At School of Philadelphia Ballet, formerly School of Pennsylvania Ballet, each teacher’s primary objective is to help his or her students achieve the individual goals they set out to reach as dancers. We not only recognize our students’ genuine passion for this art form, but equally embrace the dedication they bring to the studio each and every day. We also believe the same passion, commitment, and joy for dance they bring to their training will spill over and enrich all aspects of their daily lives.


Principal of the School of Philadelphia Ballet

Kristina Windom joins School of Philadelphia Ballet after 16 years as a dancer, educator, and administrator with The Washington Ballet, where she studied classical ballet with Mary Day. She is excited to “return” to Pennsylvania, where she spent her first summer away as a young dancer, studying with Barbara Weisberger.

As a 17-year old, Kristy competed as one of two Americans in the prestigious Varna International Ballet Competition. She danced professionally with The Washington Ballet, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet, San Francisco Opera Ballet, and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. Kristy completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance at George Mason University and taught dancers at GMU for 18 years, helping students navigate the benefits of dance in university settings. As a division head in The Washington School of Ballet, Kristy was part of a team that focused on nurturing students and helping to grow the school’s student body threefold.

In her research, Kristy explores interdisciplinary and innovative dance training strategies that primarily focus on neuromuscular performance and execution. Her studies as a somatic practitioner influence her ballet curricula, helping students recruit dynamic alignment and safe movement practices. She is a sought-after mentor to ballet students who aspire to professional careers and non-traditional paths. She is most interested in experiences that promote diversity in ballet so this training can be practiced and shared widely and equitably.


Principal, Lower School & Adult Programs

Jessica Kilpatrick has devoted her life’s work to studying, embodying and sharing her passion for the art of dance. Formerly the Principal of the Children’s and Adult Programs at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet she has called upon her immense experience inside the dance community to continue to expand accessibility of the highest quality of dance education to all.

Jessica began professional ballet training at the School of the Hartford Ballet, at the age of 9. In love with classical technique, she continued on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Pedagogy from the Hartt School, University of Hartford. Throughout her early years she performed many of the iconic classical ballets as well as works by world renowned choreographers including Kirk Peterson’s American Nutcracker, works by Jose Limon, Anthony Tudor, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor and Thang Dao.

Jessica’s love for teaching was born at the age of 17 when she was given the opportunity to share the beauty of ballet with students of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Hartford, CT. Jessica’ s drive to share the joy of ballet continued to grow and she went on to teach at Ballet Hispanico and The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, The Ballet School of Stamford and The University of Hartford Hartt School Community Division where she served as Artistic Director for their 2014 Summer Ballet Intensive “From Studio to Stage II.”

Choreography quickly became another aspect of dance that Jessica became passionate about. After her directorship with the Hartt School she was commissioned to create two ballets for their HarttWorks. When with the Pennsylvania Ballet she choreographed multiple works for the ballet’s Community Engagement and Adaptive Programs, The Pennsylvania Ballet’s Second Company, and the Trainees of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. One of the most notable works being “I AM” a ballet integrating both the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Second Company and St. Katherine’s Special Education School. The project was documented by award-winning filmmaker Glenn Holsten and premiered in 2017.

Jessica’s performance career began performing Merce Cunningham’s “Inlets 2,” restaged by Jean Freebury, at the American Dance Festival. The work and process were filmed as part of a documentary highlighting Merce Cunningham’s work. She later became a founding member of Alison Cook Beatty Dance, under the Artistic Direction of Alison Cook Beatty and joined Amy Marshall Dance Company where she performed in many prestigious venues and festivals across the world. During her time at The Pennsylvania Ballet Jessica stepped onto the stage of The Academy of Music to take on some well-known character roles under the direction of Angel Corella. The Nurse in Kenneth Macmillan’s Romeo and Juliet, the Grandmother in Balanchine’s Nutcracker, Giselle’s Mother, and the role of Aiya in Mr. Corella’s restaging of La Bayadère.

Jessica devoted the last two years to developing her own company LoveArts, an organization with the mission of supporting people in loving themselves using all art modalities. Jessica tells us, “I am beyond thrilled to return to the School of Philadelphia Ballet and honored to join the team as Principal of Lower School and Adult Programming.”


