BILLY BLANKEN graduated with honors from Ball State with majors in acting and dance performance. After graduation, he was invited to attend the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City on full scholarship. He started his professional career as a principal with the Amy Marshall Dance Company before he joined Les Ballets Grandiva. Selected credits include: principal guest artist with Brooklyn Ballet, guest artist with CoDa21 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dances Patrelle, Catherine Gallant Dance, Atlantic City Ballet, Mobile Ballet, Flexicurve, Northwest Florida Ballet, Lane & Co Arts, Sun Valley Ballet, the East Village Dance Project, Northeastern Ballet Theatre, Neville Dance Theatre, isadoraNOW, Ballet Mink Colbert, and performing Michael Foley’s work in the Howl on the Road Festival at Lincoln Center. In addition to returning to Ball State to teach master classes,Billy has taught at many prestigious dance programs around the country.
ALEXA DIETZ is a 2015 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Ball State University.
Alexa has worked professionally for Spirit productions, Odyssey Dance
Theater, performing in their acclaimed production of "Thriller," and
Cedar Point's production of Luminosity - Ignite the Night. She is
currently working with Ball State alumni Nikki Prichard of NRP
Choreography and Jason Whicker of On the Fly Productions in their
production of An Enchanted Evening.
“The Department of Theatre
and Dance at Ball State provided me with a strong foundation in all
styles of dance while also allowing me to focus on my love of musical
theatre. The education, mentorship, and performance opportunities that I
was afforded have given me confidence that I will continue to have a
successful dance career.”
JEN DONOHOO has appeared in the Jeff Award winning Follies (Ghost Showgirl/DC) at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Alex Sanchez. She has since worked on A Chorus Line (Lois, US Judy/Kristine, Assistant Dance Captain) directed by Mitzi Hamilton, Timon of Athens (Ensemble, DC) at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Brigadoon (US Jean/Ensemble) and A Christmas Carol (Xmas Future, DC). She has also performed in numerous industrials and commercials around the world as a principal dancer for the Lions Club (Germany, Hawaii), CSO’s Welcome Yule!, Dance For Life, Duets for My Valentine and Chicago Takes Off (Chicagos’ Bway Bares) among others. She has also served as guest faculty at Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Studio and Ruth Page Centre for the Arts. Within the last year, Jen worked on Deployed (Assistant Director) for NYMF and Soul Doctor Off-Broadway (Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Director) both under the direction of Mindy Cooper. She also assisted Devanand Janki on Fly Guy and Other Stories (TheatreworksUSA) and has since taken over setting this regionally touring show. This past spring, she served as Associate Choreographer for Guys and Dolls at Goodspeed Opera House, working alongside Alex Sanchez and under the direction of the brilliantly talented Don Stephenson. Member of AEA and AGMA.
“Ball State's Theatre and Dance Department gave me the freedom to dictate my own future. There were so many opportunities to perform, choreograph and have our own shows. It really gave me the time to evaluate what I wanted to focus my energy on after graduation.”
CRISTINA GUSTAITIS is a professional dancer in New York City and has
performed throughout the US and abroad with companies Treeline Dance
Works and MachineHistrionica Dance. In addition to performing, she is a
choreographer and dance teacher in her neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Cristina is grateful for the BSU Department of Theatre and Dance for
providing her with connections to her professional career as well as
endless support and encouragement.
CHADAÉ McALISTER is a 2009 Graduate of Ball State University Department of Theatre and Dance. Born in the Joliet Suburb of Chicago, Chadaé was a three season member of Ball State Dance Theatre, performed in several main stage productions, and choreographed for many different avenues. She founded Rhythms Dance Troupe on Ball State’s campus. Regional productions include Showboat, Little Shop, and many others. She is currently on the 1st National Tour of Motown the Musical.
“The Ball State Department of Theatre and Dance challenged and encouraged me to work through adversity without fear. I continued my education and pursuit of the arts as a single mother at the time. The support they gave me as a community is what I attribute to my continued success as an artist.”
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