Toledo Ballet dancers Lauren Woodward and Jarrett Yeary rehearsing for Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Kendra Beaverson is a senior dance major at Toledo School for the Arts. She is in Advanced Stage with Alison Reny and Advanced Ballet with Laura Blaufuss. Kendra has danced at Company C Dance Club and Toledo Ballet for several years. She has also studied musical theater, voice, and acting in addition to dance - traveling to Atlanta, Dayton, and Detroit. Kendra was the only recipient to receive the highest scholarship from Dance Fest Productions in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also had roles in St. John’s Jesuit High School’s musicals including Shrek the Musical and Newsies. After high school, Kendra aspires to be a professional dancer and plans to get her certification for yoga and personal training.
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Jasmine has been doing cheer and gymnastics since the age of 7. Jasmine cheered for several little league community teams throughout the years. As a teenager Jasmine began coaching those same teams she once dance and cheered for to give back to community in order partake in my passion of dance and cheer. Jasmine also began Dancing and Cheering with The American Eagle All-stars in Akron, OH. There, Jasmine learned and began to perfect technique in ballet, hip hop, jazz, cheer, and gymnastics. Once out of high school, Jasmine started her journey of college at the University of Toledo, and shortly thereafter, founded “F.I.R.E. Squad Dance”. She danced three years with the team. F.I.R.E. Squad Dance participated in several community based events with performances, competitions, volunteer work and other events at the University of Toledo as needed. Over the last 3 seasons, Jasmine has been a dance choreographer for the Glass City Cowboys (Formally: Springfield Cowboys). Jasmine plans to pursue a master’s degree in the performing arts.
Steven Brown began his ballet studies at The Toledo Ballet School with Marie Vogt and Velta Cernonok. He went on to study on scholarship at many highly regarded schools including Houston Ballet Academy, the former School of Cleveland Ballet, The School of American Ballet, Andre Eglevsky State Ballet of New York, and Steps Studio NYC with Wilhelm Burmann. Mr. Brown danced several lead roles with Toledo Ballet including Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lead couple in the Czardas in Coppelia, Cavalier, Trepak, Harlequin Doll, Tea and the Father–Dr. Stahlbaum–in Toledo Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker. In addition, Mr. Brown has also danced with the CCM Ballet Ensemble at the University of Cincinnati, Wisconsin Ballet Theatre and Montana Ballet. Mr. Brown completed degree requirements and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from the University of Toledo. Mr. Brown has been on faculty at the University of Toledo, Owens College and has also taught at Toledo School for the Arts and Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. He was also a faculty member at University of Findlay and choreographed their annual musical productions.
Tess Caputo trained at the Barn Studio of Dance in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet In the summer of 2000, Ms. Caputo attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts on scholarship for ballet. She was accepted to attend the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music at age 17, Ms. Caputo completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ballet on scholarship. During her ballet career, Ms. Caputo has trained and performed with various companies, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Toledo Classical Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Scranton. She has performed variations from La Bayadére, Don Quixote, Dracula, La Esmaralda, Giselle, Napoli, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, and many others, including original works.
Kristi holds a BA in Fine Arts from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati with a major in dance. While getting her degree, she also performed numerous classical ballets with the Cincinnati Ballet as a corps member. She then moved on to dance at the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago as well as the Chicago Ballet. She began her training at The Toledo Ballet and spent summers training in New York and The North Carolina School of the Arts. She has been back in the Toledo area teaching with The Toledo Ballet for more than 10 years.
Jeanie Hayward has a B.Ed. from The University of Toledo with graduate work in Guidance and Counseling. She is a former ballet student of Marie Bollinger Vogt and Velta Cernonok at Toledo Ballet. Ms. Hayward also enjoyed studying and performing tap and jazz, allowing her the opportunity to “tap down Broadway” in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2001. She has studied ballet in New York City with Finis Jhung, Steps on Broadway with David Howard and Nancy Bielski, and at the Joffrey School of Ballet. Her teaching experience includes working with first graders in both the Toledo Public and Sylvania Public School Systems. She taught at Olivet Christian Nursery School and served as the Director for 18 years. For over ten years, Ms. Hayward has taught ballet in the Toledo Area, including at Toledo Ballet and BGSU. In the past five years, she has served as the Director of the Central City Ministry of Toledo, as well as continuing teaching “Learning in Motion” and various levels of ballet at Toledo Ballet and Company C Dance. In 2015, Ms. Hayward began teaching the “First Steps” program at Queen of Apostles.
Ann Heckler began dancing at age 4 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Theatre/Dance from Alma College, where she received the Performing Arts scholarship. There, she performed with the Orchesis Dance Company. Her favorite roles include Kitri in Don Quixote and Taglioni in Pas De Quatre. In 1985, she began teaching dance in Michigan; in 2017 she joined Toledo Ballet faculty. Her teaching expertise includes a variety of classes: classical ballet, character ballet, creative movement for preschoolers, mature movement for seniors, and Adaptive Dance for dancers with special needs. Through Toledo Ballet Outreach Programming, Ms. Heckler enjoys teaching classes to those who might not otherwise be exposed to dance. She created and directs a program at Toledo Ballet for children and young adults with Down syndrome. These dancers have many performance opportunities throughout the Toledo community. She has also helped implement a dance outreach program “Second Chance” for teens who have been victims or are at risk of being victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Heckler is also an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. Her 20-plus year background as a yoga teacher is beneficial to help her to see each student as an individual, allowing her to better meet their individual physical and emotional needs. In 2016, Ms. Heckler received a grant from the Toledo Ballet Guild to enroll in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre national teacher training program. As a result, she is currently certified in the ABT® National Training Curriculum for Primary through Level 3.
