Kenneth Nickel, Director
Kenneth Nickel, a Pittsburgh native, began ballet training at the age of eleven, appearing in productions with Veronica Tennant and Earl Kraul of the National Ballet of Canada. Trained in Philadelphia and New York as well as Pittsburgh, Nickel joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1977, was promoted to soloist in 1980, and by 1982 was a principal dancer.
Upon leaving PBT in 1986, he held a position of principal dancer with Ballet West and later with Dallas Ballet Company. His repertoire included Coppelia, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Serenade, Sleeping Beauty, Vestpri, LaSylphide, and In the Still of the Night.
As first place winner of the National Arts and Letters Dance Competition, Kenneth Nickel was also one of the 1988 and 1989 Most Outstanding Young Men of America award. He has participated in the World Ballet Concours Competition in Japan and in the International Ballet Competition in Moscow. A frequent guest artist with the Louisiana Dance Foundation, he has performed in Rudolph Nureyev’s Giselle, danced with Nina Kovak’s company in Venezuela, and appeared with Kozlovs. Nickel also served as advisor in promotions for the Tri Star movie “TAP.”
As Artistic Director of Ballet Orlando, he founded the Royal Dance Festival and received the 1990 & 1991 Dictionary of Distinguished Leadership in the Arts Community award. In the spring of 1993, Nickel choreographed the ballet Cinderella for the Metropolitan Ballet of San Diego.
In 1995 he joined La Roche College as Artistic Director of Performing Arts, implementing a six-week intensive professional summer dance program as well as a summer dance festival, Fete de la Danse. In 1996 he established a B.A. Degree for Performing Arts in Dance. Also while at La Roche, Kenneth developed a public school arts program for dance, Resource Education Arts Development for Youths (R.E.A.D.Y.) In his third summer at La Roche, Kenneth began a program with the Very Special Arts of Pennsylvania, in which children with disabilities went to the college to learn different art forms. Their work was presented with the Fete de la Danse that summer.
Ken was also elected Vice President for Dance for the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. To promote opportunities for students to dance Kenneth arranged an affiliation with Eddie Toussant, a gold medalist choreographer. This allowed for the dancers to travel to Haiti to perform. Kenneth also joined efforts with Ballet Theatre International in New Mexico. With the directors of this company the students were able to perform at the Kennedy Center and in Michigan. He also formed a strong bond with Buffalo City Ballet through which dancers performed in many ballets in Pittsburgh, New York, and Tennessee. While involved with these affiliations and La Roche Kenneth choreographed The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Pas de Dix, Cinderella, and many original ballets for various companies around the country. Mr. Nickel as well teaches Master Classes and coaches dancers on various roles that they are performing in specifically male Soloists / Principal dancers in Pas de Deux’s
Mr. Nickel joined California University of Pennsylvania ( 2000-2003 )where he designed and worked on an already approved Bachelor of Arts Degree in dance. In February of 2007 Mr. Nickel directed and produced a very special tribute performance to Pittsburgh’s late Mayor, Mayor Bob O’Connor at Heinz Hall “ Continuing The Dream “in which over 400 artist’s participated in from all the Pittsburgh art groups
Mr. Nickel has been Ballet Master for the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland Pa .Mr. Nickel has created and developed an Associate Arts Degree in Dance Education in conjunction with the Community College of Beaver County that dancers can earn in their junior & senior years in High School. Mr. Nickel serves as Artistic Director of the program for the Community College of Beaver. Mr. Nickel recently was nominated and the recipient of the Madison of America of the 2012 prestigious award of Who’s Who.
Mr. Nickel has been a volunteer Firefighter for the past 10 years with the Bradford Woods Vol. fire Company where is severs as Assistant Chief.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Greer began early training with the Pittsburgh Black Theater Dance Ensemble. Over the years, Ms. Reed has been a contracted dancer with the
internationally acclaimed Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, (DCDC) in Dayton, Ohio, where she worked closely with internationally renowned choreographers and directors, touring extensively throughout the US and abroad.. From 2009 to 2011 Greer was Artistic Director for the Dance Alloy Theater, Pittsburgh’s premier modern dance company. Her most recent endeavor was the founding of The Reed Dance Intensive, with training in African, modern, ballet, and hip-hop dance.