Faculty

Lizanne McAdams-Graham – School Director
Lizanne McAdams-Graham, has over 38 years experience as a professional dancer and instructor.   She began training at the age of 3 under the direction of her late mother, Lorraine McAdams. She has an extensive history with her mother’s company, the National Ballet of New Jersey.  A scholarship student to Joffrey Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Craft of Choreography NARB workshops. She joined the Croatian National Ballet Theatre in Zagreb, in the former Yugoslavia at the age of 17 dancing principal and leading roles in Nutcracker, Coppelia, Giselle, Swan Lake, Serenade, Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and Firebird, Graduation  Ball, Carmina Burana, Bolero and Cinderella. She studied with Finus Yhung, David Howard, John Prince, Maria Vegh, Basil Thompson, Michael Smuin, Alonzo King, Maggie Black and Robert Blankshine, Kristina Elliot, Yehuda Maor, Loyce Holton, Robert Blankshine and Pavel Rotaru.

Ms. McAdams-Graham became principal dancer with the renowned ODC/San Francisco, completing world tours including Russia, Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and Australia, along with Jacobs Pillow, Joyce Theater, City Center, Lincoln Center in NYC, and Kennedy Center in D.C. She has guest appeared for Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Opera Ballet Companies in “Faust”, “Die Fledermaus”, “La Traviata” “Orfeo Ed Euridice” and “Aida” and appeared on the PBS televised production of “Dance in America” and the major motion picture “The In Crowd.”

Ms. McAdams served on the faculty for Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, Point Park College, Carnegie-Mellon University, Drexel University and San Francisco Institute of Dance. She set major ballets on Charleston Ballet, Ithaca Ballet and Walnut Hill.  She retired from performing in 1997 and has since taught professional level and company class for Boulder Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson, David Taylor Dance Theatre, Zikir Dance Ensemble and Ballet Nouveau. She held professional classes at Colorado Ballet and has since relocated them to Denver Dance Center. She was the company teacher for Dawson/Wallace Dance Project and Ballet Director for Sweatshop in Denver, CO. the Director and Founder of the High Pointe Dance Academy, a pre professional children’s school for 13 years. Currently Ms. McAdams-Graham is the Ballet Director for Sweatshop in Denver, CO.


Lance Hardin – Artistic Director
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Photo by Sue Daniels

Lance Hardin is a native of Chicago, where he received his training from Larry Long at the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ballet from Indiana University, where he studied under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Jacques Cesbron, and Violette Verdy. As a professional dancer, Mr. Hardin has danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre (currently Charlotte Ballet), Chautauqua Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Boulder Ballet, Springfield Ballet Company, and the Yoko Kasai Ballet Studio located in Japan. He has performed principal roles by world renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine (Allegro Brilliante, Four Temperaments, Western Symphony, Who Cares), Paul Taylor (Esplanade, Company B), Dwight Rhoden (Verge), Nacho Duato (Jardi Tancat), William Forsythe (In the Middle Somewhat Elevated), Michael Pink (Romeo and Juliet), and Alonzo King (Map). Presently, Lance is enjoying many requests as guest artist, teacher, and choreographer. Mr. Hardin has taught dance for the past 23 years and holds numerous choreographic credits including The Denver Independent Choreographer’s Project, Springfield Ballet Company, Boulder Ballet and Fractured a collaboration with his wife Amy Earnest for James Sewell Ballet. Lance and Amy served as Co-Dance Directors at The Myles Reif Performing Arts Center in MN prior to joining Boulder Ballet. Lance was Associate Artistic Director of Boulder Ballet before becoming Artistic Director in 2020.


Amy Earnest 
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Photo by Amanda Tipton

Amy began dancing at the age of three in Atlanta, GA. Amy received her training with the School of Atlanta Ballet under the direction of Tom Pazik, School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. As a professional dancer she performed with Hartford Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre (currently Charlotte Ballet), Tulsa Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She also was a finalist in the prestigious New York Ballet Competition of 1996 and was a member of the Chautauqua Ballet from 1998 to 2000. Amy has been teaching and coaching students for the last 14 years and is certified with the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in Primary through Level 3. Amy owned and directed Avant-Garde School of Dance, along with her husband Lance Hardin, where they choreographed and produced numerous performances including an annual Nutcracker. Amy has trained and coached students that have continued their training with prestigious schools including American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School. Amy is also a certified Pilates instructor receiving her certification through D.K. Body Balancing accredited by the University of Nevada Las Vegas and approved by the Nevada and Arizona State Boards of Physical Therapists. Amy also enjoyed her role as company teacher with Dawson Wallace Dance (formerly David Taylor Dance Theatre) from 2008 to 2012, along with a variety of requests as guest instructor. Before coming to Boulder Ballet Amy and her husband Lance Hardin served as Co-Dance Directors at The Myles Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids, MN.


