Rhea Sky Keller
A native of Eureka, Illinois, Ms. Keller trained with the Cornerstone Academy for Performing Arts and the Peoria Ballet. She received additional training with summer intensive programs at BalletMet, Houston Ballet and the Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive. Ms. Keller competed at the Boston International Ballet Competition and the Youth America Grand Prix where she placed in the top twelve in the Senior Contemporary Division in Chicago, IL. She has been a guest artist with Cornerstone Academy in the roles of Clara and Sugarplum in The Nutcracker. Ms. Keller performed in Peoria Ballets productions of The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, and Paquita. As a member of the Rochester City Ballet, she danced the Magical Doll, Italian Ice, and Merliton in The Nutcracker, and The Summer Fairy in Cinderella, as well as roles in Jamey Leveretts Bravo! Colorado, New York Cityscapes, Bill Evan's work for Tim, and George Balanchine's Serenade.
A native of Rochester, NY, Mr. Kittelberger joined Rochester City Ballet after recieving his training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education and other local dance institutions. Solo roles with RCB include the Mouse King, Lead Chinese, Italian Ice, the Nutcracker Prince, and the Snow King in The Nutcracker; the Suitor in Don Quixote; and Prince Ivan in Firebird. In addition, Mr. Kittelberger was the male lead in Gershwin in the Park, a soloist in Rober LaFosse's Correspondence, a featured soloist in MECA: Color Sound Music and in Jamey Leverett's Push & Pull, A Common Thread, How to Break a Heart, LumaVoce, and was Fitzko in the world premiere of The Blood Countess. He was a guest performer in Ballet Manchester's "Classical Dance on the Hill" with dancers from American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet. Adam was a featured performer in Hoedown and Bravo! Colorado with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Kittelberger was chosen by guest choreographer Patrick Corbin to be in the world premiere of Shady III, and danced as the Waltz Boy in Balanchine's Serenade. Mr. Kittelberger is regularly a guest performer in Peoria Ballet's The Nutcracker. In September 2011 he toured Japan as a guest performer with Les Ballets Grandiva.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Benjamin Rabe received his core training from The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. Following graduation, Mr. Rabe joined Rochester City Ballet in 2009 where he danced featured roles including Chinese Tea and the Mouse King in The Nutcracker, Escamillio in Edward Ellison's Carmen, Waltz Boy in Balanchine's Serenade, and the featured soloist in Jamey Leverett's Gershwin Preludes and 4Play. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Rabe joined BalletMet Columbus, where he enjoyed dancing such roles as Renfield in David Nixon's Dracula, the White Pas de Deux in James Kudelka's Rite of Spring, and Benvolio in David Nixon's Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Rabe has returned to RCB as a guest artist numerous times to perform at the Jacob's Pillow Inside Out Festival and as the Jester in Cinderella.
Mr. Squires recently appeared in Brigadoon with the Goodman Theater in Chicago, RPM Production's La Journees de Tsiganees, an American Portrait, and La Clemenza di Tito at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Among the dancer's many credits with Les Grandiva Ballets include the leading male roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. He has appeared in numerous works with Fort Worth Dallas Ballet including Four Last Songs and West Side Stories. He has also danced with Paul Sanasardo, EZ Credit Dance Theater, and Lawrence Pech Dance Company. Guest engagements have brought him to Chicago Civic Ballet, Hilton Head Dance Theater, Rochester Dance Company, and Marin Dance Theater. He has choreographed for Mesopotamia Night Chicago, Dance in the Parks Chicago, Bitteroot Dance Academy, Dance Drama Collaborative, 12 Min Max Dance Festival, and the Houston Artist of the year Awards. As a teacher, he has been associated with Joel Hall Dance Center, Minnesota Youth Ballet, a number of schools in the Chicago area, and the Houston Arts in Education program.
