Kailen Berry, GLBC principal dancer, teaches young students the art of ballet. At the age of twelve she was accepted in the pre-professional division at the Academy and advanced to Greater Lansing Ballet’s senior company. Kailen has performed in several of GLBC’s productions including Les Sylphides, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Dracula, Earth’s Lament (original choreography by Barbara B. Smith) and has participated with GLBC in many Regional Dance America Mid-States festivals. Kailen has 10 years experience teaching young dancers in ballet. She attended Hope College as a Dance Major, as well as Western Michigan University.
Jim McEwan, GLBC principal dancer, began his dance training at Lansing Community College and the Academy of Dance Arts in 2004. Through the auspices of GLBC he has had the opportunity to study ballet with Kip Sturm, principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Madame Gribanova, Dean of the Vaganova Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia. With Greater Lansing Ballet, Jim has performed in several productions, including lead roles in GLBC’s Cinderella, 15th Anniversary Concert, Warsaw Uprising, Multi-Cultural Concert: a Celebration of Ethnic Diversity, Firebird, and The Nutcracker. He has received two scholarships from Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography Conference, which he attended in 2007 and 2005, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Ballet Nouveau Colorado in 2010 as scholarship recipient.
Roz Ames, GLBC senior dancer, started dancing at the age of three. Until graduating high school, she danced at the Academy of Dance Arts in Comstock Park, MI, doing most genres of dance including lyrical, hip-hop, tap, ballet, and modern. Roz studied Cecchetti and has passed five of the seven exams, and she is currently studying grade XI. Roz grew up through the Al Gilbert tap syllabus and made it to advanced levels. In 2010, she started dancing with the Academy of Dance Arts in Lansing, MI, and was accepted into the Greater Lansing Ballet Company’s senior division later that Fall.
Mrs. Barbara Banasikowski Smith is a master teacher with more than 38 years of teaching experience. Her positions have included the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Olivet College, Albion College and a year as artist in residence in Oslo, Norway. She also taught at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in June of 2007 during a Teachers’ Seminar and the Vaganova Prix. She was honored with a certificate verifying her teaching at the Academy and received a teacher’s certificate in the Vaganova Ballet Method. She was the only non-Russian to participate in the teachers’ seminar. Mrs. Banasikowski Smith received her BFA in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her MA in dance from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. She studied ballet at the Warsaw Ballet/Opera and Polish ethnic dances at the University of Maria Curie Sklodowski in Lublin, Poland. Learn more about Mrs. Barbara Banasikowski Smith.