Faculty, Children’s Ballet Stager
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Jaime Santoro began her ballet training at age six at both the Rock School of Dance and the Philadelphia Dance Conservatory. She had performed as a member of Pennsylvania Ballet, now the Philadelphia Ballet, before joining Orlando Ballet in 1996. During the summer of 2001, Ms. Santoro was granted a professional fellowship award and invited to perform as a guest artist and tour with the Rome Festival throughout Italy.

While with Orlando Ballet, Ms. Santoro performed soloist and principal roles in both classical and contemporary works. Her classical repertoire includes The NutcrackerRomeo and JulietDon QuixoteSwan LakeCinderellaThe Sleeping Beauty, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her Balanchine repertoire includes Symphony In C (First and Fourth Movement), Who Cares?Concerto BaroccoValse FantaisieSerenade, and Agon.

The transition from principal and soloist dancer to choreographer and teacher was a natural evolution for Ms. Santoro and has provided her the opportunity to carry out both roles for several organizations, including Orlando Ballet, Orlando Ballet School, Springton Dance Academy, and Dance Arts of Yardley.

In 2009, Ms. Santoro was recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and excellence in the performing arts.


Faculty and Company Dancer
Hometown: Larkspur, CO

Sterling Baca began his training at age 11 at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and later with world-renowned instructor German Zamuel. He then studied with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), at first attending five of their summer intensive programs (as a National Training and Bender Foundation Scholar) and later in their elite pre-professional program at the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School with full scholarship.

Sterling joined Philadelphia Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, as a Principal Dancer for our 2016/2017 season. Since joining us, he has tackled featured and principal roles in a varied repertoire that includes full-length ballets such as Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella (Prince) and Angel Corella’s Le Corsaire (Conrad) and Swan Lake (Prince), contemporary works like Brian Sanders’ Chicken Bone Brain, or a more classical approach such as in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Jewels, and Western Symphony (Fourth Movement).

Prior to joining Philadelphia Ballet, Sterling danced with American Ballet Theatre, where he began in 2010 as a member of their second company. He was invited to join the main company as an apprentice in May 2011 and soon after promoted to the corps de ballet in December of that same year. While with ABT, Sterling created the roles of Prince Fortune and Lilac Fairy Cavalier in Alexei Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty and performed leading roles in Liam Scarlett’s With a Chance of Rain, Mark Morris’ After You, Marcelo Gomes’s Aftereffect, and Zhong-Jing Fang’s The Final Frame.

Sterling also appeared on season 4 of Dance212, a popular online series that follows dancers trying to make it in New York City. As well, he was in the short film, On a Grass Field, which won Best Short Film at the 2014 New Jersey Golden Door Film Festival. In January 2016, Sterling was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine for their “25 to Watch” issue. In addition to his vast performance experience, Sterling is also certified in American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum.


Hometown: Chelyabinsk / Perm, Russia

Alexei Borovik was born in Russia and began his ballet training at the age of ten at the Perm Ballet Academy. Upon graduating in 1979, he was invited to join the Perm Ballet Theatre. His reputation quickly established itself, and in 1982 he was elevated to Premiere Dancer. Alexei was awarded the Second Prize at The Artistic Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1984. In 1987, he won the Gold Medal at The Sixth Concourse International Ballet Festival in Peru and was honored with a decoration as “Merited Artist of Russia.”

A highly sought-after guest artist, Alexei has made numerous appearances internationally and throughout Russia. In 1997, he toured China with The Stars of the American Ballet. From 1992-2006, Alexei was a Principal Dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet. His extensive repertoire includes principal roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Don Quixote, and The Nutcracker, among others. Along with leading roles in the classical repertoire, he has taken up additional assignments in the ballets of George Balanchine, including Apollo, Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Tarantella, Serenade, Theme and Variations, and Stars and Stripes. Alexei has also danced in such diverse pieces as Hans van Manen’s Grosse Fuge, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Lynne Taylor Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk, and has created roles in many new ballets. In June 1997, Alexei had the prestigious honor of being invited to return to his homeland of Russia to appear as Principal Guest Artist in The Perm Ballet Theatre’s productions of Don Quixote and Giselle in celebration of their 125th Jubilee.

On October 13, 2006, Alexei retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet with a Gala Performance of Balanchine’s Apollo. He gave his last performance with Perm Ballet in Russia in November 2006. Alexei has worked with Jeanne Ruddy Dance since January 2007, teaching ballet classes and expanding his career as a modern dancer. He is on the faculty as a ballet teacher with School of Philadelphia Ballet.

