If you are under age 11 and interested in attending the 2020 Junior Summer Intensive Program, and are not able to attend the audition in Austin, Texas, please submit a digital audition. Requirements are can be found below.
If you are 19–22 and are interested in attending the 2020 Senior Summer Intensive Program, you may use the Company Audition schedule, or you may attend one of the locations listed below. Participation in the Summer Intensive Program is required to be considered for acceptance into Ballet Austin II or into The Butler Fellowship Program.
If you can’t attend one of our Summer Intensive auditions in person, you may submit a 15-minute digital audition, uploaded to the web on any sharable video application (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) Please include a sampling of barre work and center practice, including adagio, pirouettes, petite and grand allegro, as well as pointe work if applicable. Men should include double tour en l'air and tours á la seconde. All digital audition submissions must include a full body photograph of you in dance attire (in any position), your $40.00 application fee, and this Digital Audition Application form.
For more information on the Summer Intensive Audition Tour please email or call 512.501.8703.
|City||State||School||Address||Zip Code||Date||Audition Time||Age|
|Denver||CO||Colorado Ballet||1075 Santa Fe Drive||80204||01.03.20||4:30- 6:30pm||11-18|
|Philadelphia||PA||Pennsylvania Ballet||The Louise Reed Center for Dance, 323 N. Broad Street||19107||01.05.20||1:00-3:00pm||11-18|
|Indianapolis||IN||Ballet Theatre of Carmel||1329 W. 96th St. Suite A||46260||01.05.20||2:00-4:00pm||11-18|
|Kansas City||MO||Kansas City Ballet School||500 W Pershing Rd.||64108||01.11.20||2:00-4:00pm||11-18|
|Natick||MA||Walnut Hill School for the Arts||12 Highland St.||01760||01.11.20||1:00-3:00pm||11-18|
|New York||NY||School of American Ballet||70 Lincoln Center Plaza||10023||01.12.20||12:30-2:30pm||11-18|
|Seattle||WA||Pacific Northwest Ballet School||301 Mercer St.||98109||01.12.20||Ages 11-14:|
|Coppell||TX||Ballet Academy of Texas||145 Fitness Court||75019||01.18.20||Ages 11-14:|
|Portland||OR||Oregon Ballet Theatre||0720 SW Bancroft St.||97239||01.18.20||4:00-6:00pm||11-18|
|Plano||TX||Chamberlain School of Ballet||3003 W. 15th St.||75075||01.19.20||12:00-2:00pm||11-18|
|Columbus||OH||BalletMet||322 Mt Vernon Ave.||43215||01.19.20||12:00-2:00pm||11-18|
|Winston-Salem||NC||University of North Carolina School of the Arts||1533 S. Main St.||27127||01.20.20||1:00-3:00pm||11-18|
|Salt Lake City||UT||Ballet West||52 West 200 South||84101-1603||01.20.20||2:00-4:00pm||11-18|
|Atlanta||GA||Atlanta Ballet||1695 Marietta Boulevard, NW||30318||01.25.20||6:15-8:15pm||11-18|
|Austin||TX||Ballet Austin||501 W. 3rd St.||78701||01.25.20||Ages 9-12:|
|Phoenix||AZ||Ballet Arizona||2835 E. Washington St.||85034||01.25.20||3:00-5:00pm||11-18|
|San Francisco||CA||San Francisco Ballet School||455 Franklin St.||94102||01.25.20||4:30-6:30pm||11-18|
|Irvine||CA||Maple Conservatory||1824 Kaiser Ave||92614||01.26.20||3:00-5:00pm||11-18|
|Minneapolis||MN||Minnesota Dance Theatre||528 Hennepin Ave, 6th Floor||55403||01.26.20||3:00-5:00pm||11-18|
|Houston||TX||Houston High School of Performing and Visual Arts||790 Austin St.||77002||01.30.20||6:00-8:00pm||11-18|
|Nashville||TN||Nashville Ballet||3630 Redmon St.||37209||02.01.20||5:00-7:00pm||11-18|
|Chicago||IL||Joffery Ballet||10 East Randolph St.||60601||02.01.20||7:00-9:00pm||11-18|
|Birmingham||AL||Alabama School of Fine Arts||1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.||35203||02.01.20||10:00am-12:00pm||11-18|
|New Orleans||LA||Schramel Conservatory of Dance||920 Terpsichore Street||70130||02.02.20||12:00-2:00pm||11-18|
|Washington||DC||Washington School of Ballet||3515 Wisconsin Ave. NW||20016||02.02.20||4:00-6:00pm||11-18|
|Miami Beach||FL||Miami City Ballet||2200 Liberty Ave.||33139||02.08.20||4:00-6:00pm||11-18|
|San Diego/Poway||CA||Lynch Dance Institute||12227 Poway Road||92064||02.08.20||2:30-4:30pm||11-18|
