Directors & Senior Faculty
Academy Managing Director
Early Childhood Program Coordinator and Partnership Sites Administrator
Susan Dromisky was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada, and began her training at the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto, Ontario, when she was 13. She began her professional career at the National Ballet of Canada where she became a soloist in 1985. She was also a soloist dancer for English National Ballet performing in England, Scotland, and all throughout Europe. Some of her leading roles included Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in Celia Franca's The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Erik Bruhn's Coppelia, and Teresina in Peter Schaufuss' Napoli. Along with her professional career, Ms. Dromisky was a full time Artistic Faculty member with the National Ballet School of Canada before coming to BalletMet in 1998. She is currently the Director of the Pre Professional Program and of the Senior Performance Ensemble. Ms. Dromisky is also senior member of the Academy Artistic Staff.
Daryl Kamer is one of the founders of BalletMet and has taught ballet in Columbus for more than 30 years. In 1974, she began presenting lecture-demonstrations and workshops in schools for BalletMet. Kamer was named Director of Education for BalletMet in 1981. In 1988 she became Artistic Associate of the Dance Academy. She was named Academy Director in 2001 and later Academy Associate Director. Over the years she has also served as Ballet Mistress, Assistant Artistic Director, Acting Artistic Director and Assistant to the Producing Director. She continues to teach in the Academy.
Dmitri Suslov was born in Moscow, Russia where he graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy with a degree in classical ballet and pedagogy. Mr. Suslov joined the famed Bolshoi Ballet in 1990 and has performed extensively around the world. He has also been a principal dancer with the Renaissance Ballet Theatre, the Sacramento Ballet, and with BalletMet. Mr. Suslov has been a guest artist and award-winner at the first and fourth National Nureyev Festival and has performed with the "Stars of Russian Ballet". His repertoire includes all major principal roles from classical as well as contemporary ballets such as Don Quixote, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty Swan Lake, Serenade, Requiem and more. Mr. Suslov was a guest artist at the New York City Gala honoring his former teacher and the legendary, Peter Pestov, of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and in 2010 he was awarded the "Outstanding Teacher" award by the YAGP.
Laura Dustman began dancing when she was 4 years old. A Columbus native, Ms. Dustman trained at BalletMet from her youth up through her high school graduation. Furthering her education in dance, she graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance education. Ms. Dustman has been teaching at BalletMet for the past six years and enjoys introducing young dancers to ballet technique. Ms. Dustman and her husband have a young son, Noah, and a daughter, Brooklyn.
Ambre Emory-Maier is Director of Education at BalletMet. Her accomplishments at BalletMet include developing The Magic in Movement- Grow Up Great! Early Childhood Program, Aladdin: Finding the Magic in Dance, and Moving Into Literacy. Ms. Emory-Maier also oversees the Academy’s Discover Dance Scholarship Program. A native of Allentown, Penn., Ms. Emory-Maier was formerly Director of Education for North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT). Ms. Emory-Maier also worked as an artistic associate for NCDT 2. Previously, she was a faculty member and Assistant Chairperson in the University of Hartford/Hartford Ballet’s Dance Division. Ms. Emory-Maier holds a MA in Dance Reconstruction and Directing and a BA in Communications. Ms. Emory-Maier’s dance training and performance experience have included pedagogical study in the Vagonova method, modern dance study in the Limon and Humphrey/Weidman styles and national touring with Polite Society, a vintage ballroom dance company. She is certified by The Dance Notation Bureau to teach Labanotation and holds a 500-RYT yoga certification through The Yoga Alliance. Emory-Maier serves on ODE’s Arts and Innovation Committee, Steering Committee for The National High School Dance Festival, has presented nationally at the NDEO, NCAAPHERD, and CORPS DE BALLET conferences and is an advisory board member of OhioDance. She recently published the children’s book Leap & Twirl.
Maria Glimcher was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. Ms. Glimcher graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has danced with Syncopated Inc., Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, Columbus Dance Theatre, and made a guest appearance with BalletMet. In addition to her professional career, Ms. Glimcher teaches and choreographs for Otterbein University and The Ohio State University. She is the proud mother of two children and has taught modern, jazz, and ballet at BalletMet for 12 years.
Tammy Goetsch-Plaxico was born in Iowa where she received a Bachelor of Arts in dance and a Master of Fine Arts in dance with an emphasis in performance from the University of Iowa. Ms. Goetsch-Plaxico performed and toured with the company at the University and became the Director of Dance Forum in 1996. She later received her STOTT Pilates certification and taught at BodyMind Balance Pilates Studio, University of Ohio, and Otterbein College. She has been teaching at BalletMet for five years. Ms. Goetsch-Plaxico is married with four children and enjoys playing the piano.
