Sydney Bennett has been studying dance for 11 years at The Dance Center under the direction of Donna L. Muzio. She joined Brandywine Ballet Company at age 12 and quickly was accepted into Brandywine Ballet Theatre shortly after. While with the company Ms. Bennett has been cast in all classic, neo-classic and contemporary pieces in the Brandywine Ballet repertoire, highlighted by Dew Drop Fairy and Arabian from The Nutcracker, Lucy in Nancy Page's Dracula, as well as a featured role in Balanchine’s Serenade. She has also danced soloist roles in Nancy Page’s Carmina Burana and Meredith Rainey’s Make Haste Slowly. In addition to performing, Sydney is on faculty at The Dance Center as well as a Rehearsal Assistant with Brandywine Ballet. Her innovative choreography has been featured in many of The Dance Center’s Student Recitals, Chester County Dance Festival, and Brandywine Ballet’s Summer Program Performance.
Rick Callender is from Miami, Florida and began his training with Marta Mahr School of Ballet and New World School of the Arts. He then moved to Seattle to study at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He later took a position with the Washington Ballet in Washington, DC. After working at the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (Texas Ballet Theatre) for five seasons, he moved to Philadelphia. Rick has also danced with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X, Miro Dance, Jeanne Ruddy Dance, and many others in the Philadelphia area. He has gotten to perform many wonderful roles and has enjoyed performing around the world. Rick has been guesting with Brandywine since 2008, and has been a full-season member since 2014. Some of his highlights with the Company include The Beast in Beauty & The Beast, Jonathan in Dracula, Carmina Burana, and Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty.
Joe Cotler - Guest Dancer
Joe Cotler grew up in Batavia, NY, and trained at his mother Robin Cotler’s dance studio, Images in Dance. He graduated from the University of the Arts in 2009. While at school, he had the opportunity to work with numerous choreographers, including Ronen Koresh and Paul Selwyn-Norton. Mr. Cotler has been a guest dancer with Brandywine Ballet since 2008. Some of Joe’s favorite roles with Brandywine are Snow King and Arabian in The Nutcracker. In addition to performing, he also teaches and choreographs for numerous studios in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Cotler has been a member of Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia since 2009 and is delighted to perform with Brandywine Ballet.
Tim Early is celebrating his 27th consecutive season with Brandywine Ballet as a Principal Dancer. In addition to performing, Tim has choreographed for the Company, and has been on faculty at The Dance Center, the official school of the Brandywine Ballet. Beginning in 2018, Tim also began a position as the Production Manager with Brandywine Ballet, working to coordinate all of the company's performance efforts. Highlights with the Company have been his performances in Nancy Page’s Dracula, Ronen Koresh’s Beyond the Steps, Balanchine’s Serenade, and Eddy Touissant’s Souvenance. Together with Donna L. Muzio, Mr. Early founded Brandywine Contemporary, the modern-based arm of Brandywine Ballet. He is co-director of the Philadelphia-based modern company Opus I Contemporary. He has choreographed for Lafayette College, Moravian College, and West Chester University. In addition, Mr. Early has headed the dance department at Wyoming Seminary Summer Arts Program in Wilkes-Barre, PA, for the past 20 years.
Thomas Gant, Jr.
Thomas is a graduate of Southern New Jersey Academy of Performing Arts under the direction of David Kloss. He has also studied with Ronen Koresh and Melissa Rector of Koresh Dance Company, as well as with Delphine Del Bello, David Kloss, Nancy Page, and Christopher Fleming, among others. Mr. Gant works as a freelance artist, balancing dancing, teaching, and choreography. He has danced with Opus 1 Contemporary Company, Dance Del Bello, BalletFleming, and Brandywine Ballet. He has developed an international relationship choreographing and teaching for Tainan City Ballet as well as Chung Hwa Arts High School in Taiwan. Mr. Gant has also been appointed the regisseur of David Kloss’s repertoire. He is pleased to be returning to dance with Brandywine Ballet for the 40th Anniversary Season.
