Nancy Robinson studied ballet in Los Angeles with Robert Rossellat, a student of Preobrajenska and Espinosa in Paris. At the age of fifteen she received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School and was accepted into San Francisco Ballet Company the following year. Ms. Robinson danced as a soloist there for seven years, then as Principal dancer with the City Center Joffrey Ballet Company, which made her an internationally acclaimed ballerina. She has toured Vienna, London, and several major United States cities. During her career, she danced in principal roles such as Astarte Pas de Deesses (Joffrey), Moves and Interplay (Robbins), Time Cycle (Bolender) several works by Arpino, Nutcracker-Sugar Plum Fairy (Christensen), and other works by Fokine and Ailey. Later she was Ballet Mistress at Pacific Northwest Ballet Company and The Los Angeles Ballet.
Mr. Smith was awarded a Junior Exhibition to the Royal College of Music, London, which was followed by a 4 year Foundation Scholarship in Clarinet Performing and Composition, and concurrently worked as a dresser at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden during the Nureyev and Fonteyn Years. Time in Canadian Theatre and the U.S. led to the composition of film scores for ensembles from solo bass clarinet to full orchestra. Allan currently plays for Modern and Ballet classes for numerous San Diego Dance Companies.
Mr. Zetler has been Lighting Designer for SCB since its inception. He was nominated for a “Tommy Award" for his Lighting Design of Erling Sunde's Cinderella. He toured with Metropolitan Educational Theater as Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for Annie, Secret Garden, Bye Bye Birdy, Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Christmas, Carol, Big River, and others. Mr. Zetler has been commended for his work as Technical manager at POWPAC and is currently Technical Theatre Coordinator at Poway Centre for the Performing Arts.
Sylvia Palmer-Zetler, Artistic Director
Shawn began his classical ballet training at the age of 17 in Southern California after many years of extensive martial arts training. He was an artist in the Broadway & International companies of "West Side Story" and has worked abroad for both Universal Studios Japan and TokyoDisneySea for several years. He now dances seasonally for the San Diego Ballet, California Ballet Company & Southern California Ballet. He can be seen in the film "Across the Universe" as a sergeant and is an alumni of UC Riverside in World History & Music.
Terry Worley, Volunteer Costume Mistress
Mrs. Worley has created and managed hundreds of costumes for SCB over the past decade. She is also the owner of Tutu Terry, where she designs and sews professional tutus for ballet competitions and performances.
Kelsey Lauren Ottley, Artistic Administrator, Repetiteur
Shawn Burgess, Repetiteur
Ms. Stone earned a BFA from U.S. International University and has worked with Alicia Alonzo, Anthony Dowell, Christopher Newton and John Butler while performing with USIU and San Diego Ballet Company. She was soloist at San Diego Ballet, performing in Giselle, Swan Lake, Carmina Burana, Firebird, Raymonda, The Nutcracker and Cinderella. Ms. Stone has her Cecchetti Associate and has successfully entered students through grade 9 into Cecchetti exams. Currently, Academy Vice-Principal, Southern California Ballet.
Mrs. Cormier earned her MFA in Ballet with a specialty in Character dance from The University of Utah where she trained with Yurek Lazowsky, William Christenson, Mattlyn Gavers and others. She danced with the College University Ballet Ensemble, Ballet West and was a featured soloist for the character dance ensemble. Upon completion of her degree, Wendy returned home to dance with Honolulu City Ballet and was also cast in many television programs, including Magnum P.I.. In 1986, she moved to San Diego and worked extensively within the Poway Unified school district developing innovative dance programs for children; produced and directed children's variety shows; and received the California State PTA Honorary Service and Continuing Service Awards. Mrs. Cormier has been teaching at Southern California Ballet since 2001, is a certified Cecchetti teacher and adjunct professor in the Dance Department at Palomar College teaching both lecture and studio classes.
Nancy Robinson, Company Ballet Mistress
Performing on stage with ballet greats such as Rudolph Nureyev and Eric Bruhn, performing professionally with the National Ballet of Canada, touring internationally, attending receptions given by President John F. Kennedy and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau are just a few of the exciting highlights of the life of teacher Sylvia Palmer-Zetler.
From performer Sylvia transitioned to the role of teacher by earning her Licentiate from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London, England in 1974 with special commendation and furthered her teacher training with The National Ballet School of Canada. She taught at the U.S. International University for 6 years. She obtained her Fellowship with Cecchetti USA in June, 2008, is on the board and is one of only 6 examiners in the Unites States. She is Assistant Director of Dance for the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). For over 30 years, she ran Black Mountain Dance Centre which recently merged with Southern California Ballet, the 501 (c) (3) she founded at about the same time.
Focusing on excellence and discipline, Sylvia’s students take international exams each year in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet. From the time Cecchetti examinations were included in the school curriculum, over 2000 students have earned diplomas in various levels, including teaching certificates.
Sylvia has choreographed numerous ballets for the company including Carnival of the Animals, The Magic Flute, Babar the Elephant, Masquerade Ball, Peter and the Wolf and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as reconstructing popular ballets such as Coppelia, Les Sylphides, and The Nutcracker to name just a few.
However, the greatest rewards come to Sylvia when her students are accepted to professional dance companies, go on to work in touring musicals, or continue their dance training in top colleges throughout the United States. The walls are filled with cards, pictures and letters from these students to their dedicated and inspiring teacher of ballet, Miss Sylvia.
Mark Zetler, Lighting Design & Production
Ms. Ottley trained at Southern California Ballet Academy under the directorship of Sylvia Palmer-Zetler and performed soloist and principal roles with SCB. She attended summer intensives on scholarship at Marin Dance Theatre, Ballet West Academy, and Houston Ballet Academy; and at age 17, she joined Houston Ballet II. While in Houston, Ms. Ottley received two awards from the NFAA and a scholarship from the Tiger Woods "Start Something" Foundation for her achievements in ballet. She was then awarded a full scholarship to University of Utah where she graduated with a BFA in 2009. While in Utah, she performed principal roles with Utah Ballet, taking her to Seoul and Tokyo for International Galas. In 2012, Ms. Ottley received her MFA in Dance from UC Irvine, where she was a Medici Scholar under the mentorship of Joffrey/Forsythe Ballerina Jodie Gates. Ms. Ottley has also performed for five holiday seasons with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and three seasons with San Diego Opera. She has returned to SCB to originate roles in two new works by LINES/Dominican's Gregory Dawson and is currently a freelance instructor, stager, and performer.
Wendy Cormier, Repetiteur
Allan Smith, Accompanist
Suzan Stone, Associate Artistic Director, Repetiteur
Mary Vaughn, Acting Coach
Mrs. Vaughan is an international artist who has been a dancer/actress on Broadway and was one of the featured members of the record breaking Cabaret cast that included Joel Grey. In San Diego, she has performed with the International Ballet Company, San Diego Opera, Starlight, and Southern California Ballet. She teaches the Stanislasky acting technique; works in commercial and local theater; and she is a professional musician and theatrical performer.
Southern California Ballet
12285 World Trade Drive, Suite K, San Diego CA 92128 tel. 858-674-1006
A 501(c) (3) organization