Katy Henn began dancing at the age of nine in Toledo, Ohio. Throughout her many years of dancing she has studied and performed a variety of disciplines including classical ballet/pointe, jazz, tap, modern, Afro-Caribbean, and musical theatre. Ms. Henn is a graduate of BalletMet’s professional training program and has performed professionally throughout the state of Ohio. She has also received additional training from the National Dance Institute of New Mexico specifically focused on Teaching Excellence through dance education curriculum in the public schools. Ms. Henn has been teaching since the age of 16 in northwest Ohio and has been on faculty at BalletMet Dance Academy since 2001.
A Columbus native, Darielle Kamer-Eberhard began dancing at a very young age. Focusing on classical ballet she received in depth training with Tatjana Akinfieva-Smith and Vitale Fokine. As a professional dancer, Ms. Kamer-Eberhard performed many roles including Clara and snow corps in The Nutcracker, Grisi in Pas De Quatre and the lead role in English Trifle. Along with her ballet career, she has also performed and competed professionally in Ballroom dancing. Ms. Kamer-Eberhard was the Canadian-American Professional Rhythm Ballroom Champion two years in a row. Along with her many dance accomplishments; Ms. Kamer-Eberhard has two children and is daughter of Jack and Daryl Kamer, two of the founders of BalletMet Dance Academy.
Stella Hiatt Kane has been a member of the Otterbein faculty since 1989 and Coordinator of Dance since 1996, a member of the BalletMet Academy faculty, and was the founding Artistic Director of BalletMet’s JazzMet. Ms. Kane has danced as a member in the national companies of Sugar and Bob Fosses' Dancin'. She was also a member of the national and international companies of The American Dance Machine. Ms. Kane has made television appearances in productions such as PBS' Dance In America and The Ann Reinking Special with Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen. Ms. Kane has given master classes at The Ohio State University, New York University and has been a teacher in residence at England's Northern Ballet Theatre. She currently teaches jazz for BalletMet's summer workshop.
Janine Lawson studied under Jean Gedeon and Mansur Kamaletdinov as a scholarship student in the Pre-professional program at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. She performed as a soloist in the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. While an undergraduate at West Virginia University, she was a featured dancer and earned rave reviews for her choreography for the University's jazz dance company, Mountain Jazz Dance Theatre. Janine took her love of dance into the classroom to spread the joy of dance and hasn’t looked back.
She expanded her teaching by joining the Education department at Ballet Met. She teaches in the Early Childhood programs and Momentum. Janine trained at the Teaching Excellence Teacher Training Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, specifically focused on Teaching Excellence through dance education curriculum in the public schools. She is excited about furthering children’s ability to succeed by enhancing education with dance.
Marissa Parmenter, a current company member, grew up in Duxbury, Massachusetts and received her training from The Boston Ballet School and Ballet Theater of Boston. At 18, she was invited to tour the UK and Germany with Margaret Barbieri’s Images of Dance at The London Studio Centre. Ms. Parmenter went on to dance professionally for Festival Ballet Providence, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal and Dominic Walsh Dance Theater as well as appear as a guest artist with companies including The Boston Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. In 2008 Ms. Parmenter performed with Les Grands Ballets in Paris as part of L’Ete de La Danse Festival. Ms. Parmenter has performed works by notable choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, and Jean-Christophe Maillot. She has also been fortunate to create new works with Ohad Naharin, Mauro Bigonzetti, Vaclav Kunes, Dominic Walsh and Peter Quanz. Mrs. Parmenter is married to company member Ty Parmenter.
Susan Powers, an Indiana native, has been teaching at BalletMet for 23 years. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Butler University and later received a Masters in art education from The Ohio State University. Besides her instruction at the dance academy, Ms. Powers has taught art in the public schools for 37 years. She has a daughter, Elizabeth, who trained in dance at BalletMet and now attends Ohio University. Ms. Powers also enjoys taking dance classes at BalletMet to help her grow professionally and to get great exercise.
Kate Schmidt began her dance training at Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne, IN and went on to round out her training at Denison University, Granville, OH. She joined BalletMet in 2007 and teaches Creative Movement, Children's Ballet, Ballet 2 & 3, and Adult ballet classes at both the Downtown and Vista Plaza locations. Previous to her work with BalletMet Kate choreographed for musical theatre productions in Fort Wayne and taught Creative Movement in Denison University's Creative Movement Program and children's ballet at the Bossov Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive in 2006. As well as teaching dance Kate works for the Organic Certification sector of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).
