PERFORMING IN THE 2023 NUTCRACKER
This year, Ms. Calligan has again brought in professional dancers to dance alongside the lead roles in the ballet:
Michael Stone will return as the Cavalier dancing with Sugar Plum Fairy, Vivian May
Michael recently graduated with his Bachelor’s on scholarship at Southern Methodist University. He’s performed classical works like Giselle and A Midsummer's Night Dream as well as modern works such as Shapiro and Smith's To Have and To Hold and Paul Taylor's Mercuric Tidings. Michael was fortunate to travel to New York City to perform in the 70th Anniversary Jose Limón International Dance Festival as a soloist in the classic work There is a Time. He is a former member of Ballet Dallas, and a former Artist in Residence with North Central Ballet Theater, Festival Ballet Theater, and Collin County Ballet Theatre.
Elliott Geolot dances as the Nutcracker Prince alongside Astrid McGinley as Clara
Born in St. Louis, Elliott Geolat comes from a background of classical pianists and music instructors. He took his first dance class at the age of four and, at thirteen, began seriously training at The Ballet Conservatory in St. Louis under the tutelage of artistic director Nathalie LeVine. After studying with instructors such as Frances Svendsen, Deborah Carr, Maxim Tchernychev, Anthony Wozniak and Irina Zykova, he was awarded full scholarships to attend American Ballet Theatre in New York City and Houston Ballet Academy. In 2000, he was invited by artistic director Gen Horiuchi to join Saint Louis Ballet where he rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. In addition to dancing leading roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Giselle, and other classical ballets, he has been featured in contemporary works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Christopher d'Amboise, Jessica Lange and Amy Seiwert.
Clayton Cunningham joins the cast dancing the role of Arabian Prince alongside Clara Goehring as the Arabian Princess
Clayton just recently moved from Boston, Massachusetts where he was coaching and teaching at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre. He began his training at the English National Ballet School in London, under the direction of Kathryn Wade, of the Royal Ballet. In the summers of 2002/2004 he was accepted in the Chautauqua Ballet, in New York, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Violette Verdy, of New York City Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet. Clayton also danced with San Francisco Ballet in 2003. While he was dancing with other companies throughout the summers he was employed as a soloist with St. Louis Ballet under the direction of Gen Horiuchi, of the New York City Ballet, from 2001-2005. Clayton went on to dance with Omaha Ballet Theatre, under the direction of Robyn Welch, and then to Metropolitan Ballet of Minneapolis in 2009-2011, under the direction of Tatiana Berenova of the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2011 Clayton temporarily retired from dancing due to knee injuries and took a temporary position as Assistant Artistic Director and Ballet Master of Ohio Dance Theatre. He then went on to become the Ballet Master at Forever Dance Alaska, in Soldotna, Alaska, for nearly 10 years. He did take a year off to return to dance again with the St. Louis Ballet, but officially retired due to a recurring knee injury. Clayton is very excited to be joining the staff of Vail Valley Academy of Dance, and working with the students, faculty, and the community to keep the love and tradition of dance alive!
Colin Meiring returns in his role as Drosselmeyer in the Party Scene. Local performer, Colin Meiring started his Performing Arts career at the age of six, competing in Ballroom dancing and won every National title in South Africa. He diversified into musical theatre, television and film performing around the globe. Colin gained International experience performing, choreographing and directing shows for Royal Caribbean and Silversea Cruises. Colin is also a beloved instructor at the Vail Valley Academy of Dance and Artistic Director at the Vail Performing Arts Academy.