Faculty & Staff

Instructors

Marcus Bugler

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 dancers of the Cirque production of Viva Elvis. His recent performances on stage include Stepsister and Herr Drosselmeyer in Peter Anastos’ ballets Cinderella and The Nutcracker for NBT, and the Widow Simone and Dr. Coppelius in The Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre's presentations of La Fille Mal Gardée and Coppelía.

Kelly Cabrera

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.

Christina Ghiardi

Christina Ghiardi

CHRISTINA GHIARDI is originally from Morgantown, West Virginia, where she received her early ballet training from Morgantown Dance Studio. At the age of 14, she was invited 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. Upon graduating from SAB in 2012, Ms. Ghiardi joined Boston Ballet II where she performed with Boston Ballet and in 2013 appeared as a guest artist with Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Ms. Ghiardi joined Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) in 2014 where she is currently a company artist. Since joining NBT, she has performed featured roles in Giselle, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, works by George Balanchine including Serenade, Western Symphony, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Who Cares?, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and she originated a role in Matthew Neenan’s Until December. 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 joined the faculty of Boston Ballet School’s pre-professional division for the 2013-2014 school year and has been on faculty at The Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre since 2016. She appears as a guest teacher for both SAB’s Summer Course and Boston Ballet School’s Summer Dance Program each summer. Ms. Ghiardi has also choreographed works for Nevada Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet School and The School of American Ballet.

Alison Kravenko

Alison Kravenko

ALISON KRAVENKO-JOHNSON is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. As the daughter of a third generation dancer and ballet teacher, Alison started early at the Robert Gilbert School of Ballet. Formal pre-professional tutelage was under the mentorship of Garold Gardner (ABT), Jacqueline Douguet (Paris Opera Ballet), legendary coach Joanna Kneeland and master teacher David Howard. Alison studied Jazz and Graham technique with Rick Milland (Luigi) Winston Hemsley, Rich Rizzo, Nick Navarro and Ronnie Lewis. Her exposure to Jack Cole and Bob Fosse expanded her training and in 1980, with a MGM contract in hand, she became the youngest member of the original cast of "Jubilee". Alison's dancing career continued for over 20 years and she performed as a corps member, soloist and principle in stage productions which include Lido De Paris, Bally's Jubilee!, Siegfried and Roy, Le Hot Tokyo Japan, Cabaret Circus and many more. Musical theater work includes A Chorus Line, The Pajama Game and Gypsy. Throughout her stage career, Alison remained a devoted student of ballet and in 1981 she was introduced to Balanchine's choreography and the teaching theories of Stanley Williams. A private mentorship with a noted NYCB dancer made the biggest impact on her life and ballet remained her strength and passion. In 1996, Alison began teaching at her mother's Kravenko School of Ballet and formed the first youth ballet company in Las Vegas. As the Artistic Director of KYB she created over 150 new works which include neo-classical ballets, contemporary works, musical theater and full-scale ballets and productions. She holds a teacher’s workshop certificate from Pacific Northwest Ballet and is a fellow of SAB. Alison has trained students who are working professionals today in companies such as Ballet West, Dance Theater of Harlem, San Francisco Ballet and Complexions. Many of her former students have graduated with BFA and MFA degrees in dance from BYU, UC Irvine, Cornish, CalArts, Howard University, Marymount Manhattan and NYU. She has choreographed and entered Las Vegas and Huntington Beach students with success at Youth America Grand Prix and continues to create new works. Alison was an Artist-In-Residence for the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dance Department and in 2003, she was nominated five times by her colleagues for the Nevada Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Arts and between 2005-2008 held a position as Adjunct Professor at UNLV teaching Dance Theory. She is currently a certified para-professional teacher for the Clark County School District and is a ballet adjunct at Las Vegas Academy and musical theater adjunct at KO Knudson Middle School. She teaches master classes and stages works throughout the United States. Alison returns to Steps On Broadway several times a year and attributes her ongoing passion for teaching and new ideas to her guru maestro Willy Burmann.

