Ansley Pierce began her training at Hinsdale Dance Academy, then attended the same conservatory as HDA founder and director, Jennifer Grapes Croughan. At UMKC, Ansley trained under Paula Weber, Ron Tice (former dancer with The Zurich Opera-Ballet, The Grand Theatre of Geneva, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre), DeeAnna Hiett (former dancer with Alvin Ailey), Garry Abbott (co-founder of Deeply Rooted), Tobin James (trained by Martha Graham), and David Justin (former dancer with Royal Birmingham Ballet). Ansley’s training includes a strong classical ballet foundation and modern repertoires of Horton, Graham, Limone, and the Cunningham style and choreography teachings. After two years at UMKC, Ansley transferred to Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance. Here, she trained under Judith Chitwood (former dancer with Cincinnati Ballet), Paula Frasz (founder of Dance Loop Chicago),
Marc Macaranas (founding dancer of DanceWorks Chicago), Jennifer Grund (former dancer with Dayton Ballet), and Rich Grund (former dancer with Dayton Ballet and Joffrey Ballet faculty member). In college, Ansley studied pedagogy for ballet and modern, dance history, anatomy, improv, pas de deux, variations, analysis of movement, Jazz, Pilates, and choreography. Ansley has performed many soloist and principal roles, including An American in Paris, Pas de Deux; PHANTOM, by Marc Macaranas; Sea Songs by Paula Frasz; Carmina Burana, restaged by Paula Frasz; Carmen, by Septime Weber, restaged by Rich Grund; The Three Fates, by Ron Tice; as well as numerous works by student choreographers. Through her variety of performance experiences and varied coursework, Ansley discovered a love for choreography. Notably in her first year at NIU, she was the first-ever recipient of the Jerry Tulk Choreography Award and Scholarship. Ansley is now in her first season with the Minnesota ballet as an apprentice.