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DANCE FACULTY OF SAINT LOUIS BALLET SCHOOL


Joy BakerJoy Adair Baker
Joy comes to Saint Louis Ballet School with over 25 years of teaching experience throughout the St. Louis area as well as 10 years of professional performing experience with San Antonio Ballet and St. Louis Ballet. She received some of her training as a scholarship student at School of American Ballet and later graduated with Distinction from Principia College. Since then she has been a director at Principia College within the Dance Department as well as owning and directing her own schools. Joy is certified in the Vaganova Method of Ballet training and has taught all levels of ballet from PreBallet through Adult. She joined the faculty of Saint Louis Ballet School in 2005.




Elliott GeolatElliott Geolat
Elliott began his training at the Ballet Conservatory in St. Louis under the direction of Nathalie LeVine. He also studied at the American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive and Houston Ballet Academy both on full scholarship. He was a two-time winner of the National Society of Arts and Letters dance competition and has danced principal roles as a guest artist for Peoria Ballet. In the fall of 2000 he joined Saint Louis Ballet where he has performed the leads in THE NUTCRACKER, SWAN LAKE, GISELLE ROMEO AND JULIET, SLEEPING BEAUTY, in Christopher d'Amboise's CIRCLE OF FIFTHS and featured in Balanchine's SERENADE, Dennis Nahat's BRAHMS QUINTET, Francis Patrelle's RHAPSODY IN BLUE, Jessica Lang's CONFESSIONS and Horiuchi's BOLLING SUITE and RETOURNER ENCORE. Elliot was also a guest artist for Toledo Ballet performing as Cavalier and Snow King in 2007. Mr. Geolat has taught around the St. Louis and Illinois region but joined Saint Louis Ballet School for the first time in 2009.


Dana GolioDana Golio
Dana is a native of the Bronx, New York. She has been in the dance world for over 35 years with experience in dance training, instruction, performing and choreography. Dana comes from a dancing family. Her sister at present owns two studios in the NY area. Her parents, who were professional ballroom dancers, started training Dana at the tender age of 5. Dana along with her sister and parents won numerous awards. Dana took all subjects of dance throughout her life, such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Acro and of course Ballroom. Dana also trained with many teachers in the New York City area such as Mr. Al Gilbert, Charles Kelley, the Hoctor Family, and many other renowned instructors. She has always stayed faithful to her teacher and mentor Miss Dorothy who is still teaching in the Westchester area of NY. She was also a member of the dance troupe "The Doreyettes," which traveled around the tri-state area performing for all types or organizations, primarily the New York State Beauty Pageant.


Dana GolioEricka Goss
Ericka is a native of Weidman, MI and began her journey with dance at the Bohaty's School of Dance at the age of 3. She eventually moved to the Grand Rapids Ballet Company where she participated as a Senior Trainee with the company under Gordon Pierce-Schmidt. Ericka made the move to Atlanta, GA when she was offered a full scholarship to dance with the School of the Atlanta Ballet in their Pre-Professional Division; she was then was hired as a Fellowship dancer with the company under John McFall and Sharon Story. During the summer, Ericka spent her time at Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Joffrey Midwest, and Grand Rapids Ballet summer intensives all under full scholarship. She has been featured in Balanchine's VALSE FANTASIE, Bruce Well's SNOW WHITE, Helen Pickett's PETAL, and Troy Schumacher's ALLEGRO FOR SEVEN, as well as SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE NUTCRACKER, and CINDERELLA. Ericka has been teaching for the Atlanta Ballet for the past three years, as well as teaching summer intensives and Master Classes in Michigan. She is thrilled to be in her first season with Saint Louis Ballet.


Stephanie HoganStephanie Hogan
Stephanie has been a permanent faculty member of Saint Louis Ballet School since 2003 teaching preballet, ballet and tap. She studied dance locally, in Kansas City, and The Harkness House, New York City. While with the St. Louis Civic Ballet, Stephanie performed leading roles in The Nutcracker and Kinder Konzerts at Powell Hall with the St. Louis Symphony; and represented the United States at the International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland. She is a graduate of UMKC with a degree in Biology and a minor in dance with ballet emphasis. While working on her degrees, she performed with the UMKC Dance Ensemble and Kansas City Ballet under the direction of Tatiana Dokoudovsky, aunt of Saint Louis Ballet founder, Ludmila Dokoudovsky. A former studio owner for 15 years, Stephanie has been teaching dance in the St. Louis area for over 35 years. She has been the Ballet Mistress for Children's Cast with the Saint Louis Ballet since 2006.


