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Company Artists in Sir David Bintley's Galanteries. Photo courtesy of Matthew Sewell Photography. Designs by Jan Blake. 

SPONSOR AN ARTIST

Ballet Arkansas proudly features 16 world-class professional dancers from across the United States. With a donation of $1,500, you can sponsor a Company Artist of your choice for the 24|25 season. Your sponsorship comes with exclusive perks, including backstage tours, invitations to studio rehearsals, advance casting notices, and much more. Your generous support helps Ballet Arkansas retain top talent and furthers the reach of our mission. Email michael@balletarkansas.org to request sponsorship of your preferred Company Artist. *One sponsor per Company Artist, per season.

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DEANNA STANTON
12th Season
Sponsored by Charles and Ginny Moulton

 
Deanna Stanton began dancing in her hometown of Clarksville, Maryland. She credits her early training to her time spent at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Deanna graduated with a BFA in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music. During this time, she was also a Trainee with Ballet West for two seasons. Since joining Ballet Arkansas, she has had the opportunity to perform principal or featured roles in George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Gerald Arpino’s Reflections & Birthday Variations, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet, and Chris Stuart’s Under the Lights. She has also performed Mina in Michael Fothergill's Dracula, Fairy Godmother in Michael Fothergill's Cinderella, Big Swans in Swan Lake, Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty as well as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Coffee & Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. She has had the privilege of working with choreographers such as Yuka Oba-Muschiana, Xin Ying, Madison Hicks, Kiyon Gaines, and Tom Mattingly. In addition to performing, Deanna has a passion for choreographing. She has created works for New Century Dance Project, the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project, The Young Choreographers Festival and several works for Ballet Arkansas as well as Ballet Arkansas’ Summer Intensive. She has also created two full length ballets. She wants to extend a special thank you to her husband, daughter, and family for their continued support.

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MEREDITH LOY

10th Season

Community Cast Rehearsal Director

Sponsored by Drs. Monica Lo and Daniel Sherbet

Meredith Short Loy, a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, received her early training at Arkansas Academy of Dance and Arkansas Festival Ballet under the direction of Rebecca Miller Stalcup and Melinda Tobian. Meredith holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in ballet performance from the University of Oklahoma. Since joining Ballet Arkansas Meredith has had the opportunity to perform works by Agnes de Mille, Christopher Wheeldon, Ma Cong, Flock, Mariana Oliveira, Xin Ying, Yury Yanowsky and George Balanchine. A few of Meredith’s most recent and favorite roles include Mina in Michael Fothergill’s “Dracula“, “Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux” by George Balanchine, Swanhilda in “Coppélia & the Toymaker”, Gerald Arpino’s “Confetti” and “Reflections”, the Sugar Plum Fairy in “the Nutcracker”, and Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”. In addition to perfomring, Meredith takes great pleasure in teaching and working with Ballet Arkansas as a rehearsal director for the community casts.

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LEAH NORWINE

6th Season

Sponsored by Dr. Julie Robinson 

Leah Norwine grew up in Herndon, Virginia. She received her training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC. She is a recipient of an NSLI-Y Scholarship and a Training and Performing Scholarship both from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Upon graduation she danced at The Washington Ballet as a Trainee under both Septime Weber and Julie Kent before going on to dance with Oklahoma City Ballet in the Studio Company. Since joining Ballet Arkansas her favorite roles include;  Jordan in Fothergill’s The Great Gatsby, Dew Drop and Arabian in Fothergill’s The Nutcracker, Yellow girl in Gerald Arpino’s Confetti and a Vampire in Fothergill’s Dracula. Leah has also enjoyed working with various choreographers including; Simon Kuban, Yoshito Sakuraba, FLOCK - Alice Klock and Florian Lochner, Mariana Oliveira and fellow Ballet Arkansas company members Deanna Staton and Meredith Loy. Leah is also a comprehensively certified Pilates Instructor and loves getting to empower people to move better. She would also like to thank her husband and family for all their support and encouragement. 