Alexei is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with all levels of students and is committed to providing the highest-quality ballet training in a fun and supportive environment.


Hometown: Veracruz, México

Elba has been living in Philadelphia teaching at the School of Philadelphia Ballet since 2021 as a faculty member focused on Spanish Dance and Flamenco. Additionally, she is an Artistic Faculty member and Company Manager of Pasion y Arte Conservatory in Overbrook.

Originally from Veracruz, México, Elba Cena is a dance educator, choreographer, and highly accomplished dancer. She has been endorsed as a qualified teacher by Institution “Amor De Dios”, a highly esteemed and oldest institution in Madrid, where Spanish dance and Flamenco have been taught since 1953.

She and her mother founded the renowned school “Danzas Españolas Elba Cena” over 30 years ago, teaching Flamenco and Spanish Dance where their technique has been recognized at the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City.

She has studied with many renowned artists, including Cristobal Reyes (her primary Flamenco teacher), Olga Marcioni “La China”, Manuel Reyes, Merche Esmeralda, José Molina and Manuel Linan, Ana López (teacher of the Conservatorio real de Madrid Mariemma), Elba Hevia y Vaca, among others.

Elba has been recognized numerous times for her artistic direction, her solo dancing, and her dance company and school´s productions over the past 17 years. She has made several appearances with renowned symphony and philharmonic orchestras in Mexico and taking flamenco, to important stages within large productions such as the show Esencia y Consecuencia for 15 years, and the staging of Viva Lara accompanying great artists of international stature.

A recent twist in Elba’s career saw her collaborate with the British Junior Ice Skating Champions Phebe Bekker and James Hernandez. She choreographed flamenco elements into their program, where they won a silver medal at the Junior Prix in Ostrava 2022, first place at the British Championships and recently, third place at World Junior Championship in Calgary with their Flamenco program.

Elba is passionate about connecting and sharing dance with all of her students, regardless of where they are in their careers.


Hometown: Yoshkar-Ola, Russia

Born in Yoshkar-Ola, Russia, Mr. Charov began his ballet training at age nine and graduated from the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg – home of the famed Russian ballet traditions. His studies there included Classical Ballet, History of Theater, History of Art and Music, Acting, Stage Makeup, History of European and American Ballet, Character, Historic Dance, Fencing and Pas de Deux. From school and throughout his career, Mr. Charov had great teachers who helped him to achieve his goals (Veniamin Zimin, Professor Nikolai Serebrennikov – greatest teachers of Mariinsky ballet – Sergei Berezhnoi, Vladlen Semenov, and Irina Kolpakova, just to name a few).

Alexei started his professional career at the age of seventeen at the Donetsk Opera and Ballet House in Ukraine. He began touring nationally and abroad and enjoyed great success, quickly building a rich classical repertoire. In 1991, he moved to the United States and continued his performing career with the Indianapolis Ballet (Cavalier in Nutcracker, Hilarion in Giselle, Pas de Esclave, Zuniga in Carmen). In 1996, he joined Philadelphia Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, and started adding a wide collection of Balanchine works to his range. Alexei has also performed in original works by many internationally acclaimed choreographers such as Jerome Robbins, Ben Stevenson, Margo Sappington, Kirk Peterson, John Cranko, James Kudelka, L. Taylor-Corbett, Alvin Ailey, Dwight Rhoden, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Mejia, Alberto Alonso, Matthew Neenan, and others. His performances were highlighted and reviewed by the press in Europe and Asia, as well as in the United States. Mr.Charov served as a Ballet Master for Koresh Dance Company and helped to develop children’s ballet program for the school. Currently, Mr. Charov works for Philadelphia Performing Art String Theory Schools, as a coordinator of curriculum for classical ballet programs for beginner levels. He is also serving as a faculty member of School of Philadelphia Ballet. Mr. Charov teaches master classes and stages classical performances and original works around the country and internationally. In 2016, Mr. Charov received a Bachelor’s degree in choreography, directing, and teaching. In January of 2018, he completed his Masters in Fine Arts and Pedagogy.


Hometown: Vinnitsa, Ukraine

Natalia Charova began her training at age ten and graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, home of the famed Russian ballet traditions, where her studies included classical ballet, history of theater, history of art and music, acting, stage makeup, history of European and American ballet, character, historic dance, and pas de deux. Ms. Charova also received a bachelor’s degree in choreography, directing, and teaching.

