Springfield Ballet is proud to share what many of our dancers have gone on to accomplish after their time at Springfield
Ballet in the field of dance and beyond. Their successes are a testament to Springfield Ballet’s commitment to touch
and transform lives through dance. We invite you to read their stories and hear first hand how Springfield Ballet has
impacted their lives.
Angela (Tarricone) Sutton danced with Springfield Ballet while she was a student, double majoring in biology and
chemistry, at Drury University from 2005—2009. After graduation, Angela entered medical school at Kansas City
University of Medicine and Biosciences. She graduated with her D.O. in 2013.
Anna Moseley Vanatta
Springfield Ballet alumna, graduated from Springfield, MO's Central High School IB program in 2008, after which she started her next studies that Fall at Washington University in St Louis. Anna spent the 1st semester her Junior year in Dublin, Ireland studying Biology at Trinity College. She graduated from "Wash U" in May, 2012, majoring in Biology and minoring in Ancient Studies, with a pre-med track. Anna spent 2 summers working in Medical Research labs at Stanford University. She took a "gap year" after college and worked with diabetes in mice at a research lab at Washington University School of Medicine while applying to Medical School. Upon being accepted, Anna started Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis in the Fall of 2013 and will graduate this Spring, May 2017, one week after getting married and becoming Anna Moseley Vanatta. Anna and Lorne will then move to Pittsburgh, PA where she will work and train in the Emergency Department at Allegheny General Hospital for the next three years. During Medical School, Anna loved participating in the Washington University School of Medicine's annual musical where she used her 12 years of Springfield Ballet dance experience to choreograph and perform in such shows as Beauty and the Beast (April 2017), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Young Frankenstein.
Ashlan is an alumna of Springfield Ballet and was an apprentice with Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina until she graduated high school. She studied on a full merit scholarship plus stipend and danced many roles past seasons including Flowers and Snow in The Nutcracker and a Hunter in Peter and the Wolf. She traveled on tour to Charleston, SC, performing with the company in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. She also performed a variation from Balanchine's Who Cares?, staged by Patricia McBride, and attended Boston Ballet's summer intensive.
Berea Flatness earned her degree in Art and Design Education with a Dance minor from Missouri State University. She was a student at Springfield Ballet for 18 years and has appeared in various productions throughout the
years. Berea has also choreographed Springfield Ballet’s
Mother Goose in 2012 and was the rehearsal assistant for
Alice in Wonderland. She has performed in several productions at Landers Theatre and Logan-Rogersville High
South Pacific, Carousel, Annie, Peter Pan, Bye Bye Birdie, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Beauty and the Beast, and
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She was given the opportunity to choreograph
Fiddler on the Roof and co-choreograph
Beauty and the Beast, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and
Wizard of Oz at Logan-Rogersville High School. Berea is currently the art teacher at Logan-Rogersville Middle
School where she also teaches drama. Additionally, she in charge of the Middle School play, the Speech and Debate
team and choreography for Logan-Rogersville High School’s musical.
Brandi Houck is a native of Springfield, Missouri. She started dancing at age four and began studying at Springfield
Ballet in 1989. She stayed there until graduation in 1996. She danced several roles with Springfield Ballet as
a student such as: Clara, Snow Queen, Arabian, Snow, Flowers, Mirliton, Russian, Spanish, and a soldier in their
Nutcracker. Today, her two children dance for Springfield Ballet, where she is also on faculty.
"I danced with Springfield Ballet from 1993 to 2001. The production of
The Nutcracker was always an exciting and special time of the year. I have so many great memories of being
part of this great holiday tradition. Instead of curling my hair and putting on pointe shoes, I’m looking forward
to watching the performance in the audience!” Today, Caitlin works in the pharmaceuticals industry in Kansas City, MO and when visiting family in Springfield during the holidays, enjoys ushering for Springfield Ballet productions.
"Springfield Ballet has been a big part of my entire adult life, and I am privileged to have experienced it on five
different levels. I was a student from 2000–2006, a performer in five separate
Nutcrackers, an instructor and office assistant for 2 years, and was a member of the Board of Directors.
