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Dallas Faculty & Staff

Dancers in Snow


Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.
Artistic Director

Lyndette Bader Galen

Click on any name below to show or hide their bio

Anna Donovan - Principal Ballet Master

A native of Ireland, Ms. Donovan joined Texas Ballet Theater in 2000. At the age of ten, Ms. Donovan won a scholarship to train at the Royal Ballet School in England. From there, she went to Elmhurst Ballet School where she passed all the Royal Academy Examinations with Honors. After performing in Kaiserslautern, Germany, she joined the Irish National Ballet in 1973 and was rapidly promoted to Principal Dancer. During her sixteen-year tenure with INB, she toured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the United States and was recognized for her dramatic abilities and technical prowess. Ms. Donovan has worked with many notable choreographers including Sir Anton Dolin, John Gilpin, Hans Brennaa, Peter Darrell, and Domy Reiter-Soffer. She also had works created for her, one of which, The Playboy of the Western World , was a collaborative production with the traditional Irish music group The Chieftains. This production toured Ireland and was also presented in France, at Sadlers Wells, London and City Center Theater, New York. In 1989, she focused her energies toward teaching and was instrumental in establishing the Professional Dance Diploma Course in Dublin. She joined the staff of Ballet Dallas in 1991 serving as Principal Ballet Mistress/Repetiteur and instructor of the Dallas Conservatory of Ballet. While with Ballet Dallas, she collaborated with Lorraine Graves (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Fernando Bujones, James Clouser, Vivi Flint, and Peter Anastos. Ms. Donovan taught at Booker T Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas for four years and has been invited by many organizations nationwide as a guest instructor. She was nominated and is included in The Who’s Who of Teachers in America 2000, 2001, and 2005.

Jan Miller - Pre Professional Instructor

Jan Miller was trained under the R.A.D. syllabus by Patricia Cairns in Tacoma, Washington. While still a student, she was awarded “The Best in Ballet” prize at the Pacific Northwest Ballet Competition. At 16, she was personally selected by Robert Joffrey to join his New York apprentice program during which she trained and performed with the Joffrey Ballet and the New York City Opera. From that beginning, she went on to join Grand Theatre du Genève in Switzerland, Ballet Contemporaneo in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Milwaukee Ballet. Miss Miller began her teaching career in New York City at Ballet Arts and Peridance, the New Orleans Conservatory for the Creative Arts and Stephens College before joining Texas Ballet Theater as an advanced instructor on the Dallas school.

Alfonsina Treneman

Maria Alfonsina Treneman is from Argentina, where she trained as a Ballet dancer with the “ Instituto de Danzas Jairo Benitez”. At the age of 17, she was invited in full scholarship to dance in Brazil at the “Escola de Dancas Maria Olenewa”. Later, she trained under the direction of Luis Carlos Nogueira, Emilio Martins and Maria Angelica Fiorani’s. She is a trained Ballet teacher since 1996 and has worked as such for the “Petite Dance Escola de Ballet” in Brazil, and in 2004 she joined the faculty of the “Tuzer Dancenter in Richardson, TX. Alfonsina has been a faculty member since 2010.

Christina Garza

Christina began her RAD ballet training in England at the age of four and has completed her graded RAD exams as well as her vocational exams through Advanced 2. She has also completed the American Academy of Ballet Performance Awards from grades 5 through 12. She attended the AAB Summer Program on full scholarships from 2005 through 2010. She has worked with world renowned teachers and choreographers, such as Violette Verdy, through the AAB program. She has also trained in hip hop, tap, jazz and modern styles of dance. Christina participated in her first professional production at the age of eight. She has held multiple state titles in dance through her high school where she was 1st lieutenant of the Drill team. She has completed choreography for ballet, tap and modern performance as well as choreographing pieces from solos through large production pieces. Christina is currently working towards a BS of Kinesiology in Dance as well as her RAD Teaching Certificate. She hopes to one day be able to offer classes to the special needs dancers with a Dance Therapy License.

Diane Byrd

Diane Byrd began her ballet training with Joyce Seaborne Bader. She studied tap under Buster Cooper and Terry Wolter. She has passed her intermediate Royal Academy of Dance exams. She is a tap and ballet instructor for the Children's Division of Texas Ballet Theater School, Dallas.

Fee Patterson

17 years of dance experience as an instructor, performer and competitor in contemporary, jazz and hip-hop, with a minor in dance at the University of North Texas. Trained in Los Angeles at Millennium Dance Complex, Debbie Reynolds and Edge Performing Art Center, Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Modern programs; Dance profile including: Jermaine Dupree, Ashley Simpson, Young Lloyd, Quint Black, etc and can be seen in the music videos; Cassidy, 9th Ward, Jermaine Dupree, etc. Also a former Las Vegas AFL Gladiator Dancer, Mandalay Bay Dancer, 2005 NBA All-Star Pre-game show dancer, MGM’s Centrifuge, Planet Funk, Choreographer for The Spanish Network “Telemundo”, Choreographer for Hip-Hop and Jazz Competitive Companies; receiving platinum, placing first-overall, and scholarships for dance teams and choreography.

