Senior & Junior Ballet Intensive

July 11-29th 2022

Junior Intensive
Level 1/2 (M/W 9:00-12:00) (ages 6-10)
1 Week: $200
2 Weeks: $300
3 Weeks: $350

Early Registration Special 3 weeks $325 (IF PAID IN FULL BY JUNE 15th Only) Otherwise, the total amount is due on the 1st day of class! No Exceptions!
● Daily Rate: $100/ day/- $40 / class
● Taught by LDT staff/ Offering: Ballet Technique, Pre-Pointe, Variations, Contemporary, Jazz

Level 3 (M/W/F 9:00-12:00)
1 Week: $315
2 Weeks: $500
3 Weeks: $650

Early Registration Special 3 weeks $600 (IF PAID IN FULL BY JUNE 15th Only) Otherwise, the total amount is due on the 1st day of class! No Exceptions!
● Daily Rate: $125/ day/ $50/ class
● Taught by LDT staff
● Offering: Ballet Technique, Pre-Pointe, Variations, Contemporary, Jazz, Character

Senior Intensive

Level 4 (M-Fri 12:00-5:00)
1 week: $600
2 weeks: $750
3 weeks: $900

Early Registration Special 3 weeks $800 (IF PAID IN FULL BY JUNE 15th Only) Otherwise, the total amount is due on the 1st day of class! No Exceptions!
● Daily Rate: $150/ day/ $60/ class
● Taught by LDT staff
● Offering: Ballet Technique, Pre-Pointe, Variations, Contemporary, Jazz, Character, Dance History

Levels 5-7 (Monday-Friday 12:00-5:00)
1 week: $850.00
2 weeks: $1150.00
3 weeks: $1,500.00

Early Registration Special 3 weeks $1350 (IF PAID IN FULL BY JUNE 15th Only) Otherwise, the total amount is due on the 1st day of class! No Exceptions!
Daily Rate: $250/ day/ $75 / class
(Taught by GUEST FACULTY- Offering: Ballet Technique,Dance History, Pointe, Pas de deux, Variations, Contemporary, Jazz, Pilates, Yoga),

Junior division: Lauren Richter, Chloe Koutroulis, Katherine Thomas
Senior Division: Rainer Krenstetter, Mate Szentes, Lauren Richter, Cara Hansvick, Thel Moore

ALL Summer Intensive Tuition must be paid IN-FULL on the 1st day of class July 11th

Guest Faculty:

Rainer Krenstetter: Miami City Ballet- Rainer was born into a dance family in Vienna where he began his ballet training at the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera. In 1999, he was accepted into the Royal Ballet School in London and continued his training there until 2000 when he became a corps de ballet member with the Vienna State Opera Ballet. In 2002, he joined the Staatsballett Berlin under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov and went through the ranks up to Principal dancer in 2013. He joined Miami City Ballet as a Principal dancer in November 2014. Throughout his training, Krenstetter participated and won medals in various international ballet competitions including in Vienna, Brasilia and Luxembourg, culminating in his first place win at the Prix de Lausanne in 1999. Throughout his prolific career, Krenstetter has danced principal and leading roles in most ballets in the classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Onegin, Firebird, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, Cinderella and La Bayadere. Additionally, he has danced in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Vladimir Malakhov, Kenneth MacMillan, Auguste Bournonville, Michel Fokine, Alexei Ratmansky, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Hans van Manen, Uwe Scholz, Clarke Tippet, Jirí Kylián and William Forsythe among others. Krenstetter has also performed as a guest artist in various companies and galas internationally in Europe, Australia, South America and Asia; been a member of the jury at the International Ballet Competition in Rome and Riga; and guest taught at several dance workshops in many countries. Rainer received the 2016 Miami Life Award for “Best Classical Dancer.”

Mate Szentes–  Originally from Budapest, Hungary and began his training at the age of six. He studied at the Hungarian Dance Academy while attending summer programs at North Carolina Dance Theater in Charlotte, NC on full scholarships. Upon graduation he joined the Hungarian National Ballet where he danced for 3 years performing corps de ballet and soloist roles in the company’s many classical and contemporary productions. In 2012 he moved to California and joined the Sacramento Ballet as a company artist and continued expanding his repertoire. Mr. Szentes relocated to the east coast in 2015 to join the Richmond Ballet where he danced principal and soloist roles in the company’s very versatile repertoire. Besides dancing classical ballet’s most famous roles he had the opportunity to dance many of George Balanchine’s works and worked with world renowned choreographers such as Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli, Mariana Oliveira, Melissa Barak, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa among many others. He’s also a permanent guest principal dancer with American Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Project OC and Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet and has been one of few dancers selected to participate at the very prestigious National Choreographers Initiative in 2016 and 2018. Since 2016 he has also been choreographing and had his original works showcased in Virginia, California and New Mexico.

