Faculty

Our outstanding faculty teach dancers at every level to think creatively, to see critically, and to utilize the skills developed with classical training as a framework for excellence in all of their pursuits. The heart of Metropolitan Ballet Academy is its knowledgeable, energetic, and dedicated faculty. Each member of this remarkable team brings to Metropolitan the professional expertise acquired only through a career in the professional dance world. Our accomplished faculty brings their love of dance and teaching to the studio, generously sharing their understanding and appreciation of the art form and classical technique as they strive to challenge and inspire our students at every level.

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Caroline Broullon

Caroline Broullon began her training in Doylestown, PA at Budzynski Studios. She continued her studies at North Carolina School of the Arts, City Ballet School in San Francisco, both the pre-professional year program and Summer Session, Steps on Broadway – Summer Session, and the Centre De Dance Choreart in Brussels, Belgium. Ms. Broullon performs with Dance Theatre of PA in both soloist and principal roles. She has also performed with Philadelphia Civic Ballet and Choreart. Ms. Broullon has been a member of the Metropolitan Ballet faculty since 1997.

met_faculty_hedshot_blenheimJanet Blenheim

As a former professional dancer, Japan Fulbright Scholar, winner of the 2015 Upper Dublin Outstanding Educator Medal, and recently retired Upper Dublin K-5 Math Department Head, Janet Blenheim (Kinetic Literacy Program/ M3 = Math x Music x Movement©) is passionate about the beauty of mathematics and the rigor of dance. Ms. Blenheim is a founding member and former president of  Metropolitan Ballet Company’s Board of Directors and currently a lead teacher in Metropolitan Ballet Company’s Kinetic Literacy Program bringing her M3 program to elementary students in The School District of Philadelphia.

met_faculty_hedshot_carrKate Carr

Kate Carr, a faculty member since 2013, has been a dance professional for 12 years working as a performer and an educator of dance history, ballet and modern technique. Ms. Carr began her dance training in Pottstown, PA with Phyllis Dersh Rudzitis and continued her studies at the University of the Arts, where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance. Upon graduation, Ms. Carr studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, NY and began working with Sebastienne Mundheim/White Box Theatre, an interdisciplinary performance company which combines dance, puppetry, and storytelling for children and adults. She has performed with White Box Theatre in Philadelphia’s Live Arts Festival, Crane Arts, University of Pennsylvania’s Arthur Ross Gallery and Stonington Opera House in Stonington, ME. Ms. Carr is also a teaching artist with Ballet X’s Dance Exchange.

met_faculty_hedshot_dangeloDenise Somrack D’Angelo

Denise Somrack D’Angelo (Faculty/ Choreographer) began her ballet training in Cleveland, Ohio at age 3 and studied with Janice and Raymond Smith from age 11 through 17 at The Willoughby School of Fine Arts (Fine Arts Association).  At age 17 she was awarded a full scholarship to study at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet under the direction of Lupe Serrano.  In 1982 she joined the Pennsylvania Ballet with Barbara Weisberger and Benjamin Harkarvy as directors, and became a soloist in 1987 under the direction of Robert Weiss.  Ms. D’Angelo danced many soloist and principal roles in the classical and Balanchine repertoire such as Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Myrta in Giselle, Prayer in Coppelia as well as principal roles in Who Cares, Western Symphony and Rubies.  Additionally, she worked with many noted choreographers including Robert Weiss, Peter Martins, Richard Tanner, Benjamin Harkarvy, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. She retired in 1988.  

 A member of Metropolitan Ballet Academy’s faculty since 1997, Ms. D’Angelo has choreographed several works for the company, including Divertimento in F major, K. 138 (2012), Holberg Suite (2013) and Waltz of the Flowers fromThe Nutcracker (2013). Ms. D’Angelo was co-choreographer for MBC’s highly successful world premiere production of Cinderella (2010) and her work Evening Song was selected for performance at the Regional Dance America Festival (2010).

