A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Matt Huefner began dancing at the age of 16 through his experiences at the Erie Playhouse. His interest in dance peaked during his time at Baldwin Wallace University, and he soon transferred to the Mercyhurst University dance department, where he is currently working to complete his B.F.A. in Dance. Matthew has performed with the Mercyhurst Dancers, SoMar Dance Works, and Lake Erie Ballet, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Ballet Eddy Toussaint du Montreal in their original production of Dracula. In his free time, Matthew enjoys knitting, or playing cards with his family.
Kathryn began her early training at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio, under the direction of Melanie Szucs. She continued her training at Ohio Dance Theatre (Oberlin, OH) with Janet Strukely-Dziak and at summer intensives with Cincinnati Ballet. As a student at Mercyhurst University’s Dance Department, she had the opportunity to work with artists such as Tauna Hunter, Lesley Bories-Scalise, Melissa Bobick, Amanda Edge, and Rick McCullough. Kathryn spent her summers training with Bruce Marks, Peter Stark, Deidre Carberry, Melissa Bowman, and Raymond Lukens at the Next Generation Ballet, ABT Austin, and ABT Collegiate intensive programs. She has performed in ballets such as The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Pas de Quatre, Valse Fantaisie, La Fille Mal Gardée, Paquita, and The Nutcracker, as well as modern works like Jose Limon’s Waldstein Sonata during her college career. Kathryn was also chosen to perform in an ensemble at the NYC Finals for the YAGP competition in 2012 and in the NYCDA Destiny Rising Gala at the Joyce Theater in 2014 with Mercyhurst Ballet Theatre. In addition, she was one of two dancers from the Mercyhurst Dance Department offered an apprentice contract with the Liaoning Ballet of China. Kathryn began her professional career as a founding member of the new Cleveland Ballet, where she worked with artists such as Gladisa Guadalupe, Cynthia Graham, and Ramon Ollér in his new production of Coppélia. She is now a company member at Lake Erie Ballet, under the direction of Lesley Bories-Scalise, where she will perform in The Nutcracker as the Snow Queen in mid-December.
Josh has been performing, teaching, directing and choreographing for over fifteen years. His passion for the performing arts is seen through the care he takes for his students and performers both on and off stage. His award-winning choreography has been seen from churches and high schools to professional stages. He is also the artistic director for Academy for Dramatic Arts in Berea, Ohio and one of the founding producers of Schultz & Schultz Productions. Josh holds a B.A. in Dance from Eastern University where he specialized with theatre as well. He loves taking the time to perfect his own craft by being on stage, taking classes, and dancing around his living room with his two boys, Gabe and Eli, his daughter Selah, and his lovely wife, Melissa.
Lily is a student at Olmsted Falls High School, and is earning dual enrollment credits through Lorain County Community College. She began dancing at age four, and received the bulk of her dance training at Olmsted Performing Arts, under the instruction of North Pointe Ballet Artistic Director Janet Strukley-Dziak, as well as Lauren Stenroos, Elizabeth Radachi, Kathryn Tokar, and Jason Wang. She has attended summer dance programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Ballet West’s Art Emotion summer intensive. In January 2018, Lily had the opportunity to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to dance, Lily has a passion for musical theatre, and has performed in many community theatre productions around Northeast Ohio. Lily appreciates the values that North Pointe Ballet holds, and is proud to be part of a company with the mission of making classical ballet accessible to the community.
Malena is a high school student who has been dancing for about 13 years. She received the bulk of her training at Olmsted Performing Arts and has performed in several ballets and showcases. Her favorite role so far has been a swan in Swan Lake (2015). She is grateful to be a part of North Pointe Ballet and appreciative of her family for supporting her.
Celia is a person who values humans, art, and real connection. She loves that dance is a place you can tap into all of those things at once, and is happy to be sharing those things at NPB.
Celia got her start dancing under the instruction of Donna Ranked, She went on to continue her training at The School of Ohio Dance Theatre under the Instruction of Denise Gula, Nancy Brunstahl, Janet Dziak, and Kyle Primous, where she performed alongside the professional company through adolescence. Celia Is a choreographer and teacher through out the North Eastern Ohio area, working in teaching and directional roles with organizations including, Harbor Town Fine Arts Center, Midview High School Drama Department, Dance Arts By Regina,and Olmsted Performing Arts.
She has been spotted dancing around town in productions with ODT, The Cleveland Dance Project, and Neos Dance Theatre.
Celia is also a freelance photographer who’s work can be spotted in some of NPB’s marketing material!
Celia has been dancing with NPB since their inaugural season in 2016. She’s been playing, working, and having fun! Her
favorite roles include, The Nutcracker Maid, Peter Pan’s Sea Queen, The Clumsy Stepsister In Cinderella, and Eurydice [redacted].
She wants to genuinly thank you all for supporting dance and art!
Laura started dancing at the age of 6 and immediately fell in love with dancing and performing. She has trained in ballet, tap, and jazz for over 10 years and contemporary for 5 years. Some of her instructors include Mary Jo Rimke (director and owner of Emjaez studio), Catherine Meredith, Sonja Kraljevic (former dancer and teacher for Margaret Duncan), Janet Dziak (Director North Pointe Ballet), Lisa Chrysanthus (Owner and director of Dance FX), Gretchen Carter, Richard Dickinson (Associate director Verb Ballets), Pam Pibisco, and Michelle Deidrick. Laura’s classical ballet training started at the age of 12 and her pointe training began at age 14. Laura was a competitive jazz and contemporary dancer for four years, competing with group dances as well as solos. She also performed the Gamzatti Variation from La Bayadere at the YAGP (Youth American Grand Prix) competition at the age of 19. She has performed in several full length productions of the Nutcracker and recently performed the role of the ugly Step Sister for North Pointe Ballet’s Production of Cinderella. At age 17, Laura auditioned and was accepted into the Cleveland Ballet (director Gladisa Guadalupe) summer dance intensive program. She also auditioned and was accepted with a scholarship into the level 5 ballet at the University of Akron’s dance program. Laura is excited to continue pursuing her dancing dream with North Pointe Ballet.
Elizabeth is a founding member of North Pointe Ballet and also serves as the Development Director for the company. Between these positions, she is excited to be able to help NPB expand its presence in the community as it works diligently to fulfill its mission to make ballet experiences available to everyone. Her favorite projects include NPB’s A Chance to Dance program and the sensory-friendly performances, both of which allow her to utilize skill acquired from her professional work as an educator and behavior analyst.
Perhaps the most thrilling part of her dance career is the opportunity to share the stage with her family. Elizabeth has had the privilege of performing alongside both her son, Alexander, who is also in this production and her husband, Patrick, who is a member of the NPB band.
“Learning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self the person you are.”