Nicole Kelsch received her early training from Peter and Kristin Degnan at Ballet Northeast in Pennsylvania. She also received training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Austin, Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and Princeton Ballet. Nicole graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Ballet Performance in three years. Upon graduation, she danced professionally with Columbia City Ballet, Atlanta Festival Ballet, and Connecticut Ballet.
In 2006, Nicole joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an apprentice under the direction of Dianna Cuatto. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2008 and throughout her career was featured as Clara and The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the Firebird in The Firebird, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, as a Principal in Antony Tudor’s Continuo, the Principal Couple in Italian Symphonette, Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Magdalena in An American Southwest Carmen, Cinderella in Cinderella, Guinevere in Excalibur, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Pearl in The Little Mermaid, and has performed the Don Quixote Pas de Deux.
In 2008, after having served on the faculty for two years, Nicole became the School Principal for The Ballet Theatre of Maryland Conservatory. She was named the Ballet Mistress for the company in 2015. Nicole retired from performing in March 2020 and became the Artistic Director in July 2020. She successfully led the company through a full 2020-2021 performing season at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, staging performances of Edward Stewart’s Dracula, Dianna Cuatto’s The Nutcracker, An American Southwest Carmen, and The Little Mermaid.
Emily Carey is originally from Chesapeake, VA and began her ballet training at Virginia Ballet Theatre. In high school, she continued training at Ballet Virginia under Janina Michalski Bove and Suzanne Lownsbury and was given the opportunity to student teach under Patricia Sorrell. After high school, she performed with Nashville Ballet's second company, NB2. At Nashville Ballet, she participated in children’s outreach programs, leading the creative movements story-time performances throughout the community. In 2012, Emily joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an Apprentice and rose through the ranks to Principal dancer in 2017. She currently holds the position of Conservatory Principal and has had the pleasure of teaching the students of the Conservatory for nine years, as well as running student rehearsals for various company productions, including The Nutcracker.
Caroline Anderson, originally from Rising Sun Maryland, began her ballet training at the age of 3 and studied the Vaganova method under the direction of Anya Ivanova-Bojko, Pasha Kambalov, Kristina Kambalov, and Joan Beatson. She graduated from the School of First State Ballet Theatre in 2018. Caroline began teaching in her teens at local dance schools where she discovered her love for teaching. Caroline has choreographed for the Tidewater Players Youth Programs summer productions of Chicago, The Addams Family, Be More Chill, Moana Jr., and Descendants. She had the pleasure or teaching at the BTM 2021 one-week summer intensive, as well as the six-week summer intensive. Caroline also has extensive training in musical theatre under the direction of Richard Mahoney, Chris Rose, and Kathy Cammett. Caroline joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as a trainee in 2018, was promoted to Apprentice in 2019 and to Demi-Soloist in 2021.
Lindsey dances professionally as a Principal with Ballet Theatre of Maryland. She studied Ballet Performance at the University of Oklahoma, which is also where she was exposed to Pilates. Through the four years at school, she found Pilates to be a great cross-training activity for her ballet career. Pilates also allowed her to keep in shape and remain healthy in her off-season without too much impact on her joints. Lindsey received her Pilates Mat certification in 2017 and her comprehensive apparatus training in 2021. She loves to continue expanding her knowledge of Pilates and sharing it with her students.
Certified Peak Pilates Comprehensive Instructor
As one of the original students at Jean Marie Dance Studio, Alannah has many years of performance and dance education under her belt. She has a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Washington College and has danced at JMDS for 16 years and has been teaching for the past 7. Alannah has shared her talents by traveling abroad on several mission trips helping the less fortunate. She plans of becoming an archivist and brings so much talent to the Ballet Theatre of Maryland Conservatory of Dance.
