Left to right: Lauren Kuss, Tess Wright, Megan Ayers, Payton Kline, Rhiannon Kilgore (Not pictured: Isaiah Moon and Cheyenne Yost)
Megan has been dancing for 16 years. This is her third season with Arizona Youth Ballet, where she has danced the roles of Marzipan, Snow Soloist, and Flower Soloist in the Nutcracker, Fairy of the Golden Vine in Sleeping Beauty, and Winter Fairy in Cinderella. This year she is excited to dance as Arabian in the Nutcracker. Megan is currently pursuing a degree in Communication at Arizona State University and loves to bake in her free time.
Rhiannon has been dancing for 13 years and has been a member of Arizona Youth Ballet since its beginning. She has had numerous roles in Nutcracker, including Marzipan, Chinese, Spanish Soloist, Grandma, Snow and Flowers. Rhiannon was thrilled to dance the role of Cinderella in AzYB’s production of Cinderella. This year she is honored to be dancing the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, her dream role. In her spare time, Rhiannon is a Junior at Highland High School and has played violin in their orchestra, as well as supporting her school. Rhiannon also loves to spend time with her friends and family, read and cook.
Payton has been dancing for ten years, five of which have been with Arizona Youth Ballet. This is her last season with Arizona Youth Ballet as she will be joining a professional company in the fall. She has had the privilege to perform roles such as Clara, Bon Bon Fairy, Lead Marzipan, Dew Drop Fairy, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker; Little Red Riding Hood and the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty; the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella; Myrta in Giselle; and will now be adding Swanhilda to her repertoire as well. Payton has received scholarships from four schools, and has attended summer programs of the likes of American Ballet Theatre and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. When she is not dancing, she enjoys writing poetry, drinking coffee, and spending time outdoors.
Lauren has been dancing for 12 years, including 3 years with Arizona Youth Ballet. She has danced the roles of Dew Drop Fairy, Spanish, Arabian, Snow Soloist and Flower Soloist in The Nutcracker. She has also danced as Crystal Fountain Fairy and Jewel in Sleeping Beauty, Spring Fairy in Cinderella, and Willi in Giselle. Lauren has also done Ballroom and Flamenco dancing and enjoyed those styles. Lauren is a Junior at Red Mountain High School and is a straight A student in all AP classes. In her spare time, Lauren loves to craft and cook.
Isaiah started his ballet career 4 years ago when he volunteered to be a party boy in the Nutcracker. Christina put him in her class and his love for dance took off. Isaiah has danced in Nutcracker as a party boy, Russian, Fritz, Chinese and the Prince. He has also danced in Cinderella as the Dance Master, Lead Jester and Prince’s assistant and in Sleeping Beauty as a Suitor and the Wolf. Isaiah received a full scholarship to the Joffrey summer program in Denver this last year and enjoyed dancing with other students and teachers from around the country. He loves science and is also in his school choir. He aspires to be a professional dancer and have a career in the sciences, with his current choice being Radiology.
Tess has been dancing for 4 years with Arizona Youth Ballet and has danced in the roles of Marzipan Soloist, Snow Soloist, Flower Soloist, and Candy Cane in previous Nutcrackers. She has also been a Wicked Stepsister in Cinderella and a Court Lady in Sleeping Beauty. Tess has attended the summer program at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, a highly regarded program. Tess is a Junior at American Leadership Academy, dancing in their dance company and is very active in supporting her school. Tess loves dances, as it is a way of bringing out her true self. Tess plans on pursuing a career in professional dance.
Cheyenne Yost has lived in Queen Creek for 11 years and started dancing in 4th grade. She is currently pursuing an Associates of Fine Arts degree in Dance as well as an Associates of Applied Science degree in Dance Technology. Cheyenne has been a part of many dance companies including SCC Moving Company, Scottsdale Arizona Jazz Ensemble, and Arizona Youth Ballet. She has worked with choreographers such as Steve Conrad, Jason Celeya, and Sal Banelos.