Chatch Pregger is the founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Vermont. He created the Farm to Ballet Project and originated the role of the Weathervane Rooster. He choreographed the Bees & Friends ballet and originated the roles of the Cardinal and Firefly. Chatch loves making ballets that support Vermont communities and provide opportunities for Vermont dancers. Chatch started his ballet education at the Adams School of Dance in Rutland VT and then moved on to The Nutmeg Conservatory in CT. He joined Boston Ballet II in 1999 and was promoted to Boston Ballet the following year. Since then he has been a member of the Washington Ballet and the Houston Ballet, as well as a guest artist with the Arizona Ballet, Hartford Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theatre. He has performed works by Mark Morris, Ben Stevenson, Kirk Peterson, Nacho Duato, Trey MacIntyre, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Weeldon, Antony Tudor, Michael Pink, Stanton Welch, Septime Webre, and George Balanchine, as well as many ballets from the classical repertoire including Giselle, La Bayadere and Don Quixote. Locally, Chatch took part in Burlington’s Quadricentennial festival playing Samuel de Champlain in From The New World by Heddy Maalem. He also joined the Portland Ballet in 2010 and Safe Haven Ballet in 2019 to dance the role of Cavalier in The Nutcracker. Chatch lives in Jericho with his partner Katie, his two children, and their six chickens.
Stephanie is from Kildeer, IL and trained at Barrington Dance Academy from age 4 through high school. She trained over the summer at programs such as Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet and at Ballet West. Stephanie is currently a rising senior at the University of Oklahoma pursuing degrees in Ballet Performance and Biology, and is in the Honors College. She has performed in I Rise by Amy Hall Garner, Willam Christensen's The Nutcracker, the Young Choreographer's Showcase in 2019 and 2020, Signature by Price Suddarth, and Viva Vivaldi by Gerald Arpino.
Emily Dupont started dancing at the age of five at Adams School of Dance in Rutland, Vermont. After graduating from high school, she went on to train in Connecticut at The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in their Postgraduate Program. During her time there, she trained under Victoria Mazzorelli, Tim Melady, and Eleanor D’antuono. She performed in Nutmeg’s original production of The Nutcracker as Snow Queen and other roles, the ballet Paquita, and an original pas de deux choreographed by Mazzorelli. In past summers, Emily has assisted in instructing a Creative Dance Camp at Pentangle Art Council in Woodstock, Vermont. She is now in her second year of the Trainee Program at American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School in New Jersey. Emily has performed in the company's productions of The Nutcracker and Giselle, and the school's production of Swan Lake. While dancing, she is also earning her Associate of Arts degree through the Community College of Vermont.
Margaret A. Vizzard is originally from Philadelphia, PA but has now lived in Vermont for the past 25+ years. She is a Professor of Neurological Sciences at The Larner College of Medicine at The University of Vermont. A physiologist by training, Margaret is a basic scientist studying the lower urinary tract with an emphasis on urinary bladder dysfunction including bladder overactivity and incontinence. She is also an educator who teaches Neuroscience to graduate students and residents. Ten years ago, she returned to ballet after a very long hiatus wanting to use different parts of her brain. She is grateful to Chatch Pregger for his encouraging and inclusive teaching methods. She is also thankful for the ballet instructors and adult ballet community at Lines Vermont and Spotlight Vermont. She lives in South Burlington, VT with her very supportive husband, Declan McCabe, and their three children, Heather, Ethan and Lauren.
Tina Forés-Hitt was brought up between the USA and Europe. She began her dance training at the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza en Valencia, Spain and after graduating she became a member of the Diverse Space Dance Theatre in Austin, Texas. She started her BA in contemporary dance at ArtEZ Academy of the Arts in Holland and completed her studies at SEAD in Austria. The Spanish-American dancer then became a member of the BODHI PROJECT 2017-18, which toured worldwide performing pieces by a variety of choreographers. Recently a mother herself, she's discovering the beauty of educating children through music, dance and play. As a licensed Zumbini instructor, she hopes to bring joy and fun to many more families in her community. Tina is VERY excited to be performing in the fields as a member of the BalletVermont Company.
