HINSDALE DANCE ACADEMY
Classical Ballet & Contemporary
Young Children's Program Director
Junior Company Director
Jazz/Contemporary Department Director
Guest Master Instructor
Jazz & Contemporary
Guest Master Instructor
Classical Ballet & Character
Jennifer Grapes is a former Principal Ballerina, Master Instructor, the owner of the Hinsdale Dance Academy and the Artistic Director of the Hinsdale Ballet Theatre located in Hinsdale, IL. Ms. Grapes is an internationally traveled dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Grapes grew up studying all forms of dance including ballet, modern/contemporary, jazz, and tap. She received her early training from Melissa Morris (Blue Springs Ballet), Yvonne Craig, Sharon Romine, Luba Gulyaeva, Michael Simms, and the Kansas City Ballet School as well as receiving scholarships to study at the Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Rock School. After high school, she was able to fine-tune her technique and artistry by studying extensively under the tutelage of former Milwaukee Ballet Principal, Paula Weber, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There, she was able to also add Lester Horton’s and Martha Graham’s Modern technique to her technical repertoire.
Ms. Grapes started dancing professionally at the tender age of 19 with the Albany Berkshire Ballet whilst also working toward completing her college degree. Since then, Jennifer has seen much success all around the globe performing as a Principal Artist, master teacher, and adjudicator. Her professional career includes most of the title roles in the traditional ballet repertory and also other classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Antony Tudor, August Bournonville, Kevin “Iega” Jeff, Adam Houghland, Laura Dean, Margo Sappington, Stephen Mills, Salvatore Aiello, Stuart Sebastien, Mark Godden, Dermot Burke, Karen Russo, Gregory Robinson, and Michael Pink to name a few. Ms. Grapes has danced for many elite professional companies such as the Milwaukee Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Atlantic Southeast Ballet, Lexington Ballet, and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary DANSE Theatre.
She has been a guest artist, master teacher, and adjudicator for several national and international dance festivals in Europe, Australia, and Canada and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2006, she performed as the guest Principal Artist at the International Ballet Festival of Calabria (Italy) to rave reviews and in 2007; she portrayed the title roles in Carmen, Diana and Acteon, Karien, The Amazon (original creation), and Mozart: Epilogue of the Genius (original creation) at the legendary Symphony Space and City Center on Broadway in NYC. In 2008, she was selected to represent the Milwaukee Ballet at the Crossroads Ballet Festival in Kansas City, MO, where she danced one of her most popular roles, Black Swan Pas de Deux. Also in 2008, Jennifer toured throughout Australia’s east coast performing the leads in Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, Alvin Ailey’s The River, as well as teaching several master classes and adjudicating the famous nationally acclaimed scholarship programs, Sydney Eistedfodd and the Marianne McIntyre Memorial International Scholarship Program. During her tenure with the Milwaukee Ballet she had several roles created for her in works such as Michael Pink’s Aubade, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Peter Pan, Nelly Van Bommel’s Gelem! Gelem!, Timothy O’Donnell’s The Games We Play, Mark Godden’s Wonder Wild, and Adam Houghland’s K413. In 2011, Jennifer joined the Montgomery Ballet as a Principal Artist where she again danced the coveted role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. That same year Jennifer was appointed Ballet Mistress of DManagement Dance Agency (an international artist agency representing the finest artists, teachers, and choreographers.) and co-directed the agency’s first international dance workshop, Performing in Chicago. She won glowing praise for her restaging of Giselle, Don Quixote, and her very own original work, Black Swan. In addition, Ms. Grapes has been featured in DANCEtrain magazine and photographed by former American Ballet Theatre star, Ted Kivitt, and acclaimed dance photographer, Dani Brown. She is also a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and has also worked with Bloch and Bunheads of New York to create new product lines for dancers. She was also featured in the documentary film, The Waiting, by Tomosol Digital. In the summer of 2012, Ms. Grapes hosted her own summer dance workshop, Ballet JG, in Chicago as well as in New York at the Albany Berkshire Ballet. In the fall of 2012, Ms. Grapes was chosen by the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters (CNADM) to be on faculty for their Fall Workshop.
