Faculty

Drawing on decades of professional ballet & dance experience, the Ballet Royale faculty is uniquely able to identify, encourage, and maximize each student's own personal technical and artistic growth. By teaching students to build their self-esteem, self-discipline, character, creativity, and confidence; the faculty provides students with skills transferrable to all of their future endeavors.

 
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Emily McGuire

Specializations
Youth Ballet Classes Creative Dance Classes
Adult/Teen Classes Progressing Ballet Technique®
Privates Office Administrator

Emily is an Alumna of Ballet Royale Minnesota. She also has studied at Magnus (formerly Joffrey) Midwest Intensive, Milwaukee Ballet and as an Apprentice with James Sewell Ballet and Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota. Emily originated and performed the roles of Dorothy in TCB's "Wizard of Oz – The Ballet" and Cinderella in "Cinderella 1944: A Love Story." Emily is fully trained through Ballet Royale's Teacher's Training Program, is a level 1 certified Progressing Ballet Technique® instructor, and in 2013 joined our Regular Faculty.

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Tianna Vogt

Specializations
Creative Dance Classes Youth Ballet Classes Progressing Ballet Technique® Privates Pre-Pointe Office Administrator

Tianna is an Alumna of Ballet Royale Minnesota. She also studied in the University of Utah’s Honors Ballet Major Program. She danced as an apprentice with Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota and completed her teacher training through Ballet Royale’s Teacher Training Program. Tianna is in her fourth year teaching at Ballet Royale MN and she has also choreographed for the past five years for students and professionals alike. She is a level 2 certified Progressing Ballet Technique® instructor, and is working on attaining her Pilates teaching certification.

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Sophie Addie

Specializations
Prep for Ballet Classes Youth Ballet Classes Professional and Pre-Professional Classes
Progressing Ballet Technique®
Pilates
Privates Pre-Pointe Injury Prevention and Recovery Training

Sophie received her primary ballet training under Denise Vogt and has taught ballet in Lakeville schools since 2004, and at Ballet Royale since its inception. Sophie has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas, and is both trained in and assisted with updating Ballet Royale's Teacher's Curriculum and developing Ballet Royale's advanced Preparation for Pointe regimen. Sophie is also a certified Pilates instructor, and level 2 certified in Progressing Ballet Technique®.

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Emily Winn

Specializations
Creative Dance Classes
Modern
Prep for Ballet Classes

Emily Winn is originally from Statesboro, Georgia, and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Southern University at the age of 18. As a student, she performed with Ballet Savannah and Columbia City Ballet, and attended summer intensives with Alonzo King's LINES, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.  After graduating, she danced with Greensboro Ballet and taught ballet, modern, and tap at Statesboro Youth Ballet. Emily has taught at Ballet Royale since moving to Minnesota in 2014 .

 
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Sara Warden

Specializations
Musical Theater Jazz

Sara has performed professionally in New York with Joffrey Ballet’s Concert Dancers and several the Broadway shows. Sara has performed in a variety of shows on TV including “The Conan O’Brien Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman.” Sara has taught at Broadway Dance Center’s Children’s Program, and at the National School in Beijing, China. Most recently before moving to Minnesota and joining Ballet Royale Sara lived in Morocco, teaching ballet to Morocco’s Royal Family.

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Natalie Rossi

Specializations
Youth Ballet Classes Professional and Pre-Professional Classes YAGP Coaching

A Georgia native, this is Natalie’s third year teaching at Ballet Royale. Natalie graduated from the pre-professional program at International City School of Ballet, and was a trainee with the Richmond Ballet. She has won bronze and silver medals at the Youth America Grand Prix. Natalie has also danced with the Montgomery Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theatre. Natalie is a Twin Cities Ballet company member and has performed many lead roles including as original productions including Cinderella in “Cinderella 1944: A Love Story,” and the Sugar Plum Fairy in "A Minnesota Nutcracker."

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Luke Perkins

Specializations
Boys Dance Classes
Ballet for Boys Classes

A New Hampshire native, Luke has trained at New England Civic Ballet, Dean College in Massachusetts and Ballet Royale Minnesota, and has danced with Lostwax Multimedia Dance in Rhode Island. Luke has danced many featured roles with Twin Cities Ballet, including the Impresario in “Coppelia Nouveau,” the Creature in TCB original production “Victor,” the Cavalier in "A Minnesota Nutcracker," and Pink in "The Wall: A Rock Ballet." He has been teaching at Ballet Royale for 2 years.

