DEBRA SAVAGE, DIRECTOR – BALLET, POINTE
Debra Savage grew up in Vienna, Virginia and began her performing career with the Virginia Ballet Co. While still in high school, Debra studied in New York City at the American Ballet Theatre School and at the Harkness House for Ballet Arts. She then attended the North Carolina School of the Arts BFA program.
Ms. Savage performed with the New Orleans Ballet Company, The Delta Festival Ballet, Connecticut Ballet Theatre, The Empire State Ballet, and others. She trained for more than ten years in New York City, where she also taught for the Manhattan Ballet School and Peridance Center. Debra Savage has directed the Center for Ballet Arts for 29 years and has been teaching since 1978. On July 11th, 2008, Mrs. Savage was awarded the Presidential Citation for Outstanding Educator by The Virginia Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual & Performing Arts, at the University of Richmond.
BENNETT SAVAGE, DIRECTOR – PILATES
Bennett Savage is a former member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Martha Graham Ensemble. He trained extensively in New York City and performed with the Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Dinosaur/ Dance Express, Throne Dance Theatre, The Delta Festival Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Co. and the Lexington Ballet. Benn had the honor and privilege of working with Anna Sokolow in “Magritte, Magritte” with the Connecticut Ballet Theatre.
Mr. Savage’s performing experiences throughout the United States and Europe were inspired by a dance performance he attended while enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard. For 28 years, Benn Savage co-directed the BAE and CBA, where he has also taught. His modern choreography has won several awards. In 2007, his “Bach Canons” was chosen to be performed at the Regional Dance America National Festival at the Benedum Theatre in Pittsburgh.
DUSTIN KIMBALL – BALLET, MODERN, PILATES
Dustin began his dance studies in Maine, followed by two years of training at CBA. While at CBA, he was awarded, both, the Bruce Wurl and Ron Benson Scholarships and performed with the BAE. For three years, he studied on full scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education. Mr. Kimball has danced professionally with Bowen-McCauley Dance Company for more than a decade and continues to perform as guest artist with the DC metropolitan area. Dustin now serves as the Ballet Master of the Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax as well as The Center for Ballet Arts.
ANNAH GIBSON – BALLET, MODERN, TAP, JAZZ
Annah began at CBA as a Kinderballet student in Mr. Benn’s class. She eventually studied dance extensively and performed with the BAE for many years. Miss Annah began assisting with children’s classes at age twelve, and has evolved into a gifted children’s teacher. Mrs. Gibson received an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts with a certification in Early Childhood Development and is a Special Education teacher in Fairfax County School System.
LEANNE MIZZONI – BALLET, POINTE
A Northern Virginia native, Leanne started her training at the Metropolitan Ballet School, later studying at Virginia Ballet and attending summer programs at the Joffery Ballet and Virginia School of the Arts. She continued her training at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, where she graduated cum laude with a BFA in Dance Pedagogy. Leanne performed with American Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet and was the Assistant Director of the children’s division in Kirk Peterson’s Nutcracker (2003). Leanne was a Manassas Ballet Theatre company dancer for four years and a founding dancer of Ballet Fantastique (Eugene, OR), performing soloist and principle roles nationally and internationally.
CAITLIN MURRAY – TAP, JAZZ, BALLET
Caitlin is a CBA student-turned-teacher and former company member of the BAE, performing such roles as the Evil Queen and Fairy Godmother. She began teaching ballet in 2014 and took over the tap program in 2019. Caitlin danced professionally with the Dancin' Unlimited Jazz Dance Company for six years, and is experienced in classic jazz styles and musical theatre. Ms. Murray is now the director of the newly formed Ballet Arts Tap & Jazz Ensemble (BATJE) for 2022-2023. Caitlin graduated from George Mason University in 2020, and is the Marketing and Operations Manager for Dancing with Markers.
NINA HOLTON – BALLET
Nina Rauch Holton trained as a young dancer at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, and at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC . While in high school, Ms. Rauch Holton was an apprentice with the Ballet Theater of Annapolis (now Ballet Theater of Maryland). She continued her dance studies at the University of Utah, and earned her BFA in ballet performance and dance education. While attending the University of Utah, Ms. Rauch Holton was one of the first Americans admitted into the State Ballet School in Berlin, Germany (former East Berlin) for an exchange program. After graduating from the University of Utah she performed professionally with Orlando Ballet, Ballet Theater International in St. Petersburg, FL under the direction of Christopher Fleming, and the Sarasota Ballet. Ms. Rauch Holton continued her career as a guest artist while achieving her Masters Degree in Special Education from the College of Charleston. She is currently a Special Education Teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools.
VICTORIA GRINNINGS – BALLET, POINTE
Victoria began her dance studies in 2002 at The Dance Place Newburyport, MA. From 2013- 2016, she attended the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She also studied in the Pre-professional level at two Summer Intensive Programs at the Washington School of Ballet. Ms. Grinnings graduated in 2020 from James Madison University, as a dance major. She was involved in many performances over the years at JMU. Victoria is ABT Certified in ballet technique training. She taught at her former studio, The Dance Place in MA, prior to joining the CBA faculty.
MERISSA SLATTERY – BALLET
Merissa has trained in ballet, pointe and contemporary for more than fifteen years. Seven years were spent in the pre-professional ballet program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Slattery also attended a Summer Intensive Program at the Washington School of Ballet. From 2014-2019, Merissa attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. She earned a BA in Political Science, with a Minor Business Administration. She has served as dance Instructor in North Carolina and in Homestead, Florida, prior to coming to CBA.
STEPHANIE SMITH – MODERN
RICHARD RHOLDON – BALLET
Delta Festival Ballet of New Orleans
ROGER JEFFREY – MODERN
George Mason University
CIRIA MARTINEZ-BERRIOS – JAZZ
BAE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BAE GUILD OFFICERS
Heather Winter, President
TBD, Vice President