Nora Light began her classical ballet training at the age of three, and in 2010 joined Toledo Ballet, when she began studying jazz, contemporary, tap and modern dance. Through Toledo Ballet, Nora has received instruction from most of the faculty including, Lisa Mayer-Lang and Michael Lang. She has also received training from guest artists Soili Arvola, Renato Penteado and Tricia Albertson. This was Nora’s seventh year to perform in Toledo Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Some of her favorite roles in this production have been Clara, Lead Snow, Lead Flute, Flower, Lead Tea, Chocolate, and Dew Drop. She has also performed in Toledo Ballet’s spring productions If These Walls Could Dance (2012), Giselle (2013), Alice in Wonderland (2015), as lead in Awkward Girl (2016), as Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2016), 2017 Tales of Grimm…, and 2018 Broadway at the Ballet as a featured dancer. This is her sixth year as a Toledo Ballet Company Member and her second year as a Principal and Soloist. Nora is a high school senior. In March 2018, Nora placed in the top 12 in the Senior Contemporary category at Youth America Grand Prix competition held in Indianapolis. This summer, Nora studied with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Elizabeth Vogel is a soprano, originally from Oak Harbor, Ohio. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University; and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at BGSU. Elizabeth has performed throughout Ohio in over 30 theatrical productions ranging from Shakespeare, to Sondheim, to Mozart. She has also performed as a soloist throughout Ohio and Michigan. Elizabeth is in the chorus of the Toledo Opera, and will be premiering two roles in two brand new operas at Bowling Green State University in the near future.
A former competitive gymnast, Hannah Watson has been coaching gymnastics and tumbling for fifteen years. She focuses on proper technique and skill progression so that students learn efficiently and safely. When Hannah is not coaching, she can be found in the classroom, teaching 8th grade Spanish for Washington Local Schools, or spending time with her young daughter. Hannah also enjoys jogging, reading, and beadwork. She is excited to be a new part of the Toledo Ballet family.
Ms. Walter grew up dancing at Toledo Ballet and danced with the Company from 1981 – 1990. While a student at University of Toledo, she was a Dancing Rockette. Her dance teacher training includes Cecchetti Council of America Teacher’s Exam Levels I – III. She graduated from University of Toledo with a BA in Spanish and currently also works as a microbiologist at Mercy St. Vincent and Mercy St. Anne Hospitals.
Sara Wegrzyn has been dancing since the age of 4 and has been sharing her love through teaching for the past 7 years. Sara studied dance at Bowling Green State University and graduated with the award of outstanding dance minor. Her choreography has also been recognized with two outstanding choreography awards at the dance competition level. Sara’s experience in teaching includes jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary.
Lauren Woodward is a senior at Anthony Wayne High School and a Principal dancer of Toledo Ballet where she has been dancing since the age of five. She has training in classical ballet, contemporary, and jazz under the instruction of Lisa Mayer-Lang and Michael Lang. A highlight for Lauren was to perform the role of Clara in the 75th and 76th anniversary of Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker. Other favorite Nutcracker roles include Lead Snow, Flowers, and Sweets. She also has had the privilege to perform original choreography by Michael Lang in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with The Toledo Symphony, Degas and the Dance at the Toledo Museum of Art. Lauren has performed in Mr. Lang’s other original productions including From Heart to Quill, Alice in Wonderland, the role of Toto in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Storybook Red in an another original production, Tales of Grimm…,as a featured dancer in Broadway at the Ballet, and Alice in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Additionally, Lauren competed as a Soloist for three years in the Youth America Grand Prix Competition in both Classical and Contemporary. Lauren attended the esteemed American Ballet Theatre Intensive in the summer of 2018 in Tampa, Florida, where she had the privilege of studying under Carmila Gallace, Eileen Hebron, Franco De Vita, Raymond Lukens, and Cheryl Madeux. She is excited to continue her training at the Toledo Ballet and continues to grow under the instruction of Lisa Mayer-Lang and Michael Lang.
Kristen began training in gymnastics at the age of 3 at Toledo Gymnastics Academy. At the age of 9 she started her journey with Sunrise Gymnastics Academy. As a Level 6 and 7 gymnast, Kristen was state champion on bars and vault in Ohio, and their Level 7 team took first place as a team in Ohio. At the age of 15, she started coaching young girls in recreational gymnastics, and began coaching competitive girls’ gymnastics in 2010, where she is currently coaching competitive girls Level 2-5 and excel today. Kristen recently earned her license in phlebotomy, and is currently in school for medical assisting
The Toledo Ballet offers classes in dance of ALL varieties. Whether you're looking for classical ballet training, or modern hip-hop, chances are we have a class for you!