Stirling Matheson grew up in Fairfax, California, where he trained at Dance Theatre Seven under David “Rocky” Roxander and Jody White. He continued his training at the Arizona School of Classical Ballet with Nadya Zubkov before attending Butler University, where he earned a B.A. in Dance (Pedagogy). While at Butler, he performed principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Serenade, and several other works. Under the direction of Marek Cholewa, he performed in a tour of Poland and studied at the Cantilena School of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia.
After graduation, he danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, where he performed soloist and principal roles in Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Frontier 1812. After leaving Maryland he worked as a guest artist throughout the country before founding Ballet Theatre of Indiana in 2014. For BTI, Stirling has created a number of original works including The Firebird, The Masque of the Red Death, and Insurgent Creativity.
As a writer, Stirling has been published by Dance Magazine, Complex, 95 Octane, Technabob, and About.com.
Sabrina Matheson - Artistic Director
Sabrina Matheson was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, and began her dance training at Lafayette Ballet School. She has attended several intensive workshops at schools such as Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, Ballet Austin, and BalletMet, as well as the Cantilena School of the Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from Lafayette Ballet Company, where she performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Echoes of Indiana. Ms. Matheson continued her education at Butler University, where she earned a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and danced leading roles in The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Giselle, Paul Taylor's Cloven Kingdom, and other contemporary works.
After graduation, she studied on scholarship with Nashville Ballet and performed as a soloist with Vanderbilt Dance Theatre. After dancing with Ballet Theatre of Maryland, dancing corps and soloist roles, Ms. Matheson returned to Indiana in 2011, becoming a teacher at Performer's Edge and the Ballet Mistress of Ballet Theatre of Carmel, a pre-professional ballet company.
She founded Ballet Theatre of Indiana in 2014, and has created a number of works on the company, including La Sylphide,The Prodigal Son, and Perception.
Cole Companion - Ballet Master, Technical Director
Cole Companion began his training at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating with their highest honor, the “Prix D’excellance De Danse,” he has been a performing member of Alabama Ballet, The Arova Foundation, Birmingham Ballet Reparatory Company, Oakland Ballet Company, and Bay Pointe Ballet. Previous roles include Albrecht in Giselle, Tea Man in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Principal in Alfonzo Figeroura’s Changes, Hues,and The Awakening, Furbo In Graham Lustig's Pulcinella, Russian in Bruce Steivel's The Nutcracker, Michael in Bruce Steivel's Peter Pan, and Puck in Bruce Steivel's A Midsummer Nights Dream.
As a choreographer he has created numerous works including The Allegory of the Cave, Les Biches, Our Best Decision, El Dorado, The Cask of Amontillado, and Why Sarah Cries. He is currently teaching choreographic composition at Anderson University and this is his second season with BTI.
Annie Mushrush currently serves as Ballet Mistress for Ballet Theatre of Indiana. While at BTI she has danced principal roles in The Masque of the Red Death, Les Biches and The Nutcracker and has set The Grand Pas De Deux from Flames of Paris and Excerpts from Act I of Don Quixote on the company. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with Highest Honors in dance pedagogy from Butler University in 2015 where she studied under and performed the choreographic works of Marek Cholewa, Patrick Hinson, Michelle Jarvis, Stephan Laurent, Susan McGuire, Cynthia Pratt and Derek Reid. While dancing for Butler Ballet she performed principal roles in Herzlichen Romanzen and The Nutcracker as the ‘Dew Drop Fairy’ and a soloist role as the 'Silver Fairy' in The Sleeping Beauty, among other roles in Giselle and Cinderella. In 2014 she toured Europe performing with Butler Ballet and trained with the Polish National Schools of Ballet in Warsaw and Poznan, Poland as well as The National Conservatories in Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Prior training also includes Northern Illinois University where she studied under Judith Chitwood, Brian Carey Chung and Autumn Eckman. While dancing with Northern Dance Theatre she performed the principal role of ‘Raymonda’ in Raymonda and represented NDT at the American College Dance Festival.
