Nevada Ballet Theater

ACADEMY OF NEVADA BALLET THEATRE

History
Founded in 1979, the Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization guided by a commitment to excellence in classical ballet tradition.
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Philosophy
The Academy believes that dance education is an ongoing process and continues throughout a dancer's career. Students whose lives lead to non-dance careers garner invaluable skills of discipline, dedication, poise and a life-long appreciation for the arts.
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Our Facility
Housed in a 36,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, the Academy was built by JMA Architects with money donated from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation on land donated by The Howard Hughes Corporation. Encompassing seven dance studios, it is indisputably one of the finest dance facilities in the nation. It is home to over 400 students, the professional company of Nevada Ballet Theatre as well as artistic staff, faculty and administrative staff.
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ACADEMY OF NEVADA BALLET THEATRE
Academy Faculty & Staff

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Anna Lantz
Anna Lantz
School Director, Pre-Professional Ballet Program

 

Teranè Comito
Director of Education & Outreach/Head of the Pre-Professional Dance Program

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Shannon Cangey
Academy Coordinator & Front Desk Supervisor

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Dodie Askegard

Children’s Program Coordinator and Instructor

 

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Vincenta Mendoza
Education & Outreach Assistant


Rena Alexander
Receptionist


Sylvain Collette
Receptionist


Brianne Van Diest
Receptionist

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Shara Bergal

Shara Bergal is from Chicago where she received her training with Stone-Camryn, Larry Long (Ruth Page Foundation), and the School of Chicago City Ballet (Maria Tallchief). She was the recipient of ballet scholarships at the Interlochen Arts Academy and was an apprentice at the Boston Ballet under the direction of E. Virginia Williams, and later Violette Verdy. Shara studied further in NYC at the School of American Ballet, and with Wilhelm Burmann, Robert Denvers, Floris Alexander and David Howard. Her studies also took her to Paris, where she trained under Gilbert Mayer of the Pairs Opera Ballet and Gerard Wilk (Ballet of the 20th Century, Bejart). Shara has danced with professional companies in Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Innsbruck, and St. Poelten, Austria, and has worked extensively in Vienna and throughout Western Europe. Shara eagerly draws on her diverse background to instill an enthusiasm for all forms of dance in her students.

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Marcus Bugler

Having a dance knowledge covering a wide range of techniques, Marcus Bugler teaches master classes, gives workshops, adjudicates and choreographs in dance schools, camps and conventions across the country; notably University of Nevada Las Vegas, Lindenwood University, and Utica College as guest faculty.  He has taught ballroom dance at Dance Charisma in Las Vegas and has been a guest instructor at the Chatauqua Summer Arts Festival, Marin Ballet, Ballet School of Stamford, Steps, Broadway Dance Center, Eastern Virginia School of Performing Arts, Ballet Tennessee, Miss Linda’s School of Dance, Sawnee Ballet School, Festival Dance Camp at UGA, Exclusively Ballet, Balletfest, Dancentre South, South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre, West Coast Dance Explosion, Dance Educators of America and the Academy and professional company of Nevada Ballet Theatre.

Marcus has been a dancer with the Muny Opera in St. Louis; the Harkness Youth Dancers (performing at the White House), The Harkness Ballet, with whom he toured all over Europe, Joffrey II, the Eglevsky Ballet, and the New York Metropolitan Opera where he was a dancer, Dance Captain, Ballet Rehearsal Assistant, and finally Repetiteur in 2001.  In 2003 he joined the artistic management team of Cirque du Soleil, opening the production of Zumanity: the other side of Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.  Before joining Cirque, he was invited, in 2003 and again in 2008, to Japan to choreograph the dances for the Ongaku-Juku production of the opera Die Fledermaus, and in 2007 for the Saito-Kinen Matsumoto production of Queen of Spades; all conducted by the brilliant Seiji Ozawa. He was also brought in as a guest artist of the Chicago Lyric Opera twice; first as Assistant Choreographer to re-stage the dances in the opera The Great Gatsby, and in 2006, as Choreographer for Robert Carsen’s production of the opera Orfeo.

