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School of Ballet


The School of Ballet provides not only intensive, professional ballet training, but also presents informative lectures on dance and the opportunity to work with some of the greatest dancers in the world.

In addition to the permanent staff listed below, guest artists from the New York City Ballet and other visiting companies teach classes as a regular part of the program.

Our Faculty

Artistic Director

Daniel Ulbricht, is a Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet. Mr. Ulbricht is Artistic Advisor to Manhattan Youth Ballet, a guest teacher at the School of American Ballet and Ballet Academy East and has taught company class at NYCB and for the Youth America Grand Prix. 

Associate Artistic Director

Ms. Edge is currently on faculty with the Central Pennslyvania Youth Ballet.  Ms. Edge was a member of the New York City Ballet, has appeared on Broadway in the Phantom of the Opera and served as Dance Captian and Swing for Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away. Ms. Edge is particularly passionate about sharing the ballets of George Balanchine and is a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust.

Jenifer Ringer
Artistic Advisor

Ms. Ringer, Artistic Advisor to the NYSSSA School of Ballet, was born in New Bern, North Carolina, and was raised in Summerville, South Carolina, where she began her dance training at age 10 with local teachers. At age 12 she entered the Washington School of Ballet, where she studied for two years. After attending a summer session at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, Ms. Ringer was invited to enter the winter session at the School on a full scholarship.

Olga Kostritzky
Senior Faculty

Olga Kostritzky is a world recognized ballet teacher/mistress. For twenty years, she served as a faculty member at The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, the official school of The New York City Ballet. During her tenure at SAB, Kostritzky created and developed The Boys Program. Earlier this year she was the coach for the ballet dancers in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and also appeared in the film. Since 2009 she has been Guest Teacher/Coach for the Novosibirsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre, directed by Igor Zelensky.

Elizabeth Walker Sanders
Senior Faculty

Elizabeth’s ballet training began in South Carolina with Don and Patricia Cantwell in Charleston, S.C. and continued with Ann Brodie in Columbia, S.C. Following two summer courses at the School of American Ballet in New York, Elizabeth was invited to stay for full time study on scholarship at the age of 15.  She received a Princess Grace Foundation Award-USA Dance Scholarship and Nancy Davis Reagan Award in 1988 and a scholarship in the name of Alexandra Danilova and the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise in 1990.

Dena Abergel
Senior Faculty

Dena began ballet classes at the age of 6 with Dorit Koppel at Progressive Dance Studio in Englewood, New Jersey. She attended the School of American Ballet’s 5-week Summer Course at the age of 12 and enrolled as a full-time student in the School’s Intermediate division one year later. Peter Martins invited Ms. Abergel to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1990, and she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 1991. During 18 years as a member of New York City Ballet, Ms. Abergel performed in numerous works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Eileen Hebron

During Eileen’s formative years she trained with Mme. Valia Seiskaya, a featured soloist of the Greek National Opera. She set herself apart by winning numerous awards, the most coveted of which was winning first place in the Empire State Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Career Award. In 1982, Eileen was accepted at the advanced level to George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet on a full scholarship provided by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.

Chase Swatosh
Assistant to the Artistic Director

Chase Swatosh grew up in Westlake Village, Calif., and began his dance training at Retter’s Academy of Dance with Darryl and Linda Retter when he was 8 years old. In 2007, he became a trainee at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where he trained for two years before attending the summer and winter terms of the School of American Ballet (2009-2010).

Suzie Baer
Assistant Director for Administration

A Stillwater, Minnesota, native, Suzie trained at a local studio before joining the School of the Minnesota Ballet in 2003. She has also studied at the Joffrey Midwest Workshop, and on scholarship at Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet and Point Park University. A company member of the Minnesota Ballet since 2009, she has danced such roles as Dew Drop Fairy and the grown-up Clara in The “Manhattan” Nutcracker, the Greedy One in Three Virgins and a Devil, and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

David Nichols
Music Director

Mr. Nichols is an improvisational pianist and producer who has provided accompaniment for American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Feld Ballets NY, and Twyla Tharp. His ambient music CD recordings have been featured on nationally syndicated NPR and PRI radio programs Hearts of Space and Echoes.

Ellen Madson

Ms. Madson has been a ballet accompanist for over 30 years, working with ballet companies and arts schools. She is currently Resident Principal Accompanist for the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Carol Ann Elze

Carol Ann is a collaborative pianist in the Departments of Dance and Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Crane School of Music. Upon graduation, Carol Ann discovered her love of playing for ballet at Union College, where she had the good fortune to play Master Classes for Founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, Edward Villella, and former NYCB Principal Dancer, Kyra Nichols.

Oleg Arzoumanov

Oleg Arzoumanov often performs Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.” He performs extensively in New York City and has performed at Carnegie Hall.  He is a brilliant pianist who plays Bach, Italiano Concerto; Haydn, Sonata in Es-dur; Schubert Wanderer Fantasy; Chopin. Ballade; Liszt, 12th Rhapsody; and a surprise Rachmanioff.

Past Guest Teachers

Current Ballet Master of the New York City Ballet

(Former Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet)

Soloists with the New York City Ballet

Principal Dancers with the New York City Ballet

Dancers with the New York City Ballet

Former Principal Dancers with the New York City Ballet

(Current Independent Artist)