City Ballet of Cleveland-Alumni Updates

City Ballet of Cleveland is so proud of the success of its alumni. Some former dancers have pursued professional performing careers, while others have explored careers in medicine, public health, education, and film. The company recently asked alumni why they chose City Ballet of Cleveland and Cleveland City Dance. Here is what a few of the dancers had to say, and what many of the former dancers are doing today:

Alumni Marina Falcone recently described City Ballet of Cleveland and Cleveland City Dance as her second home: “In a literal sense because I spent so much of my time there. But also because it was a place where I always wanted to be. The girls I danced with were my closest friends, and Courtney was like my second mom. No matter what was going on at home or at school, dance was always there for me. I loved being in the company, but I also loved being able to take so many other different styles of dance too. Even though I am no longer a dancer, CBC taught me things that I have carried with me all my life. I learned about having body awareness which has been important as I’ve grown older. The most beneficial lesson has probably been discipline and knowing the value of hard work. I had to work hard if I wanted to improve and do well in the company. Plus, I need to know how to work hard at school so that I could spend so much time at dance. The lessons I’ve learned have helped me through undergraduate and graduate school, along with growing in my career. I will always cherish my time [with the company], and I will always be a dancer at heart.”

Sage Smith is currently majoring in Public Health at The Ohio State University, and will be working towards her masters in Epidemiology next year. She chose City Ballet of Cleveland due to the training offered by the school and company: “I made great friends and received exceptional coaching that allowed me to pursue opportunities all over the country”.

Lydia Havener “fell in love with dance early on and the love & support from all my teachers fed (and continue to feed) that passion! Courtney and all the staff created a safe and positive atmosphere in the company where I could learn, grow & be challenged in excellent technique and artistry but also as a person and in life. I never felt like I had to be anyone but myself. My fellow company members were more than the cherry on top! We supported each other, had endless laughs, helped each other during the hard days and cheered one another on! I couldn’t ask for better ladies to dance with! I’m so incredibly grateful for the training and lifelong relationships I’ve gained from City Ballet of Cleveland. I feel immensely blessed to call CBC home and I will always treasure my time spent there and the amazing opportunities and experiences inside the company.” Lydia is currently continuing her career in the entertainment industry as a dancer, actor, and model. She also teaches and choreographers for local studios in the Cleveland area. Lydia returned as a guest artist in the 2022 Uniquely Cleveland Nutcracker.

Maia Atzemis: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Trainee

Adrienne Chan: Harvard University, Class 2025 & Harvard Ballet Company

Barbara Craig: Freelance Dancer and Teacher

Abi Besse: Guest Teaching

Brier Bracken: Ballet Met Trainee

Grace Bourdrez: The Ohio State University, Class 2026

Holly Burke: Point Park University 2023; Keystone Contemporary Ballet Apprentice

Henry Harte: Butler University, Class 2026

Lydia Havenar: Guest Artist in Ohio

Olivia Mian: Ballet Met Trainee

Grace Pindel: Washington University St. Louis, Class 2026

Luca Sakiewicz: The Ohio State University, Class 2026

Sage Smith: The Ohio State University, Class 2024

Katerina Steiber: Brynn Mawr College, Class 2026

Diana Yohe Parr:  Soloist with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Spencer Waldeck: Dancer with Ballet Tucson

Shane Williams: Apprentice with New York City Ballet

Claire Zakrajsek: Senior at University Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music