Since opening HDA in the fall of 2012, Ms. Grapes has coached seven students into placing among the Top 12 at the Youth America Grand Prix Semi-Finals. She has had four ensembles qualify and attend the New York City Finals, and in 2015, one of her students placed third in the classical division earning her spot as a soloist at the YAGP NYC finals. Four of her graduating seniors received nearly full scholarships to study dance at Butler University (Indiana), the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Point Park University, and the University of Iowa. Her students have also received scholarships to study at summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Jose Manuel Carreno, Milwaukee Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, to name a few. She also brought in master teachers from the most famous dance establishments across the world including: Australian Ballet, Ballet Austin, English National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet to teach the students of HDA. Ms. Grapes has also choreographed her own original full-length productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and re-staged Giselle and Swan Lake Act II. All productions featured international guest artists from around the globe. Ms. Grapes has also taken her students on several field trips to see the Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet West, Eifman Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. In 2013, she took 15 of her advanced dancers to New York City. While in NYC, her dancers were able to take classes with the biggest names in ballet ( the late David Howard, Alexander Tressor, Elena Kunikova, and Nancy Bielski) and also see the breathtaking performance of American Ballet Theatre's production of Sylvia. Now that HDA is moving into it’s permanent dance space at 645 Blackhawk Drive and with over 13,000 square feet of dance space, she is looking forward to continuing to grow the young artists of the future by continuing to seek out the best education, opportunities, and performances for all of her students.
Ms. Miller is a former Montgomery Ballet Soloist with experience teaching and dancing internationally since 2008. She began her early training at the age of 10 with the Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From there, she went on to study at the Public Academy for Performing Arts, where she attended high school, to focus on professional dance and injury prevention for dancers. Nicole's training includes many forms of dance such as classical ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop, flamenco, and Ballet Folklorico. She has had the privilege of training with teachers specializing in the Vaganova technique, Bournonville technique, Cecchetti technique, and the styling of the great George Balanchine. Much of her professional training was received at The Joffrey Ballet with teachers such as Diane Orio, Eleanore D'Antuono, Willy Shives, and Trinette Singleton (who set an original piece with Ms. Miller performing the lead in 2007).
In 2008, at the age of 18, Nicole became a Montgomery Ballet professional apprentice under the direction of Elie Lazar. During Mr. Lazar's tenure she performed many soloist roles including "Moth" in A Midsummer's Night Dream and "Bridesmaid" in Don Quixote, Sylvia Pas de Deux, and Rossini Pas de Deux. In 2010, Nicole toured Italy with the Montgomery Ballet to perform in the Dance Festival, "Pietrasanta en Danza”, where the company received rave reviews. By 2013, Ms. Miller had become a soloist in the Montgomery Ballet Company. During her tenure with the Montgomery Ballet, she has performed many works including, Carmina Burana, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, and The Nutcracker. In addition, Nicole has performed several leading roles such as "Swanhilda" in Coppelia, "Arethusa" in Italian Choreographer Adria Ferrali's Alpheus et Arethusa, "Mercedes" in Don Quixote, "Zulma" in Giselle, and "Aurora" in The Sleeping Beauty.
In 2014, Ms. Miller was promoted to Director of the Montgomery Ballet School and acted as The Montgomery Ballet's Ballet Mistress for the Professional Company with director Foye DuBose. While directing the Montgomery Ballet School, Nicole re-staged and choreographed several works from Swan Lake such as "Cygnets," "Big Swans," and "Princesses." She also choreographed her own original excerpt from Le Corsaire, "Jardine Anime." Ms. Miller's students have placed in the Top 12 at the regional and New York City Finals for the Youth America Grand Prix.
Nicole Miller is a certified teacher for the Progressing Ballet Technique program. PBT was created in Sydney, Australia by Marie Walton-Mahon and brought to the United States by Megan Berlint-Nicko.
Ms. Miller is honored to join the prestigious ranks of the HDA faculty, under the direction of Jennifer Grapes, and is excited to share her knowledge and artistry with her students.
