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Outstanding Faculty

Princeton Ballet School has more than 30 specialized faculty members. Many have attained graduate degrees in dance education and have won major teaching awards. All are committed to our philosophy of dance education and to helping students achieve their best. Members of our outstanding faculty have performed professionally with companies including:

  • American Ballet Theatre
  • Joffrey Ballet
  • New York City Ballet
  • American Repertory Ballet

Director Biographies

Douglas Martin
Artistic Director
Dance Type -  Ballet
Douglas Martin's picture

DOUGLAS MARTIN started his ballet training with Dimitri Romanoff at the San Jose Ballet School and was one of six dancers selected by Mikhail Baryshnikov to study in the newly-formed American Ballet Theatre School. He was invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1984 where, as a principal dancer, he performed roles in ballets by Ashton, Arpino, Cranko, Balanchine, Joffrey, Taylor, Pendleton, Kudelka and many other great 20th century choreographers. Martin was featured in performances of Dance in America on PBS and was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. He was among the last dancers of the Joffrey Ballet to spend the majority of his career in the company working under founder Robert Joffrey. Martin joined the Cleveland Ballet in 1991 and danced an array of principal roles including the Minister in Agnes deMille’s Fall River Legend. In 1993, Martin was invited to join the American Repertory Ballet. As leading dancer and Ballet Master for ARB, Martin collaborated with directors in creating ballets, including productions as the original cast lead in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Dream and The Nutcracker. Martin continued to be a principal dancer in the company as well as Ballet Master for ARB and ARBW and Principal Faculty for the Summer Intensive until his retirement from performing in 2002. After retiring from ARB as a performer, Martin expanded his teaching, production and choreographic work. Martin has been an integral part of the teaching staff at the Princeton Ballet School, Rutgers University and Westminster Choir College, and has also served as the School’s Music Director and ARBW Ballet Master. He has staged full-length and repertory ballets for several companies, including Romeo and Juliet and Philip Jerry’s Our Town. Additionally, Martin has choreographed for several Princeton Ballet School productions, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Coppélia. In 2010, Mr. Martin became Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet. Since then, he has premiered a new production of Nutcracker, choreographed several new works including Ephemeral Possessions, Pathways, Rite of Spring, Firebird, and a full-length Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has commissioned 31 company premieres, including 19 world premieres.

Faculty Biographies

Sherry Alban
ARBW Juniors Ballet Mistress | Children's Rehearsal Director
Dance Type - Ballet
Sherry Alban's picture

SHERRY ALBAN has taught at Princeton Ballet School since 1973. She has choreographed several ballets for PBII (now known as ARB Workshop), and served for many years as Rehearsal Director for Act I of The Nutcracker, a role she returned to in fall 2010. Since 2004, Ms. Alban has annually staged the Act 1 children’s dances for Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker as well. Ms. Alban has been a recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship and has directed and choreographed numerous musicals for Plays in the Park of Edison, NJ; Rutgers Opera; and NJPAC. She also teaches ballet at Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University.

Mary Barton
ARB Resident Choreographer and Ballet Master | ARBW Seniors Ballet Master
Dance Type - Ballet
Mary Barton's picture

MARY BARTON (Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer) received her dance training at The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of legendary founder Mary Day.  She continued her training at The Academy of The Washington Ballet and participated in summer courses at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School.  As a student, she performed in Nutcracker with The Washington Ballet and in other roles at The Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap with New York City Ballet and Joffrey Ballet.  These experiences helped inspire and shape her knowledge of stage performance.  Her professional experience began when she performed with The Washington Ballet as a soloist in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony and in the principal role in Tom Paczik's Tzigane.  Early professional credits include a principal guest contract with the Oldenburg Staat Ballet in Germany and several seasons with Dayton Ballet. In 1986, Ms. Barton joined the Joffrey Ballet/New York where she performed a variety of roles in the great ballets of the twentieth century. Robert Joffrey created the role of Clara for her in the world premiere of his new Nutcracker. From 1993-2004, Ms. Barton was a principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet where notable roles include Sugar Plum Fairy, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Emily in Our Town. She also performed the leads in Balanchine's Rubies, Serenade and Concerto Barocco . Ms. Barton has been on the faculty of the Princeton Ballet School since 1994, and is one of the primary teachers of the Summer Intensive. She is a ballet faculty member at Princeton University and Rider University and is listed in the “Who’s Who of American Teachers.” She has helped re-stage Romeo and Juliet and Our Town on companies in the US and is currently Resident Choreographer and Ballet Master of ARB.  Ms Barton’s recent commissions include Straight Up with a TwistFive Men and a ConcertoFaerie Tyme, Fantasy BaroqueShades of Time and her newest work A Shepherd Singing (and I Still Heard Nothing). She has also choreographed over two dozen works for Princeton Ballet School’s spring full length ballets and Summer Intensive.

