Artistic Advisors

AMANDA McKerrow

Amanda McKerrow is one of America’s most acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then she has been a recipient of numerous other awards, including the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the age of seven at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland. She later studied with Mary Day at the Washington School of Ballet, where she danced with the company for two years and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. MeKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1982, was appointed a soloist in 1983, and became a principal dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included: the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadère, Coppélia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide and The Nutcracker. She has been acclaimed for performances of shorter works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins and Jiří Kylián. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Clark Tippet, James Kudelka, Agnes de Mille, Choo San Goh and Mark Morris. She has also appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies throughout the world.

In 2000, together with her husband John Gardner, McKerrow began working for the Antony Tudor Trust, staging and coaching his superlative ballet, The Leaves Are Fading, around the country. She has also staged numerous other ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States. During her last ten years performing as a principal ballerina with American Ballet Theatre, she spent as much time as she could working with students and young dancers. Upon her retirement from ABT in 2005, she has devoted the majority of her time to teaching and coaching this great art form.

John Gardner

John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and began his ballet training at the age of 12 with Glen Ashton in Lafayette, and subsequently trained at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to American Ballet Theatre’s School at the age of 16 and joined ABT’s secondary company three months later, in 1977. In 1978 he joined ABT’s main company and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1984. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many soloist and principal roles, representing an extensive range of styles and giving him the opportunity to work with some of the great ballet choreographers of the 20th century, including Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and George Balanchine. In 1991 Gardner joined Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, affording him the opportunity to work closely with choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch and Martha Graham. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with the White Oak Dance Project and toured extensively in Europe, the United States, Asia and South America. He returned to ABT in 1995, where he danced a wide variety of roles with the company until 2002. In 2000, Gardner, together with his wife Amanda McKerrow, began working for the Antony Tudor Trust, staging and coaching his superlative ballet, The Leaves Are Fading, around the country.

During the course of his career, Gardner has achieved an excellent reputation as a master teacher and coach for ballet on both the professional and student levels, and has staged numerous ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States.

Valerie Madonia

Valerie Madonia started her training with Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY and then trained at the National Ballet School of Canada from 1975-1979. She danced professionally for more than 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada from1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), at American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino).  She began her career as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually established herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey.  Madonia had the honor of dancing with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Configuration Ballet and at Le Gala des Etoiles numerous times in Montreal and Greece.  She performed the role of the Princess in Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and with the New York Philharmonic in 2005, conducted by Alan Gilbert and accompanied by Pinkus Zuckerman.  In 1995, Madonia began organizing performances with other professional dancers to tour Southwestern Colorado and established her own company, Alpine Dance, Inc. from 1998-2001.

Madonia appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books including Classical Ballet Technique by G.W. Warren. She has been teaching for 17 years, served on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 2000-2003, taught for the Joffrey Ballet School since 1996 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop in Georgia from 2003-2010.  She teaches biannually in Yokohama, Japan and teaches master classes at The Four Corners Dance Experience and for the Regional Ballet Association Festivals.  She is also an adjudicator and master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix.

Madonia has been a guest teacher for: The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Alaska Dance Theatre, Louisiana Delta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Boulder Ballet.  During her tenure as Artistic Director of the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts from 1998-2002, she helped found the Telluride Dance Academy.  She served as the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Telluride Dance Academy from 2006-2010.  Since the fall of 2011, she has been teaching and directing for Palm Arts Dance in Telluride, CO.

Her choreographic credits include a full length CinderellaThe NutcrackerPolar ExpressAppalachian Spring, solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in Colorado Ballet, Ballet West and Dayton Ballet.  Critics and audiences alike enthusiastically received her newest work, Shapeshift, commissioned for Boulder Ballet in 2012.

Viki Psyhoyos

Viki Bromberg Psihoyos attended The School of American Ballet for 9 years, preparing her for George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, where she danced for 13 years. She performed in over 70 works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, August Bournonville, Ruth Page, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner, Frederick Ashton, John Taras and others. Her television and film appearances included The Cage, Four Temperaments, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, The Merry Widow and Chaconne, and several Live From Lincoln Center segments. She also stages Balanchine works through the The George Balanchine Trust, for companies, schools and universities.


Volunteer Staff

Ann Norton - Executive Director

Cheri Freidman - Grant Writer

Jen Hoffman - Director of Communications/Marketing

Brandi Glass - Company Manager

Alexis Drabek - Ballet Mistress


Advisory Committee

Margaret Porter

Francois Miller

Mark Carson

Shale McKenna