Lisa Mayer, Artistic Director & School Director
Toledo Ballet alum Lisa Mayer is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Ms. Mayer worked as a professional dancer in NYC for 20 plus years and studied with some of the best ballet masters in the world. Broadway credits include Cats, Carousel, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Mayer is an adjunct professor in the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Department.
Michael Lang, Resident Choreographer & Director
Michael Lang has been a resident Director / Choreographer for The Toledo Ballet since 2007. He has created nine original works for Toledo Ballet including: Ballet Tapestry (2007); Outside the Lines (2008); Révérence (2009), Press One for More Options (2010), Museum of Dreams (2011), If These Walls Could Dance (2012), Tied Notes (2013), From Heart to Quill (2014), Alice in Wonderland (2015) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2016). Other choreographic credits for Toledo Ballet include: All are One (Toledo Museum of Art – Original work inspired by and interactively performed with Thai Artist Pineree Sanpitak’s Anything Can Break); L’Histoire du Soldat (Toledo Symphony); and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (Toledo Symphony). Mr. Lang performed for more than a decade on Broadway, including the original Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. Mr. Lang is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, a certified Pilates instructor, and a licensed massage therapist.
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio,Jasmine has been doing cheer and gymnastics since the age of 7. Jasmine cheered for several little league community teams throughout the years. As a teenager Jasmine began coaching those same teams she once dance and cheered for to give back to community in order partake in my passion of dance and cheer. Jasmine also began Dancing and Cheering with The American Eagle All-stars in Akron, OH. There, Jasmine learned and began to perfect technique in ballet, hip hop, jazz, cheer, and gymnastics. Once out of high school, Jasmine started her journey of college at the University of Toledo, and shortly thereafter, founded “F.I.R.E. Squad Dance”. She danced three years with the team. F.I.R.E. Squad Dance participated in several community based events with performances, competitions, volunteer work and other events at the University of Toledo as needed. Over the last 3 seasons, Jasmine has been a dance choreographer for the Glass City Cowboys (Formally: Springfield Cowboys). Jasmine plans to pursue a master’s degree in the performing arts.
Steven Brown began his ballet studies at The Toledo Ballet School with Marie Vogt and Velta Cernonok. He went on to study on scholarship at many highly regarded schools including Houston Ballet Academy, the former School of Cleveland Ballet, The School of American Ballet, Andre Eglevsky State Ballet of New York, and Steps Studio NYC with Wilhelm Burmann. Mr. Brown danced several lead roles with Toledo Ballet including Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lead couple in the Czardas in Coppelia, Cavalier, Trepak, Harlequin Doll, Tea and the Father–Dr. Stahlbaum–in Toledo Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker. In addition, Mr. Brown has also danced with the CCM Ballet Ensemble at the University of Cincinnati, Wisconsin Ballet Theatre and Montana Ballet. Mr. Brown completed degree requirements and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication from the University of Toledo. Mr. Brown has been on faculty at the University of Toledo, Owens College and has also taught at Toledo School for the Arts and Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts. He was also a faculty member at University of Findlay and choreographed their annual musical productions.
Tess Caputo trained at the Barn Studio of Dance in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet In the summer of 2000, Ms. Caputo attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts on scholarship for ballet. She was accepted to attend the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music at age 17, Ms. Caputo completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ballet on scholarship. During her ballet career, Ms. Caputo has trained and performed with various companies, including the Pennsylvania Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Toledo Classical Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Scranton. She has performed variations from La Bayadére, Don Quixote, Dracula, La Esmaralda, Giselle, Napoli, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, and many others, including original works.
Ariel Clouse has been with Toledo Ballet since she was in the fourth grade, of which she spent 4 years as a company member and one as a resident guest artist. Her inspiration to become a ballet dancer comes from her dad, Michael Warrick, and he has been one of her biggest supporters throughout her dancing career just as the rest of her family. As a dancer she performed in The Nutcracker until her first year of college, dancing roles such as Chocolate, Snow, Flowers, and Lead Flute. She also danced as Wendy in Peter Pan in 2006 as well as a lead in one of Michael Lang’s pieces in Outside the Lines. Ariel has also participated in outreach programs, summer intensive performances with Toledo Ballet, and small performances at “The Arts Gone Wild” and at the Crosby Festival and the Toledo Botanical Gardens. In 2008 Ariel joined the Toledo Ballet faculty, teaching mainly the younger dancers from ages 8-13. She now teaches full time and all ages from 3 all the way to the advanced and Company members.
Kristi holds a BA in Fine Arts from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati with a major in dance. While getting her degree, she also performed numerous classical ballets with the Cincinnati Ballet as a corps member. She then moved on to dance at the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago as well as the Chicago Ballet. She began her training at The Toledo Ballet and spent summers training in New York and The North Carolina School of the Arts. She has been back in the Toledo area teaching with The Toledo Ballet for more than 10 years.
