LICSB was founded in 2006 and is recognized today as one of the foremost dance programs in Queens, New York. We focus on developing strong technique and physical conditioning in our students while fostering an appreciation for the performing arts. Our curriculum is based on the classical ballet training of Cecchetti with aspects of Vaganova for strength and Balanchine for speed.

LICSB students learn the value of hard work, attention to detail, experience the pride of accomplishment and the joy of performing.

Eric Ragan

Eric Ragan

Founder and Artistic Director of LICSB

Eric Ragan has danced professionally for over 30 years. Early in his career he studied with Flemming Flindt at Dallas Ballet in the Bournonville style. He also worked with Natasha Krassovska from the Ballet Russe.
In 1989, Eric was selected by Frederic Franklin of the Ballet Russe to dance the role of Johnny in Ruth Page Center’s Frankie and Johnny. It was the ‘kickoff’ to an impressive career. To this day, Mr. Ragan credits much of his success to Franklin. “He was my most important coach and my mentor.”

Eric joined the Tulsa Ballet Theatre in 1988, during his second year with the company he was promoted to soloist. “That’s where I danced ‘Roper’ in Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo for the first time”. It became one of Eric’s signature performances.

Eric would also dance with Ballet Austin and the Eugene Ballet where he worked with renowned choreographer, Tony Pimble, dancing Mercutio in her Romeo and Juliet.

Once again, Mr. Ragan found a new audience in Switzerland where he danced at the famed Stadttheatre StGallen before returning to Eugene Ballet.
With 15 years of training and performing under his belt, he was on his way to New York. “In New York I performed as a soloist with Dances Patrelle, Ballet for Young Audiences and with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at Kennedy Center for 8 years as well as many guest performances; most notably with the American Ballet Theatre dancing the Roper in Rodeo. Mr. Ragan founded LICSB and LICB.

A superb dancer, choreographer and producer, Eric is founder and artistic director of the Long Island City Ballet — and an arts activist with an eye to the artistic encouragement of ballet.

Dieter Riesle

Dieter Riesle

Instructor

Was born in Wiesbaden, Germany. He graduated from the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. The curriculum of the academy includes, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Character Dance, Spanish Dance, etc. besides daily ballet training. During his performing career, Mr. Riesle danced principal roles in Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as other ballets.

Mr. Riesle performed with the Frankfurt Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Garden State Ballet, NJ, and as a guest dancer in Japan.

For the last twenty-five years, he has been teaching children, pre-professional teens and adults at Tri-State Area schools, such as Studio Allegro in Madison, NJ, the Ballet School of Stamford, the JCC in Scarsdale, The Pulse, Bedford Hills, NY and, formerly, at the Stamford City Ballet. Allegra Kent originally invited Mr. Riesle to teach for the Stamford City Ballet and he continued teaching for SCB under the direction of ABT’s David Richardson. He has also guest taught at numerous schools in Japan, Germany, and Denmark. In addition, he has substituted for Evee Lynn at Broadway Dance Center, Igal Peri at Peridance and Lowell Smith at Ballet Arts in NYC.

Katie Lohiya

Katie Lohiya

Instructor

Miss Lohiya is originally from Chicago, IL. At the age of 16 she became an apprentice with TJ and Company and performed works by Terri Jo Englund and Laura Wade. Katie continued her training in college and was awarded a scholarship to attend Point Park University’s Conservatory of Dance. Through Point Park she studied dance abroad in Paris, France. Katie then moved to NYC to complete her BFA in dance graduating magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College in 2011. While at Marymount she had the opportunity to perform works by Benoit-Swan Pouffer, May O’Donnel, John Butler, Erick Hawkins, and Igal Perry. Following graduation, Katie studied on scholarship at the Merce Cunningham Professional Training Program. She also trained at the Hubbard Street Summer Intensive, River North Summer Intensive, and the American Dance Festival.

Katie has performed professionally with the Synthesis Aesthetics Project, the Long Island Dance Project, and is currently a member of Lydia Johnson Dance. Katie has originated several principal roles for Lydia and also serves as rehearsal director.

