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FACULTY

School of Cleveland Ballet is committed to providing its students with high quality instruction, safe training and a solid dance syllabus.  The core faculty is a group of high caliber ballet teachers, professionals and accompanists experienced to teach the technique of dance and its related arts to children.  Many teachers performed with The Cleveland Ballet and other professional ballet companies.

The School of Cleveland Ballet offers a complete curriculum for the future of a professional ballet dancer.  It meets the students’ needs.  The School of Cleveland Ballet offers a comprehensive set of courses designed with the purpose of making great demands on the student in order to develop their abilities, talents and desires to the highest level.  The syllabus, developed and taught by all of the teachers, ensures consistency of education at all the levels.

We are committed to train and produce artists of the highest competence and to bring a vital art form to the community.  In achieving these goals, the philosophy of the School of Cleveland Ballet is to create and produce artists of the highest caliber capable of fulfilling the aesthetic needs of major ballet and dance companies while at the same time enhancing all aspects of a child’s life, by reaping the rewards of dedication, desire and discipline, as they become successful young adults.

History reveals that there has never been a great dance company without a great ballet or dance school.  The student is the vital element in the training of artists.  It is for this reason that the School of Cleveland Ballet is dedicated in reaching deeply into the hearts of today’s youth to make a profound effect upon their lives.  The School of Cleveland Ballet is dedicated to being part of today’s cultural scene in America through the art of dance, music and most important, the dance student!

HEATHER CARSON was classically trained in ballet as a member of the professional division of The School of Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company studying under the tutelage of Gladisa Guadalupe, Denis Nahat, Cynthia Graham, Elena Costanza.  She also had the opportunity to work with Ballet Masters from The Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets, The School of American Ballet, and The Royal Academy of Danish Ballet. Miss Carson performed with The Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company and other modern dance companies.   Miss Carson  attended Case Western Reserve University, studying Biology, Psychology and Dance receiving the award for Dance Excellence in Performance. Since her graduation, she has been working at the Cleveland Clinic and teaching ballet throughout the Cleveland area and is is currently working towards a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

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.

MEGHAN HAAS trained at the School of Cleveland Ballet with Nicole Sowinska, Daniel Job, Dennis Nahat and Gladisa Guadalupe.  She joined The Cleveland Ballet at age 17 and danced in Giselle, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and many other productions as well.  She then joined Feld Ballet in New York City where she performed Eliot Feld’s original works.  She returned to Ohio to attend Hiram College while also teaching dance and performing with Tom Evert and Verb Ballets.  After earning her bachelor’s degree, she relocated with her family to Long Island.  She is excited to be back in Cleveland where she will be returning as a faculty member at Cleveland Ballet School. 

MARKIAN KOMICHAK has been instructing Character Dance for almost forty years.  A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, be began his career performing at summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains.  In 1975 he appeared in Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas show.  Soon after, he founded and directed an annual summer dance workshop at Glen Spey, NY, for advanced dancers from around the country.

He came to Cleveland in 1980 to establish the Kashtan School of Ukrainian Dance and was associated with The Cleveland Ballet and the School of Cleveland Ballet.  Mr. Komichak holds a Masters Degree in Music from Cleveland State University.

ELIZABETH PANTUSO is a native of Norton, Ohio, and studied ballet and modern dance throughout her youth in the Akron area and performed with the youth company, Manchester Dance Ensemble. She continued her training at Butler University in Indianapolis where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Dance with a concentration in arts administration. At Butler she had the privilege of studying under such prestigious faculty members as Marek Cholewa, Rosanna Ruffo, Derek Reid, Cynthia Pratt and Norman Walker. Her performing roles included snow queen and flower soloist in The Nutcracker, fairy Candide in Sleeping Beauty as well as leading roles in numerous original contemporary works by faculty of the University. Elizabeth went on to dance professionally with the Louisville Ballet after which she transitioned into the role of Development Associate, putting her degree to good use by fundraising for the Company. Elizabeth returned to Ohio in 2009 and currently serves as the Community Relationships Coordinator for Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement & Education Department – working daily with schools and other groups to introduce and develop young people’s exposure to the performing arts. Throughout her career at Louisville Ballet, Elizabeth taught students between the ages and five and eighteen and is thrilled to be continuing her teaching career at the School of Cleveland Ballet. She looks forward to bringing the joy, beauty and excitement of ballet to young aspiring dancers throughout the region.

