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The faculty at Chattanooga Ballet brings with them a variety of professional experiences through training, performing, and academics. Their real-life experiences in the ballet world inform how they apply the curriculum and develop the culture of the school. All current professional company members of CHA Ballet also teach within our school. Additional faculty member bios are found below.
Caroline Blair began her pre-professional dance training at Community Ballet in Huntsville, Alabama at age 13. She furthered her training with American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet. Upon graduating from the University of Arizona with degrees in Linguistics and Russian & Slavic Studies, she returned to Huntsville Ballet as a dancer and faculty member. In 2015, Caroline joined Chattanooga Ballet, where she danced for six seasons. While with Chattanooga Ballet, she held the position of Pointe Coordinator and was an active member of the faculty. Career highlights include Sugar Plum in Nutcracker, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tsarevna in The Firebird, the Lilac and Violente Fairies in productions of The Sleeping Beauty, and Dream Laurey in Oklahoma. Other credits include soloist roles in Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, Giselle, and The Magic Flute. Since retiring from full-time professional ballet in 2021, Caroline remains an active part of the dance community in Chattanooga - teaching, choreographing, and occasionally performing with organizations throughout the region.
Marah Bates grew up in Bloomington, IL and began dancing when she was 3 years old. She continued her training in jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop, contemporary and ballet throughout her childhood. Marah graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor's degree in Theatre-Dance Performance in 2016. Later that year, Marah moved to Nashville to pursue dance professionally. While in Nashville, she trained with Travis Cooper and Roshunda Brown, Found Movement Group, MDC Nashville and ViShun Movement. In 2018, Marah received her 200hr Yoga Certification from Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC. Marah and her spouse moved to Chattanooga in the summer of 2019. She is currently a dancer and choreographer with The Pop-Up Project and a faculty member for TPUP’s Outreach Programs and at Chattanooga Ballet.
Lydia Campbell began her training at Chattanooga Ballet. While at Chattanooga Ballet she performed many corps de ballet roles in Hippolyta’s Acolytes, A Midsummers Night Dream, Giselle, and Ruby Jewel variation in Sleeping Beauty. Over the years at Chattanooga Ballet, she performed in the Nutcracker as a Snowflake, Waltz of the Flowers, and as demi soloists in Arabian and Chinese. In 2016, she performed the lead role as Clara. For the 2018-2019 season Lydia participated in Nashville Ballet’s Academy where she performed in Paul Vasterling’s Nutcracker and in the 20th Anniversary Gala with Nashville Ballet at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. In 2019, Lydia moved back home to Chattanooga and has been a part of the faculty inspiring young dancers through the art of dance. She graduated from Chattanooga State Community College with an Associates of Science in 2021. Lydia is also the head instructor at our newest satellite location at Silverdale Academy.
Dillon Davis is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee and began his ballet training at Chattanooga Ballet and Center Stage Dance at age twelve. Dillon started his professional career as a trainee at Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman. While with Alabama Ballet he danced in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, An American in Paris, Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty. He later attended the highly respected Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the tutelage of Marcia Dale Weary.
After completing his training at CPYB, Dillon performed professionally with Nashville Ballet and Dance Theater of Tennessee dancing various soloist roles such as Escamillo in Carmen, Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank, the jester in Cinderella, and Franz in Coppélia. While with Dance Theater of Tennessee, he had the opportunity to work with world renowned choreographers Ma Cong, Darrell Grand-Moultrie and Ron De Jesus of Hubbard Street. Dillon then moved back to Chattanooga and danced the rest of his career with Chattanooga Ballet for seven seasons and retiring from the company in 2021. Dillon is happy to continue to be a member of the Chattanooga Ballet community by teaching in the school.
Lauren Day began her dance training in 1996 under the direction of Barry and Anna VanCura with the Ballet Tennessee Conservatory. She had the opportunity to be part of the outreach performance programs with the Hamilton County School System, as well as many performances throughout Chattanooga’s city events featuring Ballet Tennessee. With Ballet Tennessee, she danced company roles and was also featured in many lead roles throughout her youth. Lauren graduated from the Center for Creative Arts in 2004 and danced under the instruction of Mira Popovich while attending Birmingham Southern as a Dance Major and Education Minor. She has also attended workshops and intensives with The Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Virginia School of the Arts. She has danced roles such as Bluebird in Peter and the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood in Cinderella, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Christmas Future, Pas de Quatre, and more. With Ballet Tennessee, she choreographed various ballet, jazz, and musical theater works and co-choreographed and set a How the Grinch Stole Christmas Ballet and has restaged several excerpts from previous VanCura Ballets. Lauren started her teaching career in 2016, and under the training and mentorship of Anna Baker VanCura, found the passion for teaching and encouraging Chattanooga’s youth. Lauren strives to share the joy of dance and believes that every child should have the chance to discover the fun and beauty of the art form.
Elizabeth DeSeguirant holds a dual BA in Fine Arts/Theatre Arts and has enjoyed an exciting career teaching, dancing, choreographing, and producing in cities across the US, including NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Washington, DC and Tampa, FL. She has danced with numerous companies and residencies including Psophonia Dance Company (TX), Dancepath Theater (TX), Hope Stone's Hopewerks (TX), Amalgamate Dance Company (NYC), and Gin Dance Company (DC), as well as served as faulty member and guest choreographer for numerous schools and studios including YES Prep Southeast (TX), BalletNova center for Dance (DC), Metropolitan School of the Arts (DC), Premier Dance Academy (FL) and St. Petersburg College (FL). In 2015, Elizabeth started the project-based dance company ONELIGHT which seeks to serve local artists, professionals, and audience members with work that will have a positive and lasting effect. To date ONELIGHT has raised and helped raise over $8,000 for organizations that serve their local communities with vital, life-changing services. Elizabeth also served as co-founder of Pinellas Dance Collective and BRIDGEfest, an organization and annual production that worked to connect dancers and professionals in the greater Tampa Bay area through teaching, class and performance opportunities. Elizabeth and her family moved to Chattanooga in the Spring of 2020 and joined the CHA Ballet faculty. Elizabeth is the head instructor at our satellite location on Signal Mountain in Balanced Studio.
