Gregory Hancock is the Executive Artistic Director for the internationally acclaimed Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and now also serves as the director for The Academy of GHDT. Through the Academy of GHDT, Mr. Hancock is able to pass on a legacy of work and training to young aspiring dancers. Mr. Hancock has taught dance for many years at numerous local dance institutions. He has trained numerous students over the years who have continued to dance professionally in companies throughout the world. He has also taught dance at “Daile” the national dance ensemble of Latvia in Riga, Latvia. Most recently, Mr. Hancock has taught modern dance in Mumbai, India at Expressions Modern Dance Company, the premiere modern dance company of Mumbai. Mr. Hancock’s unique choreography has been lauded internationally and he has received numerous honors for his work including Individual Artist Fellowships from the Indiana Arts Commission, Creative Renewal Fellowships from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Lilly Endowment, fellowships from ArtsLink and the Citizen Exchange Council in NYC and was awarded Outstanding Choreographer at the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in NYC. He has created an expansive repertoire of pieces for the professional company and has created choreography for companies throughout the USA and Europe.
Angela was born and raised in Indianapolis where she trained at the Jordon College Academy of Dance before moving to the University of North Carolina School for the Arts for ballet. She grew up dancing in GHDT’s The Nutcracker, student company, and did multiple performances with the main company. After high school, Angela went on to dance in Cincinnati Ballet for one season before moving to Amsterdam to be in the Dutch National Ballet where she has danced for the last 8 years. While at Dutch National Ballet, she danced a mix of classical ballet, Balanchine works, Han van Manen, and contemporary and neoclassical works, along with new creations. She has been featured in William Forsythe’s Second Detail, Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quichot, along with many other demo-soloist roles in ballets such as The Dream, Paquita, and Swan Lake. Not only has she been able to share her gifts as a dancer, but she has also worked alongside many choreographers at Dutch National Ballet as a ballet master. These works were performed within the company, and brought to the Origen Cultural Festival in Riom, Switzerland where she was also responsible to lead the dancers in daily class. Angela also recently expanded her work as assistant choreographer by working on the first Virtual Reality ballet created by Pete Leung that has been a part of festivals and the first Virtual Reality Cinema in Amsterdam.
Morgan Beane began her dance training in Rochester, Michigan with the Michigan Ballet Theatre. Morgan later attended Marygrove College where she graduated Cum Laude with a degree in dance theatre performance. Immediately following graduation, she joined the Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company, where she performed and trained for a season. Morgan then moved back to Detroit to continue to perform and teach as a guest artist with various local companies throughout the Detroit Metro area. She became a GHDT company dancer in 2017 and has been a teacher at AGHDT since 2017.
Hannah Brown began her dance training in Charlotte, North Carolina under the direction of Melissa Hale-Coyle and Lisa Leone at the Charlotte City Ballet Company. She attended the University of South Carolina, where she performed in works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Helen Pickett, and Gianni Di Marco. In 2013, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has had the pleasure to be a company dancer with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and a teacher at the Academy since 2013.
Kirsten Ferger danced professionally with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov with training from Elena Tcherichova, Mikhail Baryshinkov, Jurgen Schneider, Georgina Parkinson and Susan Jones. She was a Principal Dancer with the American Festival Ballet under directors Stephen and Elizabeth Rowe-Wistrich of Stuttgart Ballet where Kirsten had the pleasure and opportunity to perform Holberg Suite choreographed by John Cranko, and performed several years with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre under the direction of George Verdak and Dace Dindonis. She also received private coaching from Irina Kolpakova while Ms. Kolpakova was with Ballet Internationale. Ms. Ferger, while on scholarship at the American Ballet Theatre School, trained with Patricia Wilde, Valentina Pereyslavik, Royes Fernandez, Daryl Grey, and Michael Maule. Additional training, while in New York City, includes Maggie Black, David Howard and Robert Denver. Ms. Ferger began her training in Indianapolis at the Jordan College of Music, S.I.D. with Colette Kaufman, Jack Copeland, Peggy Dorsey, and Rebecca Rutt and at Butler University with Karl Kaufman, Michele Jarvis, Teresa Ragucci-Chatelanie, Bud Kerwin and William Glen. Ms. Ferger received scholarships at American Ballet Theatre School and Butler University and awards which include Indiana Dance Alliance, Indiana State Arts and Letters Competition, and received honorable mention at the National Arts and Letters Competition in New York City. Ms. Ferger has taught for over 16 years beginning with the Academy of Ballet Theatre from 1993-1999. Kirsten started teaching company class for Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre in 2004 and continues to teach for GHDT and AGHDT staring with the opening of GHDT’s Academy in the fall of 2009.