Jaime Lennon Louis
Jaime Lennon Louis began her training at The Dance Center under the direction of Donna L. Muzio when she was seven years old. She has been a member of Brandywine Ballet Company for 20 years. Ms. Louis is currently a principal dancer with Brandywine Ballet Theatre and has danced many leading roles, including Mina and Lucy in Nancy Page's Dracula, the leading female role in Nancy Page's Voices, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Beauty in Beauty & The Beast, and the Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade, among others. She graduated in 2010 from West Chester University with a B.A. in Communication Studies and Brandywine Ballet’s Certificate in Ballet. Jaime was a member of the Philadelphia-based contemporary ballet company BalletX from 2010 to 2014. During her time with BalletX, Jaime performed at the prestigious Vail International Dance Festival and at the The Joyce Theater in NYC. She has had works created on her by numerous choreographers including Nancy Page, Matthew Neenan, Jodie Gates, and Nicolo Fonte.
Krista Pinkerton began her training at the Pennsylvania Dance Institute and joined Dance Del Bello as a company member in 2011. She then continued her training at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia on Scholarship. That following year Krista completed a one-year Traineeship at American Repertory Ballet in Princeton, NJ and performed in their productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Our Town. In 2014, Krista began the Professional Training Program at Ballet Central New Jersey where she performed in their production of The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy and other soloist and principal roles in their productions of Les Sylphides, Carmen, Etudes, Sleeping Beauty, Les Patineurs, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, Paquita, Aladdin and Giselle. Krista also competed in the Youth American Grand Prix Competition in Philadelphia. This past January Krista competed in the Miami International Ballet Competition as a Soloist as well as Ensemble pieces. Krista joined Brandywine Ballet in the 2016-17 Season and has since performed in their productions of George Balenchine's Serenade, Meredith Rainey's Bird Land, "Arabian" in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Nancy Page's Colour Brillante, Dracula, and Beauty & The Beast, and she is looking forward to another season.
Originally from Kennett Square, PA, Emily Royce received her professional training at The Dance Center, under Donna L. Muzio. Emily has attended summer programs at the Richmond Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Brandywine Ballet where she first joined as a company member in 2001. During her time with Brandywine Ballet, Emily has had the opportunity to perform a wide range of repertoire including works by George Balanchine, Matthew Neenan, Leslie Browne, and Ronen Koresh. Since rejoining Brandywine Ballet in 2017, she has performed roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the Waltz Girl in George Balanchine's Serenade. Ms. Royce currently resides in Philadelphia and is excited to be returning to Brandywine Ballet for the 2019-2020 season.
Elizabeth Saint Clair
Elizabeth Saint Clair is originally from Yardley, Pa and began her dance training with the Princeton Ballet School in New Jersey. She eventually attended BalletMet’s pre-professional program in Ohio where she understudied and performed company roles. In 2012 she joined Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina, performing in ballets such as Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Etudes, Sleeping Beauty, and others. She returned to Pennsylvania in 2014 to train and apprentice with the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet under the direction of John White and Margarita De Saa dancing lead and soloist roles in such ballets as La Boutique Fantasque, Paquita and The Nutcracker. Following, Elizabeth joined Ballet 180 in 2016. In 2017, she joined Brandywine Ballet and she is excited to continue dancing with the company.
Matthew found his love for dance at the age of 8. He trained at Horizons Dance Conservatory for 6 years and previously with Melanie Wright and Berks Ballet Theatre. Matthew is trained in all genres but finds his true passion in ballet and contemporary. Matthew also attended the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and the Joffrey New York City Jazz & Contemporary Intensives on scholarships. His solo choreography & performance "Head vs. Heart" was showcased in Philadelphia at the Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers Inhale Performance Series. Matthew is very excited for his second season with Brandywine Ballet.