Monthly Archives: September 2014

Ristow Celebrates 50 Years of Teaching


Charmaine Ristow (WDC Distinction Award 1996) celebrated fifty years of teaching with a duet choreographed by long-time dance partner Vivian Tomlinson (WDC Distinction Award 1999).  Mr. Tomlinson choreographed the piece to the song “Charmaine”, and they performed the piece at Ballet U’s annual Spring Showcase in May.


Charmaine Ristow began dancing with June-Lee Haertel in Wisconsin Rapids at age 3, assisting classes at age 10, teaching at 14 and teaching all the classes at her teacher’s studio during her senior year in high school. She then moved to Madison to earn a Special Education degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Ms. Ristow began teaching elective ballet classes for the UW Dance Department and dancing with the Wisconsin Ballet Company under the direction of Tibor Zana (WDC Career Recognition 1996) and Bess Zana (WDC Career Recognition 2001), also teaching for their school.  After traveling worldwide professionally with the Milwaukee and Birgit Cullberg (Stockholm) ballets, Ms. Ristow choose to continue her rewarding Madison career.


Ms. Ristow opened her own studio on Monroe Street in 1976, and served various roles for the Choreographers Consortium, Wisconsin Dance Ensemble’s Madison Nutcrackers, Kanopy Dance, and MetroDance.  Ms. Ristow’s students have danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, Richmond Ballet and  the American Ballet Theatre.

Ms. Ristow currently teaches at Ballet U and directs the annual Verona Youth Ballet Nutcracker, in partnership with the Kehl School of Dance.  The Nutcracker features nearly 100 dancers from 10 area studios and local professional alumni in the principal roles.

Please click here to read some of the other changes for Ms. Ristow this year:ristowclickhere