Calling ALL alumni of The Russell School of Ballet and/or The Fairfax Ballet Company!
Where are you know? We’d love to hear from you…
When did you start at RSB or FB? What year did you graduate? What University did you attend and what degree did you earn? What company to you dance/work for? We want to know!
Please submit your bio and headshot to The Fairfax Ballet.
Lauren Heebner trained at the Russell School of Ballet during her high school years, and performed with the Junior and Senior Company of The Fairfax Ballet. Since then, she was a trainee at North Carolina Dance Theatre under Jean-PIerre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. She then became a trainee at Ballet Austin under Stephen Mills and Michelle Martin. In September of 2013, she joins Ballet Pensacola as a soloist for her inaugural season.
Jennie (Mokodean) Johnson is a Russell School of Ballet alumna and a returning faculty member. Most of her training was completed at the Russell School of Ballet, where she also performed roles in The Fairfax Ballet productions such as Clara in The Nutcracker and the title character in The Nightingale. She participated in summer sessions with the Miami City Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, Universal Ballet Academy, and Ballet Austin, and was selected to perform with Burklyn Ballet Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. After graduating from high school, Ms. Johnson performed with Ballet Austin in The Nutcracker and several outreach programs, and then returned to the Russell School of Ballet as a ballet instructor. A former high school English teacher, Ms. Johnson now works as an instructional designer for a local company that provides training to the federal workforce. She is grateful for the opportunity to return to the Russell School of Ballet.
Christina Krueger started out at Russell School of ballet when I was in Kindergarden and continued all the way until I graduated high school! Since graduating, I went/am still going to George Mason University studying Event Management! I took a year and a half off of school to move to California where I danced in Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at Disneyland! Performing for Disney has been a dream of mine since I was little and I loved every second of it! I honestly believe that I would not be the dancer I am today without the training I received at Russell! To all of the teachers that I’ve ever studied under and all the friends I had the privilege of dancing with, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
Christina Le trained at the Russell School of Ballet during high school and danced with the Junior and Senior Company of The Fairfax Ballet through 2012. One of her favorite roles was the Evil Queen in the 2012 performance of Happily Ever After. She currently is pursing a degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and additionally performs and choreographs for the Virginia Dance Company. When she isn’t buried in data analysis or dancing, she enjoys dark chocolate and a good cup of coffee.
Julia Lloyd began dancing at Russell School of Ballet in 2004 and danced with The Fairfax Ballet’s Senior and Junior Companies through 2012. She has attended summer intensive programs with San Francisco Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Julia is currently pursuing a Dance Performance Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in Political Science at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Kirsten Lloyd attended the Russell School of Ballet from 2004-2010 and was a member of both The Fairfax Ballet Junior and Senior Company. She attended summer dance intensives at the American Repertory Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Washington School of Ballet. Kirsten is now a Senior at the College of William and Mary, double-majoring in Global Studies, with a concentration in Latin American Studies, and History. During her time at the College, she danced and choreographed for three years for Orchesis, William and Mary’s modern dance company.
Hillary Liu started dancing at Russell School of Ballet at the age of eight, and was a member of The Fairfax Ballet’s Junior and Senior company. Currently, she’s a freshman at University of Virginia pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Studio Art.
Abigail Marchesseault started dancing at the Russell School of Ballet in 2004, and was a member of both the Junior and Senior Company of The Fairfax Ballet. Upon graduating in 2011, she moved to Dallas, Texas to study at Southern Methodist University. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance under the direction of Myra Woodruff, Christopher Dolder, Shelley Berg, and Danny Buraczeski, in addition to earning a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physiology.
Laura McElhaney began her dance training at the age of three at the Russell School of ballet and began her tap training at the age of five. Laura danced with The Fairfax Ballet Junior and Senior companies all through Middle and High School and has enjoyed many roles during those years. During college Laura continued to dance at Russell School when home on breaks and for the summer and has worked as a member of the stage crew for both Nutcracker and the Spring shows since her graduation. Laura most recently performed in the 2012 Nutcracker. Laura graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Computer Science and when not dancing or teaching at the Russell School works as a Software Engineer.
