FACULTY & STAFF
Director: Susan Hovey is uniquely qualified to lead St. Croix Ballet into its next stage of growth and development. Susan began teaching at the studio in 2004 and has directed St. Croix Ballet's spring productions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Coppelia. From 1993-2003, she co-directed a ballet school in Kiel, Germany. Susan has a BFA in dance from Creighton University and has danced professionally with Jo Savino, David and Anna-Marie Holmes, Nevada Dance Theater, and Wuerzerburger Staatstheater in productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, and Nutcracker.
“There is something very, very special about the fact that all the teachers at the studio this year (2017-2018) are alumni of St. Croix Ballet -- returning to their home studio to continue the studio’s great ballet and dance tradition”.
- Susan Hovey
Laura Daugherty: Laura Daugherty has been teaching for fifteen years and is excited to back at St. Croix Ballet! She is a former student of St. Croix Ballet in the early years and her later training was with the Kirov Academy, Harid Conservatory, North Carolina School of the Arts, Classical Ballet Ensemble, University of Utah, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She has performed in such works as Western Symphony, Aida, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Cupid and Psyche, Romeo and Juliet, and The Golden Bough. Laura has completed five teacher training courses and enjoys the process of developing dancers' technique.
Abbie Kaufenberg: As a new mother who will also be teaching at L'Etoile du Nord, Abbie will not be teaching regularly at SCB this year, however, will remain very much involved by continuing to train all teachers in the pre-school curriculum, substitute teaching, and assisting in Nutcracker rehearsals.
Abbie is an alum of St. Croix Ballet. Having lost interest in dance at a competition studio, Abbie started taking character classes at St. Croix Ballet with Neka Tobak, she then fell in love with ballet and devoted her junior high and high school years to studying the art. She remained involved with St. Croix Ballet throughout her undergraduate years and began teaching regularly in 2009. Abbie received a Master’s in Teaching at Hamline University and is currently a teacher at L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion School, in St. Paul.Her goal is to expose the children to ballet in a way this is cognitively and developmentally appropriate to their age while thinking of the long term goals of true master of the art.
Lindsey King: Lindsey is St. Croix Ballet alum who continued to pursue her love of ballet in college. She attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science, as well as a minor in Ballet. Lindsey performed ballet and modern pieces in Washington University Dance Theater and danced in guest works, including 'Tensile Involvement' by Alwin Nikolais, 'Still Crossing' by Liz Lerman, and Antony Tudor's 'Dark Elegies.' Lindsey spent six summers working ant teaching at the Chautauqua School of Dance, a classical ballet intensive located in upstate New York. At Chautauqua, Lindsey development curriculum for and taught all creative movement and beginning ballet classes. She is current working toward her Master of Education degree at the University of Minnesota and hopes to eventually teach English as a Second Language. She is excited to return to teaching students at St. Croix Ballet.
Allegra Sweeney: Allegra grew up at the St. Croix Ballet studios eventually preforming lead roles as Sugar Plum Fairy, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Dance (BA in Dance/Minor in Cinema/Film Production), where she expanded her dance styles by training and performing in modern dance, contemporary ballet, musical theater, character dance, Gaga, and hip hop. She was chosen to be a part of the University of Iowa's Department of Dance Dancers in Company, the repertory dance company which toured throughout the Midwest performing live concerts and lecture demonstrations for audiences of of all ages. Allegra has taught both ballet and modern classes at St. Croix Ballet's Summer Intensive where she has choreographed original ballet and modern pieces which were performed at the studio's Summer Gala. She has also taught and choreographed modern dance at the Academy of Russian Ballet, Eden Prairie, MN.
Caitlyn McDermott: Caitlyn also grew up dancing at St. Croix Ballet
making the studio her second home. In later years she performed lead roles such as
Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker, and
Swanhilda from Coppelia. Caitlyn’s love for dance continued into college where
she spent a year at Pittsburgh’s Point Park Universtity as a full-time Ballet
major. Full immersion in to jazz and modern dance while continuing to focus on
ballet repertoire and pas de deux made for an intense and strenuous year.
During her time at Point Park, Caitlyn had the privilege to work with many
great guest teachers and advance her knowledge of choreography. Returning home
to St. Croix Ballet Caitlyn was able to guest teach and choreograph
modern pieces for St. Croix Ballet’s summer intensive and incorporate new
styles of modern dance in to classes. When knee injury was no longer avoidable
in Caitlyn’s dancing career, her plans to intern with St. Paul City Ballet had
changed to an exciting new pathway. Caitlyn went on to educate herself on
understanding and strengthening the body through spending a intense month at
Sivananda’s yoga center where she received her certification as a yoga
instructor. Caitlyn then completed her Individualized Studies A.S. degree
in Dance and Wellness from Century College and is excited to share her love for
dance and health through teaching and inspiring future generations of
Cherlyn Wichser, Pilates: With a background as an educator and a depth of training in Pilates, Cherlyn has devoted the last 15 years teaching individuals and groups how to use their bodies properly through Pilates mat classes and reformer training. Cherlyn's goal is to have students increase strength and flexibility while being mindful of past injuries and giving students the tools they need to avoid future injury.
Savanna Beaurline: An alum of St. Croix Ballet, Savanna has been trained in the St.Croix Ballet's Pre-Ballet program and curriculum and the Vagonava syllabus. This past summer she completed a teacher training program at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
GUESTS MASTER TEACHERS
St. Croix Ballet has traditionally hosted Master Teachers throughout the year. Recent Master Teachers have included:
Barry Leon: Periodic Master Classes
Svetlana Gavrilova: Summer Intensives
Kirill Bak: Summer Intensives
Neka Tobak: Character Dance: Summer Intensives and periodic Master Classes throughout the school year
Maryann Johnson, Physical Therapist. Periodic Master Classes on health, nutrition with a special emphasis on avoiding injuries as a dancer.
Karla Sweeney, Founder: Karla Sweeney and her husband Brian founded St. Croix Ballet in 1991 in the basement of their Stillwater home. They built the program into one of the Twin Cities top ballet studios. After a gallant 15-year battle with late-stage breast cancer, Mz. Karla passed away on February 12, 2015. Karla graduated from the University of Utah with a BFA in Ballet. She danced with Ballet West and several regional companies in the Southwest, performing in the Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, and others. She then toured the United States and Mexico as the featured dancer with Disney on Parade Mary Poppins show, and then traveled to England and South Africa with other Disney productions. Karla has left a beautiful legacy of quality ballet and dance to the St. Croix Valley.
Brian Sweeney. From the studio's inception, Brian Sweeney has lent his business and non-profit expertise to help build and manage a successful ballet program here in the St. Croix Valley and continues to do so.