Andrea Lankester from Cincinnati, Ohio began her dance training at age four at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet under the instruction of Daniel R. Simmons and Nancy Fountain. In addition, she studied diligently with Jennifer Porteous and Meridith Benson. At age sixteen she attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she graduated from their high school program. Andrea has attended numerous summer programs at the School of American Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Her classical ballet repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Balanchine's Square Dance, Swan Lake, and Firebird, among others. Andrea is currently a sophomore dance major at Mercyhurst College, and is excited to be celebrating her first season with Lake Erie Ballet.
Alexandra Orenstein, from Kernesville, North Carolina began her ballet training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in the Preparatory Program, under the direction of Susan McCullough. She continued her training at the University of North Carolina School of the arts from ages eight to eighteen, graduating from their High School program. She has attended several summer programs including Miami City Ballet, Bill T. Jones, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Alexandra's classical ballet repertoire includes Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Raymonda, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Alexandra continues her training as a Sophomore at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA pursuing a BA in dance. She is excited to be spending her first season with Lake Erie Ballet.
Emily is very excited to be dancing with Lake Erie Ballet for her second season. She began her training with Gennadi and Susan Vostrikov at Vostrikov's Academy of Ballet in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. She also was a member of Virginia Youth Ballet where she performed many roles, including the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Emily also danced various roles in The Nutcracker with the Vostrikov's including Clara, Lead Spanish, Dew Drop Fairy, and Sugarplum Fairy. She has also spent her summers dancing at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, American Academy of Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre's Collegiate Intensive. Emily has also been awarded the Marion Parks Lewis Grant and the Silver with Distinction Award at the Performance Awards in Purchase, NY. Currently, Emily is a junior at Mercyhurst University where she is pursuing a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Performance and a minor in Arts Therapy. While at Mercyhurst, Emily has performed in Raw Edges, Cinderella, Les Patineurs, and Paquita.
Emma Rishel, Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Emma Rishel began her ballet training at the age of six at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. She has attended several summer programs such as the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, American Ballet Theater New York, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Emma has worked with Laszlo Berdo and performed several of his original works. Her classical ballet repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelía and La Bayadere. Emma has also had the privilege of performing many of George Balanchine's works such as The Nutcracker, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Walpurgisnaught, and La Source. While at Mercyhurst Emma has enjoyed dancing in Crayola, The Nutcracker, Symphonie Italienne, Petite Dances, and Rhapsody Sur le Pointe. She is now continuing her dance studies for the second year at Mercyhurst College, pursuing a BA in dance. Emma is looking forward to her first season as a company member at the Lake Erie Ballet and would like to thank her supportive parents and encouraging teachers.
Kathleen grew up near Annapolis, Maryland and began ballet at the age of 14 at Anne Arundel Community College and continued her training at Ballet Theatre of Maryland. She has spent the last three summers dancing at Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, where she has worked with choreographers such as Julia Gleich, Robert Mills, Joanne Whitehill, and Robert Royce. Kathleen also spent last summer touring in Austria as part of Young! Tanzsommer with Mercyhurst University, where she is currently a senior.
Courtney Naughton from Andover, Massachusetts, has trained with the Northeast School of Ballet under the instruction of Denise Cecere and Sandra McNaught. She has attended summer programs with Houston Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Orlando Ballet. Courtney has also performed with Northeast Youth Ballet and New England Civic Ballet, and her classical repertoire includes roles in The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, Les Patineurs, Balanchine's Serenade, and Sleeping Beauty. She is currently a sophomore dance major and mathematics major at Mercyhurst University and is very excited for her first season with Lake Erie Ballet!
Chelsea has been dancing for 13 years. Her training began at the Lebanon Ballet School in New Hampshire, until she moved to North Carolina to continue her academic and dance education at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduation she entered the Boston Ballet Trainee Program, where she performed in the Boston Ballet Night of Stars Gala as well as the company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Chelsea has attended summer programs at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, School of American Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program, and Orlando Ballet School. Her repertoire includes classical works such as Coppelia, Raymonda, Don Quixote, Ethan Stiefel's The Nutcracker, Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Bournonville's Konservatoriet. Chelsea is currently a sophomore at Mercyhurst University working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Dance.