Cindy Case, DFCCA, is a Maryland native who trained locally with Pamela Moore. Since leaving home, she has been a trainee with Richmond Ballet, a second company member with Nashville Ballet, an apprentice with Charlottesville Ballet, and a company dancer with San Diego Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Previous professional credits include Myrtha in Giselle, a Big Swan in Swan Lake, Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker, Lucy in Dracula, and an ensemble role in Serenade. Her contemporary experience includes works by Gina Patterson, Heather Maloy, R. Colby Damon, and Gregory Hancock.
With over 10 years of teaching experience, Cindy has staged a one-act Peter Pan for Jessica Morgan School of Dance, introduced public elementary school students to dance with Charlottesville Ballet's Chance to Dance and BTM's Arts Integration programs, and written and performed story times for Nashville Ballet's community outreach efforts. In the summer of 2020, she attained her Diploma Fellowship with the Cecchetti Council of America after completing her final Diploma Examination. Cindy has previously served as the Communications Leader for Digital Dance Project and is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Business Communication.
Kristen Faraclas grew up in Connecticut where she began her dance training with New Haven Ballet and the New England Ballet Company. Kristen earned her BFA in Dance with minors in Dance Pedagogy and Psychology at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. She has spent many years teaching children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities and has completed the Boston Ballet Adaptive Dance Teacher Training program. Kristen more recently graduated with her MA, Teaching Dance in the Professions: ABT Pedagogy. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 & Partnering. She loves helping to make dance more inclusive and accessible and is excited to continue with the Conservatory faculty at the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and its adaptive dance program.
Jenna Fritts began dancing in Traverse City, Michigan, where she grew up dancing with an emphasis on ballet but enjoyed competition dance and all forms and techniques. At the age of sixteen, Miss Fritts moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she honed her studies at Pittsburgh Ballet House under the direction of Kwang Suk-Choi and Sea Young Kang until attending Mercyhurst University. At Mercyhurst, Jenna danced dream roles such as Myrtha in Giselle and Odile in Swan Lake and choreographed numerous pieces, graduating with her B.F.A. in dance, the President’s Award for Excellence, and Summa Cum Laude. Throughout Jenna’s time dancing, she has been a substitute teacher and is eager to take her personal knowledge, experiences, and pedagogical and kinesthetic studies to help educate well-rounded students and share her passion full-time on the conservatory faculty at Ballet Theatre of Maryland.
Mimi Hardin, a native of Kentucky, began her dance training at Colorado Ballet Academy; she later joined the STEPS on Broadway preprofessional program and New York Dance Project as an Apprentice. Mimi also studied in New York City with esteemed professionals: Andy Blankenbueler, Leslie Browne, Kurt Froman, Karen Gayle, Linda Gelinas, Heather Hawk, Chris Jarozs, Pamela Levy, Desmond Richardson, Davis Robertson, Nicole Duffy Robertson, and Debbie Roshe. She also trained with Alonzo King Lines, Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and Vaganova Ballet Academy. Throughout the years, Mimi has trained extensively in numerous styles of dance including: Contemporary Ballet, Character, Graham, Hip Hop, Horton, Jazz, Modern, and Theatre Jazz; she has studied ballet techniques including: ABT curriculum, Balanchine, Bournonville, Cecchetti, Cuban, French, and Vaganova. Mimi has been a teaching assistant, substitute teacher, and teacher for classes ranging from pre-ballet through adult ballet and jazz/contemporary ballet. Mimi joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2021 and is excited to perform for the company and teach for the Conservatory.
Madeline is originally from Yorktown, Virginia, and most of her formative training was with Sandra Balestracci at the Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts. In high school, she served as a teaching assistant in the school. Madeline graduated from the University of Utah in 2019 with a B.F.A. in Ballet with a Certificate in Ballet Studio Teaching, as well as a B.A. in English. While in school, she also received her certification in American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, Pre-Primary through Level Three. Through the University, she performed in original works by Utah’s Ballet Program faculty and renowned guest artists such as Penny Saunders and Katie Scherman. Madeline also taught for several ballet schools in the Salt Lake City area. After college, she joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as a trainee and is now in the Corps de Ballet with the company. She has been substituting for the Conservatory throughout the past year and teaches for Ballet Theatre of Maryland at Jean Marie Dance Studio. In the spring of 2021, Madeline taught and choreographed for Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s Arts Integration project, collaborating with Anne Arundel County Public Schools to teach ballet to students who may not have regular exposure to the arts. This will be Madeline’s third full year on faculty with the Conservatory.
