About

Meet the 2022-23 Faculty

NICOLE ADAMS is a native of Boston, MA. She is a graduate of Franklin Pierce University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Arts Management and Dance. She has had the pleasure of studying with artists such as Leah Cox, Gregory Maqoma, and Victoria Marks. She has also had the privilege of performing repertory work with companies such as David Dorfman Dance, Gibney Dance, Keigwin + Company, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Nicole received her MFA degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from Smith College as a Gretchen Moran Teaching Fellow. Nicole has been fortunate to have her work, Keeping Ties adjudicated at the American College Dance Festival and presented in New York City with the e.da.co. Eclectic Dance Company - Guest Artists Series. Her work Plexiglass has been presented with Core Dance Fieldwork, Dance Chance Atlanta, Eyedrum Atlanta, and at Dashboard Co-op Gallery’s “Cube” performance space. Nicole has been both an instructor and administrator with the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance education since 2012. In her time with the Centre, she has managed successful programs such as Healthy Living Day, Kids in Step, and Summer Programs. In 2017, Nicole was appointed Principal of the Atlanta Ballet Virginia-Highland Centre. Photo credit: Kim Kenney

SHIRLEY BENNETT has professionally performed with Ballet Russe, danced solos with Indiana Ballet Theatre, Tampa, Boston, and Brooklyn Ballets, and Jacob’s Pillow. She studied with renowned teachers at Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and Harkness Ballet. She earned a BA in Liberal Arts and Education and studied in New York University’s Dance Masters program.

Ms. Bennett has taught and choreographed at the Ballet School of Lincoln Square (for Barbara Walczak of NYC Ballet), Washington School of Ballet, and directed principal dancers at the Wiesbaden State Opera Ballet (Germany). She choreographed one of five chosen pieces performed in professional competition with New Choreographers on Point in NYC.

She has extensive training in the art and science of dance teaching and ballet technique. Her high teaching standards have propelled students as principal dancers in the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, New York City Ballet, and many other regional ballet companies.

SHANNON BESHEARS is a graduate of Oklahoma City University as a Dance Performance Major with a bachelor's in the Performing Arts. She has danced professionally with Universal Studios, Disney Cruise Line, Sideways Dance Company, Teatro Martini Dinner show, and a variety of other venues. She has choreographed a WWE commercial and has taught for Upijata Arts Company and Dance Contempra.

DARCY BURGESS

DIANE CAROLL (New York City, New York) began her dance training at the age of ten after receiving a scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School. She later continued her training as a fellowship student at The Ailey School. A graduate of the esteemed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York, Ms. Sales attended the University of the Arts in North Carolina on full scholarship before starting her professional career with Ailey II. As an original member of the Atlanta-based Ballethnic Dance Company and a member of Donald Byrd/The Group, Ms. Sales toured throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and South Africa. In 2004, she was invited to serve as an adjudicator and guest Horton instructor for the annual SERBA (Southeastern Regional Ballet Association) Dance Festival. For the past 20 years, Ms. Sales has taught and choreographed all levels of ballet and modern dance (Horton technique) for pre-professional students. She has extensive experience in teaching students in community-based dance programs with limited or no exposure to the arts. Ms. Sales currently serves as the community partnerships manager for Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Community Engagement, where she oversees the in-school and after-school programs at Parklane Elementary, Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy, City of Refuge, the Salvation Army/Kroc Community Center, West End Performing Arts Center, Ron Clark Academy, and New Manchester High, in addition to the Atlanta Ballet Youth Ensemble: Community Engagement. She currently serves as a dance judge for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Ms. Sales was named a 2015 LUX LIST Honoree for her leadership in community-based dance programs in Atlanta. This is her fifth year on staff at the Atlanta Ballet. Photo credit: Kim Kenney