Marcus teaches privately and internationally and is on staff as dance instructor for the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre as well as guest teacher for the for the dancers of the Cirque production of Viva Elvis. His recent performances on stage include Stepsister and Herr Drosselmeyer in Peter Anastos’ ballets Cinderella and Nutcracker for NBT, and the Widow Simone and Dr. Coppelius in The Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre's presentations of La Fille Mal Gardee and Coppelia

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Kelly Cabrera

Kelly Cabrera, a Miami native, began her professional ballet training at the Harid Conservatory under principal ballerina Marjorie Tallchief of the Paris Opera Ballet. During these early years she was fortunate to study under Claude Bessy, David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland, Helgi Tomasson, Violette Verde and John Taras. At the age of fourteen Kelly was invited to the School of American Ballet in New York City where she continued her classical ballet training under the great Stanley Williams, Marina Stavitskaya and Kay Mazzo. By the age of seventeen she began her professional dance career performing in companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Chicago, the Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cirque du Soleil Mystère, Dragóne, and Celine Dion A New Day. She has also worked with some of the world’s top recording artists in entertainment including Celine Dion, Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Andrea Bocelli, John Legend and Nicki Minaj to name a few. Her diversity as an artist has allowed her to work in multiple genres of art, theater, dance, fashion and music. Kelly's most recent choreographic works include Cirque Du Soleil's One Night For One Drop at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Kevin Murphy's North American Super Natural Show at the Wynn, Ruka (the musical) at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, America’s Got Talent, Intrigue at the Wynn and Symmetry for Ballet Arts Academy summer gala. Internationally and nationally Kelly has spent many years working in television and film. Throughout her career Kelly has always loved teaching and inspiring young dancers. She has taught on the faculty of schools all over the United States including Ballet Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Millennium Dance Complex Los Angeles, Edge Performing Arts Los Angeles, Ballet Arts Academy and Dance Masters of America national conventions.

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Colleen Craig

Originally from the Midwest, Colleen has trained extensively in all genres of dance. Growing up she attended summer programs at The Kirov, Tulsa Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Edge PAC. After attending Oklahoma City University, Colleen moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment business. Since her start in LA, Colleen has worked on several projects from theater to film. She has worked with artists such as Beck, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Paula Abdul, Jordan Sparks, Ne-Yo, Raphael Saadiq, and Perry Farrell. TV and Film credits include: Fame, Crazy Stupid Love, No Strings, Love Struck, The Campaign, Behind the Candelabra, Blunt Talk, Starving in Suburbia, True Blood, Glee, Dancing with the Stars, Greek, America’s Got Talent, Cold Case, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Good Morning America, The 63rd Emmy Awards, and VH1’s Diva’s Live. Commercial credits include multiple spots for American Horror Story for FX networks, Barnes and Noble, GE, Tropicana, and Ford.

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Crystal Danzer

Crystal Danzer’s passion for dance began at an early age in her native Carmel, California and this lead her to study ballet in pursuit of a professional career. She earned her BFA in dance at the University of Arizona. While there, she performed various works, leading to a guest appearance in Arizona Opera Theater’s Beauty and the Beast. She also studied ballet in Italy with Philip Beamish and Evelyn Hart and performed lead roles internationally for four years. After graduating, Crystal moved to New York City where she toured with Cirque Le Masque and danced with the contemporary ballet company, Exit 12. She continued her professional dance career here in Las Vegas as a dancer with Donn Arden’s Jubilee! She is excited and passionate about sharing her love for dance with her students.

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Carole Fisher

Carole is an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London where Carole was born and received her early training with the Royal Academy of Dancing. As a professional dancer and singer, she performed in many Broadway and TV shows, including No, No, Nanette, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying andThe Bing Crosby Tribute, working for renowned choreographers such as Michael Kidd and ABT's Donald Saddler. She has choreographed numerous shows and television commercials. A certified Ballet Teacher of Dance Masters of America, her teaching career spans twenty years, including owning her own studio in Mendocino, California to teaching at Western Ballet, The School of Alberta Ballet and most recently the Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts in Southern California where she transformed the ballet department resulting in her students winning "Best Overall Technique" awards in competitions. Her students have been awarded scholarships to Juilliard, The School of American Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Joffrey, The San Francisco Ballet School and Canada's National Ballet School.