Carol Bellis
Summer Programs Coordinator | Cranbury Principal
Dance Type - Ballet
Carol Bellis's picture

CAROL BELLIS received her training on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, official school of the New York City Ballet. She danced with the Garden State Ballet and has taught for Garden State Ballet School, Gloria Govrin’s New Hope Ballet Academy, and the School of Performing Arts at Somerset Vo-Tech. She has been teaching here for over 20 years, and is the principal of the Cranbury studio and the Coordinator of Princeton Ballet School’s summer programs. Ms. Bellis is also an Adjunct Professor of Ballet at Rider University.

Lisa de Ravel
Alumni Relations Coordinator | Dean of Students
Dance Type -
Lisa de Ravel's picture

LISA de RAVEL received her training at North Carolina School of the Arts, the School of American Ballet, and Boston Ballet School.  During her professional dance career, she also studied in New York with Finis Jhung, David Howard, and Maggie Black.  She joined American Repertory Ballet in 1988, and danced under the direction of Dermot Burke in ballets by Ailey, Arpino, Balanchine, Bournonville, Limón, Tudor, Taylor, Burke, Webre, and others. From 1989-2006 she taught and choreographed for Princeton Ballet School, including coodinating the Cranbury summer program, now called Summer Intensive Intermediates. She has been a recipient of the Audree Estey Award for Excellence in Dance Education, and has also been inducted into Princeton Ballet School Wall of Fame.

Ms. de Ravel received her B.A. in Psychology, specializing in child and adolescent development, from Rutgers, The State University, in 2010. She is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and a member of Psi Chi psychology honor society.

In her role as Dean of Students, Lisa helps guide students and parents in placement, enrollment and evaluations.  Please contact her with any questions about these topics by email:

Lisa de Ravel also serves as Alumni Relations Coordinator in the organization's Development Department and  faculty liaison for the Junior Gala. In these roles, she provides a link between members of this organization's past, present and future. 

Kathleen Moore
ARB Company Teacher
Dance Type - Ballet
Kathleen Moore's picture

KATHLEEN MOORE trained with Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) School.  She graduated from ASFA as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and moved to NY to join ABT II in 1980. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to become a member of the corps of ABT in 1982, Ms. Moore was appointed soloist in 1988 and Principal dancer in 1991. Her work included roles across the classical, dramatic, modern and contemporary repertory. Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris and other respected choreographers created roles for her and she was a member of the premiere tour of the White Oak Dance Project under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris in 1990. Ms. Moore has appeared in several dance documentaries, the Herbert Ross movie  Dancers, and was interviewed on The Charlie Rose Show. Ms. Moore began teaching for Princeton Ballet School in 1993 as a guest teacher and has worked with ARB since 2006. She is also a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University.  Ms. Moore is certified to teach all levels of ballet through the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Cheryl Whitney
ARB Workshop Administrator | ARBW Juniors Ballet Master
Dance Type - Ballet
Cheryl Whitney's picture

CHERYL WHITNEY (ARBW Juniors Ballet Master, ARBW Administrator) received an M.S. in Ballet from Indiana University and a B.A. in English Literature and Music from St. Lawrence University.  She was trained and performed professionally in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. For more than 25 years, she has taught in Princeton Ballet School’s Student Division also serving as rehearsal director for the ARB productions of The Nutcracker. Guest teaching credits include Brandywine Ballet, Peabody Conservatory and NJ Governor’s School. Her teaching in academic settings includes Princeton University, Howard University, Indiana University, The Lawrenceville School, Foxcroft School and Latin School of Chicago. She is an associate professor in the dance program at Rider University. Ms. Whitney has received grants from the New York and New Jersey State Councils on the Arts, and is the 2008 recipient of the Audrée Estey Award for Excellence in Dance Education.  She is Artistic Director of Reverence Dance Company.