Kate Adams

Kate Adams

Kate Adams is a Boulder native who began dancing at Boulder Ballet at the age of three. In Colorado, she had the chance to compete in the Denver Ballet Guild’s Young Dancers Competition where she received 2nd place in 2010 and 6th place in 2014. As she rose through the school, Kate also had opportunities to attend summer programs such as The HARID Conservatory, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. After graduating high school, she moved to Georgia to study with the Atlanta Ballet. In her two years with Atlanta, she was given the opportunity both years to perform in the snow and flower corps alongside the Atlanta Ballet company in John McFall’s The Nutcracker. Kate returned to Boulder where she is now a company dancer with Boulder Ballet while pursuing a Health Sciences degree online through the University of South Dakota.


Giana Forte

Gianna ForteGianna Forte, originally from Easton, CT, began her training with Connecticut Dance, New England Ballet Company, and the Studio at Ballet Etudes. In 2015, she began training privately with Christina Fagundas, former soloist with American Ballet Theatre, and continues to train with her during time off. Gianna spent summers at ABT, Ballet West, Kaatsbaan, and The Washington School of Ballet where she joined The Professional Training Division under the direction of Xiomara Reyes in 2016. In 2018, Gianna was promoted by Julie Kent, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, to Trainee and performed in Septime Weber’s The Nutcracker, John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Julie Kent’s The Sleeping Beauty, and rehearsed Julie Kent’s Swan Lake in April 2020. Gianna joined Boulder Ballet in 2021.


Becky Jancosko

bbsheadbeckyBecky Jancosko has been teaching ballet in Boulder and Denver since 1990 and over the years has been a part of Boulder Ballet as a choreographer, teacher and Ballet Mistress. Becky apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet in New York and danced as a soloist with European companies including the Dutch National Ballet, Berlin Ballet and Geneva Ballet, and with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. Her professional career and experience brings a high level of expertise to the students. She encourages students to work hard and to the best of their ability, believing that studying ballet will enhance and enrich all areas of their lives. Becky also serves the community as a regional advisor for Bible Study Fellowship International. She’s married to Bill who patiently encourages her!


Emma Michaux

Emma MichauxEmma Michaux is a Colorado native who has been dancing since the age of four. She trained with Colorado Ballet Society in Colorado Springs since the age of eleven and has also trained in various summer programs including San Francisco Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theatre. Emma has had the opportunity to perform many wonderful roles onstage including Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake, and Dewdrop Fairy from The Nutcracker. She has also had the privilege of being awarded multiple scholarships from both the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancers Competition and the Esther Geoffrey Scholarship Competition. Emma joined Boulder Ballet as an Apprentice in 2019 and became a member of the Company in 2021.


Georgia Michelle

Georgia Michelle is a professional performance artist, instructor, and choreographer currently living in Boulder, CO.  Georgia has a lifetime of dance education and experience allowing her to create an array of authentic and evolutionary style of dance.  She started dancing at the age of 4, studying classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern and character.  Having played 3 instruments she has a solid comprehension of music, providing her with precision and clarity in her teaching and choreography skills.  Her childhood years were filled with rehearsals, performances and competitions nationwide.  She has won many awards and scholarships in dance and has accepted many invitations to study and perform world wide with several dance companies.


Philip Perez

Philip PerezPhilip Gabriel Perez was born in Colombia and adopted to New York City. At seven, he began classes at The JKO School of ABT, studying under Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens. In 2010, Alexei Ratmansky cast him as the Young Prince in the company’s new production of The Nutcracker. In 2015, he continued his training at Boston Ballet School under Peter Stark and Margaret Tracey. He then joined Nashville Ballet II under Paul Vasterling and learned company repertoire, including Balanchine works. In 2017 he danced with Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company performing in company productions and learning Tharp’s Brief Fling and Tudor’s Pillar of Fire. At the 2019 Miami IBC, he was awarded the second-place silver medal. He enjoys teaching and guesting with local schools and companies across the country. Philip joined Boulder Ballet in 2018.


