About Our Instructors
Bay Ridge Ballet's skilled instructors are highly qualified with extensive training experience. Coming from diverse backgrounds, our faculty gives a well-rounded dance education that inspires students to achieve their maximum performance level and reach their goals.
Click on the links below to learn more about our amazing faculty below!
Read about BRB and our Founding Director Patricia Foster-Grado HERE!
Originally from Oklahoma City, OK, Brianna received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Oklahoma and additionally trained with Alonzo Kong’s LINES Ballet, Oklahoma Arts Institute, and the Lula Washington Dance Theater.
She has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, General Mischief Dance Theater, and Dzul Dance among others. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Milton Myers, Christopher Huggins, and Mark Dendy. As a choreographer, she has presented work through Jennifer Muller's The Hatch series, Ballet Inc., ModArts’ Collective Thread, and Awaken Dance Theater.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Brianna is a certified IM=X Pilates trainer, has served as rehearsal assistant for former Ailey dancer Andre Tyson, and participated in the 2019 New York Fashion Week as a runway model for Melange Movement.
Stephen Campanella received his training at Princeton Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s graduate program and the San Francisco Ballet School summer intensive.
He has danced numerous soloist and principal roles with American Repertory Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, and Dances Patrelle, where he has performed classic works by Arpino, Ashton, Limon, de Mille, Petipa, and Tudor, as well as by choreographers including Mary Barton, Gemma Bond, Patrick Corbin, Philip Jerry, Douglas Martin, Steven Melendez, Francis Patrelle, Kirk Peterson, and Pam Tanowitz.
He has taught at Princeton Ballet School, Covenant Ballet, and The Dance Conservatory in Westchester, and is an ABT Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Rutgers College with a B.A. in history and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Michael Crawford is from Takoma Park, Maryland. He began dancing with the Maryland Youth Ballet and at the Kirov Academy with Vladmir Djoulahatze, spending summers at The Rock School and San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Crawford joined the Washington Ballet where he performed with the company under the direction of Septime Webre. Upon graduation, he went on to study in the Professional Division of The Pacific Northwest Ballet under Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. Since leaving PNB, he has danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jose Mateo Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and American Repertory Ballet. He has been privileged to work on productions such as Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Show Boat, Cats, and other musicals. Mr. Crawford has also performed at The Kennedy Center, and continues to tour throughout the US and Europe. He has been a guest principal with The Washington National Opera, Adam Miller Dance Project, Kinetic Dance Works, Transcend Dance Group, Brooklyn Ballet, Ballet Neo, Connecticut Ballet, and Oakland Ballet.
Mr. Crawford is an award winning teacher and choreographer. He has been teaching and choreographing nationally and internationally for 10 years, and has coached many prize winning students for competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix, NYC Dance Alliance, and Showstoppers dance competition. He continues to teach masterclasses at studios including, Broadway Dance Center, Metropolitan School of the Arts, and Princeton Ballet.
Olivia Duffy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Biology from Marymount Manhattan College. As a native New Yorker, she began her ballet training at The Staten Island Ballet and went on to study at The Rock School, Joffrey Ballet School, Alto Jonio Dance in Italy and with Gelsey Kirkland.
In addition to working with children as both a ballet teacher and academic tutor, Olivia has the joy of performing with various dance companies in the New York City area including Staten Island Ballet, Victoria Ballet Theater, and Yuka Kawazu’s Danse en L’air.
Olivia is absolutely thrilled to be on the Bay Ridge Ballet team!
SABRINA JAFAAR MELTON
Sabrina Jaafar-Melton graduated cum laude from the Alvin Ailey / Fordham BFA program in dance performance. Prior to entering the Arnhold MA Dance Education Program she worked with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, Hope Boykin Dance, The DanceNow Ensemble!, YaaSamar! Dance Theater, Broward Ballet, and Pascal Rioult Dance Theater.
Sabrina has performed a wide range of works by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Ohad Naharin, Doug Varone, Robert Battle, Ronald K. Brown, Tim Rushton, Elisa Monte, and Pedro Ruiz among many others.
Teaching is her passion and has taught for schools such as Alvin Ailey, The Friends Seminary School, The Joffrey Ballet School and is currently teaching at Fort Hamilton High School as director and head instructor of their Joffrey Ballet School partnership.
Lorena Jaramillo is a New York based movement artist. Born in Mexico City, she began her classical ballet studies under the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum. She later moved to the United States to earn her undergraduate degree in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan, where she graduated with a gold key in Dance Studies.
She currently dances with dance-theater collective Sydnie L Mosely Dances, Queens-based contemporary dance company Nicole Kadar and Dancers, and movement collective Mobilized Voices (MOBIV). She has performed at the Clark Theater in Lincoln Center, The Brooklyn Children's Museum and the Queensboro Dance Festival and performed works by Jenn Freeman, Nancy Lushington, Anthony Ferro and Annie Doss.
Lorena is an advocate for arts accessibility and education which has led her to teach and perform with various activist organizations in the US and Latin America, most of which engage with Latin or indigenous dance forms and audiences. She sees dance as an embodied practice of joy!
Jessica Lee is a dance artist, educator, and arts administrator based in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Jessica grew up studying ballet at Connecticut Dance School in Fairfield, Connecticut and holds a BA in Dance and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College.
She currently dances with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances and Paloma McGregor|Angela’s Pulse. Jessica also teaches creative movement and modern dance to 18 month – 6 year olds at BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and is an arts marketing and production Organizer for PURPOSE Productions. Additionally, Jessica is the Co-Director of The Sable Project, an alternative off-grid summer artist residency in Vermont.
