Barbara Crockett, Founder of the Sacramento Ballet
Barbara Crockett was an early member of the San Francisco Ballet Company. In 1985, Ms. Barbara Crockett began work creating the first professional ballet company in California's state capitol in Sacramento. One of the first productions was with the now famous holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. In 1968, the Sacramento Civic Ballet Company and the original Sacramento Symphony formed a partnership to create this ambitious production for the Sacramento community.
Barbara Crockett, master teacher and co-founding Director of Crockett Dance Studio and Sacramento Ballet Company, began her training in Fresno California. She moved at a young age to San Francisco and joined the San Francisco Opera Ballet Company performing in many well-known ballets on the San Francisco Opera House Stage. Ms. Crockett met and married Deane Crockett, a teacher and dancer with the company, and it was their decision to move to Sacramento to begin a dance school and company. Thus, was born the Crockett Dance Studio and a short time later, Sacramento Ballet Company.
Deane Crockett choreographed many ballets using original music composed by local conductors while Barbara Crockett continued dancing as a principal dancer with the dance company doing double duty as a rehearsal director and co-Artistic Director. Ms. Crockett also danced at this time with Alan Howard, formerly with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and toured with him in the Pacific Ballet Company of San Francisco.
In 1965, Deane and Barbara Crockett were instrumental in forming Regional Dance America/Pacific which now boasts twenty companies in nine Western states, and of which, Crockett-Deane Ballet is an Honor Company. In 1967, they bought "Nutcracker" sets, costumes, and choreography from Lew Christensen at San Francisco Ballet and an exciting new era was born. By 1986, when Director Barbara Crockett retired, (Deane Crockett passed away in 1972), Sacramento Ballet was performing seventeen "Nutcrackers" a year and all with the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. Many well-known guest artists from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and San Francisco Ballet came to perform in this production, doing the leading roles until eventually the Sacramento Ballet dancers were able to take over these top roles. This was quite a testament of Barbara Crockett's training as these dancers were all younger than eighteen years old!
Barbara Crockett has taught ballet classes in Sacramento for 58 years and with her own syllabus has trained dozens of professional dancers as well as hundreds who have gone on to well-known dance colleges, to Broadway successes, to become successful teachers, to begin companies of their own, and other such successes. Barbara Crockett, after closing her school in 1994, became Honorary Director and Master Teacher of the Deane Dance Center, owned by her daughter, Allyson Deane and son-in-law, Don Schwennesen, both formerly with the San Francisco Ballet Company. She continues to teach a full schedule of classes and Direct the Crockett-Deane Apprentice Company while remaining on the board of Sacramento Ballet and Crockett-Deane Ballet Company and uses her expertise to coach young dancers. As a board member of the national Regional Dance America, she travels often to New York to participate in the national affairs of the organization.
Her daughters, Leslie Crockett is currently teaching at the Marin Ballet in San Rafael and Allyson Deane along with her husband, Don Schwennesen are the artistic directors for the Deane Dance Center , the prestigious founding school of the Sacramento Ballet. Since 1994, the school has won many nationally recognized awards including the Regional Dance Association/Pacific, Pacific Honors Company and many others.
Ms. Crockett is internationally recognized as a premier ballet mistress and her students perform and teach throughout the world of ballet and dance. She also has recently recieved the California State Senate Resolution, an official award to honor her achievements and important contribution to the community, bestowed by Senator Steinberg (President Pro Tempore of the California Senate).
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Barbara Crockett, Founder of the Sacramento Ballet
Allyson Deane, Artistic Director of Deane Dance Center
Allyson Deane studied with her parents, Deane and Barbara Crockett from the age of five until she joined the San Francisco Ballet company at the age of 17. Studying at the Crockett Dance Studio and performing with the Sacramento Civic Ballet Company gave her all she needed for a successful career. She began in the corps de ballet and worked her way to soloist and then on to become a principal dancer with SFB.
Ms. Deane became one of SFB Director Michael Smuin's favorite "Juliet's" in his world renowned "Romeo and Juliet" and was honored to perform this role at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland as well as in her father, Dean Crockett's hometown of Ogden, Utah and at the San Francisco Opera House which she called home for many years. She competed in "Dance a Paris" in Paris in Tomm Ruud's "Mobile" and was asked to make the movie "Balances" which was shown in theatres throughout the United States. She was pleased to perform the Balcony Pas de Deux from Smuin's "Romeo and Juliet" at the gala performance of the re-opening of the Sacramento Capitol rotunda and enjoyed many years of guesting as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Pas de Deux, and the Rose in Sacramento Ballet's "Nutcracker," directed by Barbara Crockett.
After marrying Don Schwennesen, another successful San Francisco Ballet dancer, she moved to Seattle where she became a teacher at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Coming back to California to join Oakland Ballet Company, she performed in Kurt Joos' "Green Table," Mother/Sweetheart in Eugene Loring's "Billy the Kid," premiered Tomm Ruud's beautiful pas de deux "Bela di Notte," and performed the lead role in Nijinska's Schaharazade.