Lisa Spencer has been an accompanist with BalletMet since 1987. While playing piano for a guest teacher in the summer intensive program, she became interested in Flamenco and began her training. She has been teaching Flamenco at BalletMet since 1999. Ms. Spencer received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Ohio State University. Ms. Spencer has performed in two productions of Carmen, one with BalletMet, as choreographed by David Nixon, in 1997 and the 2003 Opera Columbus production under the direction of Gerard Charles. Ms. Spencer currently teaches ESL for Columbus City Schools. She has two daughters, Natalie and Veronica, and three cats.
Elaine Spielberg comes from Columbus, Ohio, where she has been active in the dance community, both as a student and teacher. She received her early training from Shir Lee Wu at the Columbus Youth Ballet, and various summer intensives, such as the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. In 1997, Ms. Spielberg moved to Virginia to dance for the Richmond Ballet where she performed classical and contemporary repertoire, including Giselle, Swan Lake, Outside One, and Schubert's Soliloquy. In 2003, she graduated from The Ohio State University Honors program with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Dance. Ms. Spielberg has had the pleasure of coaching talented dancers for the Youth America Grand Prix, creating a pre-professional ballet troupe, called Ballet Allongé, and teaching at local summer intensives. She lives in Columbus with her husband and two children, and is excited to share her passion for ballet.
Chrissy Stridsberg is a Columbus native recently returned from New York City where she received her Master’s Degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While in NYC, she performed and choreographed with Second Avenue Dance Company and taught at Gold’s Gym and Crunch Gym, among other dance studios. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Otterbein College; where she was a recipient of the Joanne Van Sant Dance Award & assistant to guest artist Randy Skinner. Immediately upon graduation, she performed on the Asuka II; a Japanese cruise line. Chrissy performed with the New York Titans Dance Team at Madison Square Garden & her choreography awards from both Midwest & East Coast regional/national competitions span the years 2004 – 2012. Christeen is co-founder/director of Heroic Urges Moving Arts; a multi-media performance group and recent recipient of the Columbus Dance Theatre Fellowship Grant. She is the choreographer for Hilliard Bradley High School musicals and part-time faculty at Otterbein University, where she teachers in the Dance and Women’s Studies Departments.
A native of Columbus, his love of jazz and tap dance began at 7 when he took classes at a local dance school. After attending Franklin University, and serving in the military, Mr. Terry was invited to Hollywood California to advance his knowledge and skills under Al Gilbert and other master teachers and choreographers. He taught students there, at other dance studios throughout the US, at Cal-State Fullerton, and at Dance Masters of America seminars. Later he was invited to Japan to be head choreographer at a large health club and dance center. He and his students performed jazz and tap dances that he created for many community and private functions. Returning to Columbus, Mr. Terry enjoys sharing his professional experience and dance creativity as students at BalletMet and Columbus State learn basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques, movements, and choreographed dances.
Sonia Welker Orrante is a Columbus native and a graduate of BalletMet's original pre- professional program under the direction of Don Eryck. She received additional training on full scholarship in the most advanced level at the Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Richmond Ballet Schools. She was an Arts and Letters Awardee, earned top honors at the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) competition in Miami,FL and became a Presidential Scholar in the Arts traveling to Washington, D.C. to dance at the Kennedy Center for the President. Sonia Welker Orrante joined BalletMet's company in 1991. During her 15 years with the company, she danced leading roles in ballets The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Dracula, Giselle, Dangerous Liaisons and Carmina Burana. She guested with Cincinnati Ballet, National Ballet of Zimbabwe, Northern Ballet. In 2003 she earned the Violetta Boft Award for her work as an artist with BalletMet. She retired from BalletMet as a dancer with the second of her three children in 2006 and has been teaching and coaching exclusively since. In 2007, after a 10 year affiliation with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp both dancing and teaching, she was appointed Co-Director of the International Program and traveled throughout France and Germany with 35 students in the summer of 2008. This is her 7th year teaching in BalletMet's Academy.
