Kait Weber received her early dance training at The Dance Center, the official school of the Brandywine Ballet, where she studied under Cherie Noble, Nana Badrena, Patricia Brown, and Martha Chamberlain. She went on to train at the Washington Ballet, Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and Wilmington Academy of Dance. Kait is a graduate of Towson University, where she earned her BA in Mass Communications and pursued the Dance Performance major, graduating Cum Laude. While an honors scholarship recipient at Towson, she performed with the Towson University Dance Company and performed lead roles in the Nutcracker as well as several other classical and contemporary works. She also performed with the Baltimore Ballet in various productions and taught ballet, modern, and jazz at the school for five years.
Sarah Brown received her early dance training at Towson University’s Children’s Dance Division, Rage Box Contemporary Dance Center, and Carver Center for Arts & Technology. She went on to train at Point Park University’s Conservatory of the Performing Arts as a Jazz Dance major, where she participated in master classes with a number of professional artists including Sonya Tayeh, Desmond Richardson, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Sarah finished her schooling at Towson University, where she earned her BA in Mass Communications, Public Relations. She spent 4 years dancing and performing with the Baltimore Blast Cheerleaders and was Captain on the team for 2 of those years. Sarah loved the platform the team gave her and was humbled to be a part of their community outreach opportunities. Sarah has worked professionally in the event planning and marketing field for the past several years and joined DCM and Ballet Chesapeake in 2019.
Diane Brown studied ballet as a child at the Ellen Price Eckhardt Ballet School. In 1983 she began teaching ballet and creative movement for the Jarrettsville Recreation Council. She studied modern dance at the Baltimore County Gifted and Talented Camp under Leslie Weiss Timos. And studied jazz and tap at the Wally Saunders Dance School. While there she also studied ballet with Edward Stewart and Barbara Miller. She was asked to join the Wally Saunders Dance Company in 1982, and performed with them through 1984. Miss Diane entered Towson State University in the fall of 1983 on a dance scholarship and performed with the Towson State University Dance Company While a dance major at Towson, she studied ballet with Edward Stewart, Camille Izard, and Helene Brezeale. She studied modern with Andrea Lewis and Dottie Fried, and jazz with Patty Corday. Following knee surgery, she switched her major and received a bachelor’s degree in Health Science with a minor in Psychology in 1988. Her course work included anatomy and physiology, early childhood development, and program planning. In addition to her career as a health and wellness counselor, she taught ballet, jazz and creative movement at Harford Dance Center before joining the Dance Conservatory staff in 2000.
Returning to the Untied States after touring Europe as Ballet Mistress with "Rock The Ballet," Deborah Engerman took on the role of Director of Maryland Classical Dance Academy, along with teaching at Charm City Ballet and Susquehanna Dance Center. She trained early in life with the Baltimore Ballet under Wendy Robinson in the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) tradition, passing her graded exams. Her classical studies also include training with Petrus Bosman, David Keener, and Christine Hennessy. Later, while pursuing her BA in International Policy at Dickinson College, she continued her study of classical ballet with the teachers of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Her dance training also includes Vaganova Technique, French Methodology, and the Dance Education Program at Towson University. Ms Engerman has staged ballets to include the Nutcracker and Swan Lake, Act II. Dancers trained by Ms. Engerman have earned professional contracts and danced with Universal Ballet, ABT, Complexions, The Washington Ballet, The Vienna Opera Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Inc, Texture Ballet, Hubbard Street, and on Broadway. She has also been a coach to dancers succeeding at numerous international ballet competitions, such as The Prix de Lausanne, the Varna IBC, and The Youth America Grand Prix. Her student and, Adrienne Canterna, took the Junior Gold Medal at the 1998 Jackson USA International Ballet Competition. She is currently happy to continue to train dancers in MD and PA, while living with her husband and two dogs, in South Central PA.
