Professional Dancers

RICK CALLENDER

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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.

TIM EARLY

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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. 

EMILY ROYCE

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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.

BRIGID DUFFIN

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Brigid Duffin began her professional ballet training in Philadelphia under the guidance of Barbara Sandonato, the first principal dancer of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Throughout her years of studying ballet, Ms. Duffin attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet School, where she was then invited to attend their year-round training program. After completing her training at the San Francisco Ballet School, Brigid joined the Sarasota Ballet where she danced a diverse repertoire of ballets from choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, and Antony Tudor. Ms. Duffin then went on to join the Minnesota Ballet for four seasons where she was able to perform many principals roles, the most memorable being the role of Black Swan which was specifically choreographed on her. Brigid is delighted to perform with Brandywine Ballet for their 2021 Nutcracker performances this season. 

THOMAS GANT, JR.

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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 this season.

MATTHEW ZIMMERMAN

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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.