Artistic Director: Gregory M. George
CBT is proud to continue its relationship with Artistic Director Gregory M. George. A native of Michigan, Mr. George began dancing at age eight in Wayne, Michigan. From age 12 to 18 he studied at the Jordan College of Music, a division of Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana with George Verdak (formerly with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo). Becoming professional at the age of 16, he danced with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. He then continued his studies with a full scholarship at the Ruth Page Foundation Chicago Ballet School, directed by Larry Long. For four years Mr. George danced leading roles for the Ohio Ballet in Akron, Ohio, touring extensively throughout the United States and performing pieces by Ruthanna Boris, Paul Taylor and Balanchine. He performed in several festivals including Jacob’s Pillow and the Spoleto Festival in Italy, as well as performing in original works reviewed in Dance Magazine. Returning to the Indianapolis Ballet, he performed leading roles in Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Swan Lake, Sylvia, Raymonda and Gaite Parisienne.
Mr. George has a well-earned reputation as a respected dancer, teacher, choreographer and director for companies and universities across the Midwest. He has performed and choreographed musicals for Wisconsin University, Ann Arbor Civic Players and Bay View Theater Arts, in addition to TV commercials, plays and fashion shows as well as ballets for many companies as a guest resident director, dancer and choreographer. Over the past ten years with CBT, he has produced full-length ballets such as Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Anastasia and Nutcracker, and has choreographed over 100 other repertory works for other CBT performances.
Mr. George treats his students as young professionals, interjecting into his teaching techniques information regarding his vast experience with stage direction, lighting, set design, history and of course, wonderful stories of his adventures along the way. Mr. George’s 41 years of experience allows him to collaborate with dancers of all ages.
Ballet Mistress: Elzbieta (Ela) Alabuszew-Kutek
Ms. Ela began her pursuit of dance in Warsaw, then Gdansk, Poland at the National Ballet School, where she graduated as a professional dancer and was awarded a scholarship to attend the International Institute of Theatre Arts in Moscow to attain a Masters of Fine Arts in pedagogy and choreography. Ms. Ela has been a professor, department head, soloist, choreographer, dancer, director and award winner in Poland, Russia, England, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and the U.S. Ela has presented dancers at the Youth American Grand Prix, Michigan Youth Arts Festival, taught master classes and been a local instructor at Danceworks, Mark Taylor School of Dance, and Capital Ballet Theatre. Ela is also a 20 year master teacher, choreographer and director at Lansing Community College. CBT is proud and lucky to have Ms. Ela as Ballet Mistress!
Jenifer Muzer is a CBT alumnus from 2006. She studied various forms of dance for 20+ years including modern, lyrical, tap, jazz, ballet, Irish step dancing, and hip-hop. Jenifer competed on competitive dance teams from 10-18 years old with various studios around the Lansing area. She spent three years on her high school Pom team and was a member of the Mid American All Star Pom Pon team. Jenifer was a member of Orchesis Dance Theatre while at Central Michigan University. She moved to Chicago, IL for two years where she earned an MA in Counseling Psychology. During this time Jenifer took modern dance classes at a local studio and created a creative movement program for children 4-5 at a local community center. Jenifer also took ballet at Lansing Community College where she choreographed for the summer showcase and Community Dance Project.
Brianna Renfrew has been dancing since she was three years old and is an alumnus of CBT. She danced with CBT for seven years. While studying at CBT she also trained with Diane Newman, Giuseppe Canale, Scott Heinrich, and Missy Lilje. She danced both principal and soloist roles in the following ballets: Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland. Brie will be a junior at Point Park University in the fall. She is currently studying ballet, pointe, pas de deux, variations, modern and jazz. She has performed works under John Heginbotham, Susan Stowe, and Jay Kirk. Brie will graduate in 2020 with a BFA in dance and a minor in business. After graduating she hopes to pursue a professional career in dance.
Jesse Rand Powers
Jesse Rand Powers graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in dance. While at school, Jesse choreographed and lead a non-profit dance organization called Momentum for two years. Before GVSU, Jesse danced for 8 years with Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan performing in many classical and some non classical ballets. After graduation, Jesse danced two seasons with Inaside Chicago Dance as a Performing Apprentice. As well, he danced the Nutcracker with Schaumburg Dance Ensemble for two seasons, danced in Thodos’ New Dances Series, and performed with Alliance Dance Company. In New York Jesse worked with Shawn Bible Dance Co, Arch Contemporary Ballet, Jonathan Lassiter Co, and Judi Jaekel & Dancers. Jesse taught and trained with students both in Chicago at several different studios and in New York at Art’s House School of Dance & Fine Arts. He also choreographed several pieces in Brooklyn for BomDiggs’ Shifting Movement Series and in Chicago for Inaside’s Choreographic Sponsorship Event. Jesse would like to thank his family and friends for their unlimited amount of support.