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Cynthia Graham

Ballet Mistress

Cynthia Graham began studying dance at age four in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Focusing on her ballet training, she also studied contemporary, jazz, tap and gymnastics. At 12 she was awarded a scholarship to study in New York City with the American Ballet Theater School and spent her next 5 summers studying there and with the School of American Ballet, the school of the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and numerous other professional teachers in New York City. She also studied with the Royal Academy of Dance in Houston, winning top honors within their programs.
Cynthia became a professional dancer with Houston Ballet at 15 where she danced in the corp de ballet and danced many soloists roles. The following year she auditioned for the Cleveland Ballet and was chosen as a company member at its inception becoming a principle dancer in virtually every ballet in the repertory. Dennis Nahat, Artistic Director of Cleveland Ballet, choreographed many roles on Cynthia including Maria in The Nutcracker and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Her vast repertoire has included Titania in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Tsarina in The Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Swanhilda in Coppelia, The Glove Seller in Gaite Parisianne, Lizzy in Fall River Legend, House of Tears, Les Sylphides, Giselle in Giselle, Celebrations and Ode, Brahms Quintet , Quicksilver, Cannonade, Sometimes, Slavonic Hungarian Dances, Grand Pas de Dix, , Toreador, Waltz girl in Serenade and Four Temperaments, Apollo and Young Girl in Green Table. In addition to these ballet classics, Cynthia danced the principle rolls in most of Dennis Nahat’s contemporary original ballets such as Rivulet, Ozone Hour, US, Ontogeny, and Starlight.
Throughout her dance career she has been a guest instructor at schools throughout Ohio and Texas, Pennsylvania and New York as well as the School of Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She has toured with the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas company in Venezuela and Spain. She has also staged several of Mr. Nahat’s ballets on other companies including Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Venezuela.
She has also taught movement to ice skaters and enjoys giving lectures on Dance, guest teaching and coaching professional dancers.
In 1993, Cynthia retired from the stage to take up a second career as Chief Financial Officer for the Cleveland advertising agency, Sampson/Carnegie, Co., Inc. and is currently the President of Creative House Studios, a media production company in Cleveland with the largest permanent green screen studio sound stage in Ohio.

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