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ALDRIN VENDT

6th Season

Community Cast Rehearsal Director 

Mr. Vendt started dancing at age 10 in Tyler, Texas.  After 2 years he moved to Dallas, Texas where he studied at Ballet Academy of Texas under the direction of Lisa Slagle.  Upon graduation, he attended Texas Christian University’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance under the direction of Elizabeth Gillaspy with a full tuition scholarship.  Mr. Vendt joined Oklahoma City Ballet for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.  Here he performed several works choreographed by Robert Mills including Russian and lead Chinese in The Nutcracker and Czardas in Swan Lake.  Vendt joined Ballet Arkansas for the 2019/20 season and performed rolls such as Sugar Plum Prince in their annual Nutcracker as well as Prince and stepsister in Cinderella.

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LAUREN YORDANICH

6th Season

Sponsored by The Mathews Family

Lauren Yordanich started dancing with Dance Arts of Chelsea in Michigan and later began performing with Ballet Chelsea, under the direction of Wendi DuBois. Lauren furthered her training by attending summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Cecchetti Council of America, and Ballet West where she worked with choreographer Quinn Wharton. Prior to Ballet Arkansas, Lauren danced as a trainee with Grand Rapids Ballet. During which time Lauren worked with choreographers including Val Caniparoli, Penny Saunders, Brian Enos, Attila Mosolygo, and Olivier Wevers. Since joining Ballet Arkansas in 2019, Lauren has performed works by Yury Yanowsky, Yoshito Sakuraba, Madison Falconer, and fellow company artists, Meredith Loy and Matt Larson-Arziari. A few recent and memorable featured roles perform by Lauren have been Sugarplum Fairy and Dew Drop in Michael Fothergill’s “The Nutcracker,” Lucy in “Dracula,” Aurora and Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty” and Gerald Arpino’s “Reflections.”

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BRITTANY H. DOWDY

4th Season

Sponsored by Drs. Andy Terry and Julie Harris

 

Brittany Harano Dowdy, originally from Memphis, TN, trained at the Ballet Memphis School and attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet.  She graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University where she double majored in Ballet and Strategic Communication, received a Pilates Teacher Certificate, and earned Departmental Honors. At TCU, she worked with Marianna Tcherkassky, Jennifer Archibald, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Gabrielle Lamb, Francesca Harper, and Suzanne Haag. Additionally at TCU, she was Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and a demi-soloist in Les Sylphides and in Don Quixote. Brittany has performed professional roles with Ballet Memphis and as a guest artist at Collin County Ballet Theatre. Since joining Ballet Arkansas in 2021, some of Brittany’s favorite roles include Snow Queen in Michael Fothergill’s “The Nutcracker,” Bluebird and Jewels in “Sleeping Beauty,” Lucy in Michael Fothergill’s “Dracula,” Catherine in Michael Fothergill's “The Great Gatsby,” and in contemporary works by Ashley Green, Yoshito Sakuraba, Yuka Oba-Muschiana, and Maddy Falconer.  She currently enjoys teaching Pilates, teaching Adult Ballet for Ballet Arkansas, and helping with Ballet Arkansas’s social media. Brittany extends her gratitude for her fiancé, family, and friends for their support and love! 

