Mark Carlson was born in Oswego, Kansas. He grew up in Fullerton California and studied with Paul Petroff and Nana Gollner at the School of Imperial Russian Ballet. Mr. Carlson danced with the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Canada, the Stora Teatern and Malmo Stadsteatern in Sweden, the Badische Staat Theatern in Germany, as well as the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium. Mr. Carlson has taught for the Academie voor Klassiche Russiche Ballet in Belgium and the Stockholms Universitiet in Sweden as well as being Ballet Master for the Norrskoping Ballet in Sweden. He has enjoyed a long career as a professional ballet dancer for over 20 years, dancing soloist and principal roles throughout Europe. After moving back to the United States, Mr. Carlson worked as the Associate Artistic Director of the Colorado Ballet Two as well as company teacher for the Colorado Ballet. He founded the International Ballet School in Colorado Springs in 1997. Mr. Carlson has been teaching for over 40 years throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Carlson has won Outstanding teacher four times, outstanding choreographer twice, and Outstanding School ten times at the Youth America Grand Prix in Denver, Colorado. He has coached students for the prestigious Prix de Lausanne and the U.S.A. International Ballet Competition where his students have received numerous scholarships and company traineeships.