Audrey Robson - PR & Marketing Director
Audrey Robson graduated in May from Butler University with a major in Dance Performance and a minor in Strategic Communication Audrey where she performed in Butler Ballet’s Cinderella as “the Cat,” Cynthia Pratt’s Whole Against the Sky, and Susan McGuire’s Idyllwild, among other roles. Audrey is a native of Ann Arbor, MI and her initial ballet training took place in Chelsea, MI, from 2002 to 2010. She also danced in the local company, Youth Dance Theatre of Michigan under Artistic Director Wendi DuBois (2003-2010). Audrey also trained with Ballet Magnificat, Ballet Austin, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Louisville Ballet. Audrey’s liberal arts education has broadened her dance as well as intellectual experience.
For BTI, Audrey has performed as "Effie" in La Sylphide, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and the Firebird in "The Firebird." Audrey is a founding company member of BTI.
Emma Beigel - Dancer, Master Carpenter
Sponsored by Robert McKenney
Emma Rose Beigel was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and began her training with The Ballet Theatre of Maryland before studying as a trainee with BalletMet Columbus under Susan Dromisky and Dimitri Suslov. She has attended summer intensives at Ballet Theatre of Maryland, English National Ballet in London, and BalletMet. Emma has enjoyed dancing principal, soloist, and corps roles in ballets such as Carmen, Paquita, Giselle, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Pas d'Esclave from Le Corsaire, and various contemporary works including Cole Companion's El Dorado.
Emma's sets for BTI include La Sylphide, The Prodigal Son, The Masque of the Red Death, The Cask of Amontillado, and Zach Rosing Productions' The Rocky Horror Show. Emma is a founding company member of BTI.
Haley Cipot - Dancer, Costumer
Haley began her dance training with ballet, tap, and jazz classes at the age of five. She continued studying at various dance schools throughout Connecticut, narrowing her focus to classical ballet. In 2009, Haley joined the New England Ballet School’s student company to perform corps, soloist, and principal roles. She has attended summer ballet intensives with the Bolshoi Ballet, The Rock School, and American Ballet Theater in New York. In May 2016, Haley graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in ballet, where she trained under Susan Jaffe, Laura Martin, and Jennet Zerbe with the American Ballet Theater National Training Curriculum. Ms. Altman-Cipot is thrilled to have joined Ballet Theater of Indiana for their its season.
Abigail Rose Crowell - Dancer, Social Media, Costumer
Sponsored by Karl and Wendy Volkmar
Originally from Naples, Florida Abigail Rose Crowell began taking dance classes at the age of two. At age eight, she started studying ballet locally with former NYCB dancer Melinda Roy at Gulfshore Ballet. Abigail attended various summer intensives including Houston Ballet, The Rock, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. She was given the opportunity to dance with Miami City Ballet for five seasons in their production of The Nutcracker. In 2010, Abigail attended North Carolina School of the Arts. She then moved to NYC at fourteen to continue her training in classical ballet with the prestigious Gelsey Kirkland at The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet 2011-2013. She was accepted into the Trainee Program at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago 2013-2014. Abigail has had the privilege of performing in many works such as George Balanchine’s Nutcracker, Concerto Barocco, and Circus Polka. Gerald Arpino’s Italian Suite and other ballets including Coppélia, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, La Vivandiére, Flames of Paris, Graduation Ball, Le Conservatoire, The Firebird, Les Biches, and La Sylphide. This is Abigail's second season with BTI.
Cheyanne Darnielle-Elam - Dancer, Costumer
Cheyanne Darnielle-Elam began her ballet training at the age of four years old at the Desert Youth Ballet in Rancho Mirage, CA under the direction of Valarie Mahabir. She continued her training throughout her youth, continuing at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Classical Dance Department, from which she received her diploma. Upon graduation from LACHSA, she joined Los Angeles Ballet as a trainee and performed with the company throughout the year. After completing her year with LA Ballet, she chose to continue her education at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Dean Susan Jaffe, where she earned a Certificate in Ballet. This is Cheyanne's second season with BTI.
Christine Fortin - Dancer
Christine Fortin is from Cartersville, Georgia, where she began dancing with Steps of Faith Dance Studio at the age of 5. In 2009, she joined their pre-professional program, and performed solo and lead roles in their annual Nativity Ballet and Spring shows. She has also attended summer intensives at Georgia Ballet, Ballet Magnificat! and Steps of Faith. In 2014 and 2015 Christine competed in the Youth America Grand Prix competition. This is Christine's second season with BTI.