Fiona is very excited to be returning for her fourth season of Farm to Ballet and her third season of Bees and Friends! Fiona grew up dancing in Waterbury at Green Mountain Performing Arts where she now teaches a variety of modern, tap, and ballet classes. She finds the most joy in sharing her love of dance with young students and passing her passion on to them. Fiona also loves performing and Ballet Vermont is the perfect opportunity for that! Some of Fiona’s favorite memories are from past seasons of Farm to Ballet and she is excited to make more with the 2021 crew!
Marya has been part of the company since the very beginning! She started dance classes in second grade where she trained for eight years with Ilene Blackman in her hometown of Rutland, VT. She attended UVM and graduated with a BS in Medical Technology. She served in the Peace Corps in Yemen where she was evacuated after ten months due to a civil war. She lived in Oregon for eight years where she conducted Neuroscience research and was heavily involved in competitive Ultimate Frisbee. She then returned to her home state and now works at the University of Vermont as a Laboratory Researcher in clinical trials and global health research. After a twenty-six year hiatus from dance, Marya discovered Chatch’s ballet classes and has been involved in not only performing, but also with many other Farm to Ballet aspects including costume management, donor stewardship, merchandising, and advertising sales. She is proud to support the project because she views agriculture from the point of view of feeding people, “particularly individuals who may not have access to healthy food.” She loves the project because it also combines two of her favorite things—nature and ballet. She says her family, which includes four brothers and two sisters, has been very supportive of her commitment to the project. “My parents have been particularly supportive,” she added.
This is Nicole's first year in Ballet Vermont and she couldn't be more excited to get back on the stage! Nicole is currently a Freshman at Saint Michael's College but despite her busy schedule, has managed to keep up rehearsals from her dorm room. She has been dancing for 13 years, with an early background in Celtic dancing Nicole has now been doing ballet for the past 6 years at Elan's Academy of Classical ballet. She is also still involved in shows with Vermont Youth Dancers and enjoys diving into all different styles of dance. In her free time, Nicole likes to crochet and eat plain pasta.
Holly Raiche is originally from Eastern Pennsylvania and has been living in Northern Vermont for 7 years. Holly is a private music teacher and vocal performer; teaching voice, piano, guitar, ukulele, choir, world percussion, and more. Though she has performed in opera, musical theatre, and classical voice across stages in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont, she is excited to make her debut of dancing in a ballet production. She is grateful to Chatch Pregger and to everyone in this supportive dance community he has built. She especially thanks to her supportive husband and two fun-filled 4 and 6 year old daughters.
Maddie Burke grew up dancing at North Andover School of Dance and spent 9 years training on their competition team. She is currently studying mathematics at the University of Vermont and continues dancing with UVM's student run Orchesis Dance Company. When she is not in classes or dance rehearsals, she enjoys reading, going on walks, and drawing. She is excited for her first season with Ballet Vermont!
Teri Page moved to Vermont, and back to her New England roots, three years ago and has treasured the opportunity to dive into the vibrant adult dance scene. In addition to her experience performing with the Lane Dance Company, Teri has danced in dozens of musical theater performances. Teri holds a Masters degree in Performing Arts Administration and has worked in dance, theater, and symphony organizations. Teri writes about homesteading and gardening on her blog, Homestead Honey, and is the author of the book Family Homesteading. She and her family live in Calais, VT in a cozy off the grid yurt.
Kaitlyn Hayes began her dance training on Cape Cod, MA with Virginia Zango. In 2003, she attended Boston Ballet, where she performed in their annual production of The Nutcracker. After attending three years of high school at North Carolina School of the Arts (now the University of North Carolina School of the Arts), she proceeded to attend and graduate Magna Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase College with a BFA in dance and a concentration in choreography. Ms. Hayes had the pleasure of working with many choreographers while attending both schools, including Camille A. Brown, Brenda Daniels, and Bradley Shelver, as well as performing works by Merce Cunningham. Upon graduation, she performed all over Massachusetts with many choreographers, including Tony Williams, Thomas Vacanti, and Maryanne Kodzis. She joined Portland Ballet in 2013 and has performed many roles, including Arabian Coffee in The Victorian Nutcracker, the Narrator in Tell Tale Heart in Nell Shipman’s Three Tales by Poe, the title role of Alice in Roberto Forleo's Alice with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the peasant pas de deux and the demi soloist Zulma in Giselle. Ms. Hayes performed the role of the Farmer in Farm to Ballet in 2019 and is excited to revisit the role this year.