Classical Ballet and Modern
Mr. Foye DuBose began his training in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, with Ms. Cathy Hess Wright and Ms.Emily Caruso. Mr. DuBose’s advanced studies included scholarships to the University of Alabama - Birmingham, the Hungarian National Ballet School, and a Ford Foundation scholarship to the Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the direction of Ms. Francia Russell. As a professional dancer, Mr. DuBose has performed with both ballet and modern companies, including the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Alabama Ballet (under the direction of Mr. Wes Chapman, former ABT Principal Dancer), Southern Danceworks, and Ohio Ballet. His performance credits include both the Classical and Neoclassical repertoire. He has danced leading roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet, Raymonda, and his Balanchine repertoire includes Serenade, Agon, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Allegro Brillante, Symphony in C, and Tarantella Pas de Deux. As a master dance instructor, Mr. DuBose served as Ballet Master of the Alabama Dance Theatre from 2005-2014. In 2014, he was named Artistic Director of the Montgomery Ballet, where he staged his original version of The Nutcracker. As an acclaimed choreographer, his work earned him a 2007 ASCA dance fellowship, as well as having his ballets performed at the RDA/SERBA festivals. Mr. DuBose has also taught, and choreographed, all across the Southeast staging works for the Alabama Ballet, Southern Danceworks, Georgia Youth Ballet, Birmingham Southern College, Alabama Dance Theatre, and Andalusia Ballet. Mr. DuBose is excited to begin his first season with HDA and continue sharing his knowledge and passion with its talented students.
Mr. Patrick Willison began his dance education at the Judith Lee Johnson School of Dance in St. Petersburg, Florida. Upon entering middle school, Patrick began studying with the School of the Nashville Ballet on scholarship. Mr. Willison finished his graduate studies at the prestigious Houston Ballet Academy on scholarship as well. He also received full scholarships to study in the summer with the American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Harrid Conservatory, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet (New York City, NY), and the Kirov Academy (Washington D.C.).
Mr. Willison began his performance career with the Bay Ballet Theatre, under the direction of Christopher Fleming. From there he went on to become a trainee with the Nashville Ballet where he performed in Paul Vasterling's The Nutcracker, Dracula, and Cinderella. While at the Houston Ballet Academy, he danced with the Houston Ballet in Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Cleopatra, L, Martinu 5th, and Swan Lake, Kenneth MacMillian's Mannon, Trey McIntyre's Peter Pan, as well as Graduation Ball, Vespri, and Le Diablo a Quatre. As a member of the Alabama Ballet in Birmingham, Patrick performed in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Serenade, and Stars and Stripes. He also performed Carousel, Flower Festival Pas de Deux, Concert Fantasy, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, An American in Paris, and Don Quixote, as well as Leslie Browne's Brahm's Trio. Mr. Willison finished his performance career, and spent eight seasons, with the Montgomery Ballet. With MB, he toured Italy and all across the United States and Canada performing the leading roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Firebird, and Tim O’Donnell’s The Games We Play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, La Vivandiere, Snow White, The Phantom of the Opera, Fairy Doll, and Coppelia.
Mr. Willison found his passion for teaching during his graduate studies at the Houston Ballet Academy. From then, he began to hone his craft for teaching, coaching, directing, and creating syllabi for the next generation of dancers. During his last season with the Montgomery Ballet, he was appointed as co-director/ballet master for the Montgomery Ballet Academy & Company. Mr. Willison's students have placed in the Top 12 at the regional and New York City Finals for the Youth America Grand Prix. Mr. Willison is looking forward to passing the torch to the next generation of talented dancers at the Hinsdale Dance Academy.
Junior Company Director
Jazz/Contemporary Department Director
Shannon Hershman, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began her early dance training with the Laurel Youth Ballet, Johnstown Concert Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. She left high school a year early to double major in both dance and biology at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA. While in college Shannon was a singer and dancer with American Entertainment Productions performing throughout the northeast at theme parks & special events. She was then was offered a position with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet in 2002. She was promoted to soloist in 2004. That same year, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from La Roche and was a featured dancer in a televised PBS tribute to director and choreographer Rob Marshall. Shannon was blessed to perform original works by Johan Renvall, Ze’eva Cohen, and Anjali Austin during her time at BCB. Wanting to expand her dance palate, Ms. Hershman finished her 5th & final season with Bodiography in 2007 and transitioned into jazz & contemporary dance. Despite being offered a company position with Groundworks Dance Theater, she apprenticed with River North Chicago Dance Company. In 2008 she joined Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre. Shannon then apprenticed with Giordano Dance Chicago performing works by Giordano company members. She was then offered a position with Inaside Chicago Dance. She was honored to perform works by Harrison McEldowney, Eddy Ocampo, Autumn Eckman, and Lizzie Mackenzie, just to name a few. Shannon retired in 2013 after 5 seasons with ICD.