Timothy began dancing at the age of three in a small Cecchetti studio in southern Illinois. To continue his training, he became a trainee at The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, Missouri. While there, he trained under Paula Davis and performed in many contemporary works. He also had the opportunity at Big Muddy to learn Harrison McEldowney's orginal work Group Therapy. He was also able to train and guest at El Paso Conservatory of Dance. While at El Paso Conservatory of Dance, Timothy had the chance to study under Marta Katz, and Daymel Sanchez. He has Guested in many Roles including the Snow King, Nutcracker/Nutcracker Prince, and Cavalier in The Nutcracker, the Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, and in the pas de Trios in Swan Lake. Timothy was in Nashville Ballet's Second Company where he danced in a variety of Paul Vasterling's works such as Carnival of the Animals, Jump Frog, Clowns and Others, Peter Pan, and The Nutcracker. With Central Illinois Ballet, Timothy danced as Jonathan Harker in Dracula, Nutcracker Prince and Russian in The Nutcracker, Paris in Romeo and Juliet, and The Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
Growing up in a military home, Brette moved around her whole life. She started dancing at a very young age, but began to study ballet seriously under the direction of Mrs. Geiger after moving to Michigan at the age of 12. Her last two years of high school she moved to Philadelphia to study at The Rock School for Dance Education. Brette was then accepted to the Jacob's School of Music at Indiana Universtiy and got her Bachelor of Science in Ballet. Upon graduation, Brett received an apprenticeship with the Rochester City Ballet and was promoted to dancer in 2013. Throughout her ballet career she has had the privelege of performing in many ballet's including: soloist roles in Balanchine's Serenade, Western Symphony, Raymonda, Who Cares?, Principal roles in Agnes DeMille's Rodeo as the Ranchers daughter, Anthony Tudor's The Lilac Garden as Caroline, as well as Twyla Tharp's Noir. She has performed in Cornerstone Academy's Nutcracker as the Snow Queen and Sugarplum. She is very thankful for all the teachers, coaches, and family who have helped her achieve her goals as a dancer. She has been a Company Artist with Ballet 5:8 since 2014 and serves in a variety of roles at Ballet 5:8 in addition to dancing such as: Trainee Program Ballet Mistress, Ballet 5:8 Répétiteur, and Instructor at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts. Brette also holds a RYT-200 certification in Yoga.
Toby Lewellen is very happy to be retuning for his sixth season with Ballet Arkansas. There he has performed in lead roles in George Balanchine‘s Who Cares?, Harrison McEldowney’s Group Therapy, Johnny Cash in Chris Stuart’s Under the Light’s, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias Pas de Deux, Rerouting by Greg Sample, Memory Haus and Bolero by Kiyon Gaines, Mobile by Tomm Ruud, as well as being The Nutcracker Prince and Snow King in Ballet Arkansas’ The Nutcracker. He has performed with Ballet Arkansas at the St. Louis Spring to Dance Festival and Chop Shop Contemporary Dance Festival in Seattle, WA. Recently he has spent his summers on staff at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia as well as teaching at Ballet Arkansas Summer Intensives. Toby is originally from Peoria, Illinois where he began his serious dance training at the Peoria Ballet under the direction of Erich Yetter and Rebekah Von Rathonyi. He attended summer intensives on scholarship at Milwaukee Ballet, The Rock School, and Miami City Ballet. Toby attended Butler University as a dance major. There he performed in Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, as the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker, as the Lead Mazurka male in Swan Lake, as well as lead roles in various faculty works at Butler University.
Ms. Buchko began her ballet training at the age of five at Peoria Ballet where she was first taught by Rebekah von Rathonyi. With Peoria Ballet, she danced in numerous Nutcrackers, the world premier of Wings, Cinderella, and Giselle. She attended Youth America Grand Prix twice and spent two summers at the American Ballet Theater summer intensives. Ms. Buchko has been an active participant in Peoria theater for years, performing such roles as Jenny in The SHape of Things, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Madam Giry in the Phantom of the Opera, and Tantomile in Cats. After high school, she attended Millikin University as a musical theater major where she was selected to understudy and perform a piece with Thodos Dance Chicago. She was a member of the dance ensemble her sophmore year. Ms. Buchko transferred to Bradley University in January of 2014 where she is currently majoring in theater performance and English. She made her debut with Cornerstone Academy as Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Ms. Buchko gives all glory and thanks to God. She also feels much gratitude toward her family and friends for their love and support and deep appreciation for Ms. Rebekah and her continued inspiration and encouragement.
Ms. Smith is a recent graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Theatre Dance and a focus in pre-physical therapy. While at Illinois Wesleyan, she performed and choreographed in many shows, including Losing It, the semi-annual Faculty Choreographed Dance Concert, Fame!, and the Student Choreographed Dance concert. She has worked on a variety of collaborations with musicians in the School of Music at Wesleyan, working to combine important artistic talents. From Wesleyan, Jessica brings an affinity for exploration of movement and exercise techniques. She has been with Cornerstone Academy and Central Illinois Ballet for a little over 4 years in various roles, including a student, teacher, and company apprentice, and is excited to be joining the ballet for her 5th season. She has performed in several productions of Dracula, The Nutcracker, and Romeo and Juliet with the ballet, as well as a variety of outreach performances in the Peoria community.