Ballet Theatre of Indiana
Stirling Matheson grew up in Fairfax, California, where he trained at Dance Theatre Seven under David “Rocky” Roxander and Jody White. He continued his training at the Arizona School of Classical Ballet with Nadya Zubkov before attending Butler University, where he earned a B.A. in Dance (Pedagogy). While at Butler, he performed principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Serenade, and several other works. Under the direction of Marek Cholewa, he performed in a tour of Poland and studied at the Cantilena School of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.
After graduation, he danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, where he performed soloist and principal roles in Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Frontier 1812. After leaving Maryland he worked as a guest artist throughout the country before founding Ballet Theatre of Indiana in 2014.
For BTI, Stirling has created a number of original works including Dracula, The Masque of the Red Death, Baba Yaga, and Under the Bridge, and directed the short film of Sarah Farnsley's Absolution, which premiered at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood as part of the Dances With Films Festival and has been featured several other festivals as well..
As a writer, Stirling has been published by Dance Magazine, Digital Trends, Complex Magazine, 95 Octane, and About.com.
Haley began her dance training with ballet, tap, and jazz classes at the age of five. She continued studying at various dance schools throughout Connecticut, narrowing her focus to classical ballet. In 2009, Haley joined the New England Ballet School’s student company to perform roles including Snow Queen, Dew Drop and Polish Mazurka Soloist. She has attended summer ballet intensives with the Bolshoi Ballet, The Rock School, and American Ballet Theater in New York. Haley placed in the top 12 for her classical variation in the 2012 Connecticut Classic Ballet Scholarship Competition, and was awarded a full scholarship to the Burklyn Ballet Theater summer intensive. In May 2016, Haley graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in ballet, where she trained under Susan Jaffe, Laura Martin, and Jennet Zerbe with the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum. Haley is joining Ballet Theater of Indiana for her third season with the company, where she has performed the Third Shade Variation in La Bayadere, and hand-crafted tutu bodices for Mirlitons (The Nutcracker) and Belle’s sisters (Beauty & The Beast).
Erica Bernstein started dancing at the age of 3 in Enterprise, Alabama. Early on, she developed a passion for performing, participating in countless dance competitions until age 11 when she decided to focus her attention on classical ballet. She began her training at Andalusia Ballet and continued her education through various summer programs, including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Next Generation Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and the acclaimed Ellison Ballet in New York. In continuation with her extensive ballet training, Erica is also proficient in other styles of dance, including contemporary ballet, tap, modern dance (Paul Taylor, Graham, Cunningham, and Horton techniques), jazz, improvisation, and character dance.
Graduating from Butler University in May 2019, Erica earned a Bachelor of Science in Dance-Arts Administration, along with minors in Marketing and Strategic Communications. While at Butler, she worked in the advancement offices and danced various roles with Butler Ballet, including the Dewdrop Fairy in The Nutcracker, Cadide in The Sleeping Beauty, and demisoloist roles in Fernando Carillo’s Prophetstown and Marek Cholewa’s Inception. She also performed throughout Eastern Europe with Butler Ballet during the summers of 2016 and 2018. Erica is excited to begin her first season with BTI.
Jonathyn Carey is from Huntsville,Alabama where he was trained at Huntsville Ballet and Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre. He then attended and graduated from Butler University with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Chinese language minor. Besides his performing,Jonathyn has also choreographed dances,including in BTI's Beer and Ballet 2019. This will be Jonathyn's 2nd year with BTI.
Cheyanne Darnielle-Elam began her ballet training at the age of four years old at the Desert Youth Ballet in Rancho Mirage, CA under the direction of Valarie Mahabir. She continued her training throughout her youth, continuing at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Classical Dance Department, from which she received her diploma. Upon graduation from LACHSA, she joined Los Angeles Ballet as a trainee and performed with the company throughout the year. After completing her year with LA Ballet, she chose to continue her education at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Dean Susan Jaffe, where she earned a Certificate in Ballet. This is Cheyanne's fifth season with BTI.
