DIRECTORS

BO SPASSOFF President and Director

STEPHANIE SPASSOFF

Artistic Director

An alumna of the School of American Ballet and New York's Performing Arts High School, Stephanie Wolf Spassoff is a former Pennsylvania Ballet soloist, past member of American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and Finis Jhung's New York Chamber Ballet. She was a principal dancer with both Ballet Oklahoma and Savannah Ballet. She was Associate Director of Ballet Oklahoma, Savannah Ballet, and their respective associated schools. Ms. Spassoff has been a guest artist and teacher for many regional companies, schools, and universities and was a permanent faculty member of the New York State Summer School of the Arts. She has coached gold medalists in prestigious international competitions in Moscow and the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS and is a judge for Youth America Grand Prix. In 201, 2012, and 2017  Mrs. Spassoff was Co-Artistic Director for the largest Ballet Galas ever held in Mexico City. 

BO SPASSOFF

President / Director

Bojan Spassoff was a Ford Foundation Scholarship student at the School of American Ballet and was an apprentice with the Harkness Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and New York City Ballet companies. Thereafter, Mr. Spassoff became a member of the Dutch National Ballet and was later among the first foreigners to join the Royal Danish Ballet. Subsequently, Mr. Spassoff was invited to join American Ballet Theatre and continued his career dancing solo and principal roles with the San Francisco Ballet and teaching for that company and its school. Mr. Spassoff served as Artistic Director for both Savannah Ballet and Ballet Oklahoma and their associated schools. He has been guest artist and teacher for numerous regional companies, schools, and universities. A former ballet master for Pennsylvania Ballet, he was Associate Director of the New York State Summer School of the Arts, operated in conjunction with New York City Ballet. He has coached gold medalists in prestigious international competitions in Havana, Berlin, as well as Moscow and USA International Ballet Competitions. He is a judge for Youth America Grand Prix. In 2011, 2012, and 2017 Mr. Spassoff was Artistic Director for the largest Ballet Galas ever held in Mexico City.

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BALLET MASTERS

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JUSTIN ALLEN

Ballet Master, Associate Director, and Resident Choreographer

Born in Baltimore Maryland, Justin began his dance training at the Baltimore School for the Arts.  He decided he wanted more serious ballet training and in 2004, he began training at The Rock School for Dance Education where he had the opportunity to dance different styles of ballet and finish his education in the Rock Academics Program Alliance.  Justin studied at The Rock School for 4 years.  He spent his summers training with the Miami City Ballet School from 2004-2008.  In 2008, Justin got his first opportunity to dance as a professional guest artist with The Dayton Ballet, which led to his first professional contract.  In 2009, Justin joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland where he performed many soloist roles.  In 2010, Justin joined The Rock School as a full-time Faculty and Choreographer.  Justin was the recipient of The Joffrey Ballet’s 2013 Choreographers of Color Award.  This year, Justin has been awarded Outstanding Choreographer at the YAGP Philadelphia competition.


 

JODY ANDERSON

Ballet Mistress

Jody started her serious training at age 14 at North Carolina School of the Arts and continued at the American Ballet Theatre School in New York City on full scholarship.  As a principal dancer with the Kansas City Ballet for 16 years, Jody had the honor of performing principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Alvin Ailey, Agnes DeMille, Todd Bolender, Ann Reinking and many other noted choreographers.  She was also hand picked by Alvin Ailey to perform as a guest artist with his company, and to recreate his ballet FLOWERS to much critical acclaim. Jody also performed and was the Associate Choreographer and Community Chorus Director with Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre in addition to performing with St. Louis MUNY, Atlanta Theatre of the Stars and Houston’s Theater Under the Stars, and toured with several musical theatre productions. As a choreographer she has staged original works for Kansas City Ballet, Delaware Dance Company, Berks Ballet Theater and for The Rock School in addition to choreographing musicals for several regional theatres.  Jody has been on the faculty with The Kansas City Ballet School, Berks Ballet Theatre, Delaware Dance Company as well was the director of dance at The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan as well as teaching master classes all over the country.  Jody was honored to be nominated for a Philadelphia Theatre Alliance Barrymore Award for her choreography for Candlelight Theatre’s 2007 production of CHICAGO, won the 2013 Barney Award for her choreography for Candlelight Theatre’s 2013 production of A CHORUS LINE.  For Rock School she choreographed WEST SIDE STORY SUITE that was performed at the Mann Center with The Curtis Institute, and CATTO AT BAT for the Philadelphia Freedom Festival.  Jody has been on the faculty since 2004, and also teaches at Rock West.