Anya Ivanova began her ballet studies at the Perm Ballet Academy in the former Soviet Union and later studied at the Frunze Ballet Academy. Upon graduation from Frunze, she performed with Cheliabinsk Opera and Ballet Theater as principal dancer. After accepting an invitation to become a principal dancer with the Donetsk ballet, Miss Ivanova toured the eastern United States. From 1994 to 1999, she was a principal dancer with the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, and in 1998 she was a finalist in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Miss Ivanova is a featured guest artist and ballet mistress with ballet companies throughout the United States. Noted for her lyrical style, Miss Ivanova performed roles in many of great classical ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and more. Her repertoire also includes many contemporary works by choreographers, including Daniel Baudendistel, Leslie Browne, Robert LaFosse, Scott Joovovich, and Matthew Neenan. For over 25 years, Miss Ivanova has been teaching advanced level classes in ballet companies throughout the Mid Atlantic States, including Oxford Center for Dance, Russian Ballet Centre, Longwood Performing Arts, Brandywine Ballet Company, Anna Marie Dance Studio, and she has also performed master classes in many other ballet schools and academies.
Anita Johnson has been a faculty member of DCM since 2016. She holds her Bachelors of Arts in Dance from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Anita has studied primarily ballet, tap, jazz and modern at several dance programs including Praise Ballet Academy, Perry Hall Dance, A Step Ahead Dance Center, CCBC and UMBC. Anita has taught classes with Belair Dance Academy, Dance Baltimore, and Dance & BMore, A Step Ahead Dance Center, and Perry Hall Dance, and she continues to teach classes at Dance Conservatory of Maryland and Forest Hill Dance. Anita has performed in various works set by choreographers including Peter Pucci of Pilobolus, Caleb Teicher of Dorrance Dance, Baakari Wilder of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, and Justin Lewis of The JaM Project and World of Dance. Anita is a member District Tap, a tap dance performing company led by Lisa Swenton-Eppard and Baakari Wilder. With the company, she has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Dance Place, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Smithsonian museums, and Baltimore Theater Project.
Amy Kimmel received her early dance education at Dance Dynamics in Baltimore. She then continued her training at Joppa View dance, focusing on both ballet and jazz. Her love for dance was accompanied with her love for theater, and she has a background in both acting and directing. Amy continued her dance education while pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree at FSU. She graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology, which included the completion of the Child and Family Psychology Emphasis Program. She has taken adult ballet classes at Dance Conservatory of Maryland, worked in the Dance Shoppe and danced in Ballet Chesapeake’s production of The Nutcracker. She has seven years of teaching experience and is looking forward to joining Dance Conservatory of Maryland’s faculty and teaching in the early dance program.
Gail Melfi began her early ballet training in her home state of California. Under the direction of Rose Ann Sayler, she studied at the Menlo Park Academy of Dance, Silicon Valley. As a scholarship student, Ms. Melfi completed her formal training at the San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Richard Cammack and faculty including Anatole Vilzak. Ms. Melfi began her professional career with Ballet Pacifica, Laguna Beach, founded by Lila Zali of Col. De Basil’s Ballet Russe. She studied under the private guidance of Natalia Krassovska. She then joined the San Antonio Ballet Company, directed by Vladimir Marek, dancing the company’s repertoire including Michael Uthoff’s Coral of the Sun, and Alberto Ginastern’s Concerto for Harp. Ms. Melfi was later invited to join the Cincinnati Ballet Company under the direction of David McLain and David Blackburn, performing classics such as Nutcracker, Coppelia, Swan Lake Act II, Giselle, Peter and the Wolf, Hansel and Gretel, Les Syphides, Sleeping Beauty, and George Balanchine’s Serenade and Concerto Borocco. Ms. Melfi worked with legendary Frederic Franklin in his setting of Tribute and Pas de Dix. Additionally, she performed Daniel Levan’s Concert Waltzes and David McLain’s Concert for Organ, Strings & Timpani and Winter’s Traces. Following her move to Baltimore, Ms. Melfi joined the Maryland Ballet Company, directed by Petrus Bosman of the Royal Ballet. In addition to the company’s classical works, she performed contemporary choreography including Lambros Lambro’s Sun Dances. Once again, Ms. Melfi had the honor of working with Frederic Franklin while performing Monotones I and II, and Napoli. Presently, Ms. Melfi is a faculty member of Dance Conservatory of Maryland, Towson University and Sudbrook Arts Centre. She joined the faculty of Peabody Dance in 2014.