After many years of ballet training at local Vermont studios, Anna went on to study Dance at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Here, she was immersed in a wide variety of movement styles, from ballet, modern, and liturgical to improvisation, site-specific choreography, and historical dance from the early medieval period forward. She has showcased her choreography at multiple dance concerts at Hope, and served on leadership for the school’s Sacred Dance ministry team. On returning to Vermont in 2016, Anna joined Ballet Vermont, and now performs as a soloist with the company. She has worked closely with Vermont dance artists Chatch Pregger, Christine Harris, Elizabeth Kurylo, Avi Waring, and Hannah Dennison, and participates in performances hosted by Moving Light Dance and the Vermont Dance Alliance. Anna teaches ballet at Mad River Dance Academy, and has taught for Green Mountain Performing Arts and Moving Light Dance.
Lydia Roe is a Vermont dancer and choreographer with a B.A. in Dance from Swarthmore College. She got an initial education in ballet from the Upper Valley’s Jackie Stanton-Conley and Ruth Mayer, and has since trained with a variety of teachers in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Havana, Cuba. At Swarthmore, Lydia was featured in various works, notably dancing the title role in excerpts of Giselle and alongside Doug Varone and Dancers in Varone’s work in the shelter of the fold. She is thrilled to be joining Ballet Vermont for their 2021 season.
Since 2012, Maya has taught and choreographed on the stage, in the studio and on the steps of Castleton’s Woodruff Hall. Her choreography has been featured in musicals and Castleton University dramas including, Spring Awakening, Catch Me If You Can and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Maya teaches a wide variety of courses at Castleton University as an Adjunct Professor, including Introduction to Dance, Hip Hop, and Dance for Musical Theatre. Through her position as Director of Castleton Collaborative Arts, she offers a place to explore the creative process with any artist willing to walk a bit (or a lot) on the wild side. In 2020, Castleton University named Maya the first Student of Color Advocate. This position allows the student community guidance and a place to struggle with uncomfortable conversations about race while exploring ways to shovel a path towards a more heard and inclusive village of many. After graduating from Fordham University/Alvin Ailey Dance and Theater School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Maya danced professionally with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, FreeSpaceDance, Earl Mosely, Nathan Trice, Vital Spark North and Arts Access of Matheny Medical and Education Center. Maya is doggedly pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance Creation. She looks forward to graduating from Goddard College in January 2022.
Sadie MacKinnon (she/her) is a current senior studying International Business at Champlain College, where she is also the co-captain of the Dance Team. This is her first season with Ballet Vermont. She has been dancing her whole life, with the majority of her training at Tony Williams Dance Center in Boston, her hometown. She participated in the American Academy of Ballet summer intensives for many of her teenage years and performed for 10 years in the Urban Nutcracker in Boston. Since moving to Burlington for school in 2017, she has been an active member of the dance community taking classes at Spotlight and the Flynn as well as performing with the Champlain College Dance Team at various venues around the campus and city. In her free time, Sadie knits and crochets avidly and loves learning new languages.
Katie has been interested in dance and performance since a very young age. She studied Jazz at David DeMarie in Buffalo, NY throughout her childhood and performed in a variety of local theater and musical productions. As an adult, she returned to dance and found an incredible adult dance community that she didn’t even know existed right here in Vermont! She fell in love with ballet, studying intensely multiple times a week, which soon led to the development of the Farm to Ballet Project, which she co-created with Chatch Pregger and a group of committed adult ballet dancers. In 2018, Katie and Chatch incorporated Ballet Vermont, a ballet company with a social mission. Ballet Vermont produces multiple ballet productions a year, hires amateur and professional dancers and musicians and runs several kids camps- and Katie coordinates and manages the whole thing: soup to nuts! Besides dance, Katie has almost 20 years of experience as an educator and administrator- most recently as Director of Centerpoint School, where she concluded a 17 year commitment to educating students with emotional and behavioral challenges. She has taught students from ages 3 all the way up to college age students across a variety of skill levels and content areas. Other interests include: spending time with her family and friends, being outside, listening to music (and singing it loudly), watching hysterical cat videos and eating tacos.