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Lauren Ganther

Specializations
Contemporary/Modern

Lauren is currently in her first season as a Company Dancer with Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota.  A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Lauren began her training with Jeanette Makaroff, and continued in college where she received her BFA in Dance at The Boston Conservatory studying both ballet and modern dance. Lauren has danced professionally with Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Convergence Ballet Company and Fukudance. Her most recent company was Neos Dance Theatre where she performed a wide range of work from a reimagined Petrushka to jazz. Lauren is now excited to be dancing with Twin Cities Ballet and teaching at Ballet Royale

 
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Benjamin Stewart

Specializations
Boys Ballet Classes
Professional and Pre-Professional Classes
Privates

Benjamin is originally from Texas and his primary instruction was in Minnesota under the tutelage Bonnie Mathis and Denise Vogt. He then went on to train at the Juilliard School and he received his Masters of Arts in Education, curriculum and Instruction at the University of Phoenix. He danced professionally with San Francisco Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Ballet Chambre Ouest, Atlanta Ballet, and most recently, Twin Cities Ballet. Benjamin has been teaching ballet at Ballet Royale for the past two years. He has also taught tap, modern and jazz as a master teacher.  

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Marissa Debenedictis

Specializations
Jazz
YAGP Coaching

Marissa has danced with Chicago Repertory Ballet, Thodos Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chciago, and a second company member with Atlanta Ballet. Marissa performed in Ruth Page’s production of Nutcracker and has appeared in Atlanta’s Ballet’s productions of “Cinderella” and Michael Pinks “Dracula. She is a company dancer at Twin Cities Ballet and she has danced many featured roles including Flower Queen in "A Minnesota Nutcracker," Mother in Pink Floyd's "The Wall: A Rock Ballet," the Diva in “Coppélia Nouveau.” She is in her third year teaching at Ballet Royale.

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Benjamin Johnson

Specializations
Professional and Pre-Professional Classes

Benjamin Johnson has taught ballet for more than two decades. He has taught at Ballet Royale for many years, bringing a solid understanding of the technique of ballet to the classroom and a singular style of how to pass that knowledge along.  His ultimate goal is to prepare dancers to be able to perform ballet onstage in front of an audience. Mr. Johnson was also a professional ballet dancer with James Sewell Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Dayton Ballet. His guest appearances included Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota. He also teaches juggling.

 

Barry Leon

Specializations
Youth Ballet Classes
Professional and Pre-Professional Classes

A native of Buffalo, NY, Barry received his training while on scholarship at the Ballet Center of Buffalo. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship and attended the School of American Ballet and the Harkness Ballet School in NYC where he later danced professionally. He danced as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet and guested with Ballet de San Juan. Mr. Leon was the director of the Ballet Center of Buffalo, and founded Buffalo Ballet Theater where he danced and directed for ten years. He received a Choreographic Award Fellowship from the New York State Council for the Arts and was inducted into the New York Dance Hall of Fame for his contribution to dance in NY State. Barry has taught and choreographed for over 30 years and became a regular faculty member in 2013.

Laura K. Johnson

Specializations
Contemporary/Modern

Laura is a performer, choreographer and instructor. She is originally from Rosemount, MN where she was introduced to modern dance in high school. Laura graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, where she received the Distinguished Dance Student Award and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Honors. Laura has performed at the American Dance Festival, the Fringe Festival and recently began her first season with Alternative Motion Project. This is Laura’s third year with Ballet Royale Minnesota.

Guest Faculty:

Bonnie Mathis (Professional and Pre-Professional Classes)

Gary Joyce
(Youth Ballet and Professional and Pre-Professional Classes)

Maureen Haworth
(Youth Ballet, Professional and Pre-Professional Classes, Adult Ballet)

Brittany Fridenstine Keefe
(Professional and Pre-Professional Classes)

Leah Gallas (Professional and Pre-Professional Classes)

Maryann Johnson, P.T. (Conditioning, Injury Prevention)