Throughout her schooling and career, Ms. Charova has credited great teachers for helping her to achieve her goals – teachers such as Elena Riabinkina, Sergei Vikharev, and Irina Kolpakova to name a few. Ms. Charova began her professional career at age 18 with the Donetsk Opera and Ballet House in Ukraine. She toured nationally and abroad, enjoying great success and quickly building a classical repertoire while performing such roles as Odette, the Sugarplum Fairy, and Maria Taglioni from Pas de Quatre.

In 1991, Ms. Charova moved to the United States where she continued dancing with the Indianapolis Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet, now Philadelphia Ballet, adding a wide array of Balanchine works to her repertoire. She has performed in original works by world-renowned choreographers such as Jerome Robbins, Ben Stevenson, Margo Sappington, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Alvin Ailey, Dwight Rhoden, Christopher Wheeldon, and Matthew Neenan, among others. Her performances have been highlighted and reviewed in Europe and Asia, as well as the United States.

Ms. Charova continues to teach as well as stage classical productions and original works around the country and abroad. She currently works for Philadelphia Performing Arts String Theory Schools, teaching and coordinating ballet programs for beginners through advanced levels.


Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Courtney Conigatti began her dance training at the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City. As a dance major, she trained in various styles at the Ailey School under the direction of Hassan Blandford. After high school, she went on to study at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she earned her BFA in dance. While at the university, Courtney performed the works of many respectable choreographers such as Ronen (Roni) Koresh, Wayne St. David, Douglas Becker and Sidra Bell.

In 2014, she had the opportunity to participate in the “DanceAbility” (dance for able and disabled bodies) teacher certification course in Vienna, Austria under the direction of Alito Alessi. Upon graduating, Courtney performed in Opera Philadelphia’s production of “Turandot,” choreographed by Renaud Doucet.

As Courtney has been dancing from a young age, she found Pilates to be a reliable form of cross-training and injury prevention. She began seriously training in Pilates under the instruction of Sabrina Collins in 2012. Later, Courtney progressed through the Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Training under the direction of Ellie Herman through the internationally recognized Pilates certification program. This program consisted of ten intensive modules covering Mat, Barre, Springboard, Reformer, Cadillac, Pilates Arc, and Wunda Chair. Courtney hopes to share her love for movement as well as provide her students with the necessary tools to ensure their bodies remain strong and aligned throughout their career.


Hometown: East Norriton, PA

Charity Eagens began her dance training at age seven with the Valley Forge School of Dance under the direction of Sharon Atkinson and later under full scholarship with Bo and Stephanie Spassoff at the Rock School of Dance. She also spent summers training at the Rock School and Hartford Ballet. In addition, Ms. Eagens trained under the guidance of Wilhelm Burmann, Gloria Govern, Olga Kostrizsky, Natalia Nikulin Barr, Yvonne Patterson, Nina Fedorva, Roy Kaiser, and Sandra Jennings, among many others.

In 1994, Ms. Eagens became a trainee with Hartford Ballet, where she danced in ballets such as Western SymphonyCoppélia, and Kirk Peterson’s The Nutcracker, which she also had the opportunity to tour throughout the New York region. In 1996, she returned to Pennsylvania Ballet under the direction of Roy Kaiser and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 1998. In addition to performing most of the company’s repertoire, Ms. Eagens also danced leading roles in ballets such as A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Sleeping BeautyThe Four TemperamentsRaymonda VariationsAgonApolloSwan LakeCompany BGreat Galloping Gottschalk, and Romeo and Juliet, among many others. Additionally, Ms. Eagens had the honor of performing alongside such notables as Susan Jaffe, Jose Carreno, Nicole Hlinka, and Damian Woetzel in a Rock School benefit for Milton Rock in 1996. And in 1998, she had the privilege of performing in the Balanchine Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Eagens retired from Philadelphia Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, in 2005 to start a family, and has since begun a teaching career. She has taught for numerous schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, including Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA), Delaware Valley Dance Academy (Colmar, PA), Lionville School of Dance (Exton, PA), and the Radomile Academy of Dance (Havertown, PA), among others. In the fall of 2015, Ms. Eagens attended a teacher’s workshop at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where she observed classes led by Marcia Dale Weary of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Ms. Eagens has also appeared as Queen in Pennsylvania Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty and Step Mother in PBII’s Prince Charming. She currently resides in Worcester, PA and is the proud mother of three daughters.


