Fredericksburg Ballet Centre

Instructor Bios

JENNIFER CLEATON - OWNER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - I am celebrating my 26th year anniversary as owner and Director. I have been teaching for over 30 years! I received my B.A. Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University. I performed at 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, one who is the General Manager of FBC and dance instructor and a Junior in college. Both girls also followed in my footsteps… they both danced/performed at Kings dominion.

JULIANNA BROWN - JAZZ & MUSICAL THEATER- Hello, my name is Julianna Brown and I have been dancing at FBC since 2013. I have performed in The Nutcracker nine times and have played the parts of Clara, Best Friend, and Fritz. I have also performed in other ballets such as: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Peter Pan, and  Alice in Wonderland. I have been on FBC’s dance team for six years and have been to a total of 17 dance competitions. I have been assisting tap ⅔ for two years and I am excited co-teach this year. Some day I would like to pursue a career in the performing arts and dance professionally.

ASHLEY CLEATON - GENERAL MANAGER - TAP, JAZZ, LYRICAL, CONTEMPORARY, TEAM- Ms Ashley has been dancing at FBC since she was 2, she has studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, modern, hip hop as well as many other forms of dance. Ashley was on the competition team for 7 years and was captain for many individual teams as well as team captain her senior year. On the competition team she was able to take classes from world renowned choreographers and received a hip-hop scholarship from Dancemakers inc. She also has received special judges awards and the choreography award for her self choreographed solo. Ashley has choreographed and performed in the Stafford operas production of Cinderella. She has performed for King’s Dominion as a host and performer in two shows. Ms Ashley received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification in 2019. This will be Ms Ashley’s 8th year of teaching and 10th year working in the FBC office. She is excited to continue her work with the students of FBC after graduating from the studio herself in 2018.

CHRISTINA HAWKINS - BALLET & BALLROOM -  Ms Christina 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 (BDC) and taught all levels of ballroom dance classes.  While on the BYU BDC she had the honor to dance in their award winning medley's which won the British Formation Team championship (2x), and the US Formation Team Championship (6x).  She also was selected to perform in the 2002 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies directed by Kenny Ortega.  Highlights of her touring experience are:  Mainland China, Hong Kong, Eastern Russia, Mongolia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England, South Africa, and the USA.   Miss Christina joined the staff at FBC in 2017, teaching ballet and tap however, her children started at the studio in 2012.  She has also 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 and high energy kids, who are dancers and soccer players.

ALEJANDRO DELOSSANTOSCOY - HIP HOP, CONTEMPORARY, MUSICAL THEATER, TEAM - Gabe is a Fredericksburg native who started dancing at the age of five and through his journey found a love for teaching. His dance background includes training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop, but he loves all styles of dance. In addition, he has choreographed for color guards throughout Virginia and performed at World Championships in the sport, primarily as a dancer. Gabe is very excited to be a part of the FBC family and can’t wait to create a fun atmosphere for all dancers!

LINDSEY FAINO - MUSICAL THEATER - Ms. Lindsey is a well rounded and established performer who has had the pleasure of performing all over the world in locations such as Japan, New York City, South Korea and 42 of the 50 US States while on Broadway National Tours. Having had roots in New York City for the last 10 years, she is thrilled to call Fredericksburg home and looks forward to transferring her passion for performance to that of teaching! She was a cast member (& Mary Poppins understudy) in the Mary Poppins Broadway National Touring Company, A Chorus Line Broadway National/International Tour- in US & Japan, The Wizard of Oz US National Tour, Oklahoma! US National Tour and the Jekyll & Hyde World Tour- Asia/South Korea. She has performed in musicals such as Legally Blonde, Children of Eden, Singin' in the Rain & A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, among many others!  Originally from Nashville, TN, she danced all the way to the UDA National Championships at Walt Disney World with her high school dance team and became National Champions! She received a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from The University of Oklahoma.

TERESA MAYER - BALLET MISTRESS & 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.