My favorite memory was from performing in
The Nutcracker. Ever since my first attendance at a
Nutcracker ballet I dreamed of performing in the Arabian dance, and in 2005 that became a reality.”
Claire was a young alumna at 16 years old and attended Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet year-round program through her high school years. During the 2017-2018 season, she performed as Snow, Flowers, Reed Flutes and Candy Cane in Balanchine's The Nutcracker, in the wedding march and as pea blossom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as a cook in Hansel and Gretel.
Dagne Aiken is a 2009 graduate of Glendale High School and a Springfield Ballet alumna. Dagne spent a decade with
Springfield Ballet and was a Ballet major at the University of Utah.
Alumna of Springfield Ballet: Upon graduation from the Central High School IB program in 2008, Emily attended Washington University in St Louis, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology, with a pre-med track. Emily studied at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia during the Spring semester of her Junior year. After graduating in 2012 she took a "gap year" -- working in a Medical Research Lab in the Neurology Department at Washington University School of Medicine and applying to Med School. Upon being accepted to Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, she started in the Fall of 2013 and will graduate this Spring, May 2017. Emily was accepted to the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA where she worked and trained in the Emergency Department. During Medical School, Emily enjoyed participating in the Washington University School of Medicine's annual "Med-School Musical" where she used her 12 years of Springfield Ballet dance experience to choreograph and perform in such shows as Beauty and the Beast (April 2017), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Young Frankenstein. Emily adopted a lab-mix puppy from St. Louis Stray Rescue, "Oreo", who will accompany her on her next adventure!
"My first introduction to dance was
The Nutcracker at Springfield Ballet. Ever since, I’ve been driven to become a ballerina. I now live in
Miami Beach, Florida with my husband, Juvenal Correa-Salas, a pianist for Miami City Ballet, where I teach and
take classes with the company. I dance for Cuban Classical Ballet, Ballet Etoile and Momentum. With my husband,
we are the founders of ‘Romance Project,’ an international educational project with live music and dance.”
Springfield Ballet welcomed Emily Ricca back as a professional guest artist in 2012 and 2013 as the Sugar Plum Fairy
The Nutcracker. Emily was also the inaugural recipient of Springfield Ballet's special alumni award recognizing
her accomplishments and dedication to Springfield Ballet.
"Following my senior year of high school, during which I performed as Cinderella in Springfield Ballet’s production,
I went on to attend the University of Missouri. There, I majored in communications and had the opportunity to
be a part of the Golden Girls dance team for 3 wonderful years. Following college graduation in 2010, I moved
to Los Angeles where I planned to pursue a career in acting. As I found quickly, acting in LA is a tough, tough
business. However I had some amazing opportunities and made many connections. I met a producer from ESPN who
had me help out with the 2011 ESPY Awards which sparked my interest in Sports Broadcast. I recently took a position
with FOX Sports Midwest and relocated to St. Louis a month ago. My new job includes updating social media on
a daily basis, attending games, interacting with our fans, as well as doing commercials for FS Midwest. I am
so grateful for all the experiences I have been given, and cant wait to see what the future holds. If I could
give advice to the young, talented girls at Springfield Ballet its that they should pursue every dream they have
because you never know where it can lead! I have fondest memories from my days at Springfield Ballet and I’m
hoping to find some dance classes to get back into soon!”
Lorianne Dunn danced with Springfield Ballet in the late 1980s–early 1990s. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance
from MSU, has trained with New York City Ballet School and her choreography has won national recognition including
a Dance Magazine Award Nomination for Choreographer of the Year. Lorianne was also named a "20 Under 30” in 2006
417 Magazine. She currently over sees Springfield Little Theatre’s many educational offerings and pre-professional
training troupes. Her Landers stage credits include direction and choreography for
SHREK the Musical, Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., CATS, Seussical, Annie, Once On This Island, Oklahoma!, and
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She’s choreographed productions of
Legally Blonde, The Full Monty, Cinderella, Godspell, Beauty and The Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the
Roof, Peter Pan, and
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, to name a few!