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Christina Ghiardi

Originally from Morgantown, West Virginia, Christina Ghiardi received her early ballet training from Morgantown Dance Studio. At the age of 14, she was invited by John Magnus to join the Joffrey Ballet School Trainee Program on full scholarship where she studied for one year. Ms. Ghiardi attended the School of American Ballet's 2008 Summer Course and was subsequently invited to attend the School's Winter Term where she completed four years of pre-professional training and was the recipient of the Lisa and Richard Perry Scholarship (2011-2012).
Upon graduating from SAB in 2012, Ms. Ghiardi was invited to join Boston Ballet II where she performed with Boston Ballet under the direction of Mikko Nissinen. She then appeared as a guest artist with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2013 under the direction of Roy Kaiser in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Ms. Ghiardi joined Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) under the direction of James Canfield in 2014 where she is currently a company artist. Since joining NBT, she has performed featured roles in Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and works by George Balanchine including Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Who Cares? and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
During Ms. Ghiardi's final year at SAB, she was one of two advanced students selected by Peter Martins and Kay Mazzo for an inaugural student teacher program. Ms. Ghiardi was invited by Margaret Tracey to join the faculty of Boston Ballet School's pre-professional division where she taught and assisted in rehearsals during the 2013-2014 schoolyear. Ms. Ghiardi is currently a faculty member at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and has been a guest teacher at The School of American Ballet Summer Course (2016, 2017) and Boston Ballet School's Summer Dance Program (2013, 2014, 2015).

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Steven Goforth

Steven Goforth began his training in Vancouver, WA with Jan Hurst and Zachary Carroll. As a high school student, he attended the Regional Dance America Craft of Choreography Conference and the International Dance School at the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MI. He also spent summers at the Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City, UT and later joined their Professional Trainee Program. Steven joined Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2012 and has performed many soloist and principle roles including Tybalt in James Canfield's Romeo and Juliet, Demetrius in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Spring in Paul Vasterling's Seasons, and most recently, Prince Siegfried in Cynthia Gregory’s Swan Lake. Steven joined the ANBT Faculty in 2015 and performed the role of Franz in the Academy’s 2016 production of Coppelia. Outside of ballet, Steven enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, golfing, woodworking and donuts.

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Jamie Grover

Jamie Grover is proud to call Las Vegas home and to be a part of the dance community.  She started dancing at the age of 3 in her grandmother’s studio, Carol Lee Dance, in Spokane, WA. It was there she developed her love for competition dance with her dance team competing at New York City Dance Alliance and Star Power. At the age of 17 she moved to Las Vegas to star in her first professional show, Jubilee!, at Bally’s Casino. After establishing her roots in Las Vegas, she hit the high seas performing for Jean Ann Ryan Productions on Norwegian Cruise Line and P&O Cruise Line.  Having traveled the world, she was ready to return home to Las Vegas and re-join her family in Jubilee! Being back home has afforded her wonderful opportunities to dance on stages with Britney Spears and most recently, Jennifer Lopez’s New Year’s Eve 2015 show at Caesar’s Palace.  In addition to Jamie’s dance career, her TV appearances include Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay, Housewives of Atlanta, Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas and photo shoots with Rod Stewart and Heidi Klum.  She is beyond ecstatic to return to her competition roots and be on staff with Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre. 