PATRICK MAYER - BALLET & PAS DE DUEX - Patrick has been dancing at Fredericksburg Ballet Centre for most of his life, taking classes in a variety of styles. He has had many performance opportunities at FBC including leading roles in the Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and La Bayadere. After graduating in 2019 he has continued to Dance at FBC, and now is happy to share his knowledge through teaching.

TAYLOR MURRAY - TEAM & DARBY'S DANCERS - Ms. Taylor started dancing at the Fredericksburg ballet centre when she was 3 years old. Throughout her time dancing at FBC she took class in all genres of dance. She has always had a love for teaching and started teaching at FBC in 2015. She is currently in college majoring in Special Education. Ms. Taylor is one of the teachers for Darby’s Dancers, a non-profit organization that provides dance classes to special needs children. When she is not at the studio, she is at Micah Ministries leading an art group. Her passion is to make every dancer that walks into the Fredericksburg Ballet Centre love dance and feel empowered and loved!

REBECCA ORAVEC - HIP HOP, JAZZ & TAP -Ms Becky has been dancing at FBC for 6 years and 10 years in total. Since her first day at FBC, Becky has been involved in everything she could be, taking classes in every style and being a part of team, Nutcracker and Spring Ballet. Some of her favorite roles have been Clara in The Nutcracker, the Coffee Princess in The Nutcracker, and the Polish Princess in Swan Lake. Becky was an assistant for 3 years and is looking forward to her second year of teaching on her own.

CRISTI SAUNDERS - OFFICE MANAGEER - CREATIVE MOVEMENT & BALLET - "Ms. Cristi" has been a part of the FBC staff since 2001. She teaches Creative Movement through Beginning Ballet. She has had the privilege of fostering the love of dance in many hundreds of children through the years. She is the creator and director of the Summer Princess Ballet Camp program as well as the creator of the Green Space Camp--both camps designed to enliven the creativity within and to encourage confidence in children through imagery, dance, and art. Additionally, she is the resident costumer for the Fredericksburg Ballet Company and the office manager. Her nursing degree comes in handy for the dancers, too! Participating in all areas of FBC is an honor and has allowed her to combine her passions of teaching children, the arts, and the love of textiles and design in a lovely, lifelong career. Ms. Cristi has 3 grown daughters that danced from toddler years through adulthood at Fredericksburg Ballet Centre, creating lasting and beautiful memories for her family.

LYDIA SZAFRANSKI - BALLET - Lydia began her ballet training at the age of 3 at FBC. She danced the roles of Sugarplum Fairy, Dew Drop, and Cinderella. During this time, she was also accepted into summer intensive programs with the Richmond Ballet and Virginia School of the Arts. Upon graduation from James Monroe High School, she was accepted into Radford University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. She studied Vagonava method under Inessa Plekhanova. She also opened up her own dance studio, New River Dance Academy, while simultaneously completing her degrees in Business Management and Dance. Lydia comes back to FBC after teaching ballet and pointe for several years in Louisiana, Nevada, and Colorado. She is excited to come full circle back to teach at the studio where she fell in love with ballet.

GRACELYN TAYLOR - MUSICAL THEATER - Ms. Gracelyn has been a long time dancer and member of the FBC community. She started dancing when she was seven year old and has been dancing ever since. She has participated in many FBC nutcrackers and spring ballets. She has been in the roles of solider doll, best friend, little swan, and other amazing roles.  For the past year and a half, she has been assisting with both pre ballet and ballet 3. This will be her first year teaching and she hopes to continue to teach in the future.

JOYE THOMAS - BALLET, JAZZ, TAP, CONTEMPORARY, TEAM - Joye Thomas is a Northern Virginia native. Joye is a well-known dancer, educator, and choreographer in the Metropolitan area. Joye has run a non-profit dance company, created her own modern dance technique and published Notable performances include “Sky Warriors” at Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival and Curefest 2015 Flash Mob on the National Mall. Joye currently lives in Fredericksburg, VA where she is on the Citizen Advisory Panel for the Fredericksburg City Police and the Fredericksburg Arts Commission as a Commissioner.