In addition to performing, Katie has always had a passion for teaching and loves working with young aspiring artists. Katie has taught ballet and contemporary for the Long Island Dance Project and Astoria School of Fine Arts. In addition to Long Island City School of Ballet, she is currently on faculty at the Play Area Association, The School at Steps on Broadway, and the Lydia Johnson School of Dance. Katie also serves as the Assistant Director for Lydia Johnson’s Summer Dance Camp. Katie is thrilled to be on faculty at the Long Island City School of Ballet.

Heather Garbrandt

Heather Garbrandt

Assistant Director LICSB Instructor

Trained at the New Jersey School of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and New York Theater Ballet. She is a principal dancer with Ballet for Young Audiences and soloist for the Staten Island Ballet. She has danced with the Octavia Cup Dance Theatre, lauded for its contemporary point work.

Prior to her role as beloved “Miss Heather” at LICSB, Heather taught at other renowned NY-area ballet schools, including Ballet Academy East and Steps on Broadway. She has also been an instructor for Sharing the Barre, a NJ dance and musical theater program for children with special needs.

“Only a small percentage of ballet students will spend their adult lives on the stage. But all of our students will experience the health benefits of stretching and moving to music, of hard work, focus, attention to detail, achieving goals and yes – the joy of performing”.

 
Elena Madrigal

Elena Madrigal

Instructor

Elena Madrigal, Born in Costa Rica, Elena began her studies in classical ballet under the supervision of Mrs. Flor Montalban and Ingrid Cruz.  Her partenerting skills are based on the superior training of teachers from The Cuban Ballet, Pedro Martin and Anya Boza. 
She graduated in character and classical dance from the British Academy of Dancing and received two honorary diplomas with the highest grades.  She has been fortunate enough to work with Ms. Gelsey Kirkland and Mr. David Howard. 
Winner of the gold medal in the 1994 Latin and Central America Ballet competition, a program created by Dame Margot Fonteyn. 
Principal roles:
Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Le Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo And Juiet, Manon, Carmen, Le Petite Mort, and several original contemporary pieces from choreographer Felix from the Cuban Ballet
She has also choreographed two full ballets for The American Ballet Arts Company.  
Teaching And Coaching Skills:
Her class focuses primarily on the use of rhythm and the importance of style and alignment for each movement.  Many professional dancers have come to her to understand this better and the results have been incredibly well received.
Mariel Lowe

Mariel Lowe

Instructor

Miss Lowe

Mariel Lowe grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and received her dance training at the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School before attending both San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and the Boston Ballet School. In 2010, Mariel joined Robert Wood Dance NY Inc. as a dance artist and as assistant to the choreographer. In addition to continued work with RWDNY, Mariel has performed multidisciplinary work at La Mama with Mind the Art Entertainment as well as choreographed the New York Fringe Festival shows, Whiskey Pants the Mayor of Williamsburg and Beware the Chupacabra. Mariel enjoys playing the cello and has a budding interest in dance and film which has led her to co-produce and direct a short film series, Home Bodies.

Denise Caston

Denise Caston

Instructor

Denise Caston was a Radio City Rockette for 10 years and toured nationally with the Tony Award winning musical, Crazy For You. Denise has also had the honor of performing the choreography of Savion Glover at a showcase in New York City. She performed on tour in Australia, dancing all over the continent in Elvis to the Max. Her choreography has been seen in many productions in which she performed, including shows at Caesars Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Credits also include film, television, commercials, and industrials. Teaching credits include classes at Broadway Dance Center (NYC) and Steps on Broadway (NYC), Tradition In Tap (NYC), Gregg Russell’s Tap Into the Network (Cleveland, OH), and the St. Louis Tap Festival, as well as The Rockette Experience© at Radio City Music Hall.
In 2011, Denise was invited to speak at the TEDx Detroit Conference about her contributions to the cultural landscape in Detroit, including founding and producing Motor City Tap Fest and founding the Detroit Tap Repertory.
Recently, Denise was awarded a prestigious MaTilDa Award from her alma mater, Oakland University, for Alumni Achievement in Dance. She also became certified by the American Ballet Theatre’s ABT® National Teacher Training Curriculum for Primary-Level 3.

 

 

 

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