Artistic Director

Rachel Vickrey



Rachel Vickrey - Rachel's earliest years were spent sitting on a blanket in the corner of a dance studio watching her parents, professional dancers Robert Vickrey & Robin Welch rehearse. By the age of 3 years, while on tour with her her mom in Pennsylvania Ballet,several of the male company members took her under their wings and taught her about stage make up and costuming. Whether she was watching performances at a theater or falling asleep in a studio while her parents wereteaching or rehearsing, dance was 100% in her genetic make up.
Trained by her parents beginning at the age of 5, Rachel accepted her first full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet at the age of 11. Later, she continued to receive wonderful training while on full scholarships at both Pacific Northwest Ballet and Boston Ballet. She began dancing professionally at the age of 16 with Banff Festival Ballet dancing Balanchine's Agon (first trio), Concerto Barocco (corps & 1st soloist), Allegro Brilliant (corps and principal), Valse Fantasy (principal) & Jeu des Cartes by Brian MacDonald.
Later, Rachel joined Tulsa Ballet Theatre where she performed the "Kansas City Girl" in Agnes de Mille's Rodeo, Etudes & the Kirov Ballet version of Don Quixote staged byAnna-Marie Holmes. Later, she became a member of North Carolina Dance Theaterrenamed Charlotte Ballet under Artistic Director Salvatore Aiello where she danced his Rite of Spring, Carmina Burana , Czarny's Bach Brandenburg Concerto and Alvin Ailey's Feast of Ashes. Returning to Omaha, she joined Omaha Theater Ballet where she danced numerous principal roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardeé, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppélia and of course the Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker.
Rachel has taught for Cirque de Soleil, Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, Wilmington School of Ballet, and Charlotte Ballet School (the official school of the Charlotte Ballet). She has worked with some of ballet’s greatest names; Suzanne FarrellSalvatore Aiello, Benjamin HarkarvyVictoria SimonPaul Sutherland, James Capp, Judith FugateBrian MacDonaldand Henry Berg to name a few. One of the greatest highlights of Rachel's long career was when her father (who had danced with San Francisco Ballet many years previously) introduced her to the famous legend Lew Christensen, founder and then Artistic Director of San Francisco Ballet! What a thrill!
Rachel’s love of both ballet and children drew her into a new career as a teacher. Rachel is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level VII & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She became the Director of Educational Outreach at The Rose Theater and visited many Omaha area schools with dance workshops and rewarded scholarships and financial aid to many young participants. After leaving the Rose, she became Artistic Director of Heartland Youth Ballet, a pre-professional company attached to Heartland Conservatory of Dance. One of her first objectives for the company was for the youth group to become a member of Regional Dance America. Because of her vision, Heartland Youth Ballet is now an Honor Company with RDA and our students have not only had wonderful opportunities for master classes and performances through Festivals held throughout the U.S. but they have also won many scholarships for summer intensives and dance universities. 
In 2014 Rachel re-created an existing school renaming it Heartland Conservatory of Dance. Her studies in fitness training, understanding of the importance of nutrition and hazards of eating disorders helped her bring an intelligent sensibility to the school. Trained & certified in Pilates, she was able to add Pilates Equipment training to her students curriculum.
Her passion for dance, vast background, deep commitment, love of children, and experiences as a mother, help to make her a favorite teacher for many ballet students.Rachel is a true child of the best of American ballet, she represents its many styles, virtuosity, strong technique and aesthetic.