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Dallas Ballet Center

We are thrilled to have welcomed these renowned instructors to DBC


Seth Belliston was trained at the Belliston Academy of Ballet and the School of American Ballet. He is the recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award for Excellence, as well as the Mae L. Wien Award, and twice received the Florence Ruston Award from the Denver Ballet Guild. In addition to achieving the rank of Principal Dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mr. Belliston has appeared around the globe as an international guest artist. When in London, the BBC filmed Mr. Belliston’s performance of Puck in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Seth has appeared in an exceptional repertoire of ballets by renowned choreographers such as, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Rudi van Dantzig, Paul Taylor, Nacho Duato, and Peter Martins. Mr. Belliston is also at home in the classic story ballets having performed such works as The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker. Mr. Belliston was an original cast member in one of Jerome Robbins’ later works, 2 & 3 Part Inventions. He is currently on staff at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.


Courtney Crain Carr started dancing at the age of two. She trained with Missy Crain Dance Studios and was a member of The Louisiana Delta Ballet where she served as a Principal Dancer for many years. Courtney currently resides in New York City and is a Radio City Rockette. As a Rockette, she has performed on the iconic Radio City Music Hall stage in The Christmas Spectacular, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, Mariah Carey’s Christmas Special “Merry Christmas to All,” The Today Show, and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Other credits include the film Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. and Hallmark’s A Holiday Spectacular. Courtney has had the privilege of working with some of the top choreographers in New York, including Al Blackstone, Karla Garcia, Billy Griffin, Josh Assor and many more. She has been teaching and choreographing for several years and is passionate about sharing her love of dance! 


Silas Farley began his training when he was 7 years old in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina with Sal and Barbara Messina at King David Christian Conservatory. He continued his training at Charlotte Ballet Academy with Hamburg Ballet alumni Kathryn Moriarty and Mark Diamond and New York City Ballet (NYCB) alumni Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. He completed his ballet training at The School of American Ballet (SAB). He joined NYCB in 2012 and danced with the Company until 2020. There he performed principal roles in the works of George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon and originated roles in ballets by Wheeldon, Lauren Lovette, and Justin Peck.


Farley has taught nationally and internationally, including at the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet, Slovak National Ballet, Colburn School, Peabody Conservatory, Hartt School, Chautauqua School of Dance, and The Kennedy Center. He has choreographed for the School of American Ballet, the New York Choreographic Institute, Columbia Ballet Collaborative at Columbia University, and Works & Process at The Guggenheim, The Washington Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.


In 2017, Farley collaborated with poet Ilya Kaminsky on the ballet adaptation of Kaminsky’s book, Deaf Republic, at Grace Farms Foundation. In the fall of 2017, Farley was commissioned by MetLiveArts to choreograph a site-specific work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. That work, Songs From The Spirit, was made in collaboration with the Ear Hustle podcast and was set to music by currently and formerly incarcerated musicians from San Quentin State Prison. The ballet premiered at The Met Museum in 2019.


Farley was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. He has written for Dance Magazine and lectured for the New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Park Avenue Armory, and Museum of Modern Art. Farley is writer and host of the New York City Ballet podcast, Hear The Dance. Mr. Farley served as the Armstrong Visiting Artist in Residence in Ballet in The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) for the 2020–21 academic year. From 2021-23 he served as Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at the Colburn School. He is also an Alumnus Trustee of Professional Children’s School and serves on the Board of The George Balanchine Foundation.

Jason Fowler began his ballet training here at Dallas Ballet Center under the direction of Judy and Brent Klopfenstein and at the Dallas Ballet Academy under the direction of Vivi Flindt. He entered the school of American Ballet in 1993, and began his career with the New York City Ballet as an apprentice that same year, rising through corps de ballet in 1996 to Soloist in 2005. Mr. Fowler began in current career in 2010 as repetiteur (ballet master) for Christopher Wheeldon; and to date, he has staged over 20 Wheeldon ballets, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Polyphonia. Mr. Fowler continues to set and stage ballets for NYCB, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Corella Ballet of Spain. Dance Magazine featured Mr. Fowler in the May 2017 edition.


