Staff and Instructors
Ellice Patterson is the executive director of BalletRox. Patterson founded and serves as executive/artistic director of Abilities Dance, a Boston-based dance company that welcomes artists with and without disabilities. Her choreography has appeared nationally, including at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; Links Hall in Chicago; Gibney Dance and The Series: Vol IV at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City; and more. She also lectures and teaches workshops at schools, universities, and organizations across the country. Patterson earned her Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from Wellesley College, and a Masters of Science in management studies from Boston University Questrom School of Business. Ellice joined BalletRox in 2020.
Program Manager, Boston Schools Program,
Development and Fundraising
Valerie came to BalletRox in 2002, after a professional dance career in Rhode Island and Boston. She has extensive Arts in Education experience, designing and teaching integrated curriculum in public school settings; training in Youth Development from BEST Initiatives; and is a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor. Valerie is passionate about teaching classical ballet as fundamental for students at all levels of training, from creative movement to advanced ballet and also enjoys serving as Creative Director overseeing choreography and performances. Originally from NY, she holds a Bachelor of Science in dance from Skidmore College, and a Master of Science in non-profit management from Lesley University.
Program Manager, BalletRox Dance!
Lead Dance Instructor, Mather School
Originally from Russia, Olga has worked with BalletRox since 2008. After graduating from Saratov Ballet Academy, she joined Moscow City Ballet and toured the world for four years. She is a long-term BalletRox teacher, and serves as Program Manager for BalletRox Dance! and Boston Public Schools (BPS) Programs, overseeing the training of dance teachers and execution of the dance program at BPS partner sites. She holds a Master of Science in global studies and international affairs from Northeastern University.
Lead Tap Instructor, BalletRox Dance!
School Programs Liaison, Curley and Kenny Schools
Lead Dance Instructor, Kenny School
Sybil, a Roxbury native, is an accomplished tap dancer with extensive experience in the greater Boston area with Boston Tap Company, Jacob’s Pillow, and Jeannette Neill Studio. Sybil has worked with BalletRox since 2006 as performer, teacher, administrator, coach, and mentor. She brings her many years of teaching experience and love of children into her role as School Programs Liaison where she provides direct support to students and their families, as well as interacting with classroom teachers, school faculty, and staff. She holds a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies from Boston University.
Dance Instructor, BalletRox Dance
Ana has been dancing since she was three years old and continues to have a passion for the art. She focused on ballet and then branched out in other styles including modern, contemporary, belly dancing, bachata, and any other styles she could take classes in! Now she is a second year student at Newbury College where she studies psychology and will graduate as class of 2018. Ana began teaching at BalletRox in 2014.
Dance Instructor, Hennigan School
Melodie is on faculty at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts (School of Theatre/School of Music) Dance Department and the Opera Institute. Ms. Cassell is a former faculty member at Walnut Hill School for the Arts (Theatre Department and Community Dance Academy), Concord Academy Summer Stages, Mark Morris Dance Center, Peridance International Dance Center, The Brearley School, 92nd Street Y, Boston Ballet School, Boston Ballet-Education and Community Initiatives (Citydance, Taking Steps), and has served as guest teacher at Boston College. Melodie created, developed and coordinated the movement program as faculty member, choreographer, and Dance Director for Glen Urquhart School (GUS), expanding Dance Anywhere® to New England. In her continued efforts to make movement practice accessible to all, Melodie currently teaches dance for BalletRox and Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance program which serves individuals with disabilities, specifically Down Syndrome and Autism.
Dance Instructor, Henderson School
Christina is a graduate of Dance Teachers Club of Boston (DTCB) Dance Education Training Program, and a current, active member of DTCB. She is Assistant Director of Center Stage Dance Studio in Melrose, and recently co-founded Middlesex Ballet Project with a mission to introduce young people to pre-professional performance opportunities. Christina is a skilled dance instructor working in multiple dance styles including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, and HipHop. She has worked with children throughout the Boston area for more than 10 years and is dedicated to providing dance education which promotes self-acceptance while providing a solid foundation in technique, dance history, and education. Christina holds a Bachelor of Science in communications from Boston University.
Dance Instructor, BalletRox Dance!