Etienne Diaz

Etienne Diaz was born in Havana, Cuba. He began his training in the Orlando Ballet School under the direction of Peter Stark. Mr. Diaz has performed as a guest artist with many regional ballet schools. In 2010, he joined the National Opera of Bucharest, performing in a variety of roles including Russian and Doll in The Nutcracker and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. In 2012, he was invited as guest artist with Balletto del Sud and toured throughout Italy, performing in several roles, including The Blue Bird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty. From 2012-2014, Mr. Diaz danced with Milwaukee Ballet. He joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet for the 2014-2015 Season and has since danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s The Prodigal Son, and roles in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, and Alexei Ratmansky’s Jeu de Cartes.  Mr. Diaz has been a guest instructor for Metropolitan Ballet Academy’s Summer Intensive Program since 2015, and joined the year round faculty in 2016.

Elizabeth Seader Fine

Elizabeth Seader Fine has been teaching ballet in the Montgomery and Bucks County region for over twenty years. She started her training in Doylestown, Pa, at Budzynski Studios of Ballet.  She also attended the School of The Pennsylvania Ballet and North Carolina School of the Arts, along with summer sessions at the New York State Summer School of the Arts, where she studied with members of New York City Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. After graduating, Elizabeth moved to Seattle, Washington, where she attended Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and was part of the advanced professional class, where she had the the opportunity to perform with the company on various occasions. She is a former principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Pennsylvania, and has taught master classes for the Villanova University Dance ensemble. Elizabeth has her BA from Temple University with a double major in History and Art History.

Daniel Mayo

Daniel Mayo is originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He received his BFA in Dance in 2007 from The Juilliard School in New York City. Daniel most recently danced with Philadelphia based company BalletX, from 2014 until his retirement in August 2018.  As a member of BalletX,  Daniel performed extensively throughout the United States and was featured in numerous creations including works by choreographers Matthew Neenan, Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, and Trey McIntyre. Prior to joining BalletX, Daniel was a member of the Montreal based company RUBBERBANDance Group under the direction of Victor Quijada. During his 3 years with RUBBERBANDance Group, Daniel toured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and participated in multiple film projects, most notably for Bravo!FACT. From 2007-2010 Daniel was a company dancer with Atlanta Ballet under the direction of John McFall, where he performed many classical roles as well as contemporary works. He has also worked professionally as a guest artist with The Atlanta Opera, Dance Grand Moultrie, and Bennyroyce Dance. In addition to performing, Daniel was on faculty at Western Wyoming Community College, and currently serves as a guest teacher and choreographer throughout the United States.  He is delighted to join the Metropolitan faculty for 2018-2019, and will lead beginning, intermediate and advanced classes in Metropolitan Ballet Company’s (MBC) Boys’ Scholarship Program.

Sarah Mettin

Sarah Mettin (Artistic Associate / Faculty / Choreographer) is an alumna of Metropolitan Ballet Company, and graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase Dance Conservatory in 2011, with additional studies in Rotterdam, Netherlands at Codarts (Rotterdamse Dans Academie).  She has had the opportunity to perform in works by many choreographers including Twyla Tharp, Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, Kate Weare, Takehiro Ueyama, Kanji Segawa, Jessica Lang, Jonathan Royse Windham, and Arantxa Sagardoy.

Ms. Mettin created her first work, Talk of Interference, in the Netherlands in 2009 and in 2011 founded her company,  Mettin Movement. Mettin Movement was proud to appear at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Inside /Out (July 2015). Ms. Mettin choreographed a work on dance artist Samantha Figgins (Alvin Ailey), and in 2013, was invited to return to her alma mater to set a senior repertory solo– a very meaningful recognition of her choreographic abilities by the professors at SUNY Purchase College.  The solo was awarded the Dean’s Choice, and won her the invitation to set a full-length work on Purchase Dance Company for the 2014-2015 season.

Ms. Mettin has created eight original works for MBC.  Her first work for MBC, Free Standing (2011), won the Regional Dance America Festival Monticello Award, a full scholarship to study under Janis Brenner (The Juilliard School) at the National Choreography Conference. Her other works for MBC  include Deep Down Basic Whatever There Is (2017), A Winged Victory (2016), Two Wills (2015), Coalesce (2015), Fractals (2014), Fieldwork (2013), and Fend (2012).  Her solo, Time Passing, created for MBC Boys’ Scholarship student, Daniel Shevelev was selected for the 2014 Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding Choreography Award in Philadelphia.  Ms. Mettin joined the faculty of Metropolitan Ballet Academy in 2013 and has also served as Ballet Mistress , assisting with the staging of works by both Kanji Segawa (Alvin Ailey) and Tommie-Waheed Evans (Philadanco). She completed an MS in Arts Management from Drexel and was named Artistic Associate / Metropolitan Ballet Company in 2019.

