The Company

KATHERINE GIESE, Executive/Artistic Director

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Katherine Giese graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Arts Management with a Theatre Emphasis and a Minor in Dance. She has worked with Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Joffrey Ballet Workshop, Northern Arizona University Orchestra, and the University of Incarnate Word Dance Department. Upon moving to Albuquerque in 1996, she began teaching, dancing, and choreographing with Ballet Repertory Theatre. Katherine has danced featured roles in Macbeth (Lady Macbeth), The Nutcracker (Snow Queen), Lumina by David Chavez (Fertility Pas de Deux), Casa de Bernarda Alba (Magdalena), Paquita (Soloist), the 1997 Bravo award-winning production of Cinderella (Stepmother), and the 2003 production of Cinderella (Stepsister). She has choreographed The Nutcracker and numerous one-act ballets and concert pieces for BRT, and has collaborated with other choreographers on Enchanted Tales of the Southwest and a children's version of Alice in Wonderland. Throughout her career at BRT, she has served in a number of roles, including principal dancer, resident choreographer, ballet school instructor for ages three to adult, Educational Outreach Director, Director of the Children's Division, Ballet Mistress, and Administrative Assistant. In 2004, Katherine became Executive/Artistic Director. During her tenure, she has broadened and enhanced the quality of ballet training, increased enrollment in BRT's academy and enhanced the quality of company productions, resulting in sold out performances for the last four seasons. With more shows performed to broader audiences, BRT has become the premier ballet company and ballet academy in Albuquerque. Katherine trained with Susan and Buddy Trevino, Maureen Price, Sharon Randolph, Jillana, Gretchen Warren, Alex Ossadnik, and Jayne Lee. Besides Ballet Repertory Theatre, she has performed with Bill Evans for New Mexico Ballet Company, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Canyon Movement Company, and the Incarnate Word College Ballet Company. As a child, she performed with San Francisco Ballet in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and with the Berlin Ballet in La Sylphide featuring Rudolf Nureyev and Eva Evdokimova.

ALEX OSSADNIK, Artistic Advisor/Choreographer

Born and raised in the former East Germany, Alex Ossadnik trained for 8 years under government scholarship at the prestigious Palucca School in Dresden. He performed with the Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux in France and was a principal dancer with the German National Theatre Weimar. In 1995, Alex came to the United States to pursue his career as a choreographer and teacher. He has set numerous original ballets around the country; was founder and Ballet Director for the Santa Fe Festival Ballet (now Aspen Santa Fe Ballet); is Artistic Director for Ballet Pro Musica; and has served as an artistic advisor, resident choreographer, and Associate Artistic Director for Ballet Repertory Theatre. As a choreographer and director, Alex has worked with artists from New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Alberta Ballet (Canada), Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the Colorado Ballet. Past choreographic works for Ballet Repertory Theatre include Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Orpheus, Carmen, Beauty and the Beast, La Mer, Tchaikovsky Suite, Act I of Giselle, The Sleeping BeautyCoppélia and Alice in Wonderland. Alex is currently ballet master of Ballet Idaho.


TRACY MENSCHING, Company Rehearsal Assistant 

Tracy has been an instructor with Ballet Repertory Theatre of NM since 1996 and performed in roles in the company for The Firebird, Triptych, and The Nutcracker.  She also danced with the New Mexico Ballet Company for many years, and was an original member of their Jr. Company.  She has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty for various ballet companies, plus A Christmas Carol, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Carmina Burana with NMBC under the direction of David Chavez.   Tracy also performed in over twenty Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Productions during the 1970’s 80 and 90’s, and toured with Summer Stock productions of “My Fair Lady” and “George M.”  She has been a guest artist for Ballet Lubbock, Texas Ballet in Houston, and the Asian American Ballet Company in Los Angeles, Ca. Her early training was here in Albuquerque with Suzanne Johnston, Cecelia Jaramillo, Bill Potenziani, David Chavez, Soili Avrola, and Leo Ahonen.  Tracy also attended the Southwest Ballet workshop with Bill Martin Viscount and the Joffery Ballet workshop with Robert Joffery and Diane Oreo.  She was lucky enough to study with many world renowned guest teachers in her dance career.