Allyson Deane became Oakland Ballet Executive Directors' assistant and toured for two years as Oakland Ballet's head of wardrobe. After years of guest dancing and teaching workshops around the country, Ms. Deane and her husband opened the Deane Dance Center with Barbara Crockett and David Boyet. The school has had great success becoming the Youth America Grand Prix "Best School 2000" as Chloe Felesina took the Junior Grand Prix and have trained many successful professional dancers in the school's history.
Crockett-Deane Ballet under the direction of Don Schwennesen has become a well respected training ground for young dancers and is a Regional Dance America/Pacific honor company.
Don Schwennesen, Artistic Director Crockett-Deane Ballet Company
Director and choreographer, Don Schwennesen received his training with Antony Tudor and Eugene Loring at University of California Irvine before joining the San Francisco Ballet Company and enjoying a successful career as one of it's soloists. He also spent two years as a member of Pacific Northwest Ballet and eight years with the Oakland Ballet Company. Mr. Schwennesen has had two of his ballets shown at Regional Dance America/Pacific festivals.
Noah's Ark is an original ballet created and choreographed by Don Schwennesen. The Crockett-Deane Ballet company has performed this ballet during the spring in alternating years. Danced by professional dancers to our youngest students, this ballet is a charming, classic about the trials and tribulation of Noah and his Ark.
In 2004, Mr. Schwennesen choreographed a new ballet to be included in Crockett-Deane Ballet's repertoire. The Wizard of Oz, the classic MGM hit movie, was performed with additional music by Emmett O'Sullivan.
Richard Shi, Director of Deane Dance Center
Mr. Shi received his early training with the Shanghai Dancing School and danced for ten years as a principal dancer with the Shanghai Ballet.
He was a Silver medalist in the second round of the Chinese Ballet Competition and a Gold medalist for a Pas De Deux in the 7th International Classical Ballet Competition in France.
Mr. Shi has been a guest artist all over the world including Vancouver, Canadal Cuba; Russia; Bulgaria; Singapore and Hong Kong and has also guested in the United States with the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago, Minnesota Ballet, Washington Ballet Company and International Star Performance in Texas.
He was a principal dancer with the New Jersey Ballet Company, Ballet Oklahoma, assistant professor of the University of Oklahoma and Advisor member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute. Crockett-Deane Ballet has been honored to have Mr. Shi perform pas de deux's with various Sacramento Ballet principal dancers as well as dance the role of "Noah" in Don Schwennesen's "The Story of Noah's Ark." Mr. Shi is a guest teacher with the Sacramento Ballet and a faculty member and Director of the Deane Dance Center.
Kermit Allen, Young Boys & Ballet
Mr.Allen danced with the Austin Ballet and has performed for the last few years with the Sacramento Ballet. He has a very strong background in ballet technique and is important at the Deane Dance Center to the Adult Department and in developing the young boys classes.
Nina Baratoff, Ballet
Ms. Baratoff has worked with young children for many years and leads the Pre-Ballet Department at the Deane Dance Center. Her daughter, who has a dance school in Pacifica, was for many years the top prinicipal dancer at Sacramento Ballet.
Irina Karoulina, Ballet & Character
"Miss Irina" is a ballerina from Russia who is well versed in Character work. After her dancing career she became a teacher and, for America, gives the students at Deane Dance Center and unusually authentic training in character work.
Linda Yun, Ballet, Contemporary & Zumba
Ms.Yun is also a product of Barbara Crockett and the Deane Dance Center. After graduation she attended CSU Long Beach. After returning home she joined the Deane Dance Center Staff and has become a very important element to the running of the school. She is also a certified Zumba teacher.
Keith Goings, Jazz & Hip Hop
Mr.Goings is well known as an extaordinary dancer and teacher of Jazz. He has perfomed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Tokyo. We are thrilled to add him to the illustrious Deane Dance Center staff.
Pamela Lourentzos, Dance Conditioning
Ms.Lourentzos is a talented, well-known and award-winning choreographer in the Sacramento area. At the Deane Dance Center she has taught ballet, jazz, dance conditioning and musical theater. She is also a dancer and takes classes at the Deane Dance Center.
Joy Almendariz, Tap & Musical Theatre
Ingrid Carricker, Ballet
Allie Braithwaite, Ballet
Abelardo Cisneros, Pilates Mat Class
Emmett O'Sullivan, Pianist
A master musician. Emmett has played for such prestigious companies as Pilobolus.
Henrik Jul Hansen, Pianist & Conductor
Conductor Henrik Jul Hansen was born in Denmark and trained in conducting at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory, The Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and has received many prestigious international awards. He currently conducts the Merced Symphony, The Sacramento Ballet Orchestra, his own Gold Country Orchestra in Sacramento, as well as events with the Camellia Symphony, the Mother Lode Festival Chorus, and the Orchestra of the Mother Lode Friends of Music.
Joan Crumrine, Production Coordinator