Domonique Glover did not begin dancing until his junior year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia—it was then that he joined a newly formed hip hop troupe, FootWork. As the troupe performed around campus at special events and throughout the Atlanta/Northern Georgia area, Mr. Glover’s interest in more technical forms of dance was piqued. During his last year of college, He joined the Spelman Dance Theater, a student company, in which he performed modern and West African dance before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College. Mr. Glover is a member of the Toledo Ballet School faculty, specializing in contemporary jazz, and a principal dancer in the Toledo Ballet Company. Since 2010, he has performed in Toledo Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker, as well as yearly spring productions, including the classical ballet Giselle and original productions of contemporary dance. His most recent 2016 Toledo Ballet performances were as “Man” in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with Toledo Symphony (image at right) and as the “Cowardly Lion” in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As an instructor, Mr. Glover will debut Toledo Ballet’s newest outreach program, “Afterschool Dance”, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo’s Homer Hanham facility in October 2017. Mr. Glover also appears regularly in regional community theatre performances and is an instructor/choreographer for “Young Rep/Rep Ed” programs at The Toledo Repertoire Theatre. Off-stage, Domonique Glover teaches high school Math for Horizon Science Academy-Toledo, where he also serves as a tutor and mentor in their after school programming.
Jeanie Hayward has a B.Ed. from The University of Toledo with graduate work in Guidance and Counseling. She is a former ballet student of Marie Bollinger Vogt and Velta Cernonok at Toledo Ballet. Ms. Hayward also enjoyed studying and performing tap and jazz, allowing her the opportunity to “tap down Broadway” in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2001. She has studied ballet in New York City with Finis Jhung, Steps on Broadway with David Howard and Nancy Bielski, and at the Joffrey School of Ballet. Her teaching experience includes working with first graders in both the Toledo Public and Sylvania Public School Systems. She taught at Olivet Christian Nursery School and served as the Director for 18 years. For over ten years, Ms. Hayward has taught ballet in the Toledo Area, including at Toledo Ballet and BGSU. In the past five years, she has served as the Director of the Central City Ministry of Toledo, as well as continuing teaching “Learning in Motion” and various levels of ballet at Toledo Ballet and Company C Dance. In 2015, Ms. Hayward began teaching the “First Steps” program at Queen of Apostles.
Julie O’Connell continues to perform, choreograph, engage and charm, following four decades of determined and focused study on performance and dance instruction. Her credits include being an original cast member in the Los Angeles Company of 42nd Street; film and television apprearances including Pennies From Heaven and Electric Boogaloo. Ms. O’Connell continued her stellar career with a legacy of learning, training many prominent and accomplished actors and performers, including Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore and Katie Holmes. Not to be diminished, is Ms. O’Connell’s genetically predisposed and driven daughter, Kelly Sheehan, who was the youngest performer in Broadway’s 42nd Street Revival (2001-2004). Julie is passionate about inspiring young people and nurturing them to discover their own rhythm, character and presence. Not one to stand still, in her time away from the Studio, Julie enjoys yoga and plays golf with equal enthusiasm and accomplishment.
Ann Heckler began dancing at age 4 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Theatre/Dance from Alma College, where she received the Performing Arts scholarship. There, she performed with the Orchesis Dance Company. Her favorite roles include Kitri in Don Quixote and Taglioni in Pas De Quatre. In 1985, she began teaching dance in Michigan; in 2017 she joined Toledo Ballet faculty. Her teaching expertise includes a variety of classes: classical ballet, character ballet, creative movement for preschoolers, mature movement for seniors, and Adaptive Dance for dancers with special needs. Through Toledo Ballet Outreach Programming, Ms. Heckler enjoys teaching classes to those who might not otherwise be exposed to dance. She created and directs a program at Toledo Ballet for children and young adults with Down syndrome. These dancers have many performance opportunities throughout the Toledo community. She has also helped implement a dance outreach program “Second Chance” for teens who have been victims or are at risk of being victims of sex trafficking. Ms. Heckler is also an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. Her 20-plus year background as a yoga teacher is beneficial to help her to see each student as an individual, allowing her to better meet their individual physical and emotional needs. In 2016, Ms. Heckler received a grant from the Toledo Ballet Guild to enroll in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre national teacher training program. As a result, she is currently certified in the ABT® National Training Curriculum for Primary through Level 3.
Ms. Walter grew up dancing at Toledo Ballet and danced with the Company from 1981 – 1990. While a student at University of Toledo, she was a Dancing Rockette. Her dance teacher training includes Cecchetti Council of America Teacher’s Exam Levels I – III. She graduated from University of Toledo with a BA in Spanish and currently also works as a microbiologist at Mercy St. Vincent and Mercy St. Anne Hospitals.
Sara Wegrzyn has been dancing since the age of 4 and has been sharing her love through teaching for the past 7 years. Sara studied dance at Bowling Green State University and graduated with the award of outstanding dance minor. Her choreography has also been recognized with two outstanding choreography awards at the dance competition level. Sara’s experience in teaching includes jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary.
Antonio Winfree is a dedicated and committed dancer who specializes in hip hop. He’s danced in multiple shows, competed in multiple competitions, and headlined dance workshops while appearing on “So You Think You Can Dance?”. Most of his time goes to his church’s dance and youth department. First a student at the Toledo Ballet—and now an instructor—he teaches his students the hip hop culture and competitive hip hop choreography.