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Artistic Director

Nicole Kelsch

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

Conservatory Principal

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 and 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. 

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