Guest

Artists

Courtney
Hellebuyck
Student Rehearsal Director & Principal Faculty at Ballet West, began her professional ballet training at The San Francisco Ballet School. She progressed through all of the levels and was then invited to be a part of the inaugural year of the San Francisco Ballet Trainee Program. She then went on to dance professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet, and toured to Edinburgh, Scotland in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Swan Lake”. From there, Courtney joined Smuin Ballet, under the Direction of Michael Smuin, where she danced in several World Premiere’s created on her by Michael. Ms. Hellebuyck then went on to join Cincinnati Ballet, and danced many leading roles including “Bomb Squad Girl” in Twyla Tharp’s “Upper Room”, “Marie” in Val Caniparoli’s “Nutcracker”, & “Demi-Soloist” in Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations”. After retiring from the stage, Courtney became Full-Time Academy Faculty + Adult Programming at the Otto M. Budig Academy at Cincinnati Ballet. She has been certified to teach in Group Fitness from A.F.A.A. partnered through N.A.S.M. and has been certified in Barre Fitness at The Ballet Physique Fitness Studio. Courtney has taught every Division at Cincinnati Ballet including Company Class, as well as a being Rehearsal Assistant for Nutcracker, Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Snow White, and the World Premiere of Victoria Morgan’s Dancing to Oz. In August 2020, Ms. Hellebuyck became the Associate Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet under the direction of Gloria Govrin, where she choreographed for ECB’s Virtual Nutcracker, as well as Spring Showcase. Courtney is thrilled to be at Ballet West as Student Rehearsal Director & Principal Faculty, now finishing her second season, where she has brought Nutcracker to the Stage twice, along with The Little Mermaid, Romeo & Juliet, and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as now Snow White.
Vanessa
Ballam
Vanessa Ballam has been performing professionally and teaching theatre around the country for over twenty years. Vanessa currently serves as a Professor, and Head of Acting in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Idaho State University and is the Associate Artistic Director and Education Director for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. She also serves as a Vice-Chair for The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival - Region VII. Vanessa has performed with companies around the country such as Theatre Under the Stars, PCPA Theatrefest, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Anchorage Opera, Music Theatre West, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and Lyric Repertory Company. Vanessa spent three years as a Resident Actor at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, CA where she oversaw the first-year acting program. She has also served as a visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Utah State University. Vanessa is the founding director of the annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Utah affiliate for the NHSMTA – Jimmy Awards, and the Utah Festival Conservatory of the Performing Arts. A former Miss Utah, Vanessa was honored with the Bert Parks talent award at the Miss America Pageant. Vanessa is married to Actor Stefan Espinosa and together they have two miraculous children. She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity & VASTA and received her M.F.A.in Acting from Indiana University, and her B.A. and B.F.A. from Utah State University.
Lucas
Castro
Lucas Castro, originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a dynamic and accomplished ballet dancer currently serving as a Principal Dancer with Utah Metropolitan Ballet. He is a graduate of The Washington School of Ballet and former trainee with the main company, where he refined his technique and artistry under the distinguished direction of Julie Kent, Xiomara Reyes and Rinat Imaev; He is an alumni of the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow School. Lucas's passion for dance began at the Centro de Danca Rio under the guidance of Mariza Estrella. He also participated in summer dance programs at prestigious institutions including Miami City Ballet (south american program), The Washington School of Ballet, American Ballet Theatre JKO School, Jaqueline’s School of Ballet and Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Ballet Ensemble. Throughout his career, Lucas has received numerous awards, including the Jacob's Pillow Advancement in Dance Award, 1st place at the Brazilian Dance Council Competition and Rechenberg Foundation Grant Prior to his current role, Lucas was a Company Artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City for two seasons, where he was featured in soloist roles. His repertoire with Dance Theatre of Harlem is impressive, featuring performances in Blake Works 4 by William Forsythe, Allegro Brillante by George Balanchine, Nyman, Return, Higher Ground, and New Bach by Robert Garland, Passage by Claudia Schreier, Balamouk by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Sounds of Hazel by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, and Coming Together by Nacho Duato. Lucas's career also includes notable performances with DF Dance Company, L’avant Danse Scene, Cia Jovem de Ballet de Dalal Achcar, Salt Creek Ballet, Ballet San Angelo and Idaho Ballet Theatre. His diverse background and experience across different companies have enriched his artistic expression and technical prowess. In addition to his dance achievements, Lucas has a background in electrical engineering from FAETEC-Quintino, which has equipped him with diverse skills and problem-solving abilities. Lucas is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, having successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. His personal mission is to keep bringing quality ballet instruction, performances and community engagement programs for underserved communities internationally and is grateful for the continuous support of the Mercado-Berton Family, Colledge Family, Educator and Businesswoman Lorraine Spiegler and Partners of America Sponsorship.