|Orlando||FL||Orlando Ballet School||600 N. Lake Formosa Dr.||32803||02.09.20||2:00-4:00pm||11-18|
|Santa Fe||NM||NDI New Mexico||1140 Alto St.||87501||02.11.20||6:45-8:45pm||11-18|
|Houston||TX||Bayou City Ballet School||11231 Richmond Ave. D106||77082||02.15.20||2:00-4:00pm||11-18|
The audition is a ballet technique class designed to show us your level of technical ability and artistic expression.
Women over age 16 may be asked to wear pointe shoes for center. Younger students who are on pointe will have the opportunity to do pointe work toward the end of class.
It is recommended that women wear a simple style, solid-color leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes. (Bring pointe shoes if already on pointe).
Men should wear a white fitted T-shirt (tucked in) or white leotard with black tights and black or white (with white socks) ballet shoes.
We recommend all students audition live but understand that this is not always feasible.
If you are unable to audition for the Summer Intensive program in person, you may audition digitally. Your video should consist of a sampling of barre work and center practice including adagio, pirouettes, petite and grand allegro and pointe work. The length should be approximately 15 minutes. A full body photograph of you in dance attire (first arabesque is recommended) is also required along with the $40 audition fee and audition application.
A limited number of scholarships are granted each year to promising students. Scholarship recipients will be notified upon acceptance to the Summer Intensive.
A limited number of tuition assistance is also available to students who apply. After a student has auditioned and been accepted, she/he may contact the Academy Registrar for application information.
Yes. Members of Ballet Austin II as well as Ballet Austin’s Butler Fellowship Program are recruited through Ballet Austin's Summer Intensive Program.
Students who have graduated from high school (or who are willing to complete their senior year outside a traditional high school setting) may be invited to participate in one of Ballet Austin's year-round programs, either as a Butler Fellow or as a member of Ballet Austin II. All eligible students who are interested in being considered for one of these opportunities (and who have not already made a commitment to another organization for the upcoming season) will have an opportunity to meet with artistic staff to be considered for a year-round opportunity.
Although attendance in the full six-week program is preferred, it is not required to be considered for an apprenticeship or fellowship. Final decisions about placement in these programs will be made by the middle of the second session (fifth week) of the Summer Intensive.
Ballet Austin's Senior Summer Intensive program offers two 3-week sessions or one 6-week session.
Students dance Monday-Friday, about five to six hours a day. The start time Monday-Friday will be between 8:00 and 10:30 am, depending on the level, and the end time will be between 3:30 and 6:00 pm. Printed schedules will be posted after the Placement Class on the first day. Weekly printed schedules will be posted over the course of the intensive.
Required classes for all levels of the Senior Intensive meet Monday through Friday.
All students receive daily Ballet Technique classes. The following classes may also be offered depending on the level:
Pointe, Partnering, Variations, Men’s Technique, Stretch/Conditioning Class, Jazz/Theatre Dance, Contemporary/Modern, Character Dance, Repertoire, Seminars
There will be an informal performance highlighting the accomplishments of each level of our Senior Summer Intensive Students at the end of each three-week session. The primary focus of our summer program is for students to gain a deeper understanding of classical ballet technique. In order to attain that, and because there are only 3 weeks to prepare for a performance, each level will present either a short piece of original choreography or a short excerpt from Ballet Austin’s repertoire.