Upon retiring from dance, Ms. Hershman looked forward to teaching full time in both dance and Pilates. She was a finalist for BASI Pilates’ Kathy Grant Memorial Scholarship where she personally interviewed with BASI Pilates founder, Rael Isacowitz. The following year she completed the training program. Shannon is fortunate to have studied with many gifted Pilates instructors including Cindy Reid, Jeremy Brown, and Lynne Alberding. Taking multiple workshops from the amazing Karen Clippinger has also been inspirational.
In addition to teaching dance for more than 15 years, Ms. Hershman is currently a Tier 2 BASI Pilates instructor. She is also certified in Pilates Jumpboard, CoreAlign I & II, TRX, and Trigger Point foam rolling. In 2015 she personally studied with Esther Gokhale in a 3 day intensive in the Gokhale Method. Shannon most recently became a corrective exercise specialist in the Biomechanics Method, completed training in Yamuna Body Rolling and the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary through Level 3. She has a passion for continuing education and sharing her knowledge with her students. Ms. Hershman is thrilled to be the new director of both JUCO and the Jazz & Contemporary Department. She looks forward to her 2nd season with the HDA family.
Melissa began her training in upstate New York at the age of 5. She soon joined the School of Dance Arts for the Elmira-Corning Ballet under that direction of Mme. Halina Lutomski. She became a company apprentice at the age of 12. Melissa then joined the pre-company program at the Minnesota Dance Theatre, studying under director Loyce Houlton. In Minnesota, she went on to study with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and The Zenon Dance Company at The University of Minnesota. Melissa went on to join The South Community Theatre with lead roles in “A Chorus Line”, “Pippin” and “Swing, Swing, Swing” (original choreography by Vance Holmes). Locally, she has studied with the Lou Conte Dance School and The Ruth Page Dance Center. Melissa holds a Bachelors of Arts from Loyola University of Chicago. She is thrilled to be sharing her passion for dance with students of all ages.
Growing up, Ms. Pontarelli trained in dance all over the Chicago-land area, including her finishing studies under the direction of Jennifer Grapes at the Hinsdale Dance Academy! Upon graduation from HDA, Julia was accepted into the dance department at Point Park University where she majored in dance. While at PP, Julia was able to hone her craft under the tutelage of some of the great names in dance right now like Desmond Richardson, Peter Merz, Jim Cooney, and Sonya Tayeh. During her studies at Point Park University, she trained in various dance genres including, ballet, modern, jazz, tap, contemporary partnering, and pointe. At Point Park, she was chosen to perform in many faculty showcases and student lead performances. Although Julia has a strong love for performing, she has discovered her passion for teaching and choreographing and is also IHSA certified in judging high school dance competitions. Ms. Pontarelli loves working with young dancers and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with them. She is excited to join the HDA faculty for the 2016-2017 school year and help train the next HDA generation.
Ms. Samantha Lyons began dancing at the tender age of two; she knew then that dance would be a lifelong passion of hers! She has studied ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary for over twenty years and performed in local and national dance competitions for over eight years. During those eight years, she has won numerous awards for her solo and group performances. When Ms. Lyons was a sophomore in high school, she also competed with her Dance Team at Hinsdale South High School. Samantha was one of the primary choreographers for the team, leading them to three State Championships! She continues to study dance at the Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. Samantha loves working with young children and is looking forward to incorporating her love of dance into her classes at HDA.
Alana Czernobil, a Chicago native, has trained with the San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet of Budapest, Hungary, American Ballet Theatre, and Suzanne Farrell. Alana is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied under the tutelage of the legendary Balanchine Ballerina, Melissa Hayden. While attending NCSA, she had the privilege of performing George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Symphonie Concertante, and Symphony in C under the direction of Melissa Hayden.