Megan Montalvo is a Physical Therapist and certified barre, Pilates, and Reformer instructor. She received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia. Megan trained extensively in classical ballet throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, dancing with the Virginia Dance Team and Delaware Repertory Dance Company. Megan currently specializes in pediatric physical therapy, with experience working in inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedic, and home care settings. She enjoys working as a Pilates instructor and finds that it complements her work as a physical therapist by emphasizing muscle strengthening, proper exercise technique, and injury prevention. She is thrilled to join the staff at DCM this fall!
Mr. Nelson began his training under Joyce Morrison and continued full-time at the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City, the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, and the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart in Lausanne, Switzerland. At the Vail International Dance Festival in 2000, he studied with Jacques Namont of the Paris Opera Ballet School and Pyotr Pestov of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
As a dancer, Mr. Nelson's répertoire included Les Sylphides (Poet), Giselle (Peasant Pas de Deux), and Swan Lake (Pas de Trois), among others.
Mr. Nelson has taught at The Washington School of Ballet and Mercersburg Academy. He was honored to be a guest teacher for the 2021 Fall Conference of the East Coast Committee of the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA). Mr. Nelson was the 2022 recipient of a full scholarship to attend the CCA's Summer Teacher Seminar. In 2023, he was awarded the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Mr. Nelson is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT National Training Curriculum (NTC). His previous pupils have completed NTC student examinations, achieving the following levels of distinction: Merit, Honors, and High Honors. He continues to attend professional development classes and workshops at ABT.
Shana O’Brien has been a faculty member at DCM since 2002, teaching ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. A graduate of Goucher College with a degree in dance performance and choreography, Shana has performed in works set by dance professionals such as Steven Mills of Ballet Austin, Rachel Berman, formerly of Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Christopher d’Amboise, both former principals with New York City Ballet. She has presented choreography in many diverse venues including the American College Dance Festival, the Maryland Council for Dance Choreographer’s Showcase, and the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition. In addition to her training as a student at DCM, Shana has studied under Marilyn Gaston at the Ballet Academy of Baltimore, Laura Dolid of the Sudbrook Arts Center, and at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She has experience performing in such varied settings as the Nutcracker at the Lyric Opera House, musicals in regional dinner theater, and competitions held by Dance Masters of America.
Stacey Royal has been a dance educator and performer for 12 years. While earning a degree in Environmental Science, Stacey performed with both Fordham University's Dance Team as well as the campus dance company, Expressions Dance Alliance. Stacey earned a Masters of Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and performed with their resident dance group, Major Definition. Stacey has performed professionally with the NY Knicks City Dancers, former NJ Nets Dancers, and the WNBA's NY Liberty. While performing and teaching in New York, she was honored to have the opportunity to take classes with several reputable choreographers, including Wade Robson, Mia Michaels, Ray Leeper, Tina Caspary, and the late Doug Caldwell, among others.
Stacey has taught ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, and modern in studios in Rochester, NY, and Baltimore, MD. As a former competitive gymnast, she also possesses an additional love for teaching acro/tumbling. Her choreography has won awards and has been performed along the East Coast in Rochester, NY, Boston, MA, New York, NY, and Orlando, FL.
Stacey earned her national dance teaching certification in ballet, jazz, modern, and acro through Dance Masters of America, Inc. She actively pursues continuing dance education through organizations such as NDEO. When not dancing or taking adult class, you'll typically find Stacey working full time, or seeking a new adventure with her two vivacious daughters.
Ashley Spears began her dance training under Ann Brodie and Naomi Calvert, founders of the Columbia City Ballet, SC. She continued her young dance training in Maryland at Towson University’s Children’s Dance Division and The Peabody Institute Preparatory Program, where she studied for and passed The Royal Academy of Dance syllabus examinations for Grades 1-6. Ashley also attended The Baltimore School for the Arts and graduated from the dance department in 1999. Throughout middle school and high school, Ashley studied at The Ailey School, Briansky Ballet Center, The Hartford Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Ballet Academy East, and American Ballet Theater. The summer after high school graduation, she performed as a parade dancer in The Magic Kingdom, Disney World, before moving to New York City to work with The Ailey II program. While in NYC, she took advantage of various training opportunities including The Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, and The Joffrey Ballet School. She also did independent study with Agnes de Mille repetiteur, Gemze de Lappe, and ballet master, David Howard, who helped Mrs. Spears gain an apprenticeship to The Joffrey Ballet.