Thel Moore III: born and raised in Baltimore MD and started formal ballet training at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Thel moved to Connecticut at the age of 15 to finish training at the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. While training Thel had the pleasure to learn from ballet legends Eleanor D’Antuono and Kirk Peterson as well as Victoria Mazzarelli who worked with William Forsythe in Frankfurt Ballet. Thel was invited to perform at the Inside/Out theater at Jacob’s Pillow where he performed a mixed rep. Upon graduating he took his first job with the second company at Charlotte Ballet under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. After one season hemoved to Richmond VA and joined the Richmond Ballet, where he spent 5 seasons with the company. Thel has had the pleasure to work with many incredible choreographers and artists such as Patricia McBride, Desmond Richardson, Ma Cong, and Val Caniparoli. As well as performing in works such as “Who Cares?” “Theme and Variations” “Carmina Burana” and many story ballets and performing the second pas de deux in Jerome Robbins’ “In The Night”. Thel always knew he had a passion teach. He has taught at the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory summer intensive and various schools in Virginia

Cara Hansvick– Cara grew up dancing at a studio outside of Chicago, called Dance Center Evanston. She was then accepted into Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with the Deans Scholarship. While there, she trained under Michael Vernon and Violette Verdy. She quickly moved up to performing soloist and principal roles by her sophomore year, and graduated after only three years with a B.S. in Ballet Performance and Arts Management. She attended Chautauqua Institution on full scholarship two summers in a row and upon graduation was chosen by Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia Mcbride to join Charlotte Ballet where she danced for two seasons. After that, she moved to Los Angeles where she was a principal dancer with the American Contemporary Ballet for 5 years. She started dancing with Ballet Project Orange County during the pandemic and recently joined full time as a company dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Some of her performance highlights include principal roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Who Cares, Elegie, Raymonda Variations, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, Dwight Rhoden’s The Groove, and Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegie. Additionally she is a certified Classical Pilates and Gyrotonic Instructor.

Jelena-Ana Stupar: Born in Belgrade (Serbia). Trained at the State Ballet School “Lujo Davico” in Belgrade and at the Hamburg Ballet School John Neumeier. 2002 – 2009 Soloist at the Mecklenburg State Theater in Schwerin. Since 2009 she has been a soloist with the Dortmund Ballet, where she has danced leading women roles in numerous productions. For the interpretation of Ophelia in Xin Peng Wang’s h.a.m.l.e.t. she was named the best young dancer by the specialist magazine Theater Pur. In addition to performing extensively as a soloist in Xin Peng Wang’s ballets, she has worked with many leading choreographers, including Douglas Lee, John Neumeier, Jiří Bubeníček, Christian Spuck, Cayetano Soto, Mauro Bigonzetti, Benjamin Millepied, Alexander Ekman and many more. Jelena-Ana Stupar Moody also danced ballets by William Forsythe and George Balanchine. Tours have taken her to the Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden and numerous places in Germany. In 2019 she was honored with the “Belgrade Waterfront” for “outstanding successes in the field of dance in Germany and the world”, an award in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia. In the same year she taught a master class at Laguna Dance Center in Orange County, California/USA. In 2015 she obtained a diploma in dance pedagogy from Ursula Borrmann, based on the famous Vaganowa method.

Sheri Giller– A native of Southern California, Ms. Giller began her ballet training in the residence of Marie Hite in La Habra, Ca. where she trained intensively in the Vaganova method. In 1991 she joined Ballet Pacifica in Laguna Beach and Irvine, Ca. as a company dancer under the directorship of Molly Lynch. She continued to dance and teach for the company and its adjacent school until 2003. Throughout her dancing career she had the privilege of working with many well known ballet masters and choreographers. Her performance credits include many of the classical ballets as well as works by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, and many more contemporary works by both well established and emerging choreographers. Many of the works she performed throughout her career were created on her and she was notably recognized for her precise footwork, musicality, and the fluidity and power of her movement style. With a teaching career that has spanned over 30 years, Ms.Giller continues to enhance her teaching skills through education, careful study, and drawing on her own dancing experience with a strong focus on the mentoring and encouragement of each student as an individual. Her knowledge and instruction of classical ballet technique includes the instruction of all ages, levels and abilities. She has held the positions of Co-Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress of both Tucson Regional Ballet in Arizona and Piedmont Ballet Theatre in North Carolina respectively. Many of her students have been accepted to and attended such summer intensive programs and year-round schools as Juilliard, Harid Conservatory, LINES, Ballet West, Bolshoi Academy, SAB, Ballet Austin, Houston Ballet, SFB, Boston Conservatory, Ailey School, Ballet Met, Joffrey Ballet School, and ABT. Many of those students have continued on to achieve professional dancing careers with their adjacent companies. In 2013 Ms.Giller completed her 300 hour Dayton Hot Yoga certification and most recently gained her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique, both of which she uses to enhance her student’s learning experience. As a dance educator she is committed to providing high caliber ballet training for all students regardless of their future goals, and a motivating environment that promotes dance’s unique ability to increase each person’s self assurance through discipline, perseverance, physical awareness, creativity, and the joy of movement.

Lauren Richter: Lauren Richter began her ballet training in 1996 in Orange County. In 2006, she moved to New York City to continue her training at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and worked privately with Prima Ballerina Assouluta Eva Evdokimova. During this time, Lauren was awarded a scholarship through Youth American Grand Prix to continue her studies in Monte-Carlo at the Princess Grace Academy of Classical Dance under the direction of Marika Besobrasova. After spending two years there, Lauren received her first professional contract with the Prague State Opera Ballet in the Czech Republic and then went on to dance with the Bucharest National Ballet in Romania. Lauren has competed in several competitions both nationally and internationally including LA Music Center’s Spotlight Awards, Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Stars of Tomorrow, Youth American Grand Prix, and Prague International Ballet Competition. During her professional career, Lauren’s repertoire included roles in such classics as Giselle, La Bayadere, La Corsaire, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Lauren is certified in levels 1-8 through the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Training Program. She is also a member of the International Dance Council CID at UNESCO, the official world-wide organization for dance. In addition to ballet, Lauren is a certified Pilates instructor with a dance specialization through BASI Pilates. Lauren has taught in several schools throughout Orange County as well as in some of the orphanages in Romania. 