Hometown: Sicklerville, NJ

Mikaela, native to Sicklerville, NJ began her dance training at Chez Dance founded by Roseanne Mastrogiacamo Gatto. She attended Paul VI high school and was deeply invested in the dance and performing arts department led by Courtney Daniels. While at Paul VI she received the excellence in dance award and scholarship which led her to further her career into undergrad studies

Mikaela was able to attend University of the Arts in Philadelphia, receiving the “Artistic” Scholarship to study and earn her B.F.A in Dance under the direction of Donna Faye-Burchfield. During these four years she was fortunate enough to work and perform in works choreographed and led by Katie Swords-Thurman, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Jesse Zaritt, Sidra Bell, Milton Myers, Meredith Rainey and Kyle and Dinita Clark. Simultaneous to her schooling Mikaela was also an active company member with Philadanco! D/2 second company under the leadership and direction of Donald T. Lunsford. This then led to apprenticeship opportunities for the First Company PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company while finishing up her junior and senior year. After graduating in 2017, Mikaela was able to fully transition as a company member with Philadanco! Led by founder Joan Myers-Brown. Mikaela continues to stay curious and seek out knowledge and new perspectives. She was invited to participate in intensives such as JacobJonas the Company first digital Intensive and workshop and Kyle Abraham A.I.M’s first digital Intensive and workshop. She also attended Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater summer intensive. Parallel to performing, Mikaela finds joy in teaching and pouring her knowledge back into her community. An active dance educator with Core Academy of Dance, Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Ms. Carols Center for Dance, and the School of Philadelphia Ballet. Mikaela is also one of Philadanco’s Master Class instructors and speakers while traveling.


Faculty & Digital Content Assistant
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Laura Bowman Goldstein is originally from Raleigh, NC, where she began dancing at the age of 3. She trained primarily at The Raleigh School of Ballet, where she studied primarily under Ann Vorus and Mary LeGere, supplemented her instruction with summer intensives at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Houston Ballet School, and later completed her training under full scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education.

Ms. Bowman joined Pennsylvania Ballet in August 2001, where she danced for fifteen seasons before retiring in June 2016. Her versatility afforded her the opportunity to perform featured roles in both classical and contemporary works, including Angel Corella’s Don Quixote, George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Four Temperaments, William Forsythe’s Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Peter Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, and Matthew Neenan’s 11:11 and Penumbra, among others. Ms. Bowman has also originated roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon, Matthew Neenan, David Fielding, and Meredith Rainey. In addition to her work with Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Bowman has performed with Carolina Ballet and BalletX, and, in 2010, was featured in the Academy Award-nominated film Black Swan. She has performed in the International Ballet Festival of Miami, the Edinburgh Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and the Vail International Dance Festival.

Ms. Bowman fell in love with teaching early in her professional career, sharing her knowledge and passion with students and schools along the east coast since 2003. In 2012, she was selected as an inaugural instructor with the re-established School of Pennsylvania Ballet, now known as The School of Philadelphia Ballet. She currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer with the School of Dance at University of the Arts and Instructor at The School of Philadelphia Ballet. Ms. Bowman resides in Philadelphia with her husband and two beautiful sons.


Hometown: Tulsa, OK

Amy Novinski received her training from the Tulsa Ballet Academy, Academy of Colorado Ballet where she was privately coached by renowned teacher Olga Tozyiakova, and later the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It was at UArts that Ms. Novinski received the Presidential Scholarship Award and earned her BFA in Ballet Performance. She has performed in ensemble pieces and full-length ballets with Tulsa Ballet, Colorado Ballet, International Ballet Classique, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Fleming, and under choreographers Christine Cox, Melissa Rector, Dillon Shifferly, and Rebecca Malcolm-Naib.

In addition to welcoming students of all levels, ages, and backgrounds into her highly sought after virtual classes, Ms. Novinski opened Amy Novinski Ballet Class in 2020 at the Bok Building where she hosts private students, workshops, and open classes. Ms. Novinski was the premiere ballet instructor for BalletX’s Center for World Premiere Choreography, has taught for the University of Pennsylvania’s dance organizations, held the position of Senior Lecturer within the University of the Arts’ Ira Brind School of Theater Arts, and Adjunct Instructor of Ballet at Temple University’s School of Theater Film Media Arts. Currently she holds the position of Associate Professor in Performance at Swarthmore College.

