Celeste Lopez-Keranen

Trainee since 2017
Grand Rapids Ballet School 2008-11, 2013-17
Grand Rapids Ballet Summer Intensive 2008-11 & 2014

Celeste found her love for dance at Kathy’s Dance Company, beginning her training in tap and jazz at age three. She began her ballet training at Lakeshore Dance Arts in Grand Haven, Michigan, under the direction of Nancy and Jefferson Baum. She then made the move to the Grand Rapids Ballet School in 2008 and enjoyed many years performing in The Nutcracker, Who Cares, and other Junior Company productions under Patricia Barker and Attila Mosolygo.

She briefly danced with the Michigan Ballet Academy, learning the Vaganova method. She was coached for the YAGP by Dawnell Dryja, the director of the Academy of Dance Arts and the Artistic Coordinator at Grand Rapids Ballet. Celeste has trained at summer intensive at Grand Rapids Ballet, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Academy of Russian Classical Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and the American Ballet Theater.

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Whom do you most admire and why?

I have admired many dancers and people, however, one of the qualities that I admire the most is resilience. These individuals inspire me to overcome all obstacles in my life and in my career as a dancer.

What excites you creatively?

Taking risks in roles. There is something so exhilarating about constantly testing your physical and presentational limits on stage.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I have always been interested in Psychology, Fashion, and History.

What is the best piece of dance advice you’ve ever received?

A teacher once told me that music inspires the dancer, and the dancer inspires the audience.

What are your favorite roles?

  • Snow and Flowers, The Nutcracker, choreography by Val Caniparoli (2017)
  • Swing, choreography by Olivier Weavers (2017)
  • The Happy Prince & Other Wilde Tales, choreography by Penny Saunders (2018)