Linda-Joy “LJ” Tashiro Nafarrete: a founding member of the OC renowned Backhausdance Company, established in 2003, received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance while on scholarship at Chapman University. During her tenure at Chapman, she specialized in Dance performance and received several awards, including, Freshmen of the Year, Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance. Prior to Chapman University, Ms. Tashiro Nafarrete, attended the Orange County High School of Arts and graduated from their Commercial Dance Department. Additionally, she studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York City on scholarship. She has extensive training in Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop and Dunham (Afro-Caribbean) dance techniques and holds a certification in Pilates from Body Arts and Science International. In addition to concert performances, she has danced in a variety of modern media, including music and fitness videos and live television. Ms. LJ has taught in various seminars and master classes and continues to teach and Choreograph through out Southern California. As an award winning choreographer, she has a gift of creating moving pieces that are authentically molded for each dancer and group. Ms. LJ finds great fulfillment in sharing her love of dance with her students. Her classes focus on experimenting with center of gravity, individual expression and creativity. In addition, she stresses the importance of use of space as well as inner awareness and confidence. She is extremely detailed in her approach of guiding her students in attaining proper alignment and technique. Her passionate goal is to uniquely challenge each student so they can achieve far beyond their personal expectations. 

Chloe Koutroulis– Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Stretch and Strength. Chloe started dancing as soon as she could walk. She started as a commercial dancer. At age 12 she discovered her passion for classical ballet under the guidance and mentorship of Lauren Richter. She embraced the Vaganova ballet technique and attended summer intensives with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. During her training, she was selected on scholarship as an ambassador to the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) in Moscow, Russia. At the completion of her program she was invited to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy year round program in Moscow trained by Olga Dozortseva, Natalya Revich, Nika Sergeeva and other staff. Chloe continued broadening her training studying various techniques at the Paris Opera Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Brussels International Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Colorado Ballet and State Street Ballet.  Chloe has performed principal and soloist roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, Giselle, Paquita, Grad Ball and various neo-classical and contemporary works. Chloe received awards from Youth American Grand Prix as a dancer and choreographer. She choreographed an excerpt for the Colorado Philharmonic Symphony’s performance of Rodeo and has created various contemporary and jazz pieces for Colorado Ballet’s Saturday Soirees. Chloe has taught dance at various studios in Orange County emphasizing artistry and technicality. Chloe enjoys teaching, choreographing, and inspiring artists! She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love for the beautiful art form of dance!

Rachel Soltesz– Rachel Soltesz started dancing at the young age of two years old and fell in love with ballet and contemporary. Throughout her training, Rachel attended summer intensive programs at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Marat Daukayev Ballet School, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Ellison Ballet in New York City, as well as the Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna, Dresden Ballet School, and the International Ballet Masterclasses of Prague where she trained with some of the world’s most renowned ballet instructors. She was offered to attend the year round professional school program at the Taneční Konservatoř Hlavnhío Města Prahy (Prague State Ballet School) but chose to finish her training at Richter Academy of Classical Dance under the direction of Lauren Richter Henry. In September of 2018, Rachel went to Posadas, Argentina to train with the company, Ballet Centro Del Conocimiento, and work alongside Mrs. Lauren to set Richter Academy’s full length rendition of the Nutcracker. Once graduating high school, Rachel continued teaching many styles of dance including ballet, contemporary, jazz, world dance, and improvisation. She has choreographed contemporary solos for herself and other students to perform at numerous dance competitions over the past six years. In 2017 and 2021, her choreographed solos were performed in the Finals for the Youth America Grand Prix competition. Since then, many of her choreographed contemporary solos have received recognition in the top twelve at YAGP, California Dance Classics, Intrigue Competition, Rainbow Competition, and KAR Competition. Rachel looks forward to joining the LDT Summer Intensive Faculty and sharing her knowledge with the next generation of young dancers.


Three-Week Program:

Laguna Dance Theatre’s summer program brings internationally renowned dance professionals and master teachers to Mission Viejo for a 3 week,
Monday – Friday, 12-5pm dance intensive. Included in this outstanding program are daily Ballet Technique classes, Pointe, Men’s class, Variations, Pilates, Pas de Deux, Contemporary, Jazz, Character, and Dance History. This program is designed for intermediate and advanced students.  Individual coaching and mentoring is part of this unique experience, culminating in our annual summer showcase.

Curriculum: Ballet Technique, Pointe, Variations, Men’s class and Conditioning, Pas de Deux, Contemporary, Jazz, Yoga, Stage Make-up, Acting, Pilates and Dance History.

Previous Summer Guest Faculty Includes:

Rainer Krenstetter:
Principal Dancer with Miami City Ballet, Former Principal dancer with Staatsballett Berlin. Throughout his training, Krenstetter participated and won medals in various international ballet competitions including in Vienna, Brasilia and Luxembourg, culminating in his first place win at the Prix de Lausanne in 1999.