SERENA CHU was born in Long Beach, New York, where she received her early training at the School of American Ballet, performed in numerous productions with the New York City Ballet, and danced in the 1990 Workshop performance of Puss In Boots by Robert LaFosse. After attending the Bolshoi Ballet program in Vail, Colorado, Chu went on to study as a scholarship student with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, and was one of the first Americans to graduate from the school. She was a member of Sarasota Ballet before joining Tulsa Ballet, where she danced many featured rolls in works from renowned choreographers such as N. Duato, G. Balanchine, J. Kylián, W. Forsythe, V. Caniparoli, B. Stevenson, A. DeMille, P. Taylor, T. Tharp, C. Wheeldon and S. Welch. Some favorite ballets in Chu’s repertoire include Arenal, Without Words, Lambarena, Company B, Serenade, Nine Sinatra Songs, Remansos, Por Vos Muero, and SeAthrough, a piece created on her by Tony Fabre. Chu was a guest principal with Ballet Des Moines during its inaugural years and helped build a new regional company in the U.S. Chu has been seen in Dance Magazine, the New York Times, Newsday, the cover of the Tulsa World and DM magazine. She is a YoungArts award winner, and was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. In addition to performing leading roles on the stages of the Joyce Theater in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Chu has taught in many notable schools around the country, including Tulsa, Oklahoma; Salt Lake City, Utah; Des Moines, Iowa; Las Vegas, Nevada; and now in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has staged works with Atlanta Ballet 2, including their family ballets of Beauty and the Beast, The Swan Princess, and Snow White. Headshot: Ryan Morrison

HARMONY CLAIR is from Los Angeles California. She is a classically trained ballet dancer who at age 12 began spending summers in NY on full scholarship training at the School of American Ballet and then moved to San Francisco to finish her high school years studying on full scholarship with the prestigious San Francisco Ballet. At 18 she accepted a company contract with Boston Ballet 2,
and later danced with Hartford Ballet under Kirk Peterson. After retiring as a ballet dancer she
went to Film School and worked in the TV industry for 15 years. She eventually found her way
back to her first love, ballet, and has been teaching at Atlanta Ballet for 16 years now. Harmony
worked as a Ballet Mistress with the Namari Ballet; and has worked as a guest teacher for
Terminus Modern Ballet, Covington Regional Ballet, Dancemakers, The Dancer’s
Studio/Backstage, and Praise in Motion.

Originally from Chicago, IL, KELLY TONINA (K.T.) COOPER studied dance under the leadership of Ric Rose at the University of Florida. After graduating with a BA in Advertising and a Business minor, she continued her dance education at the Dance Theater of Santa Fe at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fl. After relocating to South Florida, she continued to choreograph for a number of special events, including pageants, fashion shows, and festivals, before starting her own ensemble dance group, On The Verge. She joined Atlanta Ballet in 2011 and is currently the Centre Administrative Director for the Centre for Dance Education. In 2019, she was appointed Co-chair of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion task force. Her role facilitates the DEI initiatives alongside fellow staff members, trustees, and community members to create a more equitable future for the ballet and especially future artists.

In addition to her work at the ballet, she serves as an executive board member for a local theatre company, Out Front Theatre Company. In the spring of 2021, Kelly Tonina graduated with her MS in Nonprofit Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Arts Administration with the University of Kentucky.

KAMERON DAVIS was born in Atlanta Georgia., where he began dancing at the age of 12 with the Atlanta Ballet Centre For Dance Education. During his time at the Atlanta Ballet, Mr. Davis had the opportunity to perform in a plethora of ballets. Some of those ballets include Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, and Atlanta Ballet’s BIG with Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, where he co-starred as the character “Little Big”. During the summers of 2009 through 2011, Mr. Davis had the opportunity to attend Alvin Ailey's Ailey Camp where he studied ballet, jazz, modern, and West African. In 2014 Mr Davis graduated from Columbia High School in Decatur Georgia. Mr. Davis is currently on staff with the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Community Engagement and Centre Faculty.

