Hall of Fame
Born and raised in San Jose, California, Craig Black began dancing at age 10 with South Bay Dance Center. In 2007, as Captain of his nationally ranked dance team the Lincoln Convertibles, he won the title Mr. Dance of California through Dance Masters of America. Craig received his B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School where he has performed works by Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp, Bronislava Nijinska, Stijn Celis, and Alexander Ekman. While attending Juilliard, Mr. Black has been fortunate enough to tour internationally to Germany and France and receive the 2010 Princess Grace Award in Dance. In his summers, Craig has been lucky to attend Springboard Danse Montreal, Maximum Dance Course in Den Haag, and Jacob’s Pillow in the Berkshires. Recently he was chosen as the 2011 Lorna Strassler Award recipient through the contemporary program at Jacob’s Pillow. Additionally, Craig has had the pleasure of performing works by Aszure Barton, Andrea Miller, Larry Keigwin, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Craig is pleased to be starting his professional dance career with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. When he’s not performing, Craig is also a master teacher and choreographer for many studios around the United States.
Alexandra Venter was one of the founding dance students of South Bay Dance Center in 1999. Ms. Venter became a member of the regional ballet company South Bay Ballet Arts in 2004 and was a Soloist from 2005 - 2009. Ballet credits include The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Principal roles include Clara, Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy, Butterfly, Fairy of Grace, Princess Florine, and Cinderella. Ms. Venter has attended summer intensive programs at Contra Costa Ballet, City Ballet in San Diego, Marin Dance Theatre, and received a scholarship to Boston Ballet School’s summer program. She has had the privilege to study with many distinguished teachers including David Howard, Alonzo King, Susan Jaffe, and Andre Reyes. Through her experiences with South Bay Ballet Arts, Ms. Venter has been able to partner with many talented dancers such as Jekyns Pelaez, Eric Bourman, and Charles Torres. In addition to ballet, Ms. Venter also dances jazz, tap, modern and hip hop. She has been a member of Pure Dance Productions, a jazz and tap performing company, for nine years. At age 14, Ms. Venter had her first professional ballet role when she was hired by Brentwood Ballet Theatre to perform the roleREMOVE of Sugar Plum Fairy. Since that time, she has danced professionally for the Chambersburg Ballet in Pennsylvania, Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, and Bay Pointe Ballet.
Nicole Browne received her early training at South Bay Dance Center beginning at age four. During her time at South Bay, she performed with Pure Dance Productions and South Bay Ballet Arts. As a soloist in South Bay Ballet Arts she was able to perform many principle roles including Odile in Swan Lake, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Nicole supplemented her training through summer programs at American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Met, Texas Ballet Theatre, and Nashville Ballet. After graduating high school, Nicole chose to pursue her higher education in dance at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. During her time at TCU, she had the opportunity to work with several resident choreographers and teachers including Jacques d’Amboise, Susan Jaffe, Willy Shives, Susan Dromisky, and Ben Stevenson O.B.E.. She was also chosen to work in choreographic residencies with Michael Bearden, Artistic Director of Ballet Arkansas, and Toni Pimble, Artistic Director of Eugene Ballet. Nicole was featured in principal roles in Valse-Fantaisie and Four Temperaments by George Balanchine, Paquita Act II, Giselle Act II, and Toni Pimble’s recently new work Prelude. In Spring 2014, she was awarded The Renee and F. Howard Walsh, Jr. Scholarship from TCU’s School for Classical & Contemporary Dance. She graduated magna cum laude from Texas Christian University in May 2016, earning a BFA in Ballet and minor in Child Development. Nicole is thrilled to be beginning her professional dance career as a member of Nashville Ballet's second company.
Zach Alsop began his formal dance training as a senior in high school at South Bay Dance Center. After two years at South Bay Dance Center, Zach was offered a scholarship trainee position at Ballet San Jose. Zach relocated to Florida in 2014 to further his ballet training at The Art of Classical Ballet by Magaly Suarez. Zach is so excited to be beginning his professional ballet career as a member of Ballet Met 2 this season!