The Lexington Ballet Company and School aims to nurture better human beings who understand the value of the arts. Not everyone will become a dancer but everyone can benefit from what dance has to offer.
Dance encapsulates what is good and valuable in the human spirit: Kindness, Valor, Empathy, Courage, Beauty, Wisdom, Strength, and all that is beautiful in the human species. Dance embodies these concepts and transmits them first to our students and then to our audience.
It is our responsibility to pass on this transforming information.
The dance education I received at the Lexington Ballet helped me earn a full scholarship through Governor’s School for the Arts to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. This opportunity along with the discipline and focus I learned through my 10 years as a student at LBC allowed me to achieve my goal of working in the space industry.
Allison Durborrow Thomas
“I credit my love for teaching dance to the Lexington Ballet. My time at the Lexington Ballet taught me how to love the process of creating art. Classes were always challenging and engaging. Rehearsals were always observed and supported not only by Nancy and Luis, but also by our peers and the younger generations. Performances were always magical. The hard work we had set out to do as a school, as a community, became this final presentation. It was a gift to the city of Lexington that we could not wait to share. I take pride in passing this love on to my students.”
Rachel Mazur Owsley (2007)
“I love the Lexington Ballet because my teachers are so nice, even though they expect a lot from us. Classes and choreography can be challenging, but are always fun and make me want to do my best.”
Beatrice Crittenden Current Student L3
Inspire and delight diverse audiences with vibrant classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballet.
Cultivate collaborations that expand the availability, access, and appreciation for the arts in our community, making Lexington a unique and vibrant city in which to live and work.
Educate and challenge all individuals to reach their unique potential by providing the highest level of classical ballet training and performance opportunities in a culture of self-discipline, creativity and respect.
Lexington Ballet Company was chartered May 24, 1974 by Nels Jorgensen with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Jorgenson established a professional dance company and a ballet school with the same mission that exists today; to present high caliber productions, to educate youth in the art of ballet, and to engage with the community through outreach.
The first production of The Nutcracker was presented in 1974 at Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium. The ballet was granted 501(c)(3) status under the name Lexington Ballet Company, Inc. in the following year.
The ballet moved into its current studios at ArtsPlace in 1986 becoming a fixture in the heart of downtown Lexington. In 1989 Karl Kaufman and Kirt Hathaway established the Ballet Under the Stars which has become an annual event in Lexington Kentucky.
Lexington Ballet Professional Company
Kayleigh Western is from Lexington, Kentucky and has been dancing for 20 years. Her training began at the Lexington Ballet in 2002 and continued both there and at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts until 2015. In 2015, she became one of the inaugural students of Cary Ballet Conservatory’s Professional Training Program under the guidance of Mariaelena Ruiz. During her time at Cary Ballet Conservatory, she competed and received recognition in many competitions, such as Youth America Grand Prix, World Ballet Competition, and American Dance Competition. As a result of her success in these competitions, she was selected to be featured in Pointe Magazine and photographed for the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine. During her summers, she had the privilege of working with renowned dancers while attending summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, and Ballet Chicago, many on scholarship.
Kayleigh has since danced with the Louisville Ballet, where she performed soloist roles in both classical and contemporary works choreographed by George Balanchine, Stanton Welch, Ronald Hynd, and Val Caniparoli, among many other esteemed choreographers. After a year of free-lancing, she is thrilled to return to the Lexington Ballet as a company member.
Alex was born and raised in America to a French father and American mother. He began training in various kinds of dance as a teenager, before pursuing a classical dance education alongside his Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts at Northern Kentucky University. He graduated summa cum laude in 2020 with a degree in Dance Performance after completing an abroad year of study in Israel, at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance of Hebrew University. He has studied at various ballets in the Midwest, such as BalletMet Columbus, De La dance company, and the Lexington Ballet. Alex Bellocq has joined the Lexington Ballet as a company dancer for the ‘22-‘23 season.
Sydney Marsh is from Canby, Oregon and started dancing at the age of 3. She began her pre-professional training at The Portland Ballet, under the direction of Nancy Davis. She attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Ballet Austin. Sydney trained under the direction of Gen Horiuchi at St Louis Ballet for the 2022-2023 season where she performed roles with the company in Gen Horiuchi’s, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Moment, CiCi Houston-Sudholt’s, Shh… and Christine Settembrino’s, The Amber Room, performing both corps and soloist roles. Sydney is thrilled to join Lexington Ballet as a company member for the 2023-2024 season!
Ashley Reed began dancing at the age of six at Opus II Dance Studio under the tutelage of Hellie Schussler Founder/Executive Director (former dancer of Dance Kaleidoscope) and Sarah Cyders Artistic Director(former dancer of Neos Dance Theatre). She later completed her training at Ohio Conservatory of Ballet under Inna Strabrova (former graduate from the Vaganova Academy and principal of Eifman Ballet) as well as Dmitriy Tuboltsev (principal at the Bolshoi Ballet). Her most memorable roles to dance were Kitri from Don Quixote, Snow Queen in the Nutcracker, and the lead snow angel (first year in the Nutcracker). Ashley has studied and taught the Vaganova method for five years in a classroom setting as well as private YAGP coaching and variation rehearsals. She has been a guest teacher at various dance studios teaching various dance genres and ages. Last year, Ashley danced and taught with Ballet 5:8 in Chicago, IL. Ashley is a very passionate and energetic person who loves people, teaching, and dancing. Ashley is very excited to be joining Lexington Ballet Company this season.