Laura Saylor

bbsheadlauraLaura began her formal ballet training at the age of 14 at Ballet Etudes of South Florida in her native Miami, under the direction of Susana Prieto. Laura subsequently studied at Butler University and Ballet Austin as well as in the Summer Intensive programs of Kansas City Ballet and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. She trained under internationally acclaimed instructors including Susana Prieto, Peter La Fox, Dagmar Moradillos, Rodolfo Rodriguez, Vladimir Issaev, Alla Osipenko, Jerry Schwender, William Whitener, and Gretchen Ward Warren. Laura danced professionally with Austin Metamorphoses Dance Ensemble, Ballet Etudes of South Florida, and Montgomery Ballet. She has performed featured roles in many of the classics and has originated several contemporary roles. Laura decided to take a hiatus from dancing and moved to Colorado in June of 2013.


Hunter Solomon

Hunter SolomonHunter Solomon, originally from Brunswick, Georgia, began his training at Steps of Faith and Studio South Performing Arts Center. At 16, he also trained at Madeleine Walker Coastal Ballet with Gaye Baxley. After graduation, he joined Atlanta Ballet’s Conservatory program under the direction of John McFall and Sharon Story where he studied for two years. The following summer he attended Milwaukee Ballet’s intensive and was offered and accepted a position in the second company under Rolando Yanes. He performed in ballets choreographed and directed by Michael Pink such as The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, and Dracula, as well as Bruce Well’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream His favorite role to date with Boulder Ballet is Christopher Wheeldon’s The American. Hunter joined Boulder Ballet in 2019.


Rebeca Ramirez Vargas

Rebeca originally from Mexico began her classical professional ballet training at the National Ballet School of La Havana Cuba “Fernando Alonso” at the age of 15. During this time she had the opportunity to dance ballets like Don Quijote, La Bayadere, Raymonda, and more. After graduating Rebeca moved to New York City where she joined the Joffrey Concert Group, a small student-based company where she had the opportunity to dance Ballets like Valse Fantaisie and Serenade by George Balanchine and Suite Saint-Saëns and Light Rain by Gerald Arpino. After two years Rebeca and her now-husband Carson decided to join Cleveland Ballet where she stayed for two years and performed ballets like Alice in Wonderland by Margo Sappington and Coppelia by Ramon Oller. After moving to Colorado in 2019 Rebeca joined the Ballet Ariel in 2020 for one season. Rebeca is happy to come back to Boulder Ballet to teach all of the amazing students.


Dominic Walsh

Dominic Walsh, a former Principal Dancer, and Choreographer with Houston Ballet was born in Elgin, Illinois, and started his training at an early age with Lisa Boehm, Frank Boehm, Warren Conover, and Larry Long in Chicago. He joined Houston Ballet in 1989 and was promoted to soloist in 1993 and principal dancer in 1996. Walsh danced throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.

Walsh has performed all the major classics including Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet, and Manon with international stars such as Nina Ananiashvili and Alessandra Ferri. He danced Houston Ballet’s entire contemporary repertoire, and Ben Stevenson created numerous roles for him, including Marc Antony in Cleopatra. In 1998, Walsh’s work Flames of Eros for Houston Ballet won the prestigious Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography. He won a second Choo-San Goh Award in 2007 for Amadeus for Anita, a 2008 Princess Grace Award for Mozart, and numerous other choreography awards.

From 2002 to 2014, Walsh directed his contemporary ballet company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. After the company’s debut in February 2003, Dance Magazine said, “At last Houston has a contemporary dance company on par with its symphony, opera, and ballet companies.” Since then, the company has accumulated honors and built a reputation for taking the techniques and skills of classical ballet into groundbreaking territory. The company’s repertoire features works by Walsh and such iconic choreographers as Mats Ek, Jiří Kylián, Mauro Bigonzetti, and Matthew Bourne.

Walsh has received multiple commissions to set and create works nationally and internationally. They include Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, Medea (2009) and The Sleeping Beauty (2011); American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Alchemy (2004); London Studio Centre, Sub-Luminus (2010); and New National Theatre, Tokyo, Orfeo ed Euridice (2007) and Wolfgang for Webb(2010). Walsh also served as the Resident Choreographer for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, creating and staging Wolfgang for Webb(2008), The Trilogy (2009), and Time Out of Line (2011).

Walsh lectures and writes about dance, and travels throughout the U.S. and abroad as a guest teacher and coach for both companies and academies. Walsh also stages the works of his longtime mentor Ben Stevenson. Walsh made his film debut as a co-director at the Brussels Short Film Festival with Malta Kano, TX, and published his photo book titles Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in 2015 with company photographer, Gabriella Nissen.