Christine Shevchenko:
Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, youngest recipient of the Princess Grace Award. Bronze Medal in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, 2005 Gold Medal and Title of Laureate at the Moscow International Ballet Competition, the George Zoritch of Ballet Russe Award for Talent Recognition, the 2010 Margaret Moore Dance Award and the 2015 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship.

Julio Bragado Young:
Julio danced with the American Ballet Theatre for 15 years. During that time he was featured in numerous soloist roles in GiselleThe DreamDon Quixote, and Alexei Ratmansky’s “The Bright Stream“. Julio was born in the US and moved to Spain at the age of 2 and trained with the Lycee Francais de Madrid before returning to the US to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts before continuing his training with Boston Ballet and the School of American Ballet.

Jonnathon Ramirez:
Born in Cali, Colombia, this is Jonnathan’s eighth season with Tulsa Ballet. He is a Senior Soloist and previously danced with the Incolballet of Cali, Colombia, Cincinnati Ballet and Houston Ballet.  Jonnathon also received a full scholarship to ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Ballet.

Jessica Payne:
Jessica is a company member with the Tulsa Ballet. In 2015, she joined Tulsa Ballet II and was promoted to Apprentice in the main company one year later.  Jessica’s repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty (Angelini), The Three Musketeers(Prokovsky), Romeo and Juliet (Liang), The Taming of the Shrew (Cranko), and Serenade (Balanchine).  She received first place in the Youth American Grand Prix regional competitions of 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Allison Eggers:
Allison received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bard College in
Theatre and Dance and she has been the Dance History teacher on staff for ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School since 2013. In addition to teaching students at the school, she also works with ABT’s apprentices and the ABT Studio Company dancers.*Early Bird Discount Registration Deadline May 15th with 50% Non Refundable Deposit. Payment due in full by June 15th to receive discount.

LDT was delighted to previously host…

Vladimir Malakhov – Former Director of Staatsballett Berlin, former Principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet and Vienna State Opera Ballet.
Lisette Salgado-Lucas – Former member of Joffrey Ballet NY, former Principal dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Emi Hariyama – Graduate of the Bolshoi Academy  in Moscow, danced with Moscow Ballet Theater and Aalto Ballet Theater in Germany, former member of Staatsballett Berlin.
Katherine Rochon-Thomas – Currently teaches at Laguna Dance Theatre/Laguna Ballet, trainee at SAB and PNB, former apprentice with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Dallas Fort Worth Ballet.
Liudmila Konovalova – Graduate of the Bolshoi Academy and current Principal dancer with Vienna Stattsopera in Austria
Chasen Greenwood – Dancer, Actor, Singer; Trained with Houston Ballet, Ballet Austin, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Dallas Black
Miranda Weese – A former New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet Principal dancer
Nicola Curry – Current member of ABT
Stephanie Walz – A former member of ABT and a current member of The Washington Ballet
Aura Dixon – Former member of New York City Ballet
Kristin D’Addario – A former member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Soloist and Principal dancer of Miami City Ballet and School of American Ballet
Jodie Gates – Former Principal at the Pennsylvania Ballet, and member of the Joffrey Ballet and Frankfurt Ballet
Angela Snow – Former member of the American Ballet Theatre
Joaquin De Luz – Principal dancer at New York City Ballet, former soloist at American Ballet Theatre and Pennsylvania Ballet
Gonzalo Garcia – Principal dancer at New York City Ballet
Jonnathan Ramirez – Current member of Tulsa Ballet
Erin Pritchard – Current member of Tulsa Ballet, former member of Houston Ballet
Olivia Ornelas – Former pre-professional Company Artist at Oregon Ballet Theatre

Class Schedule

Welcome To Laguna Dance Theatre, Home of Laguna Ballet!

It is with great excitement that we announce our return to the stage!

Tickets for our 36th Anniversary performance of The Nutcracker are on sale now.

December 16-18 at Coast Hills Church Theater in Aliso Viejo.

Get your tickets now at

Performance times and casting:

Dec 16th 7pm – Red Cast
Dec 17th 7pm – Green Cast
Dec 18th 1pm – Red Cast
Dec 18th 6 pm – Green Cast

Please remember some important upcoming dates:

  • Fall classes BEGIN August 16th 2021
  • Click to register for:
  • Nutcracker Auditions 2021- LEVELS 3-7 – Saturday, August 28th 
      • Audition Registration COMING SOON!
  • Clara Auditions- Saturday, August 29th
  • Labor Day- Closed Monday, September 6th
  • Nutcracker Auditions- BOYS-COMBO-LEVEL 2 -Saturday, September 11th
  • Nutcracker Rehearsals Begin–October 2nd 2021
  • Sugar Plum Tea- Sunday, November 28th (Tentative)
  • Nutcracker Show dates (December 14-19)(Tentative)

Please reach out if you have any questions!  We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

Best wishes,

LDT Staff

Archive Documents:

New 2020 Safety Guidelines

Online Parent Portal Registration

In Studio Registration Form



It is with great excitement that we announce our return to the stage!

Tickets for our 36th Anniversary performance of The Nutcracker are on sale now.

December 16-18 at Coast Hills Church Theater in Aliso Viejo.

