photograph by Mark Weber, Wicher’s Photography

Meet the people of Ballet Midwest

Lacee Sandgren, Artistic Director
Barbara Ebert, Artistic Director Emeritus
Christina Foreman, Assistant Director

Christina began dancing at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance in 2000 at the age of six. Through time and perseverance, Christina trained in ballet, pointe, tap, liturgical, modern, jazz, Broadway jazz, and lyrical dance styles. She has had the privilege of performing in Ballet Midwest’s production of The Nutcracker nearly twenty times. Her favorite roles have included Spanish Lead, Drosselmeyer’s Angel, Party Clara, Lead Flower, Maid, and Mother Gigone. In 2008, Christina was accepted into the Ballet Midwest Company and performed in several full-length classical ballets including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Billy the Kid, Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo & Juliet, Coppélia, and Don Quixote. Her favorite roles include the Stepmother from Cinderella, Prayer from Coppélia, Russian Lead from Swan Lake, and a Wili from Giselle.

Christina started assisting classes at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance in
2009, where she discovered her love of teaching, and in 2011 she began instructing classes. Christina looks forward to teaching each week and loves watching her students grasp new concepts for the first time. In the time she has spent dancing with Ballet Midwest, Christina served as a Company Representative (2011-2013), received the honor of being named Most Inspirational Dancer (2011), and was honored to accept the position of Assistant Artistic Director in 2017.

In 2013, Christina graduated from Cornerstone Family Schools, a local homeschool network, and in 2017, Christina graduated from Washburn University with her bachelor’s degree in business administration, majors in management, marketing, and entrepreneurship & innovation, with a minor in music. In May of 2019, she graduated from Washburn University with her Master’s in Business Administration. Christina works as the Student Success Evaluation and Retention Specialist at Washburn University. In addition to her role within the Center for Student Success and Retention, she has enjoyed teaching Washburn’s freshman seminar course, The Washburn Experience.

Sydney Frantz, Assistant Director

Sydney joins the artistic staff for Ballet Midwest’s 2023 Nutcracker Production. More information to come!

Maddison Orton, Assistant Director

Maddie started dancing in 1999 at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance. She trained in all styles of dance several days a week. She has performed in Ballet Midwest’s The Nutcracker since 2002. In 2006, she joined the company with Ballet Midwest and loved the extra performances she was a part of each year. Maddie served as a company representative for the Ballet Midwest Board of Directors for three years during high school. With the company, she performed so many dynamic roles and her most cherished always had an acting component to them— her favorite roles included being one of Clara’s friends in The Nutcracker, a harlot in Romeo and Juliet, one of Swanilda’s friends in Coppelia, and her favorite being a stepsister in Cinderella.

Maddie took several years off from ballet during college but she didn’t stop dancing in that time. She danced on the dance team at Washburn University for four years; as a member of the Dancing Blues, Maddie was a captain for two years. The Dancing Blues were invited to attend the UDA College Nationals in Texas twice during her time at Washburn and the team won first place in the jazz category both times. 

Maddie began teaching dance at Barbara’s Conservatory in 2012. Although Maddie grew up training in ballet, she loved learning and performing jazz and other stylized genres. She has taught dance team preparation workshops for middle school and high school aged students and judges dance team tryouts for several high schools in the Topeka area. Maddie is a nurse at Stormont Vail and enjoys helping patients get better and leave the hospital. When she isn’t at work or teaching, Maddie loves traveling with her husband and eating her way through new places and cuisines. 

Ballet Midwest 2022 Company, Photo by Mark Weber, Wicher’s Photography

2023-24 Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Lacee Sandgren, Artistic Director

Fred Patton, President

Steve Bergstrom, Vice President

Melissa Butler, Treasurer

Jeni Bainbridge, Secretary

Hollie Gabriel, Fundraising

Ashley Charest, Marketing

Board Members At Large       

Kathy Duncan

Barbara  Ebert, Artistic Director Emeritus

Kim Patton

Renae Skryzpek

Shahira Stafford

Laura Tate

Kathy Woods

Company Representatives

Ellie Ericson

Emily Patton

Beatrice Reilly

Ballet Midwest 2022 Junior Company, Photo by Mark Weber, Wicher’s Photography