A Tapestry of Ballet Excellence

Stephanie Parker
Stephanie Parker's ballet story begins in the artistic city of Philadelphia, where she started her training at just eight years old. She attended the Pennsylvania Ballet School, now known as The Rock School, under Lupe Serrano's guidance. Stephanie's early career was marked by versatile performances, from the stage of "The Nutcracker" at the Kennedy Center to national television broadcasts like PBS's "Dance in America."
Her professional journey includes significant roles with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Empire State Ballet, and Eugene Ballet Company, where she showcased her versatility in both classical and contemporary ballet. Stephanie's skill set extends beyond ballet, embracing Graham Technique, drama, and even Shaolin Kung Fu.
Stephanie Class
Stephanie's path eventually intersected with Mark Lanham, a like-minded artist with a shared passion for ballet. Their partnership led to the creation of LanDance Conservatory, an institution dedicated to cultivating young ballet talent. This venture later evolved into a merger with The Edge Amarillo, where Stephanie, alongside Mark, continues to nurture and develop the LanDance Ballet Track.

The full story....

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stephanie Parker began serious ballet training at the age of 8 years with the Pennsylvania Ballet School, now called The Rock School, under the direction of Lupe Serrano. At the age of 10 her first appearance on stage was in The Nutcracker as Dr. Drosselmeyer’s Helper. While continuing her professional training Ms. Parker attended The Performing Arts High School of the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, now called The University of the Arts, where she studied not only ballet, but also Graham Technique, Drama, and Music, and appeared in Don Giovanni with the university's opera company. During these years she also appeared with the Philadelphia Opera Company in The Damnation of Faust, which was broadcast nationally on PBS. In 1983/1984, Ms. Parker had the unique opportunity to perform with Ballet D’Juene, a pre professional youth company co-founded and sponsored by Princess Grace of Monaco. In 1986, at the age of 16, Ms. Parker was invited to join the Pennsylvania Ballet company, directed by Robert Weiss and Richard Tanner, where she remained for five years appearing in corps de ballet, demi-soloist and soloist roles, in such ballets as Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, Lilac Garden, Swan Lake, Star’s and Stripes, Four Temperaments, Symphony in C, and Agon, to name just a few. While dancing with this renowned company, she had the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and appeared in La Sylphide, which was broadcast on PBS’s “Dance in America”.

Ms. Parker left the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1991 to perform Principal roles concurrently with Empire State Ballet and Xing Ballet Company, appearing as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Bess in Porgy and Bess, and Grahn in Pas de Quatre. She also appeared as the principal ballerina in Paquita, and created the lead female roles in Young Shepherd, Preludes de L’Amore, and Amore Ti Vieta, choreographed by Xing Bang Fu, director of Xing Ballet. Her teaching career had its beginnings here, as she taught company class in addition to dancing throughout the season. At the invitation of Xing, Ms. Parker joined Panda Dance Theatre, a Chinese traditional dance ensemble, also directed by Xing, where she appeared not only on stage in the 1992 Hong Kong Festival and in Ottawa for the 125th Birthday Celebration of Canada, but also on “City TV, Breakfast Television”, in Toronto, Canada.

In the spring of 1994, while performing with Ballet Idaho for a short season, Ms. Parker was invited to join Eugene Ballet Company by Toni Pimble. Remaining with this well-known company for ten years, Ms. Parker created many roles, including Clara in The Nutcracker, Silk Stocking Girl in Rhapsody in Blue, and other Principal roles in Slipstream, and Silk and Steel, all choreographed by Toni Pimble, as well as creating many other Principal roles created in association with visiting choreographers. Eugene Ballet Company is known principally as a touring company, with venues ranging from the Northwest United States to nationwide, Canada, China, and Eastern Asia, and averages an impressive 200 performances a year. In her ten years with this company, Ms. Parker has gained performing experience not generally available to professional dancers.

Ms. Parker has taught Intermediate-Advanced Ballet Technique, Pointe and Variations, Chinese Dance and Tai Chi Chuan with Ballet Idaho Academy, and choreographed a special segment of Silk and Steel for Eugene Ballet Company in 1999. She was also certified in Pilates in 1995 at the Stott Studio in Toronto, Canada, and on a more interesting note, is certified in five weapons in Shaolin Kung Fu, and received training for her Idaho Hunter’s Certification in 2001. For the past 20 years Stephanie has had the opportunity to guest teach in various summer programs: The Ballet Academy, Salt Lake Dance Center, Central Utah Ballet, Centerstage in Utah and Pampa Civic Ballet, Lisa Hess-Aspire, LakeCities Ballet theatre in Texas. Stephanie has also been a substitute ballet teacher for the WTAMU dance program.

In 2003 Stephanie crossed paths with a former friend and associate, Mark Lanham, whom she married in the late summer of 2004. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lanham accepted dancing, teaching, and directing responsibilities with Lone Star Ballet in Amarillo, Texas for the 2004-2005 season, in which Ms. Parker appeared as Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and as Swanilda, in Mr. Lanham’s choreographic version of Coppelia, for LSB. In 2005, Stephanie and her husband, Mark, opened their own ballet school, LanDance Conservatory. In March 2006, both she and her husband choreographed and appeared in Chamber Music Amarillo’s production of L’Histoire du Soldat. In 2007, Ms. Parker danced with Cirque Du Soleil’s fabulous production of “La Nouba” at Disney World-Orlando dancing the role of the “Lost Ballerina,” was Principal Guest Artist in 2008 in Legacy Dance Theatre’s Pioneer Legacy as Elisabeth in Springville, Utah and in 2014 in WTAMU’s Dance Concert new work Elegy for my Parents. From 2007- 2020 Stephanie was the Principal Guest Artist in Pampa Civic Ballet’s Nutcracker portraying the rolls of both Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. In 2014/2015 season, Mark and Stephanie were commissioned by Chamber Music Amarillo to create two pieces: one, choreographed and performed by Stephanie, “The Art Lesson,” in honor of Georgia O’Keefe’s 127th Celebration for the Amarillo Museum of Art and the second, choreographed by Mark and featuring Stephanie, “Trapeze Ballet,” for Chamber Music’s regular season. For winter of 2016, Mark was commissioned by Amarillo Museum of Art to choreograph and dance with Stephanie for their Winter Gala performing an original pas de duet together to Piazzolla’s Libertango. 2019 season Mark and Stephanie were commissioned again by Chamber Music Amarillo, choreographed by both Mark and Stephanie and featuring both in “Carnival of the Animals.” Stephanie and Mark continued their collaboration with Amarillo Symphony (now merged with Chamber Music Amarillo) in October 2022 in “Peter and The Wolf,” choreographed by Mark with Stephanie creating the role of Grandfather.

In September 2019 Landance Conservatory merged with The Edge Amarillo after many many years “sharing” dance students. The LanDance Ballet Track at The Edge (LBT) was created and now both schools are housed in one building. The LBT program is a professional ballet program which includes outreach performances as well as our 1 act Nutcracker, “Clara’s Dream,” and our annual “Spring Concert.” Stephanie, along with her husband Mark, direct and teach the LBT program. Stephanie assists with ballet rehearsals, staging choreography and specializing in the lower level’s choreography.

Stephanie Parker / Biography 2023

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