St. Croix Ballet announced today that Susan Hovey has taken over the helm as director of the Stillwater-based dance studio.
Karla Sweeney founded St. Croix Ballet in 1991. She retired last year due to an ongoing 14-year battle with late-stage breast cancer.
Hovey began teaching at the studio in 2004 and has directed St. Croix Ballet's spring productions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Coppeliaas as well as directed its three-week summer intensive.
From 1993-2003, Hovey co-directed a ballet school in Kiel, Germany. Hovey has a BFA in dance from Creighton University and has danced professionally with Jo Savino, David and Anna-Marie Holmes, Nevada Dance Theater, and Wuerzerburger Staatstheater in productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, and Nutcracker.
In addition, the studio announced that Gloria Wahlroos, who has a BFA from the University of Minnesota dance program, will lead St. Croix Ballet’s 3-6 year old Children’s Program.
She will join two other current teachers – also SCB alums -- Laura Daugherty and Abbie Defiel, to round out the staffing at the studio.
“There is something very special about alumni of St. Croix Ballet returning to their home studio to continue the studio’s great dance tradition,” Hovey said.
St. Croix Ballet’s year-round program includes two full-length ballets—The Nutcracker (now in its 23rd year) and a spring show (past shows have included Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia); a three-week summer intensive that includes modern, character, jazz, ballet, and Pilates; and a Summer Gala performance in Stillwater's Pioneer Park.
The 2013-2014 school year will also include adding Master Classes with guest teachers, a Pilates program and Flemenco dance. The school also has a weekly Pas de Deux for Level V and up.
“Without a doubt, St. Croix Ballet, which is grounded in the Russian ballet training known as the Vaganova Method, is one of finest ballet and dance training programs in the Twin Cities,” Hovey said; noting that just this summer alone, 11 of St. Croix Ballet's students applied for and were accepted into some of nation's top dance programs including Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Austin, Bossov Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy and numerous others.
“Our students are often invited by the schools to stay year round,” Hovey said. “In short, St. Croix Ballet training can take a dancer as far as they wish to go in the dance world.
“While some of our alumni have gone on to careers in dance and the arts, most of course do not,” Hovey continued. “But all who have been part of the St. Croix Ballet family throughout their elementary and high-school years 'as their sport', have taken the discipline, training and the love of dance and the arts and helped them forge successful life trajectories and careers in many fields. Of this we are most proud."