Academy Director Sarah Weber Gallo holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts and a BA in Psychology from Goucher College. She is a longtime member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and has been a Radio City Rockette, as well as a guest performer for such companies as Donald Byrd/The Group, Sean Curran Company, Mark Dendy Dance, and Margo Sappington’s American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. At the Met, she has been featured in the works of Benjamin Millepied, Graciela Daniele, Doug Varone, Andre Serban, Robert Lepage, Julie Taymor, Mary Zimmerman, Michael Mayer, Stephen Hogget, Christopher Wheeldon, and Carolyn Choa, to name a few. As a senior company member, Sarah has mentored many young dancers, a role that cemented her dedication to arts education and brought her to Mile Square Theatre’s Dance Academy, where she has spent this exciting year developing a nurturing technique-based dance curriculum featuring classes in Ballet, Contemporary, Theatre Dance, Hip Hop, Flamenco, and Tap. Sarah’s theatrical and concert dance choreography has been produced by Mile Square Theatre, Roulette Intermedium, The Ohio Theatre, La Mama, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research, Greenspace, Indy Convergence, and UWM, where she was awarded the 2015 New Work Award. Sarah is currently studying to be a certified instructor of Dance for Parkinsons, and looks forward to presenting her company TEAM GALLO’s latest creation at Mile Square Theatre in February 2017!
Flamenco instructor Gisele Assi was a member of two Flamenco companies in her hometown Sao Paulo, Brazil between 1988 to 1997, and traveled to Madrid and Seville to study Flamenco dance and singing between 1991 and 2009. Gisele has taught Flamenco dance for children and adults at Ballet Hispanico, Third Street Music Settlement, Fazil’s Studio, Piel Canela School, Every Little Movement Academy of Art, and Yolanda’s Studio. Gisele is a member of Alborada Spanish Theatre Company where she is a choreographer, first dancer and singer and has appeared in TV shows and Flamenco Tablaos in NYC within the Tristate area as a featured dancer and singer for Alborada and other companies from New York, Long Island and New Jersey since her arrival in USA. Gisele is also a certified Pilates mat instructor by Linda.fit Pilates since 2008.
Tap and Theatre Dance instructor Megan Campbell grew up performing, living, and rigorously training all over the country, Megan will always call Dallas, TX her home. She graduated Cum Laude from critically acclaimed Oklahoma City University with a BPA in Dance Performance and a minor in history. Megan has performed around the nation on a variety of stages and venues, ranging from special guest performances to company work. Most recently she performed in Swing! (Latin Feature) under direction of Tony Award winning Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Legends in Concert, working closely with Michael Jackson’s choreographers Travis Payne and Stacey Walker, both on tour with Norwegian Cruise Line. She has worked for multiple artists such as Rudi Aliza and MTV’s JLine, performing live and in music videos. Megan also frequently works in film and television; Saturday Night Live, The Amazing Race: China, Queen of the South (2016), and LBJ (2016) to name a few. Aside from performing, she thoroughly enjoys teaching. To be able to help nurture someone’s love and talent for the art, and watch them grow is the best gift!
Ballet instructor Jane King began dancing at the age of two in Atlanta, GA. In middle school, she trained in ballet at the Atlanta Dance and Music Academy where she received a scholarship. After high school, Jane began her fellowship at The Ailey School in NYC, which she completed in three years. She, then joined the company of Lustig Dance Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey where she danced two seasons. Ms. King’s latest performances include Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera. Currently, Jane is teaching ballet in the tristate area.
Bronx native Priscilla Lomotey, first began her training at the age of 8 in ballet, tap and jazz. She is currently a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a concentration in dance, and she studies at Alvin Ailey, Peridance Capezio, and Broadway Dance Center.
Her love of dance has driven her to become as versatile as possible and has now expanded her training to many different genres of dance such as hip-hop, contemporary, street jazz, funk, modern, African, as well as Latin. Priscilla has performed in pieces from numerous noted choreographers such as Tweetie (Hip-Hop), Angelica Burgos (latin jazz, of Ballet Hispanico), and Robert Taylor (contemporary/street jazz, of So You Think You Can Dance).
She has also competed and placed in nationally and internationally known dance competitions such as “Starpower,” “Showstoppers,” and in “West Coast Dance Explosion.”