Kirstie Pendergrass trained at Russel School of Ballet from 1983 through 1990, and performed with both the Junior and Senior Companies of The Fairfax Ballet. (She was in Margaret Virkus’ first group of students at Russell!). She received a B.S. in Psychology from Guilford College and a M.A. in Special Education from the University of New Mexico. In her early twenties, she fell in love with modern dance and was a founding member of a modern dance company in Oregon. She has studied and performed with Bill Evans, Rosalind Schrodt, Jill Pribyl, and many others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and her son (whom she hopes also loves to dance some day), who was born in 2012. She loves working as a licensed massage therapist at an acupuncture and holistic wellness clinic where she specializes in prenatal massage and has also treated dancers and athletes.
Emily Petry graduated from the Russell School of Ballet in 2008, after completing her training with their pre-professional track. She went on to attend Florida State University, where she studied classical ballet and modern technique and in addition, was a company member of the Tallahassee Ballet. Upon graduating Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she moved to New York City. She is currently performing in the Big Apple with three companies, Dance@Saint Peters, Empty Nave Projects, and Edgar Cortes Dance Theater. She also now works in fashion show production.
Gwendolyn Petry started her training at the Russell School of Ballet in high school and was also a member of The Fairfax Ballet’s Junior and Senior company. After graduating in 2008, she began pursuing her Bachelor in Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance at the Florida State University. While there she was fortunate enough to be a senior company member with The Tallahassee Ballet. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012 from FSU and then moved to New York City, where she now resides. She is freelancing and performing with Dance at St. Peters, Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre, and Empty Nave Projects. She would like to thank the Russell School and The Fairfax Ballet for giving her the foundation she needed to keep on dancing.
Rachel Shirley began her dance training in pre-ballet classes at the Russell School of Ballet and continued dancing there through Junior and Senior Company of The Fairfax Ballet until graduating in 2012. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in dance performance from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts.
Joye Thomas was born an artist and a visionary – and became a dancer. Joye Thomas’s formal training began at the Russell School of Ballet, home of The Fairfax Ballet, under the tutelage of Ilona and Thomas Russell. After Joye was asked to be in their non-profit company, she had the opportunity to perform at venues such as George Mason Center for the Arts, Joy of Motion, and Dance Place. As a member of The Fairfax Ballet, she worked with numerous guest artists from various professional companies and danced in works by Tony Powell and Lucy Bowen-McCauley. During high school, she had the opportunity to train at the Fairfax County School for Communications and the Arts under the teachings of Melanie Lalande, current Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil’s “Love.” Joye attended Point Park University, for dance, under the teachings of Nicolas Petrov and Judith Leifer-Bentz. Her mentor, Melanie Lalande, started Mayzsoul Inc., a non-profit dance company based in the Washington Metropolitan Area, with whom she performed at venues in the DC Metropolitan area and New York. A year later, Joye began training at Virginia Commonwealth University for dance and taught for Jessica Morgan School of Dance (rated the #1 dance studio in Richmond,) where she taught a variety of dance styles. Joye’s competition dances won Gold and Platinum Awards. In 2011, Joye was named Artistic Director for Mayzsoul Inc. and began teaching at Showcase Dance Studio in Manassas, VA. Joye started the “Modern Program” at Showcase Dance Studio and the success of the program grew rapidly. Joye led Mayzsoul Inc. through their busiest season ever with over 25 performances and workshops for the season. In 2012, Joye was also named a “Raw” Artist- a nationwide indie-arts organization. In 2013, Joye continued her career in the Northern Virginia Area by performing with local artists, International celebrations, and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Joye prides herself on creating excellent performers and artists, and her graduating seniors of 2013 all went to pursue dance at the collegiate level. Joye currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop at Showcase Dance Studio, Ravel Dance Studio, and her Alma mater Russell School of Ballet while also pursuing her degree in Fitness Studies.