Mikela began dancing at the age of 5, taking classes in ballet, tap, and hip hop. Her passion for hip hop and specifically for contemporary and modern dance grew as the years went on. She has danced and trained throughout high school, participating in programs such as “REACH” that tours and performs at different schools around Boston area. In addition, she studied ballet and hip hop at Tony Williams Dance company and was a part of a dance group that performed in Boston, MA, and RI. Mikela has minored in Dance at The University of Hartford.
Dance Instructor, Hennigan School
Andy is the artistic director of Mladost Folk Dance Ensemble and the RSCDS Demonstration Team, Wheaton College Dance Co. and Back Pocket Dancers. In addition to serving as a BalletRox Teaching Artist at Hennigan School, she teaches school residencies thru Mass Movement, Young Audiences and Revels Inc., and has taught at Folk Arts Center of New England, Northwestern and Northeastern Universities, Harvard, Emerson, Boston University, Boston Conservatory and the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio. She is a certified teacher in Simonson Technique and Autism Movement Dance Therapy.
Andy began dancing with her parents in International Folk Dance as an infant. Her early creative movement experiences were with Ruth Wheeler, co-founder of Dance Collective, and with Ann Brown-Allen. After receiving a BFA in Dance from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she danced with numerous companies in Boston including Danny Sloane Dance, Paradigm Dance, Concert Dance Company, Dance Collective, ACE Entertainment, and Prometheus Dance Company for 19 years. She currently performs in Across the Ages in choreography in works by Joan Green and Erika Schwartz.
Board of Directors
Gregory A. Manousos
Greg Manousos is a partner with Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, a labor and employment law firm in Boston. Greg handles litigation matters and advises employers, and primarily colleges and universities, on compliance with a wide range of employment laws. Greg is also a certified discrimination prevention trainer. Prior to joining Morgan, Brown & Joy in 2000, Greg served as Counsel to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, where he prosecuted claims of discrimination and harassment on behalf of employees. Greg serves as Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Hearth, Inc., a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of homelessness among the elderly through a variety of prevention, placement, and housing programs. Greg is thrilled to be part of the important mission of BalletRox.
Carol Knox, a well-respected community activist, is a long-time volunteer teaching assistant at Boston Public Schools’ Mission Hill School in Jamaica Plain. She is retired New England Area Director for United Auto Workers (UAW), retired Massachusetts AFL-CIO Vice President, and a graduate of Connecticut College. Carol has worked with BalletRox since 2005, previously serving as BalletRox Board President and Executive Director April 2012 through August 2020, and volunteer coordinator since 2006.
Jeremy Thompson has worked in the labor movement for over 11 years. Currently he is the national higher education research coordinator for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He has also served as the higher education director for SEIU Local 509 and a senior researcher for Local 1199. From 2017 to 2019 he was a senior policy analyst for the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, where he researched and wrote about higher education and worker justice. In 2018, Jeremy’s research played an important role in helping Massachusetts workers win a $15 minimum wage. Before joining the labor movement in 2009, Jeremy worked as a research associate with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and as a senior policy analyst for Cook County in Chicago. Jeremy holds a master’s degree in urban planning and policy, with a concentration in economic development, from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and a bachelor’s degree in communication, with a concentration in print journalism, from Emerson College. He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife and 2 children, both Boston Public School students. Jeremy joined the BalletRox board in 2020.
Rachel Hassinger has worked as a strategic communications professional for nonprofits, primarily in public health, for over 10 years. Recently, she served as Digital Content Editor (Classical) at WGBH Educational Foundation, leading the development of classical.org for Classical WCRB. She also walks dogs and teaches piano and the joy of music to children and adults. Rachel studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College, HECUA's City Arts, and earned a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in interdisciplinary studies from Boston University. Rachel joined the BalletRox board in 2017.
Member at Large
Jane Allard is a Senior Manager of Developer Productivity at Akamai Technologies. Previously a software engineer at Math Works and a trained ballet dancer, Jane has been a BalletRox supporter since 2001.
Member at Large
Born in Boston, Morgan has been dancing ballet since she was given the chance to dance at age two through a program at her Montessori school. This opportunity -- and a director offering to allow Morgan to attend studio classes free of charge -- ignited her lifetime passion for dance and appreciation for community involvement in the arts. Morgan has had varied experiences in the dance community: nationally competing in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz for almost a decade; performing lead roles with a regional ballet company in Texas for 10 years; and attending ballet summer intensives such as The American Academy of Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet NYC, The Boston Ballet, and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Babson College and is currently a Financial Systems Product Owner at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Morgan joined the BalletRox board in 2017.