Joy BakerSusan Hubert-Jeep
Susan comes to Saint Louis Ballet School with a B.A. from Webster University in Management and Dance and over 35 years of dance education and teaching experience throughout dance schools in the St. Louis area of all ages and levels. She has also been the dance program director at several parishes as well as an instructor at Forest Park Community College teaching ballet, jazz and swing. In 1971 Ms. Hubert-Jeep was chosen to perform full time with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and some of her performance experience also includes performances with Muny Opera in 42nd Street and Romeo and Juliet and with the St. Louis Football Cardinals team to name a few. Susan joined Saint Louis Ballet School in 2006.




Mariko Mariko Kumanomido
Mariko is a native of St. Louis, began her professional training with Alexandra Zaharias at Alexandra School of Ballet. She studied dance at Washington University in St. Louis, and University of Missouri-Kansas City, graduating with a BFA in Dance. After graduation, she moved to New York City, and studied at the Alvin Ailey School as a scholarship student. In New York she danced professionally with Buglisi Dance Theater, C.Eule Dance, JessicaDanser/dansfolk, and the Martha Graham Ensemble. She recently completed the Teacher Training Program at the Martha Graham School and is a registered Graham-based modern teacher. While in NYC she taught creative movement and beginning ballet at Ballet Hispanico. She recently returned to St. Louis, and is currently dancing with Jennifer Medina/Common Thread Dance. She is happy to be sharing her love of dance with students in St. Louis.


Stephen LawrenceStephen Lawrence
Stephen began teaching classes for the Bossov Ballet Theater in Maine. There he taught beginner to advance ballet classes during the year. For the summer programs he would teach hip hop for all ages. During the year he also took up a teaching job at the Thomson School of Dance in Bangor, Maine where he taught advance hip hop for two years. His students were shown on the Bangor Daily News dancing his piece, "Everybody Dance". Once he had moved to Houston, Texas to train with the Houston Ballet Company, he took up teaching ballet again by helping teach the Houston Ballet Academy's beginner classes. Stephen is currently a Soloist company member with Saint Louis Ballet and has danced lead roles in ROMEO AND JULIET, SLEEPING BEAUTY, SWAN LAKE and THE NUTCRACKER.


Andrea PaxtonAndrea Paxton
Andrea took her first dance class at the age of 5 and it was love at first step. Over the past 28 years she has studied the art of tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, pointe, character, modern, lyrical and contemporary. In her years of training, she has been lucky to study under some of the biggest names in the industry today, such as Tyce Diorio (Judge & Choreographer of So You Think You Can Dance) and Marguerite Derricks (Choreographer of the 2009 movie "FAME".) She is fortunate to have made a career out of her passion and has been working as a professional dancer/singer, as well as dance instructor and choreographer for the past 12 years. This job has offered many exciting opportunities and taken her all over the country, as well as across the world. Some highlights of her career include performing in shows at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, The Empire Theatre at Six Flags St. Louis, The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Lotte Theatre in Pusan, South Korea. For the past 5 years she has been working as a singer/dancer at Harrah's St. Louis, including shows at their San Diego and Kansas City properties. She is committed to her craft and committed to passing on her passion and knowledge to her students. LIVE-LOVE-DANCE!


Tanya StrautmannTanya Strautmann
Tanya is a native of St. Louis and began her training with Berkely Evans continuing on to Saint Louis Ballet School. She spent summers on scholarship training with Kansas City Ballet, Gus Giordano and the Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program in NY. As a professional with Saint Louis Ballet Company Tanya has been featured as Odette/Odile in SWAN LAKE, Sugar Plum Fairy in THE NUTCRACKER, the title role in GISELLE and ROMEO AND JULIET, Waltz Girl in Balanchine's SERENADE as well as those in Francis Patrelle's RHAPSODY IN BLUE, ASTAIRE: A TRIBUTE, BLACK FORREST CAROUSEL, Dennis Nahat's BRAHMS QUINTET and Gen Horiuchi's BOLLING SUITE, WAKE UP, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON and RETOURNER ENCORE. In 2000, she was a guest artist in Osaka, Japan performing Horiuchi's TWO OF A KIND and in 2007 was a guest artist for Toledo Ballet. She is currently a Principal with Saint Louis Ballet Company has been a faculty and staff member since 1998.


