JENNIFER CLEATON - OWNER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - I am celebrating my 21st year anniversary as owner and Director. I have been teaching for over 25 years! I received my B.A. Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University. I performed at Paramounts' Kings Dominion for four years and choreographed two shows which were performed in conjunction with the USO. I taught dance at the West End Academy of Dance in Richmond and taught creative movement and dance to local Richmond children through the YMCA. I have continued my educational training by attending various workshops with such teachers as Tremaine, Doug Varone, Susan Kicuchi (Martha Graham Company), Richmond Ballet, SYTYCD alums Kathryn McCormick, Robert Roldan, Twitch, Sonya Tayeh and more. I have two daughters of my own, a Freshman in College whom share my love of dance, and an 11th grader who dances on the soccer field.
ALYSSA ALFORD – TAP, JAZZ – Alyssa has been dancing at FBC since she was three, where she has studied ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, and musical theater. She’s been on the FBC competition team for several years, where she has attended multiple competitions and conventions, learning from world-renowned choreographers. She was chosen to participate at multiple National competitions. Alyssa attended a five week summer intensive with the Richmond Ballet, where she was taught under the artistic staff of Malcolm Burn, Judy Jacob, and others. Her favorite rolls have included Fritz, Spanish Lead and Arabian Princess in The Nutcracker and the Mermaid Queen in Peter Pan, as well as dancing locally in the Fredericksburg area with Ms. Beverly’s Dance Matrix company. She has been assisting and subbing classes for two years at FBC and is excited to now teach her own class!
BETHANY ALLEY - JAZZ, TAP, BALLET, TEAM - Ms Bethany began dancing at age 6 in Stafford, VA at The Dance Spot and then later moved to Jacksonville, NC where she danced at the Dance Theatre of Jacksonville, training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, and hip hop. She is a graduate of UMW in English and Elementary Education. Ms Alley was an avid participant in dance at UMW where she served as co-captain to the UMW Dance Team and the President of the Performing Arts Club. Ms Alley also works as an instructor with the National Dance Alliance where she travels across the country to teach summer dance camps to students from middle school age to college. Through NDA, Ms Alley has gained instructional experience with focus on jazz, hip-hop, and pom, as well as team building and technique training for bettering young dancers.
EMILY BYERS - BALLET, CONTEMPORARY, JAZZ – Emily began her dance training at The Fredericksburg Ballet Centre at the age of three. She studied ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, jazz, and hip-hop. During her teenage years, she studied classical ballet technique as well as pointe, modern, and contemporary at Avery Ballet. While she studied, she was chosen to train seasonally with instructors such as Dame Amy Watson, Principal Dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet, Andrea Weber, and Malcolm Burn. Among her notable performances was Malcolm Burn’s original ballet, Les Apparitions. Emily began her training in dance instruction in 2011 and worked in performing arts administration for three years. As an administrator, she organized and coordinated “Ballet & Beyond,” a local benefit concert held at the University of Mary Washington. In 2015 she was awarded the Sonja Dragomanovic Haydar Scholarship by UMW’s Friends of Dance. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UMW in December 2017. Emily is excited to continue sharing her love of dance with FBC.
ASHLEY CLEATON - TAP, JAZZ, BALLET - Ashley has been dancing at FBC since she was 2, where she has studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, hip-hop as well as many other forms of dance and attended multiple conventions learning from world renowned choreographers. Ashley participated on FBC's competition dance team for 7 years her last 3 as captain. She received a hip-hop scholarship in 2016 to participate at Dancemakers Nationals competition in Myrtle Beach. Her senior year she choreographed her own team solo which went on to receive high scores and judges scores some of which being "All that Jazz","Smooth as Silk" and OnStage America's choice of the "Self-Choreography Award". Summer of 2018, she choreographed and performed in the Stafford Opera Troupe's production of Cinderella. Ashley grew up in the FBC offices and will be working as part of the FBC office staff for her fifth year, this includes subbing classes and working dance birthday parties. She has been teaching for the past 2 years and is excited for her third year with all of you!
CHERISH DOBBINS - JAZZ, TAP, MUSICAL THEATER, TEAM- Ms. Cherish was born bouncing to the beat of the Bee Gees, and has been dancing ever since. Her talents have given her the honor of being a featured performer and choreographer on numerous stages across the globe including those in New York City, Vermont, and at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Dobbins favorite roles have included the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker, Maria in West Side Story, Uraula's Eel in The Little Mermaid and the various featured roles in contemporary dances she has been honored to perform in. Dobbins graduated Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Dance and Choreography in 2007 and is proud to be celebrating her fourteenth year as a teacher at Fredericksburg Ballet Center and her 28th as a student!
CHRISTINA HAWKINS - BALLET - Started formal dance instruction when she was six years old and has made dancing a lifelong passion. She started teaching ballet and tap classes at her local studio in Rapid City, SD, when she was 16. She continued her education of dance by earning a B.A. and a M.A. from Brigham Young University (BYU), specializing in ballet and ballroom dance. During her collegiate career, Miss Christina performed worldwide as a member of BYU Theatre Ballet and BYU Ballroom Dance Company. As a graduate student, she taught beginning, intermediate, and advanced level ballroom dance classes. More recently, she has been performing locally with Dance Matrix and Company (DMC) and has been a "Party Parent" in FBC's production of The Nutcracker. She is the mother of four fantastic kids, who are also dancers.
TERESA MAYER - BALLET, TEAM - Miss Terry began her training at the Gainesville (Georgia) School of Ballet when she was 3. She was accepted into the newly formed Gainesville Ballet Company at the age 11, but promptly moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where she studied at Floyd Ward School of Dance. She became a founding member and principal dancer with the Roanoke Valley Civic Ballet. She attended summer intensives at Washington School of Ballet, Boston School of Ballet, Tidewater Ballet, Chautauqua Institution and Southern Ballet Theatre. She received additional training at Virginia School of the Arts, The Lynchburg Fine Arts Center and Post School of Ballet. She attended Point Park College for two years, and then transferred to Radford University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Dance. She danced professionally with Southern Ballet Theatre in Orlando, Florida, where she appeared in many classical and contemporary ballets including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Elements, and Balanchine’s Valse-Fantasie. She appeared as a dancer at Sea World, and with the Orlando Opera Company. Retuning to Roanoke, she began her teaching career at Roanoke City Schools’ Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts where she taught ballet, modern and jazz and directed the Magnet School Dance Company for 7 years. Terry and her husband John performed as guest artists with Southwest Virginia Ballet, Rockbridge Ballet, Lynchburg Regional Ballet Theatre, and Southwest Virginia Opera. In her final year in Roanoke, she became instrumental in opening a branch of The Post School of Ballet, becoming the manager and ballet teacher there until John’s career brought them to Fredericksburg. She taught for one year at Barton and Williams School of Dance before finding her dance home at FBC. She first appeared in an FBC production as a guest artist in 1997 as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has taught, performed and choreographed here ever since. While teaching at FBC, she has performed as a guest artist with Dance Matrix, and taught ballet and drama at the Holy Innocents Homeschool Co-op. Miss Terry’s favorite roles include Swanhilda in Coppelia, Aurora and in Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She loves passing on her knowledge of these roles and training the next generation of dancers.
BEVERLY MENDEZ - BALLET MISTRESS, MODERN - Beverly B Mendez has over thirty years of experience in all aspects of dance and theater production and instruction. She is proficient in the instruction of Ballet and Modern-Contemporary dance techniques, Improvisation for actors and dancers, and Stage Movement. An enthusiastic and dedicated Choreographer/Director, Ms Mendez has created literally thousands of movement works for Theaters, Dance Companies and studios. As FBC’s Ballet Mistress, Ms Mendez has directed and choreographed 11 full length ballets over 16 years including; Giselle, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. She believes in creating unity and positive experiences within the groups she directs, and the audiences that the work is shared with.
TAYLOR MURRAY - JAZZ, HIP HOP, BALLET, MUSICAL THEATRE - Ms Taylor started at Fredericksburg Ballet Centre when she was three years old and continued dancing through high school taking a variety of different classes. She started her teaching path with assisting different ballet classes her freshman year of high school, then moved onto having her own. She is currently going to college to get a degree in teaching students with Autism.
JAMES POLLARA - BALLET MASTER - Mr Jim began his dance training as a scholarship student with the Miami Conservatory and Later San Francisco Ballet School under scholarship. While at SFB James became a protege of Royal Ballet Principle Keith Martins and later joined him at the San Diego Ballet Company where he had several roles created on him. While there Jim also performed with the renowned San Diego Opera as a Principle dancer. Jim later moved to Los Angeles and moved into the contemporary arena, dancing in films, nightclubs, industrials, and numerous music videos for MTV. Jim left Los Angeles to join Nevada Dance Theater and upon his return to California, continued his classical ballet career dancing with The Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Golden State Ballet and as a principle with Ballet Pacifica under Molly Lynch where he had a ballet commissioned for him. At Ballet Pacifica Jim performed under a wealth of international choreographers in both the modern and classical repertoire. Upon moving to Virginia, Jim performed with The Virginia Ballet Theater as a principle and also as a guest with the Virginia Symphony. His classical repertoire includes principle roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Le Corsair Pas De Deux, Specter De La Rose, Raymonda Pas de Dix/Balanchine and various modern and contemporary ballets. He has balanced his career with a variety of teaching and coaching assignments.
CRISTI SAUNDERS - CREATIVE MOVEMENT, BALLET - Ms Cristi celebrated her 12th year in June as an instructor for FBC. She teaches Creative Movement through beginning Ballet. She has successfully fostered the love of dance in many hundreds of children. She is the creator and director of the summer Princess Ballet Camp, a program designed to enliven creativity and encourage confidence in young children through imagery and ballet. Additionally, she has been the office manager for 17 years and is the resident costumer for the Fredericksburg Ballet Company. Participating in all areas of FBC has given her a well-rounded approach to educating the children at FBC as well as their parents. She holds a BS in nursing and biology, which has come in handy for dance injuries! She has 3 daughters of her own who danced from toddler years to adulthood.
JORDAN TAYLOR - HIP HOP - Mr Jordan has had a passion for dance since he was young. He has danced in many competitions with his team, Pace Setters, such as Rip the Floor and World of Dance in New Jersey. Styles he has trained in include: house, vouge, waacking, and popping & locking. He loves to share his love of dance with his students and believes that dance is an empowering activity that can enrich his students' lives.