FACULTY

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.      

Learn more about our amazing faculty below!

 

Learn more about BRB's Founding Director Patricia Foster-Grado HERE

 
STEPHEN CAMPANELLA

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

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 

 

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.

 
JESSICA LEE

 

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.

 
MONICA LESSARD

 

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!  

 
AMELIA LOW

Amelia Low was born in Singapore, and moved to Sydney, Australia to train with renowned ballet master Tanya Pearson at her Classical Coaching Academy.

 

She has a Diploma in Dance from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and has danced in productions with Sydney City Youth Ballet, Awaken Dance Theater, Insight Dance Company, Joyce King Dance Company and Toronto International Ballet Theatre. Amelia was awarded a scholarship to the "Performing in New York" summer intensive with Ajkun Ballet Theatre and has spent summers with Boston Conservatory Dance and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. 

 

Amelia graduated from Canada's National Ballet School Teacher Training Program with a Diploma and has taught at the school's Associate Program and at Medicine Hat Conservatory of Music and Dance. She is also a registered teacher and associate with the Royal Academy of Dance and Certified Teacher with the American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum Pre-Primary to level 7 & partnering. Amelia has also completed Pilates training in Mat and Reformer and is a certified Total Barre Instructor. 

 
HANNA OLDSMAN

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 ROBERSON

LaToya began her ballet training in her hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana and 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).

 
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.

 
JACOB TAYLOR

Jacob Taylor received his formative training at Boulder Ballet School and in the summer programs of American Ballet Theater, the School of American Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Kaatsbaan, and Perry Mansfield. Mr. Taylor is a graduate of the Ballet Performance Program at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. At IU he was coached by Violette Verdy in many ballet by by George Balanchine. At IU he also performed in works by Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, Dwight Rhoden, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor.

 

His professional career includes dancing for such companies as Boulder Ballet, Christopher Caines Dance, Eglevsky Ballet, FJK Dance, Lydia Johnson Dance, New Jersey Ballet, Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, and Thomas/Ortiz Dance.

 

Mr. Taylor is currently on faculty at Peridance Capezio Center, and New England Academy of Dance and has taught master class for Broadway Dance Center in New York City. He has also appeared in HBO’s The Duece and ABT’s NYC Premiere of Whipped Cream. 

 
KAT WILDISH

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!