August 5, 2014 by Nicole
The Center for Contemporary Dance recently announced auditions for two new classical ballet performing groups, one for ages 7-11, the other for dancers 12-22. The selected dancers will have the opportunity to perform locally and regionally as part of these Performance Studies Programs, sponsored by the School.
These new performance programs will be under the supervision of Marilyn Gaston, Director of Ballet Studies at The Center for Contemporary Dance, and Douglas Horne, Assistant Director of Ballet Studies. Both are former professional ballet dancers with extensive industry experience as teachers and choreographers and you can learn more about them below.
Marilyn Gaston, Director of Ballet Studies
Marilyn Gaston, a native of Washington D.C., began dance training at an early age with the Washington School of Ballet and with Mateo School of Ballet in Arlington, Virginia. After high school, she graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet and Theatre and began dancing professionally while still in college, with the Fort Worth Ballet company and in summer stock musicals at Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas. After graduation, Ms. Gaston danced professionally with the Atlanta Ballet Company; the German State Theatre Ballet companies of Lübeck and Karlsrühe, Germany; and the Ballet du Rhin of Strasbourg, France, completing a 40-performance tour of Europe with the ballet Romeo and Juliet. Ms. Gaston has served on the dance faculties of Towson University, Goucher College, Loyola College (Baltimore) and the Orlando Ballet School, and was founder/director of the Ballet Academy of Baltimore and its affiliate performing company (now known as the Baltimore Ballet) for 17 years. During this time she choreographed many original works for college and private dance studio companies, including a full-length original Nutcracker, and re-staged classics such as Swan Lake and Les Sylphides. Ms. Gaston holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance with ballet emphasis from the University of Oklahoma. She is knowledgeable in recognized ballet syllabi training and studied the Vaganova training method personally as a young professional dancer with Mme. Vera Volkova, a former pupil of Agrippina Vaganova herself.
Douglas Horne, Assistant Director of Ballet Studies
Douglas Horne danced professionally after studying on full scholarship with American Ballet Theatre (New York), Miami City Ballet (Miami, Florida) and Studio Maestro (New York). In June 2010 he was Bronze medal winner in the World Ballet Competition; and in June 2009 he was a finalist in The New York International Ballet competition. Additionally, he was semi-finalist in the renowned International Ballet Competition in Varna (Bulgaria) and won Gold in the senior classical division of the Youth America Grand Prix semifinals in Torrington, Connecticut where he was among the top twelve dancers in the senior contemporary division. In 2007 he won the Gold medal in the senior division of the Youth Dance Festival of New Jersey. Locally, Mr. Horne danced leading roles from 2009 to 2013 with Orlando Ballet in Cinderella, Le Corsaire and Esmerelda (pas de deux), Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Nutcracker. He also originated several soloist and principal roles in contemporary works. He appeared in a featured role in the Orlando Philharmonic’s 2012 production of Carousel. Mr. Horne teaches ballet technique, men’s classes, and partnering, and serves as assistant director and contributing choreographer for the ballet performing ensembles at The Center for Contemporary Dance.