Before joining the Alabama Ballet in 2006, Alana performed and toured with the contemporary ballet company Cedar Lake Ensemble II. As a company member with the Alabama Ballet, Alana’s featured roles included Queen Myrta in Giselle, “That’s Life” in Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Pas de Trois in Swan Lake, Dew Drop and Hot Chocolate Principal in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Flower Girl in Don Quixote, Diamond Fairy and Fairy of Temperament in The Sleeping Beauty, Russian Corps in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Ivee in Roger Van Fleteren’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and the Elder Sister in Frank Stagg’s Transfigured Night. Her other repertoire includes Jiri Kylian’s Sechs Tanze, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante, Agnes Demille’s Rodeo, Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen, and Anthony Tudor’s Lilac Garden.
From 2007-2018, Alana provided ballet instruction within the state of Alabama for notable schools including the Alabama Ballet and Encore Performance Company. In 2014, she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Alana is truly honored to share her knowledge and passion for ballet with the future dancers of tomorrow.
The Project Director
Amber Whaley started her dance career at the age of 2 years old. She started competing at the age of 5. She began assisting dance classes at the age of 13. She attended Montini Catholic High School and became the first African American to compete on the Broncettes dance team. She was a part of the Broncettes state champion for 3 years straight. Her senior year she started subbing dance classes. Once she graduated from Montini she attended College Of Dupage and received her Associates of Arts and Certified Nursing Assistant certification. She also was apart of the dance showcases at College of Dupage. Amber also was a recreational and competition dance teacher at Aspirations Dance Company for 5 years. She teaches hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary and ballet. Amber has had multiple dances win special awards and even placed. She also taught poms and gymnastics at York Center Park District for 3 years. Amber now works at Glenbard East High school. She works in the Special Educational Department and is the Head Junior Varsity Dance Coach and Assistant Dance Coach for the Varsity team. Amber has enjoyed teaching dance and looks forward to sharing her knowledge, skills and passion at Hinsdale Dance Academy.
Julia May is originally from Chicago, Illinois where she began her dance training with Ted Jackson, Avnun Yakubov, Sherry Moray, Ahmad Simmons and was a member of the Midwest Performing Arts Centre’s competition team. Julia completed her dance training at the Hinsdale Dance Academy under the direction of Jennifer Grapes where she had the opportunity to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix and qualify for the New York City Finals. With HDA, she also performed leading roles such as the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle, Petite Cygnets from Swan Lake, Sugarplum Fairy from The Nutcracker, and the Stepmother in Cinderella and trained with Davit Hovhannisyan, Valerie Harmon, Karl Von Rabenau, Reginald Harris, Tim O’Donnell, and Darren McIntyre. Julia also studied at the Montgomery Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Joffrey Ballet’s summer programs.
Julia began her professional career at the age of seventeen with the Albany Berkshire Ballet in New York. She was a Trainee with the Western Chicago Ballet during the 2014-2015 season. Julia danced professionally with the Kentucky Ballet Theatre for three seasons. Her repertory includes Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Diana and Acteon, Paquita, The Nutracker, Coppelia, Variations from Flames of Paris, Canary Fairy from Sleeping Beauty, The Talisman, Walpurgis Nacht, and original works by Jennifer Grapes, Darren McIntyre, Jennifer Hart, Norbe Risco, and Anna Patsfall.
While in Kentucky, Julia had the opportunity to direct and choreograph for the Gotta Dance Studio competition team. Julia has also taught at Hinsdale Dance Academy, Wilmore Ballet School, and the Kentucky Ballet Theatre Academy.
Carly Snelling Crowder
Guest Master Instructor
Jazz & Contemporary
Carly Snelling began her early training at Wynn Twins School of Dance. As a member of their company, she was a Dance America/Dance Olympus national champion awarded Most Promising Performer, later winning the title of Senior Dancer of the Year in Las Vegas, NV. Graduating Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, she received a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Dance Performance under the direction of Jo Rowan, along with receiving a Minor in History. Snelling was the female deputy of OCU's American Spirit Dance Company, performing in domestic tours in Branson, Missouri and Oklahoma. Since graduation, she has performed as a guest artist in Midwest Performing Arts' The Nutcracker, as The Sugar Plum Fairy. She has toured internationally in Austria, Italy, and Germany with Remix Dance Company and was the featured dancer for a national commercial for National Geographic’s Brain Games, presented by Acura. Snelling has judged, choreographed, and held master classes throughout the Midwest, including for The Glenda Brown Choreography Project, while also traveling nationally as a full-time competition judge for BravO! National Dance and Talent Competition. While under her direction, the Junior Company has achieved numerous prestigious awards, including all soloists placing in the Top 10 Overall, several more placing in the Top 3 Overall, and proudly, the crowning achievement of 1st Overall. Snelling currently continues to perform professionally as a company member with Inaside Chicago Dance.
