• Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg
    Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg

    Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg (Dancer/Assistant Rehearsal Director) is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Clinton, Mississippi. In 2010, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Southern Mississippi. Following her undergraduate studies, she moved to New York City to pursue her master’s degree in dance at New York University, graduating from Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in 2012. Kellis is a former instructor of dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS, and she is currently an adjunct guest artist in the dance department at her Alma Mater, USM, in Hattiesburg, MS. She specializes in ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre techniques, and she has also orchestrated a freelance choreography business for the past ten years. She is a certified Mind Body Dancer Yoga instructor, she teaches various corporate, group and private Vinyasa yoga classes. Kellis and her husband, Kirk, currently live in New Orleans, where she is in her third season as a dancer with the Marigny Opera Ballet.

  • Gretchen Erickson
    Gretchen Erickson

    Gretchen Erickson began her formal dance training in the pre-professional division at Louisiana Dance Theatre under the direction of Carol Anglin. With LDT, Gretchen preformed at Regional Dance America Festivals, Jazz Dance World Congress, and the Tanzsommer Festival in Austria and Germany. Additionally, she trained with the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and at the Joffery Ballet School in New York. She went on to study on scholarship in the BFA program at New World School of the Arts before dancing with Of Moving Colors Contemporary Dance Company.  In 2014, Gretchen received a Leverhulme grant for further postgraduate study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, where she graduated with a Masters of Dance Performance. She also performed with Transitions Dance Company performing works by Bawren Tavaziva, Zoi Dimitriou and Miguel Pereira throughout the UK and internationally.  This is Gretchen’s third season dancing with the Marigny Opera Ballet.  She is also a Pilates teacher at Romney Pilates and a ballet teacher at New Orleans School of Ballet.

  • John Bozeman
    John Bozeman

    John Bozeman received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Belhaven University, where he performed in new works by choreographers Steve Rooks, Betsy McMillan, Donald McKayle, and many others. A native to the South, he began his ballet training at Huntsville Community Ballet and the Alabama Youth Ballet. John has performed with the Earl Mosley Institute for the Arts and also performed in multiple production of The Nutcracker. He has performed in many musicals such as The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, and most recently Cats in the role of Skimbleshanks. John is excited to be in his third year with the Marigny Opera Ballet, and is looking forward to many more.

  • Joshua Bell
    Joshua Bell

    Joshua Bell was born in Chicago and raised in Clinton, Mississippi. He is a young man full of many passions, dreams, and visions, one of those passions being dance and movement. In spring 2016 he graduated with a Bachelor of Art from Belhaven University. Under the guidance of Cynthia Newland, Chair of Belhaven’s dance department, he flourished as a performer, choreographer and artist. In addition to performing in University productions, Joshua toured South Korea with the Bal Malhada dance ensemble, and in the summer of 2016 he trained at the River North Dance Chicago intensive led by Sara Bibik.  This marks Mr. Bell’s second season with the Marigny Opera Ballet. He offers a myriad of thanks to all the friends, family, and instructors that supported and continues to support him in his journey.

  • Lauren Guynes
    Lauren Guynes

    Lauren Guynes grew up in the small town of Terry, Mississippi. She began dancing at the age of three and has not stopped moving since. In 2013 Lauren received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi. During her time at Southern Miss, she performed and choreographed for the Repertory Dance Company where, in addition to her work with student and faculty choreographers, had the privilege of working with guest artists including InSpirit, Glen Meynardie, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and ClancyWorks Dance Company.  Immediately following graduation, she performed as a guest artist with Hattiesburg’s Hub Dance Collective in their 2013 concert debut, The Moment in Which Something is Likely to Begin.  Since then, Lauren has performed as part of the 2014 RADFest in Kalamazoo, MI, the 2014 Brockport Alumni Concert at Dixon Place, the 2014 DUMBO Dance Festival in New York City, and the 2015 Chicago Harvest Dance Festival.  She continues to dance, teach, and choreograph throughout Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