Gene Lubas

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 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

Pendu Malik

KISHEMA “PENDU” MALIK is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor originally from New York City and currently resides in Las Vegas, NV. From 2008 until the end of 2013 she was featured in Cirque Du Soleil’s production of the Beatles LOVE and in 2016 she became one of the main choreographer's for Cirque's One night for One Drop, “Amanzi”, which opened more doors for her in the choreography and instructor realm. Pendu’s training spans many styles including West African, Horton, Dunham, Ballet, Body Percussion, Hip Hop, Latin, Dancehall, Jazz, Funk styles and Capoiera. Some of Pendu’s credits as a dancer include Cirque Du Soleil Beatles LOVE, Cirque Du Soleil Movie “Worlds Away”, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Molodi Body Percussion, Paul McCartney, Demi Lavatto, Stevie Wonder, Summer Jam in LA featuring Mya and Ashanti, NIKE, WNBA/NBA All Star games, GAP, Dodgers Baseball games, many fitness commercials and much more. She is also internationally known as a choreographer/instructor and her services have been used in many conventions, circus schools, dance schools, shows and videos worldwide. Some countries include Brazil, Sweden, Peru, Argentina, Sydney, South Africa, Ghana and others. Pendu wants to be known for her unique style of always fusing West African dance with any style of dance and has even patented her own dance style called “Afro Sexy” (West African, Jazz funk and Burlesque fusion) and has premiered a full review show in Las Vegas and looking for it to be a regular occurrence on the strip. Pendu currently teaches at many Las Vegas studios including the Academy at Nevada Ballet and has been doing so for the past four years. She is also a kinesiology and fitness specialist who holds a BS Bioengineering and an M.S. in Kinesiology and has presented at international conferences including IADMS (International Association of Dance Medicine and Science) in Singapore in 2012.

Kurtis Sprung

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 coasts. 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.

Suzanne Swanson

Suzanne Swanson

SUZANNE SWANSON began her formal dance training in Louisville, Kentucky at the Youth Performing Arts School at the University of Louisville Dance Academy (official school of The Louisville Ballet). She then went on to dance professionally with the St. Louis Ballet, Louisville Ballet, and The San Diego Ballet. Suzanne had the opportunity to dance in many wonderful ballets, including; The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Gaite Parisienne, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and George Balanchine's Serenade. While dancing with each of these companies, Suzanne also followed her passion to teach. She taught Ballet, Jazz and Pilates for the San Diego School of Ballet. Suzanne later became the Director for the San Diego School of Ballet's “Junior Company” where she also choreographed and received several awards for her neoclassical pieces. After moving to Las Vegas, Suzanne joined the cast of Donn Arden's Jubilee!. She was promoted to dance captain (teaching and rehearing the show) and years later she was promoted to the Assistant Company Manager. As a dancer and educator for over 20 years, Suzanne strives to provide dancers of all ages and all levels with quality, caring instruction. Ms. Suzanne began teaching at The Rock Center for Dance in 2014 where she teaches and choreographs for all levels of ballet. Most recently, she was honored at The Dance Awards for “Best Ballet Performance” with her piece “24 Violins”. Suzanne is excited to start a new journey teaching at The Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre.

Sean Viator

Sean Viator

SEAN VIATOR grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he began his training at De Frances Academy of Dance under the direction of Cathy, Gwyn and Angie De Frances. Before attending college, Sean had the honor of performing in two original Debbie Allen productions and worked closely with many well-known choreographers like Mark Meismer, Stacy Tookey and Mia Michaels. Sean went on to receive his BFA in dance, with a minor in Business Administration, from the University of Arizona. While at the University, Sean performed works by George Balanchine, Ann Reinking, Charles Weidmen & Larry Keigwin, among many others and apprenticed with River North Dance Chicago. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona in May of 2013 and was awarded the university’s top dance award – The Triple Threat Award, which is awarded to the person who most excels at Ballet, Modern and Jazz. After college, he danced with Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. As one of the countries premiere contemporary dance companies, Sean traveled around the US and Europe performing works by Mia Michaels, Christian Denice and Derryl Yeager to name a few. In the summer of 2014, Sean moved to Las Vegas, NV where he performed in Las Vegas’ longest running show, Donn Ardens’ Jubilee! He was also a part of Cirque Du Soleil’s One Night for One Drop, an all original show conceived to help raise money for clean water. In the summer of 2016, Sean performed at Tuacahn Ampitheater, where he was able to perform original Broadway choreography by Patti Colombo in Peter Pan. Also while at Tuacahn, Sean performed in Disney’s Tarzan and Hunchback of Notre Dame. Upon returning to Las Vegas, Sean joined Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers at the Wynn Hotel and Casino, choreographed by Marguerite Derricks. Since moving to Los Angeles, Sean can be seen dancing for Todrick Hall and Pentatonix in their music video for “Black and White”. Most recently, Sean danced for Alessia Cara and Logic at the Latin GRAMMY’s and at the Billboard Music Awards for Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato! Sean is also proud to teach at IDA Hollywood and is on faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.