Tai Nixa Peterson (she/her) joined Ballet Vermont in 2019. She started dancing at age 3 and has experience in modern, tap, jazz, and ballet. She has participated in summer intensives with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co, the Salzburg International Ballet Academy, and has performed in professional theatre and dance productions throughout her home state of New Hampshire, Vermont and Buffalo, NY. Currently, she is an ensemble member of Hannah Dennison's The Quarry Project. After taking a long hiatus from ballet, she is grateful to have found and be welcomed into the Ballet Vermont community. “This is exactly what my mind, body, and soul needed to get life back at center. I am the most happy and balanced when I am dancing and surrounded by nature, so this is really the most perfect place to be,” she says. Tai studied at Kimball Union Academy and St. Lawrence University, has a degree in Anthropology and African Studies, and has travelled throughout East Africa and Nepal. For the past decade, Tai has worked as a fundraising professional in the nonprofit sector. Starting in 2021, she now works at Ballet Vermont as the Project Coordinator focusing on many initiatives to support the company (YAY!!). Besides dance, Tai lives in Central Vermont, is on the Board of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, and enjoys sewing and crafting, winter and summer outdoor activities, and visiting museums
Katie Cunningham began dancing classical ballet as an adult, starting the Fall of 2014, having never danced before. She quickly fell in love with the art, and with an athletic background, found tranquility in the physical demands of ballet. She performed with the first three inaugural years of Farm to Ballet, and has returned this year to reconnect with the dance community and to continue developing her ballet technique. Currently, she resides in Colchester, VT, working as the Academic Director for a local Independent, Therapeutic School. As much as she loves the outdoors, she can be found just as happy snuggled up with her dog and cat, reading a good book.
Mary-Katherine Abdel-Ghany Stone of Burlington is an Alabama native who moved to Vermont by way of D.C. 5 years ago. She spends her days working as an occupational therapist at the University of Vermont Medical Center but in her spare time volunteers to advocate for the arts by serving as a board member of local non-profits including Inclusive Arts Vermont and the Pride Center of Vermont, doing committee work with Burlington City Arts and Shelburne Museum and serving as an elected official for the city of Burlington. She also enjoys working in the medium of stained glass through her work at Shelburne Craft School and dancing with a local cabaret dance troupe with regular performances at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. While her dance experience has been more vested in hip hop, musical theatre, ballroom and jazz- she has been thrilled to perform ballet this season with Ballet Vermont and perform in this year’s production of Farm to Ballet.
Megan Gendell is a professional circus artist with a hopeless love for classical ballet. Born in Williamsburg, VA, Megan began her ballet training with Heidi Robitshek at Chamber Ballet and Sandra Balestracci at the Eastern Virginia School of the Performing Arts, then attended three years of high school at Virginia School of the Arts, with summer intensives at Hartford Ballet and BalletMet. She’s continued to dance everywhere she can. Megan has performed circus professionally since 2007, working primary in handbalancing and trapeze. She’s shared her work at the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, the Golden Karl international circus festival in Latvia, and the Daidogei World Cup in Japan, and with ensembles including LAVA, Alter Circus, Big Teeth, and Acrobatic Conundrum. She is a 2012 graduate of the New England Center for Circus Arts’ ProTrack program and currently teaches circus there in Brattleboro, VT. Next, she'll be touring the country with WEBS: A Circus about Healing from Sexualized Violence. Megan is very excited to be returning for a second summer with Farm to Ballet. Find her on IG @megan.gendell or at megangendell.com.
Celia DeVoe is a Somatic Educator, Mental Health Counselor and Performer working in the Burlington area of Vermont. Originally from Long Island, NY, Celia grew up dancing at the American Theater Dance Workshop and Eglevsky Ballet, where she was introduced to a wide array of dance styles, including ballet, theater dance, tap, musical theater and modern. Celia graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Dance and explored a career as a freelance dancer, dance educator and Gyrokinesis®/Gyrotonic® Instructor. This mixture of creative expression and healing through movement eventually led Celia to Boulder, Colorado where she studied and graduated with a MA in Somatic Counseling Psychology from Naropa University. As Dance/Movement Therapist, Celia worked primarily with children and adolescents in Pediatric Mental Health at the Children's Hospital Colorado before moving to Vermont in 2018. Celia is currently an ensemble member of The Quarry Project, a site specific dance piece created by Hannah Dennison, that is scheduled for a summer 2022 performance season. Celia DeVoe had the pleasure of dancing with Ballet Vermont's "Farm to Ballet" and "Bee's and Friends" when she first arrived in Vermont and is thrilled to have the opportunity to safely perform in "Bee's and Friends" as a soloist once more.
