Simone Messmer (Sugar Plum Fairy)

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Simone Messmer began studying dance at the age of nine at Ballet Arts Minnesota. At 14, she continued her training at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. At 15, Simone was awarded the Jeannot B. Cerrone Award for Excellence in Dance. After two years at the Harid Conservatory, she resumed her training at Ballet Arts Minnesota under the direction of Bonnie Mathis. Messmer participated in American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program in 2001 and joined the Studio Company in that same year. In August 2002 she became an apprentice in the main company and, in January 2003, joined the corps de ballet. She was promoted to soloist in 2010. Her repertoire with the Company includes soloist roles in “La Bayadère”, “The Bright Stream”, “Cinderella”, “Coppelia”, “Le Corsaire”, “Don Quixote”, “Giselle”, “On the Dnieper”, “Petrouchka”, “Raymonda”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “Theme and Variations” and “Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison”, to name a few. Messmer is a recipient of a 2010 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship. After leaving ABT, she joined San Francisco Ballet as a soloist for the 2013-2014 season. Among her roles with San Francisco Ballet, she preformed Sugarplum Fairy in “The Nutcracker”, plus principal roles in “The Firebird”, “Agon”, and “Giselle”, and helped create principal roles with Liam Scarlett and Helgi Tomasson.

Norbert Nirewicz (Nutcracker Prince)

A native of Poland Norbert began his ballet studies at the National Ballet School in Gdansk. He obtained a silver medal in Poland’s national Ballet Competition. As a Dancer for the Polish National Ballet he portrayed roles in a variety of classical ballets such as”Swan Lake”,”Giselle”,”Sleeping Beauty” and “La Fille Mal Gardee” in Warsaw and throughout Europe. Mr. Nirewicz then joined Ballet Classico de Camara in Venezuela, as a principal dancer adding “La Bayadere”, “Le Corsaire” and many more to his repertoire. After Mr. Nirewicz competed at US International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, he was offered a contract to join Cleveland/San Jose Ballet. He performed with the company for two seasons in Dennis Nahat’s “Blue Suede Shoes” and Roland Petit’s “Carmen” garnering public and critical acclaim. Norbert competed in New York International Ballet Competition, where he was a finalist. After two seasons with Cleveland/San Jose Ballet Mr. Nirewicz joined Columbia City Ballet with a principal contract where he performed in “Don Quixote” and “Dracula” among the others. Since then Norbert has been working as a free lance dancer, teacher and choreographer. He has performed across the United States, Japan, Latin America, and Europe, adding many more ballets to his repertoire. These include “Apollo”, “Who Cares”, “Allegro Brilliante”, “Combat”, “Serenade”, “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and “Romeo & Juliet.”

Gary Lenington (Harlequin/Coffee)

A native of Akron, Ohio, he began his dance training with Nan Klinger and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and studied extensively with Jean Pierre Bonnefoux at the Chautauqua Institute. Since turning professional in 1993, he has appeared in a number of soloist and principal roles for both the Richmond Ballet and Ballet Florida including ‘Romeo’, ‘Sugar Plum Cavalier’ and ‘Snow Pas de Deux’, ‘Lambarena’, ‘The Moor’s Pavane’, ‘Elemental Brubeck’, ‘…Smile With My Heart’, ‘Lady of the Camiellas’, ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’, ‘Carmina Burana’, and Peter Martins’ ‘Barber Violin Concerto’. As a member of Ballet Florida, he appeared twice at the ‘Le Temps D’Aimer’ international dance festival held in Biarritz, France and at Ballet Florida’s debut performance at the Joyce Theatre (NYC). He attributes the longevity of his career to his versatility as both a contemporary and classical dancer and is thankful to have had the privilege of working with many influential teachers and choreographers in the dance world today.
Brooke Wesner (Columbine/Coffee)

Co-founder of Neos Dance Theatre, started dance at age five . After studying with master teachers such as Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Basil Thompson, Brooke started her professional career with the Milwaukee Ballet. Brooke has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Arizona and has appeared many times with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as well as with many other dance companies.