Mallory is from Louisville, Colorado where she studied the Russian method of ballet for eight years under the direction of Elizabeth Ross. When she was fourteen, Mallory studied in New York with Iliya Gaft, director of the New York Ballet Institute. At fifteen, she began studying other forms of dance including modern, jazz, and lyrical. In 2009, she graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance. In 2012, she received the first ever certification awarded for the pedagogy of the first year syllabus of the Russian method through the Dance Teachers Institute, headed by Carol Roderick at Colorado State University. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, she studied in New York City with instructors from the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia such as Ekaterina Shchelkanova, Ludmila Safronova, Irina Kolpakova, Elena Sherstneva, Vladilen Semenov, and many others.
While attending Colorado State University, Mallory had the privilege of working with instructors and choreographers such as Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, Kim Neal Nofsinger, David Taylor, Hannah Kahn, Hubbard Street 2, Katie Elliot, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, Gabe Masson, and Jacques Heim of the acclaimed Diavolo Dance Theater. It was her experience with these artists that inspired her choreographic style, and it was her work with Carol Roderick that inspired her to study and teach the Russian method in her own classroom. Mallory worked as an adjunct professor at the University as a ballet instructor in the fall of 2015.
In addition to her well-rounded education, Mallory also has a rich performance history. She performed in Boulder Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty. She has performed other variations from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, and Les Sylphides. She was a member of the CSU Tour Dance Company traveling and performing throughout Colorado during 2007-2008. In March 2009, she performed at the American College Dance Festival at Middle Tennessee State University. Mallory has also performed in the university productions of various Student Dance Concerts, Spring and Fall Dance Concerts, Senior Dance Concerts, and Faculty Shows. From 2007 to 2014, she traveled throughout the United States, to Italy, and to Paris, France performing with the Silver Screen Saloon Show as the cancan troupe leader, Sophie Darling!
A busy girl from the get-go, music and movement have been a major part of Abra’s life since she was very little. Her mother—in self-defense—signed her on to the community swim team at age 5 with the hope that the workout would wear Abra out enough to sleep through the night.
Along those same lines, Abra began piano lessons at 5 and cello lessons at 9. She attended Poudre High (Go Impalas!) where she spent many happy semesters hunkering with her cello in the pit orchestra for school musical productions. She also sang and danced in the Impalaphonics (swing choir). Abra competed in piano and cello competitions, as well as attended music/piano camps at CSU and Rocky Ridge Music Camp in Estes Park.
Abra graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, where she spent her afternoons rehearsing with the touring choir and her nights reading Edith Wharton. She completed an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, which transitioned into a senior writing position at an advertising agency for institutions of higher education. In 2008 (after her own three children were born), Abra trained to become a midwife. As a Certified Professional Midwife, Abra attended homebirths and provided care for mothers and babies up to six weeks until 2013.
Abra began studying clogging at High Country Conservatory of Dance with her children. She danced on an adult competition team and on a teen competition team (with her son) and has performed in various recitals and competitions in Colorado and Wyoming. In 2012, she began studying CSU Professor of Ballet Carol Roderick’s Russian ballet syllabus in Jillian Stashak’s ballet 1 class, and continues to study this curriculum as taught by Mallory Henry, as well as studying other forms of dance, including jazz and lyrical. Additionally, Abra has gratefully participated in several ballet intensives taught by Professor Carol Roderick. Abra trained as a children’s dance instructor under Jillian Stashak and is studying Professor Carol Roderick’s Russian Method Ballet Level 1 teachers’ training with Mallory Henry.