With our greatest appreciation, Mr. Fowler continues to return home to DBC. Over the years, he has taught master classes and workshops as well as choreographed ballets for Dallas Ballet Company, several of which have been selected and performed at RDA Southwest. His work, Hommage a la Russe, was selected and performed by DBCo at the 2017 National RDA Festival in Phoenix.


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.

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Alexandra Hebert is an actress, singer, and dancer from Dallas, Texas and a Dallas Ballet Center Tap Connection and Dallas Ballet Company alum. Her love for music theater and dancing started at the ripe age of 1 when her mother and grandfather introduced her to Singin' In The Rain and An American In Paris. Attempting to recreate every movie musical she saw or every song she heard, Alexandra's parents knew dance class was where she needed to be. Upon moving to England at 3, Alexandra was put into ballet class and she never looked back.


Alexandra studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, musical theater, and voice all the way through high school. She graduated from Oklahoma City University in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater.

After graduation, Alexandra began her professional career on cruise ships . She has traveled the world onboard the MS Insignia with Oceania Cruises as well as The Vision of the Seas and The Serenade of the Seas with Royal Caribbean performing a variety of production shows as well as a personal cabaret entitled That's Entertainment: The Music of Judy Garland.

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Claire Kretzschmar is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, podcast host and former soloist with New York City Ballet (NYCB). She trained at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet prior to joining NYCB as an apprentice in 2010. At NYCB, she performed several featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck, and Kyle Abraham, and she rose to become a soloist dancer in 2018. Since retiring from the company in October 2022, Ms. Kretzschmar now shares her love of ballet through teaching, choreographing, speaking, and occasionally dancing. Her choreography credits include Rachmaninoff Variations and Rhapsodie for the New York Choreographic Institute and A Ceremony of Carols for Ballet Hartford. She regularly teaches creative movement to NYC public school students and co-hosts NYCB’s podcast, “The Rosin Box.” Ms. Kretzschmar also co-founded Arthouse2B, a Catholic arts organization in NYC that seeks to restore culture by restoring the heart of the artist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Fordham University and is the recipient of the 2017 Janice Levin Award and the 2015 Martin E. Segal Award for rising artists.


Riolama Lorenzo was born in Havana, Cuba and began her ballet training with her mother, Maria Eugenia Lorenzo, and at the Martha Mahr School of Ballet. At age 14, Ms. Lorenzo was chosen to study at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. In 1993, Ms. Lorenzo received the renowned Princess Grace Award and continued her dance training at New York City Ballet’s prestigious School of American Ballet. The following autumn she became an Apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the company in Spring 1995.

In September 2002, Ms. Lorenzo joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet and was promoted to Soloist in September 2003 and to Principal in March 2005. Her featured roles in the classical repertoire include Odette/Odile in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, and the title roles in Giselle, Cinderella, The Firebird, and Roland Petit’s Carmen. She has also danced leading roles in Paul Taylor’s Company B, Jerome Robbins’s The Concert, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Peter Martins’s Fearful Symmetries, and Mauro Bigonzetti’s Kazimir’s Colours.


Olivier Pardina, a former Artistic Director and Principal Instructor at the Nice Opera Ballet School, has lived in the United States since 1991. He taught at The HARID Conservatory for 20 years and has taught master classes throughout the world. Pardina has been a guest teacher at American Ballet Theatre and the Youth American Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition. A native of France, Pardina began his ballet training at age 10. His training included master teachers from the Paris Opera Ballet. The Nice Opera Ballet offered the 16 year old Pardina his first professional position and promoted him to the rank of Principal Dancer by the end of his first year.


Mr. Pardina has toured with Rudolph Nureyev and worked closely with him as his understudy while working for the Nancy Ballet Theatre. He also danced and toured the world with major French ballet companies. Among his breakthrough roles, was his portrayal of Petrouchka, in Hommage a Diaghilev. He also received critical acclaim for his performances in Serge Lifar’s Phedra, Moses Pendleton’s Pulcinella, Birgit Cullberg’s Miss Julie and Hans Van Manen’s Songs Without Words, Five Tangos, and Septet Extra. His students have won major prizes at both national and international dance competitions and many are now principal dancers at some of the top ballet companies in the United States and Europe.


