CCB Artistic Directors: Wendy Fish-Lawrence and David Lawrence
Wendy Fish-Lawrence began her ballet training in Connecticut as a scholarship student at The Northern Connecticut Ballet under the direction of Helen Stevenson. She also received early training at The Boston Ballet School and at Burklyn Ballet Theatre. Wendy left Connecticut in 1989 to pursue a career as a professional ballet dancer. She went on to dance professionally with Ballet Omaha, Ballet Iowa, Ballet Theatre Pennsylvania, Ballet Idaho and Ballet Eddy Toussaint USA in Sarasota, Florida. In addition to her performing career, Wendy has also pursued a career as a teacher of classical ballet. She has taught around the country at many schools including Vermont Chamber Ballet, the Ecole de Dance in Sarasota, FL, The Belltown Ballet Studio in Seattle, WA, the Ballet Theatre Pennsylvania School and at the Ventura Ballet School in Ventura, CA. Wendy returned to Connecticut in 1996 and began a new phase in her career both as an artist and teacher. It was here in Connecticut, while dancing as a guest artist at her first ballet school that she met her husband, David Lawrence. Together they accepted the position of Co-Artistic Directors of Connecticut Concert Ballet in 1997 and set about the task of growing the school into one of the largest and most successful training and performing organizations in New England. While teaching, choreographing, and directing CCB, Wendy continued to dance professionally and was a featured member of the Island Moving Co. in Newport, RI from 2001 to 2006. She has also taught locally at The Northern Connecticut Ballet, New England Dance Conservatory and Dance 10 and continues to work as a guest teacher whenever she can fit it into her busy schedule. In June of 2004 Wendy was inducted into the Manchester Arts Hall of Fame in recognition of her dedication and service to arts in the Manchester community. Wendy Fish-Lawrence is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, David Lawrence's professional career began with the Dayton Ballet under the direction of Stuart Sebastian. He has also been a company member of Berkshire Ballet, The Ruth Page Dance Foundation in Chicago, and was a principal dancer with Ballet Pacifica in Laguna Beach, CA. It was in California at The Jimmy DeFore Dance Center that Mr. Lawrence began teaching and where he was fortunate to be allowed to develop his own method of instruction. He also taught at the Los Alamitos High School of the Arts, The Orange County Performing Arts Academy and eventually for both the company and school of Ballet Pacifica.
Mr. Lawrence left the dance world upon moving to Hartford in 1994, but a chance meeting with Ted Hershey, a founder of WORKS, led to his joining that dance company, performing throughout New England and eventually to teaching again. Mr. Lawrence has also performed locally with The Sonia Plumb Dance Co., with Tim Martin Choreographies at Clark Studio Theatre in Lincoln Center in Manhattan and as a professional guest artist in many area productions. From 2001 to 2007 David was a company dancer with Newport, RI’s Island Moving Company, regularly dancing lead roles in a variety of both classical and contemporary works. Notable and influential people he has worked with include Kirk Peterson, Colin Conner, William Soleau, Violette Verdy, Rick McCullough, Larry Long¸ Diane Diefenderfer, Barbara Pontecorvo, Laura Glenn and Michael Thomas.
Mr. Lawrence is an accomplished ballet teacher who has a unique and spirited manner with his students. He is known especially for his strength as a pas de deux teacher and coach. He has taught locally at The Northern Connecticut Ballet, Dance 10, New England Dance Conservatory, The Dance Slipper and Vermont Chamber Ballet as well as company class at Island Moving Co. He began teaching at Connecticut Concert Ballet in 1996 upon the invitation of former Artistic Director Brian Adams. He accepted the position of Co-Artistic Director with his wife Wendy Fish-Lawrence in 1997. Together they have grown the school into one of the top training institutions in New England with over 300 students studying the art of classical ballet, modern dance and more. David Lawrence is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.