Montgomery Ballet Principal Dancers
Rania Charalambidou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and first started ballet lessons with Georgia Thiri of the Hungarian National Ballet. During her childhood she danced in a multitude of classics such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle. She also danced in the operetta The Godfather that toured Greece and Cyprus and in the musical ‘The Garbage’ of the theatrical organization of Cyprus that toured Cyprus. Upon graduation from high-school Rania moved to the United States to pursue a dance career. She attained a BA in Dance Education degree from Marymount Manhattan College while at the same time attended the trainee program at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. As a professional, Rania danced with Sarasota Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Boulder Ballet and now with Montgomery Ballet. She has danced soloist and principal roles during the last six years and has also guested performed in several productions in the US and in her home country, Cyprus. She has also danced in Susan Stroman’s Broadway Musical ‘Contact’ as ‘Trouble.’
Rania is the co- founder of 35 33 Dance Co. in Cyprus and of Long Body Yoga.
Dionysios Mitsios (Danny) was raised in Jacksonville, FL by Greek parents. He attended Jacksonville University (JU) where he graduated Magnum cum Laude with departmental honors in Dance and Magnum cum Laude in Computer Information Systems. While at JU he was awarded the Dance Management, Most Improved Dancer, and Dance Contribution Award. During college he also studied at Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. At Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, he had the opportunity to work with Moses Pendelton of Momix. His class at Nutmeg was used to choreograph Lunar Sea for Moses Pendelton, which is now touring for Momix. He was also awarded the Service Award and attended Nutmeg on scholarship.
Upon graduation he began performing professionally. He has been fortunate enough to perform with Florida Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, HT Chen & Dancers, Busch Gardens, Ballet Revelle, Columbia City Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Boulder Ballet and Montgomery Ballet. Danny has also been a guest performer with many organizations such Ovations Dance Repertory Company, Freespace Dance, Equilateral Theater, Connecticut Dance Theatre, San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, Skien Cultural Center in Norway, and Yellowstone Ballet.
In addition to a dance career Danny is also co-owner of Long Body Yoga, TheGreatestWebAndGraphics.com, and 35° 33° Dance Company in Cyprus. He is also an active member of the United States Coast Guard Reserves.
Montgomery Ballet Company Dancers
Brandy Carwile started her dance training at the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre in Lilburn, GA. She continued by attending Brenau University as a dance major where she was also a member of the Gainesville Ballet in Gainesville, GA. Brandy has performed soloist and lead roles in many various ballets such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. She recently completed her 12th season dancing with Ballethnic Dance Company in East Point, GA. She is excited for her first season at The Montgomery Ballet and is honored to be dancing with the company.
Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Rebecca started her dance training at a very young age at the Islands Dance Academy. She was invited to join the Savannah Danse Theatre where she continued her training under the direction of Suzanne Braddy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Birmingham-Southern College studying Dance and Art. There, she received awards such as “Dedication to the Arts” and “Excellence in Dance.” She went on to perform professionally with the Birmingham Ballet and Contemporary South Dance Company. Over the years, Rebecca has performed lead roles such as Kitri in Don Quixote, Clara, Dew Drop Fairy and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker and soloist roles from ballets such as Raymonda, Giselle and Swan Lake. Rebecca is honored and thrilled to be a part of Montgomery Ballet this season!
Dawn was born in Cincinnati, OH and trained in gymnastics at an early age. She began dancing at age 11 in LaGrange, GA under the direction of Miriam Oropezza learning the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) method which was founded in London, England in 1920. She earned a silver medal in the examination each of the two years she attended. She continued her classical training under the direction of Shelly Stansell at Auburn Pointe and Angie White at Ballet Academy, where she also studied contemporary and modern dance. At the same time she also studied Jazz and Lyrical with Paula Nix at Nix Dance in Auburn, AL. Dawn came to Montgomery Ballet three years ago where she studied under Patrick VanBuren, and Joey & Laura Villalobos. She has performed the leading roles of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Anastasia in Cinderella and was the Arabian lead and Harlequin Doll in The Nutcracker. While at Ballet Academy she also danced with the East Alabama Community Ballet in their production of The Nutcracker as well as performing Prayer from Coppelia and several contemporary pieces in Turn Out Reach Out. She spent six weeks this past summer at a dance intensive at Sarasota Cuban Ballet School in Sarasota, FL. Dawn choreographed her first dance at age thirteen. She enjoys teaching children and sharing her passion with them. In her spare time Dawn loves to watch dance videos and spend time with family and friends while finishing up her high school education at James Madison High School. This is Dawn’s second year with Montgomery Ballet’s professional company. After graduation she hopes to continue her professional career and eventually own her own dance studio. Dawn now looks forward with excitement to all that another dance year brings.