Dionysia Williams is thrilled to join the faculty of the Academy that helped train her and propel her career into the arts. After attending Wright State University where she obtained a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, Miss Williams toured in Broadway shows including “The Pajama Game” (US), “Fame” (China), and “Grease” (Istanbul, Turkey). Some other favorite regional credits include “A Chorus Line” (Bebe/WV Public Theatre), “Cats” (Jellylorum/Palace & Rumpleteazer/WVPT), “Anything Goes” (Hope/Prather), “Annie Get Your Gun” (Annie/Festival Playhouse), and “Fiddler on the Roof” (Chava/La Comedia). Recently Miss Williams has been performing in the Columbus area with Short North Stage in “Follies” (Young Phyllis), “Marvelous Wonderettes” (Cindy Lou), and “Cabaret” (Frenchie), as well as with CATCO-Phoenix. Her teaching credits include master classes with Broadway Connection, musical theatre faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp, and area studios. She has also choreographed multiple shows for Columbus Children’s Theatre, area high schools, and Wright State University.
Jennifer L. Zmuda
Ms. Zmuda has a Masters of Fine Arts with a Choreographic Emphasis from the University of California, Irvine where she studied under the tutelage of such dance masters as Donald McKayle, El Gabriel, and Loretta Livingston. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a Teaching Emphasis from the University of Utah where she worked closely with Bonnie Story, Conrad Ludlow and Sharee Lane.
Cathi Aldrich // Ly Apelado // Tyrone Boyle // Susan Chess // Susan Dowdy // Charla Dryburgh // Chris Hokanson // Irina Keller // Joowon Kim // Helen Kushnir // Amanda O'Neil // Nyla Phillips // Larissa Sheppard // Lisa Spencer // Daniel Zwelling
Amanda began her piano training at the age of seven. While still in high school, she took an accompanist position at a church playing baptisms, the children’s choir and Sunday school. She then went onto continue her music education at The Ohio State University, majoring in Piano Performance. While at Ohio State, she was the accompanist for The Ohio State University Choir, as well as a freelance pianist . She has been a dance accompanist at BalletMet since January, 2012.
Ms. Chess received her Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Arts Degree, and Ph.D in Music Education from The Ohio State University. Her graduate studies included work in music technology, harpsichord, composition and piano. She studied contemporary harmony with David Wheeler in Columbus Ohio. While living in New York, she studied improvisation and composition for Modern Dance with Charles Rybacki and Hazel Johnson. She received her Certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Carnegie Mellon in 1999 and has worked as a Digital Editor for Instant Pleasure, Inc., which develops educational music software. Ms. Chess has played master classes for The Martha Graham Company, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Merce Cunningham Company, Bebe Miller, Mark Morris, the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies, and many more.
Susan received her B.A. in Music from Capital University and her M.A. in Music Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Throughout her 30-year teaching career, she has taught music in grades K – 12, as well as Music History and Musical Theatre at the high school level. Having served as the accompanist for the Choral Music and Musical Theater departments at Gahanna Lincoln High School, Susan has also been an accompanist for the Ohio Music Education Association. While with the O.M.E.A., she was an accompanist for events that included the solo and ensemble contest and choral sight reading adjudicated events. Mrs. Dowdy currently serves as the Musical Education Supervisor for both Capital and Otterbein Universities, as well as being a staff accompanist at Otterbein. She has been with BalletMet since 2008.
Charla hails from western Pennsylvania, where she obtained a B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University. She began playing for ballet classes in 1984, training in the ISTD and RAD systems at Tessa Williams’ studio in Spokane, Washington. In addition to playing for BalletMet, Charla is an accompanist for Mt. Vernon Nazarene University’s Music Department.
A native of Western New York, Chris Hokanson has studied piano with Helga Hulce and later at The Ohio State University with George Haddad in the school of music. Ms. Hokanson has been the accompanist in many venues including Indian Run United Methodist Church in Dublin where she played the piano and organ. She also played piano for the luxury train, American Orient Express, where she traveled all over southwestern America. Ms. Hokanson has been an accompanist at BalletMet for over 15 years.
Originally from Illinois, Yling Tien studied piano for 10 years before beginning her training on the violin. She received her Bachelor's degree in music with a focus on violin performance from The Ohio State University. Ms. Tien continued her studies in music at Mannes College of Music in New York City. Some of her teachers include musicians Michael Davis, Young-Uck Kim, and Shirley Givens. Ms. Tien has performed in numerous bands and has been playing piano for dance classes at BalletMet since 2000.
An Ohio native, Nyla Clark Phillips received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ohio University and a Masters degree in Piano Performance (Accompanying) from the University of Akron in Akron, OH. Nyla has been active as an adjudicator of piano events for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) and the Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA).