About Tacoma City Ballet
- TO PRESERVE AND PERPETUATE THE TECHNIQUE AND TRADITIONS OF CLASSICAL BALLET
- TO NURTURE THE INTELLECTUAL MIND AND PHYSICAL BEING OF DEVELOPING YOUNG DANCE ARTISTS
- TO FOSTER AN ENVIRONMENT ENCOURAGING ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT
- TO ENSURE THE STUDY OF CLASSICAL BALLET IS FINANCIALLY ACCESSIBLE
- TO CREATE ARTISTICALLY EXCELLENT BALLET PRODUCTIONS
In 1955, Miss Jan Collum simultaneously founded The Jan Collum School of Classical Ballet to impart excellent classical ballet instruction, and The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma to offer dancers, who achieved a certain level of classical technique, artistry, and professionalism, the opportunity to perform in a professional theater and be accompanied by a live orchestra. The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma began with six dancers and soon blossomed into thirty. By 1965, The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma was renamed BALLETACOMA and established as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation. For the next thirty years BALLETACOMA, under the Artistic Direction of Miss Jan Collum, forged a local, regional, and national reputation for excellence in classical ballet instruction and performance. BALLETACOMA was re-christened Tacoma City Ballet combining both the School and the Company under a single 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation in 1995. Since 1955, Tacoma City Ballet has presented an annual performance season in Tacoma, as well as touring productions to other regional cities. Tacoma City Ballet has resided in the beautiful Merlino Art Center since 1983. Here in this majestic historical building that is one of the jewels in Tacoma’s architectural crown, dancers study, rehearse, and perform the art of classical ballet.
- Executive Director, Artistic Director, and Director of Tacoma City Ballet School
Miss Erin Ceragioli serves as the Executive and Artistic Director of Tacoma City Ballet, as well as the Director of Tacoma City Ballet School. Miss Ceragioli has forged a reputation as a master teacher, as well as a choreographer. She has staged many full-length ballets in the classical repertoire, and choreographed many original ballets. Miss Ceragioli began her primary study of classical ballet under Miss Archalee Correll, and continued her advance study under the tutelage of such stellar teachers as Harold Christensen, Lew Christensen, William Christensen, Benjamin Harkarvy, Robert Joffrey, Janet Reed, and Maria Tallchief. After a short professional career as a dancer, Miss Ceragioli studied the syllabi of the Danish, English, French, Italian, and Russian Schools of Ballet earning her teaching certifications. Miss Ceragioli joined the Faculty of The Jan Collum School of Classical Ballet in 1987, and after four years of teaching in the School and serving the Company as Ballet Mistress and Assistant Artistic Director, Miss Jan Collum appointed Miss Ceragioli as Co-Artistic Director of BALLETACOMA. In 1995, BALLETACOMA was re-christened Tacoma City Ballet, and Miss Jan Collum assumed the title of Artistic Director Emeritus formally passing her legacy to Miss Ceragioli.
- Executive Administrative Assistant
Aleecia Ramsey-Gonzalez is a longtime patron and champion of the arts, and has devoted her career to sustaining and cultivating access to the arts in her community. Holding positions with Tacoma Arts Live, Symphony Tacoma, and the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, she developed a passion for non-profit arts administration and leadership. Miss Ramsey-Gonzalez earned her Degree in Violin Performance and Music Theory from the University of Washington, and is an accomplished musician. She joined Tacoma City Ballet as Executive Administrative Assistant in January 2019.
Artistic Staff and School Faculty
- Assistant Artistic Director and School Faculty
Mr. Joel Myers eceived the majority of his classical ballet training at Evergreen City Ballet under Founding Artistic Director, Mr. Wade Walthall. While at Evergreen City Ballet, he danced the principal roles of the major ballets of the classical repertoire, as well as original choreography. From 2005-2011, Mr. Myers was Principal Artist with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater. He has also performed with Ballet Bellevue, Ballet Northwest, Coriolis Dance Collective, Dance Peninsula Ballet of Los Angeles, DASS Dance, 5th Avenue Theater, and Seattle Opera. Mr. Myers has also taught, choreographed, and performed principal roles with Tacoma City Ballet since 2009. Mr. Myers has taught and choreographed throughout the Pacific Northwest, and has established a reputation as a master teacher and innovative choreographer. Currently, Mr. Myers serves as the Assistant Artistic Director of Tacoma City Ballet, as well as a Faculty Member of the Tacoma City Ballet School.
