Tahoe Youth Ballet welcomes development advisor, offers scholarship | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Youth Ballet welcomes development advisor, offers scholarship

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Nineteen years ago Christin Hanna, founding artistic director for Tahoe Youth Ballet, auditioned for Nevada Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. She spent the next five years studying under the company’s Artistic Director Margaret “Maggie” Banks before pursuing a professional career of her own.

The company’s executive director at that time was Penelope “Penny” Siig, who worked alongside Maggie and Board President Moya Lear to create Northern Nevada’s premiere professional ballet company, with young dancers like Hanna appearing in three productions a year.


l“I hadn’t seen Penny in years, and she was the first person who made it back stage at Tahoe Youth Ballet’s first performance in 2009,” said Hanna. “She was the last person I expected to see, and it took my breath away, because I suddenly realized that the experience I wanted to create through my company was completely modeled after the wonderful experience that she and Maggie gave me.”

Tahoe Youth Ballet recently announced Penelope Siig as development advisor in preparation for the company’s 2014 season.

Siig has pursued her interest in dance throughout her professional life.

She studied ballet as a scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School and modern dance at the University of Nevada, Reno; San Francisco Workshop for the Performing Arts; and Maggie Banks Dance Theatre. She received her advanced training in New York at the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and with Erick Hawkins and Merce Cunningham, among others.

Siig became a principal teacher, studio manager and assistant choreographer to Artistic Director Maggie Banks at Maggie Banks Dance Theatre and Nevada Festival Ballet. She was also an assistant choreographer to Banks for Nevada Opera Ballet and was a featured dancer in many opera productions, including The Nutcracker.

She later pursued a significant career in performing arts administration as special projects manager for the San Francisco Symphony, executive and managing director for Nevada Festival Ballet and executive director for Diablo Ballet.


Siig has signed on to assist Tahoe Youth Ballet in an advisory capacity to help sustain and develop the company after five years of healthy growth. In doing so, one of their first projects is the creation of the Margaret Banks Memorial Scholarship fund, an opportunity for dancers to receive training at Tahoe Youth Ballet from Hanna as well as guest teachers. Through a generous grant from the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, three $750 scholarships will be awarded in January to Tahoe Youth Ballet students who may not otherwise afford as many classes as they would like to attend.

“One of the greatest things anyone can do is to inspire others, and Maggie Banks was in every way an inspiration for everyone who had the privilege to know and learn from her,” said Siig. “She was a close, loyal and wonderful friend and mentor who taught us all so much through her life and work.

“As one of Maggie’s star students and a fine professional dancer and teacher in her own right, Christin is continuing Maggie’s legacy via the mission of Tahoe Youth Ballet. I welcome the opportunity to support and assist her and her outstanding young company.”

For more information about Tahoe Youth Ballet visit http://www.tahoeyouthballet.com.

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