Craig Casiday and Ava Desiderio

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Craig Casiday may be a newcomer to the dancing scene, but as a lifelong entrepreneur, chef, local TV personality, and philanthropist, he is a familiar face in the Magic City and the surrounding areas. His business, Customs Cafe Brands, has been evolving over the past twenty years, starting as a small coffee shop in Muscle Shoals and growing into a thriving line of culinary products available throughout Northern and Central Alabama. He has made countless appearances on ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama, where his effervescent personality and creative optimism captured the hearts of viewers, leading to his being named Hoover Magazine’s 2020 Best Local Personality. Several local magazines and newspapers have highlighted his success with his business and his rise as a successful entrepreneur.  When he is not busy with his thriving business, Craig likes to take time to give back to the community and spend time with his family. He has spent time working with HASRA animal rescue (where he and his spouse adopted 2 beautiful rescues), providing birthday cakes for homeless teens at Project Hope, and contributing to various other charities. He recently volunteered as the emcee for First Light's 2021 Virtual Gala, which helped to bring awareness and more donations to the great cause.

Ava Desiderio was raised in Warwick, NY, and started ballet at The Dancers Studio. She continued her ballet training at Petrov Ballet School and Ballet Academy East before moving onto Miami City Ballet School.  Their summer intensives include San Francisco Ballet School,The Royal Ballet School and Carolina Ballet.  They have a vast repertoire over their school career, her most notable role as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty with Ballet Academy East.  Ava will begin their first season at Alabama Ballet this year and is so excited to be a part of the Birmingham community! 

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