Lauren Hamilton grew up in Montgomery, Alabama where she trained with Montgomery Ballet. After graduating high school she was asked to join Montgomery Ballet’s professional company. A couple of years later she received a full dance scholarship to the Dance Theatre of Harlem of New York where she trained under Arthur Mitchell. She also received a scholarship to Birmingham-Southern College where she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. After graduation, she continued dancing professionally with various companies around the country.
Ms. Hamilton has danced professionally with Montgomery Ballet, Northwest Florida Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Ballet des Ameriques, Georgia Dance Theatre, and CONNetic Dance Company.
Ms. Hamilton has performed principal and lead roles such as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, and The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Lucy in Dracula, Bertha Mason in Jayne Eyre, The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and Princess Katerina in The Firebird. She has also performed soloist roles in other productions such as La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, and Sleeping Beauty.
In addition to her professional performing career, Ms. Hamilton has been a dance educator and choreographer with various professional studios. Ms. Hamilton is now in her first season with Ballet Theatre of Indiana.
Lauren Nasci originated from Rio Rancho, New Mexico and started dancing at age two and a half. Her professional training began at Makaroff’s School of Ballet in Appleton, Wisconsin and later went on to train at the Milwaukee Ballet School. Ms. Nasci attended Butler University where she graduated with honors in 2014. She received a BFA in Dance Performance, as well as a BA in Mathematics. Lauren has performed roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, and various pieces in Butler’s Midwinter series. She has worked with choreographers such as Michael Pink, Rolando Yanes, Nadia Thompson, Denis Malinkine, Susan McGuire, Cynthia Pratt, and Derek Reid. Before joining BTI, she danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Second Company where she took classes with Amy Jones, Alexis Britford, Marlayna Locklear, Dawn Carter, and Rebecca Sparks. This is Lauren's fourth season with BTI.
Megan Noonan, a native of Carmel, Indiana, trained with Suzann Delay at Central Indiana Academy of Dance and was a member of Central Indiana Dance Ensemble for five years. Megan began her dancing at BTI’s host studio, Performer’s Edge, performing in student roles with Gregory Hancock Dance Theater and Central Indiana Dance Ensemble. She is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she studied ballet under the direction of Michael Vernon and the late Violette Verdy. There she earned her Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Kinesiology. At IU she performed in works such as Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations, Rubies, and Emeralds and Paul Taylor’s Musical Offering. Megan has attended summer programs at Ballet Austin, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Cincinnati Ballet, Regional Dance America’s National Choreographic Intensive, and Nashville Ballet. This is her third season with BTI.
Simon Pawlak is from the small town of Ruidoso, New Mexico. He is an honors graduate from Butler University where he trained under Michelle Jarvis, Derek Reid, Marek Cholewa, Patrick Hinson, Stephan Laurent, Susan McGuire, and Cynthia Pratt. Performing at Clowes Hall, he had the opportunity to perform many roles including the Nutcracker Prince, and the Snow King in The Nutcracker, Puss in Boots in The Sleeping Beauty, and Benno in Swan Lake. Additionally, he has had soloist roles created for him in original works by Derek Reid, and Stephan Laurent. After graduation, Simon spent a season dancing with Oklahoma City Ballet under artistic director Robert Mills, where he performed in productions of Rodeo, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty. He is currently a second year company member with Ballet Theatre of Indiana; his repertoire with the company includes Jonathan Harker in Stirling Matheson’s Dracula, The Sugar Plum Cavalier in the Nutcracker, and Hilarion in Giselle.
Michelle Quenon began her formal ballet training at the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet under the direction of Sergey Rayevsky in her hometown of Novi, Michigan. Throughout high school, she also trained with Jamie Planko at Planko Classical Ballet Academy. She went on to continue her training at Butler University, where she received a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in English. While at Butler, she danced various roles with Butler Ballet, including the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, the Arabian lead in The Nutcracker, and soloist roles in Derek Reid’s Waiting for Rides and Marek Cholewa’s Dance of the Amazons. Following graduation, she spent two seasons dancing with Nevada Ballet Theatre under the direction of James Canfield where she danced in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty and Cynthia Gregory’s Swan Lake. She also had the opportunity to work with artists from Cirque du Soleil during NBT’s annual collaboration with Cirque. This is Michelle’s second season with BTI.
