Lauren Owen Hernandez Ballet Mistress and Artistic Associate

A certified American Ballet Theatre® (ABT) Certified Teacher, Lauren assists Artistic Director Tyrone Brooks in readying the Company for performances. She was a soloist with The Tallahassee Ballet for five years.

Lauren began her initial dance training with the Duluth School of Ballet under the direction of Peter Garick. She furthered her ballet training with The Centre for Dance Education at Atlanta Ballet studying under Sharon Story, Reiko Kimura, and Mary Rau. As a sophomore in high school Lauren was accepted into the Virginia School of the Arts (VSA), a pre-professional boarding high school for dance where she studied under a prestigious faculty and worked with numerous choreographers. After completing high school at VSA she pursued her professional career and became a trainee with the Richmond Ballet.

Lauren received her BFA degree in dance from Florida State University School of Dance.

Meagan Helman School Director

Meagan began her training at the Delaware Dance Company and continued her studies with Daniel Catanach of Urban Ballet Theatre and the Atlanta Ballet. In 2004, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. While there her choreography was presented at the American College Dance Festival and she spent time abroad at Middlesex University in London, England.  After graduation, Meagan joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland (BTM), and was promoted to a principal dancer in 2006. Since then she has danced roles including Jo in “Little Women,” the Dew Drop Fairy and Snow Queen in “The Nutcracker,” Swanhilda in “Coppélia,” Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Princess Samira in “Aladdin,” and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Meagan served as the Ballet Mistress for BTM from 2009-2014, where she also choreographed and taught for the company and school. She has also guest taught and choreographed for the Delaware Dance Company. Meagan is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts with Florida State University.

MaryRebekah Bartos Community Outreach Coordinator

MaryRebekah Bartos grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and began her dance training at the age of 5. She studied ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip-hop and tumbling under the direction of Crystal Draper and Melissa June. She has danced with Ellen Werksmen in Chicago and with Atlanta Festival Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet during summers and spent a month studying ballet and modern dance in Paris, France. She was a member of the Civic Ballet of Volusia County for ten years, performing lead roles in their annual Nutcracker. She then moved to Tallahassee to study with the Florida State University School of Dance and pursued arts administration and outreach education in addition to dance. In May 2016 MaryRebekah graduated from FSU with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Communications. She has experience teaching ballet, jazz, tap, and tumbling, first in Daytona Beach and later in Thomasville, Georgia. MaryRebekah joined The Tallahassee Ballet in July 2016, when she started as the Community Outreach Coordinator.

Cozy Bixler

Cozy began her dance training at the age of three in Jackson, Mississippi, where she participated in both local and regional competitions. After moving to Tallahassee in 1988, she continued her dance education, competing at the national level. While pursuing a degree at Florida State University, she was a member of the Golden Girls dance team which received national ranking at that time.
Cozy has been a dance instructor for over twenty years, teaching competitive ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and contemporary dance. Her choreography has been recognized regionally and nationally, winning numerous top scores and judges’ awards. Throughout her teaching career, Cozy coached local dance teams and founded her own All-Star team.
In addition to teaching dance, Cozy has been a Pilates instructor for the past ten years and a Barre instructor for five years. She recently became a Barre teacher trainer. Cozy holds a Classical Pilates Comprehensive Apparatus and Mat Certification and multiple Barre certifications. Through these certifications, Cozy has deepened her appreciation of developing core strength, flexibility, and movement into all aspects of dance.

Hope Eltomi

Hope began dancing at the age of 6 under the instruction of Jocelyn Woodruff at Vero Beach Ballet. Throughout middle and high school she attended summer programs at UNCSA, Boston Ballet, and on scholarship at Miami City Ballet. When Hope turned 16 she furthered her professional training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated from their program in 2008 with a concentration in ballet. Hope was able to study under acclaimed teachers such as Melissa Hayden, Frank Smith, Nina Danilova, Fanchon Cordell, and Christine Spizzo.

Upon graduation, she was accepted into FSU’s dance program and continued her education studying under their fabulous faculty. She also had the opportunity to perform in works by renown choreographers such as Darshan Bhuller and Monica Bill Barnes.

Hope joined the Tallahassee Ballet in 2013 as a Soloist dancer and was promoted to Principal in 2016. She has performed lead roles such as Snow Queen and Drew Drop in the Nutcracker, violente fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, and Nikiya in La Bayadere.

Hope is an American Ballet Theatre® (ABT) Level 3 Certified Teacher, and has been teaching dance since she graduated from FSU in 2012.

Kelly Greisl

Kelly began dancing at the age of three at the Dance Arts Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. For more than a decade she had the opportunity to learn jazz, tap, and ballet from Ms. Lynn Fankhauser. During high school, Kelly focused on musical theater having the opportunity to work closely with Director/Choreographer Garry Tiller for four years as choreography collaborator and dance captain for shows including “Anything Goes,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Guys and Dolls,” and more. These experiences earned Kelly the prestigious Victor Valentine Scholarship to continue her studies in the arts.

While studying Theater at Truman State University, Kelly also became inducted into the Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theater Fraternity, performed in shows such as “Light Up the Sky,” and was selected as a regional Irene Ryan acting nominee. Through it all, she continued to dance. As a dancer and choreographer with the TSU High Street Dancers, Kelly had the opportunity to perform at Disney’s Magic Music Days in Kissimmee, where she met her now husband. Upon moving to Tallahassee, Kelly immediately became involved in local theater groups performing and dancing in a few productions. She has taught ballet, tap and jazz to young dancers in the community for the last three years.


The Nutcracker

December 16-17, 2017
Treat yourself to one of the holiday season’s most treasured performances, The Tallahassee Ballet’s The Nutcracker.