Nevada Ballet Theater

ACADEMY OF NEVADA BALLET THEATRE

History & Philosophy

Faculty & Staff  

History
Founded in 1979, the Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization guided by a commitment to excellence in classical ballet tradition.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Academy Classes
Offering training in many forms of dance with classes for students 18 months of age through adult, the Academy provides the highest standard of artistic education taught by distinguished and world-renowned instructors.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Academy Programs

Programs include: The Pre-Professional Program, Children's Program, Dance Program, Open Program, Adult Program and Summer Program. Click here for descriptions on our programs.

 

ACADEMY OF NEVADA BALLET THEATRE
Academy Faculty & Staff

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

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

 

Teranè Comito
Director of Education & Outreach/Head of the Pre-Professional Dance Program
Ext. 249

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------


Cynthia Gregory

Artistic Coach

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Dodie Askegard
Children’s Program Coordinator and Instructor
Dodie Askegard began her training in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Minnesota Dance Theatre where she trained in contemporary dance and ballet with Loyce Houlton and Bonnie Mathis. She also trained at San Francisco Ballet and in New York City with Maggie Black. As a Soloist with Minnesota Dance Theatre, she joined Spokane Ballet as a Principal Dancer and also performed with Aponte & Company. In addition, she worked with the Minnesota Independent Choreographers Alliance and local theater groups throughout Minneapolis and Spokane. In 2004, Dodie became the Director of Ballet Arts Academy and was named as the Artistic Director of Theatre Ballet of Spokane. An accomplished choreographer, she is a certified ABT NTC teacher and has been teaching ballet and modern for over 25 years. She has worked as a rehearsal mistress for The Nutcracker in Spokane, with Alberta Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and State Street Ballet.

Dodie's role as the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre's Children's Program Coordinator includes teaching, coordinating with parents and students and staging a full-length children’s ballet as part of the Academy’s annual spring concerts. Dodie has a degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and is married to Eric Albrecht.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Shara Bergal
 

Ballet
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. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Andrew Branche

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Marcus Bugler

Adult Ballet, Ballet
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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Serena Chu

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Crystal Danzer
Contemporary, Stretch, Competition, Ballet and Children’s Ballet

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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Carole Fisher

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Jamie Grover

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Karri Jonas

Contemporary, Jazz, Competition
(bio to come)

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Socorro Jones

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

 



Erika Kirby

Hip Hop
(bio to come)

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Shondra Leigh

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------



 

Gene Lubas

Theatre Dance
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 of Oklahoma!, 42nd Street, and 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 Dreamcoat, Grease 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 Leno, America’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.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Pendu Malik

Modern, Stretch, Improv, Contemporary
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, Capoiera 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.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Lori Mashburn

Tumbling
Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre tumbling instructor, Lori Marshburn began dancing professionally at the age of sixteen. She has appeared as “Cassie” in the national tour of A Chorus Line and as “Hunyak” in the national tour of Chicago. Lori’s early work included roles in It’s Magic and Super Stars at Carotids Magic in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in A Christmas Wish at Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. She then went on to perform extensively as a dancer and singer in productions on Cunard Cruise Lines, Crown Cruise Lines and American Hawaii Cruises. Additionally, she served as dance captain on Cunard Cruise Lines and has choreographed for Ray Kennedy Entertainment and American Hawaii Cruises. Lori’s love of dance and acrobatics inspires her to share her impressive knowledge, skill and creativity with her students.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Jordan McHenry
Jazz, Contemporary, Jumps, Turns, Competition
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO, Jordan McHenry is an alumnus of The Colorado Jazz Dance Company, directed by Zetta Alderman. Jordan has trained internationally with programs including River North Chicago, Jacob’s Pillow, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Springboard Danse Montreal. He is privileged to have performed repertory by King, Darrell Moultrie, Crystal Pite, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Martha Graham and Ohad Naharin. A graduate of The Ailey School/ Fordham University BFA in dance program in New York City, he has performed in Ailey’s Memoria alongside the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and he danced in The Holland Dance Festival with The Ailey School. Other international venues in which he has performed include the Tramway Theater in Glasgow, Teatro Del Elfo in Milan and CODA Dance Festival in Oslo. Jordan’s professional credits include Montreal based companies EZDanza, Jose Navas/Company Flak and Cas Public. Jordan joined the cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity in 2010.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Alan Medina

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Nicole Molineri

Ballet

(bio to come)

