Andrew’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 co-founded the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota and in 1990 they co-founded Ballet Minnesota, of which Andrew became artistic director. Under his direction, Ballet Minnesota has developed a strong season which includes Fall Concert, annual 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”, “Nutcracker”, “Italian Symphony” and in 2006 “Black Dog Cafe”. “Beethoven’s 9th Symphony”, choreographed in 2008, received standing ovations to a sold out opening run. Andrew teaches in the school. He has been nominated and included in three editions of ‘Who’s Who Among American Teachers.’ Only 5% of the nation’s teachers are honored in each edition and less than 2% are included in more than one edition.
Cheryl Rist, Andrew’s wife, has designed all the costumes for every work he has choreographed. Most of his works are deeply dependent upon the costume design, which will be quite obvious when you view the photo galleries in the Legacy portion of the site.
Andrew & Cheryl have 2 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”