LICSB students learn the value of hard work, attention to detail, experience the pride of accomplishment and the joy of performing.
Founder and Artistic Director of LICB 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.
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.
Miss Kristi has been a great addition to LICSB this year. She will be teaching Contemporary Dance on Thursdays for our Spring 2020 semester😀💕. Kristi Ann Schopfer has been a NYC based Dance Artist since 2010, yet grooving since 3 years of age. She began her dance training in New Jersey at Dance World Academy and R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance). She then toured the east coast and on Carnival Cruise Lines with Connecticut-based Dance 10 Touring company, performing Fossé inspired tap and jazz numbers. Kristi Ann received her BFA in Dance at The College at Brockport in 2010; where she met Rebecca Sproul Gushue and has danced for Gushue Moving Arts since 2007. Kristi Ann is a CMG-Represented Stunt Performer, and has worked most recently with Winston Brown, Kate Griffler, Janis Brenner, Barkin/Selissen Project, and at STREB Lab for Action Mechanics. She also collaborates with Matheny Arts Access choreographers, providing individuals with disabilities access to creative expression. n.
Assistant Director/Instructor LICB LICSB
Alex graduated from Hofstra University with degrees in Dance and Biology. Her choreography has been seen at several events across the Hofstra Campus, as well as shows in NYC, including Dance Astoria, Bridge For Dance, and SharedSpace. She has performed in works by Anita Feldman, Denise Caston, Rachel List, and Livia Vanaver. She currently teaches at several studios in NYC including Long Island City School of Ballet, Miss Sara’s Ballet Studio, and Peridance Capezio Center.
Mackenna is a 2020 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College where she studies psychology and dance, with a concentration in teaching dance arts. She has been dancing for 18 years and teaching for 6. She is very excited to be expanding her contemporary and ballet teaching career from Albany to New York City with the hard working and passionate students at LICSB!
Amanda decided she was going to be the “most famousest” ballerina at age 3 after watching the ballet Sleeping Beauty. Her mom brought her to ballet with a retired New York City ballet dancer where she learned ballet technique and the love of telling a story through dance! Amanda grew up in Wisconsin and loved to climb trees and make lots of plays with her sister and neighbors. Her family moved to Boston when she was 11 where she enrolled in the conservatory Northeast Youth Ballet. Amanda furthered her exploration of storytelling at Skidmore College where she double majored in Choreography and Business. She was awarded the Periclean Scholarship for her Choreography Capstone. Upon graduation, Amanda danced professionally with the Jose Limon Company, Battleworks, Amy Marshall Company, Ariel Rivka Dance, Isadora International Institute, Glo ATL and the clowning group Pinto Pollak. Amanda‘s biggest influences include Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Baryshnikov, and Gelsey Kirkland. She enjoys storytelling across all forms of media. Most recently she produced for HBO, acted in the Marshalls campaign “Surprise” as the Marshall’s girl, and won the Made in New York Film Festival for her dance film “Animals in the Darndest Places.” However, her favorite role by far is Teacher. Passing on the love of dance, the wonder of storytelling and the joy of finding one’s voice is her passion. Amanda is honored to help students discover this for themselves at LIC School of Ballet.
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