Mr. Smith began studying tap in his youth. He began his ballet training at age 18 under the careful tutelage of Rebekah Von Rathonyi at Cornerstone Academy for Performing Arts. Over the years he has danced roles in many of Ms. Von Rathonyi’s ballets including Jonathan Harker in Dracula, Spanish, Russian, and Italian principle in The Nutcracker, and multiple principal roles in various pieces he performed with the school and the fledgling Central Illinois Ballet. During a two year hiatus he performed as a featured dancer and actor in many Community Theater productions in the Peoria area including Older Billy in Billy Elliot and Harry Beaton in Brigadoon. He recently returned to Central Illinois Ballet, now Downstate Illinois’ only professional ballet company, where he has performed many more principal roles including Prince Ivan in Ms. Von Rathonyi’s The Firebird, John Darling in Peter Pan, and in three original pieces made for collaborations with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smith has also danced as a guest artist with ballet schools in Chicago and Upstate New York. He is very happy to be back at CIB and working with Ms. Luciana and her wonderful school! He dedicates this performance and all future performances to his mentor, Ms. Rebekah, and her mentor Mr. B!
Richard Smith performs the role of Albretch in Giselle Act I Excerpts, courtesy of Central Illinois Ballet.