Stefan
Espinosa
A native of Tucson, Arizona, Stefan has been working as a professional actor, director, fight choreographer, and dialect coach for the last 20 years. Some favorite past regional theatre companies include PCPA Theaterfest, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Lyric Repertory Theatre, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Salt Lake Acting Company. Stefan is the Conservatory director for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in Logan, Utah. This fall, Stefan will be teaching acting, directing and stage combat at Utah State University in the theatre department. Previously he taught Acting, Voice, Movement, Combat and Dialects in the Idaho State University Theatre Department for a decade. Some productions Stefan has directed include; The Lightning Thief, High School Musical, Narnia, Stop Kiss, Three Days of Rain, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical, and Ordinary Days. Stefan has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Arizona and a MFA in Acting from the University of Houston PATP.
Jane
Miller
Jane Miller began dancing at the age of 3. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and acro tumbling. Growing up, she competed with her studio and also as a soloist. She was a member of her high school drill team, the Logan High School Hi-Lo’s, and served as both Drill Mistress and Vice President. After graduation, she danced on the Utah State University Dance Company. She also worked as an instructor for the Universal Dance Association and has had the opportunity to work with many teams on the West Coast. At age 20, she became the head coach for the Logan High School Hi-Lo’s Drill Team. She led them to a region championship, state military championship, and national military title. After two years of head coaching, Jane decided to finish her schooling. She enjoys still being involved in drill team as a UHSAA certified drill team judge. She also had the opportunity to be the assistant coach for the Weber State University Dance Team in 2018 and helped them win an NDA national title in hip hop. She has choreographed routines for teams and soloists in Utah, Nevada, Washington, and Idaho. Jane is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing through Weber State University and enjoys teaching at Dance Illusion in Logan, Utah.
Carly
Schaub
Carly Schaub lives in Salt Lake City where she also completed her M.F.A. at the University of Utah in the Modern Dance. She also has a B.F.A. in Theatre and Dance from the University of Wyoming. Currently, Carly directs Dance Balletti, an early ballet ensemble that she formed which performs reconstructions of European Baroque and Renaissance Ballet, and dances with the Salt Lake Municipal Ballet. She is an adjunct faculty member for the dance program at Salt Lake Community College, as well as on faculty for Modern and Ballet at Wasatch Arts Center. Carly also teaches Dance for Parkinson’s with Grey Matters for the University of Utah Skagg’s Wellness Center and Repertory Dance Theatre. She has choreographed for Deseret Experimental Opera, Snow College, and Cache Valley Civic Ballet and also frequently teaches Baroque and Renaissance dance, as a guest at the University of Utah. Carly has been a frequent guest choreographer and guest teacher for Northern Plains Dance’s “Dance productions. Before beginning work on her Master’s degree, Carly served as the Education Coordinator at Northern Plains Dance and danced in many of their productions. She also danced and taught as a guest, and staged ballets and contemporary pieces at North Dakota Ballet in Grand Forks, ND where she performed her favorite ballet role of “Lise” in La Fille Mal Gardée. Carly has choreographed numerous musicals for Sleepy Hollow Summers Theatre, Bismarck State College and area high schools. During this time she also studied several summers at the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Boston. While at the University of Utah, she has performed in many productions (including her own thesis work Six Dancers in Search of an Author) in Netta Yerushalmy’s piece This Particular Space of Possibilities. While at University of Wyoming, she studied with and danced in choreography by Bill Evans, Peter Pucci, Patricia Tate, Yoav Kaddar, Margaret Wilson, and Marsha Knight to name a few. She also studied a semester abroad in London, taking classes at The Place, Danceworks, and Pineapple Studios.
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