There will be three back to back identical performances highlighting students from each level. These performances will be held on the final Friday of each session in the afternoon. Summer Intensive students will be performing on stage at the AustinVentures StudioTheater located in Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center.
See why Austin is the perfect place to attend Summer Intensive. With vibrant culture, inspiring cuisine, and stunning outdoor settings, Austin lets you create a soundtrack all your own.
For serious students aged 9–13, this program offers one 2-week session that provides a nurturing and comprehensive learning environment.
A concentrated course for students aged 11–22 that provides students with a deeper understanding of ballet technique.
Bill Piner graduated from Butler University's prestigious dance program in 1982 and had a wide and varied professional performing career with companies such as Ballet Austin, the Hartford Ballet and Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana's only professional modern company. A member of Actor's Equity Association, Bill also enjoyed a career in musical theatre before retiring to direct Ballet Austin Academy. He has been teaching extensively since 1982, including seven years on faculty at Butler University's Jordan College Academy of Dance in Indianapolis. In 1992, Bill was appointed director of the Ballet Austin Academy. Under his direction the Academy has grown to become one of the largest classical ballet schools in the country.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Katelyn began her dance training at Beaumont Ballet Theatre and continued through Beaumont Civic Ballet and Texas Ballet Theatre. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Dance, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Oral Roberts University in 2012. After graduation, Katelyn went on to teach ballet at Tulsa Ballet's Center for Dance Education, and most recently, she has spent the last three years on the faculty at the School of Nashville Ballet where she was the children's program coordinator and taught ages 2 and up through Level 3 in the Academy. Katelyn strives to make every child feel seen, known and wanted in her classroom.
Emily McLaughlin joins Ballet Austin as the Academy Registrar. She will oversee enrollment for Ballet Austin Academy and the Young Children’s Division, lead communication with parents regarding scheduling and tuition, and overall nurture the ballet dreams of young dancers.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance from The University of Utah and while completing the last year of her studies, began her professional career with Ballet Austin. Emily danced professionally with Ballet Austin II, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Upon the conclusion of her career, she pursued a 500 R-YTT Yoga Teacher Certification to help others attain a positive mind-body connection to lead happier, healthier lives. Emily moved on to use her ballet and yoga background to manage a local Austin fitness studio and was influential in its continued success.
In his role as pianist coordinator for Ballet Austin, Joshua Piper accompanies dance classes and manages accompanist schedules for the Ballet Austin Company, Ballet Austin Academy, and the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness. In addition to working for Ballet Austin, Joshua is also the pianist for the Tosca Tango Orchestra, works with the Vintage 15 jazz big band, is staff organist and pianist for Asbury United Methodist Church, plays for Royal Academy of Dance exams, and teaches a small group of piano students from kids to adults. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.
Michelle Martin had her early dance training at the Alberta Ballet School and danced with the Alberta Ballet Company for four years before joining the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre (IBT) in 1982. While with IBT and, subsequently, the Hartford Ballet in Connecticut, she performed leading and soloist roles in Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and The Moor's Pavane as well as creating roles in many original works. Martin's teaching credits include guest-teaching engagements at schools and universities in Canada, South Carolina, Michigan, and throughout Indiana and Texas. She was on faculty at Butler University in Indianapolis for five years. Martin began her tenure with Ballet Austin in 1991 as a dancer with the Company and in 1992 she was appointed ballet mistress and curriculum director of the Academy. In 1999 she founded Ballet Austin II, Ballet Austin's apprentice program, providing professional development for the 10-member second company and designing educational programming for presentation in schools. Martin has served on the Texas Commission on the Arts advisory panel for Arts Education and is a recipient of the Austin Under Forty award for contributions in the area of the Arts and Entertainment. Martin was appointed associate artistic director of Ballet Austin in 2000.
Bill Piner graduated from Butler University's prestigious dance program in 1982 and had a wide and varied professional performing career with companies such as Ballet Austin, the Hartford Ballet and Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana's only professional modern company. A member of Actor's Equity Association, Bill also enjoyed a career in musical theatre before retiring to direct Ballet Austin Academy. He has been teaching extensively since 1982, including seven years on faculty at Butler University's Jordan College Academy of Dance in Indianapolis. In 1992, Mr. Piner was appointed Director of Ballet Austin Academy. Under his direction the Academy has grown to become one of the largest classical ballet schools in the country.