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Yahia Icheboudene

Yahia Icheboudene started his gymnastic career at the young age of 5 years old. He competed for the first time when he was only 6. He then transferred to tumbling at the age of 16 when he won his first French championship title. At the age of 17, he joined the French National Training Center and started competing with the French National Team. He participated in many major competitions such as, World Championships, European Championships and World Cups. He still holds the French record of the hardest tumbling pass called “full full straight into miller straight” since 2007. During that same year, he won the French National Championship and the French Cup. While participating in his final World Championship in Quebec, Canada, he was scouted by Cirque du Soleil to take part in creating their newest show which was called OVO. He then toured the world with OVO performing power track, trampoline/wall and aerial duo straps. In 2014, he transferred to another Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, where he spent a year performing a power track and trampoline/wall act. In 2015, he made his final transfer to another Cirque show, MJ One, where he performs trampoline/wall, slackline and bungie straps.

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Erica Kirby

 

With training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop, Erica attended college at The University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, South Dakota. There, she earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education (with concentrations in both Special Education and Spanish). After moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, Erica earned her Masters of Education degree in Literacy from Lesley University. Erica has been a teacher with the Clark County School District for fifteen years and is currently a fourth grade teacher at Dondero Elementary School. She was named Dondero's Teacher of the Year during the 2012-2013 school year. Erica has been employed as a dance teacher for Nevada Ballet Theatre's Future Dance Program for ten years. As a part of NBT's outreach dance program, she is responsible for the daily organizational tasks, classroom management, dance training, and choreography for over one hundred third, fourth, and fifth grade dancers. Ms. Erica Kirby is thrilled to be a part of NBT's teaching staff. Teaching young children the art form of dance is one of the greatest joys of her life. 

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Gene Lubas

Gene Lubas is a show business “lifer.” With over 25 years of experience, Gene has contributed his time and talent to the arts and entertainment industry all over the world. After receiving a full dance scholarship to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gene began a performing career which led him to study dance in Europe, performing with several dance companies, regional theatres, cruise ships and various Broadway shows, including the North American touring productions of the 50th Anniversary ofOklahoma!42nd Streetand The Will Rogers Follies to name a few. Gene was also fortunate to live and perform overseas in the first European Tour of the Broadway show 42nd Street. Upon his retirement as a performer, he was offered a production assistant position where he trained for stage management, casting many shows including The Osmond Second Generation Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatGrease with Chubby Checker and Frankie Avalon, and Smokey Joe’s Café with Gladys Knight. During this time, he also taught tap, character and musical theatre as well as directing and choreographing shows along the East Coast and Canada. In 2000, he joined the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil. Since then, he has worked on four different Cirque du Soleil productions, holding various positions including general stage manager for the touring show Alegría during its Asia-Pacific Tour of New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. Upon returning to America, he moved to Las Vegas and began his career with the resident Cirque du Soleil shows on the Las Vegas Strip, starting as general stage manager for the water spectacular, O”, then artistic director for Zumanity, The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil and most recently as Artistic Director for Viva ELVIS. As an artistic consultant for Cirque du Soleil, Gene has created performances for The Tonight Show with Jay LenoAmerica’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance among others. He has been in a 21 year relationship with his life partner Jerry and together they are the proud fathers of twin boys, Harrison and Wilson. He finds that mentoring and sharing his experiences with young performers gives him the most gratification.

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Pendu Malik

Pendu Malik (Kishema Pendu Malik) is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor originally from New York City. Currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, she has been featured in Cirque Du Soleil’s production of The Beatles LOVE for the past five and a half years. Pendu’s training includes Horton, Dunham, ballet, Graham, hip-hop, West African, Latin, dancehall, jazz, funk, Capoeira and gymnastics; and she continues to train and perform in these areas to complement her choreography and teaching. As a dancer, Pendu has worked with Cirque Du Soleil, the Cirque Du Soleil Movie Worlds Away, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Summer Jam in Los Angeles featuring Mya and Ashanti; NIKE, WNBA/NBA All Star games, Dodgers Baseball games and many fitness commercials. Her choreography and teaching skills are in high demand internationally for conventions, circus schools, dance schools, stage shows and videos. She has worked in Brazil, Sweden, Peru, Argentina, South Africa and many other countries. Her American choreography credits include two works for Cirque Du Soleil and Nevada Ballet Theatre’s annual collaboration, A Choreographers’ Showcase and two movies that have aired on the Showtime Network. Pendu’s goal is to continue performing with other artists, on Broadway and with Cirque du Soleil. She wants to be known worldwide for her unique choreography which fuses African with other dance styles. In addition to her performing career, Pendu is a kinesiology and fitness specialist who holds a BS and MS in Bioengineering and Kinesiology with a Biomechanics emphasis, and she has presented at international conferences including IADMS (International Association of Dance Medicine and Science) in Singapore in 2012.