Ms. Novinski has been featured in publications including Pointe Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Hometown: Havana, Cuba

Lourdes Novoa trained at the School of National Art in Havana, Cuba under the guidance of Ramona de Saa. Upon graduation, she was immediately admitted to the Cuban National Ballet Company where she rose to the rank of Principal dancer. Ms. Novoa was also a Principal dancer with the English National Ballet. She has danced the roles of Giselle in Giselle, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Swanilda in Coppelia, Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Paquita in Paquita, Lisette in La Fille Mal Gardee, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Medora in Le Corsaire, lead female in Les Sylphides, and the sylph in La Sylphide. She performed alongside many notable male dancers including Jose Manuel Carreno.

Ms. Lourdes also danced many modern, contemporary pieces by Cuban and International choreographers. In addition to performing in Havana and throughout Cuba, she also toured extensively with the company dancing on all of the renowned stages of the major capitals of the world including Bolshoi in Moscow, Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Liceu in Barcelona, Champs Elysees in Paris, Colon Theater in Argentina, and many others. Ms. Lourdes has taught for professional and trainee program levels for the Cuban National Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Theater of Harlem, and School of Philadelphia Ballet, formerly School of Pennsylvania Ballet. She is passionate about shaping the younger generation using her knowledge and experience to help all dancers grow and succeed to the best of their abilities.


Hometown: Columbia, SC

Kathryn Phipps is an enthusiastic teacher with a passion for ballet’s art and instruction. She teaches with the Children’s, Student, and Adult Programs and is a full-time doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the department of Spanish and Portuguese. After graduating from Princeton University in 2019, Kathryn has been an active member of the dance community in Philadelphia, and she is delighted to be joining the School of Philadelphia Ballet for the 2022/23 season.

Kathryn began her training at the age of 10 in her hometown of Columbia, South Carolina under the direction of Cynthia Dewar. She received highest awards in adjudications of syllabus work from the American Academy of Ballet (AAB), and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) from 2007 to 2015. Kathryn complemented her foundation in AAB and RAD techniques with instruction in Balanchine, Vaganova and Cecchetti styles, in addition to modern, jazz, and tap. In 2012, she was granted a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Dance of Canada at the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theater’s Summer intensive and trained on scholarship with BalletNova the following summer. Her junior and senior years of high school, Kathryn received supplemental training with the dance department at the University of South Carolina, under the direction of Susan Anderson with Erin Elizabeth Morton.

In 2015, Kathryn began her undergraduate degree at Princeton University. While there, studied with the Princeton Dance Department, under the direction of Susan Marshall and with Tina Fehlandt. Through her work with the department, Kathryn learned from various guest artists including Jessica Lang, Ashley Bouder, and Noah Gelber, and she was selected to perform in a new work by Brain Reeder in 2015. Kathryn also danced and choreographed with Princeton University Ballet, holding leadership positions with the company throughout her collegiate career.

In 2019, Kathryn graduated from Princeton and began her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, integrating herself into the dance community in Philadelphia. In 2020, Kathryn returned to Columbia to support family during the pandemic and was able to safely train with Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet through the later stages of the pandemic. In 2021, she came back to Philadelphia to teach for the department Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving the Certificate of Excellence in Teaching Award in 2022. In returning to the Philadelphia dance scene, she remained an active participant in Adult Open Classes in the city, and she joined the faculty of Ballet Sun-Mi for the 2021-2022 season. When not in the library or a studio, Kathryn can be found exploring new corners of the city and frequenting local coffee shops, and she is thrilled to join the School of Philadelphia Ballet this fall.


Hometown: Seattle, WA

Natalie Thibodeaux began her training at Pacific Northwest Ballet in her hometown of Seattle before moving to Philadelphia to attend The Rock School where she graduated high school. She spent her summers in numerous prestigious intensives across the U.S and Europe. Including School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Rock School, The Kirov Academy of D.C, Pacific Northwest Ballet & IBStage Spain.

She was honored to receive full merit scholarships to every school she attended, year-round and for summer studies. Through her participation in Youth America Grand Prix she received a trainee position at Ballet West in 2012 and was later offered a spot in the Professional Program at Nationale Ballet Academie of Amsterdam in 2015. Following her passion of teaching she joined The Rock School’s artistic faculty in 2016 where she taught Childrens through Pre-professional levels. She joined the School of Philadelphia Ballet in 2021.

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Meet the Ballet

Philadelphia Ballet comprises a team of dedicated professionals—each one devoted to bringing you the most thrilling and inspired works ballet has to offer.