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CELESTE LOPEZ-KERANEN

3rd Season

Community Cast Rehearsal Director

Sponsored by Dr. Alan and Mrs. Amber Bagley

Celeste is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and trained at the Grand Rapids Ballet School under Patricia Barker and Attila Mosolygo. She has attended summer programs such as Jacob’s Pillow, BalletX, San Francisco Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre New York, among others. She danced in Jacob’s Pillow’s 90th Anniversary Gala in 2022. At the age of sixteen she was invited to dance under Patricia Barker as a trainee with the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. She later went on to dance as an apprentice with the company for two seasons. Celeste danced with Louisville Ballet’s Studio Company under Robert Curran, where she performed in his “Swan Lake”, Jerome Robbins’ “In G Major” and Balanchine’s “Emeralds”. Since joining Ballet Arkansas in 2022, she has had the pleasure of performing Mina in Michael Fothergill’s “Dracula”, and a principal role in Gerald Arpino’s “Reflections”, among others. She’s had the honor of working with choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Yuka Oba-Muschiana, Yury Yanowsky, Penny Saunders, Adam Hougland, Andrea Shermoly, and Val Caniparoli, among others. Celeste enjoys being on faculty with Ballet Arkansas’ Enrolled Classes and Community Cast, as well as being involved in community outreach. She has also enjoyed volunteering in Grand Rapids’ educational outreach programs. She is extremely excited for the 23/24 season and can’t wait to bring more dance to Arkansas’ audiences.

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KEITH NEWMAN

3rd Season

Community Cast Rehearsal Director

Sponsored by Megan Hall

Keith Newman, a Washington DC native, was trained for 11 years at The Washington School of Ballet under the guidance of Kee Juan Han and Xiomara Reyes. During his time at the school, Keith had
the opportunity to perform in numerous ballets by the Artistic Director, Septime Webre, including world premieres of Peter Pan and ALICE (in Wonderland) as well as performing in Webre’s The Nutcracker. Keith also served as a Repetiteur for The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker in 2017. 
For the past four years, Keith has trained at the prestigious Indiana University Ballet Theater under the direction of Sarah Wroth. In his time at Indiana University, Keith performed in Justin Peck’s In Creases, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Donizetti Variations, as the Shy Boy in Jerome Robbins' The Concert, in Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, and in August Bournonville’s Kermesse in Bruges. Keith graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ballet and an Outside Field in Arts Management. In addition to his passion for dancing, Keith has taught ballet to students through The Washington School of Ballet’s year-round and summer intensive programs and through the Indiana University Pre-College Ballet Department.

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DAVID J. CUMMINGS

3rd Season

Sponsored by Robert & Amanda O'Neal

David Cummings is originally a native of Sterling Heights, Michigan. He began his training at the age of 13 at The Link School of the Arts in Troy, Michigan under the direction of Betty Mitchell. He trained extensively in Vaganova as well as Cecchetti technique, testing and passing highly commended up to grade six. He received instruction and participated in works from many renowned teachers and choreographers such as Steve Rooks, Alicia Graf Mack, Lauren Anderson, Shizu Yasuda, as well as performing in the ballet Coppélia by Ben Stevenson O.B.E., directed by Lauren Anderson. Following High School, David began studies at Belhaven University in 2018, pursuing a BFA in Dance with a full-tuition scholarship. There, he worked with choreographers such as Laura Morton, Bill Wade, Kevin Jenkins, Steve Rooks, Vincent Hardy, and Kellis McSparrin-Oldenburg. In 2022, David graduated summa cum laude from Belhaven University and received the Bezalel award for outstanding artistic achievement in his graduating class. David is humbled to be joining Ballet Arkansas and is excited for the 22/23 season!

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KERRIDWYN SCHANCK

3rd Season

Sponsored by Suzanne & Dr. Earl Babbie

Kerridwyn began and completed her training at The Portland Ballet, in Portland, OR. Ms. Schanck began her professional career as an apprentice at Ballet Idaho in 2017. Highlights included dancing in Agon by George Balanchine, and featured roles in Peter Anastos’ Nutcracker and Daniel Ojeda’s A Great Unbridgeable Distance. In 2019 she joined Northwest Arkansas Ballet Theater, where performed featured roles in Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye’s Nutcracker and James Vessell’s Lost and Found. She then joined Ballet Arkansas in 2022. Her favorite roles since joining  Ballet Arkansas include Snow Queen in Michael Fothergill’s The Nutcracker, Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty, and dancing in Gerald Arpino’s Reflections. Kerridwyn is excited to start her second season with the company, and is so grateful for the support of the Ballet Arkansas family. 

