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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.
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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 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.
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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

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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
Ext. 249

 

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Cynthia Gregory

Artistic Coach

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Dodie Askegard
Children’s Program Coordinator and Instructor
(bio to come)

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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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Dianna Crossman

Dianna Crossman started dancing at the age of three at her Grandmother’s studio in New Jersey. She advanced her formal training at the Princeton School of Ballet and the New Jersey Ballet School and danced with the Princeton Regional Ballet Company where she danced roles in The Nutcracker from Child to Snowflake to Spanish Hot Chocolate.

At the age of 12 Dianna was accepted into George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York City. A year later she was awarded a full scholarship to Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts, where she studied Ballet, Variations, Bournonville, Modern, Pedagogy, etc. After graduating she returned to New Jersey to perform with the Princeton Ballet Company. On a whim she flew to Las Vegas and within 24 hours landed a spot in Don Arden’s Jubilee.  After two years and a lot of costume changes, Dianna decided to hit the road and accepted a job with the International Producer Bill Lloyd traveling to Athens, Greece. The next stop was “Sono Momentaneamente a Broadway,” an Italian musical in which she was a classical soloist.

Dianna spent the next ten years performing throughout Europe and Asia as a featured dancer in shows such as The Lido in Paris,The Crystal Room in Tokyo, and Masquerade in Mexico. She even sailed around the world performing on the Royal Viking Sky.
Dianna has appeared as a dancer in national commercials, TV Shows, movies and music videos. She has choreographed for major Industrial shows such as Kodak, Coca-Cola and Nike. Dianna has a loving husband Jim and two beautiful children and is thrilled to be working with the dedicated students at Nevada Ballet Theatre.

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Crystal Danzer
(bio to come)

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Peggy Dolkas

Born in Auburn, California, Ms. Dolkas received her early dance training at the Auburn Academy of Dance under the instruction of Sheila Humphreys, former Soloist with The Royal Ballet as well as Ballet Mistress with Ballet Met, The Joffrey Ballet and The Royal Ballet. At the age of 14, Ms. Dolkas was accepted into The National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada, where she was awarded the Peter Dwyer Scholarship and the Christopher Ondaatjie Ballet Prize. She graduated four years later in 2000.

After a two year apprenticeship with The National Ballet of Canada, Ms. Dolkas was chosen to represent Canada’s “Excellence in the Arts” where she performed for His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.  In 2003, she joined Ballet West as a corps de ballet member under the direction of Jonas Kage. Two years later, she was promoted to the rank of Soloist.

During her varied career, Ms. Dolkas danced numerous principal roles including “Juliet” in the premiere of Jonas Kage’s production of Romeo and Juliet, “Odette/Odile” in Swan Lake; “Aurora” in The Sleeping Beauty; "Giselle" in Jonas Kage's adaptation of Giselle, “Fairy Godmother” in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella and “Suzuki” in Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly in addition to performing in John Butler’s Carmina Burana, Andre Prokovsky’s Vespri and The Three Musketeer’s among many others. She has performed principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine including Who Cares? and Western Symphony.

Ms. Dolkas was named “Top 25 To Watch” in the 2007 issue of Dance Magazine as well as “Best Choreographer” for Salt Lake City’s City Weekly’s Artys Awards (2009). Her work “Requiem” earned her an award for “Most Outstanding Choreography” at the Youth America Grand Prix in 2010.

Ms. Dolkas’ choreographic credits include Yes, but how did you get there? (Ballet West 2009), The Imprisoned Soul (Ballet West Academy 2011) in addition to ten new contemporary works for the Youth America Grand Prix performed by students of the Ballet West Academy. She recently co-choreographed a full-length version of The Little Mermaid for Ballet West’s Family Series in 2012 and a full-length production of Aladdin in April 2013 with Ballet West’s Principal Ballet Mistress, Pamela Robinson-Harris.

In addition to her performance and choreographic career, Ms. Dolkas has conducted workshops and was an instructor with the Ballet West Academy, teaching both ballet and contemporary. She is excited to work with the talented and versatile dancers of Nevada Ballet Theatre in her role as Ballet Mistress.

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Jessica Ellis

(bio to come)

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Karri Jonas

(bio to come)

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Ronald Harris
(bio to come)

 

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Jarrett Kelly
(bio to come)

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Erika Kirby

(bio to come)

 

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Mary LaCroix

(bio to come)

 

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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 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.

 

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Betsy Lucas

(bio to come)

 

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Pendu Malik

(bio to come)

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Lori Mashburn

(bio to come)

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Jordan McHenry
(bio to come)

 

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Carrie Lee Miles

(bio to come)

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Sara Orrells

Sara Orrells (nee Jordan), was born in Scarborough, UK where she attended Susan Richard’s Ballet School. She was admitted to the Northern Ballet Schoolin Manchester, UK, where she graduated with their accredited diploma, qualified to teach in a variety of styles of dance. She then taught in local schools both in Italy and England before embarking on a career as a showgirl. After several years working as a bluebell with the renowned Lido in Paris, France both as soloist and principal, she came to Las Vegas to work inJubilee! in Bally’s casino and hotel. It was while working there that Sara first became involved with the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre. There she became involved in teaching the Royal Academy of Dance method to the younger generation, and assisting with the Outreach programs. She worked for the Academy for four years before returning to England to marry and have her son. Sara is happy to be back at the Academy where she can once again help children discover the joy of dance.

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Margaret Rampey

Margaret Rampey received her BFA in Ballet from North Carolina School of the Arts.  She also holds certification as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga, and is a Reiki Master.  Margaret has pursued intensive studies in other mind/body awareness and therapeutic techniques, including Alexander Technique, Zena Rommett’s floor barre, release technique, and massage therapy.  All of these experiences have helped create a well-rounded approach to Pilates philosophy and technique, with equal ability to meet the needs of students of all levels. She is a Polestar Pilates Instructor, certified in Pilates fitness and rehabilitation since 1998. Margaret is a professional dancer, singer, songwriter, and actress for whom Pilates was instrumental in her recovery from various injuries, including back, knee, and shoulder.  Whether you are a professional couch surfer, serious dancer or athlete, or somewhere in between, Pilates can help!  And it’s a lot of fun, too!

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Clarice Rathers

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.


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Melissa Ridley
(bio to come)

 

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Tyrell Rolle

(bio to come)

 

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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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Jamie Santangelo

(bio to come)

 

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Kaleigh Schock
(bio to come)



Sue Stigler

Sue Stigler began training in ballet, tap and jazz as a young child in Orange County, California.  She studied under Christine Shaffer, Suzie Cable, Kristin Potts and Crystal Chambers along with attending various conventions throughout the United States. Sue had the opportunity to compete in numerous local, regional and national dance competitions and worked in the Entertainment Department at Disneyland.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University, Fullerton, as a Communications major and Dance minor.  As an instructor, Sue has specialized in teaching the very young students the joy of dance. She brings many years of teaching experience in both Orange County and in Las Vegas. Sue is thrilled to work with the students of the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and share her love of ballet, tap and jazz.


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Shauna Tilp
(bio to come)

 

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Marci Renee Weiss
(bio to come)

 

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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
ext 221

Taylor Harris
Receptionist


Brooke Hodson
Receptionist


Vicenta Mendoza
Receptionist


Mary Scarnecchia
Receptionist
ext 223



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