Guest Master Instructor
Classical Ballet & Character
Nadia Thompson was trained in Australia by her mother, Frances Davis Thompson, and graduated from the Royal Ballet School after winning the bronze medal at the Adeline Genee Awards. Before moving to the United States and to Boston Ballet, she worked with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and London City Ballet, performing for such dignitaries as HRH Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, the Duchess of York and Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal Command Performance.Nadia has danced principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Don Quixote and Abdallah, Twyla Tharp’s Upper Room and Waterbaby Bagatelles. In addition, Lila York created Brown Girl in Celts and Principal Lady in Ode to Joy on her. Her vast Balanchine repertoire includes Russian and Elegy in Serenade, Principal Lady in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #2, Divertimento #15, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, Mozartiana, Rubies and Choleric in The Four Temperaments.Nadia has worked as a guest teacher with Trey McIntyre Project, White Oak, Colorado Ballet, Boston Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Harvard University, Wellesley College, West Australian Ballet and Queensland University of Technology Australia. She also works as a répétiteur for Michael Pink’s ballets, setting Dracula and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Atlanta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Kansas City Ballet, and stages Ballet Augsburg's House Choreographer, Riccardo DeNigris' works and Milwaukee Ballet's Resident Choreographer, Timothy O’Donnell’s works. Ms. Thompson is currently serving as the Co-Director of Ballet Hagen, Germany.
Riccardo De Nigris
Graduate of Las Scala Di Milano, Riccardo’s professional dance experience has included 10 years performing to principal level in International companies and 7 years working as a guest choreographer. He has performed leading roles in many new creations from some of the most outstanding choreographers on the world circuit. Riccardo De Nigris was born in Trani Southern Italy and trained with the prestigious La Scala Di Milano, where he performed with the company in his graduate year. Riccardo continued his professional career with Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre in Houston Texas, the Czech National Theatre Brno and is currently a soloist with Augsburg Ballet in Germany under the direction of Robert Conn. During his career Riccardo has been featured in numerous works from world renowned choreographers, including, William Forsythe, Mauro Bigonzetti, Itzik Galili, Robert North, Young Soon Hue, Michael Pink, Mauro De Candia, Bridget Breiner, Mario Schroder, Kevin O’Day, Christian Spuck, Amanda Miller, Maurice Causey, Demis Volpi, Alejandro Cerrudo, Georg Reischl, Angel Rodriguez, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Marco Goecke. and Francesco Ventriglia. Many of these artists created roles for him and have had an influence on him following his passion of also choreographing. In the 2012/13 season, the Augsburg Allgemeine awarded Riccardo the prestigious theatre award for outstanding artist. As a choreographer, Riccardo has already showcased his talents in several creations for the Augsburg Ballet, among them a series of solos, Po Poff, Modo, and Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as several ensemble pieces for the young choreographers series, Destillationen. His versatility lends itself to the theatres yearly Opera Ball and Augsburgs annual International Ballet Gala, where he charms the crowd with vibrant crowd-pleasing finales each year. Stepping into the realm of Opera and Musical Theatre, Riccardo choreographed the State Theatres season finale musical, My Fair Lady and the Operas’, Die Fledermaus and Carmen. In February 2015, Riccardo was awarded the audience prize for his choreography, Can I Say Something?, at the Genesis International Choreographic Competition for the Milwaukee Ballet in the USA. His choreography, Dove Sei, Chiribim, To be….Continued, Samba 4 Us and Tico Tico have featured in numerous galas throughout Germany and the Czech Republic. This past season Riccardo premiered his new work, Ascending Glide, for Augsburg Ballets triple bill, Of Men and Gods. He shared the evening alongside two choreographic greats, Edward Clug and George Balanchine. Riccardo was hailed as one of the young new choreographers to watch in 2016 after his premiere of Ascending Glide. Riccardo recently premiered his new Narcissis/Bolero for Augsburg Ballet on April 7th 2017.
Hinsdale Dance Academy | 645 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont IL 60559 | 630-484-3241 | email@example.com
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