In 2003, Ashley moved to Rouen, France and attended the Institute Nationale a Rouen, studying both French language and culture as well as dance. While there, she was a contracted dancer with the Rouen Opera House. Ashley’s other professional dance experiences include freelance and contracted work through Les Mills, The Smithsonian Institute, The Washington Ballet, and Common Ground Dance Company. Ashley is a college graduate of Towson University with a double major in English and Biology and a minor in French. After gaining her undergraduate degree, Ashley worked as a Physical Therapy Assistant. She later went back to school to earn her A.A.S. in Respiratory Care. It was during her college years, that Ashley started teaching dance and became the dance director at EMC Performing Arts Center, PA, along with the Artistic Director of The Susquehanna Youth Ballet for over 10 years. Currently, Mrs. Ashley teaches ballet, pointe, and modern at The Dance Conservatory of Maryland and The Baltimore School for the Arts, as well as assists with company rehearsals for Ballet Chesapeake. When Mrs. Ashley isn’t teaching dance, she works as a Respiratory Care Practitioner, RRT, for MedStar and University of Maryland.
Courtney Washington, a Washington D.C native, began dancing at the age of six. By the age of 9 Courtney was training intensively in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Contemporary/Lyrical, and competing in regional and national dance competitions. After attending Kirov Academy of Ballet summer intensive at age 12, she decided to focus primarily on ballet and began training privately.
While attending Kirov for high school, Courtney attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, Académie Americaine de Danse de Paris, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and New York City Dance Alliance.
Upon graduating from The Kirov Academy in 2010, she continued her training with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet’s trainee program. There she had the opportunity to perform works by Maurya Kerr, Nathan Trice, Kara Davis, LeeWei Chao, Sidra Bell, Yannis Adoniou, Michael Velez and Keelan Whitmore. In the Summer 2012, Courtney joined Ballet Teatro Internacional, as a featured soloist on their South American tour.
Ms. Washington is still dancing and travels from DC to New York often to perform in dance projects and industrial shows. In addition to teaching Jazz at Kirov, she teaches master classes at various studios. Her choreography has been commissioned by many pre professional dance school/studios and has earned her choreography awards at regional and national dance competition like NYCDA, YAGP, and World Ballet competition. Her private students have gone on to attend University of the Arts, Washington Ballet, Radio City Rockettes, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Dominican University, just to name a few.
Meighan Winner began her dance education at Dance Conservatory of MD in 2002. She furthered her training through intensive programs such as Central Pennsylvania Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and Ballet Chicago, earning her BA in dance at Goucher in 2020, Magna Cum Laude. She performed in a multitude of professional works, working with Alan Hineline of CPYB, Adam Hougland of Louisville Ballet, Christopher K. Morgan of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, and Megumi Eda for Karole Armitage’s Armitage Gone! Dance. Her work has been presented at American College Dance Festival and competitively around Maryland. She has taught ballet and pointe for the last three years in Baltimore and Harford County and looks forward to working with her home studio.
Barclay Gibbs was the Owner and Artistic Director of the Dance Conservatory of Maryland (DCM) from 2010 to 2022. Barclay received her early dance training at the Peabody Preparatory, Towson University's Children's Dance Division, the Baltimore School for the Arts, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. As part of her training in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, Barclay completed both the Advanced Ballet and Solo Seal examinations. Barclay performed professionally with Ballet British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and with Charleston Ballet Theater in South Carolina. Barclay has performed in many classical ballets as well as in works by leading choreographers such as Jill Bahr, John Alleyne, George Balanchine and Paul Taylor. Barclay received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Dance Performance graduating summa cum laude from Towson University. Barclay has taught and choreographed ballet and modern dance at schools throughout the mid-atlantic area including the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Towson University’s Children’s Dance Division, Baltimore Ballet, and the Peabody Preparatory of Johns Hopkins before joining Ballet Chesapeake in 2008, and becoming the the owner of the Dance Conservatory of Maryland in 2011.
Dance studio in Harford County, Maryland serving students from 18 months to adults. Offering dance classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz and tap. Providing the finest quality dance education. Serving families in Abingdon, Bel Air, Fallston, Forest Hill, Aberdeen, Kingsville, Towson and Baltimore,
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