- Ballet Mistress and School Faculty
Miss Melissa Lovejoy-Goldmanreceived her classical ballet training at Tacoma City Ballet under the tutelage of Miss Jan Collum and Miss Erin Ceragioli. While continuing to perform with Tacoma City Ballet Company, Ms. Lovejoy-Goldman attended the University of Washington, received her Bachelor of Arts, and joined the Faculty of Tacoma City Ballet School. After serving as General Manager of Tacoma City Ballet, Ms. Lovejoy-Goldman accepted a position at the Northwest Credit Union Association, but retained her position as Ballet Mistress and Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School. For almost two-decades, Ms. Lovejoy-Goldman has continued to instruct and influence the dancers of Tacoma City Ballet who are studying and performing the art of classical ballet.
- Ballet Master and School Faculty
Mr. Travis Goldman began studying classical ballet in Port Angeles at Miriam’s School of Dance. In 1980, Mr. Goldman continued his studies under Founding Artistic Director, Miss Jan Collum. He has studied under such master teachers as Hugh Bigney, Willam Christensen, Robert Joffrey, and Kabby Mitchell III. Mr. Goldman has danced principal roles in the classical, modern, and contemporary repertoire. Each season, he reprises his role as Herr Drosselmeyer in Tacoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut. Mr. Goldman is also an award-winning choreographer, and has received regional acclaim for his innovative choreography. He is a musician as well, and often composes music for his original choreographies. In 1998, Mr. Goldman joined the Faculty of the Tacoma City Ballet School where he resides as Ballet Master, Faculty Member, and Resident Choreographer.
- School Faculty
Miss Stephanie Merriman began her study of classical ballet at Tacoma City Ballet School, and performed in Tacoma City Ballet Company under the direction of Miss Erin Ceragioli. Ms. Merriman graduated from Tacoma School of the Arts in 2004, and pursued her life-long love of dance in receiving her Bachelor of Science in Dance from the University of Idaho in 2008. Ms. Merriman has worked with Amy O'Neal, Victoria Uris of the Paul Taylor Company, and the Lineage Dance Company. In 2010, Ms. Merriman earned a Masters in Education from the University of Idaho with Teaching Certifications in Dance, Physical Education, and Health. During graduate school, Ms. Merriman worked for the Festival Dance Academy and taught undergraduate dance and ballet classes at the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. Serving as a member of the Dance Educators of Washington from 2010-2013, Ms. Merriman created and designed the Dance Program at Stewart Middle School. Ms. Merriman has also worked at Arts and Academics Academy in Seattle as the Director and Dance Instructor. In 2016, Ms. Merriman joined the Faculty of the Tacoma City Ballet School.
- School Faculty
Miss Belle Schwanger received the majority of her classical ballet training at Tacoma City Ballet under the tutelage of Miss Erin Ceragioli, Mr. Joel Myers, and Miss Melissa Lovejoy-Goldman. At the age of 13, she joined the Tacoma City Ballet Performing Company. After working in the Corps de Ballet,Miss Schwanger became a Soloist and has danced many Principal Roles, including the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut. Miss Schwanger earned an Associates Degree in Arts from Tacoma Community College and graduated with High Honors. She is very pleased to join the Faculty of Tacoma City Ballet School in 2019.
Theatrical Production Staff
- Technical Direction, Set and Properties Design and Construction
Salvatore Lucente, Technical Director and Director of Set and Properties Construction
- Costume Design and Construction
Nalia Schwanger, Wardrobe Mistress
- Lighting Design
Walter Kilmer, Lighting Designer
- Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra
Maestro Bernard Kwiram, Music Director
Ballet Class Piano Accompanists
- Jeff Anderson
- Betty Hostetter
- Marina Katsel