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. She has been a part of the AGHDT family since 2018.
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.
Chloe Holzman started her training at Northwest Ballet Academy in suburban Chicago. She received her BFA in Ballet with an emphasis in teaching and character dance from the University of Utah, along with a Minor in Psychology. She was also president of the Character Dance Ensemble with whom she traveled to Spain, Hungary, and Ukraine to learn local folk dances and perform the group’s repertoire. Her first performance with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre was “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in 2018, at which point she also joined the academy faculty. She teaches our next generation of dancers with the beginning classes, as well as Character and Ballet. Chloe is currently working on her certification as a teacher in the Cecchetti method.
Camden Lancaster received her Bachelors in Dance Performance at Anderson University. While at Anderson she had the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center and twice received the Allen Choreography Award. Camden joined GHDT in 2018. Her first performance with the company was THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Camden’s most memorable roles to date are “Mother of the Chosen” in EXODUS and “The Other Women” in the LA LLORONA. She has been the resident Jazz teacher at AGHDT since 2019.
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.
Zoe Maish began her training in Carmel, Indiana at The Academy of GHDT and performed with GHDT’s pre-professional company G2. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Dance. While at school, Zoe danced in Martha Graham’s HELIOS at the Joyce Theatre in NYC, and toured the Midwest in the University of Iowa’s DANCERS IN COMPANY. Zoe has been with GHDT since 2018, and teaching Modern and Yoga at AGHDT since 2019.
Thomas James Mason, from Denver, Colorado, began dancing at Premier School of Dance and is alumni to the pre-professional program at Sweatshop Dance. Thomas is trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Commercial and Aerial, and continues to expand into other styles of dance. He graduated in 2015 from the Dance and Movement program at Denver School of the Arts and then moved to the United Kingdom. Thomas graduated in 2018 from Falmouth University with a BA(Hons) in Dance and Choreography. After graduating in 2015, Thomas worked professionally as a freelance dancer traveling around the world performing, along with teaching and choreographing in different projects both on film and onstage. Also, while at Falmouth University, Thomas was a company member at Yskynna Vertical Dance Company until moving back to the states to join Gregory Hancock Dance Theater in 2019. Thomas started teaching at AGHDT in 2020.
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.