Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Nora Cherry started her dance training in classical ballet at age 6. In college, she was a soloist with the University of Tennessee–Knoxville’s resident dance company, and went on to choreograph and lead their Jazz Dance Department as she pursued her master’s degree in dance and physical education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Ms. Cherry also trained at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, where she studied ballet under Larry Rhodes, and modern under Milton Myers (Horton) and Betty Jones (Limon). While there, she was cast in a special piece by Marianne Grey (Graham), and studied jazz exclusively with Ailey member, Alvin McDuffie.
Ms. Cherry moved to New York City where she studied ballet with many master teachers. She studied jazz with Michael Owens, and assisted Michelle Assaf and her mentor Rick Atwell, landing one of four coveted dance roles in his original musical, Street Heat.
Ms. Cherry was cast in the principal role of Demeter for the Vienna International Company of Cats, and later, also performed the role of Bombalurina there for several years. She also served as dance captain for European Cats companies and directly assisted in the mounting of the Amsterdam production. Other performing credits include A Chorus Line (as Cassie), 42nd Street, La Cage Aux Folles, West Side Story, Chicago, Mike and Red Hot Broadway.
Nora is honored to call the School of Nashville Ballet home, but also teaches at Ballet Arts in Jackson, Tenn., and at conventions around the country. She was also head of the dance department at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School in Nashville and directed the 25-member Dance Ensemble, where she produced two performances a year. She is also a Black Belt in Wado Ryu Karate.