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/Boise Ballet.
With 15 years of training and performing under his belt, he was on his way to New York. “In New York I performed with Dances Patrelle, Ballet for Young Audiences and with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at Kennedy Center as well as many guest performances; most notably with the American Ballet Theatre dancing the Roper in Rodeo. During that period he founded LICSB and LICB. Long Island City School of Ballet and Long Island City Ballet are Mr. Ragan's passion and that passion brings joy to LIC and Queens his home of over 20 years. He has come full circle finally reaching his point of purpose.
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 both the artistic and city-wide encouragement of ballet in Queens.
Marissa Frey Miss Frey trained at SUNY Purchase College where she studied Ballet and Modern Technique, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance. She has danced professionally with companies such as Ballets with a Twist, Eglevsky Ballet, Neville Dance Theatre, DeMa Dance Company, The Collective: Yesid Lopez Contemporary Dance and Janusphere Dance Company. Prior to the aforementioned, She was a dance teacher for several years at the Greater York Center for Dance Education teaching Ballet and Pointe and Callina's School of Dance teaching Ballet to diverse age groups of students. Miss Frey is also on the faculty at BAE in Manhattan.
Heather Garbrandt 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”.
Dieter Riesle 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.
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.