Mary Barton +–
Ballet Master & Resident Choreographer
Mary Barton (Ballet Master & Resident Choreographer) received her dance training at The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day and participated in summer courses at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School. Her professional experience began when she performed with The Washington Ballet as a soloist in Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony and in the principal role in Tom Paczik’s Tzigane. Early professional credits include the Oldenburg Staat Ballet in Germany and several seasons with Dayton Ballet. In 1986, Ms. Barton joined the Joffrey Ballet/NY where she performed a variety of roles in the great ballets of the 20th century. Robert Joffrey created the role of Clara for her in the world premiere of his new Nutcracker. Ms. Barton was featured along with Gerald Arpino in an interview with Charlie Rose for the world premiere of Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker. Ms. Barton TV credits include performances in Dance in America on PBS and she was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. From 1993–2004, Ms. Barton was a principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet where notable roles include Sugar Plum Fairy, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Emily in Our Town and leads in Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Rubies, Concerto Barocco and Serenade. Ms. Barton has been on the faculty of the Princeton Ballet School since 1994 and is one of the primary teachers and choreographers for the Summer Intensive. She is a former ballet faculty member at Princeton University and current faculty at Rider University’s Music Theater Department. As Resident Choreographer and Ballet Master of ARB, Ms. Barton’s works include Straight Up with a Twist, Five Men and a Concerto, Faerie Tyme, Fantasy Baroque, Shades of Time, A Shepherd Singing (And I Still Heard Nothing) and her newest work Scarlet Sonata. She has also choreographed over two dozen works for Princeton Ballet School’s spring full-length ballets and Summer Intensive.
Kathleen Moore trained with Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) School. She graduated from ASFA as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and moved to NY to join ABT II in 1980. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to become a member of the corps of ABT in 1982, Ms. Moore was appointed soloist in 1988 and Principal dancer in 1991. Her work included roles across the classical, dramatic, modern and contemporary repertory. Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris and other respected choreographers created roles for her and she was a member of the premiere tour of the White Oak Dance Project under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris in 1990. Ms. Moore has appeared in several dance documentaries, the Herbert Ross movie Dancers, and was interviewed on The Charlie Rose Show. Ms. Moore began teaching for Princeton Ballet School in 1993 as a guest teacher and has worked with ARB since 2006. She is also a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University. Ms. Moore is certified to teach all levels of ballet through the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Maria Youskevitch +–
Workshop Ballet Mistress | Ballet
Maria Youskevitch (ARB Workshop Ballet Mistress, Ballet), the daughter of legendary ballet star Igor Youskevitch, was a soloist with American Ballet Theatre and Maryland Ballet, and ballerina with Youskevitch’s concert group, Ballet Romantique. She was company teacher, rehearsal assistant and senior faculty member at Hartford Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Kirk Peterson. She has been ballet mistress for BalletMet, Nevada Dance Theatre and coach for the New York International Ballet Competition. In addition, Ms. Youskevitch has taught at such prestigious schools as the David Howard Dance Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Virginia School of the Arts under the direction Petrus Bosman, The Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. A celebrated teacher and coach for over 40 years, she was featured in the June 2002 issue of Dance Teacher magazine. Well versed in the classical ballet repertoire, she has mounted versions of Giselle, Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardée and her father’s one-act Romeo and Juliet. She has also staged Michel Fokine’s Spectre de la Rose and Les Sylphides, and the children’s roles in Kirk Peterson’s Nutcracker. Ms. Youskevitch was also on faculty for ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop in Manhattan for eight years, and is an ABT Certified Teacher, having completed the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Janell Byrne +–
Janell Byrne, a native of California, studied with Stanley Holden and Margaret Hills in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Alfredo Corvino, Ms. Byrne has taught at Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, The College of New Jersey and the Lawrenceville School. She has performed with DanceWorks and Teamwork Dance and is Director of Mercer Dance Ensemble, and has been teaching here for over 20 years.
Carol Bellis +–
Principal, Cranbury Studio | Coordinator, Summer Intensives | Ballet
Carol Bellis received her training on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, official school of the New York City Ballet. She danced with the Garden State Ballet and has taught for Garden State Ballet School, Gloria Govrin’s New Hope Ballet Academy, and the School of Performing Arts at Somerset Vo-Tech. She has been teaching here for more than 20 years, and is the principal of the Cranbury studio and the Coordinator of Princeton Ballet School’s summer programs. Ms. Bellis is also an Adjunct Professor of Ballet at Rider University.
