Valerie Huston (Choreographer) began her training in the San Franciso Bay Area with Olga Ziceva, the Christensens of the San Francisco Ballet School, Robert and Carol Hanlin, and Alan Howard. She holds a BFA from the University of Utah. 1976-1985 she directed the Valerie Huston Dance Theatre, a ten-member professional contemporary ballet touring company based in Santa Barbara. She is the recipient of three National Endowment Fellowships in choreography. In 1983 Valerie joined the faculty at UCSB. She has also been a guest instructor at the University of Hawaii, the Fifth International Dance Festival in Hong Kong, and has served as an adjudicator for the Southeast Regional Ballet Festival. She was awarded an Independent Artist Award for Choreography in 1995 by the Arts Fund in Santa Barbara and in 1999 the Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance from Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. In December, 2006 she created a new Arabian pas de deux for the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet production of The Nutcracker and currently serves as resident choreographer for that company Her solo work “Athena” performed by Chelsea Cambron won first place in the contemporary division, 2012 Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Birmingham, England.