SOPHIA DIXON is from Gainesville, GA, and is in her first season teaching for the Atlanta Ballet. She was trained in classical ballet and jazz dance with the Gainesville Ballet Company, under the instruction of Diane Callahan, for fifteen years before coming to Atlanta to teach. She taught dance for the Gainesville School of Ballet in both studio classes and offsite work for ten years—her favorite being her four years leading the outreach program with her local Boys and Girls Club. Besides teaching, Sophia is a full-time student at the University of North Georgia pursuing a degree in English Writing and Publication with a minor in Communications. Sophia is very excited about this upcoming season of dance!

NARDJA EL-SHABAZZ is a Decatur, Ga native. She began her dance training at Decatur School of Ballet at age 6. She became a teacher's assistant at age 13 and progressed through the studio as a substitute and eventually an instructor in 2013.

Nardja has worked with the professional ensemble of Decatur school of ballet, AboutFace Contemporary, as a performer and assistant to the director for many years.

Nardja earned a teachers certification from the American Ballet Theatre in May 2020. She also completed Horton Technique teacher training through the Ailey extension with Ana Marie Forsythe in July 2021.

She also started substitute teaching for the Atlanta Ballet in 2020 before joining the faculty in 2021. She is experienced in teaching both children and adults.

Nardja has been a preschool teacher since 2014.

ALLEGRA FASSHAUER, named after NYCB’s Allegra Kent, joins the Atlanta Ballet from Birmingham, Alabama. Raised by two performing artists, Allegra spent her childhood backstage at concert halls and in ballet studios. Her training comes from the Alabama Ballet’s school of dance under the artistic direction of ABT’s Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren. There she also trained with Teri Weksler of the Mark Morris Dance Group. Some of her favorite works include Agnes de Mille’s, Rodeo, Jiří Kylián, Six Dances, Pina Bausche’s, The Rite of Spring, and the timeless classical masterpiece, Giselle.

As a new resident of Atlanta, Allegra now works at the Atlanta Ballet as a Creative Movement instructor. Allegra is a strong believer that Creative Movement students learn useful skills that often translate outside of the studio such as; creativity, teamwork, patience, listening skills, and discipline. Her classes focus on early ballet training with imaginative combinations and exercises. With this, she also incorporates famous ballet, classical, and artfully inspired music to help introduce her students to the wide world of moving with music.

KATE GAUL trained in Birmingham, UK passing examinations under the RAD, ISTD, and IDTA. Whilst completing her BA (hons) in Textile Design she continued her dance training and performed with several small companies. After graduating she worked as a studio designer and marketing manager for one of the UK’s largest interior design companies before going back to school to complete a diploma in business administration and a three-year dance pedagogy certification course, awarding her Registered Teacher status with the Royal Academy of Dance. Kate has been working as a dance teacher for over 30 years in the UK, Europe, and the USA. Her teaching experience includes working for private institutions, developing and running a 6 – 12 grade dance program, opening her own dance school ‘Pointeworks’ in the Netherlands, teaching under the Fulton County Schools extra-curricular program, and more recently working as a supervisor and tutor for the RAD’s teaching certificate and diploma programs. She has been with the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education for 17 years as a member of faculty, and as Buckhead Centre Principal for the past 13 years. Kate is passionate about working with students of all ages and helping to nurture a life-long love for dance.

ASHLEY GIBSON began her dance training at the age of five at the Academy of Dance Arts in Canton, GA, and has been trained in classical ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, tap, and jazz. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Classical Ballet.


During her time at KSU, she performed with the KSU Dance Company for four semesters. In 2016, Ashley did guest work with Scenic City Dance in Chattanooga, performing the role of Dewdrop in The Nutcracker. As a dance instructor in the Atlanta area for the past decade, Ashley has discovered an immense passion for dance pedagogy and working with kids of all ages. Ashley greatly looks forward to her sixth season as an Atlanta Ballet faculty member.

Recently, Ashley premiered a new work, “Châdash: REnew, REpair, REbuild,” in the Spring for Spring Dance Festival. When she’s not dancing or teaching, Ashley enjoys hiking and being outdoors. She is also a freelance journalist and dance critic in the local Atlanta area. She contributes to Into the Proscenium and DanceATL’s Promenade. She also previously served as DanceATL’s Writing Committee Chairperson and its copy editor.

