About Us

Horizons Dance Theatre was founded in 2017!  Formerly with Ballet Arts Studio (1969-2017)!

Horizons Dance Theatre’s mission is to nurture the enjoyment and health benefits of dance in our students and throughout the community, through age-appropriate dance education, performance and outreach.  Welcoming students of all ages and skill levels, we are passionate about providing a positive, supportive and fun environment that fosters individual growth in dance ability, musicality, creativity, self-expression and confidence.

Spanish can be spoken for Hispanic/Latin children and adults for classes taught by Ms. Rachel!

¡Disfruta las clases en español que Rachel ofrece para niños y adultos Latinos e Hispanos!

Students learn healthy, respectful discipline for themselves, their peers and their teachers, while experiencing accomplishment and growing friendships.  We strive to introduce students to the history, music and language of differing dance styles and to develop physical strength, flexibility and dance skill in accordance with each student’s physical needs.  Teachers among us are versed in the foundational benefits of Mindfulness, Yoga, Bartineff, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, Adult Ballet Classes and other practices that support physical conditioning through proper body mechanics.

We offer classes in Creative Movement (Mommy/Daddy and Me for ages 2-3), Pre-Ballet with Creative Movement for preschoolers, to Ballet & Tap for Kindergarten, to Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern dance for ages 7 up through adult, whether the interest is for wellness, social, hobby or pre-professional goals in dance.  Our small class sizes allow for individual teacher attention.  We look forward to creating artistic opportunities for student performance, commiserate with their skill and interest.

Horizons Dance Theatre launched its first Dance Outreach and Wellness program in August 2017 at the Masonic Home, serving individuals facing cognitive challenges.  We are passionate about the benefits of holistic body therapy approaches for improved health and quality of life.  In part of our holistic body therapy interest, we offer Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) sessions and look forward to offering JSJ introduction and self-help classes.

In the near future, we will host informal holiday dance showings (and see about future holiday performances in the Event Hall Theatre located inside the Highlands Community Campus), and Choreographer Showcases for our students.  We look forward to collaborating on performances with other artists, when opportunities present themselves, such as with our neighbor friend: Squallis Puppeeters!  We also will be offering Taste of Dance introductory sessions for teens and adults starting January 2018.  For our children’s classes, we are now offering “bring a friend days for a free class" so that young students can invite their friends to participate.

To learn more about all we currently have going on, please feel free to browse our website.  Classes are available at session and trial package rates.  For questions and further information on class schedules and rates, please contact Collaborative Artistic Director, Rachel M. Bucio Grote at 502-572-7383, or horizonsdancet@gmail.com!

Thank you to my dear sister-in-law´s professional graphic design work, Karina Bucio Valencia,

for making this website and all our graphic design needs possible with us!

From the Heart of Horizons Dance Theatre: Thank You for enjoying our website!



Rachel M. Bucio Grote

Director, Instructor & Choreographer

Rachel is from Louisville, Kentucky.  Since age 3, she grew up studying Ballet, Jazz, and Tap dance.  She stopped studying Tap dance at age 13, to pick up studying Ballroom and Latin dances, outside of Ballet & Jazz. 


Since 2001, Rachel began teaching and choreographing for ages 2-12; as well as studying Modern dance, along with Classical & Contemporary Ballet.  Gradually, her teaching and choreographing has extended to adolescents, adults, and dance outreach programs for all ages and abilities, inc. in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, swimming pool, ice skating rink for professional cross training.


Rachel has studied and worked with nationally and internationally recognized dance teachers and choreographers in different parts of the world (Kentucky, Colorado, Washington D.C., Paris & Concarneau, France; Oregon, NYC,  & Mexico), including: Sally Baker Rothenburger, Leslie Robinson-Smith, Kacey Frazier, Maggie Hoy, Pat Connelly, Ying Chang, Kathryn Altgelt with the Limon Dance Company, Gabriel Masson, Onye Ozuzu, Michelle Ellseworth, David Capps, Toby Hankin, Nada Diachenko, Erika Randall, AK Mullen,  Emily Super, Karen Genoff-Campbell, Monte Black, Becky Dyer, Alicen Rule-Halquist, Christina Noel-Adcock, Diego Pinon, Carla Perlo, Meisha Bosma, Lesole Z. Maine, Nathalie Publier, Art Bridgeman & Myrna Packer, and The Susan Marshall Dance Company.  

Rachel graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  During her almost 8 years in Colorado, she also taught, choreographed, and performed with Blue Moon Dance Company (Directed by Pat Connelly), and CU Touring Dance Company (Directed by David Capps).  After May 2008, she continued her dance career from France to NYC, back to Louisville, KY where she worked for Ballet Arts Studio

from July 2013-July 2017. Upon the closing of Ballet Arts Studio, she has chosen to carry on the spirit of Ballet Arts Studio (1969-2017). And to grow into new horizons by putting dreams into motion with teachers and students, starting with the Grand Opening Sept. 9, 2017 of establishing Horizons Dance Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky!