Get your tickets now at

Performance times and casting:

Dec 16th 7pm – Red Cast
Dec 17th 7pm – Green Cast
Dec 18th 1pm – Red Cast
Dec 18th 6 pm – Green Cast


Please remember some important upcoming dates:

  • Fall classes BEGIN August 16th 2021
  • Click to register for:
  • Nutcracker Auditions 2021- LEVELS 3-7 – Saturday, August 28th 
  • Audition Registration COMING SOON!
  • Clara Auditions- Saturday, August 29th
  • Labor Day- Closed Monday, September 6th
  • Nutcracker Auditions- BOYS-COMBO-LEVEL 2 -Saturday, September 11th
  • Nutcracker Rehearsals Begin–October 2nd 2021
  • Sugar Plum Tea- Sunday, November 28th (Tentative)
  • Nutcracker Show dates (December 14-19)(Tentative)

Please reach out if you have any questions!  We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

Best wishes,

LDT Staff

Archive Documents:

New 2020 Safety Guidelines




Call (949) 855-4702 for Ticket information!

Laguna Ballet’s Hope for the Holidays- Click Here to support Laguna Ballet
Laguna Ballet Alumni- Click here if you’re LDT Alumni


Donate to Laguna Ballet :
Click Here to donate to Laguna Ballet during the COVID-19 Crisis


There are 3 different scenarios for production that we are considering to make the production possible:

  • Saddleback College or other indoor theater if possible

  • Build out tents/stage and a temporary dance floor at an outdoor venue

  • A virtual version to be enjoyed in your home or at an outdoor drive-in venue

(If you have connections with venues where an outdoor theater could be set up, discounts on tents, lighting, or chairs- please contact Melissa Sandoval)

Laguna Ballet’s dress rehearsals and performances will be held at the venue on December 15th through 20th.  We will notify you of the venue information as it becomes available.

Rehearsals for the production are on the weekends, and each student is committed to attend all rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances. All rehearsals are mandatory; excessive absence from rehearsal will result in the student losing their part. Please notify the office of any prior known absences at least one week in advance. In cases of illness, absences are excused and students are asked not to participate if contagious or have a fever or have vomited in the previous 24 hrs (also please note COVID-19 guidelines).  Injured students are required to come to rehearsal to view and learn spacing and choreography. Tuition MUST be current through 12/22/20 to participate in the performances. Participants must be registered in at least 1 Ballet class at Laguna Dance Theatre to participate in the Laguna Ballet performances of The Nutcracker.

Important Dates:

October 3 Rehearsals begin for Level 3A and up

October 24 Rehearsals for Ages 6- Level 2

SUGAR PLUM TEA- Cancelled for 2020, See you next year!

Nutcracker production week, December 15-20th 2020

Participation Fee Includes:

Rehearsal & Performance Fee, Costume Rental & Cleaning Fee, Nutcracker 2020 DVD, Headshot for the Program and Digital Copy and Commemorative T-Shirt

Combo Ballet/ Ballet I Performance Fee: $225

Ballet II Performance Fee: $250

Boys: Performance Fee portion is waved $75

Ballet III Performance Fee: $275

Ballet VI Performance Fee: $300

Ballet V/VI/VII Performance Fee: $330

PDX Coaching & Rehearsal Fee: $200 *Due Upon acceptance of role. *In Addition to Level Fee

Participation Fees Due to Laguna Ballet on the day of the audition.

*Students must be enrolled in the mandatory hours of classes per level. Tuition must be current to audition.

If you have any further questions, please email

We look forward to making Nutcracker 2020the best we can given the circumstances and making it a memorable production!

Laguna Ballet

LAGUNA BALLET SUGAR PLUM TEA- Cancelled for 2020, See you next year! 

Dress up and learn about the Nutcracker story as the characters come to life! Enjoy performances by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends from the Land of Sweets, make keepsake crafts, take photos with the cast, indulge in a heavenly dessert and beverage bar and don’t miss our unique Nutcracker shopping boutique.
Hosted in the Marzipan Room at
Laguna Dance Theatre, Home of Laguna Ballet
23854 Via Fabricante Suite F3, Mission Viejo CA 92691
$– Child*
$– Adult
**(Children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by and adult)
Seating is Limited

For more information please email



  • Your support is greatly appreciated and we look forward to the 2020 Nutcracker season!       

       2020 Nutcracker Dates

    Thursday December
    Friday December
    Saturday December
    Sunday December

    McKinney Theatre Seating Chart

  • Please join us for our future Nutcracker performances, a family favorite holiday tradition, presented by Laguna Ballet.
  • Thank you to all who attended and participated in the 2019 performances of The Nutcracker!

Laguna Ballet is a non-profit junior ballet company founded by Shery Gilbert, and is comprised of students ages 5 and up. For the past 35 years, over 90 children from Orange County participate each year in Laguna Ballet’s full length Nutcracker ballet.

Participants in the production are given the opportunity to dance with professional guest artists from companies such as New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Moscow Classical Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. Auditions are required for all participants.


Spring Showcase

Spring 2022 Performance Week Information

Tickets for our Spring Showcase are available online at

Saturday, June 18th at Coast Hills Church in Aliso Viejo
1 pm Children’s Program and Commercial Dance
6 pm Classical Ballet Program

In-studio Rehearsals at Laguna Dance Theatre: June 11 and 12th:

See schedule below, posted at studio and emailed.