Maria Youskevitch
ARB Workshop Balletmistress
Dance Type - Ballet
Maria Youskevitch's picture

MARIA YOUSKEVITCH, the daughter of legendary ballet star Igor Youskevitch, was a soloist with American Ballet Theatre and Maryland Ballet, and ballerina with Youskevitch’s concert group, Ballet Romantique. She was company teacher, rehearsal assistant and senior faculty member at Hartford Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Kirk Peterson. She has been ballet mistress for BalletMet, Nevada Dance Theatre, and coach for the New York International Ballet Competition. In addition, Ms. Youskevitch has taught at such prestigious schools as the David Howard Dance Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Virginia School of the Arts under the direction Petrus Bosman, The Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy, and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.

A celebrated teacher and coach for over 40 years, she was featured in the June 2002 issue of “Dance Teacher” magazine. Well versed in the classical ballet  repertoire, she has mounted versions of Giselle, Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardee, and her father’s one-act Romeo and Juliet. She has also staged Michel Fokine’s Spectre de la Rose and Les Sylphides, and the children’s roles in Kirk Peterson’s Nutcracker. For 8 years Ms. Youskevitch was on faculty for ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop in Manhattan, and is an ABT™ Certified Teacher, having completed the ABT™ National Training Curriculum.

Laurie Abramson

Dance Type -  Ballet
Laurie Abramson's picture

LAURIE ABRAMSON received her training at the Joffrey Ballet School and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from New York University. She has also studied with Alfredo Corvino, David Howard and at The New Dance Group. In addition to her work at Princeton Ballet School, Ms. Abramson is a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and also at Montclair State University. Additional teaching credits include Stuart Country Day School, Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), Southern NJ Academy of the Performing Arts, Acrodanse Theatre Company and master classes at The American College Dance Festival. She has served as a dance evaluator for the NJ State Council on the Arts and helped construct and implement the exit exams for the performing arts schools throughout the state for the NJ Dept. of Education, Visual and Performing Arts. Choreographic projects include works for PBII (now known as ARB Workshop), Acrodanse Theatre Company and musical theatre work. She has been the recipient of an arts-in-education grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts. She has been teaching here since 1981.

Janell Byrne

Dance Type -  Ballet
Janell Byrne's picture

JANELL BYRNE, a native of California, studied with Stanley Holden and Margaret Hills in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Alfredo Corvino, Ms. Byrne has taught at Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and the Lawrenceville School. She has performed with DanceWorks and Teamwork Dance and is Director of Mercer Dance Ensemble, and has been teaching at Princeton Ballet School for over 20 years.

Alma Concepcion

Faculty Emerita
Dance Type - 
Spanish Dance
Alma Concepcion's picture

ALMA CONCEPCION is a former soloist with the San Juan Ballet and Antonio's Ballet of Spain. After receiving her early training in Puerto Rico, she came to study in New York at the School of American Ballet and at American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Concepcion is the founder of Taller de Danza, a children’s movement and dance grassroots organization based in Trenton. She has been teaching here for over 20 years and has also taught at Ballet Hispanico in New York for many years. She is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars and has written many articles, mainly on Caribbean music and dance.

Geoffrey Doig-Marx

Dance Type -  Jazz
Geoffrey Doig-Marx's picture

Geoffrey Doig-Marx was named one of “Nine Dancemakers Making History” in a cover story by Dance Spirit Magazine.  Director/Choreographer Geoffrey Doig-Marx is currently working on the book/lyrics of a new musical with composer/lyricist Michael Hoagland.  In January, 2011, he directed and choreographed the work of children’s composer Andrea Green for “The Music of Andrea Green.”  In March, 2011, he choreographed The Drowsy Chaperone for Westminster College of the Arts, and in July of 2011 he will return to the “New” Park Playhouse to choreograph The Producers.  Mr. Doig-Marx is currently on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Rider University, Westminster College of the Arts and The Pulse in Westchester. Visit for more information.