ALEXANDRA PREUCIL has been a member of the violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra since 2008 and also served the orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster. Ms. Preucil graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a Bachelors degree in music and a minor in dance. While in school, she held the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Canton Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Svanito Quartet. Ms. Preucil was selected to be in the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Young Artist Program during which time she was concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Ms. Preucil has appeared as soloist and chamber musician with ensembles around the world. She has performed at festivals including The Mainly Mozart Festival, The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, The Festival der Zukunft, The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Music From Angel Fire, and the Aspen Music Festival. In addition to performing as a member of the Orchestra, Ms. Preucil is active in teaching and community education programs and serves as Music Artistic Advisor to the Cleveland Ballet. For more information, visit www.alexandrapreucil.com.

VICTOR JARVIS  began his serious ballet training at age 7, with the School of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company after falling in love with ballet while performing his first Nutcracker. After attending the 2008/09 summer courses at The School of American Ballet he was invited to stay on for the Winter Term. He trained at S.A.B. for five years under faculty such as Suki Schorer, Susan Pilarre, Jock Soto, Kay Mazzo, Peter Martins, and Sean Lavery. While at S.A.B, Victor was given the opportunity to choreograph for the annual Student Choreography Workshop, dance at the David H. Koch Theatre for Balanchine’s Birthday Celebration, and perform Balanchine’s “Cortege Hongrois” and “Western Symphony,” at the annual Workshop performances. He has attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet all on full merit scholarship. Victor has also begun to pursue his passion as a teacher, selected by S.A.B. faculty to participate in the student teaching program, regularly teaching the Intermediate Men’s Class. In addition to dancing, Victor has been a successful musician in New York City playing regularly at venues including Paul Colby’s “The Bitter End.” New to Cleveland, he is excited to be dancing in his first season with Cleveland Ballet.

ELENA CVETKOVICH received early ballet and modern dance training at Ballet Western Reserve complemented by additional study at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, the San Francisco Conservatory, Lines Ballet, and the Ailey School. Recent studies include programs with the Paul Taylor company, American Ballet Theater School in New York, and attendance on full scholarship to the Point Park International Summer Dance program.  Elena’s high school education took on new depths at Interlochen Arts Academy,  graduating with High Honors and receiving the Young Artist Award for dance.  Following her Interlochen experience, Elena attended Mercyhurst University.  She is currently working as Ballet Mistress at Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown, OH as well as finishing her degree at Youngstown State University.

LAUREN STENROOS, originally from Bath, Ohio, began her training with the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet under Nan and Mia Klinger.  While at CVYB, she performed in original ballets by Tom Gold, Francis Patrelle, James Sewell, Michael Vernon, Bill Hastings, John Selya, and Tom Evert.  She also attended summer programs on scholarship at Chautauqua Institute, Richmond Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. She received her B.A. in Dance with a minor in Music Composition from Mercyhurst University.  Since then, she has danced professionally with Lake Erie Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Ballet Montana, Texture Contemporary Ballet, and James Sewell Ballet. She has enjoyed performing in many of the full length classical ballets and has also danced in works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Septime Webre, Paul Vasterling, Jon Rodriguez, Stuart Sebastian, James Sewell, Chris Hannon, Amy Seiwert, Gina Patterson, and Lesley Bories-Scalise. .   In addition to dancing, she composes music and has written many original compositions for choreography.  Lauren is absolutely thrilled to be one of the founding members of the new Cleveland Ballet.

RAINER DIAZ  he is originally from Camagüey City, Cuba and began his training at the age of nine. He was accepted into the National Ballet School of Havanna, where he was awarded a gold medal during the International Cuban Competition. After graduating from the school with the highest scores, he became a member of the Cuban National Ballet Company performing ballets; Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, and Swan Lake. In 2008 he joined Camagüey Ballet Company also in Cuba where he became the company’s principal male dancer. In 2013 he joined BAllet of Masatlan, Mexico where he danced: Giselle, Don Quixote, Alice in Wonderland, and The Nutcracker. He has worked with international choreographers Vladimir Vasiliex, Carlos Acosta, Rolando Sarabis, Fernando Alonso, Alberto Mendex among others.