Childrens Program & Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Tap

  • Mandatory In-Studio Rehearsal: Saturday, June 11th- 1:30-3:30
  • Miss Ellen’s: (Combo Jazz, Ballet, Tap)
  • Paola: Mon. 5:00 Wed. 5:30
  • Nicole’s: Tues. 5:30, Thurs 6:00
  • Andrea’s: Fri. 4:00
  • YAGP Ensemble, Rhapsody, YAGP solos

Dress Rehearsal Coast Hills Church Friday, June 17th, Call time 2:00 pm

Performance Saturday June 18th 1:00 pm, Call Time 11:30

Classical Ballet

  • Mandatory In studio Dress rehearsal- Sunday, June 12th- 1:00-3:30
    • Rhapsody/ Paquita
  • Dress Rehearsal Coast Hills Church:
    • Dress Rehearsal Friday, June 17th. 2022:
      • Call Time 3:30 (unless in the commercial show which arrives at 2:00)

Performance Saturday June 18th 6:00pm, Call Time: 4:30

Costume Fees, Rectal Fees, and June Tuition: All Monies need to be paid in order to purchase tickets. Costume fees will be sent this week and need to be paid in full prior to purchasing tickets.  Recital Fees are past due and need to be paid. June tuition must be paid prior to purchasing tickets. 

Costumes and Makeup for Dress Rehearsal and Performances

  • NO FOOD IN THE DRESSING ROOMS.  Only water is allowed in dressing rooms.  Dancers will have a place outside to eat.  This rule applies to dancers and volunteers alike.
  • Cover shoes and tights when going outside

There is a break in between shows.  Please please pay attention to time.  Parents may bring food for dancers.  There is a covered area outside for dancers to eat and take a breath of fresh air.

Photography- NO photography/videography is permitted in the auditorium at any time during performances or backstage in the wings during dress rehearsals.  We have assigned photographers for dress rehearsals and some performances.  Photos will be available for purchase.

Flowers- We will have flowers for sale at the performance

All Performers & Parents  Label all your personal items and leave valuables at home.

  • Respect all Coast Hills property.  Do not touch any props, boxes, bulletin boards, etc.
  • Clean-up is mandatory after each show.  All dancers and all parents are required to help clean up common backstage areas (dressing rooms, hallways, etc.) at the end of each rehearsal and performance.
  • Food and beverages are not permitted in the auditorium seating area by anyone at any time.
  • Childcare is not provided between shows.  If you are unable to be with your child, please make arrangements for supervision, food, and rest.

Ticket Sales 

Tickets are $35 each.

 Tickets will go on-sale Monday, June 6, 2022

IMPORTANT REMINDERS: NO DANCERS OR VOLUNTEERS IN DRESSING ROOMS UNLESS THEY ARE ASSIGNED TO BE IN THAT ROOM.  We have so many dancers in an unfamiliar theatre this year that it is imperative to keep a few people backstage and in dressing rooms as possible.  Therefore, dancers will not be allowed to enter any dressing room they are not assigned to.  Parents usually bring picnic blankets for the dancers to sit on so their leotards and tights don’t get dirty. Eating is only allowed outside in the courtyard.


Thank you to all of our volunteers and families that participated in our Spring 2019 Showcases! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2019-2020 Season!

Laguna Ballet hosts an annual spring performance which showcases the Classical Ballet Division, Professional Children’s Division and Commercial/Contemporary Division.

Professional guest artists are invited to perform with our students to enhance their performing experience.  Previous guest artist include Principal and soloist dancer from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet,  Miami City Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet.

2020 Performance Dates

Thursday June 19th

Spring Showcase


Friday June 20th

Spring Showcase


Master Classes & Upcoming Events

Mark on your calendar with important upcoming dates: 

May 30 LDT Closed for Memorial Day

Recital Dates June 16-18 

LDT Summer Break (Studio Closed) July 1-10

LDT Summer Intensive July 11-July 29

Laguna Ballet’s Annual Golf Tournament Thursday, July 28th

Summer Intensive In-Studio Showcase July 29th

YAGP Information/ Placement (First week of August)

LDT Modified Schedule August 1-13

Fall 2022 August 15th

Nutcracker 2022 Auditions Saturday, August 27 (Level 3-7)

Nutcracker Pop-up Camps TBD

Labor Day Closed September 5th

Nutcracker 2022 Auditions Saturday, September 10th (Levels Beg-2)

Nutcracker 2022 Auditions Sunday, September 11th (Clara Audition)

Nutcracker Rehearsals Begin October 1st 2022

Nutcracker rehearsals begin (Mice/ Angels) October 15th 2022

Thanksgiving Vacation-Closed Thursday, November 24-25

Laguna Ballet’s Sugar Plum Tea Sunday, November 27th 

Nutcracker 2022 December 14-18 (Subject to change)

Modified Classes December 19-23

Studio Closed for Winter Break December 23-January 7th

Winter 2023 Classes Begin Monday, January 9th 2023

Wishing our dancers the best of luck as they head down to San Diego for another fun filled weekend of YAGP!

Free livestream available at

Golf Tournament-  Dates TBA: Coming in May 2021

Laguna Dance Theatre and Laguna Ballet are excited to celebrate 36 years of serving the greater Orange County area with excellence in dance instruction and performance. To celebrate this milestone we will be hosting a golf tournament, golf ball drop and dinner at the beautiful Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita CA.

We are asking that you join us in supporting this studio and the traditions that have been created from sharing classical ballet with our community.