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TELMO MOREIRA

Ballet Master

Lisbon, Portugal

Telmo began his training at the National Conservatory Dance school of Portugal. Then After being awarded one of the top prizes in the 2007 Prix de Lausanne he received a scholarship to complete his studies at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, where he had the opportunity to perform Flower Festival Pas de deux at the Marinsky Theatre in St.
Petersburg. Telmo has also received the Outstanding European Dancer at the Youth American Grand Prix finals, the Judges Prize at the 2008 Varna International Ballet Competition, was a finalist at the 2008 Bejing IBC, and was a semi finalist in Jackson USA IBC 2014.. After competing in the Prix de Lausanne for the second time Telmo received the apprenticeship award, and chose to join American Ballet Theatre’s second company, where he danced works by Jerome Robbins, Balanchine, and Eduard Liang. Telmo has been invited to participate in International galas such as Youth American Grand Prix’s Japan Gala. Telmo Joined Orlando Balled in 2011 where danced numerous leading and danced works by Jessica Lang, Peter Chu , Abdur Jackson, Robert Hill, Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. During his time with the company Telmo had the opportunity to choreograph his own ballets and created "Barco Negro"(2014) "Unsaid". (2015) "same old fear"(2016) he also has his own production of firebird created for the Florida Ballet. In 2016 he won best choreography at the YAGP regionals in Tampa. Telmo joined The Rock School's faculty as Ballet Master in 2017. 


ARTISTIC

FACULTY

Click on the name of each faculty member to learn more about them!

Laura Banchero

Teaching Artist:

Levels 2-3x

Ms. Banchero has taught dance for over 25 years. Born and raised in suburban Detroit, Michigan, she studied and performed with Michigan Ballet Theatre and Michigan Classic Ballet, dancing lead roles in The Nutcracker and Coppelia. After receiving her Bachelors in Arts in Russian cultural history from the University of Michigan, she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts and joined the faculty of Boston Ballet. She also worked in musical theater, having taught, performed and choreographed for Turtle Lane Playhouse and Boston Children’s Theatre. After moving to Memphis in 2003, she joined the faculty of the Memphis Jewish Community Center’s esteemed dance department. She has taught for The Rock School since 2013 and incorporates her experience with the Vaganova pedagogic system into her teaching.

Sun-Mi Cho

Teaching Artist:

Levels 4 & 5
Fast Forward Dance Director

Sun-Mi Cho earned a B.A in Advertising and a B.F.A in Dance on a full scholarship from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. This was the first time the Dean of Meadows at SMU awarded a full dance scholarship to an undergraduate student. While at SMU, Ms. Cho performed the pas de deux in Balanchine's "Concerto Barroco," Paul Taylor's "Esplanade," "yellow" in Martha Graham's "Diversions of Angels" and Moses Pendelton's (Momix) pas de deux in "Bonsai".

Ms. Cho continued her studies on fellowship at Alvin Ailey American Dance School where she performed principle roles by noted choreographers like Francesca Harper, Milton Myers and Christopher Huggins. Ms. Cho took a break from her professional career during her fellowship at Ailey to raise her son. Upon returning to dance, Ms. Cho received scholarships to study at Philadanco, Koresh and PA ballet. While in Philadelphia, she performed in lead roles by nationally noted choreographers like Matthew Neenan, Kun-Yang Lin, Suzzanna Linka, Ann Reinking, Jeanne Ruddy, Jane Comfort and Meredith Rainey. Ms. Cho was featured on MindTV highlighting the 2010 A.W.A.R.D.s fellowship $10,000 winning pas de deux performed by her and former PA Ballet soloist Meredith Rainey.

In 2008, she also hosted and taught eight segments of ballet on Comcast on Demand nationally syndicated "get up and dance". She was invited to be the dance captain for the Opera Company of Philadelphia's nationally televised production of Carmen in 2011. In addition to being on faculty at The Rock School Center City, Ms. Cho served as Assistant Director of Meredith Rainey's contemporary ballet company Carbon Dance Theatre, and now serves as ballet mistress and dancer for the company. Ms. Cho can be seen on the mural painted at the Philadelphia International Airport and continues to stay active in commercial TV and Print.