Nicole Elyce Barnes

Co-Director for New Horizons Latin Dance Socials and Community Event Organizer

Nicole Elyce Barnes is a Louisville, Kentucky native. She began Latin dance in late 2013. After quickly falling in love with the Latin dance scene in 2015, she was asked to join a local group of Rueda de Casino performers.  They are “The Ville Casineras,” an all-female team that choreographs and performs routines around Louisville and the surrounding Midwest. Currently, she and a few of her teammates are working towards becoming certified in the MCC curriculum which includes the theory and history of Casino dancing, methodology, and technique.


Nicole is committed to the long-term goal of making connections beyond the dance floor; helping to cultivate a community of support, positivity, acceptance, and the love of dance.


Nicole and Rachel Bucio Grote partnered together in June of 2018 to bring together their love of dance, and supporting the communities of Louisville to bring “New” Horizons Latin Dance Social. These socials include a featured Instructor that teaches a hour Latin dance lesson, followed by many hours of amazing social dancing! 

If you have any desire to get more connected to Louisville’s Latin Dance community, feel free to reach out to Nicole, she can help you get there!

Laurie Garcia Cepero

 Instructor & Choreographer

Laurie Garcia Cepero began her to-date, 18-year classical ballet training and performance career at age 4, in Havana, Cuba, with the National Ballet of Cuba School of Dance.  Her dance skills and musicality, as a young teenager, brought recognition and an invitation to join the Prodanza Center of Cuba, under the artistic direction of Laura Alonso.  Performance opportunities with the Prodanza Center of Cuba, spanning both corps de ballet and soloist roles, included in the first part of Corps of Ballet and soloist roles: Corps of Ballet Swan Lake, Corsair, Dracula, La Bayadere, La Fille Mal Gardee, and the Nutcracker.  Soloist in ballet of La Bayadere, grand pas role in the Nutcracker part of the Arabic dance, Don Quixote solo role in Gypies Pas de Trois, and the Ballet Majisimo.

Modern Soloist ballet role in Sensemaya, and in Pas De. 


In addition to performances in Cuba, Miss Cepero had the great honor of being invited to join the company on its 18-city tour of China in 2014, performing in the ballet Swan Lake.  The 18 city tour included: Shanghai, Xiamen, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Shenzhen, and Shandong.


At the age of 18, Miss Cepero moved to the United States to join her family and is now a permanent resident.  Since moving to the United States, Miss Cepero has danced with the Lexington Ballet Company, as a trainee, and most recently as a member of the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble. In 2018, Miss Cepero performed in Alice and Wonderland with the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble.


Horizons Dance Theatre is excited to welcome Miss Cepero as a member of our classical ballet teaching staff for children and adolescents.  We very much look forward to our students benefitting from her love of and joy in dance. 

Iris Z. Boyer

  Instructor & Choreographer

Iris is from Louisville, Kentucky.  She is currently a Sophomore at Assumption High school.


Iris began dance lessons at age 3. Iris studied ballet for five years with Sacred Heart Performing Arts School´s Dance Program.


Iris has taken Ballet and Tap for seven years with Ballet Arts Studio. Also, Iris took Pointe Ballet and Modern dance for 2 years at Ballet Arts Studio from 2015-2017.


Iris has choreographed within her Ballet, Tap, & Modern dance classes, as well as co-choreographed with her younger sister for dance school choreography!  


This new school year, 2017-2018, will be Iris´s first year professionally teaching and choreographing for Horizons Dance Theatre´s Grand Opening year! 

Iris is excited for this new chapter in her dance career as she continues to study Ballet, and Tap; to also begin assistant teaching and teaching!

Romana Bereneth

 Instructor & Choreographer

Romana is from Hazard, KY. She graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Molecular Biology and English, then went on to earn a PhD in Microbiology and her MD. A lifelong musician, she discovered Egyptian dance during her graduate studies at University of Louisville in 2008. She immediately began regular studies with local instructors and continues to train weekly as part of local professional troupes. In 2015, Romana embarked upon a journey of sharing her dance and music experience through festivals such as Worldfest in Louisville, KY and joining several local music ensembles such as Sulh in 2017. She began teaching and assembled two troupes. One of those is co-founded with Kelly Creagh and is a professional troupe “Real Live Actual Belly Dancers”, the other is Romana’s own student troupe “Fusion Intrusion.” They both regularly perform throughout the year. While Romana’s initial lie within the realm of Turkish folkdances and their American Cabaret derivatives, she was quickly drawn to the aesthetic of Rachel Brice’s Datura School and choreographs dance-drama style shows derived from Brice’s “fusion” aesthetic.