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Silke Ortloff

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Clarice Rathers

Ballet
Clarice Geissel-Rathers enjoyed a 20 year dance career with Nevada Ballet Theatre beginning in 1983. She retired from the company as a Principal Dancer in 2004. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Clarice joined the Arizona Ballet Theatre as a soloist and later became a member of Ballet West. She has worked under several renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, Toni Launders, Anton Dolin, Vassili Sulich and James Jeon. Clarice’s repertoire includes Harald Lander’s Études, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante, Serenade, Symphony in C and Concerto Barocco. She has danced numerous principal roles including Odette/Odile in Louis Godfrey and Denise Schultz’s Swan Lake, and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty as well as leads in Carmina Burana, Anna Karenina and Paquita. Clarice is a recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 



Melissa Ridley
Children’s Ballet, Jazz/Tap Combo
Melissa Ridley has been dancing since the age of three and trained in ballet, jazz, tap, theater and ballroom dance. She acquired most of her training in Canada at various schools including the Academy of Dance, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Harbour Dance Center and the Langley Fine Arts School as a dance major. Melissa began teaching in 2002 and since then, has taught students of many ages and skill levels. Melissa has received the opportunity to participate in several dance instructor training programs as well as creative movement/artistic programs, all while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------




Monika Rostomian

Ballet, Character
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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Kaleigh Schock (NBT Company Artist)

Children’s Ballet
Born in Saint Charles, Illinois, Kaleigh Schock joined Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) in 2012. She began her training at the age of 15 at Faubourg School of Ballet in Hanover Park, Illinois, and then furthered her training at Ellison Ballet. Over the course of her dance education she achieved several prestigious honors. In both 2007 and 2008, she placed in the top 12 at Youth American Grand Prix Finals in New York in the Soloist Category. She was also awarded a full merit scholarship from The Royal Ballet School of England for the 2007-2008 Graduate Program and in 2009, she was awarded the Profession Advancement Award in Dance by Anna Marie Holmes at Jacob’s Pillow. Kaleigh then danced professionally with Ballet West II and Cincinnati Ballet. Since joining NBT, Kaleigh has performed roles including “Summer Fairy” in James Canfield’s The Nutcracker and “Lilac Fairy” in Sleeping Beauty.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Shauna Tilp
Ballet

Shauna Tilp started dancing at the age of four. She trained in ballet, modern and contemporary dance at several studios in Portland, Oregon. She attended summer intensive programs at Boston Ballet and the Cecchetti Council of America. During the 2007-2008 season, Shauna was spent a year as a member of the Colorado Ballet Studio Company where she took part in performances of Le Corsaire and The Nutcracker, and understudied for roles in Coppélia and Dracula. Recently, she earned her Minor in Dance from Pacific University where she performed and choreographed with the Pacific University Dance Ensemble. While in the Ensemble she performed works from Northwest Regional choreographers including Jennifer Camp, Mary Hunt, Robert Guitron, Amy Beth Frankel, Habib Iddrisu, M'Liss Stephenson, TJ Maheras, Timothy Johnson, and James Healey.

-----------------------------------------------------------------



Sean Viator

Photo and Bio to come

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Marci Renee Weiss
Tap
A native Philadelphian, Marci Renee Weiss has toured the world as a choreographer for numerous production companies. She has choreographed the Trenna Howard Dancers as opening acts for stars such as Sal Richards, Jack Jones, David Brenner, Kaye Ballard, and Larry Storch. In 1989 Marci choreographed the second production of Naughty Ladies at the Showboat Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. She also worked as the principal choreographer for the much lauded review Rock the Casbah at Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City. In the 1960’s and 1970’s Marci was the lead dancer and principal choreographer for Joe Cavalier at the Hurricane Club in Wildwood, New Jersey. She also served as his choreographer for productions in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and for his South American tour. Marci studied ballet with Ethel Phillips and Wanda Fullerton Klazcak in Philadelphia, and Jazz dance with Matt Mattox and Luigi in New York City. She performed as a soloist in night clubs throughout the country, and in productions such as West Side Story, The Music Man, and Sweet Charity.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------


Academy Administration

Anna Lantz,
School Director,
Pre-Professional Ballet Program

Teranè Comito
Director of Education & Outreach/Head of the Pre-Professional Dance Program
Ext. 249

 

Shannon Cangey
Academy Coordinator & Front Desk Supervisor
ext 264

Taylor Harris
Receptionist


Brooke Hodson
Receptionist


Mary Scarnecchia
Receptionist



Copyright © Nevada Ballet Theatre
Follow NBT on Facebook Follow NBT's Tweets!