Jennifer Gladney

Dance Type -  Ballet
Jennifer Gladney's picture

Jennifer Gladney, an alum of Princeton Ballet School and American Repertory Ballet, graduated summa cum laude from Rider Univesrity in 2006, and received a BA in Elementary Education, Early Chidhood Education, and Dance, as part of the Rider University/Princeton Ballet School Dance program.  She was a member of our Professional Training Program throughout high school, and was part of a trainee program, ARB Ensemble, during the 1999-2000 season.  During her high school years, she also attended summer programs at Steps on Broadway and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.  She has performed with many companies as a freelance dancer, performing lead roles such as Aurora, Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella.  She has worked as a freelance dancer and choreographer with Mercer Dance Ensemble, Rider Dances and Teamwork Dance, and was a company dancer with American Repertory Ballet during the 2010-2011 season, where she performed in works by Twyla Tharp, Kirk Peterson, Philip Jerry and ARB Company Director Douglas Martin.  She has also been in numerous world premiere works by ARB Resident Choreographer, Mary Barton.  Ms. Gladney is a certified NJ Educator, Preschool to Fifth Grade. 

Samantha Gullace

Samantha Gullace's picture

Samantha Gullace trained at Princeton Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She worked with choreographers Peter Pucci, Margo Sappington, Cameron Baasden, and performed Joffrey Ballet’s Billboards: Willing and Able. Samantha also completed the Trainee Program of the the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, IL, under the direction of Anna Reznik, Alexei Kremnev, and Ashley Wheater. She is now a professional dancer with American Repertory Ballet.  Since joining ARB, she has performed in Twyla Tharp’s Eight Jelly Rolls and Douglas Martin’s premiere of Ephemeral Possessions.  Samantha also performs with Susan Tenney Dance where she is currently working on Je Me Souviens…I Remember….  Samantha was also a member of Jerry Opdenaker’s 2012 O Dance Festival, in West Palm Beach, FL.

Amy Megules

Dance Type -  Ballet
Amy Megules's picture

AMY MEGULES began dancing in her hometown of Vineland, NJ, with the Vineland Regional Dance Company. She went on to receive her BFA in dance from State University of New York at Purchase, where she received the Bert Terborgh Dance Award. She apprenticed with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and then danced with American Repertory Ballet. She has taught on the faculties of Princeton Ballet School, the National Dance Institute of Trenton, and Mercer County Community College. While living in Cincinnati, Ms. Megules taught and choreographed for the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet, the College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division of the University of Cincinnati, and was the ballet instructor for the elite and accelerated gymnasts at the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy.

Erika Mero

ARBW Juniors Teacher
Dance Type - 
Beginning Dance
Erika Mero's picture

ERIKA MERO began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School. As a dancer in the Professional Training Program, she studied with Elisabeth Carroll, Septime Webre, Maria Youskevitch, and Mary Pat Robertson. Ms. Mero was a member of Princeton Ballet II, a pre-professional company of the school where she performed works by Sherry Alban. Later as a dancer in ARB Workshop, Ms. Mero appeared in the premiere of Graham Lustig’s Standstill as well as the ballerina role of Swanhilda in Coppelia. During these years, she attended The Juilliard School’s summer program. In 2006, Ms. Mero graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase. After graduation, Ms. Mero continued teaching at Princeton Ballet School, where she had started in 2003. Performance work includes two season’s with Stuart Loungway’s Terra Firma Dance Theatre, several opera productions with Opera New Jersey and as a featured dancer/choreographer in Capriccio at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Ms. Mero is an ABT® certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has also been on the faculty of ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop for two summers. In May 2010, Erika graduated with an MS in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy from New York University.

Nora Orphanides

Faculty Emerita
Dance Type -  Ballet
Nora Orphanides's picture

NORA ORPHANIDES (emerita) trained at the American Ballet Center, official school of the Joffrey Ballet in New York. She has also studied modern dance at the Erick Hawkins Studio. She received a B.A. from Hunter College. After moving to Princeton, Ms. Orphanides studied with Virginia Griffee at the Princeton Ballet School. She choreographed numerous spring musicals for Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. She is a biographee in Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in American Education andWho’s Who in Entertainment.

Gabriella Proffitt

Dance Type -  Ballet
Gabriella Proffitt's picture

GABRIELLA PROFFITT holds a BFA in Dance Education with a specialization in Ballet Performance and a minor in Musical Theater from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. While attaining her degree, Gabriella performed works by local and international choreographers and became a peer tutor in ballet for which she was acknowledged with an Excellence In Tutoring Award and an Outstanding Student Teaching Award. Throughout high school and college, she studied intensively near her hometown in the San Francisco Bay Area at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Diablo Ballet Apprentice Program, and Sacramento Ballet School.Her professional dancing has included an apprenticeship with Ballet Fleming in Philadelphia and a company position at Ballet 180 on Philadelphia’s Mainline. Apart from her teaching engagements at Princeton Ballet School, Gabriella is a ballet instructor and performance coach for Penn Ballet at the University of Pennsylvania and for a couple of competition studios in central NJ. Prior teaching engagements have included dance instruction in ballet, lyrical, and beginner jazz, acro, and modern at Studio 180 in Paoli, PA, and pre-ballet instruction at The Rock School in Philadelphia. Gabriella’s additional skills and interests lie in music, alternative somatic modalities, and multidisciplinary collaboration – all of which inform her work as an artist and arts educator.

