Prelude Ballet Ensemble

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Prelude Ballet Ensemble is a not-for-profit youth ballet company in the Lower Hudson Valley. The ensemble's mission is to bring ballet to our community in a presentation all will enjoy while providing young dancers with performing experience that is so important to their developing artistry. Our dancers range in age from 9 to 20 years

2008/2009 Prelude Ballet Ensemble

Board of Directors:

President: Olenna Truskett

Vice President: Carrie DeMilio

Secretary: Cory Ethridge

Treasurer:  Donna Thomas

Production Manager:  Shannon Cranston

Advisory Member: Pamela Kelly

Choreographers and Artistic Direction :

Cory Ethridge, Choreographer

Cory Ethridge began her ballet training at the age of five and studied the Cecchetti ballet technique in Marietta, Georgia, at the Marietta School of Ballet as well as in New York City with master teacher Alfredo Corvino. She attended the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music as a dance major and has performed professionally with the Cincinnati Ballet and the Cobb-Marietta Ballet, precursor to the Georgia Ballet. She has also studied ballet in New York City with Robert Blankshine, Michael Vernon, Francis Petrelli and Nadine Revere. Cory has taught ballet and the Horton modern technique to all ages in Georgia and New York.

Olenna Truskett, Choreographer

Olenna Truskett is a freelance dancer and choreographer, who has worked with Prelude Ballet Ensemble the past several seasons and currently serves on its Board of Directors. In addition to teaching and producing her own projects, she has danced and choreographed for Lee Harper & Dancers in Georgia and the Fairfax Ballet in Virginia. She also has appeared with Atlanta’s Symphony Orchestra, Opera, and Young Audiences. At the College of William and Mary, she studied modern dance under Shirley Roby and Carol Sherman and performed with the ensemble Orchesis. Summer jobs included stints at Busch Gardens, clogging and being cut in half 5 times daily during a magic show. As a child, she enjoyed dance classes in the United States, Japan, the Philippines, and Iran. Her teenage training was with Mary Marshall at the Peninsula Ballet in Newport News, Virginia, and in New York City. She holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and Carnegie Mellon University.

Shannon Cranston, Choreographer

Shannon began dancing at Fanton Dance Studio at the age of 3 along with her family. Her passion for dance followed her to Raleigh, NC where she trained at William G. Enloe Magnet High School studying Vagonava Ballet and Graham-Modern technique. In college, Shannon danced with the Meredith Dance Ensemble under Dr. Sherry Shapiro. After moving to San Diego, CA, she graduated with a BS in Business Administration. Shannon joined the Taps n Toes Dance School Faculty in 2003 and teaches and stages pieces in ballet, lyrical, jazz, and modern. She has choreographed and staged pieces for the Prelude Ballet ensemble since 2005.

Maria Calegari, Guest Teacher
Maria Calegari, former principal ballerina with NYC Ballet, is a repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and Jerome Robbins Rights Trust since 1998, teaching ballets worldwide to major ballet companies.  She has also taught young students and pre-professionals since 1995 at the Richmond Ballet Center for Dance, SUNY Purchase, Cincinnati Ballet School.  She was director of the Maria Calegari School of Ballet from 2002-2004, in New Milford , CT.  Ms. Calegari has appeared numerous times on television in Live from Lincoln Center (as Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and in the Dance in America series on PBS. Ms. Calegari is on the Advisory Board of Kent’s Arts on the Lake. She has been listed in America’s Who’s Who since 1985.

Bart Cook, Guest Teacher
Bart Cook, former principal dancer and Ballet Master with NYC Ballet, is currently repetiteur for both the George Balanchine Trust and Jerome Robbins Rights Trust since 1988, teaching ballets to major companies worldwide.  He served as Director of the Richmond Center for Dance from 1997-1998, Associate Professor of Dance SUNY Purchase from 1998-1999, and Assistant Ballet Master Cincinnati Ballet from 2002-2004.  Mr. Cook has presented his own choreography for the School of American Ballet, NYC Ballet, and  Cincinnati Ballet.  His dancing may be seen on numerous videos presented by Dance in America, Live from Lincoln Center and in the Time-Warner classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker with Macauly Culkin.  He serves on the Board of Directors of Arts on the Lake and New Choreographers on Pointe.

Todd Hall - Choreographer, Guest Artist

Todd Hall has been dancing since he was ten years old. His first experience performing was as Fritz in the Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet. His love of dance continued and he studied at some of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country, including the Boston Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. After finishing high school in New York City, at the Professional Childrens' School, Todd moved to Italy where he performed in a live television show, did commercials for television and studied ballet at the Teatro a la Scala in Milano. He returned to the United States to dance with the Washington Ballet, and after a year in Washington he was asked to join the Boston Ballet. While in Boston, Todd earned a degree at Emerson College. Because of some serious eye problems, he had to curtail his performing career, as a result he developed a love of teaching dance. He has taught ballet and Pas de Deux across the country- as far away as Alaska and up and down the east coast.

Cheryl Ciano Havens, Director Westchester/Putnam Youth Symphony

Cheryl Havens received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The Crane School of Music at the State University of New York, Potsdam and her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University. Mrs. Havens co-founded the Westchester/Putnam Youth Symphony in 1996 and has seen it grow from the original 19 members to the outstanding organization that it is today. She has been the musical director and conductor for 10 years and has enjoyed working with the hundreds of students who have participated in WPYS over the years. In addition, Mrs. Havens was the Elementary String Director for the Mahopac Central School District for 15 years. During her tenure in Mahopac, she had the honor of conducting the Mahopac Elementary Schools Combined Orchestra (MESCO) at Carnegie Hall, the NY State School Board Convention, and various other festivals and competitions. She has performed with the Sound Shore Symphony and the Manhattanville College Community Orchestra. She is a former member of the Maestro String Quartet and has also performed in the pit orchestra for several local school musicals. Mrs. Havens was the guest conductor for the 2000 Nassau County Elementary All-County Orchestra and the 2007 Long Island String Festival Middle School Orchestras. She also maintains a private violin studio. Mrs. Havens is the director of the Junior and Senior WPYS Orchestras and has conducted the Senior Orchestra during their European Concert Tours in 2002 and 2007.

Contact Us:

P.O. Box 126
Brewster, NY  10509-0126

Email: [email protected]