As curriculum director, Jennifer Hart oversees syllabus for the Ballet Austin Academy's lower school. She also teaches all levels of the school as well as Ballet Austin's Fellowship post-graduate program and its second company.
In addition to teaching, Hart pursues an active career as a choreographer. Hailed as a choreographer “with an imagination so exuberant that one could not be sure how one movement led to the next” and “not only inventive but heart-rending,” Jennifer Hart has been commissioned by Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin ll, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater, The Walker Art Center’s Momentum Series, The McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, Metropolitan Ballet Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Lawrence Ballet Theatre.
In 2011, Hart was awarded a New York City Ballet Fellowship and won third place at the Saint-Sauveur International Choreography Competition. She received second place at Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s choreography competition, and was one of three winners of the University of Kansas’ competitive choreography competition. She was chosen three times to present work at Ballet Builders, New Choreographer’s on Point in New York City. She was commissioned by University of Massachusetts in the fall of 2013; the work was chosen for the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center, June 2014. In March 2015, she premiered a new ballet, To Here, for Ballet Austin’s Director’s Choice.
In 2014, she formed Performa/Dance with Ballet Austin dancer Edward Carr. Performa/Dance launched its inaugural show. Ignite: Three Works, in June, 2014. Her work for Performa/Dance was awarded two Austin Critics Table awards in 2015 for best short work (On Truth and Love) and Best Dance Concert (Ignite: Three Works). Along with her work in concert dance, she has choreographed and performed cabaret shorts for nightclubs and television.
She trained at Minnesota Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Her performing career includes Minnesota Dance Theater, Ballet of the Dolls, and L.A Chamber Ballet, as well as independent choreographers.
Joan Wolfe (“Miss Joan”) began dancing at the Corpus Christi Ballet Academy at the age of 7, and has been moving ever since. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Dance with an emphasis in early childhood dance education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She furthered her dance training in the Bay Area, teaching modern dance and performing with independent choreographers. In the 1980s, she apprenticed with a protégé of Anne Leif Barlin, considered a pioneer of creative movement for children. Miss Joan has been teaching children’s dance, writing curriculum, working with diverse abilities, and directing performing arts camps for more than 30 years.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Katelyn's dance training began at Beaumont Ballet Theatre, and continued through Beaumont Civic Ballet and Texas Ballet Theatre. She earned her bachelor’s degree in dance from Oral Roberts University in 2012. After graduation, Katelyn went on to teach ballet at Tulsa Ballet's Center for Dance Education and, most recently, she has spent the last three years on the faculty at the School of Nashville Ballet where she was the Children's Program Coordinator and taught ages 2 up through Level 3 in the academy. Katelyn strives to make every child feel seen, known and wanted in her classroom.
Ian J. Bethany is from Long Island, N.Y. He started dancing as a tap and jazz student at Robert Mann Dance Centre. He started ballet at the age of 12 at Tap to Pointe Dance Center. Ian then went on to train at the Frank Ohman School of Ballet, at the School of Ballet Chicago with Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair, at Ballet Academy East with Darla Hoover and Francis Patrelle, and then as a full scholarship student in the Professional Division of Pacific Northwest Ballet School with Peter Boal, Elaine Bauer, Marjorie Thompson, Bruce Wells, and Nicholas Ade. With Ballet Austin, Ian has enjoyed performing in George Balanchine’s Agon and Allegro Brillante, Nicolo Fonte’s Lasting Imprint, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Requiem for a Rose, Gabrielle Lamb’s Dovetail, Bradley Shelver’s The Last Just, Stephen Mills’ Carmina Burana, The Magic Flute, and The Nutcracker, and the Bluebird Pas de Deux in The Sleeping Beauty. Ian has performed with project-based company Performa/Dance, has sung with the Austin Opera, was seen as Dream Curly in Zilker Theatre Production’s presentation of Oklahoma!, and does numerous juggling gigs around Austin. He also teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy. Ian would like to thank Jesus Christ, his wife, Grace, and his family for the support they give him each day.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Isabelle moved to the United States as a young child and began her dance training in Philadelphia, Penn. She received full training scholarships to the Kirov in Washington, D.C., Walnut Hill, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, and The School of American Ballet. Isabelle danced with the Brandywine Ballet, Tthe Wilmington Ballet, and the Pennsylvania Ballet while she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania. Isabelle currently performs with local groups in Austin and enjoys teaching to all ages and levels. She is delighted to be working with the Ballet Austin Academy.
