ARTISTIC STAFF of BALLET PALM BEACH
COLLEEN SMITH- FOUNDING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Colleen Smith is the founder and artistic director of Ballet Palm Beach and its ballet school, Ballet Palm Beach Academy. Before establishing Ballet Palm Beach, Smith taught for the Kansas City Ballet School in Kansas City, Missouri; served as Ballet Mistress for New Dance Ensemble in Cleveland, Ohio; began the dance department of Trinity Methodist Fine Arts School in Palm Beach Gardens and taught for numerous south Florida schools.
Smith has danced with Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio; New Dance Ensemble in Cleveland, Ohio and Tulsa Ballet Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She trained in Florida with Joan Miller, Brenda Gooden and Cuca Martinez; at the Washington School of Ballet under Mary Day, Choo San Goh and William Buckner and with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. Her teaching mentors are Brenda Gooden, Victoria Leigh and Ruth C. Petrinovic. As Artistic Director, Smith enjoys creating new works for the professional company and enriching the community through outreach performances. As head of Ballet Palm Beach Academy, she delights in being a part of young people’s lives and cultivating dancers for successful careers of their own.
CLAUDIA CRAVEY – COMPANY COACH
Claudia Cravey began her career as a professional Principal Dancer at the age of 13, with the London Times proclaiming her performance “a triumph.” She performed with the Chicago Opera Ballet, Washington Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, in films and on television. As a soloist with the Harkness Ballet, Ms. Cravey danced in works created by many prominent choreographers, developing extremely
valuable experience in an eclectic repertoire. As Ballet Mistress for Ballet Florida for 30 years, Ms. Cravey worked and trained her dancers to reach their full professional potential. Ms. Cravey has learned the choreography for over 100 ballets with richly diverse repertories and rehearsed them with the dancers.
She has worked with more than 40 of the world’s leading contemporary and classical choreographers in setting ballets and resetting ballets in the company repertory. She is dedicated to the growth of dancers not only as technicians, but also as artists. Ms. Cravey is also personally interested in the development of her dancers as individuals, an approach that often extends outside the ballet studio.
MARSHALL LEVIN – ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE
Marshall Levin began his ballet training with Susana Prieto at Ballet Etudes in Hialeah, FL. He was a soloist with the Israel Ballet for three years. He returned to the USA with his wife Julie, and they became the initial members of the former Ballet Florida in 1986. Some of his favorite roles during his 15-year career at Ballet Florida have been Hilarion & Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Don Jose in Carmen, 3rd Sailor in Fancy Free, title role in The Nutcracker, an evil step-sister in Cinderella, Tybalt, Benvolio, and Paris in Romeo & Juliet, Puck in A Midsummer’s Night Dream,
and Otto Frank in Anne Frank. As a teacher, he has taught ballet and mime internationally and locally. As a choreographer, he produced pieces for Ballet Florida’s Step Ahead project and for the International
Salute to Vienna. A “jack-of-all-trades,” Mr. Levin is Ballet Palm Beach’s rehearsal assistant, LMT, teacher,
and occasional prop-maker and make-up artist. He has also been a familiar presence on the BPB stage
in a myriad of roles since its early years.