  • Edward Spots
    Edward Spots

    New Orleans native Mr. Spots began his dance training with Baderinwa Rolland “Mama” at the first New Orleans Charter Middle School in New Orleans. He attended his first ballet classes under Diane Carney and Harvey Hysell, with subsequent training at the Schrammel Conservatory of Dance,  the Walnut Hill School for the Fine Arts, Joffrey Midwest, the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, the Washington Ballet School and the Ailey School. IHis professional touring career began with Ailey II, where he performed and taught internationally in more than 8 countries and toured domestically. He has danced with Urban Ballet Theatre, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Civic Scranton Ballet, Delaware Dance Company, and Marigny Opera Ballet, and has appeared on the television show, So You Think You Can Dance, and Bulgaria’s Dancing with The Stars. While dancing with the Marigny Opera Ballet and teaching at the New Orleans School of Ballet, Mr. Spots plans to attend Tulane University’s School for Professional Advancement in the spring.

  • Niklas Nelson
    Niklas Nelson

    Niklas O. Nelson is a Minneapolis-based artist joining the Marigny Opera Ballet upon his graduation with a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in 2017. He has performed as an apprentice with  Ballet Minnesota since 2012, and also apprenticed with  Shapiro and Smith Dance in the Summer of 2013. Nik has attended summer intensives with Butler Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance-Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet-Chicago, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Tu Dance, and Ballet Minnesota.

  • Derwin May, Jr.
    Derwin May, Jr.

    Derwin was introduced to movement at a very young age where he studied hiphop and martial arts. He later pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Belhaven University studying classical ballet and contemporary.  During his time at Belhaven he performed several guest artist works from choreographers such as: Ryan Corriston of Doug Varone and Dancers, Vincent Hardy of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Bobby Wesner of Neos Dance Theatre. He also performed several historical works such as: ‘Songs of the Disinherited’ by Donald McKayle and ‘Negro Spirituals’ by Helen Tamiris. After Belhaven, Derwin performed with Montage Theatre of Dance, Intersect Dance Collective, and Kinetic Etchings Dance Project in Mississippi. Derwin recently traveled to Malawi, Africa in Summer 2017 with Kinetic Etchings Dance Project where he taught and performed. He is currently in his first season with Marigny Opera Ballet and will continue to learn, grow, and use his experiences as his inspiration..

  • Lauren Ashlee Small
    Lauren Ashlee Small

    Lauren Ashlee Small joins Marigny Opera Ballet upon graduating with an MFA in Dance at Belhaven University in May, 2017. She was awarded a BFA in Dance at that university in 2010, and trained at The Ailey School in New York City with a Professional Division Scholarship. Lauren’s performance career includes the New York Jazz Choreography Project, the 92nd Street Y Undertoe Dance Festival, Museum of the Moving Image’s Persona by Ming Wong, and with the Amalgamate Dance Company (ADC)’s Guest Artist Show. She was awarded membership in the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, and received the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship Award to The Ailey School, as well as the John D. Henderson, Sr. Memorial Scholarship from Belhaven University.

  • Kentro Mason-Taylor, Jr. (Apprentice)
    Kentro Mason-Taylor, Jr. (Apprentice)

    Born in Baton Rouge, Kentro D. Mason-Taylor Jr. is a recent graduate from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in Vocal Performance and a minor in Ballet. Mr. Taylor has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, New Orleans Opera, The Marigny Opera House, Tyler Perry, and Debbie Allen.

  • Sarah Noelle Prescott (Apprentice)
    Sarah Noelle Prescott (Apprentice)

    Sarah Noelle Prescott, originally from Massachusetts, graduated this year from Belhaven University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and choreography. At Belhaven she was a member of Kinetic Etchings Dance Project, a contemporary and aerial silks dance company based in Jackson, Mississippi. Ms. Prescott has performed in numerous modern and contemporary dance works choreographed for the Belhaven University Dance Ensemble’s fall and spring concerts, and she has toured and performed with the Belhaven University Dance Ministry Ensemble. This past year, Ms. Prescott worked as a performer under guest artist Sung Yong Kim in his original modern dance work, I am Not a Plastic, which was selected to perform in the American College Dance Association national showcase at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This past summer Ms. Prescott traveled to Malawi, Africa with Kinetic Etchings Dance Projet where she performed, taught, and engaged in cultural dance exchanges.