Orlando Julius Canova began his ballet training in Southern California with Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg at the Anaheim Ballet School. At age 16 he moved to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet. There, he received a full tuition merit scholarship and was sponsored by Debbie Allen. Orlando furthered his ballet training with Miami City Ballet School. In 2001, Orlando became an Arpino Apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and in 2003 he joined as a full company member. While at Joffrey, Orlando played the part of apprentice in Robert Altman's movie, The Company.
At Ballet Austin Orlando has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker, Cult of Color: Call to Color, Truth & Beauty: The Bach Project, Romeo & Juliet, Nine Sinatra Songs, silence within silence and The Magic Flute. He has worked with such choreographers as Stephen Mills, Twyla Tharp, KT Nelson, Dominic Walsh, Nicolo Fonte, Sonya Delwaide, Toni Bravo, Michelle Thompson, Reginald Harris, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Orlando has also had the pleasure of dancing for Molly Lynch’s National Choreographers Initiative in 2012 and 2013. There he worked with Darrell Moultrie, Melissa Barak, Val Caniparoli, Frank Chavez, Kitty McNamee, and Susan McCullough. In addition, Orlando teaches dance at the Ballet Austin Academy, the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Saint Mary’s Hall, Austin City Ballet, and Alamo Heights High School.
Alexa was born in the Philippines, where she began her dance training at Ballet Regina, following the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum. At age 16, Alexa started a three-year traineeship with Ballet Austin while attending college at the University of Texas. She attended the study program of the Ecole Superieure de Ballet Contemporain de Montreal in Canada, where she trained under renowned classical and contemporary artists and performed with Le Jeune Ballet du Quebec in works by Gioconda Barbuto, Shaun Hansell, and Jean-Louis Morin. While in Montreal, she performed as a guest soloist with Ballet Ouest in their production of "The Nutcracker." In 2011, Alexa joined Mario Radacovsky's newly formed contemporary company, Balet Bratislava, in Slovakia, as one of 16 original company members. Aside from working with Radacovsky on the company's repertoire of neoclassical and contemporary works, Alexa had the privilege of performing Jiri Kylian's Falling Angels and Six Dances and performing creations by Libor Vaculik, Sarka Ondrisova, and Jan Durovcik.
Alexa has extensive training in dance and choreography, having participated in top-notch summer programs and workshops at Springboard Danse Montreal, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Northwest Dance Project. Shortly before leaving Balet Bratislava, Alexa received 3rd place in the 2013 Festival of Choreographic Miniatures choreography competition held in Belgrade, Serbia.
Alexa has been teaching ballet and contemporary at Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness since 2013. She also dances professionally with Austin-based Arcos Dance, and has performed with Andrea Beckham Dance Collaborative and Jennifer Hart's Performa/Dance. Alexa received a BA in English with high honors from the University of Texas-Austin in 2015.
LB (Laura Beth) is a performer, choreographer, and dance educator from Louisiana currently residing in Austin, Texas. She has been training in all types of dance, primarily ballet and contemporary, for 17 years. She recently graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Business Foundations certificate. As a member of UT’s Dance Repertory Theatre, she has performed in works by renowned choreographers such as Ananya Chatterjea, Charles O. Anderson, and Adrienne Hurd. More recently, she has choreographed pieces for UT’s Dance Repertory Theatre, and is now choreographing and performing with interdisciplinary performance group TC Superstar. LB is dedicated to teaching and inspiring young dancers to be healthy, creative, and conscientious individuals.