609.921.7758, ext. 30
Kirk Peterson +–
Kirk Peterson had a distinguished career for 17 years with American Ballet Theatre as principal dancer, choreographer, Artistic Director of ABTII, Ballet Master, Principal Character Artist and as Master Teaching Associate. Peterson was also Artistic Director of the Hartford Ballet for five years. As a choreographer, Peterson has created over 50 ballets including new versions of The Firebird and Le Sacre du Printemps. His choreography has been seen with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, BalletMet, San Francisco Opera and The Royal Ballet School. He is a specialist in re-staging the full-length classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle utilizing original choreography and technique. He was nominated for the prestigeous Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow for Othello, created for Alberta Ballet. Peterson was resident choreographer for Cincinnati Ballet for six years and he is also a repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. American Repertory Ballet restaged Peterson’s Glazunov Variations for the 2010-2011 Season and The Eyes That Gently Touch for the 2011-2012 Season. In 2013, Peterson choreographed Tears of the Moon for American Repertory Ballet, fulfilling his long-held desire to create a work to music by Beethoven.
Laurie Abramson received her training at the Joffrey Ballet School and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from New York University. She has also studied with Alfredo Corvino, David Howard and at The New Dance Group. In addition to her work at Princeton Ballet School, Ms. Abramson is a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and also at Montclair State University. Additional teaching credits include Stuart Country Day School, Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), Southern NJ Academy of the Performing Arts, Acrodanse Theatre Company and master classes at The American College Dance Festival. She has served as a dance evaluator for the NJ State Council on the Arts and helped construct and implement the exit exams for the performing arts schools throughout the state for the NJ Dept. of Education, Visual and Performing Arts. Choreographic projects include works for PBII (now known as ARB Workshop), Acrodanse Theatre Company and musical theatre work. She has been the recipient of an arts-in-education grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts. She has been teaching here since 1981.
Erika Mero +–
PBW Juniors Teacher
Erika Mero (Ballet, PBW Juniors teacher) began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School. As a dancer in the Professional Training Program, she studied with Elisabeth Carroll, Septime Webre, Maria Youskevitch, Mary Pat Robertson and Douglas Martin. Ms. Mero was a member of Princeton Ballet II, a pre-professional company of the school, where she performed works by Sherry Alban and other members of the Princeton Ballet School staff. Later, as a dancer in American Repertory Ballet Workshop, Ms. Mero appeared in the premiere of Graham Lustig’s Standstill as well as the ballerina role of Swanhilda in Coppélia. During these years, she also attended The Juilliard School’s summer program for two years. In 2006, Ms. Mero graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase. While in attendance at SUNY, Ms. Mero began teaching at American Repertory Ballet's Princeton Ballet School in 2003 and continues to do so as a ballet instructor. She is also a Dance Instructor with American Repertory Ballet's DANCE POWER in New Brunswick and was named the Curriculum and Assessment Supervisor for the Program. Erika's performance work includes two seasons with Stuart Loungway’s Terra Firma Dance Theatre, several opera productions with Opera New Jersey and as a featured dancer/choreographer in Capriccio at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. In May 2010, Erika graduated with an MA in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy from New York University. Ms. Mero is an ABT® certified teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Erika has been on the faculty for ABT's Young Dancer Summer Workshop since graduation from NYU and is currently an adjunct instructor at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ as well as Rutgers University at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Aydmara Cabrera +–
Aydmara began her ballet studies at the age of nine at the National Ballet School in Havana and became a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Cuba , under the direction of Alicia Alonso. Ms. Cabrera’s professional dance experience includes international ballet festivals and worldwide tours, performing lead roles in all classical and contemporary ballets with the National Ballet of Cuba and Ballet Hispanico of New York. She studied with iconic teachers such as Alicia Alonso, Loipa Araujo, Josefina Mendez, Joaquin Banegas, and Ramona de Saa. In the course of her career, Ms. Cabrera partnered with some of the most famous male dancers of our time, including José Manuel Carreño, Carlos Acosta, Orlando Salgado, Lienz Chang, Jorge Vega and José Zamorano, before moving to the United States and directing her own school in Miami. She has also been invited to teach at many internationally recognized schools, including Princeton Ballet School, developing a training curriculum that incorporates much of her Cuban roots.
The teachers work with the whole dancer, not just the technical side. Small classes provide plenty of attention and personal help. See our full list of Summer Intensive faculty below.