Valerie Norman Ornstein received her early dance training at The School of the Richmond Ballet in Richmond, VA and The School of American Ballet in New York City. She holds a B.A. in dance from Connecticut College, where she received the Joan Connell memorial award for performance, and a professional performance studies diploma from the Laban Center in London. She has taught ballet and modern to children and adults in NYC at The Family School, The Mulberry Street Studios, and Fancy Feet Studio. She was also a guest teaching artist at The Beijing Dance Academy and Guandong Dance Company in China. Valerie is a 500 hour certified ISHTA yoga instructor and has taught yoga to adults and children, at schools in the NYC area and privately, for over ten years. From 1999-2005 Valerie was the artistic director of Vandance, presenting work at the Joyce Soho, Movement Research at Judson Church, the 92nd St. Y, WAX, New Steps, and The Yard. Her most recent choreography was seen in the independent feature film “Vamperifica”. She has completed dance teacher trainings through The National Dance Institute, and is looking forward to teaching with Jennifer Eisenberg’s Bold Arts. Valerie has danced with Sam Carlton, Henning Rubsam/Sensedance, Pat Cremins/Wyoming, and Rachel Thorne Germond, and has collaborated with Lisa Capps and Marie Christine Katz. Valerie is constantly learning from her students and considers it a great honor to share her love of movement with others. She is the proud mom of two energetic boys.
Bollywood instructor Priya Ras grew up in India, where her inclination toward dance and music started at a very early age. She is an award-winning specialist in the fun, fast, high-intensity Bollywood style of dance. Priya teaches Bollywood to all ages and abilities, emphasizing the communal experience and individual expressivity. Join the fun!
Danielle Schultz grew up in Southern California where she spent ten years training at Ballet Pacifica Academy. She spent summers at the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the Juilliard School. She went on to earn her B.F.A. in Dance from NYU – Tisch School of the Arts as well as a minor in Art History. Danielle has danced professionally with the Metropolitan Opera, Carlos dos Santos, Cirque Electronica (national tour), and Cinderella at Avery Fischer Hall. In 2013, she was selected to present her commissioned work at the Young Choreographer’s Festival in NYC. Danielle currently resides in Brooklyn.
Boys’ Ballet Instructor and Partnering Specialist Junio Teixeira began his dance training in Divinopolis, Brazil, under the tutelage and inspiration of his older brother. In addition to ballet, he has trained and performed extensively in the ballroom dance styles of Salsa and Samba, and is an expert partner in both ballet and social dance forms. Junio is an international award winning ballet dancer, earning top honors in Joinville International Dance Festival, Brasilia International Dance Seminar, and New York International Ballet Competition. He has been a principal dancer with the Sesiminas Dance Company, Columbia Classical Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and Staten Island Ballet. Junio began dancing with the Metropolitan Opera in 2014, and has been a featured artist in such productions as Le Nozze de Figaro, Manon Lescaut, Tannhauser, and Aida.
Ansley Van Epps is from Atlanta GA and grew up dancing at Roswell Dance Theatre. She graduated college from Point Park University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Ballet. After college she performed equity shows at Disney’s Finding Nemo the Musical and Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show. She also performed in many regional theatre productions including Cats, West Side Story, Barnum and more. She was honored to be part of the creative team for the Aerial Silks portion of the Universal Superstars Parade at Universal Studios Orlando along with performing in many of their award winning shows park wide. Ansley is thrilled to be teaching at Mile Square Theatre and sends many thanks to Sarah for this opportunity.
Ballet Instructor Michelle Vargo is a graduate of the Juilliard School and has taught ballet and yoga at The Joffrey Ballet School (Summer Intensive and National Audition Tour), Encores Performing Arts, Lee Gerrard School of Dance, Area Yoga, Land Yoga, the Art of Living Center, C. Eule Dance, and to the Metropolitan Opera Chorus. Michelle’s performing career has ranged from playing the role of Victoria in Cats with Gateway Playhouse to the “twisted Cinderella” in Rachel Cohen’s “If the Shoe Fits” (listed in the New York Times “Top Ten Dance Performances of the Year”). As a Metropolitan Opera Ballet senior company dancer, Michelle has worked with choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Graciela Daniele, Mark Dendy, Steven Hoggett and directors Bartlett Sher, Michael Mayer, Franco Zeffirelli, and Robert LePage, among others. Michelle has also choreographed Jesse Malin’s “Disco Ghetto” music video, featuring Mary-Louise Parker and the upcoming feature film, “Staring at the Sun” featuring Sarah Clarke, for the Open Project (Provence, France) and for Encounters Dance Projects. Michelle’s proudest accomplishment is the birth of her daughter. She humbly looks forward to sharing and learning with her students.