Photo by Courtney Collins

Our People

Transformation Team

Established in 2018-2019 as part of our participation in The Equity Project, SAB’s Transformation Team is a cross-departmental staff group that advocates for and supports organizational change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Transformation Team, in partnership with SAB’s DEI Consultant partners, established SAB’s first DEI Strategic Plan in January 2020 and continue to ensure its implementation and development at the School.

2023-2024 Transformation Team Members

Aesha Ash, Associate Chair of Faculty
Amy Bordy, Director of Public Relations, Recruiting, and Outreach
Elise Drew León, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Craig Hall, Faculty Member
Sion Harrington, Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs
Carrie Hinrichs, Executive Director
Juan Hernaiz, Senior Manager of Information Technology
Katrina Killian, Faculty Member and Children’s Division Manager
Meredith Lee, Senior Director of Institutional Relations and Gift Operations
Kristen Spencer, Manager of Operations, Executive, and Board Affairs
Jonathan Stafford, Artistic Director and Chair of Faculty
Katy Vedder, Director of Student Life for Children’s Division and Wellness Programming

Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

The School of American Ballet’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion was formed in 2015 to provide essential support and guidance for the School’s Diversity Initiative. The Committee is comprised of alumni of color with significant ties to the professional dance world who have been invited by SAB’s leadership to serve in this consultative role.

The focus of the work of the Committee includes, but is not limited to, national outreach, the building and strengthening of alumni networks, and diversity programming for current SAB students. The committee’s involvement in cultural and school-wide policy changes has increased over the years and their voices have been essential in advancing critical conversations with the school’s leadership team. Most recently, the committee established a special scholarship fund which supports Intermediate and Advanced students of color at the school.  

2023-2024 Alumni Advisory Committee

Ross Allen*, Corps de Ballet at National Ballet of Canada
Aesha Ash, Associate Chair of Faculty, School of American Ballet; Founder, Swan Dreams Project
Debra Austin, Ballet Mistress at Carolina Ballet
Kelby Brown, Dancer, Choreographer, and Dance Teacher at Broadway Dance Center, The Ailey School, Pace University
Kareen Camargo, Faculty, Miami City Ballet School & New World School of the Arts
Darius Crenshaw, Broadway Performer
Heidi Cruz-Austin, Faculty, Muhlenberg College, and University of the Arts
Maurice Brandon Curry, Executive Artistic Director at Eglevsky Ballet
Duane Cyrus, Director for the University of Arizona School of Dance
Sandra Fortune-Green, Artistic Director, Jones-Haywood Dance School, Inc.
Kiyon Gaines-Ross, Associate Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Ballet
Robyn Gardenhire, Founder, City Ballet of Los Angeles; Faculty, Colburn School
Craig Hall, Repertory Director, New York City Ballet; Faculty, School of American Ballet
Kahina Haynes, Executive Director at The Dance Institute of Washington
Francesca Harper, Artistic Director of Ailey II
Gen Horiuchi, Executive and Artistic Director of Saint Louis Ballet
Aaron Jackson, Faculty, The Washington Ballet School & The Dance Institute of Washington
Damien Johnson, Upper Division Head for The Washington School of Ballet
Jermel Johnson, Former Principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet
Andrea Long-Naidu, Principal, Upper-Middle School, School of Philadelphia Ballet
Joseph Malbrough, Lecturer in Dance, Purchase College; Faculty, Ballet Academy East
Steven Melendez, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Ballet
Nikkia Parish, Subcontracts Analyst V at Amentum
Shomaree Potter, Costume Director at Carolina Ballet
Renee Robinson, Lecturer Theatre Studies, Yale University
Gabrielle Salvatto, Dancer at Saarländisches Staatstheater
Taylor Stanley, Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet
Henry Seth, Freelance Artist, Ballet Instructor, and Coach
Margaret Severin-Hansen, Principal Dancer, Founding Member of Carolina Ballet
Leyland Simmons, Dance Chair, Harlem School for the Arts; Choreographer

*Young Alumni Member

Commitee Members in Memoriam

Darius Barnes, Broadway Performer and Choreographer
Hinton Battle, Director, Choreographer, Producer, and Tony Award Winner
Arthur Mitchell, Co-Founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem

Principal Guest Teachers

The School of American Ballet’s Principal Guest Teachers support the diversification of SAB’s faculty. Established in 2017 and formerly knowns as the Visiting Faculty Chair and then Visiting Faculty Co-Chairs as of 2020, these positions engage SAB alumni from diverse backgrounds and career experiences to enhance the studio experience for Intermediate and Advanced students and expand the pathways and pipelines for future SAB faculty. Past Principal Guest Teachers include Andrea Long (2017-2018), Aesha Ash (2018-2020), Alicia Holloway and Leyland Simmons (2020-2022), and Aaron Jackson and Margaret Severin-Hansen (2022-2023).

Debra Austin and Silas Farley have been appointed as SAB’s 2023-2024 Principal Guest Teachers.