Maria is thrilled to be appearing in both Bees & Friends and Farm to Ballet for her fifth season with Ballet Vermont. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, she moved to the United States when she was 6 years old, living in the suburbs of New York City. She studied ballet at Poughkeepsie Ballet Theatre in New York with her beloved teacher Tom Adair. She also attended Joffrey Ballet School, North Carolina School of the Arts, and summer programs with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Maria is active in the Vermont community theatre scene, having performed with Lamoille County Players, Stowe Theatre Guild, and Lyric Theatre Company. She lives in Shelburne with her wonderful husband and family, where she works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. This summer, she is especially excited to share the grassy stage with her daughter, Violet. She would like to dedicate this season to her other daughter, Sabine, who is a shining star — just you wait.
This is Violet's first season with Farm to Ballet, but she has enjoyed Ballet Vermont's performances since she was four years old. Her passion is theatre and acting. She has performed locally with Very Merry Theatre and, more recently, in Lyric Theatre's Miracle on Green Tree Drive. She also played Young Nala in LyricKids Camp's Lion King Jr. She takes ballet at Vermont Ballet Theatre and voice lessons with Merrill Cameron. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, playing soccer and softball, quality time with her family, and writing scripts. She will be starting fourth grade at Shelburne Community School this Fall. She wants to give a shout-out to her little sister, Sabine, who is always there to support her.
Marica Porter received her primary training with Liz Dimmel and Tobin James at Dramatic Truth School of Ballet in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She studied on scholarship at the State Ballet School of Missouri (now the School of Kansas City Ballet), Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Stephens College Summer Dance Program. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance, a BA in Business Administration, and a Minor in Mathematics from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Marica danced with Dramatic Truth Touring Company, Stephens College Repertory Dance Theatre, Collin County Ballet Theatre, Western Oklahoma Ballet Theatre, Western Arkansas Ballet, and the Northwest Arkansas Arts Foundation. She performed lead and featured roles in Peter & The Wolf, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and many original works. Her choreography includes excerpts from The Nutcracker, South Pacific, and original work, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, chosen for performance in the Emerging Concert of Regional Dance America/Southwest Festival 2013. Ms. Porter is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher in Pre-¬Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and has taught dancers in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Illinois. Marica is excited to collaborate her talents with Ballet Vermont, and share her passion for local foods and rural life.
Halle is returning to Ballet Vermont for her fifth season. She grew up in Hinesburg, VT and currently is residing in Hinesburg. She studied Early Childhood Education at the University of Vermont and is putting her degree to use both nannying and working at the front desk of a pediatrician’s office. She started taking ballet lessons when she was 10 at the Vermont Ballet Theater School. She has danced on and off throughout her adult life and was thrilled to find the opportunity to both take class and perform when she discovered the Farm to Ballet Project in 2015 when she attended a performance during its very first season. When not working or dancing she loves to read, take care of her plants, try new blends of essential oils in her diffuser, drink tea and spend time with friends and family.
Ericka Salter-Cross is a returning dancer for Ballet Vermont. As a Vermont native, Ericka made her dance debut in 2006 when she found her passion for movement. She studied ballet, jazz, and lyrical under Sue Booth before furthering her education at what is now Northern Vermont University. While attending, she choreographed as well as held leadership roles in the dance ensemble and created several dance productions of her own. In 2015, Ericka co-founded the VanDenCross Dance Company, where artistic expression is encouraged, no experience needed. When she isn’t touching the lives of our youth at Champlain Islands Parent Child Center, you can find her crocheting, snuggling her cat and dog or spending time with friends and family.
A former Farm to Ballet corps member, Keely is super excited to be returning to the grassy stage with Bees and Friends and Ballet Vermont. Keely is a 2017 UVM grad, minoring in Dance and majoring in Dietetics and Nutrition and Food Science. Farm to Ballet and Bees and Friends combine the best of both worlds for Keely who is also a Child Nutrition Specialist at Hunger Free Vermont. Dancing while supporting local agriculture and food access encompasses all of Keely's personal and professional passions. She can't wait to bring this performance to life this summer, especially amidst the hardships of the past year.
Sofia’s bio is coing soon.