Nevada Ballet Theater

Artistic Staff


Clarice Geissel-Rathers
Ballet Mistress

Clarice Geissel-Rathers enjoyed a 20 year dance career with Nevada Ballet Theatre beginning in 1983. She retired from the company as a Principal Dancer in 2004. A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Clarice joined the Arizona Ballet Theatre as a soloist and later became a member of Ballet West. She has worked under several renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, Toni Launders, Anton Dolin, Vassili Sulich and James Jeon. Clarice’s repertoire includes Harald Lander’s Études, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante, Serenade, Symphony in C and Concerto Barocco. She has danced numerous principal roles including Odette/Odile in Louis Godfrey and Denise Schultz’s Swan Lake, and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty as well as leads in Carmina Burana, Anna Karenina and Paquita. Clarice is a recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts.


Tara Foy
Company Instructor and Rehearsal Assistant

Having an association with Nevada Ballet Theatre for her nearly 30 years in the dance community of Las Vegas, Foy also brings with her esteemed national and international industry experience. She formerly coached principal dancers for some of the world's most prestigious global ballet companies, including New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and both The Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets, to name a few.

Foy, born and raised in London, England, started her dance career at age 16, when she was awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Royal Ballet School. She has studied with the finest elite teachers in the world, including Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, and enjoyed a storied ballet career performing as Principal Dancer of Dublin City Ballet and appearing in many television variety shows and movies. Additionally, Foy was invited to choreograph and perform for The Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia in 2000.

Foy's illustrious dance and performance career began at a young age, and she has since become a staple of artistic integrity in Las Vegas, founding the Elite Ballet Summer Intensive, and serving as Artistic Director of The Dance Center, Las Vegas' own prestigious open professional studio, and as the former Ballet Mistress for Cirque du Soleil.


Dodie Askegard
Company Instructor

Dodie Askegard began her training in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Minnesota Dance Theatre where she trained in contemporary dance and ballet with Loyce Houlton and Bonnie Mathis. She also trained at San Francisco Ballet and in New York City with Maggie Black. As a Soloist with Minnesota Dance Theatre, she joined Spokane Ballet as a Principal Dancer and also performed with Aponte & Company. In addition, she worked with the Minnesota Independent Choreographers Alliance and local theater groups throughout Minneapolis and Spokane. In 2004, Dodie became the Director of Ballet Arts Academy and was named as the Artistic Director of Theatre Ballet of Spokane. An accomplished choreographer, she is a certified ABT NTC teacher and has been teaching ballet and modern for over 25 years. She has worked as a rehearsal mistress for The Nutcracker in Spokane, with Alberta Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and State Street Ballet. Dodie’s role with Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre includes teaching, coordinating with parents and students and staging a full-length children’s ballet as part of the Academy’s annual spring concerts. Dodie has recently completed her Master’s degree in Dance Education.


Monika Rostomian
Company Instructor

Monika began teaching ballet at Nevada Ballet Theatre in 2001. She came to the Academy from Russia where she received her training in the Vaganova method at the St. Petersburg (Kirov) Ballet Academy under the tutelage of famed prima ballerina Natalia Dudinskaya. She has performed throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America as soloist with many ballet companies, including Moscow Festival Ballet and Ballet of Russia. During her career she had also served as a ballet mistress and choreographer. Monika later graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Theatrical Art and was awarded its coveted teaching diploma. Her teaching skills encompass all levels of ballet and character dance, ranging from five year old beginner to advanced-professionals. She also qualifies in special training for figure skaters and in dance therapy for the psychological rehabilitation of children. Monika is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence in every aspect of her teaching.



Photo of Ms. Geissel-Rathers by Sampsel Preston Photography.
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