Scott Nilsson's

Dance History & Photo Gallery


Photos Courtesy of Sidne Buelow (Scott's sister).

Click on any photo to enlarge.




Scott's full performing and theatrical Resume will be posted shortly.



Over the years, people have often asked Scott how he came to ballet...      (this is an expansion from his Bio)

Scott grew up a theatre kid, the son of  John Bitterman-Barricks - a stage theatre director and director of several state arts agencies, and Elisabeth Nelson-Bitterman - artist, arts educator, author of children's plays and musicals, and Director of Development for Atlanta Ballet. Moving south from metropolitan New York at eleven, Scott got involved in the family business, receiving rave reviews for performances in stage musicals - most notably as the Artful Dodger in Oliver at the state theatre of South Carolina, and for a television drama.

Oliver's choreographer, Naomi Calvert, and her business partner, Ann Brodie - the late and much-beloved founder of the Columbia City Ballet, asked Scott to come dance at their school. He fell in love with ballet. Ann's countless prodigies direct, teach - and still perform - in some of the finest dance companies and schools the world over, from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre to Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey. Scott also trained heavily under Ann's Ballet Mistress, Adolfina (Fina) Suarez, former Ballet Mistress for Alicia Alonzo and the Ballet National de Cuba.

Scott's efforts were rewarded with a Ford Foundation Grant, awarded by Violette Verdy, Principal at NYCB. While at Columbia City Ballet, he studied with numerous guest teachers, including Michael Lland - Ballet Master for the New York City Ballet, Igor Schwezoff - of Ballet Russe and instructor at ABT and Harkness, and Job Saunders; and, at the School of American Ballet in Manhattan. In addition to ballet, Scott also loved studying semi- private tap (under Naomi Calvert) with Donna Drake, later of the original Broadway cast of The Chorus Line - and now a Broadway Director. While performing for Columbia City Ballet, Scott was invited as a guest artist for Charleston Ballet Theatre and the Greenville Ballet - where he danced the role of the Prince in Cinderella.

Taking a year off from ballet, Scott performed in summer stock and dinner theatre, and got involved as a technical director and in all aspects of stage production.  He enrolled in the Indiana University  School of Music as a Technical Theatre major at the Musical Arts Center (opera house), adding a minor in Ballet.  There, he trained under visionary teacher and ballet author Anna Paskevska, Marina Svetlova of the Original Ballet Russe, Kenneth Melville of Sadler's Wells, Nicolas Beriozoff of Stuttgart and Zurich, John Kriza - Principal at ABT,  Sir Anton Dolin - Principal at Diaghilev's Ballet Russe, Jurgen Pagels, and - most importantly - Colin Russell, former Ballet Master at Sadler's Wells Ballet now an international guest teacher based near San Francisco) from whom Scott received ninety minute, individual classes, six days a week for eighteen months. Among his roles at IU, Scott danced the role of the Poet in Les Sylphides, performed the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle, and understudied Sergiu Stefanschi - Principal of the National Ballet of Canada - for the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. Scott graduated with High Distinction from Indiana University.

After graduating from IU, Scott toured with Atlanta Ballet before majoring in dance at  New York University's School of the Arts where he trained in Graham under Denise Jefferson - later Director of The Ailey School, Bertram Ross - Principal for Martha Graham, Stuart Hodes of Martha Graham, Kay Cummings - later department chair, and the virtuosic Bobby Blankshine, for whom Scott taught as a substitute instructor at NYU. While in New York, Scott also studied at Joffrey and Harkness House - most notably with Nanette Charisse.  To gain versatility in all movement, Scott also seriously studied Tae Kwon Do, fencing, and African and jazz dance.

An injury ended Scott's dance career in New York at age twenty-one. He completed a tour of several pick-up performances in Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut with Alex Wang's company, partnering Turkish ballerina, Aiden Teker. Despite the efforts of Joffrey's company doctor, Scott was unable to perform in works-in-progress for Kay Cummings at NYU and for Hector Zaraspe at Julliard for a Lincoln Center performance; Maestro Zaraspe, private teacher of Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, had requested Scott as a guest principal for the work.  It was a very tough finish for many years of joyful work, and Scott purposely disengaged from dance for many years - until we met, and I dragged him into the studios at the Atlanta Ballet... he said it felt like he had come home. Scott loves helping young dancers in any way: passing on some of what so many others so generously gave to him.

Scott danced with the Columbia City Ballet for four years, and performed with the Indianapolis Ballet and toured with the Atlanta Ballet - as well as for the IU Ballet Department for three years and at NYU, in addition to pickup dance companies in Manhattan.  In addition to the tremendous influence - in dance and life - of Ann Brodie, Colin Russell and the teachers listed above, Scott also greatly appreciated the teaching and influence of Colette Kaufman, Fiona Fairrie, Lorenzo Monreal, Bess Saylor, Merrilee Smith, Tom Pazik and George Verdak.

We don't have many photos of Scott dancing.  Studio shots were taken by Scott's sister during his freshman year at Indiana University. We have stage performance shots from Romeo & Juliet, and we're ordering copies of early videos - Les Sylphides, and perhaps two other performances.



Rehearsing Equus

Scott in The Nutcracker
Newspaper Photo

Rehearsing Le Corsaire


Landing a Cabriole in
Romeo & Juliet onstage.


Computer Date Ad in the Indiana University Newspaper

In this "Pair with a Pirhouetter" print as Indiana University's Student Association Computer Date Match service,

Lorraine Graves is on Scott's right arm.  Scott partnered Lorraine for a studio performance of Don Quixote,

abandoned due to their height conflict: Lorraine was the same height as Scott, off-pointe. Lorraine was later Principal and Ballet Mistress at Dance Theatre Dance Theatre of Harlem under Arthur Mitchell.  On Scott's left arm is Mary Miller -

later of the  Ballet Internacionale de Caracas under Hector Zaraspe, and Houston Ballet under Ben Stephenson.




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