Tatiana grew up in a Polish family and was the first to be raised and educated in the US, where her earliest ballet training was with Christine Harris. She attended the early college Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts, rather than finish high school, which enabled her to study with ballet mistress of the Berkshire Pulse school, Ruby Aver (former soloist of the Chicago Ballet). Tatiana finished her studies at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, graduating at 19, and while there also studied ballet privately under Natalya Stavro, and most recently and formatively under Elena Madrigal. Tatiana has trained additionally at prestigious programs, such as at the Boston Conservatory, Les Étés de la Danse in Paris, France, the Paul Taylor Intensive, and NYU Tisch summer intensive.
Since graduating, Tatiana has danced in NYC for Sunhwa Chung/Ko-Ryo Dance Theater and Victoria Ballet Theatre, in Washington DC as a guest artist for Amber Shriver’s Connect Ballet, where she performed soloist roles in the Nutcracker (Spanish, Arabian) and the Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Bluebird, Golden Vine Fairy), and in North Carolina as a member of the United States International Ballet. Tatiana has also competed in classical ballet competitions in Zagreb, Croatia (Mia Slavenska International Competition) and NYC (Viktoria Kozlova Ballet Competition- Final Rounds), where she danced soloist variations from The Pharaoh’s Daughter (Aspicia), Paquita, Raymonda, the Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy), and Grand Pas Classique. Tatiana has traveled extensively and has had the privilege to student teach in Chimboté, Peru and assist as master class demonstrator to Elena Madrigal in San José, Costa Rica.
She is honored to join the remarkable team at Montgomery Ballet this season.
Amber Malmstadt has been dancing since the age of three. She grew up in central New Jersey where she began her first ballet class at American Repertory Ballets Princeton Ballet School. Through out Ambers training ballet has taken her around the globe to programs at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow Russia, the collegiate program at American Ballet Theatre in Manhattan, the Rock school in Philadelphia, Mark Morris in Brooklyn and has traveled to Zagreb, Croatia training under the direction of Anne Mahre of Ballet Ireland. Amber has taught ballet, tap, broadway jazz, and improvisation, sharing what she herself has learned through out the years. Graduating Cum laude she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts under direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. Since attending the university she has choreographed and perform for New York Couture Fashion Week as well as for an ongoing tour of mixed media for photographer John Singletary and performed as company member with Forza Malizia. Amber is excited for her journey to the South to perform with Montgomery Ballet for the 2018-2019 season.
Micaela Morris, a recent graduate from Belhaven University with a BFA in dance is excited to join the Montgomery Ballet this season! Her collegiate experience includes performing many originally choreographed works and staging of classical ballets including “Uni”, “When Two or More”, “Once Was”, and “Rest” by Laura Morton, “A Crack in the Sand” by Ryan Corriston, “Afresh” by Ronda DeFazio, “Strings of Grace” by Catherine Batchellor, and “Waltz of the Snow Flakes” from The Nutcracker. Throughout her training, Micaela performed soloist roles in many ballets, including: Arabian, Spanish Lead, and Clara in The Nutcracker, The White Cat in Sleeping Beauty, townsperson soloist in Giselle, and the flamingo in Alice in Wonderland. Her most recent theatrical appearances include Brenda in Hairspray and teen ensemble in The Music Man with the Legacy Theatre. Micaela’s eighteen years of dance experiences have cultivated a love for the arts and a passion for classical ballet and contemporary dance. She will continue to pursue her dreams as a performer and teacher listening closely to the plans her Lord has prepared for her.
Thaddeus Morris, a Musical Theater graduate of Belhaven University, delights in the opportunity to return to The Montgomery Ballet. Recent dance performances include Two for Love, The Nutcracker, Sleepy Hallow, Ballet and the Beasts, Performance on the Greene and the portrayal of Peter in The Messiah all staged by Montgomery Ballet. He also performed at the San Antonio Centenial celebration
with the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. Other productions include the Nutcracker for Mejia Ballet International, Ballet under the Stars with Twin City Ballet of Louisiana and tap numbers with RPM Tap Ensemble of San Antonio. Theatrical appearances include the portrayal of Cliff in Cabaret and Cain and Japeth in Children of Eden with Performing Arts San Antonio, Brad in Hairspray and various featured dancing roles in Beauty and the Beast at The Legacy Theatre, Damis in the rendering of Tartuffe, and Jesus in Godspell. If not actively involved in some aspect of the performing arts (dancing, singing, acting or technical production) you’ll find Thaddeus cheering on the San Antonio Spurs or experimenting with a new cuisine.