Romana has studied with international master performers as Ahmed Hussein, Karim Nagi, Simon Sako. She has completed the first two phases of Rachel Brice’s four part accreditation program “8 Elements” at Datura School of Dance and plans to finish her studies within the next two years. She has also completed the first phase of the anthropology-oriented “Journey Through Egypt” program and is planning her own journey to Egypt within the next two years. She has studied with other masters as George Wakim on classical Arab music and oud technique, Amani Jabril concentrating on dances of Iraq, Eva Cernik, Zahra Zuhair, Zoe Jakes, Silvia Salamanca and many, many others. She studies classical Indian dance (bharatanatyam) and karnatic music with the Natyahasta School of Dance in Cincinnati, OH.

Romana is also a novelist, writing science fiction based on her experiences as a physician and scientist, as well as fantasy, based upon her experiences as a human being. She is a multi-instrumentalist concentrating on classical and folk music from around the world, but focusing on Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and many others with the groups Sulh and the dance-music ensemble Raqs Maqom.


 Instructor & Choreographer

Madlen is a teacher and performer of Middle Eastern dance, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Madlen has always been drawn to movement: she began dancing ballet, tap, and jazz as a child, before moving on to gymnastics, figure skating, martial arts, horseback riding, yoga, and pilates. She began studying belly dance in college, and has since studied with a number of international dance artists, including Karim Nagi, Athena Najat, and Suhaila Salimpour. 


Madlen has performed throughout the region at galas, university events, private parties, restaurants, lounges, and festivals. She has been described as having “a quiet and strong style mesmerizing those who watch her.” She loves the improvisational nature of Middle Eastern dance and getting lost in live music. 


As a teacher, Madlen is intuitive and gentle, encouraging each dancer on their personal journey. Madlen’s classes are focused on building the muscles needed for dance, as well as exploring cultural context, introducing Arabic rhythms, and encouraging respect for the art form. 

Leslie Robinson-Smith

 Instructor & Choreographer

Leslie began dance lessons at the age of 5 with the Weber School of Dance, in New Albany, Indiana. At the age of 6, Leslie’s ballet class was visited by the Russian prima ballerina Mia Slavenska, who took her by the hand, provided some correction, and told Leslie’s teacher, “This one is special.” Fate sealed.


At age 13, Leslie was selected to join the Louisville Civic Ballet for it’s very first production of The Nutcracker. She continued with the company into her early 20’s, dancing in the annual Nutcracker and other ballets, including Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, The Firebird,


Songs Along the River, and others, under the direction of guest artistic directors, including Fernand Nault, George Skabine, Larry Grattis and Nels Jorgensen.

Leslie also danced in summer stock musicals at the Iroquois Amphitheatre, including Carousel, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Annie Get Your Gun, I Do I Do, and others, in Kentucky Opera Association productions, and high school productions, including as Eliza in The King and I.


Leslie’s dance teaching career includes many years at the Courtney-Weber School of Dance and Ballet Arts Studio, where she taught classes in ballet and pointe, with a focus on advanced classes. In addition to teaching, she provided artistic direction for school recitals, in collaboration with teachers, students and parents, spanning theme development, music selection, set construction, costume creation, storyline development and choreography.


Leslie brings to Horizons Dance Theatre a love of dance and an ability to gently develop dancers, while helping students find their unique dance voice and express their creativity.

Kacey Frazier

Dance Specialist


From Cub Run to Carrollton, from Owensboro to Owenton, from Florence to Faubush, from Richmond to Rogers, from Somerset to Stamping Ground, from Buckner to Bardstown, and from Louisville to Lexington, Kacey Frazier's passion and enthusiasm for dance has been felt all over Kentucky. Kacey is part of the Kentucky Center’s Arts Education Showcase. She was also a writer of lesson plans for KET and KDE’s online arts/humanities course, was a consultant for both editions of KET’s Dance Arts Toolkit, wrote lesson plans for the Toolkit and its website, and was a videotaped instructor for the Creative Dance segment of the toolkit. She appears in KET’s DanceSense series on tap as well as their program entitled Arts III: Afro-Cuban Dance. She was honored to be the dance instructor for the 2nd time for The Kentucky Center’s Kentucky Institute for Arts Education for Lincoln Elementary. In addition to implementing hundreds of dance residencies and professional development since 2002, she has taught for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Kentucky Foreign Language Teacher Academy, Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Center’s World Rhythms Series, Kentucky Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance state conventions, Kentucky Alliance for Arts in Education, Jefferson County Public Schools, and Louisville Free Public Library’s children’s & teens’ programs. Check her out at www.kaceyfrazier.com


Contact Us

Rachel Marie Bucio Grote
Director, Instructor & Choreographer


1228 E. Breckinridge Street, Box 6, Louisville, KY. 40204

Tel: (502) 572 7383

Email: horizonsdancet@gmail.com

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