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 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.
Stretch & Conditioning
Desiree Errico has danced professionally for both contemporary and classical ballet companies throughout New York and now devotes her time to teaching. Ms. Errico’s performance highlights were with the Eglevsky Ballet under the direction of Ali Pourfarrokh, where she danced Soloist and Principal roles in The Nutcracker and Coppelia. She also had the privilege to dance the Principal role in Don Quixote at New York City Center under the direction of Alfred Obersteiner. In addition, Desiree was a Guest Artist for the American Dance Theatre of Long Island for many years. She was also handpicked by David Howard to be in a Bob Rizzo instructional DVD.
Desiree received her primary ballet training from world renowned ballet coach, Maggie Black. She then furthered her training in NYC with Master teachers David Howard and Diana Cartier. Desiree spent several summers studying with the New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.
Desiree is also a certified Pilates Mat instructor and has taught at Broadway Dance Center and the 92 Street Y/Harness Center. She started her own fitness based Instagram and launched her own YouTube channel, “Dansique Fitness,” which has been growing by the day. You can currently find her teaching at the Joffrey Ballet School, Peridance, Steffi Nossen School of Dance, and Bay Ridge Ballet!
SABRINA JAFAAR MELTON
Horton Modern Technique
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 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!
Pre-Pointe/Pointe & Variation
Progressive Ballet Technique
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 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 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
Limón Modern Technique
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.
Michelle Tolson has been dancing since the age of 10 and choreographing since the age of 15. Her students hold many regional and national titles in both dance competitions and pageants including Regional Dancer of the Year for American Dance Awards, World Talent Winner for International Sunshine Girl, and World Showstopper. Former students have gone on to appear in regional and national tours, So You Think You Can Dance and on Broadway in Memphis, Chaplin, Mama Mia, West Side Story, Pippin and Rock of Ages. Michelle received the Young Choreographer of the Year Award from American Dance Awards in 1998. She is also a pageant coach and choreographer, and has had many students compete in the Miss New Hampshire Program for Miss America as well as the Miss Massachusetts Program in where both students made the top ten. She also judged the Miss New York program in 2014, helping to choose Kira Kazantsev, who went on to become Miss America. She has been the Judges Chair for the Miss New York Program since 2015.
Michelle also held the title of Miss New Hampshire 1996 and competed at the Miss America Pageant that fall. Her picture and shoe can be seen in the Miss America Hall of Fame in Atlantic City. She was the choreographer and producer for the New Hampshire's Distinguished Young Woman Program for seven years, a scholarship program for senior's in high school and is a former Junior Miss for New Hampshire.
Her performance credits include being a Radio City Rockette for six years, where she performed in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular as well as on the Today Show, the Isaac Mizrahi Show, and in the Macy’s Day Parade. She also performed in Tap Girls, 42nd Street and numerous television, video and print works.
For five years she was a Professor at Wagner College on Staten Island, NY, where she choreographed Cabaret for the main stage and implemented the Tap program. She has been a guest artist at Georgian Court University where she worked with the dance club and was the dance advisor/coach for the Neptune High School dance team and the choreographer for the musicals. Her dance team was chosen out of 90 teams in the NY/NJ/CT area to compete on the new MSG Varsity Talent Show. While at Neptune she choreographed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Guys and Dolls. She was also the dance team coach and choreographer at Immaculate Conception High School and brought her team to three state championships wins. She continues to teach at dance studios throughout New York and New Jersey, and works as a Master Teacher throughout the country.
Michelle is the Head of Dance at Camp Vega in Kents Hill, Maine, considered the number one all girls’ camp in the country. Michelle also tours the country as a master teacher, adjudicator and director for various dance competitions. She was a director for Dancers Inc. for five years and now works as a judge for three competitions throughout the country. She has been judging for fifteen years and enjoys teaching new talent every weekend. She is now the Program Director at Kick Dance Studio in New Jersey.
Stretch & Conditioning
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!