Cherie Noble

Cherie Noble is a choreographer, ballet master, and teacher, danced professionally as a charter member and soloist of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. Ms. Noble has served as Associate Director of Ballet Arizona and as Ballet Master and Company Teacher for the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, the Iranian National Ballet, and Ballet Oklahoma. She has taught American College Dance Festivals and Regional Dance America Festivals, and has participated as a master teacher for the RDA Craft of Choreography Conference and for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Ms. Noble has choreographed more than sixty commissioned works and enjoys staging the full-length classics. As director of Brio Recordings, she has produced 27 CDs for ballet and pointe classes. Nationally recognized for her extensive teaching residencies in the U.S. and abroad, Ms. Noble is respected for her knowledge, caring guidance, and ability to develop artistic potential.

Alyson Pray

Alyson Pray began dancing in Cherry Hill, NJ at the Bowman School of Dance and continued her training at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1996, Ms. Pray received a scholarship to attend the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C. where she worked with Ludmila Morkovina and had the opportunity to tour with the Kirov Ballet. She finished her training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Narberth, PA under the direction of John White and Margarita de Saa. Ms. Pray also participated in summer programs at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Boston Ballet and in 1999, became a member of the Sarasota Ballet of Florida and was promoted to Soloist in 2001. There her roles included Odette in “Swan Lake,” Sugar Plum Fairy in the “Nutcracker,” and Queen of the Dryads in “Don Quixote.” In 2004, she joined the Pennsylvania Ballet where she performed several Balanchine ballets including “Theme and Variations,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Western Symphony,” and “Serenade.” In addition to Twyla Tharp’s “Push Comes to Shove”, Jerome Robbins’ “The Concert” and Paul Taylor’s “Company B.” Ms. Pray was a guest artist with the Royal Ballet, Washington Ballet, Tulsa Ballet and Ballet Fleming and continues to perform locally from time to time. She has been teaching ballet for fourteen years, is a certified Barre instructor and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Alternative Medicine. Ms. Pray joined the Metropolitan faculty in 2016.

Brianna Reeder

Brianna Reeder is an alumna of Metropolitan Ballet Company and joined the Metropolitan Ballet Academy faculty in 2019. Ms. Reeder began her training at a competitive dance studio, Huntingdon Valley Center for the Arts, under the direction of Scott Jovovich and continued her formal ballet training at Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company from 2003 -2009.  She participated in summer intensives at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, the Kirov Academy, The Juilliard School and American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Reeder performed principal roles in Metropolitan’s productions of Swan LakePaquitaThe Sleeping BeautyRaymonda and Graduation Ball. Throughout her high-school years, she also performed with Pennsylvania Ballet in The Nutcracker. She was a Youth America Grand Prix New York semifinalist from 2005 to 2009.

Ms. Reeder graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Concentration in Finance and a Minor in Dance. While in Richmond, she had the opportunity to perform in works by many choreographers including Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Kanji Segawa, Alexandra Damiani, Francesca Harper and Diane Coburn Bruning.

John Selya

John Selya trained at the School of American Ballet (SAB) from 1980-1988, where he received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Mr. Selya performed works created by Balanchine, Robbins, Tharp, and Mark Morris, Tetley, Kudelka and Kylian, as well as the classical repertoire, during his 11 years with the company. He also choreographed three works for ABT: Moondance, Disposition and Don’t Panic. After joining Twyla Tharp Dance, the noted choreographer’s touring company, Mr. Selya created and performed the central role of Eddie in Tharp’s Tony Award-winning Broadway show, Movin’ Out. His performance earned him a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical, an Astaire award for Outstanding Dancing on a Broadway Stage, and a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway debut. Mr. Selya has also appeared as the Mambo dancer in Damn Yankees, Scranton Slim in Guys and Dolls and Sid in Twyla Tharp’s recent Come Fly Away. In 2008, Mr. Selya was an Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Joyce SoHo, where he created two works: Tweaker and La Voix Humaine. He has also performed in the films Everyone Says I Love You, Across the Universe and Romance and Cigarettes. Most recently, Mr. Selya directed the touring company of Come Fly Away. He recently performed in Twyla Tharp’s 50th Anniversary tour. Mr. Selya has visited Metropolitan Ballet as a guest artist since 2012 and joins as a faculty member in 2019.