MIA GIVENS was born in New York City, NY, and began her dance training at the age of two and a half years old at a local school in Atlanta, GA. At the age of six, she began to train at Atlanta Ballet, under the direction of John McFall and attended many prestigious summer intensives, including two summers with The Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York City. She performed, as a pre-professional dancer in Atlanta Ballet’s performances of The Nutcracker, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. During her summer intensives at Atlanta Ballet, she was selected to choreograph Class of We Made It, and Da Vinci.

While at Atlanta Ballet, she was an assistant ballet teacher where she taught ballet techniques and basic positions & movement to dancers ages 3-10. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the California Institute of the Arts, where she was selected to perform in performances of Facing Mekka, 28 Up From 9, and lead roles in Betrayal, Add Water and Stir, and De Desir D’Horizon. During her Senior year in college, she was asked to join Mouvement Perpetuelles, in Montpellier, France where she toured with the company during the 2021 season

JENNIFER INMAN began teaching at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education in 2013. Before joining the Atlanta Ballet Centre faculty, she taught at the school of The Georgia Ballet for 16 years, where she also performed in the professional company for three seasons. In addition to teaching a variety of levels at the school, she also helped establish the inaugural DanceAbility class, a community program for special needs students. While at the Georgia Ballet, she had the opportunity to study with Marina Levasheva, Gina Hyatt-Mazon, and Janusz Mazon. Professional company repertory included George Balanchine’s Serenade, excerpts from Paquita and Sleeping Beauty, and the original casts of Going Bach and Carnival of the Animals.

Jennifer’s childhood training was primarily with Ballet Hysell School (the affiliate school of the New Orleans Ballet) where the faculty included Harvey Hysell, Vincenzo Celli, Diane Carney, and Barbara Forbes. She later studied with Joseph Giacobbe in New Orleans and at the Boston School of Ballet as both a summer and year-round student.

Jennifer began teaching ballet at The Lexington School of Dance in Virginia while earning her B.A. in American History and French as well as following her passion for classical music by studying music history and hosting a classical radio program.

In addition to teaching ballet, Jennifer with her husband Mark cares for their three children, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. Photo credit: Keiko Guest

LA’TOYA PRINCESS JACKSON is a choreographer, dancer, and performing artist. She trained as a ballet dancer at the Ballethnic Academy of Dance. She was also a company member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company and the Harvard Dance Project. She engaged in performance research under the direction of senior faculty in the Theater, Dance, Media (TDM) department at Harvard and presented her thesis Black Swans Shattering the Glass Ceiling. She has performed in several TDM productions and was the first graduate student to write and produce an original ballet at Harvard. She also was one of the lyricists and composers for Black C.A.S.T.’s original musical which premiered on the Loeb Mainstage at the American Repertory Theater. She began her ballet career as teaching faculty for the Boston Ballet School and has implemented free ballet programming in both the Atlanta and Boston communities for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and Boston. She is currently the Residence Artist at Harvard College’s First Year Arts Program and she is in the choreographer residency for Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet’s symposium. She is the writer, producer, and creator of the Vanity Lane franchise, an original fairytale that includes an original ballet production, children’s books, ballet workshops, music, and merchandise. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts (Radio/TV/Film) at Clark Atlanta University and She graduated from Harvard University in 2019 with a Master of Liberal Arts degree in Dramatic Arts in an interdisciplinary study of music, dance, and performance from the Extension School.

AARON JAMES is a dancer, choreographer, creative director and actor has been active in the professional entertainment for just over 10 years. He got his start as he was a participant in MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew with a crew called Royal Flush that he created along with his younger brother. Exposure from being on ABDC eventually propelled him into a full-fledged professional dancing career that gradually led to many other opportunities in the entertainment world. Aaron has graced the stage with many big names such as Pharrell, Little Big Town, T-Pain, Jacob Latimore and more. Aaron is now actively choreographing and creative directing various projects for many independent artists as well as balancing an emerging acting career as you can find Aaron in many movies, television series & commercials airing on many major networks and streaming platforms.

