is a native of Baltimore, Maryland where she began her classical ballet training at the age of 6 under the direction of Laura Gurdus Dolid of the Sudbrook Arts Centre and the Peabody Institute. Pre-professionally, Cassidy trained with Ballet Internationale & Indianapolis Ballet under the guidance of Eldar Aliev and later received a scholarship to attend the summer dance intensive at The Juilliard School in New York. Upon graduation from Carver Center for the Arts as a Dance Major, she accepted a scholarship to attend the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts. There she received extensive training under former classical and contemporary dancers of American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Company, among others. Cassidy had the privilege of performing original works of choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte, Asun Noales, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Takehiro Ueyama. Her most beloved performance at SUNY Purchase was William Carter’s Bach Concerto, a role which included both Allegro and Adagio sections originally created for Gelsey Kirkland.Cassidy’s professional career began in her senior year at SUNY Purchase while completing her degree. She had the honor and privilege of working under the direction of Kazuko Hirabayashi in her original full-length production of Faust,
premiered in Mexico City, Mexico. She was also granted the opportunity of performing with TAKE Dance Company at the International Choreographic Competition in Spain as well as a company residency at Kaatsbaan, NY. During her final semester, she was asked to perform George Balanchine’s Western Symphony as an apprentice with Tulsa Ballet Theater. Upon graduation Cassidy accepted a position with Tania Perez-Salas Compania de Danza in Mexico City, Mexico. Cassidy was granted highlighted roles in Las Horas
, Las Aguas del Olvido
, and Anabiosis
, and enjoyed several international tours with the company.
Cassidy Stoker – Ballet Instructor
She continued as a traveling solo artist during which time she discovered her passion and success as a teacher. She later settled in Lander, Wyoming where she became Artistic Director of the Ballet Program at Lander Dance Academy. The hard work and dedication of her students has earned their acceptance and scholarships to renowned summer and year-round programs such as ABT, Kirov Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Colorado Ballet and others.
Cassidy’s primary goal as a classical ballet instructor is to equip her students with the physical strength and body awareness to apply classical ballet technique. As her students advance, she begins to challenge them mentally and artistically. Although her classes include traces of Vaganova and Cecchetti methods of ballet technique, her classes are rooted in the American (Balanchine) method. She makes it a point speak about the variances of methods and often encourages her students to feel the difference for themselves. Cassidy’s exercises are dynamic in pattern and musicality, which equips her students with the ability to think quickly and to be physically and emotionally prepared for varying qualities of movement at any given time.
“My ultimate goal is to help my students develop and maintain a physical and mental discipline to themselves, to assist in shaping their unique quality of movement as an artist and individual, and to challenge them to be well-rounded and well-prepared physical artists and athletes.”