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Alan Medina

Alan D. Medina Narvaez is the Dance Captain/ MJ Warrior of Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. He also competed on America’s Best Dance Crew Season 6, America’s Got Talent, and Hip-Hop International.

Alan trained in Puerto Rico where he taught Hip-Hop and popping and trained with his Crew 787 in urban techniques such as acrobatics and tricking. Every summer Alan trains at The Pulse on Tour, Broadway Dance Center, and at the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. In college, he competed at the National Dance Team Championship. Alan strives to continue to grow and improve every day in his first love, dance.

When not performing in Michael Jackson One, he enjoys teaching Hip-Hop to young dancers because he loves to pass on his knowledge to future generations. He hopes to instill in them a passion for dance that can keep them evolving and believing that they can reach the impossible.

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Melissa Ridley

Melissa Ridley has been dancing since the age of three and has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, theater and ballroom dance. She acquired her training at the Langley Fine Arts School as a dance major, The Academy of Dance and Harbour Dance Center in Vancouver BC, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School summer intensives, and Ballroom Addiction in Las Vegas. Melissa began teaching in 2002 in Vancouver British Columbia where she also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She began teaching with the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theater in 2013 and is thrilled to be able to share her love of dance with her students at ANBT. Melissa is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT teacher training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

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Monika Rostomian

Monika began teaching ballet at Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2001. She came to the Academy from Russia where she received her training in the Vaganova method at the St. Petersburg (Kirov) Ballet Academy under the tutelage of famed prima ballerina Natalia Dudinskaya. She has performed throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America as soloist with many ballet companies, including Moscow Festival Ballet and Ballet of Russia. During her career she had also served as a ballet mistress and choreographer. Monika later graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Theatrical Art and was awarded its coveted teaching diploma. Her teaching skills encompass all levels of ballet and character dance, ranging from five year old beginner to advanced-professionals. She also qualifies in special training for figure skaters and in dance therapy for the psychological rehabilitation of children. Monika is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in every aspect of her teaching.

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Kurtis Sprung

Kurtis W. Sprung is a Dancer/Choreographer/Educator born in upstate New York to a small town with big aspirations. He is signed with MSA talent agency on both the east and west coast. His passion stems through the connectivity of free flow, athleticism and Neo Classical Contemporary/Ballet movement. He has trained for twenty years under the direction of Mara and Marlene Merritt, Master Ballet Academy's Slawomir Wozniak, Irena Wozniak, Zherlin Ndudi and San Francisco Ballet member Bill Gentes. He has received his B.F.A at the University at Buffalo in dance and choreography. Kurtis has worked with choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Albert Cattafi, Spencer Liff and Rasta Thomas. He has performed with artists such as Nicole Scherzinger, Ray Parker Jr. and live on the Neil Patrick Harris Show. He has performed with companies such as The Bad Boys of Dance, Phoenix Ballet and in Galas with New York City Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet members. Kurtis has appeared in Music Videos under Matthew Tseng and Anthony Garguila and has taught countless master classes on faculty at Dance Masters of America, LA Dance Magic and regional studios across the country during his "Evolve Dance" Summer Studio Tour. After leaving New York City he traveled to Phoenix as the Assistant Choreographer/Director and soloist in the Phoenix Ballet where he helped to start the Master Ballet Academy Performance Company. Currently he is performing in Las Vegas as "The Eggman" of Cirque Du Soleil's "The Beatles Love." He wants to continue his growth, education and creation as he moves towards more opportunities to dance and choreograph around the world..

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