Karissa Kralik was raised on Long Island, New York where she trained with Mme. Valia Seiskaya until 2010 in Vaganova based ballet and character techniques. She came in second place in the senior division of the American Ballet Competition in 2010. Karissa attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education with a Musical Theater Minor in 2014. There she continued her training under faculty including Christine Cox (BalletX), Eva Szabo, Andrew Pap, Anne White (PA Ballet), and Scott Jovovich (Joffrey Ballet). Karissa studied Modern techniques including Horton with Kim Bears-Bailey (Philadanco) and Graham with Jennifer Binford-Johnson (Martha Graham Dance Company), as well as varied styles of Jazz with Wayne St. David and Donald Lunsford (Philadanco). She enjoyed opportunities to perform works choreographed by Helen Simoneau and Douglas Becker (Frankfurt Ballet). Karissa joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an Apprentice in 2016, was promoted to Demi-Soloist in 2017, Soloist in 2020, and Principal in the fall of 2021. She has enjoyed performing roles in ballets such as Pearl in The Little Mermaid, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mina in Dracula, and Aleksya in The Snow Queen. Karissa is excited for her eighth season with BTM and to continue working with artistic director Nicole Kelsch.
She studied many forms of dance from ages 3 to 11 at Debbie’s School of Dance and was on the competition team. At age 11 she moved to Mobile Ballet in order to put more focus on ballet and joined the studio company at age 16 and was a member until she graduated high school. She studied ballet, jazz, and modern from ages 12-18 at Dunbar Creative and Performing Arts Magnet School and WP Davidson High School under the direction of Lori Bilbrey Vaghefi, Sheila Goodrich, and Angela Dussoy. She was accepted in to Joffrey Ballet School in New York City and was 17 when she spent her first summer training there. In January of 2013 she moved to NYC to train full time at Joffrey Ballet School where she recently graduated with a certificate of dance. She has taught jazz and ballet classes at Dunbar and WP Davidson High School. She has performed in several musicals, such as Beauty and the Beast (Playhouse in the Park), High School Musical 2 (Playhouse in the Park), and Give My Regards to Broadway (WP Davidson), and Nunsense (Chickasaw Community Theater) and many classical ballet works, such as The Nutcracker, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, and Viva Vivaldi, a Cunningham Event, Le Corsaire, and many other small works.
Ryan, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, began training in ballet at the age of 9 under the tutelage of Daphne Kendal, an alumni of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, beginning his love of classical ballet. After later training with Dance Davidson under Terilynne Knox and Lisa Leone and attending multiple summer programs including American Ballet Theatre, and Carolina Ballet, Ryan was selected for the Male Scholarship Program at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. There, he was mentored by founding artistic director Marcia Dale Weary, Nicholas Ade, Bruce Thornton, and Simon Ball. During his time at CPYB, Ryan was trained extensively in classical ballet and became extremely familiar with the classical teaching style of Marcia Dale Weary.
After 5 years of attending CPYB, Ryan joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an Apprentice in 2018, was promoted to Soloist in 2020, and Principal in 2021. Since Joining BTM, Ryan has performed multiple roles including Albrecht in Giselle, La Fontaine in American Southwest Carmen, and Franz in Coppélia. After substituting and teaching throughout the year in 2021, Ryan is thrilled to be teaching in the conservatory fully throughout the 2023/2024 academic year.
Isaac Martinez began his training at the Hartt School in Connecticut. He trained rigorously with faculty from Cuban National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Martha Graham Company, and José Limón company. In 2015, Isaac transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he finished his degree in Ballet Pedagogy; following his graduation he worked professionally for two seasons with Ballet Spartanburg. His repertoire includes works from Don Quixote, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, The Firebird, in addition to original works by faculty, students, and choreographers around the world. Isaac has choreographed and produced works of his own, which have been showcased in university productions, professional theater productions, as well as international dance festivals. Isaac is thrilled to embark on his fifth season with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and looks forward to teaching as well.