Catherine Jue - Dancer, Outreach Coordinator
Catherine Jue is from Albany, NY where she began her dance training at the age of 3 with the School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet. She has spent many summers training at Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Boston Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In 2015, Catherine graduated summa cum laude from Butler University with a degree in Dance Pedagogy. Under the direction of Marek Cholewa, Patrick Hinson, Michelle Jarvis, Stephan Laurent, Susan McGuire, Cynthia Pratt, and Derek Reid, Catherine had the opportunity to perform in Balanchine's Valse Fantasie, principal roles as Sapphire fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, and in Herzlichen Romanzen. Catherine danced as a trainee with Louisville Ballet for the 2015-2016th season under Robert Curran, Mikelle Bruzina, and Uwe Kern. She performed in ballets such as Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Adam Houghland's Petrouchka and Balanchine's Western Symphony. This is Catherine's first season with Ballet Theater of Indiana.
Lauren Nasci - Dancer, Social Media
Lauren Nasci originated from Rio Rancho, New Mexico and started dancing at age two and a half. Her professional training began at Makaroff’s School of Ballet in Appleton, Wisconsin and later went on to train at the Milwaukee Ballet School. Ms. Nasci attended Butler University where she graduated with honors in 2014. She received a BFA in Dance Performance, as well as a BA in Mathematics. Lauren has performed roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, and various pieces in Butler’s Midwinter series. She has worked with choreographers such as Michael Pink, Rolando Yanes, Nadia Thompson, Denis Malinkine, Susan McGuire, Cynthia Pratt, and Derek Reid. Before joining BTI, she danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Second Company where she took classes with Amy Jones, Alexis Britford, Marlayna Locklear, Dawn Carter, and Rebecca Sparks. This is Lauren's second season with BTI.
Megan Noonan - Dancer
Megan Noonan, a native of Carmel, Indiana, trained with Suzann Delay at Central Indiana Academy of Dance and was a member of Central Indiana Dance Ensemble for five years. Megan began her dancing at BTI’s host studio, Performer’s Edge, performing in student roles with Gregory Hancock Dance Theater and Central Indiana Dance Ensemble. She is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she studied ballet under the direction of Michael Vernon and the late Violette Verdy. There she earned her Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Kinesiology. At IU she performed in works such as Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations, Rubies, and Emeralds and Paul Taylor’s Musical Offering. Megan has attended summer programs at Ballet Austin, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Cincinnati Ballet, Regional Dance America’s National Choreographic Intensive, and Nashville Ballet. This is her first season with BTI
Christina Presti - Dancer, Social Media
Christina Presti is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana where she received her dance training at Fort Wayne Ballet under the direction of Karen Gibbons-Brown. She attended Butler University where she studied as a Dance Performance major and Communication Sciences and Disorders minor. Dancing with Butler Ballet, she performed a variety of performances and roles as well as traveled internationally to perform in Poland and Russia. She has studied under Jeremy Blanton, Kim Sagami, Michelle Jarvis, Stephan Laurent-Faesi, Marek Cholewa, Derek Reid, Susan McGuire, Rossana Ruffo, and Cynthia Pratt. She has also trained with Ballet Austin and BalletMet. Upon graduating from Butler in 2014 with her BFA in Dance Performance, Christina spent the following year in Washington, DC dancing professionally with Dissonance Dance Theatre and ArasDance. She has relocated back to Indianapolis and is now in her second season with Ballet Theatre of Indiana.
Miriam Smith - Dancer, Costumer, Make-Up Artist
Born in England and immigrating to the U.S. in 2000, Miriam Smith began her formal dance training in Grand Rapids Michigan at the age of eleven. During high school Miriam performed in the Nutcracker and Cinderella with the West Michigan Youth Ballet, and attended summer intensives at Magnus Midwest and the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet. In May 2016, Miriam received her BFA in dance from Belhaven University, where she had the opportunity to perform in works such as Serenade, SleepingBeauty, and Don Quixote. Miriam has also performed in several new choreographic works selected to be shown at the Alabama Dance Festival and the American College Dance Festival.
Miriam is also an experienced dance costumer and is excited to be both dancing and creating costumes for BTI as she joins them this season!