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LAYLA TERRELL

3rd Season

Layla Terrell began dancing at age ten with Ballet Center of Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas, after competing as a high-level gymnast. She joined Ballet Frontier in 2014 as a Youth Company Trainee and performed in many full-length ballets and performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, and Diana and Actaeon throughout her time there. She received the bronze medal in the Star of Canaan Dance Competition in Hong Kong in 2015 along with receiving several international scholarships. She is an NHS for Dance Arts inductee and received Honorable Mention for the 2021 NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Award. Ms. Terrell spent the 2021/2022 season in the Professional Training Division Level 3 of Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. Layla performed in the company production of the Nutcracker, as well as several Ballet West Academy productions with featured roles in Raymonda, Coppelia, and Balanchine’s Divertimento no. 15. In her first season with Ballet Arkansas, Layla enjoyed dancing various lead roles, including Dew Drop in the Nutcracker and Princess Florine in Sleeping Beauty. Ms. Terrell graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2022 and loves using that knowledge to teach dance for various organizations in Little Rock, including outreach programs for Little Rock School District and Our House. Layla is very excited for her second season with Ballet Arkansas!

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SAGE FELDGES

3rd Season

Community Cast Rehearsal Director

Sponsored by Drs. Monica Lo and Daniel Sherbet

A native of St. Louis, MO, Sage began her classical ballet training at Milwaukee Ballet School at the age of 16. While training she attended many summer intensives including Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Elements Ballet, and BalletMet. After graduating highschool she trained as a youth company member with A&A Ballet and as a trainee with BalletMet. During her time at BalletMet, she was chosen to perform corpse de ballet roles in company productions by Edwaard Liang such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Dorthy and the Prince of Oz. She also had the honor of performing works by George Balanchine including Concerto Barocco and Serenade (set by Nilas Martins and Wendy Whelan).  In 2018 she began her professional career with Ballet Quad Cities where she danced many principal roles such as Mina in Dracula, The Butterfly in The Nutcracker, Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and Carmen in Carmen Suite. In 2021 she joined Confluence Ballet Company where she danced the principal roles of Lead Princess in Firebird,  The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and the Waltz Variation and Pas De Deux in Les Sylphides. She also performed featured roles in contemporary ballet works by Julia Erickson, Hannah Knor, and Durante Verzola. When she is not dancing, Sage spends her time painting, cross training, and hiking. Sage is very excited to move to Little Rock and join Ballet Arkansas for the 2022/23 season!

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MURRAY McCORMACK

2nd Season

Sponsored by Robert & Amanda O'Neal

Murray is originally from Macon, Georgia, where she received training at Dance Arts Studio under Alice Sheridan. During her later teen years, she supplemented her training in Atlanta with private instruction from Rebecca Metzger and Jessica Saund. Throughout her training, Murray attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet. From 2018 to 2022, she danced at Indiana University Ballet Theater, part of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music, under the direction of Sarah Wroth and other renowned teachers namely Carla Körbes, Michael Vernon, Kyra Nichols, Christian Claessens, and Sasha Janes. At IUBT she performed repertoire such as Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe, George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Justin Peck’s In Creases, and Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker as the Snow Queen. She graduated from IU with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in International Studies and a Minor in French. After graduation, Murray was invited to join Ballet Austin as an apprentice where she danced under Artistic Director Stephen Mills and Michelle Martin for the 2022/23 season. During her time at Ballet Austin, she had the opportunity to perform in Stephen

Mills’ The Nutcracker and Cinderella, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and to work with choreographer and former Nederlands Dans Theater dancer Alexander Anderson. Murray has also taught at several schools including Indiana University’s Pre-College ballet program and has enjoyed various choreographic opportunities.

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COMING 
SOON!

WILLIAM HIEDE
1st Season
Sponsored by Abby and Jay Jennings

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COMING
SOON!

BENJAMIN PINER
1st Season
Sponsored by Drs. Ann and Ashay Patel

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COMING 
SOON!

EMMAKATE FRANZ
1st Season
Sponsored by Dr. Angela Rowe

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