James Fuller is from Irvine, Calif., and was trained at Ballet Pacifica Conservatory. In 2004, James received a Youth America Grand Prix scholarship to study at the Boston Ballet School, where he completed his final year of training. James apprenticed with Oregon Ballet Theatre for a year before enrolling at Harvard University. At Harvard, James performed works by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Alvin Ailey. In the summers, James studied modern dance with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Dance Festival, and Beijing LDTX. James directed the Harvard Ballet Company in 2009 and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy, a secondary field in dramatic arts, and a language citation in Urdu-Hindi. Since joining Ballet Austin, James has performed in original works by Stephen Mills, including Luminaria and Though the Earth Gives Way, danced in Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, performed with the National Choreographers Initiative, and choreographed for Houston City Dance.
Libby James graduated magna cum laude with a B.F.A. in Ballet from Texas Christian University. She danced with the Colorado Ballet for two years, performing in ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, and Alvin Ailey's The River. Libby was a member of Texas Ballet Theater (formerly Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet) for three years. She performed roles such as the Spring Fairy in Cinderella, Clara in The Nutcracker, and one of the couples in Ben Stevenson's Four Last Songs.
Originally from Seattle, Wash., Elizabeth began her ballet training with Jill Adomaitis before studying for three years at Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the direction of Marjorie Thompson and Abby Siegal. In 2015, Elizabeth joined the second company of Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of Lisa Sundstrom and Anthony Jones, where she had the opportunity to perform George Balanchine’s Serenade and Kevin Irving’s adaptation of Swan Lake with the main company in addition to roles in company productions of Napoli, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and James Canfield’s Romeo and Juliet. Her notable OBTII roles include the soloist in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty wedding pas de deux, August Bournonville’s Flower Festival pas de deux, and Flames of Paris pas de deux.
Allyson Morales began her training at the age of 7 at Ballet San Antonio Academy in San Antonio, Texas. She went on to pursue a dance degree from the University of Texas at Austin where she developed a passion for dance education. While a member of UT’s Dance Repertory Theatre, Allyson got the opportunity to work with various professional dance artist in the Austin community and outside including; Charles O Anderson, Andrea Beckham, Yacov Sharir, Mark Morris, Millicent Johnnie, and the Cunningham Trust. Allyson later studied with Alito Alessi, founder of DanceAbility, who developed and promoted inclusive methods to connect people with and without disability through movement. Allyson received her DanceAbility instructor certification in December of 2016 and continues to be a part of the Austin’s inclusive dance community through Body Shift. Allyson graduated from the University of Texas in August of 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, a Bachelor of Sciences in Communication Studies, and a Teacher Certification through UTeach-Dance. In the summer of 2018, Allyson graduated from New York’s Dance Education Laboratory Summer Institute as an Arnhold Fellow. Allyson works for Austin ISD as an elementary educator where she teaches dance.
Lisa del Rosario began her dance studies at the Margo Marshall School of Ballet and the Cleveland San Jose School of Ballet. She continued her training as a Heywood "Woody" McGriff Presidential Scholarship student at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her BFA in Dance. She also studied classical piano and violin for many years and in her later years Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, qigong, Droznin System, Vipassana Meditation, and the Feldenkrais Method® of movement education. She currently is a member of DA! Theatre Collective and Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theatre, and also performs her own solo work, along with independent choreographers, locally, nationally, and internationally. Lisa has taught and choreographed at the Dougherty Arts School, the McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy, Tapestry, and the Texas Arts Project at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Lisa is thrilled to be teaching at Ballet Austin Academy.
Grace Morton is from Seattle, Wash. She received her early training from Vivian Little and Mary Reardon, school directors of Dance Fremont. In 2010 she began training under the direction of Damara Bennett in Oregon Ballet Theater's professional division. She had the chance to tour to Korea and performed in company productions of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and Nicolo Fonte's world premiere of Petrushka. As a member of Ballet Austin II, she enjoyed performing featured roles in Stephen Mills' Luminaria, Jennifer Hart's Wavemakers, and Nelly Van Bommel's Snow White. After joining the company, Grace has performed roles in classical ballets such as French in Stephen Mills' The Nutcracker, Puss 'n Boots in The Sleeping Beauty, and Four Little Swans in Swan Lake. She has also had the pleasure to appear in George Balanchine's Agon, Stephen Mills' One/the body’s grace, Gabriel Lamb's Dovetail, James Gregg's The Space Between, and Jennifer Hart's To Here. Grace has danced in project-based company Performa/Dance, and appeared in Zilker Theatre Production's presentation of Oklahoma! as Dream Laurie. She is also a teacher in the Ballet Austin Academy.