Gwen Lamb, originally from Morrison, Missouri, started dancing at the age of four in various styles at a small studio. She then danced competitively for five years with 5-6-7-8 Dancenter in Jefferson City, MO. Gwen began training specifically in classical ballet at the age of 12 at Alexandra School of Ballet, under the direction of Alexandra Zaharias, where she joined the school’s preprofessional company. While there, she performed in such roles as the Sugarplum Fairy and Snow Queen in the company’s production of The Nutcracker and the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. In 2023, Gwen graduated cum laude from Butler University with a B.F.A. in dance pedagogy with the highest distinction. While performing with Butler Ballet, Gwen performed roles such as a waltz demi-soloist in Swan Lake and a flower, snowflake, and Russian demi-soloist in The Nutcracker. Gwen has also had the privilege of performing in original works choreographed by Susan McGuire, David Ingram, and Cynthia Pratt. Gwen is excited to join Lexington Ballet as an apprentice for the 2023/2024 season.
Madelyn grew up in the rural town of Ashland, Ohio. She started dance lessons at the age of 5 at Opus II Dance Studio under the instruction of Founder/Executive Director Helli Schussler (former company member of Kaleidoscope) and Artistic Director Sarah Cyders (NEOS Dance Theatre). In her high school years, she trained at Ohio Conservatory of Ballet in Green, Ohio under the tutelage of Dmitriy Tuboltsev (principal Bolshoi Ballet) and Inna Stabrova (Eifman Ballet). Madelyn was awarded top 12 for the piece she choreographed and danced at the 2021 Washington DC Grand Prix. Besides dancing many roles in the Nutcracker, The most memorable piece she danced was Sugar Plum Pas de Deux. Along with dancing, Madelyn has been a guest teacher and substitutes for dance classes at various dance studios. She has taught many private variation classes for students who are competing in YAGP and Washington DC Grand Prix. Madelyn is a quiet encourager to her fellow dancers and is often found helping behind the scenes mending, sewing costumes and helping with dancer’s many needs. Madelyn is most excited to branch out and dance with Lexington Ballet Company.
Gianna is in the class of ‘25 at Lexington Catholic High School. This is her ninth year attending Lexington Ballet Company. Gianna loves going to ballet and being taught by amazing and inspiring instructors. Lexington Ballet has taught her many lessons that will help her in the future. She has been in multiple performances including Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, numerous Nutcracker shows and many more.
Cate is in the class of 2025 at Lafayette High School. This will be her 11th year dancing at Lexington Ballet. Cate attended middle school at The School for the Creative and Performing Arts – SCAPA – as a ballet major and continues in the SCAPA ballet program at Lafayette HS. She has attended many summer intensives at LBC and numerous master classes and workshops under notable instructors including David Reuille, Elena Bartley, Sergey Reyevsky, Mariaelena Ruiz, Alvin Ailey School, NYCB, and Skylar Brandt of ABT. She has danced in many LBC performances including Midsummer Night’s Dream, Snow White, Cinderella, Jungle Book, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, and various Nutcrackers. Cate is most thankful for her amazing teachers who have taught her so well, help support her dreams, and treat the students like family.
Siiri Ensmann is in the class of 2025 at the Liberal Arts Academy at Henry Clay high school in Lexington. They began dancing at Lexington Ballet when they were three and have been studying ballet for eleven years including a year at Ponsonby School of Dance in Auckland, New Zealand and a year at Tähtvere Tantsukeskus in Tartu, Estonia. They have performed with the Lexington Ballet in the Nutcracker, The Magical Tales of Beatrix Potter, and the Jungle Book with a variety of roles: spanish, a rat, and many more.
Evelyn Hruby is in the Class of 2024 at Lafayette High School and has been a student at the Lexington Ballet School since the age of six, where she has danced in several productions, including Coppelia, Snow White, The Nutcracker, and Alice In Wonderland, among others. She has attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theater, The Ailey School, The Cary Ballet Conservatory, and The Lexington Ballet.
Payton is in the Class of ‘25 at West Jessamine High School pursuing the biomed pathway. She has been a student at Lexington Ballet since 2018 and most recently attended Butler University Ballet Summer Intensive in Indianapolis. Payton’s previous summer intensives include Cincinnati Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Lexington Ballet. She has attended numerous workshops and conventions including Duncan Cooper Winter and Summer Workshops, 24/7, NUVO, and Revel Dance Conventions. Payton was chosen to be a Pro-Reveler with Revel Dance Convention for the ‘21-’22 season. She is a part of Francisco Gella’s Preprofessional Dancer Institute Class of ‘20 and ‘21. Payton has performed in Ballet Under the Stars and The Nutcracker with Lexington Ballet.
Addyson is in the class of 2026 at the School for Creative and Performing Arts at Lafayette High School as a ballet major. She is also in the Pre-engineering program there as well. Addyson has been dancing at the Lexington Ballet since 2020. This is her 14th year of dancing. She has attended many summer intensives at LBC and numerous master classes and workshops locally. She has danced in many LBC performances of Nutcracker and most recently Snow White. Addyson loves the environment at LBC where students’ love of ballet is fostered by the talented and supportive faculty.
Emmy Woosley is dancing in her 11th year with the Lexington Ballet Company. She is in the 8th grade at SCAPA Bluegrass where she is a ballet major and visual arts minor. This is her 9th year performing in LBC’s Nutcracker, one of her favorite ballets.
Anna is in the class of ‘26 at Lafayette High School. She attended middle school at the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) as a ballet major and continues in the program at Lafayette. She started dancing as a student with Lexington Ballet Company at the age of 6. Anna has attended summer intensives and master classes at LBC and Cary Ballet under notable instructors including Elena Bartley and Mariaelena Ruiz. She has danced in many Lexington Ballet performances including Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Jungle Book, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, Snow White, and numerous Nutcracker performances. Anna has also performed in various SCAPA and Ballet Under the Stars productions.