Colby Damon

Teaching Artist:

Levels 2-3x

Colby Damon was born and raised in Richmond, VA, and received his early training at the Richmond Ballet. At age 15 he left to home to attend the Virginia School of the Arts under the direction of Petrus Bosman, and spent summers training at the Boston Ballet. Upon graduation at age 18, Colby joined the Sacramento Ballet, where for 5 years he performed soloist and principal roles in numerous classical and contemporary pieces, including works by George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Helen Pickett, Septime Webre, Stephen Mills, Dwight Rhoden, John Selya, and Ron Cunningham. In 2007, Colby moved to Brooklyn to pursue a career as a freelance artist, and worked with such companies as Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Most recently, Colby Danced for BalletX in Philadelphia, where he took part in the creation of over 20 original works, working with such choreographers as Alex Ketley, Jodi Gates, and Matthew Neenan.

After an injury curtailed his dancing career, in 2014 Colby began to focus mostly on teaching and choreography. He has taught dance students of all ages, from beginner to professional level, for institutions ranging from the Philadelphia and New York City Public School Systems, to Bryn Mawr College and the University of the Arts, as well to such professional companies as Body Traffic, Ballet Hispanico, BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, and City Ballet of São Paolo. He has additionally choreographed on a number of noted companies, including Pennsylvania Ballet II, Charlottesville Ballet, and BalletX, and his work has been presented in festivals in the USA, Mexico, and Brazil.

Colby's teaching style is an eclectic mix, with a focus on fluidity, broad movement, clean arms, and precise footwork.

Yosbel Delgado

Teaching Artist:

Level 4 & 5
Intermediate
Pointe 4

A native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Yosbel Delgado-Hernandez began his training at the E.V.A. (vocational school of arts) in his hometown, where he studied ballet for five years. Mr. Delgado's first professional position was at the Camaguey Ballet in Cuba where he remained for almost two years. While at Camaguey Ballet he performed most of their repertoire including several works by Osvaldo Rivero. After dancing at Camaguey he was hired to dance at the world renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba (Cuban National Ballet) under the direction of Alicia Alonso. There he stayed for two years and performed featured roles in many works including Von Rotbart and pas de six in Swan Lake, Quixote, toreros and sword dance in Don Quixote among many others. In 2002, Mr. Delgado came to the United States to study and join the Pennsylvania Ballet. Since then he has performed numerous featured roles with the Pennsylvania Ballet in many works including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Taming of the Shrew, Dracula, Firebird, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Concert, Kazimir's Colours, Carmina Burana by Matthew Neenan, Five Tangos, Nine Sinatra Songs, Western Symphony, Messiah, Fearful Symmetries, The Four Temperaments, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Carnival of the Animals. He currently dances with Lustig Dance Theatre.

Gina Grace

Teaching Artist:

Creative Movement
Pre-Ballet 1 & 2
Level 1/1x

Gina (Angelucci) Grace began her training in Philadelphia with Carole Orlandi Barr, Marion Tonner, and later, with John White and Margarita deSaa at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. Mrs. Grace began teaching throughout the Philadelphia area in 1991 and has been a faculty member with The Rock School since 2000. Mrs. Grace has studied Vaganova pedagogy with a special focus on the first three syllabus years.

Roger Lee

Teaching Artist:
Pre Hip-Hop
Hip-Hop Junior/Teen

Roger Lee is the Owner and Managing Director of Roger Lee Arts, LLC, an award-winning arts education and dance entertainment company he founded in 2012. He previously served as the first Director of Dance Programming at West Park Arts Fest, Management Consultant at SHARP Dance Company, and Managing Director of Escape Velocity Dance Company.

Roger wrote and self-published the e-books Roger Lee's Independent Artist Guide and Overcoming Dance Fear. His teaching credits include University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University, Eastern University, Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center, Millennium Dance Complex, The Rock School for Dance Education, Koresh School of Dance, and Joan Myers Brown's Philadelphia School of Dance Arts. As a professional dancer, Roger has performed live for US Vice President Joe Biden, Grammy Award-winning recording artists, nationally televised holiday specials, Philadanco's annual Founders Day Concerts, the 2016 WaWa Welcome America Festival, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

By the age of 26, Roger landed a TED Talk, Adjunct Professor appointments at 3 universities, 2 book features, over 50 media features, and over 10 awards for his distinguished career in the arts. He earned his Master's Degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University, Bachelor's Degree in Dance and Media & Communication Studies, magna cum laude with honors, from Ursinus College, and Diploma from Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Christina Pastras Ruiz

RockReach Teaching Artist / Director

Christina began her training in Philadelphia and received scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet, The Govenor's School of the Arts, and The Rock School. She has had the opportunity to travel the world performing in Japan, LA, and tours throughout the US with Pembrua Productions and The Marc Scott Dancers.