Jamie Thompson

Jamie Thompson is a native of Belize, Central America. Prior to relocating to USA, Mr. Thompson served as a teacher, dancer and choreographer for the Belize National Dance Company. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Artistic Director for the Rotary Club of Belize's productions that benefited the Gift of Life Program; directing four plays written by Jamaican Playwright Patrick Brown. In 2010 Mr. Thompson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. 2012 marks his third season as a professional dancer with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Mr. Thompson is known internationally for his enlightening teaching philosophy and his strife for artistic excellence.

Kelly Zitka

Kelly Zitka has been dancing for 14 years and trained extensively in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. She is currently a student at Southern Methodist University with a double major in Dance B.F.A. and Business. She grew up dancing at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center under the direction of Christy Wolverton, and was a part of the elite company that is recognized nationally. She has trained at many selective summer programs including Tap Kids and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Kelly aspires to dance professionally in a company while using her business degree to pursue a career in the non-profit industry.

Liana Kraus

Liana Kraus is from Detroit, Michigan where she trained with Rochester School of Dance under the direction of Cornelia Sampson. At 16 was invited to attend the Cleveland Ballet School on full scholarship and then became a member of their company. She then went on to dance at Brigham Young University on their Theatre Ballet team. She also had the privilege of teaching at Brigham Young University and at Nesha Woodhouse Dance Studio. She is the mother of two beautiful little girls.

Shelly Beckelman

Shelly began her dance training at a very young age, where she quickly learned the love of dance. She has extensively studied ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical and theatre dance, as well as drill team and cheerleading. She was awarded a ballet apprentice scholarship at Brookhaven College, School of the Arts, where she studied under the direction of Key Meersman. She continued her training throughout high school and was named Captain of the Drill Team in Plano, Texas. She has choreographed several award winning routines and performed in Texas Stadium. Shelly started her teaching career in Plano, TX and later became owner and director of SJ Dance. Shelly then began dancing with a local professional ballet company in Dallas. She now carries on the role of Cheer Commissioner with Upward Sport, a national sports association. Shelly continues to teach ballet and pointe for a local studio, and has been a substitute instructor for several studios in the North Dallas area, including Texas Ballet Theater. She is excited to be a new ballet instructor for the Texas Ballet Theater School in Dallas and share her love of dance with young students.

Terry Wolter

Terry Wolter is certified by Dance Educators of America and has taught for Dance Masters of America. She taught dance at the Hockaday School for Girls for 8 years and 13 years ago she created the dance department at Ursuline Academy where she currently heads the dance department. She was one of the original founders of the Dallas National Tap Dance Day Celebration along with Gracey Tune. In 2000 Terry was recognized by the Dance Council as one of Dallas’ Outstanding Teachers. Terry’s professional appearances include movies, educational TV, commercials, Theatre Three, Dallas Civic Ballet, and the touring company of Sweet Charity. Terry has danced with such names as Luigi, Gus Giordano, Ron Daniels, Bob Hope, Ann-Margaret and the SMU Dance Department. Her choreography has been seen at numerous pageants, Theater Three, and the Dallas Theater Center. Trained by Buster Cooper, she was a long time faculty member of the Buster Cooper School of Dance. She is a judge for national competitions across the country, has served as an executive board member of National Tap Dance Day and the Dallas Dance Council, and is the Founder, President and Artistic co-director of the Rhythm Junkies.

Michelle Zada

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Michelle received most of her formal training from BalletMet, before earning a BFA in Dance Education from The Ohio State University in 2001. She received additional training from the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensives, International Association of Blacks in Dance and Black College Dance Exchange (BCDE) and later taught master classes for BCDE. Michelle’s professional dance career includes Philadanco’s second company (D/2), Lula Washington Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Michelle has taught in several summer programs, private studios and numerous master classes around the United States in Modern, Jazz, Ballet, African, Dunham, Hip-Hop and Creative Movement. Michelle is excited to start the Fall of 2013 as the new dance teacher at Samuell High School with Dallas Independent School District as well as joining the dance faculty of Texas Ballet Theatre School!

Thelma Flores

Thelma Flores holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts with a major in Ballet at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (U.A.N.L.) in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico. Over 10 years experience as a children’s Ballet teacher and Dance Program Coordinator. Collaborated, under the tutelage of master and teacher Fernando Alonso (founder of Cuban Ballet), in the restructuring of the curricula of the Classic Dance Basic Level of the U.A.N.L. She also has been offered scholarships by the Ballet of the Americas, Scuola Profesional Italiana de la Danza and U.A.N.L. She has passed her Intermediate Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams.




Yvonne Leffel