Clara Molina, originally from Tallahassee, FL, began her dance training at Sharon Davis School of Dance at the age of three. She later continued her dance training at The Tallahassee Ballet for nine seasons. During her senior year of high school, she had the opportunity to work for the Tallahassee Ballet School as an intern to the School Director while dancing for the company. After high school, she attended Florida State University where she earned a B.F.A. in Dance and Honors in the major with a focus in the dance sciences in just three years. During her time at FSU, she took various classes on teaching methods specifically for dance and exercised those methods teaching at Sharon Davis School of Dance. Upon graduation in 2019 she accepted a trainee contract with The Ballet Theatre of Maryland where she has now risen to the rank of Demi Soloist.
Victoria Siracusa began her ballet training at the Albano Ballet Company under the direction of Joseph Albano and Julia Fredrick. She then joined the Hartt School Community Division to further her training under Samantha Dunster and Eddy Tovar. During high school, Victoria taught ballet at Alyson’s School of Dance at the beginning and intermediate levels. It is there that she gained her passion for teaching dance to the next generation. After graduation, she joined Charlottesville Ballet as a trainee and the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School before joining the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2017. She has had extensive training in multiple methods and styles of ballet including, the Vaganova, Cecchetti, Cuban, and English methods. This will be Victoria’s fifth year teaching for the Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s Conservatory of Dance.
Madison Sweeney is originally from Duluth, MN and began her training at The School of The Minnesota Ballet under the direction of Robert Gardner. While dancing with The Minnesota Ballet’s school, Madison also attended summer programs at ABT Tuscaloosa, The Washington School of Ballet, and The School of Ballet Arizona. Upon graduating high school, she went to studie for the year with Ballet Arizona under the direction of Ib Anderson and Carlos Valcarcel. Madison joined BTM as a trainee in 2017, was promoted to apprentice in 2018, and then to Demi-soloist in 2021.
Madison has had the pleasure of teaching creative movement, ballet, and modern since 2018. Prior to teaching for the conservatory, she was a TA for the ballet classes at the University of Minnesota Duluth and teaching a creative dance class for students with physical/developmental challenges at the School of the Minnesota Ballet.
Anmarie is a Power Pilates Certified Pilates Instructor at Evolutions Fitness Center in Annapolis and teaches Pilates for BTM's Summer Intensive and company classes. Anmarie received her B.F.A from the University of Utah. She is Power Pilates Certified Teacher and has been teaching since 2001.
As well as Pilates, she danced professionally with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland for 13 years. She enjoys working with clients at all levels, especially clients with special needs, “Everything counts. I enjoy supporting and motivating my clients in their own personal Pilates journey and help teach that Pilates can be very functional in people’s everyday life and activities.”
She is a dancer at heart and plans to continue dancing for her own spiritual benefit along with her Pilates practice. Being active and in good health is very important to her as she looks forward to an energetic lifestyle with her son, Jackson.
Julia Walden grew up in Apex, North Carolina, where she began dancing at age three. At Infinity Ballet Conservatory under the direction of Debra Sayles Senchak, Julia trained in every style of dance and was an assistant teacher and substitute teacher for creative movement through adult. She became well versed in the Peggy Willis-Aarnio teaching of the Vaganova method through Debra Sayles Senchak and Horton technique through Cari Lenn Orr (now Cari Lenn Youngkin). Julia also ran a summer dance camp consisting of ballet, character, modern, and jazz at Infinity Ballet in 2021. After high school, Julia completed the trainee program at the Sarasota Ballet where she performed many classical and neoclassical works. She then joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an apprentice in 2022. Julia is so happy to continue spreading the love of dance through performing and teaching at the Ballet Theatre of Maryland.