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School News

Spring Showcase

This annual celebration of our students gives our community a glimpse of the talent and dedication of our student dancers. Their energy and vitality are on display in the always evolving classicism that has been beloved for centuries, infused with and informed by, contemporary dance and the world in which we live.

Students of the Full-term Programs of SPB are given the opportunity to perform in the School of St. Paul Ballet Spring Showcase. The performance develops discipline, musicality, endurance, choreographic memory and stage presence.

Ballet is very much a marathon and not a sprint. It takes about ten years for children to learn the full curriculum of ballet’s technical goals: turnout of the hips and legs, a vertical torso, lengthened lines, highly articulated feet and legs. Equally important is learning to use movement to powerfully communicate the dancers’ values, thoughts, and aspirations.

As audience members, you are acknowledging and nurturing the next generation. By performing for you, students have the opportunity to find their artistic voice. Ballet is not meant to be a historic recreation but a living, breathing art that transcends language and touches the core of what it means to be human.

Join us Friday, May 11 at 7:00pm and Saturday, May 12 at 1:00pm.
This year please enjoy our program:
Excerpts from Les Sylphides
Paintings Off The Wall
Contemporary works for upper levels
Young Dancers (NOTE: Parents, please check with the teacher for your young dancer’s performance date)

Congratulations to scholarship students!

Laura Greenwell, School Director and the School faculty are pleased to announce students Natalie Larkin, Noelle Wang, and Emilia Garrido have received the Karen Paulson Rivet Scholarship and Zachary Brickson is a recipient of the Janet Smith Memorial Education Fund.

On Saturday, October 14th Karen’s and Janet’s families shared stories of these beloved dancers whose careers inspired students and audiences for decades.

Pictured left to right: Karen Paulson Rivet’s family and scholarship recipients; Janet Smith’s family and scholarship recipient and family



Karen Paulson Rivet began her training at the age of seven under Anna and Lorand Andaházy in St. Paul. She became a soloist with the Andahazy Ballet Company and was known as an exceptional repository of the company repertoire. She performed in ballets including but not limited to Scheherazade, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, Los Seises, Coppelia, Cinderella, Clara’s Dream, The Golden Bough, and The Nutcracker Fantasy.

She was an original cast member in many new works created by the Andaházys, artists of the Colonel de Basil Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and experienced first-hand the choreographic process. Karen developed her own creative composition style over years of work created for the students of many of the best schools in the Twin Cities. This led to the commissioning of a full-length ballet based on Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol in 2004.

Karen was a classical ballet instructor for more than 32 years and a lifelong learner pursuing professional development in the Vaganova syllabus including a the two-week International Vaganova Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2011. You may have seen Karen on stage in many character roles for companies around the Twin Cities. Her uncanny sense of comic timing gave her performances warmth as well as artistry. Most recently she appeared as the governess in St. Paul Ballet’s Clara’s Dream in December 2015.

Karen accomplished all of this with delightful humor and great passion for the art form of ballet. She has been a teacher to many, many students who love her dearly. In the last weeks of her life Karen was able to craft the criteria for the scholarship created in her name that reflects her strength, passion and irrepressible spunk!


Janet Smith, a brilliant Dancer, Artist and renown teacher in the Twin Cities. An amazing performer with Andaházy Ballet Company , Jo Savino’s St. Paul City Ballet and Ballet of the Dolls. A beautiful dancer with roles including Bluebird Pas de deux, Princess in Firebird, Sugar Plum Fairy, Constancia and The Mother in the Dolls ‘Hope’ Mozart’s Requiem. She was a beloved teacher thru out the Twin Cities where she empowered her students and shared her love and passion for Ballet.