She has performed with several ballet companies as a corps member and a soloist as well as sharing the stage with Will Smith, Mariah Carey, and Boys II Men. Christina has a B.F.A. In Ballet Education from the University of the Arts and is working on her certification as a Dance Teacher with the Philadelphia School District with a Master's Degree in Education. She has been on faculty with The Rock School for Dance Education for eight years and as a rehearsal coach for The West Chester Dance Theater. She serves as Ballet Mistress for several schools in the Philadelphia Area.

Christina is happy to broaden her position with The Rock School as RockReach Administrator. RockReach is an outreach program-bringing dance into charter and public schools in and around Philadelphia. She currently resides on faculty as a RockReach Instructor at 3 charter, private, and public schools where she brings dance from grades K-8. Her goal is to bring dance into the lives of children in our school system where arts and physical education is notably absent.

Christina resides in Philadelphia with her husband and their four beautiful children.

Eva Greiner Szabo

Teaching Artist:
Level 2-3x
Level 4/Intermediate
Open Adult Ballet

Eva Szabo began her dance training with the Hungarian National Balett Institute in 1970. After nine years she completed the program with Honors and began touring internationally with the Gyori Ballet. She co-founded this company in her native Hungary, with peers from her graduating class. After performing, Ms. Szabo was the first to receive her diploma with Honors from the Hungarian National Ballet Institute for teaching dance. This international teaching certificate encompasses classical ballet, pointe, historical dance, ballroom dance, folk dance, pas de deux techniques and classical variations. With this education she organized the first abroad apprenticeship, where dancers and teachers in America studied in Hungary under the International Ballet Society.Ms. Szabo has been continuously teaching in various studios in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Nebraska mastering a unique Floor-Barre exercise. She is the current Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of the Arts and has been teaching for The Rock School since 1995.

Natalya Lushina Zeiger

Teaching Artist:
Level 4/Intermediate
Level 5/6
Pointe/Var. 5&6
Variations

Natalya Zeiger was trained at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet School as well as by teachers of the famed St. Petersburg School. Ms. Zeiger was a company member of the Bolshoi Ballet and toured extensively throughout Russia and Europe. Ms. Zeiger blends her Russian background with her newfound Balanchine influence.

PERMANENT GUEST FACULTY

Karin Averty 

Rachel Butler

Joaquin de Luz

William Glassman

Jeanette Kakareka

Maiqui Manosa

Benjamin Millipied

Eric Otto

Philip M. Otto

Rachel Richardson

Beckanne Sisk

Jennifer Savelli

Daniel Ulbricht

ROCKREACH FACULTY

Stephanie Demby

Fallon Gannon

Gina Grace

Gabrielle Guma

Roger Lee

Charon Mapp

Theresa Pelicata

Kelly Rambo

Christina Pastras Ruiz

Jennifer Yackel

 

 

 

PIANISTS

Karina Adriano

Ron Bodanza

Olga Borisovsky

Noah Farber

Asya Haykin

John Levis

Valentina Slutsky

Natalia Varlashova


STUDENT AFFAIRS

Elizabeth Reid Simmons
Assistant to Directors

Robert Hodges
Director of Academics

Elise Waychoff
Registrar

Gina Yung
Student Operations Manager

Niccole Turoscy
Customer Service Representative

Yenni Leoto
Residence Student Life Manager

April Farlow
Residence Life Manager

Laurie Reyes
Academics Associate

 

ADVANCEMENT

Richard Clark
Director of Advancement

Sun-Mi Cho
Creative Manager

Elizabeth Guthrie
Community Relations Associate

Ellen Bonett
Development Associate

Cat Park
Graphic Designer / Photographer

Molly Hawkins
Marketing Intern

Dan Strauss
Video Intern

finance

Marie Therese Piccioni
Controller

Janette Fairbanks Paull
Accountant

Kisha Vargas
Accountant

Lorraine Pappalardo
Bookkeeper

BALLET BISTRO

Ballet Bistro Staff
Dalehia Brown
Suzanne Aldour
Dulcida Soto
Richard Freeman

boutiqué

Catherine Lackey
Boutiqué Manager

COSTUME SHOP

Laura Berry
Costume Designer
Technician
Costume Shop Manager
Administrator

PRODUCTION & FACILITIES

Brian McCole
Production and Technical Manager

Jenna Hodges
Reception

Security
Scott Spicer
Kim Alsbrooks