Each year the students at Laguna Dance Theater have the opportunity to perform a full length Nutcracker as well as another full length ballet in the spring. As the cost of these productions are rising it has become harder and harder to host these events for our community each year.

We ask that you please join us as we not only celebrate the 36 years of serving our community with the gift of classical ballet but also as we raise much needed funds for these productions. After 36 years the studio is in need of new backdrops, costumes and many other items. Our hope is that this event will allow us to continue in our tradition of hosting these two productions.

There are several ways to support this great event:
1. Come out and join us for a great day of golf and fun!
2. Become a business sponsor and get some great exposure and build goodwill in our community!
3. Buy tickets for the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop!

Entry includes golf, cart, dinner, tee gift, and more

Laguna Ballet Golf Tournament & Ball Drop Registration Page!

Last Years Golf Tournament Below!



Laguna Ballet’s 34th Nutcracker at Saddleback College’s McKinney Theater.


Master Class Series  | Intermediate & Advanced

Register for Clifford Williams Master Class:

2-Day Pop-Up Workshop with Jodie Gates

Link to REGISTER for Pop-Up Intensive

Friday, June 22 – Saturday, June 23, 2018 

Laguna Dance Theatre
23854 Via Fabricante, Mission Viejo 92691

Laguna Dance Festival partners with Laguna Dance Theatre/Laguna Ballet to offer a one time only experience.  This 2-day Pop-Up workshop features ballet class, Forsythe repertory, choreography class and coaching sessions with LDF Founder & Artistic Director Jodie Gates.

Ms. Gates is the Vice Dean of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where she leads the teaching philosophy of today’s successful “hybrid dancer.”  Former principal ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Frankfurt Ballet, she is a nationally recognized choreographer and stager of William Forsythe’s ballets.  Surprise guest artist to be announced.

$150 per student

June 22 1:00pm – 5:00 pm
June 23 1:00pm – 6:00 pm

Laguna Dance Theatre is excited to announce Rainer Krenstetter, Principal with Miami City Ballet and Former Principal with StaatsBallet Berlin, Guest Artist in Residence April-June 2018


Rainer Krenstetter began his training at the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera, then trained Royal Ballet School in London joining the a corps de ballet member with the Vienna State Opera Ballet in 2000. He joined the Berlin State Ballet in 2002 under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov; becoming a principal dancer in 2013. Since 2014 he has been principal dancer Miami City Ballet.

Rainer won the Prix De Lausanne in 1999, and has been a member of the jury at the International Ballet Competition in Rome and Riga.



Shery Gilbert, Artistic Director

Ms. Gilbert, began her training in Los Angeles at the Lichine Studio under the tutelage of Irena Kosmouska, later moving to Long Beach Ballet and eventually to the Orange County Ballet under the direction of Michael Panieff. While recovering from knee surgery, she obtained a BFA at the University of California, Irvine. It was there that she met Antony Tudor, the associate director of the American Ballet Theatre. Mr. Tudor became her mentor and changed the way she approached Classical Ballet. Ms. Gilbert became a member of Ballet Nacional de Panama. She continued to study with Jillana, former NYCB Principal and Wilhelm Burmann in New York City. In addition to founding Laguna Dance Theatre and Laguna Ballet, she continues to actively coach dancers of the New York City Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Nevada Ballet Theatre. Ms. Gilbert is also a member of the caDance Advisory Board and sponsor of the caDance Festival 2005 & 2006.

Katherine Rochon-Thomas, Ballet

Katherine is an alumna of Laguna Ballet, where she trained under Shery Gilbert.  She continued her training at SAB, PNB, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Dallas Fort Worth as a scholarship student and trainee. Katherine developed an interest in The Pilates Method and studied and taught under Master teachers Diane Diefenderfer and Ron Fletcher. In addition to running FyneLine Body Conditioning, Katherine continued to teach and perform throughout Orange County and Colorado for Defores, Ballet Pacifica, The Crystal Cathedral and Belliston Ballet Academy. In 2015, Katherine returned to Laguna Dance Theatre as a teacher and choreographer; and currently directs The Sugar Plum Tea for Laguna Ballet.

Nicole Douglas- Ballet

Nicole grew up in Massachusetts and trained with Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She danced with Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company for two years performing in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and Contemporary Repertoire. After recovering from a hip injury, she joined Ballet Magnificat’s trainee program in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2010 she began teaching in Massachusetts & Mississippi.  Nicole Joined LDT in 2017.

Sara Windal, Ballet
An Orange County native, Sara trained in Orange County and on full scholarship at Stanley Holden Dance Center in LA. She attended summer intensives in San Francisco Ballet, Paris, France, and Pacific Northwest Ballet and studied privately with Rebecca Wright and Patrick Frantz. She was awarded a Full scholarship to Pacific Northwest Ballet School and performed with the Company in Symphony in C, Midsummer’s Nights Dream, Nutcracker, Brahms Schoenberg and a world premier ballet by Kent Stowell. She joined Hartford Ballet as an apprentice and then spent many years as a Principal dancer with Anaheim Ballet. Sara performed lead dance roles locally in The Glory of Christmas, West Side Story, and Pippin and was featured in an Oingo Boingo MTV music video. Sara graduated from UCLA with BA in English Literature and did graduate work in New Testament studies. She has been teaching ballet since 2000 and has been teaching at LDT since 2006.