Kathleen Smith

DANCE POWER Coordinator | Teaching Artist DANCE POWER
Dance Type - 
Beginning Dance
Kathleen Smith's picture

KATHLEEN SMITH has been teaching here at Princeton Ballet School since 2003 and ARB’s DANCE POWER program since 2005 as a Teaching Artist as well as the DANCE POWER Coordinator since 2010. Ms.Smith teaches all levels at Princeton Ballet School as well as the Adult Open Enrollment classes.

Ms. Smith began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School in 1988. She is a graduate of Princeton Ballet School and rose through the levels of the PLUS program to the Professional Training Program. She was also a member of PBII, now known as ARB Workshop, American Repertory Ballet's Pre-Professional Company. She has also studied ballet at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Performance highlights include the evil fairy Carabosse in Princeton Ballet School's production of Sleeping Beauty in 2003, various roles in ARB’s The Nutcracker under the direction of both Septime Webre and Graham Lustig. Ms.Smith has also performed numerous pieces with Susan Tenney Dance.

Ms.Smith has been teaching and choreographing Clogging for the past 19 years with her group, The Century Cloggers. She also was the main choreographer in the summer of 2010 at George Street Playhouse’s Summer Theater Academy.

Susan Tenney

Dance Type - 
Modern Dance
Susan Tenney's picture

SUSAN TENNEY began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School with Audrée Estey and received a B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase. She danced professionally as a soloist with Jean Erdman, Andrew deGroat and Dancers, Novantiqua, Nat Horne Musical Theater Company and Muna Tseng. At Princeton Ballet School she teaches Ballet and Modern Dance to the youngest and the oldest students, and teaches choreography for the Summer Intensive Intermediates in Cranbury. She has choreographed for many of the school productions and has created Ballets for the Summer Intensive Program. From 1999-2003 she originated and directed the annual Princeton Ballet School Adult Dance Performances, which had more than 100 adults performing in the last season under her direction. She also conceived, and directed a fundraiser to benefit the Princeton Ballet organization, which brought together more than 150 dancers, musicians and community members, on to the fields of Princeton University for an outdoor performance of her choreography and structured improvisation. Ms. Tenney has received commissions from the Coalition for Peace Action, and from the Princeton Arts Council. Her choreography has been produced by Susan Tenney and Company as well as Off-Broadway, in film and venues which include McCarter Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Edinburgh Fringe, Princeton University and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is the 2013 recipient of New York Cityʼs Planet Connections Theatre Festivity award for Outstanding Choreography, and the 2014 and 2015 recipient of the Planet Connections award for Outstanding Director.

Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro

Dance Type - 
Beginning Dance
Modern Dance
Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro's picture

DR. KIM CHANDLER VACCARO is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Dance program in the department of Theatre and Dance at Westminster College of the Arts, of Rider University. She became a professional dancer and teacher while earning a BA in Choreography and Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a MA in Dance Education from UCLA, and an Ed.D from Temple University. During that time she performed in numerous modern dance companies, choreographed and produced her own work, and taught dance at colleges on both the east and west coasts. Dr. Vaccaro has taught at Princeton Ballet School since 1989, and she has also been an educational consultant to the organization. In addition to speaking at national conferences on dance education, Dr. Kim, as she is known at PBS and on campus, has choreographed over 50 dance pieces for the Ballet School and the Rider Dance Program where she is artistic director of the annual event Rider Dances. Dr. Vaccaro is the author of Jazz Dance Today with Lorraine Person Kriegel; the editor of Dance In My Life; a contributing editor to the award winning Core Collection in Dance and contributing author to Jazz Dance. Her current research is on focus, creativity and mindfulness in dance teaching. She is the creator and author of CoMBo: Conditioning for Mindbody.



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