Ms. Deming began her training under the tutelage of Janet Reed, Fred Douglas DeMayo, Sarah Cook and Anne Hebard. She appeared with the the New Windsor Ballet, The NYCB at SPAC and at the Woodstock Playhouse. Her training in NYC included work as a trainee at Harkness House of Ballet Arts, American Ballet Theatre, and Finus Jhung. In 1981 Ms. Deming began her teaching career at The Hochstein Music School in Rochester, NY. Her interest in teaching ballet inspired her to enroll at the Hartford Ballet School to study pedagogy, dance and music history. While in Hartford she also performed with The Hartford Ballet Company. Returning to Rochester, she taught at a number of small schools from 1984 until 1987. In 1986 Ms. Deming became a founding member and Assistant Director of “The Studio”, now known as The Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester. She is also a founding member of the Draper Dance Theatre, currently known as the Rochester City Ballet. In addition to dancing as a soloist, Ms. Deming served as Assistant Director in the company’s formative years. Since 1986 she has focused her energies towards the development of serious students. This progression entails teaching intermediate and advanced students the beauty and discipline inherent in this exacting art. A demonstration of Ms. Deming’s success as a teacher is the number of former students dancing in major companies throughout the U.S. and Europe. Among them are, Aesha Ash (NYCB, Bejart, Lines), Sarah Lane, Kristy Boone (ABT), Jim Nowakowski (Houston Ballet), Jonatan & Gabriel Davidsson (National Ballet Canada, Swedish Nat’l Ballet), Tina Brock (Hubbard Street), Hayley Meier (River North), Jordan Drew (Cirque de Soleil), Cameron Thomas (Kansas City Ballet), Jamie Cullen (Tulsa Ballet). Many adult students not going on to professional careers as dancers, gained lifelong respect for the decorum and discipline of the art form.
Megan Quiroz McSween is a native of Grand Rapids Michigan where she began her professional ballet career as an apprentice with the Grand Rapids Ballet at age 16. From there, she was hired as a Seasonal Artist with the Joffrey Ballet during her senior year of high school. After a year as a trainee at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, she returned to the Joffrey Ballet where she remained for eight seasons, performing featured roles in ballets such as Robert Joffrey's Postcards, Edwaard Liang's Age of Innocence, and Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel, A Dance. In 2009 Meg was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. Since then, Meg has served on faculty for the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, the Grand Rapids Ballet School, Grand Valley State University, IPC Ballet and Ballet Memphis. In addition to teaching dance, Meg is a certified GYROTONIC instructor. Since moving to Chattanooga in 2019 Meg has loved exploring the beautiful terrain with Brian and their three kids, Connor, Micah and Madelyn. Meg enjoys her time in the studio with the CHA Ballet dancers and students, as well as the occasional opportunity to guest perform with the company.
A native of Mayfield, Kentucky, Emily received her early training with Joan Crawford School of Dance in tap, ballet and jazz. At age fourteen she became a teacher’s assistant for the family dance studio. She received a summer intensive scholarship in Los Angeles with Dupree Dance USA at age sixteen. After high school, she attended Columbia State Community College in Franklin, TN on a commercial entertainment scholarship. Her passion for teaching brought her back to Kentucky where she assumed ownership of her family's dance studio. As the principal instructor, owner, and operator for 10 years, she choreographed annual recitals, performance events and top award-winning competition routines. Many of her students have received scholarships through convention circuits such as L.A. Dance Force and Dupree Dance USA. She and her students received numerous awards from Showstopper National Competitions. Summers were spent training at The Edge Performing Arts Center in West Hollywood, California to hone her craft.
2002 Emily moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in dance, dancing professionally in the television series "American Dreams" and as a principal dancer and choreographer for "The Rick Alviti Elvis Tribute Band". While living in LA, she was on faculty at Dance Dimension Performing Arts Center. After her move to Chattanooga, she was the tap instructor for Ballet Tennessee under Anna VanCura from 2015-2020. Her choreography credits include the Newsies production in 2016, Singing in the Rain 2017, and Teen Beach Movie 2018, just to name a few.
She is the choreographer for Christian Family Theatre where her credits include Disney’s Camp Rock, High School Musical Jr. , School House Rock, and High School Musical 2 Jr. Currently, along with teaching at Chattanooga Ballet, she is an adult tap instructor for The Joy Ensemble. Emily’s teaching experience is vast and she is respected by dance parents for her ability to challenge and motivate her students to achieve their personal best.
Every year Chattanooga Ballet presents The Nutcracker featuring the professional company, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra performing live, and students from Chattanooga Ballet's School and the region. Students are invited to audition for Chattanooga's most beloved holiday tradition and enjoy a professional production experience at one of the city’s largest venues.
Auditions for Nutcracker are held the last weekend of August. Students auditioning must be enrolled in ballet at any local dance studio. A $50 performance fee is required for all cast members. As this is a professional production, there is an expectation of prioritizing this commitment.