SARAH MORRIS, Company Rehearsal Assistant

Trained as a second-generation Balanchine dancer, Sarah Morris joined the Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet in 1993.  Her repertoire included classic Balanchine ballets and original works by artistic director, Paul Mejia.  Among her favorite roles were soloist in Balanchine’s La Valse, Mother in Mejia’s Les Noces and Stepsister in Cinderella.  She later joined the Bruce Wood Dance company, a modern troupe heavily influenced by Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey, and Lar Lubovitch.  During her professional dance career and since, she has enjoyed teaching ballet classes, staging, rehearsing, and auditioning children of all ages for musical theater and dance productions in a variety of venues.  Sarah has taught all levels of ballet and choreographed numerous dance pieces in Texas, Idaho and now, New Mexico.  Along with over a quarter century of teaching experience, she has also directed a non-profit dance studio for low income families, coordinated an outreach program to children in public schools, created an authentic after school dance program, directed a youth dance ensemble and served on the Board of Idaho Dance Theatre.  She is excited to bring her experience and join the staff at Ballet Repertory Theatre!

COREY NAGEL, Jr Company Rehearsal Assistant  

Corey Nagel has her B.S. in Dance from Illinois State University and has been on the dance faculties for ISU, Loyola University Chicago, Harper College, Columbia College Chicago, and the University of Chicago.  Ms. Nagel had the opportunity to study with Gus Giordano, Lea Darwin, Patty Obey, Pirkoff Lawlor, Birute Barodicaite, Nana Shineflug, Rosemary Doolas, and Joel Hall while growing up around the Chicago area.  She is a co-founder of Dance for Life/Next Generation and the McLean County Dance Association and developed the children’s program for two prominent Chicago studios. Ms. Nagel has worked with dancers from all over the states, been guest choreographer for multiple high schools, and has served as an adjudicator for dance festivals, dance companies, and dance scholarships.  She is passionate about her art, thrives on building strong dancers, and loves sharing her knowledge of dance.

The Dancers


Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, John started dancing at the age of 12 at Columbia Ballet School in Columbia, South Carolina. He then attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, in Greenville, South Carolina, where he trained in classical and modern dance. In 2019 John joined Kansas City Ballet as a trainee in the second company under the direction of Devon Carney and Christopher Ruud, where he danced roles in, The Nutcracker, Michael Pink’s Dracula, and Septime Weber’s The Wizard of Oz. In 2022 John joined Ballet West’s trainee program on full scholarship.
*John Aguirre appears courtesy of the Ballet West Trainee Program.


Iris Green was born in Albuquerque, NM and began her ballet training at Ballet Repertory Theater when she was 3 years old. She has performed in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Dance Spooktacular, and Magic Flute. She has also attended multiple summer ballet intensives at Ballet Repertory Theater. This is her first season as a member of the company and is also a demonstrator at Ballet Repertory Theatre. 


Hannah Greig started her ballet training at age nine at Fishback Studio of the Dance, where she also studied tap and jazz. She has been training with Ballet Repertory Theatre since 2010 and has performed featured roles such as the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker, the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additional BRT credits include The Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Swan Lake, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Coppélia, and Magic Flute, and contemporary shows Favorites!, Voices in Motion, Three-Quarter Time, Food for Thought...A Feast in Dance, and Contemporary Innovations. This is Hannah's tenth season as a member of the company. In 2019, she graduated with her bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and has since been working as a design engineer in community development and planning.  Her work includes commercial, residential, and national lab projects throughout the southwest.


Emma began her ballet training at the age of three with Ballet Repertory Theatre. She has attended summer intensives at Walnut Hill School for the Arts; Orlando Ballet School; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on a full merit scholarship. Emma has performed with BRT for thirteen seasons in numerous productions including The Nutcracker (as Princess Clara, Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, and Sugar Plum), Beauty & the Beast (as Beauty), Coppélia (as Coppélia), Alice in Wonderland (as the Red Queen), and many more. During a brief leave of absence to study in the Netherlands in 2018, Emma had the opportunity to train with Alexander Zhembrovskyy (Bavarian State Ballet, Slovenian National Ballet, and the Dutch National Ballet), Naira Agvanean (Dutch National Ballet), and Daan Visser (Dutch National Ballet Academy and Nederlands Danse Theatre). Emma graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of New Mexico in 2020  with her bachelor's in Environmental Planning and Design, with a concentration in Landscape Architecture. During the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic Emma worked as a flower farmer at Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos and later as a luxury florist in Cambridge, and Boston Massachusetts. She is thankful to be back in New Mexico, completing her Masters in Landscape Architecture with UNM and dancing and teaching again at BRT.