Taylar began her dance training in Mobile, Alabama at Carol Graham School of Dance. Later she attended Alabama School of Fine Arts as a dance major. She had the opportunity to train under Maria Berica Dalla Vecchia in Vicenza, Italy before relocation to Indianapolis. In 2009, Taylar began her dance journey with GHDT as a student of the Academy. Taylar was also a member of G2, the pre-professional company, for 3 year before graduating from high school in 2012. In the spring of 2016, she graduated from Texas Christian University where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Jacques d’Amboise and Charlotte Boye-Christensen. Taylar joined the AGHDT faculty at the beginning of 2017.
Abigail Lessaris began her journey with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, in 2006, in their annual performance of The Nutcracker when she was 10 years old. She was a student at The Academy of GHDT since its opening in 2009 where she received her most valued dance training under the instruction of Mr. Hancock and the wonderful AGHDT staff. Abigail was a member of G2, the pre-professional company of GHDT, for 6 years until her graduation in the spring of 2014. Abigail is currently a company dancer and rehearsal assistant with GHDT. Abigail has been a member of the faculty at the Academy since 2016. She serves as the Director of G2 alongside Mr. Hancock as well as teaching modern and conditioning.
Chris Lingner began his career joining the 2009 National Tour of Twyla Tharp’s Moving Out, dancing the principal roles of Eddie and James, making him one of the youngest performers to ever dance these roles. Lingner has been a featured guest artist with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Indianapolis School of Ballet, New Albany Ballet, Peoria Ballet, in the Young Stars of Ballet Gala, presented by Indianapolis City Ballet and Chamber Dance Project in D.C. In 2012, Sonya Tayeh created a new work on him for an NFL Super Bowl-Super Cure event fighting breast cancer. Lingner studied ballet in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he danced principal roles in works by Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Dwight Rhoden, August Bournonville, Josh Bergasse, Antony Tudor, Nicolo Fonte, and Peter Martins . Lingner joined Cincinnati Ballet in the 13-14 50th Anniversary Season in the Corps de Ballet. Since joining Cincinnati Ballet, Lingner has performed in works by Adam Hougland, Victoria Morgan, Trey McIntyre, Septime Webre, Viktor Plotnikov, Jessica Lang, Jennifer Archibald, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Yuri Possokhov, and Kirk Peterson. As a producer, Lingner was also nominated for a Tony Award as a member of the producing team for Broadway’s “On the Town” and “Best Show of 2016” for his production of the first Ballet Royalty Gala in Havana, Cuba. Lingner is now performing with Indianapolis Ballet for its debut season as a founding company member.
Erica Steward began her dance training in Zionsville, IN. She first appeared in a GHDT performance in the 2008 production of The Nutcracker. Erica trained at the Academy of GHDT and was a member of G2 before becoming a company member. She has been dancing with GHDT since 2014. She’s had the opportunity to perform in in some of GHDT’s greatest repertoire, including Devdas, Joan of Arc, Alice and her Bizarre Adventures in Wonderland, SUPERHERO, La Casa Azul, The Musical, and being featured in the duet 1968. Erica has been a part of the AGHDT faculty since 2015, teaching tap and our beginning dancers.
CHRISTINE COLQUITT THACKER
received her B.A. in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University. She was a dancer with GHDT from 1998-2007, debuting in Out of Darkness. In 2000, Christine received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission. In 2003, she received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Lilly Endowment. She was also awarded the prestigious Center for Leadership Development Award for Excellent Achievement in Arts and Theatre. She was a regular performer in National City’s Yuletide Celebration with the ISO. Christine was the Assistant Director of GHDT from May of 2003 through August of 2007. She was involved with the Student Dance Ensemble (now G2), and helped advise and direct The Nutcracker. She was thrilled to have toured to Eastern Europe twice with GHDT, where she performed alongside the company for the Latvian Head of State at the 11th Annual International Baltic Ballet Festival. She was honored to have also performed the final Pas de Deux from The Hunchback of Notre Dame with her partner, Martin Casanova. As a dancer with GHDT, Christine performed in over 73 repertoire pieces. Christine has taught at AGHDT since its opening in 2009. She is also currently a professor of dance at Anderson University.