Casey Lee Thorne (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Taylorsville, North Carolina. She received her early training in New Jersey at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School under the direction of Graham Lustig, Maria Youskevitch, Douglas Martin, Mary Barton, Lisa de Ravel, and Kyra Nichols. Casey studied at several summer intensives including the Virginia School of the Arts 2003, Boston Ballet 2004, The Julliard School 2005, Alonzo King LINES Ballet 2006, Janice Garret and Dancers 2008, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance 2009, and the Gaga intensive with Batsheva Dance Company in Israel 2011.
In 2010 she graduated with departmental honors and a minor in Biology from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet/Dominican University of CA BFA Program as part of the inaugural class. She was honored with an Outstanding Recent Graduate Award from Dominican University of CA in 2020, acknowledging her achievements in the field. Casey completed her MFA in Dance Studies in May 2018 at Mills College in Oakland, CA and received an award for Excellence in Teaching.
Casey has enjoyed a freelance performance career dancing professionally with James Graham Dance Theatre (2017-2019) for the productions of The Grass Is Sleeping (2019) at the Joe Goode Annex, and Alpha Mouse (2017) at ODC Theatre in San Francisco. She performed with Ars Minerva in their production of The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles (2016), an opera company under the choreographic direction of San Francisco Ballet principal Muriel Maffre. Casey also performed with Garret Moulton Productions on their work The Experience of Flight in Dreams (2011), and Oakland Ballet in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker (2010).
In 2012, Casey founded Inside Out Contemporary Ballet, a professional dance company located in the North Bay of San Francisco. As the Artistic Director of IOCB Casey has received a Fulbright Fellowship to Israel for the 2014-2015 academic year, the Fall 2014 Ca$h Grant from Theater Bay Area, and the Audience Select Award for New Ground Theatre Dance’s Emerging Artists Dance Showcase in 2013.
Casey has received choreographic commissions from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Dominican University of CA senior solo projects (Zara Anwar in 2019, Erin McKay in 2017, and Stephanie Stevens in 2013), the St. George Dance Company, the Branson School, and the 22nd Annual West Wave Dance Festival, among others. She has also created original one act theater productions, including The Secret Life of Emojis (2017) and Eye of the Dreamer (2016) for Redwood High School’s Drama Department and the Lenaea Theater Festival.
Casey has served as a ballet, contemporary dance, improvisation, and composition teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2011, on faculty at Marin Ballet, Stapleton School of Performing Arts, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Roco Dance, Marin School of the Arts, Young Imaginations, Just Dance Academy, and Miss Sara’s Ballet School. From 2010-2013 she served as a Teacher’s Assistant to Dr. Gay Lynch at Dominican University of CA for the class “Dance 3001: Rhythmic Bodily Movement and the Religious Life,” and was appointed the Coordinator for Dance Discovery, an outreach program between Dominican University of CA and the Albert J. Boro Community Center in San Rafael 2013-2015. Casey is also a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor and has been teaching across the San Francisco Bay Area since 2009.
Most recently, Casey served as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Dance at Southern Utah University for the 2019-2020 academic year, and is currently a full time faculty member at Marin Ballet in San Rafael, CA.
Special projects include a long-term collaboration with the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo entitled Project Pulse: A Dance Research Experience, which presents a new way to teach Traditional Chinese Medicine pulse taking through dance. More information can be found here. Feature article on this research was published by the Journal of Dance Education in January 2021. Casey has also choreographed and starred in four award-winning independent films produced by Oscar award winner Bruce Nicholson, and tackled her first musical theater collaboration for the Refuge Theater’s production of Cabaret in July 2018.