Faculty

Meagan Helman School Director

Meagan is originally from Wilmington, Delaware. She received her early training with the Delaware Dance Company and continued her studies with Daniel Catanach of Urban Ballet Theatre and the Atlanta Ballet. She holds a BA in Dance from Goucher College, where her choreography was presented at the American College Dance Festival. She also spent time abroad at Middlesex University in London.

Upon graduation, Meagan joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland (BTM). She was promoted to a principal dancer in 2006 and remained with the company until 2014. Her repertoire with BTM included: Swan LakeRomeo and JulietCoppeliaCinderellaA Midsummer Night’s DreamThe FirebirdBeauty and the Beast, AladdinThe NutcrackerCarmen, and The Scarlet Letter, among many other contemporary works. Meagan served as the Ballet Mistress for BTM from 2009-2014, where she also choreographed and taught for the company and school.

Meagan received her MA in Dance from Florida State University in May 2017. Meagan is an adjunct faculty member at FSU’s School of Dance where teaches ballet and dance photography. She also serves as the performance photographer for the School of Dance and The Tallahassee Ballet. Her dance photographs have been published in Dance Magazine, Dance Studio Life, Dance Teacher Magazine, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Meagan is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

MaryRebekah Wright Assistant to the Artistic Director, Community Outreach Coordinator

MaryRebekah grew up in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and began her dance training at the age of five. 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, with the Atlanta Festival Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet during summers, and spent a month studying ballet and modern dance in Paris. She was a member of the Civic Ballet of Volusia County for 10 years, performing lead roles in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. She 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. MaryRebekah joined The Tallahassee Ballet in July 2016 as the Community Outreach Coordinator. In July 2017, she attended the National Dance Institute’s Teaching Artist Training intensive in New York City. MaryRebekah was appointed to the role of Assistant to the Artistic Director in August 2017.

Eboné Amos

Eboné is a third-year MFA student and teaching assistant in the School of Dance at Florida State University. In 2012, she received a full-scholarship to train at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. After returning from Los Angeles, she earned her B.P.S. in Dance Education with a K-12 Teaching Licensure. She was the primary dance educator for grades 6-8 at Hickory Ridge Middle School for three years. Eboné has also performed in many stage plays such as Hairspray (Dance Captain), Peter Pan, Footloose at Playhouse on the Square and A Chorus Line at Theatre Memphis. At Florida State University, she has been honored to be featured in works choreographed by Jawole Willa, Jo Zollar and Millicent Johnnie. In addition to performance, Eboné has been able to engage with the Tallahassee community by directing the FSU School of Dance Summer Intensive and teaching at the Suzanne Farrell Young Dancers Workshop.

Paige Centers

Paige joined The Tallahassee Ballet in 2009, became a Soloist in 2013 and a Principal in 2017. She has received the Joyce Straub Fausone Scholarship and the Ken Cashin Scholarship awarded by The Tallahassee Ballet Board of Directors. Paige has performed in productions of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, An Evening of Music and Dance, In Performance, The Nutcracker, Paquita and Other Works, Rapunzel, The Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Her lead and feature roles include Arabian, Mirliton, Spanish, and Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker; Variation II from Paquita; Princess Florine from The Sleeping Beauty; Annette Barcelona’s Reminiscence; Joyce Fausone’s Tango; Tango Pas de Deux from Kathryn Cashin’s Three Dances; and Julie Opiel’s Toccata and Nocturne. Paige has attended intensives at Orlando Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Florida State University School of Dance, and for two consecutive summers she was privileged to attend Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell— a three-week intensive at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a resident assistant for the Orlando Ballet School and the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in New York City.

Hope Eltomi

Hope began dancing at the age of six 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 renowned 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.

Katerina De Lawyer

Katerina began teaching ballet and jazz at Ballet Lubbock in 2008. Throughout her training, she attending summer intensives at CPYB, Kaastbaan, Boston Ballet, Alonzo King Line’s Ballet, Chautauqua, and River North Dance Theater. In 2016, Katerina graduated cum laude from Texas Christian University with a BFA in Ballet and minor in Child Development.

After graduating she joined the Central Illinois Ballet as a company member and teaching staff. She has taught in multiple settings including Hodges Community Center, Joe Berry Dance Company, All-Star Dance Academy, the Peoria Park District, and Cornerstone Dance Academy. Katerina has taught ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, musical theater, modern, creative movement, and hip-hop to various ages. Along with dance, she also assisted at the Fort Worth Museum School an academic based pre-school. She has received awards including Nordan Fine Art’s Scholarship, Excellence in Lighting Design, and given Honorable Mention for her choreography When They’re Not Watching.