SERGIO MASERO is from Madrid, Spain and began his training at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Mariemma. At the age of sixteen Sergio was awarded a full scholarship to attend the San Francisco Ballet School. He then joined Ballet Memphis where he danced for three years. Sergio is now in his third season with the Atlanta Ballet and has performed principal roles like Basilio in “Don Quixote” and James in “La Sylphide.” In addition to dancing, he has always enjoyed teaching and choreographing. This will be Sergio’s second year as a faculty member of the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Prior coming to Atlanta, he taught ballet technique for over two years at Dance Academy of Bartlett in Tennessee. Sergio has also been brought as a guest teacher for summer intensives and master classes across the nation, like Northwest Florida Ballet , Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, and DanceFest among others.

LOREN MCFALLS is a dancer and choreographer for both stage and film. She has been training for over 25 years. Loren attended Drexel University on a dance performance scholarship where she was heavily involved in the Philadelphia artists’ community. After graduating she started an artists’ collective in the city to showcase awesome female-identifying folks. She produced and performed in dance performances for Philadelphia Fringe Festival, self-produced performances as well as coordinating monthly music showcases and a recurring outdoor summer festival. Loren has taught ballet classes to all ages since 2006 and has choreographed for several music videos and short films.

AMELIA MURREN has trained in dance for 11 years and has studied the Cecchetti method, Vaganova technique, and the ABT ballet curriculum. She is a graduate of La Roche University, earning her bachelor’s degree in performing arts for dance. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta and The National Honor Society for Leadership and Success. While at La Roche, she choreographed a piece for Human Trafficking Awareness week and performed in a piece honoring the Tree of Life Synagogue. Amelia has danced professionally in Pittsburgh through the 2019-2020 season and taught through Bodiography’s outreach program. She has performed in works choreographed by Callum Newman, Gia Cacalano, Jackie O’Toole, and Christina DiMarco. She is passionate about ballet and contemporary styles and shares this love with her students. Photo credit: Joy Paillet

JULIA 'ARNESHUIA' NELSON, was born and raised in Augusta, GA where she started her intensive dance training under Sharon ‘Skepple’ Mayfield, Bessie Award Winner 1999. Coupled with her Ballet training at Augusta Ballet she graduated from Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School as “Best Female Dancer”. During this time she also received recognition through multiple Magazines and Dance competitions such as Dance American, and Urban pro-Weekly. This lead her to be accepted into the Boston Conservatory at 17 years old. Through the summers she taught dance for local studios in Georgia, California, and New York. After school, her Professional Dance career continued under the training of Garth Fagan for over a year. She has returned to Atlanta, GA to further her education in dance pedagogy through teaching and training for multiple performance art studios all while earning her certificate for Personal Training. Photo credit: Jarell Nikola Stevens

ANNA PENNY has been dancing and performing since the age of four years old. Starting from rhythmic gymnastics until the age of ten. She was accepted into the Belarusian State Choreography College where studied classical, character dance, modern, and other styles of ballet. During this time she traveled with the college all over Eastern and Western Europe and Asia. Anna performed in international competitions Prix De Lausanne representing the country of Belarus. She performed many roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Corsair, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and Raymonda. Anna performed for the Queen of the Netherlands and for Chelsea Clinton and participated in the movie “Russian Arc” which made the Guinness Book of World Records for non-stop taping in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Being the Valedictorian of graduating class, traveled to the United States with the International Group of Performers in 1998. She worked and performed with the Carolina Ballet and was also teaching gymnastics and ballet to children. In 2000, danced for the movie “A Parent’s Guide to Ballet”. In 2002 Anna started a professional teaching career at places like Cary Ballet Conservatory, Florida Dance Theater, and Southern Florida College. During this time she staged many classical ballets and choreographed original ballet, character dances, and contemporary pieces. Anna had the opportunity to coach and take students to YAGP. Some of her students now perform on stages such as NYC Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet among many others.