Ellen Cretti, Pre-Ballet/Tap/Jazz

Mrs. Cretti is a former Manhattan Rockette who toured cross-country with Bob Newhart, Ricky Nelson, The Four Seasons, and the New Christy Minstrells. Ellen has choreographed and performed in numerous musical and dance productions including Rosie in Bye Bye Byrdie, The Boyfriend, Mame. South Pacific, Oklahoma. She played the lead roles in original musical productions of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella at the PAF Playhouse in New York. She performed in Guys and Dolls under the direction of Brian Dennehy. She trained in musical theatre and assisted in classes at Hurbert Berghof Studio in New York City. She was the Founder/Director of the Hillside Studio, for Dance and Drama in Huntington, New York for ten years. She taught at the Royal Dance Center in Florida from 1985-1999. Ellen relocated to California and has been with Laguna Dance Theatre for fourteen years. She has a gift to teach preschoolers and has successfully developed a dynamic children’s dance program here at LDT.

Emily Kimbro- Ballet, Pilates
Emily began her training at Laguna Ballet under the direction of Shery Gilbert at the age of six.  She attended summer intensives at Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.  While dancing at Laguna Ballet, she performed many leading roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and Odette in Swan Lake.  She is Body Arts & Sciences International (BASI) certified in Pilates.  Emily earned her BS in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton and will graduate from Chapman University with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2021.

Paola Isabella- Jazz, Hip Hop, Pom, Rhythm Tap




Sven Toorvald, Ballet (Guest Faculty, PDX)

Sven Toorvald is an alumnus of Westside Ballet who has danced with Houston Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Company. Sven is also an alumnus of AFT, the American Film Institute. His highly-regarded documentary, The Ballerina Interviews, premiered on PBS in November 2003.

Stephanie Dai (Guest Faculty, Choreograhy, YAGP)

Stephanie Dai is a dancer, freelance artist, and recent graduate of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s inaugural BFA class. Trained in the improvisational technologies of William Forsythe, Stephanie currently plays with marrying the aesthetics of contemporary and hip hop into a rich, personal style. Her versatility and distinct improvisation work has allowed her to headline events with the hip-hop crew, Miniotics, be featured in a UNIQLO commercial directed by Solange Knowles, and perform as a soloist in the original works of Bill T. Jones and Sonya Tayeh. Stephanie hopes to continue freelancing while combining her love for movement with other passions such as visual media and pedagogical research to create interdisciplinary works of art.




Benefits of Pilates

  • Low impact fitness developed to accommodate all levels activity
  • Increased body awareness
  • Postural improvement and correct alignment
  • Fitness that benefits every type of body for every age and ability
  • Overall increased strength and flexibility
  • Injury prevention
  • Increased range of motion and mobility
  • Joint stabilization and mobility for those who suffer from arthritic conditions
  • Strengthening injuries post rehabilitation
  • Increased core strength
  • Cross training designed specifically for athletes, and dancers
  • Balance and coordination
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Overall Well being

For more information on schedule and pricing contact

Contact: Emily Kimbro

About Us

Laguna Dance Theatre offers strong pre-professional ballet training, customized to the aspirations and possibilities of the individual student. Laguna Dance Theatre founded in 1985 under the direction of Shery Gilbert and is the official home of the nonprofit arts organization Laguna Ballet.

In addition to ballet classes, LDT also offers the best in jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, pilates and classes for dancers from age 3 to adult.

Pre-School Dance

We have an excellent preschool program which develops rhythm, flexibility, strength, musicality, coordination and self-esteem. Mommy and me classes, ballet, tap and jazz for children ages 3-6 and summer dance camps are available.

Young Dancer

Classes are offered for the serious student and those looking for a well rounded dance education.  Dancers are introduced to proper technique and discipline in a fun and supportive atmosphere and form life long friendships.


We offer a two tract program for aspiring professional dancers, or those who wish continue their education at a collegiate level.  Technique, pointe, variations, pas de deux, pilates, and dance history offer a well rounded dance education. Private coaching and original choreography are available.  Spotlight, YAGP and Prix de Lausanne competitions are recommended.

Children’s Summer Camps


The following classes will be offered at the listed rate or single class rate. 

Pre-registration is required!


Butterfly Ballet (Ages 5-7): 

June 6th-June 29th $125

Monday 9:00-10:00

Wednesday 9:00-10:00

July 6th-July 27th $125

Monday 9:00-10:00

Wednesday 9:00-10:00


Beg. Tap/Jazz Ages 5-7

June 6th-June 29th $125

Monday 10:00-11:00 am

Wednesday 10:00-11:00 am

July 13th-July 27th $125

Monday 10:00-11:00 am

Wednesday 10:00-11:00 am


Ballet 1 (Ages 5+) 

July 13th-August 12th.  $80.00

Wednesdays 4:00-5:00


Beg. Tap/ Jazz (Ages 6+)

July 13th-August 12th.  $80.00

Wednesdays 5:00-6:00


Ballet/ TAP combo (ages 2-4)

 July 16-August 13th   $80.00

Saturday 9:00-10:00


Ballet tap/ combo II  (Ages 5-7)

July 16-August 13th   $80.00

Saturday 10:00-11:00




Classes Pending Minimum Registration
Please Contact Our Office For Pricing and Registration Details
(949) 855-4702