Emily was raised in Huntsville, Alabama where she studied ballet, jazz, character and modern dance at the Huntsville Ballet Company under the direction of Clinton & Carrie Rothwell, Karen Gibb and David Harriet. Growing up she performed soloist roles in the Nutcracker including, Sugar Plum Fairy, Columbine Doll, Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Soloist & Flower Soloist. She furthered her dance training through summer programs with the American Ballet School and with Maniya Barredo at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. Emily attended Auburn University and gained her bachelor’s in marketing. While attending Auburn University, she starred in the University Theater Spring Dance Performance & was captain of Auburn’s premier hip hop dance team, AU Rhythm. Upon graduation, Emily served as the Associate Director and Competition Director of Variations Dance Studio in Auburn for 2 years. During her time at Variations, she choreographed and directed productions of “Alice in Wonderland” & “Charlotte’s Web”, as well as numerous award-winning competition pieces. She is overjoyed to be joining The Montgomery Ballet for her first season!
Brenna began dancing in the Auburn-Opelika area at the age of 3, receiving her early training from Auburn Ballet. She furthered her dance experience by dancing with the East Alabama Community Ballet, Montgomery Youth Ballet and the Alabama Youth Ballet Company. Before coming to Montgomery Ballet she spent two years studying the Vaganova method of ballet under the direction of Stevan Grebel. She has appeared as a guest artist for Contemporary South Dance Company, Ballet Intermezzo and Christian contemporary artist Seth Hardin. She has donated her talents to benefit charitable organizations throughout central and east Alabama. Brenna is the founder of Ballet with Brenna, a community service project designed to bring ballet to children of families with financial need. She has been awarded summer intensive scholarships to Grebel Dance, Contemporary South Dance Company, Alabama Dance Theater and Troy University. She has performed as Sugar Plum Fairy, Spanish soloist, and Clara in the Nutcracker as well as lead roles in Grebel Goes Girshwin and Transitions in Time with the Alabama Youth Ballet Company. Brenna is very excited to begin her professional career with Montgomery Ballet.
Blair Williams began dancing at the very young age of 3 and decided ballet was her passion at 9 years old and began to study at Mobile Ballet. She studied summers at various schools including: the Joffrey Ballet, Pensacola Junior College, and the Alabama Ballet. Williams had the privilege of being coached by Winthrope Corey, Sydney Adams, Kathryn Morgan, Dorothy Lister, Colby Shinn, and Renata Pavam. She went on to study dance at the University of Alabama while performing in their repertoire Company. She performed in la Bayadere core and Nutcracker as lead Arabian. She moved back to Mobile to graduate from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelors in Public Relations and Marketing in 2014, simultaneously, becoming a Principal Dancer with her home Company, Mobile Ballet. Some of the roles she performed as a principal are as follows: La Bayadere soloist in excerpt, staged and coached by former American Ballet Soloist Renata Pavam; Nutcracker; lead Spanish, and Colombine Doll; Cinderella; Spring Variation Solo; Sleeping Beauty, Fairy of Benevolence; Dracula; Lead Gypsy; and Swan Lake, Signet. Williams has enjoyed instructing ballet for the past 9 years at various studios in Centre, Alabama Mobile and currently Prattville, Alabama. She was the sole Jazz Instructor for Mobile Ballet prior to her move to Montgomery. Williams learned her love for Jazz studying and competing with Sheffield’s School of the Dance. She currently teaches with the Centre for Performing Arts in Prattville, Alabama and works as a Federal Executive Secretary for the United States Department of Agriculture. Finally, being reunited with her one true passion after a move with her career she aspires to continue performing with Montgomery Ballet as long as possible.
Montgomery Ballet Company Instructors
Ms Raquel Whitehead, ballet instructor. Not only has she earned a double degree in Communication Studies and Dance from the University of Alabama, she is also an incredibly accomlished dancer who has studied and danced with Alabama School of Fine Arts, the prestigious Julliard School, the Kirov Academy of Ballet, and the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest. She also danced professionally in Italy, France, and Germany. She has taught for taught for C.J.’s Dance Factory in Prattville, AL and for the Academy of Ballet and Jazz (ABJ) in Tuscaloosa, AL.