About Tacoma City Ballet
- TO PRESERVE AND PERPETUATE THE TECHNIQUE AND TRADITIONS OF CLASSICAL BALLET
- TO NURTURE AND DEVELOP THE INTELLECTUAL MIND AND PHYSICAL BEING OF YOUNG DANCE ARTISTS
- TO CULTIVATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGES ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT AND ADVANCEMENT OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT
- TO ENSURE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO THE STUDY AND PERFORMANCE OF CLASSICAL BALLET FOR ALL
- TO ENSURE THE STUDY OF CLASSICAL BALLET IS FINANCIALLY ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL
- TO CREATE ARTISTICALLY EXCELLENT BALLET PRODUCTIONS ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL
In 1955, Miss Jan Collum founded The Jan Collum School of Classical Ballet and The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma. The School to impart excellent classical ballet instruction, and the Company to perform classical ballets with a stellar standard of excellence and professionalism. The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma began with six Company Dancers who 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. BALLETACOMA, under the Artistic Direction of Miss Jan Collum, forged a local, regional, and national reputation for excellence in classical ballet instruction and performance for the next thirty years. In 1995, BALLETACOMA was re-christened Tacoma City Ballet which combined both the School and the Company under a single 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation. Since 1955, The Concert Ballet Group of Tacoma, BALLETACOMA, and now Tacoma City Ballet have presented an annual performance season in Tacoma, as well as touring productions to other regional cities. With the opening of the Pantages Theater in 1983, Miss Jan Collum realized her ultimate dream and was able to establish a tradition of an annual performance season in a professional theater for her Company and a live professional orchestra. This tradition has continued from 1983 to the present. Tacoma City Ballet has resided in the beautiful Merlino Art Center since 1983, and recently created The Jan Collum Ballroom Theater, a fully equipped black box theater in the Merlino Art Center, to host community performances. In this majestic historical building that is one of the jewels in Tacoma’s architectural crown, Tacoma City Ballet studies, rehearses, and performs the art of classical ballet.
Executive and Administrative Staff
- Miss Erin M. Ceragioli, Executive Director, Artistic Director, Director of Tacoma City Ballet School
Miss Ceragioli serves as the Executive and Artistic Director of Tacoma City Ballet, as well as the Director of Tacoma City Ballet School. For over thirty years, she has forged a reputation as a master teacher, as well as a choreographer who 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, Willam Christensen, Benjamin Harkarvy, Robert Joffrey, Janet Reed, and Maria Tallchief. After a short professional career, Miss Ceragioli studied the syllabi of the Danish, English, French, Italian, and Russian Schools of Ballet earning her teaching certifications. She joined the Faculty of The Jan Collum School of Classical Ballet in 1987, and after four years of serving on the School Faculty and also as Ballet Mistress and Assistant Artistic Director of the Company, 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.
- Miss Aleecia Ramsey-Gonzalez, Executive Administrative Assistant
Miss Ramsey-Gonzalez is a longtime patron and champion of the arts, who 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.
- Miss Rebecca Jensen, Receptionist
Artistic Staff and School Faculty
- Mr. Joel Myers, Assistant Artistic Director, School Faculty
Mr. Myers received 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 in 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 taught and choreographed throughout the Pacific Northwest, and has established a reputation as a master teacher and innovative choreographer. Since 2009, he has taught, choreographed, and performed principal roles with Tacoma City Ballet. Mr. Myers serves as Assistant Artistic Director of Tacoma City Ballet Company, and as a Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School. .
- Miss Melissa Lovejoy-Goldman, Ballet Mistress, School Faculty
Miss Lovejoy-Goldman received her classical ballet training at Tacoma City Ballet School under the tutelage of Miss Jan Collum and Miss Erin Ceragioli. While continuing to perform with Tacoma City Ballet Company, Miss Lovejoy-Goldman attended the University of Washington and received her Bachelor of Arts. In 2001, she joined the Faculty of Tacoma City Ballet School and also served as General Manager of Tacoma City Ballet. Miss Lovejoy-Goldman is Vice President of Enterprise Engagement Resources at Northwest Credit Union Association, and continues to serve as Ballet Mistress of Tacoma City Ballet Company, and as a Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School.
- Mr. Travis Goldman, Ballet Master, School Faculty
Mr. 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 an award-winning choreographer, who has received regional acclaim for his innovative choreography, as well as a talented musician who has composed music for his original choreographies. In 1998, Mr. Goldman joined the Faculty of Tacoma City Ballet School. Mr. Goldman is Owner of North Coast Kayaks (NC Kayaks), and continues to serve as Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer of Tacoma City Ballet Company, and as a Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School.
- Miss Stephanie Merriman, School Faculty
Miss 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. Miss Merriman graduated from Tacoma School of the Arts in 2004, and pursued her life-long love of dance receiving her Bachelor of Science in Dance from the University of Idaho in 2008. She has worked with Amy O'Neal, Victoria Uris of the Paul Taylor Company, and the Lineage Dance Company. In 2010, Miss Merriman earned a Master in Education from the University of Idaho with Teaching Certifications in Dance, Physical Education, and Health. During graduate school, she worked for the Festival Dance Academy and taught undergraduate Dance Class and Ballet Class at the University of Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College. Serving as a member of the Dance Educators of Washington from 2010-2013, Miss Merriman created and designed the Dance Program at Stewart Middle School. She has also worked at Arts and Academics Academy in Seattle as both Director and Dance Instructor. In 2016, Miss Merriman returned to Tacoma City Ballet and serves as a Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School.
- Miss Kristin Olson, School Faculty
Miss Olson received her classical ballet training at Tacoma City Ballet School under the tutelage of Miss Erin Ceragioli. She later attended Western Washington University where she continued her dance training and received her Bachelor of Arts. In 2012, she moved to South Korea becoming a faculty member for an English immersion elementary school. Aside from teaching English, Miss Olson also started a very successful after school dance program. Following her great love of dance and movement, Miss Olson ventured to Thailand in 2016 to immerse herself in the study of Yoga and its instruction. After moving back to the United States, Miss Olson became the Arts Program Director, as well as Dance Instructor, for the Gordon Family YMCA. From 2018-2020, she served as the Arts Director for the entire program. In 2021, Miss Olson returned to Tacoma City Ballet and serves as a Faculty Member of Tacoma City Ballet School.
- Ms. Kara O’Toole, School Faculty/Adult Open Program
Ms. O’Toole has been on faculty in the Dance Departments of the University of Washington, the University of Memphis, George Mason University, and Cornish College of the Arts. She has served as Executive/Artistic Director of Orcas Center on Orcas Island, as well as Executive/Artistic Director for Velocity Dance Center in Seattle. As a performer, Ms. O’Toole danced professionally in the works of many notable choreographers including Jose Limon, Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, Vaslav Nijinsky, Paul Taylor, and Pat Graney. Ms. O’Toole holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington and a BA from Mount Holyoke College. She is very pleased to join the Faculty of Tacoma City Ballet School, teaching in the Adult Open Class Program.
Theatrical Production Staff
- Salvatore Lucente, Technical Director, Set and Properties Design and Construction Director
- Ed Estrada, Lighting Designer
- Bernard Kwiram, Tacoma City Ballet Orchestra Music Director
Ballet Class Piano Accompanists
- Jeff Anderson
- Betty Hostetter
- Marina Katsel