Staff

Karen Russo Burke

Artistic Director, Dayton Ballet. Karen danced leading roles by world famous choreographers Gerald Arpino, Antony Tudor, José Limón and Paul Taylor in her 11-year career as a principal dancer for American Repertory Ballet. Karen has taught at DBS as well as Stivers School for the Arts, Wright State University, University of Dayton, and CCM at University of Cincinnati. She has choreographed extensively for Dayton Ballet.

Megan Forney

Co-Director, DBII Junior/Senior/Outreach programs. Megan graduated from Wright State University with a BFA in dance. Megan has danced with Dayton Ballet II Senior. She has been the recipient of the Miss Josephine and Hermene Schwarz Award, Dancer Peer Award and the Walter J. McCaslin Memorial Award. Megan had the featured role in Bushido at WSU. You have seen her dance in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Nutcracker, There Was a Time, and The Three Musketeers with Dayton Ballet. She is also children’s coordinator for The Nutcracker.

Anne Davis

Dayton Ballet School Administrator, grew up in the Dayton Ballet School dancing under Josephine Schwarz. She was a member of DBII for six years. She has over 14 years of experience teaching ballet, jazz and modern at DBS and Everybody Dance in Northern Virginia.

Gabrielle Sharp

Co Director, DBII Junior/Senior. Gabrielle danced with Dayton Ballet. You saw her perform in Dracula, The Nutcracker, Tales from the Shadow, There Was a Time and America’s Robin Hood and just recently as the fairy godmother in Cinderella and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. While a member of DBII Sr. she received the Dancer Peer Award, Walter J. McCaslin Memorial Award and the Josephine and Hermene Schwarz awards. Gabrielle was the previous director of the SSK Dance Ensemble.

Camille Izard Morris

Danced professionally with American Ballet Theatre. She holds an MFA in Dance from NYU. For five years, she was the producing artistic director for Art from Every Angle, benefiting the Josephine Schwarz Dayton Dancer Fund. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering. She currently directs the Oakwood Ballet.

Layla Cooper

Has a BFA in dance from Wright State. She graduated cum laude. Layla performed extensively with Wright State’s Dance Ensemble. She choreographed several pieces for their dance concerts. She has taught at DBS for ten years.

T.J. Cronley

Has over 25 years teaching experience with young ballet students. She has trained in New York City and Chicago. She has taught in the Springfield school system. T.J. has current dance programs in the Goddard School, Primrose pre-schools and Great Start.

Paul Gilliam

Is currently dancing with Dayton Ballet. He has done extensive teaching in the Dayton Area. You’ve seen him perform as the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Peter in Peter Pan and most recently in Don Quixote.

Richard Croskey

Teaches beginning and intermediate tap.

Carol Jean Heller

Danced with Ballet Repertory, NYC. She owned and operated a dance school for 10 years and was a faculty member and examiner for Dance Masters of Ohio. Carol Jean taught ballet and musical theatre at the Living Arts Center and has been on the DBS faculty since 1987. She has also choreographed extensively in the Dayton area. Carol Jean was school administrator for the last 20 years.

Emily Ritchie

Melissa Irons

Polly Sutton

Karen Hochwalt