Ken Braso

Ballet Master / Rehearsal Director

Ken Braso came to Columbia with over 30 years of professional dance experience. He was a featured dancer with Southern Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, Boca Ballet, Chattanooga Ballet, Cincinnati Opera Ballet, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and Walt Disney Productions. Ken retired after the completion of a long tenure with the Louisville Ballet. Some of Ken’s favorite roles included Puck In A Midsummer Nights Dream, Peter in Peter Pan, Renfield in Dracula, Max in Where The Wild Things Are, and Lead Russian in the Nutcracker. Film credits include The Magic of Christmas and the Paramount Pictures film, Flash Dance. Mr. Braso started his dance training in Orlando, Florida with Edith Royal and Barbra Riggins, and he received a scholarship to train at the National Academy of the Arts, in University of Illinois. He has performed classics created by Lew Christensen, Anthony Tudor, George Balanchine, Doris Humphrey, Eugene Loring, Agnes De Mille, as well as many featured roles in major full-length ballets,  including Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Coppelia, The Firebird and Romeo and Juliet. Ken has worked with many notable choreographers and stagers, including Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Joe Layton, Patrick Frantz, Septime Weber, William Soleau, Lynn Taylor Corbett, Domi Reiter Soffer, Alun Jones, Jack Louiso, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Helen Starr, Sally Wilson, Peter Anastos, and Robert Gladstein. Upon retiring from performing in 2002, Ken directed and taught for Step One Dance at All About Kids Sports Center, and was also on the Guest Faculty staff for the Governor’s School for the Arts, in Kentucky. Later, Ken joined the faculty of the Louisville Ballet School. Ken moved to Columbia with his wife Elizabeth Hartwell in 2008. Over the past six years, Ken has enjoyed being one of Columbia’s few freelance dance instructors.

Along with his ballet master/rehearsal director duties at Mareck Center for Dance, he is also a ballet instructor for Dancearts and a dance and gymnastics coach for Flipz Gymnastics. Ken is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the very talented Mareck Center for Dance dancers, for they are any ballet master’s dream come true!