Member at Large
Magalie Neff, a native of Boston, graduated from Emerson College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in performing arts, specializing in acting, and trained with Shakespeare & Company. She received her Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She has worked with various theater youth groups including, New Landscapes, Acting Out (programs from the Strand Theatre), and Dream Action Theater in Jamaica Plain. She directed Up You Mighty Race's production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf. For over 15 years she has worked with Tempest Productions, touring in their production of Body & Sold, true stories of human trafficking. She also toured in Deanna's Fund productions of The Yellow Dress and Remote Control and with Underground Railway Theater in their production of Are You Ready My Sister? Ms. Neff's career as a teaching artist grew tremendously through her work with the Wang Center’s theater education programs and the Daniel Beaty program. Ms. Neff has performed in countless theater productions and has several film credits to her name. She currently teaches theatre within the Boston Public School system and is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Akiba Abaka Arts.
Member at Large
John Tobin currently serves as Vice President of City and Community Affairs for Northeastern University, where he manages the relationship between the University and elected city officials, agencies, and local community partners. He has extensive experience in theatre production and consulting, responsible for producing and promoting live public and private comedy and music shows; over 400 shows have been produced in the Boston area since 2002. John served as Boston City Councilor, District 6 for 9 years, Representing the communities of Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, in addition to parts of Roslindale, Mission Hill and Roxbury. He is neighborhood activist and has supported the following organizations: Charles River Spring Valley Neighborhood Association, West Roxbury Civic and Improvement Association, Boston Children’s Theatre, Regan Little League, Parkway Little League, Parkway Soccer, Bellevue Hill Association, Roberto Clemente League, Catholic Memorial Hall of Fame Committee, Mark Bavis Leadership Committee. He is thrilled to serve on BalletRox Board and continue to strengthen its partnership with Northeastern University.
Member at Large
Sarita Uribe brings a wealth of varied experience to BalletRox. Sarita worked in the educational publishing industry for a number of years before moving to Boston in 2000. She later received a master’s degree in mental health counseling and worked with adolescents at McLean Hospital’s Arlington School. Sarita was introduced to BalletRox through her youngest daughter, who started dancing with the Tony Williams Dance Center at age five. Sarita volunteered and later worked as the managing director of TWDC. Recently Sarita started TamboArtes, an import business focused on her parents’ home country of Colombia. Through the sale of traditionally hand-crafted products and partnerships with local organizations and individuals, TamboArtes supports social welfare and education initiatives in indigenous Colombian communities. Sarita and her family have lived in Jamaica Plain for over 10 years. Sarita joined the BalletRox board in 2020.
Member at Large
Monique Marshall Veale has more than 17 years of experience working with children and families from various walks of life, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds in the greater Boston area. Monique’s primary focus has been in academic and social enrichment programs for children and adolescents between the ages of 5-19 years old. She was the founding director of C.A.T.C.H. and Smart-Kids in Roxbury, and has served in leadership positions for METCO programs in the Dover-Sherborn, Weston, and Lincoln school districts. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the Roxbury Weston Programs Inc., as the Vice President of Community Outreach for the Boston Children’s Theatre, co-leader of the Walker School Cultural Competency Task Force, and on a variety of community boards emphasizing cultural competency, family involvement, education and community service learning. As the Program Manager for Adolescent Enrichment Services at the Dimock Center in Roxbury MA, Monique leads a youth program that provides academic enrichment, recreation, community-outreach and after school care and education.
BalletRox board members Carol Knox (front row, 2nd from left) and Greg Manousous (front row, far right) with Anita Walker (front row, 2nd from right), executive director of Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Jane Chu (front row, far left), former chairwoman of National Endowment for the Arts.
Supporters, partners and volunteers
Our supporters, partners and volunteers make BalletRox possible! Thanks to many generous funders, donors and supporters, BalletRox was able to meet our financial goals for 2019 and fulfill our mission to make dance accessible to nearly 800 students!
Meet BalletRox's supporters.