Interim Artistic Director
Cynthia Graham began studying dance at age four in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Focusing on her ballet training, she also studied contemporary, jazz, tap and gymnastics. At 12, she was awarded a scholarship to study in New York City with the American Ballet Theater School and spent her next 5 summers studying there and with the School of American Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, working with famed faculty members such as Madame Pereyaslavec, Leon Danielian, Patricia Wilder, Alexandra Danilova, Nina Papova, Fredrick Franklin, Robert Denvers, Willy Berman and more.
Ms. Graham became a professional dancer with Houston Ballet at 15 dancing in the corp de ballet and in many soloists roles. At 16, she was chosen to become a company member in Cleveland Ballet at its inception as a principal dancer. Performing under choreographer and director Dennis Nahat, he choreographed roles such as Maria in The Nutcracker, Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tsarina in The Nutcracker, and Swanhilda in Coppelia directly on Ms. Graham.
Other ballets in Ms. Graham's performance repertoire include Gaite Parisienne, Fall River Legend, House of Tears, Toreador, and George Balanchine's Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Four Temperaments, and Serenade.
She has toured with the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas company in Venezuela and Spain and performed in Ireland and Scotland with Cleveland Ballet dancing with Rudolf Nureyev. Ms. Graham has been a guest instructor at schools and ballet companies throughout Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York.
In 1993, Ms. Graham retired from the stage to take up a second career as Chief Financial Officer for the Cleveland advertising agency, Sampson-Carnegie Co. and from there, in 2006, she became a founding partner and President of Creative House Studios, a media production company offering the largest permanent green screen studio sound stage in Ohio. The partners sold Creative House Studios in 2019, making it possible for Ms. Graham to focus on the duties of Ballet Master full time.