CHANTIA L. ROBINSON has received professional dance training since the tender age of 2. As an Atlanta native with goals to master skills in both business and performing arts, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a minor in dance, and a Master’s Degree in HR Management. She has also performed in numerous choreography showcases, concerts, and festivals with Atlanta Ballet, Spelman Dance Theatre, Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, Dance Canvas, Alvin Ailey, and more. She was a mentor for the Dance Talent Component for Usher’s New Look Foundation as well. In 2010, she gained a credited role as a dancer in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls. She started teaching dance at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education and furthered her experience with the Dance Institute of Washington where she has taught all divisions: Pre-Dance, Community, Pre-Professional, Adult Classes, and Senior Citizen Outreach initiatives in the Columbia Heights community of Washington, D.C. Since 2008, she choreographs annual Spring Concert pieces for dance organizations in both Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA. Her choreography of a trio “Nostalgia” was presented at the following locations: Institute of Peace, the French Embassy for the 25th DIW Anniversary Gala featuring Dance Theatre of Harlem, and during a collaborative workshop with the National Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, she choreographed an award-winning lyrical piece “The Kids Are Alright” for Kimmestry. It was Kimmestry’s first lyrical piece and it received an outstanding High Gold award. She has always placed her vision and passion for dance within her students and continues to motivate and inspire others through her ongoing dance endeavors. She wants to keep sharing her love for dance with youth in dance studios and community outreach initiatives.

ROSCOE SALES is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. He continued his training as a fellowship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Mr. Sales began his professional career with North Carolina Dance Theater. He also performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem, The Metropolitan Opera House in " Porgy and Bess", the Atlanta Ballet, Greensboro Ballet, and High Point Ballet, and was one of the original members of the Atlanta-based company; Ballethnic Dance Company. Mr. Sales has performed in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Carmina Burana, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and many others. In 1999 Mr. Sales made his debut as a choreographer with his version of " Othello " for Carolina Ballet. Mr. Sales has choreographed throughout the Carolinas and Atlanta. His choreography has been chosen for the SERBA dance festival (South Eastern Regional Ballet Association) and he has been on faculty for the festival for several years. Mr. Sales has judged competitions throughout the Carolinas and guest teaches in Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, and the Carolinas. He also served recently as an adjudicator and instructor for the West Virginia Dance Festival. Mr. Sales is currently on staff at the Atlanta Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet, Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance, and Price Performing Arts as a ballet and modern instructor.

ERIN NICOLE SMITH grew up in Wilmington, DE, where she discovered her love and passion for dance, at the age of 8 years old. As a child, she trained under choreographers like Faye Snow, Shawn Lamere Williams, and Chauntee Andrews. By the age of 12, she was one of the first child guest performers with Eleone Dance Company based in Philadelphia. In 2006, she graduated from the Ailey School Certificate program, in New York City, training in ballet, modern dance (Horton and Graham techniques), Jazz, hip hop, and African dance. There she trained under Denise Jefferson, Milton Myers, and Anne Marie Forsythe to name a few. After graduating Erin was invited to Dance with Nathan Trice's Rituals’ in Aruba. Since she has moved back to Atlanta to pursue her career which allowed her to perform nationally and internationally over the next 15 years. Today, Erin works as Dawn Axam’s dance assistant at Woodward Academy and is also a company member and rehearsal director for Axam Dance Theatre Experience. Erin has taught and choreographed at many studios in the Atlanta area, such as The studio Atlanta Dance, RISPA, A.D. West dance co., South West Arts Center, and Education Thru Dance. Recently she joined the Community Engagement team with Atlanta Ballet. Lastly, Erin is a proud mother of two children, Cameron and Kai-Reign, who are by far her biggest accomplishments. photo credit: Shoccara Marcus