Megan Krier was born in Albuquerque, NM, and began dancing at Ballet Repertory Theatre when she was four years old. She has performed with BRT in many productions of The Nutcracker, as well as in Alice in Wonderland, Coppélia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Magic Flute. She has also attended Ballet West’s summer intensive and performed in The Nutcracker with New Mexico Ballet Company. This is her second season as a member of the company of Ballet Repertory Theatre.


Erika Ray began her ballet training at the age of five with Fishback Studio of the Dance in Albuquerque, where she also studied tap and jazz. In 2008, she began dancing with Ballet Repertory Theatre and since joining has danced principle and soloist roles in The Nutcracker (Clara, Sugar Plum, Dew Drop and Snow Queen) Swan Lake (Odette) Wizard of OZ (Glinda), Alice in Wonderland (Alice) and The Sleeping Beauty (Green Fairy). Other works with BRT include Beauty & the Beast, Cinderella, Mythical Wonders, Literally Dance and more. This is Erika’s eighth season as a member of the company. Erika graduated from UNM with her bachelor’s in Exercise Science in May 2016 and graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in May 2019 where she now works as a Physical Therapist in outpatient orthopedics.


Abby was born in Rexburg, ID and began dancing at La Mesa Dance Academy in Albuquerque at the age of three. She began dancing at Ballet Repertory Theatre at the age of six. She has performed with BRT in many productions of The Nutcracker (Clara) and in Dance Spooktacular. Abby has attended BRT’s summer intensive and Ballet West Academy’s 2021 and 2022 summer intensives. This is her first season as a member of the company, and she is also an instructor for Ballet Repertory Theatre.

Jr Company Rehearsal Assistant  

Tomas Tafoya, a native of Albuquerque, has been dancing for over 20 years. He grew up dancing at Sandra’s School of Dance on their nationally recognized competitive teams. The team’s highest accolade was being the only team in the state of New Mexico to rank in the top 50 by the Federation of Dance Competitions. In addition, Mr. Tafoya has been a guest teacher to numerous studios and schools in New Mexico, passing on his love and passion for dance. Between 2013-2015 Tomas traveled around the world with The Silhouettes – runners up on America’s Got Talent Season 6 –, including a tour of Ireland, the Polish Academy Awards, and Mexico’s Festival de Las Almas (Festival of the Souls). In 2015 Tomas joined BRT as a company dancer and has performed lead roles in BRT’s productions of The Nutcracker, The Little Mermaid, Coppélia, Alice in Wonderland, and their contemporary concerts. Tomas is also an instructor, Jr. Company Rehearsal Assistant, and has choreographed. He graduated from UNM with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (2018), a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2021), completed an advanced training with a focus on orthopedics (2022), and will sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. He presently works at Balanced Physical Therapy and Wellness and is launching a dance specific rehabilitation program.


Leela began her dance training at the age of two at the School of Madison Ballet. She then studied at Kanopy Dance Academy, focusing on modern dance techniques along with ballet. She began dancing at BRT in 2018 after moving to Albuquerque. She has performed in BRT productions of The Nutcracker, Dance Spooktacular, and Magic Flute. In addition to BRT, she has attended summer intensives at Kanopy Dance and Li Chiao-Ping Dance. This is her first season dancing in BRT’s company. 



Giacomo Zafarano began performing at a young age with in-school music and drama programs. His ballet training began with the Ballet de Santa Fe Youth Company under the direction of Endelecia Prince. After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Linguistics, he performed professionally in Las Vegas and in commercial, industrial, and theatrical venues across the United States. Since joining BRT, he has danced featured roles in Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), Romeo & Juliet and Other Games of the Heart (Romeo), Alice in Wonderland (Mad Hatter) and has performed in The Nutcracker, Seasons, Elementals, and Mythical Wonders. Giacomo is a licensed New Mexico real estate broker and continues to expand his intellectual, athletic, and artistic boundaries through the performing arts. Giacomo is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO.

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