The San Diego Nutcracker Guest Stars

Katie CritchlowKatie Critchlow

Katie began training under Leslie Craig at Performing Arts Workshop. Later she went on to train at Anaheim Ballet with Lawrence and Sarma Lapenieks Rosenburg, and then San Elijo Dance Academy with Ben and Laurie Michelle Houk. She spent her summers training with American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. After graduating high school Katie moved to Seattle Washington to train in the Professional Division of Pacific Northwest Ballet. She spent two years there, fortunate to be able to continue her study of ballet by performing with the company in their Nutcrackers, Balanchine's Symphony in 3 movements, La Valse, and Serenade, Ronald Hdye's The Merry Widow and The Sleeping Beauty, and many others. Katie joined Ballet West in 2006 as an Apprentice and was promoted to Corps artist in 2008, Demi-Soloist in 2012, and Soloist in 2016. Katie has had original featured roles created on her by world renowned choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte, Val Caniparoli, and Helen Pickett. Some of her favorite moments onstage include dancing Juliet in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, Suzuki in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly, and principal and soloist roles in William Forsythe's in the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort, Forgotten Land, and Overgrown Path, Nicolo Fonte's Almost Tango, and Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free. Katie was also a part of the original cast of the CW's Breaking Pointe, a reality show that followed Ballet West for two seasons.


Trevor NaumannTrevor Naumann

Trevor Naumann began his training under Peter and Lisa Naumann, who are both alumni of the New York City Ballet under the directorship of George Balanchine and later Peter Martins. At the age of 15, he was asked to join the School of American Ballet on full scholarship. He trained there for 4 years until 2009 when he was offered a contract with Ballet West II. In 2011, he joined Ballet West fully as a Corps Artist, and was again promoted to demi soloist in 2016. Since joining he has performed featured roles in Stanon Welch's "Madame Butterfly", "The Sleeping Beauty" co-choregraphed by Pamela Robinson-Harris and Mark Goldweber, John Cranko's "Romeo and Juliet", William Christensen's "The Nutcracker", as well as featured roles in Jiri Kylian's "Petit Mort", "Overgrown path", and "Forgotten Land". Mr. Naumann also originated roles in new pieces by choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte, Val Canaparoli and Christopher Ruud.


Benjamin Simoens
Senior at Julliard

Benjamin Simoens

Benjamin Simoens is a senior at The Juilliard School in New York City. He began his dance training in Los Angeles California at a small ballet school called Lauridsen Ballet Centre. At LBC he studied primarily classical ballet and contemporary dance. Benjamin is a student at the Juilliard School and his projected graduation is May of 2019. Juilliard has immersed Benjamin in varied techniques including Graham, Limón, Forsythe, Horton, and Gaga. Three consecutive summers, 2013-2015 Benjamin had the privilege to attend the San Francisco Ballet summer intensive and train with such notable teachers as Patrick Armand, Parish Maynard, and Jeffery Lyons. Benjamin has performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and Jerome Robbins’ Moves. Benjamin was a 2014 Winner in Dance for the YoungArts Foundation and has been recognized for his contributions to the arts by the CA State Senate. In addition to dance, Benjamin also accompanies ballet classes and composes music for choreographers.