Katerina joined The Tallahassee Ballet in 2017 where she has in performed in The Nutcracker and in Swan Lake as pas de quatre. She is excited to further her dance and teaching experience in the upcoming season.

Kathleen Ewing

Kathleen is originally from Valdosta, Georgia, where she studied ballet, modern, and jazz dance for 15 years, under the direction of Linda C. Chase at Dance Arts, Inc. Kathleen graduated from Florida State University Magna Cum Laude and with Honors with her BFA in Dance in April 2016. While attending FSU Kathleen studied dance abroad in Paris and attended Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp. She has also coached and choreographed the dance performances for the award-winning Georgia Bridgemen and Cook High School marching bands. Kathleen has a passion for dance education and engagement and wrote her honors thesis on “Bringing Ballet to Public School Systems.” Kathleen is currently pursuing her MA in Arts Administration at Florida State University and will be graduating in Spring 2019.

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 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 four years.

Naomi Lebhar

Naomi was a gymnast before beginning ballet. She was selected by Ivanka Kirov to compete nationally on the Rhythmic Gymnastics team at SCATS Gymnastics in Huntington Beach, California. She went to Houston, TX for the 2002 national Junior Olympic Championships where her team received the gold and silver medals, ranking them 2nd overall. After the Junior Olympics, Naomi began formal ballet training at Huntington Academy of Dance, studying under Marnell Himes and Judith Hawkesworth.  She completed the Cecchetti exams for Levels 3-6 and attended the Cecchetti USA summer dance intensives in Sarasota, FL and Las Vegas (under full scholarship). There she had the opportunity to receive instruction from Trinette Singleton and Kirk Peterson, and she was featured in a piece set by Trinette Singleton. She continued ballet training in Tokyo at the Kobayashi Noriko Ballet Academy. There she studied under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) method and completed the Intermediate exam. After high school, she was accepted into the Trainee program at Ballet Magnificat, based in Jackson, Mississippi, where she trained in the Vaganova method under Jiri Sebastian Voborsky, Cassandra Voborsky, and Jennifer Tyndall for 3 years. Upon graduation, she taught ballet in Bangalore, India for a year. Naomi is an American Ballet Theatre® (ABT) Pre-primary through Level 3 Certified Teacher. She has taught ballet and gymnastics since 2012.

Trent Montgomery

Trent is a graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, receiving a BFA in Dance Performance. As a company member with Arkansas Festival Ballet for four years, he has performed lead roles in Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, and more. In 2015, he received the Chip and Cindy Murphy dell’Arte Dance Scholarship, enabling him to further his dancing at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Early in his career, he toured the New York and Baltimore area with TEEBODANS, a performance company created and choreographed by Stephanie Thibeault. He has attended several intensives on full scholarship including: Kansas City Ballet, Ballet Academy of Texas, and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance. He performed in the 2017-2018 season as a company member with The Tallahassee Ballet and is currently attending Florida State University, where he is studying to receive his MFA in Dance.

Julie Opiel

Julie is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where she trained in classical ballet with the Ballet Memphis School. Julie received her BFA in Dance at Webster University in St. Louis, where she performed in works by Alvin Ailey and Antony Tudor. Julie’s BFA capstone work, “Bound Separation,” was performed at the American College Dance Festival regional conference. After graduating, Julie returned to Ballet Memphis and danced with the company for three years, performing in Cinderella, The Nutcracker, The Wizard of Oz, and Swan Lake. She also danced in Steven McMahon’s “Flock Together” and in Trey McIntyre’s “Pork Songs.”  She spent two summers as a company member and rehearsal director of Ashani Dances in Seattle (now located in Baltimore, Maryland). She has choreographed several works for the Ballet Memphis School, the professional company’s Interiorworks series, and for Racine + Southern Dance Exchange in Memphis. Last year, she premiered a new work for The Tallahassee Ballet’s An Evening of Music & Dance. Julie has taught ballet and modern for the Ballet Memphis School and for the company’s Community Engagement Program. Julie is currently pursuing her MFA in dance at Florida State University.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

The Nutcracker

December 8 & 9, 2018
Ruby Diamond Concert Hall-FSU
Treat yourself to one of the holiday season’s most treasured performances – The Tallahassee Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

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