Ballet and Flamenco
Dance Director: Holly Mistine
Holly Mistine started out wanting to be a gymnast like her older sister at New Hope Academy; however, a fear of heights at 4 years old led to paving a new path in the world of dance.
Holly Mistine began her formal training in ballet at the age of seven in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet with Marnell Himes-Ushijima through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). While continuing her training through the Cecchetti examination program, Holly Mistine was a featured and award-winning dancer in the Classical Dance Department at the Orange County High School of the Arts (now known as OCSA), becoming exposed to other dance forms such as modern, flamenco, hip-hop, African, and Japanese. At OCHSA, she trained with former ABT dancer Colleen O’Callaghan; former ABT principle, Rebecca Wright; former Joffrey principle, Laurence Blake; former Twyla Tharp principle, Keith Young; and movement architect, Jacques Heim. At age 17, Holly Mistine held simultaneous apprenticeships with the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet and Carla Luna’s Flamenco Ensemble. She went on to dance professionally as a freelance artist as well as with various companies: classical and contemporary ballet, modern, flamenco, Middle Eastern (including Egyptian belly dance, depke, and Persian), salsa, and Polynesian. In addition to dance, Holly Mistine worked with the circus troup, Girls on Stilts. Holly Mistine holds her Advanced II certificate as a dancer through Cecchetti USA. She was trained to teach classical ballet by Marnell through ISTD & Cecchetti USA teachers training courses and has presented students for Cecchetti examinations. She has worked as a program director, choreographer, competition coach, rehearsal mistress, production director, producer, guest master instructor, and costume designer. She earned recognition as one of the top 5 dancers for 2003 by the Beverly Hills Outlook. The Los Angeles Times’ Victoria Looseleaf called her “…stellar…Holly Mistine, all passion – on pointe…;” and Mischa Kopitman (Los Angeles-based writer and award-winning composer) stated “…Holly Mistine, all fluidity and grace…” Her first efforts at choreography for the professional realm earned her promising recognition by Los Angeles Times staff writer Lewis Segal:
“…sometimes a contemporary artist will rethink a ‘Nutcracker’ concept and come up with something as distinctive as Mark Morris and Matthew Bourne did in their radically revamped stagings. That happened…during Holly Mistine’s ‘Spanish (Chocolate)’ solo…a thoughtful, inventive conversation between ballet and flamenco sensibilities.”
Holly Mistine is excited to return to New Hope Academy and to share her joy and knowledge of dance with aspiring gymnasts and dancers.