Her artistic work and teaching practice are grounded in rigorous play, fueled by the joy of movement, and dedicated to inclusive community building.
A New Hampshire native, Monica is currently the resident jazz teacher for the Joffrey Dance Academy and the elective dance teacher at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, NY. From 2015-2017 she worked at The Nancy DeBenedittis Elementary School in Corona, Queens, where she designed and implemented a dance curriculum and shared her love of dance with children in grades K-5.
Through her unique experiences in the studio and now in the public school sector, she has become an arts advocate in NYC shedding light on the importance and impact of arts education, and is a true believer that learning in, through and about dance enriches education, working and life itself.
A 2007 dance performance (ballet/jazz) graduate of Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts (Pittsburgh, PA), Monica received her Masters in Arts Education at Hunter College, as part of the Lincoln Center Scholars Program (2017).
You can catch Monica in BRB's Nutcracker performances, in addition to sharing her expertise in Jazz Technique with our school!
Hanna Oldsman trained in the Vaganova method at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. and with Natalya Stavro in New York City. She has performed with several companies in New York, including the Staten Island Ballet, Julia Bengtsson Dance, Victoria Ballet Theater, Mooney Cooley Dance, and Danse En L'air, dancing both contemporary repertory and classical ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Flames of Paris, and Le Corsaire.
Hanna also holds a BA summa cum laude from Barnard College in English literature and has received the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certificate.
Teaching children across the NYC area, Hanna loves to inspire young dancers to move.
LaToya began her ballet training in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. LaToya has been a student at many prestigious dance schools including Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem and The Ailey School, where she received the the Judith Jamison Fellowship. Studying at these schools has given LaToya the privilege of studying under and dancing for dance greats such as Melissa Hayden, Gelsey Kirkland, Arthur Mitchell, Ronald K. Brown and Judith Jamison. Since finishing her training, LaToya has gone on to perform on stage as well as on television. She has been a featured dancer on Live! With Regis and Kelly and the MTV Video Music Awards. She has danced with Contemporary Ballet Theater and Genesis Dance Company. She has also had the opportunity to dance as a guest artist in roles for ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Firebird, Gaite Parisienne, The Nutcracker, Giselle and more.
LaToya has been on staff and guest teacher at numerous dance schools including Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet, Theater School of Dance and Santa Clarita Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet Academy and the Dance Teacher Web Live teachers’ conference every year in Las Vegas. She is currently a staff member of D’Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Centre in Fairfield, CT under the direction of Angela D’Valda Sirico and Steve Sirico (founders of Dance Teacher Web) and is the Ballet Department director at Dance Impressions in Union, NJ. She holds a certification in Ballet Teaching and Registered Teaching status with the Royal Academy of Dance (London, England).
TARA LYNNE STEELE
Tara Lynn Steele or Ms. TL, hailing from Marietta, GA is a passionate mover of all styles. Dance is her chosen language—and she is always eager to share wiggles with the next generation.
A proud graduate of The University of Alabama (double major in Musical Theatre & Dance) - Ms. TL says roll tide! After school she traveled the world on a cruise ship and then moved to the big Apple. She has danced on stages far and wide—across the states and as far as Shanghai, China!
Collaboration and Creativity are driving forces in all that she does, and she is excited to share the joyous art of dance with BRB!
MEGGI SWEENEY SMITH
Meggi Sweeney Smith, from Carrollton, MO, has premiered as a solo artist on a national and international level for companies such as the New York Baroque Dance Company, Cohen/Suzeau, and CorbinDances. In addition to performing with the Sokolow Dance/Theater Ensemble, and Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theater, she has also performed works by Wally Cardona, Douglas Dunn, Doris Humphrey, Eleanor King, José Limón, Kate Skarpetowska, Ernestine Stodelle, and more.
Her interest in modern dance and historic work began during her BFA in dance and minor in music, which she received from the University of Kansas with highest honors. She completed her MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt developing her thesis Teaching Artistry Through Historic Modern Forms of Dance: Humphrey, Limón, and Sokolow.
Meggi currently teaches as an adjunct professor at NYU and with the Limón4Kids program in the public schools around NYC. As a guest teacher/performer she has worked at the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center and the NYC Philharmonic.
Meggi also works as a consultant/choreographer in the field of historic Baroque dance with groups such as NYU Tish, Amazing Grace the musical and Yale Repertory Theater. Her research has been presented at the National Dance Education Organization and as a contributor on Dancetime Publications’ Dance Culture Editorial.
Kat Wildish is a New York City master ballet and pointe technique teacher for students of all ages & levels. She currently teaches at Pace University, Peridance Capezio Center, Gibney Dance and Harlem School of The Arts.
She performed with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and numerous international companies including Zurich Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and The Eglevsky Ballet (under artistic director Edward Villella).
Learn more about master teacher Kat Wildish at katwildish.com!
Carley is a graduate of Pace University's BFA Commercial Dance program and is currently a professional dancer in New York City. Before heading to New York, Carley started dancing at the age of three and trained as a competitive dancer at RealDance Studio until the age of eighteen. She trained in a multitude of styles including: ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, contemporary and hip hop.
Once studying at Pace University, Carley concentrated not only in Performing, but in Pedagogy as well. She began teaching students of all ages at local studios in the city, as well as in New Jersey. After graduating from college, she then continued on to teach at the collegiate level, and began an interim position at Pace University in their Commercial Dance and Musical Theater programs.
Most recently, Carley has performed with AIDA cruise lines and just finished a contract sailing and performing across the Mediterranean. She is happy to be teaching at Bay Ridge Ballet!