Nycole Ray, a Detroit native, graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in dance. She received additional training at the California State Summer School of the Arts, Wayne State University, and as an exchange student at the London Contemporary Dance School in England. Mrs. Ray has performed with the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Walt Disney World Entertainment, Christopher and Friends directed by Christopher L. Huggins, the Lula Washington Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and the Zadonu African Dance Company. She has worked with noted choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Dianne McIntyre, Christopher L. Huggins, Alonzo King, Donald Byrd, Bruce Wood®, Rennie Harris and Camille A. Brown. In addition to her concert dance performances, and has appeared in music videos, industrials in the U.S. and Europe.


Nycole created Nineteenth in commemoration of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, giving women equality and the right to vote through a grant provided by the 19th Amendment Centennial Fund in 2020, as well as works for the University of Dallas, Wayne State University, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, DBDT: Encore!, Milwaukee Dance Connection and Detroit Renaissance High School. Mrs. Ray was commissioned by The Dallas Opera to choreograph Samson and Delilah, and has had collaborations with the Dallas Museum of Art, creating Frida, Frida and Frida based off the Mexico exhibit in 2017, Art on 5th Avenue. based on the contemporary jewelry designs of Author Smith, The Subtle, The Sum…Give More Than You Take, based off of the Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take exhibit in 2013, The Line of Beauty that Runs Through, based off of the works from The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece exhibit along with works from their permanent collection in 2013, Le Afrique Masquerade for The Art of Disguise exhibit of African Masks in the fall of 2010 as well as a commissioned work for the Dallas Holocaust Museum in 2009. Nycole is the 2013 recipient of the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence from the Dance Council of North Texas.


Mrs. Ray was a featured choreographer for the Ninth FINTDAZ Festival in Iquique, Chile in 2016 as well as the Tenth Annual Choreographers Choice Series in Dallas; and premiered work in Vienna’s 2003 International Black Dance Festival, and has shown work at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival. She accompanied Dr. Chuck Davis, as an invited guest, during his annual pilgrimage to Africa, and has been a teaching Assistant and adjunct at Texas Woman’s University. Mrs. Ray received the 2011 Artful Dancewear Teachers Scholarship through The Dance Council of North Texas to continue her studies, and is a certified Dunham Technique Instructor.


Christine Spizzo Born in Belleville, Illinois, dancer Christine Spizzo trained at the San Francisco Ballet School, UNCSA and at the School of American Ballet in New York. Upon graduation, she joined the National Ballet of Washington (DC), and the Ballet Repertory Company (NY), ultimately joining American Ballet Theatre in 1975.

A soloist with ABT, Spizzo appeared in numerous Live from Lincoln Center and Dance in America telecasts, as well as the Herbert Ross films The Turning Point and Dancers, and in Baryshnikov’s Nutcracker and Don Quixote video films. Spizzo was a Principal dancer with Ballet Arizona from 1988-1990, and with the Nureyev & Friends North American tour in 1990. She performed in the Broadway company of Phantom of the Opera from 1990-2000. Also during that time, she was an adjunct professor at both NYU and SUNY/Purchase.

In 1996, she served as Artistic Coordinator of ABT’s inaugural Summer Intensive Program, and remained a principal teacher in all subsequent ABT Summer Intensives through 2017.  She is a certified ABT National Training Curriculum Instructor, Primary-L8. In 2000, upon moving to Winston-Salem with her late husband, Raymond Serrano, Spizzo joined the dance faculty at UNCSA, where she worked for 10 years, receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. She taught in UNCSA Preparatory Dance Program for several years.

Spizzo is actively engaged as a guest teacher and stager of classical ballet repertoire at various schools throughout the country. She has been on the ballet faculty of Regional Dance America Festivals since 2014. Spizzo was the proud owner and co-founder, along with Mark McCullough, of Studio Elevé in Kernersville, NC (a yoga, Pilates, and dance studio for active adults and aspiring young professionals), until the recent pandemic forced her to close the studio after just 7 years. 

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