CHRISTINE CARSON was accepted into the professional division of The School of Cleveland San JoseBallet Company at the young age of nine. Christine trained under the tutelage of Ms. Gladisa Guadalupe, Dennis Nahat, Ellen Costanza, Karen Gabay and many other ballet masters. Ms. Carson performed with The Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company in major productions such as The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Carson danced professionally with The Scream Team for the Cleveland Cavaliers and she feels privileged to have performed with local modern dance companies. Ms. Carson is currently teaching ballet throughout the area and pursuing a career in Child Psychology

DAWN HOLST has been a student of vinyasa yoga and qi gong for many years and an instructor for nine. She believes in personal growth through an integrated practice that grows organically from multiple sources, practices, teachers and philosophies. She also holds a Masters in Education from Lesley College. “I am passionate about building a practice that is personal, professional and lasting that combines physical, spiritual and sensory dimensions.”

LANA KRASNYANSKY started her career at the Odessa Ballet School under the direction of Ludmila Livanskaya before immigrating to the US with her family in 1989. Between Ohio and New York, Lana performed and studied under Carol Landis, Mary Leitson, Sharon Burge, Lainie MunroSheila BarkerNatalya StavroGermaine SalsbergMichelle Dorrance and Barbara Duffy. While earning her BA in Dance from The University of Akron, Lana performed with the University’s dance company and studied under Kathleen Davis, Mark Ozanich, Mary Ann Black, Tom Smith, and Cydney Spohn. In 2003, Lana moved to New York where she was invited to join the Board of Director’s for the St. Bart’s Players Theater Group. During her tenure on the Board, Lana served as the Co-Chair of Communications and presently as the Executive Producer of Main Stage shows. Outside of her Board duties, Ms. Krasnyansky has been performing, producing, directing and choreographing fundraisers, plays and musicals. Lana has been seen in High Spirits, Fiorello! Guys and Dolls, A Little Night Music, and Follies. She choreographed Straight Up With A Twist, produced Rumors, Moon Over Buffalo, 1776, Under the Influence and most recently Nunsense. Ms. Krasnyansky has taught ballet, tap and jazz throughout Cleveland, Ohio and abroad for over 15 years. Currently, Lana is happy to be on the Board of the St. Bart’s Players and honored to be a part of the remarkable Cleveland Ballet.

KYLE PRIMOUS A graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in Drama and Dance, has danced and/or taught with Canton Ballet, Oberlin College, The University of Akron, Ohio Dance Theatre (ODT), Pittsburgh’s Dance Alloy, Footpath Dance Co., at Jacob’s Pillow, on the Drew Carey Show and is presently on faculty at Lorain County Community College and Cleveland Ballet School,. He’s directed and/or choreographed plays and show choirs including: South Range HS and Elementary School choirs, Rocky River HS Show Choir, The Wiz, The Sound of Music, Trees of Hope, Once on this Island, LCCC’s Serendipity III, Centerfest’s Sneak Peak, the world premiere of Full Moon, Steelbound, The Odyssey, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show, Treemonisha and Famous Orpheus. A member of Actors’ Equity Association and AFTRA, Mr. Primous’ regional credits include: I Love You Because (NYC Man), 14th Street Theatre; Peaches, Plums and Pontifications (Ensemble), Cleveland Playhouse & 651 Arts;The Hostage (Princess Grace), Center Stage; I Could Stop on a Dime and get Ten Cents Change (Ensemble), Cleveland Playhouse and Center Stage; other stage credits include: Dreamgirls (Jimmy), Cain Park; 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch), Beck Center; Yellowman (Eugene), Karamu House; The Wiz (Uncle Henry/The Wiz), Cain Park; Dreamgirls (Curtis), Cassidy Theatre; Wonderland (Lead vocalist), Ohio Theatre; Ragtime (Coalhouse), Cleveland JCC; Five Guys Named Moe (No Max), Beck Center; ODT’s Journey, (Ensemble); Parade (Jim Conley), Beck Center; Full Moon (Mercer), Dobama; truth (Dance), Dobama; and Mule Bone (Dave Carter), Karamu House. An unparalleled entertainer and performer, Kyle’s dynamic 3½-octave vocal range has been heard in many northeast Ohio bands, Europe, Hawaii, at PlayHouse Square, The Cleveland Playhouse, Jacobs’ Field, Cleveland Opera, The Tri-C Jazz Fest, throughout the Caribbean and, currently, Mr. Primous fronts the bands Redline and The Kyle Primous Group. Yet his greatest accomplishment to date is that of husband to Michelle and father to Kaden, Eliza and Jakob.

ROY KAISER  former bio to follow

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