Maria is an alumna of Springfield Ballet and
graduated magna cum laude with her BFA in Dance
Performance and Choreography from UMKC. Maria had the opportunity to perform works by several
faculty members as well as travel to Guatemala to perform
in the 76th Annual International Choreographers Showcase.
Maria returned to Springfield Ballet's stage as Sugar
Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker in 2017. Additionally, Maria presented
her own choreography and solo at her senior capstone
concert. She was also the guest modern dance instructor for Springfield
Ballet’s Senior Summer Intensive 2018! We congratulate
Maria on her continued success in dance and are excited
to hear what her future may bring as she awaits company
Martha Scott Burton
Martha was a student at Columbia University in the City of New York and double majored in
dance and urban studies (Dean’s List, Fall 2011). She was also the Special Events Intern for Dance/NYC, a nonprofit
organization that promotes research, advocacy and audience building in the NYC dance community. Her extracurricular
activities included dancing, a leadership program, attempting to cook, exploring new restaurants and attending
dance performances throughout the city.
"When I begin to think about how Springfield Ballet has affected my life I am overwhelmed by the idea of putting
it into words. I began to take classes at Springfield Ballet when I was two years old and stayed with the organization
until I graduated from high school, sixteen years later. In the years after leaving Springfield Ballet I was
accepted into the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and am currently
finishing my senior year. Because of the excellent training that I received at Springfield Ballet I have excelled
in this program and been able to perform with Kansas City Ballet. I am currently auditioning for professional
companies around the country.”
Richard F. Nebel, II (Ricky)
Ricky is an alumnus of Springfield Ballet and an original native of Bolivar, Missouri. After leaving Springfield Ballet and Missouri State University, Richard completed his training with the late John Magnus, dancing with the Portland Festival Ballet. With Mr. Magnus, he had the opportunity to work on both classical roles as well as original contemporary works. During his time in New York City, he has been able to bridge the world between both ballet and musical theatre in the last few years. These days, in addition to keeping up with ballet, he is focusing primarily on where his theatre career can take him. His regional credits include: On the Town, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, Funny Face, 42nd Street and My Fair Lady. In Eugene, Oregon, he had the opportunity to dance with Ballet Fantastique, originating multiple roles in the new ballets The Dragon and the Night Queen and Scarlet Flower, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In 2016, he returned to Springfield Ballet to perform as Cavalier in The Nutcracker. Richard has just returned from a European adventure, where he danced and began work as an aerialist, specializing in Spanish Web, lyra and partner skills. He is so thankful for the amazing training he received at Springfield Ballet, and is thrilled to have a home studio to return to.
Rosie is from Anchorage, Alaska and studied with Springfield Ballet for several summers while she trained at Alaska Dance
Theatre during the year. Rosie graduated with honors from the Anchorage School District's Family Partnership Charter school in 2016.
Rosie continued her dance training as a trainee for Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio and performed with the professional
company in The Nutcracker (including corps roles in Snow and Flowers), Peter Pan as a Lost Boy, as well as in trainee showcases and other community events. Additionally,
she got the opportunity to tour to Detroit with the company. Rosie also attended Kansas City Ballet's summer intensive.
"I am currently a practicing psychologist in the St. Joseph, MO area, but still have found time to teach dance at
my old studio, Dance Arts Center. Dance has and always will be my life.” Susan (Campbell) Shuman was a dancer
and instructor at Springfield Ballet.
"I began dancing at Springfield Ballet when I was 10 years old. I continued to dance and perform throughout high
school. During college, I was an instructor and choreographer with Springfield Ballet. I have wonderful memories
of ‘growing up’ at Springfield Ballet that I will always cherish. Today, I am a wife and a mother of two, Garrin
and Jada. I currently teach Kindergarten at Willard Orchard Hills Elementary. If there were more hours in the
day I would still love to be involved at Springfield Ballet!”