Ballet in Cleveland highlights the unique, elegant, and powerful qualities of ballet, thus cultivating its culture in the city of Cleveland, the results of which carry nationwide. Through the presentation of performances by professional ballet companies, ballet master classes and programming with nationally recognized dancers, and ballet-centric events that break boundaries, Ballet in Cleveland is revolutionizing ballet in Cleveland and beyond.
Read why Ballet in Cleveland is different and sustainable here.
Read Ballet in Cleveland's 2013 Case Statement here.
Jessica Wallis has enjoyed a life in the arts. She was an original company member of Children's Ballet Theatre (now Ballet Theatre of Ohio) and was a scholarship recipient of The Dance Institute of The University of Akron where she was granted a solo role in its premier production of The Snow Maiden. As a teacher at Martell School of Dance, she taught pre-school though adult level classes and created over forty pieces of original choreography for public performance. She is an honors graduate with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education from The University of Akron. She is a former third grade teacher in the Solon City Schools, and is an adjunct faculty at both The University of Akron and Kent State University. In 2012 Jessica was appointed as co-chair of the Cleveland Young Arts Professionals Network, and presented on panels for The Foundation Center and Great Lakes Theater and was added as a writer for the website DIY Dancer. She was also selected as one of the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club's 'Top 25 Under 35' for its Northeast Ohio Movers & Shakers award, and was one of the Cleveland Women's Journal's 'Women to Know' in 2013.
When Jim Sebastian is not conducting the business operations of Ballet in Cleveland, he works for Southwest Airlines as a Boeing 737 First Officer. Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University and currently enjoys the role of Adjunct Professor in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology.
Additionally, he is a dedicated baseball coach for Cuyahoga Falls High School where he has coached both the Freshmen and Junior Varsity baseball teams. In his spare time, Jim volunteers at Pawsibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron, where he works with abused, neglected and homeless animals during their stay at the shelter. Jim and his wife Lori currently reside in Munroe Falls.
Erin Leslie Haslinger discovered her love of ballet at the age of three when she performed in her first recital. Erin received her bachelor of fine arts from Bowling Green State University, where she was also on the Dance Team. She has been the owner/creative director at Erin Haslinger Design since 2002, serving as a freelance designer, art director and marketing consultant for a variety of healthcare related clients and foundations nationwide. Her career began in health care and pharmaceutical marketing at GSW-Worldwide in Columbus, Ohio and continued with many diverse financial, retail and packaged goods clients. Erin volunteers her services for Good Samaritan Hunger Center's Soup for the City, Life Is Good No Matter What, Ballet In Cleveland, and various other non-profit organizations in Ohio. She enjoys spending her free time with her two sons and keeps busy with their soccer, basketball and dance activities.
Christina has always had an affinity for the arts, particularly dance and theater, and being exposed to them at a young age helped to shape her passion for the arts. She has a Bachelor's degree in broadcasting and cinema and his currently completing her Master's degree in public relations. When she is not working or volunteering for Ballet in Cleveland and the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, she can be found running local 5Ks, enjoying the local food scene and planning her upcoming wedding.
Years of training, studying and observing have lead Alison Krejny to combine her two life passions of dance and marketing to create To The Pointe Marketing. Alison studied classical ballet techniques through her middle school and high school years at the former Royal School of Ballet and gained a Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Dance with the University of Akron as well as a degree in Business Management Technology. Since graduating, Alison has had a blossoming career as an online marketing professional at various agencies throughout Northeast Ohio. During these positions she grew a passion for display adverting, pay per click adverting, social media and search engine optimization. She hoped launch and execute campaigns for some of the largest organizations in the United States within verticals such as health care, consumer products and automotive services. While growing her online marketing career, Alison began teaching at local studios and has been responsible for teaching students K-12 ballet, modern and floor barre techniques.
Nichole Spates has worn many hats as an administrator, fundraiser, teacher of dance and English and a dancer/choreographer. She holds a B.S. Ed. in Dance from the University of Georgia and a M.S. in Dance from the University of Oregon. Nichole's experience in fundraising spans more than twelve years has included positions in the performing arts (dance and music), educational and parks-and recreation non-profit organizations and a major private university. Previously, she worked for four years as a dance educator at an elementary school and a university. More recently, she has worked in Budapest, Hungary, and Al-Khor, Qatar as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Nichole has also presented her choreography in small venues around New York City, and also in Florida, Oregon and South Carolina, and has performed in the work of colleagues. She understands firsthand the financial and administrative pressures facing artists and choreographers in the US today. She currently supports the creative work of several small dance companies and one theater company through freelance grant writing and fundraising consulting. When not working, she enjoys traveling, dancing and taking photographs.
Devin Wallis is currently a Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience major at the University of Michigan. She was responsible for the creation of Ballet in Cleveland's logo and continues to do graphic design work for the organization. Over the course of her college career, Devin has involved herself in activities such as volunteering at local juvenile detention centers, participating in political clubs, and mentoring international gifted youth as an intern at Northwestern University. Upon graduation, Devin hopes to do full-time marketing and promotional work for a professional sports organization while maintaining her position with Ballet in Cleveland.
Growing up in New York, Lori started dancing at age six and has always had a passion for ballet. Relying on her Russian ballet training and technique, she pursued Rhythmic Gymnastics while in high school and was invited to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Camp.
Lori is a graduate of Georgia Tech where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering. After graduating, she went on to flight school and began her commercial pilot career in 2001. She is currently a Captain on an Embraer Regional Jet for ExpressJet Airlines. Lori enjoys her role assisting with graphic design projects and fundraising events for Ballet in Cleveland.
The following individuals have joined Ballet in Cleveland as Founding Members through a generous donation to support the organization and its commitment to presenting dancers of the New York City Ballet and the choreography of George Balanchine in Cleveland. Without their support, these impressive endeavors would not be possible.
Mr. Thomas Baechle
Mr. Dick Blake and Mrs. Lorraine Blake
Ms. Laurie Humphrey
Ms. Elizabeth Lewis
Mr. Charles Obert
Mr. James Sebastian Sr. and Mrs. Margaret Sebastian
Mr. Thomas Baechle
Mr. Greg Hill
Ms. Laurie Humphrey, Esq.
Ms. Elizabeth Lewis
Ms. Gia Ligato
Dr. Isaac Richmond Nettey
Mr. Charles Obert
Mr. Jim Sebastian
Ms. Jessica Wallis
Mr. Mark Zuranski
Mr. Richard Bennett
Ms. Pamela Dorazio Dean
Mr. Michael Holub
Ms. Maria Ianiro
Mr. James Levin
Ms. Shananne Lewis
Professor Raymond Weber
Ms. Marcia Custer
Ms. Jasmine McDonough
Ms. Daryl Mapson
Ms. Catharine Lewis
Ms. Christina Uehlin