Preston Andrew Patterson was born in Atlanta, Ga., and began his dance studies at the Ballethnic Academy of Dance. At age 17 he attended the School of American Ballet and later the National Ballet School of Canada. As a member of Ballet Austin, Preston Patterson has had the privilege of performing in Stephen Mills’ Wolftanzt, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project, Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle, and the Blue Bird in Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty. He also teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy
Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Francis began her dance training across the lower Rio Grande Valley and now holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. During her time at UT Austin, she was a performer and choreographer for Dance Repertory Theatre, studied abroad at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France, and completed the UTeach Dance educational program. As a teaching-artist, Francis strives to facilitate opportunities for all students to make meaningful connections in and between dance making and the larger world around them.
Melissa began her dance training in San Diego, California. She first performed professionally with City Ballet of San Diego and began teaching children’s classes locally. She furthered her training with summer programs at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, Miami City Ballet, and NW Dance Project. Melissa relocated to Miami to dance with Miami City Ballet in their pre-professional division where she had the opportunity to perform several ballets by George Balanchine and August Bournonville. After attending a summer program at Ballet Austin, Melissa was invited to join Ballet Austin II for the 2012/2013 season as an apprentice and performed works by Stephen Mills, Jennifer Hart, Nelly van Bommel, and August Bournonville. Since 2013, Melissa has been teaching dancers of all ages throughout Austin and the surrounding areas. She joined the Ballet Austin Academy in June of 2019 and is excited to share her love of dance with her students.
Brittany Strickland is originally from Winston-Salem, NC. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts (now the University of NCSA) from 2001-2007 where she trained under Melissa Hayden, Nina Danilova, and Kee-Juan Han. With NCSA, Brittany was privileged to perform George Balanchine’s Serenade at the Hollywood Bowl as well as performing featured roles in The Nutcracker, La Fille mal Gardee, La Sonnambula and Jardin Anime. Following graduation she continued her training with Ballet Austin under full scholarship. With Ballet Austin II she was privileged to perform featured roles in works such as Thang Dao’s Quiet Imprint and Stephen Mills’ Touch as well as performing with the company in Mills’ Coppelia and his world premiere of The Firebird. Since joining the company, she has enjoyed performing in works such as Mills' The Taming of the Shrew, The Nutcracker, Carmina Burana, and Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In her free time, Brittany also teaches at the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Christopher Swaim is originally from Bryant, AR, where he began his training with Kirt and Linda Hathaway at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas. He then went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Oklahoma with a B.F.A. in Ballet Pedagogy. Chirstopher has danced principal roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, The Nutcracker and Valse Fantaisie, and has been featured in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Stephen Mills, Thaddeus Davis, Amy Seiwert, James Clouser, Miguel Terekhov, Septime Webre, Nelly Van Bommel, Loni Landon, Bradley Shelver, Sidra Bell, Gina Patterson, Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ben Stevenson. He has also performed at the 2010 San Francisco International Arts Festival as a guest with Amy Seiwert's company Imagery, at the Kennedy Center in 2008 with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and again in 2013 with Ballet Across America III, with Ballet Arkansas as a guest in 2012, and at the 2011 Festival des Arts de Saint- Sauveur. Mr. Swaim teaches in the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Ballet Austin Academy, and has guest taught across the country.
Ballet Austin employs 22 main company dancers under the direction of Artistic Director Stephen Mills. They perform a mixed repertoire that ranges from original full-length performances to cutting-edge contemporary ballets.
Ballet Austin II was established in 1999 and serves as Ballet Austin's apprentice program and second company.
This year-long, post high school, professional-track program offers an innovative and personal approach to a traditional process, providing both quality classical ballet training and the opportunity to explore unique contemporary choreography.