Eva Szabo

Ms. Szabo was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. She began her dance training with the Hungarian National Ballet Institute in 1970, graduating with Honors and acceptance into the Gyori Ballet company, where she danced until 1988.  After retiring from performance, Ms. Szabo took her teaching diploma from the Hungarian National Ballet Institute, also with honors, and moved with her family to Philadelphia.  Ms. Szabo teaches across the Philadelphia / Tri State region and has served as part of Metropolitan Ballet’s faculty as master teacher, guest artist and coach since 1999.

Yaryna Tomalishchak

Yaryna Tomalishchak joined the Metropolitan faculty in 2016 and leads the Stretch Class program for classical dancers.  Yaryna has trained and competed in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics for over 14 years, beginning at the age of 3 in Ukraine and continuing her training in the United States from the age of 7  through high school.   A third place all around winner in the Junior Olympics, Yaryna has worked with many notable trainers and traveled to elite training camps and competitions across the United States as well as in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. Yaryna is also on staff as a coach at Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy and attends Temple University.

Natalya Lushina Zeiger

Natalya Lushina Zeiger is a graduate of the Moscow Academy of the Bolshoi Theater and a former soloist with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Company. As a member of the Bolshoi, Ms. Zeiger worked with such European masters as Roland Petit, Maurice Bejart, Alberto Alonso and Yuri Grigorovitch. Her many leading roles include Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda, and La Bayadere. Ms. Zeiger has been a member of the Metropolitan faculty since 2001, serving as teacher, repetiteur and coach. She has staged many productions for Metropolitan Ballet, including Paquita, Swan Lake, Act II, Swan Lake, Act III, Les Sylphides, The Sleeping Beauty, Act 3, Le Jardin Animé, Suite from Don Quixote and The Children’s Mazurka from Paquita, as well as many classical pas de deux.

Ms. Zeiger also holds a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. She often serves as a juror and instructor for Youth America Grand Prix, and is a highly sought after guest teacher, leading master classes throughout the United States and abroad.

Andrew Pap

Andrew Pap (Faculty Emeritus) has been involved in every aspect of dance, as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and company director. For 14 years he was a soloist with the Romanian State Ballet. After leaving Romania he performed and taught in Switzerland and Italy. In 1970, Mr. Pap came to the United States and after teaching for a year in New York, moved to Philadelphia. Currently he is a professor and chairman of the Ballet department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Mr. Pap’s teaching experience is extensive and includes Harlem School of the Arts, Saratoga Ballet Center, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Alvin Ailey School, where he was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts award as artist in residence. From 1985 to 1995 Mr. Pap held the title of artistic director for the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, where he was the recipient of awards from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. He has choreographed for Pennsylvania Ballet, NBC-TV, Philadelphia Opera Co., Philadelphia Orchestra, University of the Arts, Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Mantua Opera Co. of Italy, Walnut Street Theatre Co. and the Arden Theater Co.

Mr. Pap served on the faculty at Metropolitan Ballet Academy from 1997 up until his retirement in 2011. MBC is proud to include his beautiful ballet Marcello as part of our repertoire.

Adult Divison

 

Cameron Auble-Branigan

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Cameron Auble-Branigan began his ballet training at the age of ten as a member of Metropolitan Ballet Academy’s  Boys’ Scholarship Program. Mr. Auble-Branigan’s additional studies included Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Rock School, the Juilliard School, Barbara Sandonato and San Francisco Ballet School’s year-round program training on a merit scholarship under the guidance of Jorge Esquivel, Parrish Maynard, Jean-Yves Esquerre, and Jeffrey Lyons. In 2012, Mr. Auble-Branigan was awarded the Jacob’s Pillow Professional Advancement Award in Dance.

From 2012 through 2016 Mr. Auble-Branigan was a dancer with the American Repertory Ballet. His repertoire included the Cavalier and Snow King in The Nutcracker, Romeo and Paris in Douglas Martin’s production of Romeo and Juliet, and the Prince in The Firebird.  In 2015 he received a degree in Psychology from Arcadia University.

In 2018, Mr. Auble-Branigan had the privilege to be included in the premier season of the new Indianapolis Ballet. Mr. Auble-Branigan also joined the faculty at Metropolitan in 2018, and currently leads classes in our Adult Division.