ANDERSON SOUZA was born in Santo Angelo, Brazil. Anderson received his training at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Dança under Jorge Teixeira. After graduating, he joined the Cia Brasileira de Ballet in Rio de Janeiro, dancing in principal and soloist roles and competing in national and international competitions, including the Beijing International Ballet Competition. Souza traveled with the Company to perform in Colombia, China, Israel, and France. In 2013, he joined Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. Under the unique guidance of Kirkland, Anderson matured his artistry and received praise from national critics, including those at The New York Times. He has enjoyed dancing roles in The Nutcracker (by Yuri Possokhov) La Sylphide as Gurn (staged by Johan Kobborg), Sum Stravinsky (by Kiyon Ross), Sandpaper Ballet (by Mark Morris), Tuplet (by Alexander Ekman) and the world premiere of Catch (by Liam Scarlett). Anderson is excited to be joining Atlanta Ballet for his 4th season!

MRS. VAN METER’s passion for dance started at an early age as did her professional career. She has been teaching for two decades, with her experience spanning all ages and styles of dance. Mrs. Van Meter received her training from American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Burklyn Ballet, and Georgia Academy of Dance. Apprenticeships with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Alonzo King Lines Ballet of San Francisco. Additional performing with Angela Whitehill’s Performing Company – Paradise Ballet Theatre, Georgia Dance Theatre. Guesting with Burklyn Ballet as the company toured Edinburgh, Scotland. She is excited and ready for her first season with Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education.

CALLA VAUGHN graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kennesaw State University in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Accounting.

Calla has danced professionally with City Gate Dance Theater, Ballet Southeast, and most recently, with The Esthete Collective in their 2022 show Wake. In college, Calla performed with the KSU Dance Company in works by Christine Welker, McCree O’Kelley, Martha Goodman, and Dr. Ivan Pulinkala.

Growing up in Middle Georgia, Calla trained with several dance studios in the area including the Academy of Dance in Warner Robins, Georgia, International City School of Ballet in Warner Robins, Georgia (now located in Smyrna), and the Madison Studio of Dance Education in Macon, Georgia. Calla also trained for six consecutive summers at the Joffrey South Summer Intensive hosted by the Joffrey Ballet in Milledgeville, Georgia. Here, she studied with such instructors as Valerie Madonia, Olivier Wecxsteen, and Elizabeth Parkinson.

Aside from performing and teaching, Calla also enjoys working in arts administration and organization. In college, Calla was a member of both Nu Delta Alpha and the National Honor Society for Dance Arts at KSU. She had the privilege of serving as a student leader in both organizations, being elected Historian for Nu Delta Alpha her junior year and President of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts her senior year.

Calla is now entering her fifth season teaching for the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education as a ballet, tap, and creative movement instructor.

Born in Russia, NATALYA VYASHENKO began her professional performing career as a dancer with the Bolshoi Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Tashkent after graduating from the National Academy. Natalya was accepted into Tashkent University in 2002, where she earned a degree in Classical Ballet Choreography and Pedagogy.

Natalya began her teaching career in 2002 when she was hired as a classical ballet and character dance pedagogue at the Tashkent National Academy.

Natalya relocated to Ohio in 2005 and was named artistic director of the Ohio Youth Ballet in 2007. Natalya then started a ballet school, which she and her husband, Nurzhan, ran for ten years.

In 2017, Natalya became an ABT fellow instructor, and in 2019, she joined the ABT NTC team, as a certification examination proctor.

Natalya and her husband, Nurzhan, were invited to join the Fort Wayne Ballet in 2019.

Natalya joined Atlanta Ballet Academy's faculty in the fall of 2021, and she could not be more excited!

MARTINE WEBER began her dance training in her hometown of Chislehurst, England, where she was born and raised. She earned a place at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts where she trained in both RAD and ISTD syllabi. In her early career, she danced professionally in Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean. Upon retiring from her dance career she discovered her love for teaching and now has over 15 years of teaching experience. Martine is an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher training through Level 5, she is an Actors Equity member and, most recently, completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training. A positive and dedicated teacher, Martine loves to teach children of all ages in the studio!