Alexandra Tarnowski grew up in Old Bridge, New Jersey where she began her dance training at three years old. She started her formal ballet training in high school at the conservatory at Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio where she worked with Susan Jaffe, Risa Kaplowitz, Cynthia Gregory, and Roy Kaiser. She also performed The Nutcracker, The Snow Queen, The Secret Garden, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Graduation Ball with the DanceVision Performance Company and New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. After high school she attended Butler University, where she received a B.S. in Dance Arts Administration and minors in Strategic Communications and Journalism in 2018. There, she performed The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Cinderella while working with Rosanna Ruffo, Marek Cholewa, Derek Reid, and Ramon Flowers. With BTI, she has performed many soloist roles such as ‘Doll’ and ‘Mirliton’ in The Nutcracker and ‘Spring Fairy’ in Cinderella. Alexandra has interned and worked for many arts organizations in administration, and is happy to bring both these talents to her second season at BTI.
Christina Voreis is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana where she received her dance training at Fort Wayne Ballet under the direction of Karen Gibbons-Brown. She attended Butler University where she studied as a Dance Performance major and Communication Sciences and Disorders minor. Dancing with Butler Ballet, she performed a variety of performances and roles as well as traveled internationally to perform in Poland and Russia. She has studied under Jeremy Blanton, Kim Sagami, Michelle Jarvis, Stephan Laurent-Faesi, Marek Cholewa, Derek Reid, Susan McGuire, Rossana Ruffo, and Cynthia Pratt. She has also trained with Ballet Austin and BalletMet. Upon graduating from Butler in 2014 with her BFA in Dance Performance, Christina spent the following year in Washington, DC dancing professionally with Dissonance Dance Theatre and ArasDance. She has relocated back to Indianapolis and is now in her fifth season with Ballet Theatre of Indiana.
Casie Nicole, from Fishers, IN, started dancing at 3. She received her training from Suzann DeLay and performed with the Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, where she had the opportunity to dance principal roles including Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, and Snow Queen in the Nutcracker and Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. Casie spent her summers on scholarship training with the University of Cincinnati CCM, The Rock School, the Chautauqua Institution School of Dance, and the Milwaukee Ballet. At the age of 17, Casie performed the Summer Fairy variation from Kent Stowell’s Cinderella with the Ballet Theatre of Indianapolis. From there, she went on to dance with North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet) where she performed multiple works of George Balanchine including The Four Temperaments, several roles in Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker including Dancing Doll and lead Spanish. Casie especially enjoyed working with Dwight Rhoden in his world premiere of Othello. In 2009 as a member of the Milwaukee Ballet, Casie had the opportunity to perform the role of the lead lost boy in Michael Pink’s world premiere of Peter Pan, as well as performing in Cinderella and the Nutcracker. In 2010 she joined the Minnesota Ballet and performed multiple Principal roles throughout the season. Casie joined the Nevada Ballet Theater where she had the privilege of performing in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco at the start of the season and Serenade at the NBT 40th Anniversary Gala and grand opening of the Smith Center for Performing Arts, as well as multiple performances in collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil. Throughout all of these performance seasons Casie was also on staff with each organization’s Outreach and Education programs. In 2015, after an extended maternity leave she accepted a position with the Fort Wayne Ballet and she was on faculty at the AUER Academy of the Fort Wayne Ballet. In 2016 she joined the faculty at Central Indiana Academy of Dance as a ballet, jazz, contemporary, and creative movement teacher. She also served as the Youth Company Director at that time. In 2017 Casie performed lead roles such as Nikiya in La Bayadere and Belle in Beauty and the Beast with Ballet Theatre of Indiana. In the 2017 – 2018 season she taught on faculty at Project Ballet as a ballet instructor and coach. Casie is currently on staff as a Ballet Instructor and Administrator at Indy Dance Academy. She is honored and delighted to be dancing once again with Ballet Theatre of Indiana.