Ballet School & Junior Company Director (Ballet, Pointe)
"My greatest joys and challenges as a ballet teacher come from guiding our students over a period of many years and helping each individual to attain his or her highest potential. While classical ballet comes with a strictly defined technique, I delight in finding ways to demystify its challenges for the students. Through thorough understanding, experimentation, and repetition, each student learns that even the most difficult steps can be mastered with sufficient time and practice.
"I am particularly pleased to have developed a curriculum that teaches artistry alongside classical ballet's demanding syllabus of positions and steps. And because I teach so many levels, I have the privilege and pleasure of watching and shaping each student's progression from hopeful fledgling to confident and expressive artist."
Janet also directs the Junior Company, and serves as adjunct Ballet Mistress for the Company.
Our entire faculty is comprised of either former students who have grown up with our training methods in our creative, nurturing atmosphere, or professional company dancers who bring the best of their own training backgrounds and insights to the classes they teach.
CRYSTAL BROTHERS (Adult Ballet)
"I absolutely love helping people make a connection to their bodies. Movement makes the heart happy, and my greatest hope is to impart to my students even just a teaspoon of the exhilaration I feel when I dance. When students first come to Beginning Adult Ballet they are often scared and nervous; some haven't danced for years; for others this is their first class ever. The transformation that happens as each connects to his or her body and spirit through dance is both humbling and gratifying to see, and being a part of this experience makes Adult Ballet one of my favorite classes to teach."
Read more about Crystal's performing career here. She is also a certified STOTT PILATES instructor at the Pilates Centre.
Ashley Hannah Davis (Discover Dance, Ballet)
"One of the things I enjoy most about teaching is seeing my students' creativity and desire to learn in each class. Their enthusiasm inspires me to find different ways to challenge them with exercises that are both instructive and fun!"
Ashley Hannah was a long-time student in the school and Junior Company before becoming a Ballet Memphis trainee in 2013.
RACHEL HEWER (Ballet, Pointe)
"The Ballet studio has always been a magical place for me – a safe and creative environment in which to experiment, to challenge myself, to express my innermost thoughts and feelings through movement, and to simply feel beautiful. I try to recreate that atmosphere in my classes and to pass along the fine training I received as a student at Ballet Memphis School, as well as some of the discoveries and epiphanies I've had on my own. In addition to helping the students learn the intricacies of ballet technique, I also try, in every class, to connect with and encourage each student's spirit."
Rachel grew up in the Ballet Memphis School and danced with the Junior Company for seven years before joining the company in 2002. She is also a certified STOTT PILATES instructor.
HIDEKO KARASAWA (Adult Ballet)
"I look forward to sharing my knowledge and love of dance with the dedicated adults in our program!"
Hideko is a long-time Ballet Memphis company member.
NIKKI LEWIS (Discover Dance, Ballet)
"Finding ways to work with each student challenges me to be a better instructor. I enjoy watching the Discover Dance students create their own dance phrases—their imaginations are huge at this age! I also enjoy helping the Older Beginners discover that the key to learning dance is repetition and developing self-discipline."
Nikki Lewis, a native of Memphis, TN, began dancing with Watoto de Afrika, and received her ballet training at Ballet Memphis School. She graduated from UT Martin with a BFA in Dance Education.
VIRGINIA PILGRIM (Ballet)
"I want to help the adults that I teach to feel strong and beautiful. I see our time together as an hour and a half where we can all escape from whatever stresses our busy schedules are throwing our way and enjoy the grace and freedom of movement. Plus, it's a fun way to get a great workout!"
Ginny began her training at Ballet Memphis School at age 5, and has danced with the Junior and professional Company ever since.
BRANDON RAMEY (Ballet)
"Adult ballet classes are a great way to grow your appreciation for dance, whether you have taken ballet all your life, or are just beginning. Dancing provides an outlet for the artist inside of you, while improving range of motion and core strength in an exciting, musical environment. I appreciate the love for dance that inspires each of my students to continue dancing in their adult years, and I strive to both encourage and challenge them in every class."
Brandon dances with Ballet Memphis.