Janet Dziak gets to do what she loves every day as a professional ballet dancer. She’s the founder and artistic director of North Pointe Ballet in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s in charge of choreographing and producing full-length ballets for her company of professional dancers. She also teaches ballet students.
Janet founded North Pointe Ballet in 2016 to make classical ballet accessible to her community. During the day, Janet works with her professional dancers, practicing and putting together ballet performances. She produces the shows, so she works with her staff to produce the sets and costumes. She choreographs the entire performance and puts together the full-length ballet. Then on Saturdays, she has classes with students where she integrates them into their ballet performances.
Education & Background
Janet has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Her dream was to be a professional ballet dancer so she went to college and got a degree in dance with a concentration in performance. She started performing full-time in St. Louis after college. But because she didn’t make much money performing, she decided to start teaching dance on the side to make extra income. That’s when she fell in love with teaching. So Janet went back to school and took more education courses so she could expand her teaching skills.
By Rich Stimac
Originally Published on Land of Cleve
Perhaps no other fairy tale is more magical than Cinderella, the story of a mistreated girl who becomes a princess with the help of a fairy godmother. North Pointe Ballet is currently presenting this classic tale, set to Sergei Prokofiev’s 1948 score, and the dance-formation is breathtaking to say the least.
Choreographer Janet Strukely-Dziak has staged the show with both enchanting grace and entrancing pace. Each scene is beautifully imagined, populated with diligent and delightful performers of all ages, and given a mystical wave of the wand to make everything sparkle and shine.
Strukely-Dziak has teamed up with scriptwriter Jeffrey E. Braun, who has retold the fairy tale by Charles Perrault in an insightful and inventive adaptation. Braun also appears onstage as the narrator, a humble shoe cobbler who humorously finds himself part of the play when the prince comes looking for the owner of a special glass slipper.
The featured dancers include Regina Pietraroia as Cinderella (understudy Marlee Roberts), who literally floats across the stage once she is freed from her life of servitude; Elizabeth Radachi as the Fairy Godmother (understudy Laura Polgar), a vision in white who commands the stage with her elegant beauty; Jason Wang as the Prince, strong and steadfast as he searches for his true love; Jessica Cameron and Scott Darlington as the regal Royal Couple; Maxwell Miller as an entertaining Jester; Cole Rector and Henry Foraker as two distinguished gentlemen of the court; and Melaina Kampf, Laura Polgar, and Celia Romanoski, who hilariously join forces as the ever-interfering Step Mother and Step Sisters.
The rest of the talented ensemble includes Lily Kozub, Malena Grigoli, Kirby Copper, Lila Moravcik, Lily Anslokken, Bella Radke, Megan Nikolic, Kailee Kretzinger, Jessica Smith, Julia Schaefer, Tori Thomas, Arianna Thielman, Jessica Davis, Ian Smith, Kaitlyn Culp, Bernadette Benda, Hannah Overy, Kathryn Tokar, Claire Oliver, Vivian Novak, Isabelle Cameron, Carina Fulop, Bailey Sharp, Margo Lence, Calista Maclellan, Meara Mahoney, Jamie Spallino, Amanda Finney, Sydney Thomas, Jenna Thomas, Anna Moravcik, Mackenzie Hein, Caitlin Gardner, Emma Anslokken, Claire Lay, Madelyn Metz, Jocelyn Mateo, Gwen Johnson, Charlee Hodges, Isabella Betts, Mackenzie Miller, Isabella Darlington, Alana Eskins, Sophia Massie, Paityn Doberstein, Elizabeth Rucker, Lillian Miller, Nia Gammalo, Zoey Peters, Noelle De Monte, Lena Kowalski, Vivian Buzzard, Cara Tulk, Libby Jodon, Julia Schaefer, Taylor Baker, Ella Cook, Allyssa Culp, Lengitu Hovanic, Katie Vanderaar, Abigail Estridge, and Ava Kall.
Stunning set design by Bob Foraker, colorful costumes by Amy Lence, luminous lighting by Gary Holsopple and sterling sound by Josh Caraballo complete the picture-perfect portrait of this sweeping, stirring Cinderella.