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Susannah Dwyer Gentes, Director
Originally from Buffalo, NY, Ms. Dwyer received her ballet training at the American Academy of Ballet. She attended summer programs at the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, The School of American Ballet in New York City, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle. Ms. Dwyer continued her training on scholarship at the School of Cleveland Ballet, where she also performed with the Cleveland Ballet. She then danced professionally for 11 years with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Louisville Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus. Additionally, she taught on the faculty of the BalletMet Dance Academy.


After retiring from dancing, Ms. Dwyer was the ballet mistress for the Festival dancers of Chautauqua Institution's School of Dance. She has taught and choreographed extensively for the Lockport City Ballet and the Classical Ballet of WNY since its beginning. 

Ms. Dwyer has been a guest teacher for Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown, Ohio, SUNY Brockport, Little Red Dancing School in Rochester, NY, and the New York State Ballet. In 2005, Ms. Dwyer was a recipient of the Business First Magazine's 40 Under 40 award.

 

William Gentes, Co-Director

Born in Vietnam and raised in California, Mr. Gentes began his ballet training with Kenneth Delmar and with Maria Vegh at the Marin Ballet School. He received a full scholarship to continue training at the San Francisco Ballet School, where he also performed with the company. Mr. Gentes danced professionally as a guest artist with Universal Ballet in Seoul, South Korea. He then danced with Miami City Ballet under the direction of Edward Villella, a former Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet and protégé of George Balanchine. He also danced with Milwaukee Ballet and taught on the faculty of the Milwaukee Ballet School, and then with BalletMet in Columbus, OH. Because of his professional career with these companies, Mr. Gentes had the opportunity to tour throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.

 

After retiring from dancing, Mr. Gentes taught and choreographed at Chautauqua Institution's School of Dance.

He founded his own ballet school, the Lockport City Ballet in Lockport, NY in August of 2002 with his wife Susannah Dwyer. In the summer of 2004, Lockport City Ballet expanded to a second location, Classical Ballet of Western New York, in Williamsville.

Mr. Gentes has been a guest teacher and choreographer for Ballet Western Reserve in Youngstown, Ohio, and a guest teacher at SUNY Brockport, Little Red Dancing School in Rochester, NY, Dance Masters of America, New York State Ballet, and the University at Buffalo. Mr. Gentes was an adjunct professor, teaching advanced ballet at the University at Buffalo dance department.

Students of Ms. Dwyer and Mr. Gentes have gone on to dance professionally with Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany, Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, Washington Ballet, River North Dance Chicago, Nashville Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, and The National Ballet of Canada.

Their students have attended numerous summer intensive ballet programs, including The School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre School, Boston Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, the National Ballet School in Toronto, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) in Saratoga Springs, Chautauqua Institution's School of Dance, Miami City Ballet School, Houston Ballet Academy, and The Royal Ballet School in London

Additionally, students of Mr. Gentes and Ms. Dwyer have competed in the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition, with some students qualifying for the New York City finals.

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