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DANCE FACULTY

Joni Headshot.jpg

JONI PETRE-SCHOLZ

CHAIR

Joni Petre-Scholz, Associate Chair, joni.petre-scholz@gsarts.net, is a former member of the Berkshire Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet and Manhattan Ballet, and a former principal dancer with Dances Patrelle. Joni toured internationally and performed in over 12 countries dancing works by Vincente Nebrada, Robert North, Gary Pierce, Billy Wilson and others. She began working with Dances Patrelle in 1988 appearing in many Patrelle ballets including The Yorkville Nutcracker, Adieu with a Handshake, Madame X, Rhapsody in Blue, American Dreamer, Romeo and Juliet, the world premiere of Notturno for Strings and Harp and as Lady Macbeth in the 2001 revival of Macbeth. In addition, Ms. Petre-Scholz was rehearsal director as well as assistant to the managing director. She has also re-staged many Patrelle ballets for Dances Patrelle as well as other companies. In 2002 Joni was a featured performing artist at The Lyric Recovery Festival at Carnegie Hall appearing in excerpts of Beauty and the Beast with original choreography by Ginger Thatcher and original score by Paul Winston. Ms. Petre-Scholz was a principal dancer in the world premiere of “POP” as well as Glad to be Unhappy choreography by Francis Patrelle. Joni has also appeared as a guest artist with Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater in New York. A former member of the faculty of Ballet Academy East in New York City, Joni has been on the teaching faculty of the Old Dominion Dance Department and The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia since 2005.  Her choreography has been presented by Women in Dance Conference (2019),  Virginia Ballet Theatre, University Dance Theatre of Old Dominion University as well as at The Governor’s School, and at the Regional High School Dance Festival. Joni has been a guest teacher for Complexions and Kibbutz dance companies. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique® junior, senior and advanced programs.

Janelle Spruill

Associate Chair

janelle.spruill@gsarts.net

Janelle earned her BFA in Dance and minor in Media Studies from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in Arts Administration and Management from Goucher College. She was a member of the Elizabeth Higgins Dance Theater and a scholarship student at The Ailey School, The Gus Giordano Dance School, American Dance Festival, and Garth Fagan Dance where she also had the opportunity to work and perform with the company. She was a teacher’s assistant at Broadway Dance Center and a Rehearsal Assistant for the Richmond Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She has been a guest artist at Shenandoah University and has taught master classes at the Regional and National High School Dance Festivals in Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania as well as the West Virginia Dance Festival in Charleston. Her works have recently been accepted to the Regional and National High School Dance Festivals and the Richmond Choreographer’s Showcase. In 2013, she was the recipient of the NAACP Area II ACT-SO Award in Dance. Janelle joined ODU as an Adjunct Instructor in 2021 and has been a part of the faculty at The Governor’s School for the Arts teaching and choreographing for both the Dance and Musical Theatre Departments since 2010.

Kathy brenner Lasakow

Kathy Brenner was a Principal Dancer with BalletMet of Ohio for nearly 10 years. Her wide range of leading roles include George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Square Dance, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Serenade; Glen Tetley’s Mythical Hunters; the title role in La Sylphide and Frederick Ashtons’ Les Patineurs. Prior to joining BalletMet she danced soloist roles with the Cleveland Ballet and performed as a guest artist with the Louisville Ballet and Opera Columbus.  She frequently restages the classic ballet repertoire for The Governor’s School and has staged Paquita for Virginia Ballet Theatre and Ballet Academy East in New York City. Her orginal choreography has been performed by students of Virginia School of the Arts, The Carver Center for Arts in Baltimore and the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville. She received her early dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School-NY, as well as extensively with Melissa Hayden and Wilhelm Burmann at their New York studios. Kathy has taught on the dance faculties of The University of Wisconsin, BalletMet Dance Academy, the School of the Atlanta Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, Old Dominion University Dance Department.

Faculty

Rita Addico Cohen 

Felecia Baker, GSA alumna

Jennifer Buchheit, GSA alumna

Janelle Ings

Janelle Jones, GSA alumna 

Michael Kaiser

Emma Krauss, GSA alumna

Brexdyn LaDieu, GSA alumnus

Amber Romano

Angela Shipley, GSA alumna

Maggie Wall

Morgan White

Ashley Whitlinger, GSA alumna

Christina Yoshida

Greg Lee- Accompanist

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