Pam SwaneyPamela Swaney
Pamela is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She also studied at Chautauqua, BalletMet, the Joffrey Ballet, and the School of American Ballet. Prior to joining the Saint Louis Ballet, Pamela danced professionally with the Lake Erie Ballet. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mercyhurst College with a B.A. in Dance Teaching/Choreography and a minor in Arts Administration. Pamela has guested with Dan Duell's Ballet Chicago, the Mercyhurst Dance Department, and Gen Horiuchi's Ballet USA in Osaka, Japan. Since joining the Saint Louis Ballet in 2006, she has been featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in THE NUTCRACKER, Aurora in THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, the title role in CINDERELLA, Juliet in ROMEO AND JULIET, Odette/Odile in SWAN LAKE, and the principal in Horiuchi's MORE MORRA, RETOURNER ENCORE, and ROMANTIQUE. Pamela is currently a Principal with the Saint Louis Ballet Company and has been on the school faculty since 2007.


Laura ThompsonLaura Thompson
Laura is a native of St. Louis, began dance and gymnastics at the age of three. She aspired to become an Olympic gymnast for ten years, until her love for dance grew stronger than her desire for gymnastics. In the summer of 2003, she was chosen to attend the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in Springfield, MO. This program is funded to support the growth and education of the fine arts for high school students in Missouri. Only 250 students from all of Missouri were selected to attend. She began choreographing her own solos years earlier, and earned "best choreography" award for her lyrical solo that same year. Over the last ten years she has taught dance and coached for additional teams as well. After High School, she attended California State University of Fullerton, receiving Bachelors of Arts for Dance. During her senior year of college, she was selected to perform "Corvidea", a professional piece choreographed by Colin Connor. In 2011, she was became a company member of the Ashleyliane Dance Company. Their performances included 'Fair St. Louis', 'Dancing in the Streets' and 'First Night in Grand Center'.


Lori WilsonrMilan Valko
Bio coming soon












Lori WilsonrLori Wilson

Lori began her training at Ballet Lubbock under the direction of Yvonne Racz, and finished her training at The Rock School for Dance Education with Christopher Fleming, Mariaelena Ruiz and Servy Gallardo. She competed in Youth America Grand Prix and was a top twelve finalist. She studied at the Chautauqua Institute with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride and Mark Diamond. She has performed with the North Carolina Dance Theatre and as a guest artist with the Evansville Dance Theatre. She joined Saint Louis Ballet in 2008 where she has performed in THE NUTCRACKER, ALLEGRO BRILLANTE, Gen Horiuchi's LE REVE, MORE MORRA, CINDERALLA and most recently performed as Black Swan in SWAN LAKE.



Lisa WolfsbergerLisa Wolfsberger

Ms. Wolfsberger's dance background is broad in scope and has taken her nationwide and throughout Europe. Born in St.Louis, she has been a teacher of classical ballet for over 35 years. Her early training came from Alexandria Zaharias, Nathalie LeVine, and Michael Simms. Her professional career began with Missouri Concert Ballet (now St.Louis Ballet) where she danced as Principal for over 10 years with directors Ludmila Dokoudovski and Antoni Zelewski. She studied under Gary Hubler at Webster University while working towards a Bachelors degree in Dance. She has also studied extensively in New York City. Ms. Wolfsberger later became the ballet director at Dancers' Alley in Jefferson City Missouri. While living in Columbia Missouri, she was guest artist in residence, teaching ballet for Stephens College. Lisa has taught ballet at St. Mary's College and Notre Dame University in South Bend Indiana. When she lived in England, Ms. Wolfsberger taught master classes throughout the country and intiated her own training school. Lisa has been on staff with Chicago National Association of Dance Masters where she taught ballet and adjuticated dance competitions. Her students have gone on to dance professionally, earning college dance degrees, and teaching. Lisa continues to be invited as a guest artist, teaching master classes and summer programs throughout the country. She helped to intiate and was co-director of St. Louis Ballet School Ensemble, a student performance company. Ms. Wolfsberger has been on staff with St.Louis Ballet School since 2001.

Angelica Smith
Vanessa Woods
Vanessa is originally from Cinnaminson, New Jersey. She trained at SUNY Purchase, Princeton Ballet, Miami City Ballet and STEPS in New York City. Her teachers included Truman Finney, Barbara Sandonato, Douglas Martin, and Nancy Bielski. She has performed with the Colorado Ballet II, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Ballet NY and Opera New Jersey. Some of her favorite performances include Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove, Giselle, Ben Stevenson's Cinderella and George Balanchine's Slaughter on 10th Ave. Vanessa joined the Saint Louis Ballet in March 2010 dancing in Swan Lake and as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. Vanessa has been a faculty member with Saint Louis Ballet School since 2010.


Rekha DravinaRekha Dravina
Piano Accompanist for Levels 5 and up.
Bio coming soon...

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