Our Faculty

“Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays.” – George Balanchine
 

Building A Foundation Of Excellence

It is true that one can dance without ever taking a lesson. But to become a dancer, one must learn the art of dancing. It is with an impressive faculty that Northwest Ballet Academy is able to transform dance enthusiasts into highly skilled dancers.

Heading Northwest Ballet Academy is Director Michele Holzman. With a bachelor's degree in ballet from The University of Utah and a master's degree from Northwestern University, Holzman has built a faculty of eight professionals who possess vast teaching and performance experience.
 
Pas De Deux from Pink - Ballet Academy in Schaumburg, IL
 

Experience and Talent Are Prerequisites Here

Director Michele Leslie Holzman

  • Director, The Schaumburg Nutcracker and Schaumburg Dance Ensemble
  • Co-Director, Northwest Ballet Ensemble
  • Performed with Ballet West, a professional ballet company.
  • Studied at American Ballet Center–the school for Joffrey Ballet Company, Gus Giordano Studio, and Ruth Page School..
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet, University of Utah
  • Masters Degree, Northwestern University.

Roberta Pfeil-Begley

  • Co-Director, Northwest Ballet Ensemble Performing Company
  • Soloist at San Francisco Ballet Company; San Francisco, California.
  • Performed in Geneva Ballet; Switzerland.
  • Performed in Ruth Page Chicago Ballet; Chicago, Illinois.
  • Director and instructor at Redwood Empire Ballet; Santa Rosa, California.
  • Former Director and instructor at Ballet Theater North; Northbrook, Illinois.
  • Owner of and director at the Dancer's Workshop; Mill Valley, California.
  • Trained at Ellis-DuBoulay School of Ballet Chicago.

Karla Harris

  • Bachelor's degree; Millikin University; Decatur, Illinois.
  • Teacher's Advanced Professional Certificate in the Cecchetti method of Ballet.
  • Permanent examiner of Cecchetti Council of America.
  • Former Director of Ballet Theater North; Northbrook; Illinois.

Jennifer Wycykal

  • Rehearsal Director and company member of Inaside Chicago Dance
  • Bachelor's degree in ballet; The University of Utah; Salt Lake, Utah.
  • Performed with Vadco, Fisher Dance Center — Dance Foundation (Wilmette/Glenview, Illinois), Urban Dance Force and Chicago Dance Crash (Chicago, Illinois).
  • Performed lead roles, Snow Queen Waltz Queen Arabian Soloist in the Schaumburg Nutcracker and Schaumburg Dance Ensemble; Schaumburg, Illinois.
  • Scholarship student of the Joffrey Ballet — Summer Intensives Program; Chicago, Illinois.

Jacqueline Farina

  • Teacher's advanced Certificate in the Cecchetti method of Ballet, currently pursuing the Diploma certificate
  • Received Royal Academy of Dance training at Academia de Ballet, Mexico City, Attained Grades: Primary – Solo Seal
  • Performer with Compañía Nacional de Danza Clásica de Mexico and Arsaedis (Contemporary), Mexico City
  • Performer with Venetia Stifler & Concert Dance Inc., Chicago IL (Modern Dance)

Emily Stein

  • Ballet coordinator and faculty member, Columbia College
  • Former Associate Artistic Director and Company member, Zephyr Dance (Chicago)
  • B.A. in Dance, University of Iowa
  • M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography. Smith College

Carley Klebba

  • Company Member, Chicago Repertory Ballet Company
  • B.A. in Dance, Grand Valley State University
  • Recipient of the Marlene Kenneway Love of Dance Scholarship
  • Trained in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet

Linda Gehrt

  • Bachelor of Science; University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
  • Bachelor of Science; Midwestern University; Downers Grove, Illinois.
  • Trained with J. Puodziunas at the University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
  • Numerous performance credits from Northwest Ballet Ensemble; Schaumburg, Illinois.
  • Trained at Northwest Ballet Academy.

Lori Baduria

  • Grade III certified teacher in the Cecchetti method of ballet.
  • Bachelor's degree in elementary education; Indiana University; Bloomington-Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Eighteen years of dance training at Northwest Ballet Academy (Schaumburg, Illinois), including ballet, jazz, tap, modern, character and musical theater.
  • Member of the Indiana Dance Theater; Bloomington, Indiana.

Glenna Monroe

  • Certified Pilates instructor.
  • Studied as a dance major at the University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
  • Trained with Gus Giordano (Chicago, Illinois), David Howard and Kenneth Rinker (New York City, New York).
  • ACE-certified group exercise instructor.
  • Professional dancer for Nina Weiner and Dancers; New York City, New York.

Sarah O'Donnell

  • B.A. in history and secondary education, University of Illinois
  • Certified in Special Education, Roosevelt University
  • Assistant coach, varsity dance team, Glenbard West
  • 20 years of dance training at University of Illinois and Northwest Ballet Academy including ballet, Cecchetti, jazz, character, and musical theater