works as both the assistant director of the Dance
Program and the assistant coordinator of Art Marketing at NC State University.
In addition, she serves as artistic director and choreographer of Code f.a.d.
Company, a group of dancers and other artists committed to combining film,
visual art, and dance into original performance works for stage and screen. As a
performer, Autumn worked for Walt Disney World Entertainment, was a member
of ContempraDance Theatre, and has danced guest roles with Liz Lerman Dance
Exchange, Joe Goode Performance Group, and David Dorfman Dance. She
has also worked with many independent choreographers on new and repertory
performances including Robin Harris, Donald McKayle, Mark Haim, Malcolm
Shute, Meredith Monk, Ann Hamilton, Sara Pearson, and Patrik Widrig. Autumn’s
choreography has been presented by a variety of universities, theatres, and
festivals in North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas,
New York, and Washington, D.C. As a photographer and graphic designer,
she has also exhibited her visual artwork in numerous galleries throughout
the country. Autumn’s favorite classes to teach are modern dance technique,
improvisation, and acrobatic conditioning.
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Marin Boieru began his ballet training in Romania and
later trained at the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad. Mr. Boieru came to
Carolina Ballet after seven years as principal dancer for the Miami
City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella. He has performed as
a principal for such companies as the Pennsylvania Ballet, Maurice
Bejart's Ballet of the 20th Century, Roland Petit's Ballet Company of
Marseilles, rance and Opera of Bucharest. He is the winner of the
gold medal at the prestigious Varna and Moscow Ballet competitions. Mr.
Boieru starred as James in Peter Martin's PBS production of La Sylphide and as "Albrecht" on European television in the Romanian National
Ballet's production of Giselle.
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Natalie Morton began her training at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill under M'Liss Dorrance, Jennifer Potts, and the late Carol Richard. She went on to
attend Meredith College where her love of Modern dance flourished under the tutalage of Alyson Colwell-Waber, David Beadle, and numerous guest artists. She was also privaleged to be an integral part of the Meredith Theatre program and graduated with a BA in Dance and Theatre in 1998.
Natalie is now on faculty at The Ballet School and is a certified Pilates instructor at NC Pilates. She is also thrilled to be a member of the local dance company, The Dance Cure.
When not dancing Natalie can be found holding down the fort at home with her
husband and two boys, Quinn and Avery.
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Laci started dancing in Boca Raton, Florida at the age of three. In 1991, she relocated to the Raleigh and continued to further her technique through local workshops and studios until moving to Greenville, NC to study at East Carolina University. While at ECU, she was honored to work with such teachers as Tommi Galaska, Clarine Powell, Patti Weeks, Roger Belman, Dawn Clark, and Joe Carow. She was also given the opportunity to perform under guest choreographers such as Nick Pupillo and Colleen Taylor-Young. Laci traveled and performed at Dance Chicago in 2005 and college dance festivals at Florida State University, Ohio University, and George Mason University. In 2007 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from ECU with a BFA in Dance Performance (Jazz) and a BSBA in Business Management. She made her musical debut as 'Mona' in Chicago and performed in West Side Story in the summer of 2007. Currently, Laci is the Head Coach of the Cardinal Gibbons High School Dance Team. Laci is looking forward to her wedding this fall to Justin McDonald and her first year at Cary Ballet Conservatory.
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