Andrew Rist: Artistic Director / Choreographer

andy-headshot-bwAndrew’s interests have always been in the areas of teaching, directing & choreography. After dancing professionally for 14 years, Loyce Houlton encouraged Andrew to become Avocational Director of the Minnesota Dance Theater school (1986-87). In 1987, Andrew and his wife Cheryl took steps in a new direction and co-founded the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. In 1990, they co-founded Ballet Minnesota with Andrew as artistic director. Under his direction, Ballet Minnesota has developed a strong season including the Fall Concert, the annual Classic Nutcracker, The Youth Concert Series, The Minnesota Dance Festival (which features the restaging of a classical ballet each year) and the River Songs Summer Series. As a choreographer, Andrew prefers working with original scores. He has created works in collaboration with Robert E Hindel, Charlie Maguire (National Park Service “Singing Ranger”) and the rock group Mock Duck. His choreographic works include Pachelbel, At the Museum, the Classic Nutcracker, Italian Symphony, Black Dog Cafe, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (choreographed in 2008, received standing ovations to a sold out opening run) and many others. Andrew & Cheryl have two children – Heather and Richard. The newest addition to the Rist family is their granddaughter, Chloe, daughter of Richard and Becky.

In January 2010, Andrew’s first book was published “At The Museum: Adventures of the Ballerina Girls”

Choreographer: Andrew Rist

Classic Nutcracker

Rhapsody In Blue. An American Love Story


Beethoven’s 6th Symphony

There Are No Words

Rite of Spring

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony

Handel’s Messiah

Mozart’s 40th symphony

Cheryl Rist: Classical Restagings and Costume Design

cheryl-headshot-bwCheryl, a graduate of the Cornish School of Arts in Seattle, was the recipient of seven Arts Scholarships. Her teachers included Robert Joffrey, Loyce Houlton, Hanya Holm, Flemming Halby and Frank Bourman.

Cheryl began dancing with Sacramento Ballet under the direction of Jean-Paul Comelin (formerly Paris Opera Ballet). She danced as a principal with the Banff Festival, the Minnesota Dance Theater (under the direction of Loyce Houlton) and Ballet Minnesota.

Cheryl is a teacher in the school, and has a special gift for understanding the art of Classical Ballet. She is known for restaging excerpts and complete versions of many of the classic ballets for Ballet Minnesota, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, the Flower Festival pas de deux, Coppelia and La Bayadere. In addition to all of this she designs and costumes all the works presented by Ballet Minnesota.

Although Cheryl is a sought-after designer, she concentrates her energies on CBA and Ballet Minnesota.