Gina Illingworth, director, MNE Dance Institute
Gina Illingworth trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and the San Francisco Conservatory of Ballet directed by Merriem Lanova, former Ballet Russe ballerina. Ms Illingworth’s career began with the Oakland Ballet Company performing in many Diaghilev era ballets and working with notable choreographers and instructors such as Irina Nijinska, Enrique Martinez, Sheila Xoregos and Anna Sokolow.
She was a principal dancer with the Cleveland Ballet, Eugene Ballet and National Ballet of Norway working with many renowned classical and contemporary choreographers/instructors including Rudi Van Danzig, Andre Prokovsky, Woytek Lowski, Olga Lepishinskaya, and Ib Anderson.
Classical roles include, Kitri in Nureyev’s Don Quixote, Lise in Heinz Sporeli’s La Fille mal Gardée, the Sylph in La Slyphide, Giselle, Brian McDonald’s Firebird
, and also principal roles in choreography by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Alvin Ailey, and Glen Tetley.
Ms. Illingworth was a permanent guest artist with the Tucson Ballet in Arizona years dancing leading roles in their productions of Nutcracker, Cinderella
, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
, and also was one of the founding members of the Diablo Ballet in northern California.
Ms. Illingworth directed the Lake Erie Ballet in Erie, Pa. for three years, producing original choreography for The Nutcracker, Cinderella
, and Hansel and Gretel
, and taught dance at the University of Idaho, Brigham Young University, and Mercyhurst University. She holds a B.A in Dance from Mercyhurst University, an M.S. in Organizational Leadership, and currently directs the Mercyhurst North East Dance Institute at Mercyhurst University in North East.