Assistant Artistic Director & Children's Coordinator
Fiona started her classical ballet training at the age of five in Hong Kong with her mother, Nica Lee, before moving to Australia. She was then offered a scholarship with the Australian Ballet School. For six years, she received training from some of the best teachers in the world, Lisa Pavane, Irina Konstantinova, Sergey Konstantinov, Leigh Rowles, Marilyn Rowe, Christine Howard, and Margaret Wilson. In her last two years of training, Fiona was privately coached by two Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet and Kremlin Ballet Theater soloist dancers, Maxim and Yulia Vasilyev.
After graduation, Fiona traveled to Europe and received her first contract with the New English Ballet Theater, where she performed in galas all over London. After dancing in London, she accepted an offer with the Opera National Bucuresti (Romanian National Ballet, Bucharest), where she had the pleasure to work under Artistic Director Johan Kobborg, a world-renown choreographer and principal dancer with the "Royal Danish Ballet" and the "Royal Ballet of London." While at ONB, Fiona had the opportunity to dance soloist roles such as; Solo Slave from "Le Corsaire" by Vasili Medvedev, Four couples from "Classical Symphony" by Yuri Possokhov, Four couples in DSCH by Alexei Ratmansky, Pas de six from "La Sylphide" by Johan Kobborg, Cleopatra pas de deux from "Faust" by Alexa Mezincescu, Courtesan from "Manon" by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, "Themes and Variations" by George Balanchine, "Petit Mort" by Jiri Kylian, and "In the Middle Somewhat Elevated" by William Forsythe. During her professional career in Europe, Fiona had the privilege to work with other world-renowned teachers, dancers, and choreographers such as Sinner and Yannick Boquin, Ethan Stiefel, Patricia Neary, Alina Cojocaru, Xander Parish, Elke Schepers, Valentino Zucchetti, Thierry Guiderdoni, Stephane Dalle, Gennadi Nedvigin, Bruce Sansom and Karl Burnett.
In 2016, Fiona moved to South Bend, discovering her new passion for teaching, while receiving a faculty position with Southold Dance Theater. During this time, she also becomes a guest teacher and dancer with River Raisin Dance Academy, Indiana Ballet Theater, Dance Masters of Michigan, Interlochen School of the Arts, and The Art of the Dance Center.
Today, Fiona wishes to nurture her students and teach them the beauty of ballet while providing the same elite classical training she received when she was a student.
Hannah Gregor danced with Southold Dance Theater for fourteen years, starting at the age of four until she graduated from high school in 2021. Currently, Hannah is a student at Indiana University South Bend, studying Biochemistry with minors in both Dance and Spanish. During her time at Southold, she studied many styles in addition to classical ballet, including tap, jazz, modern, and musical theater. She also participated in many of Southold’s productions, performing roles in the Corps de Ballet and lead roles such as Marie in The Nutcracker in 2019 and the virtual Nutcracker in 2020, and Cinderella in 2021. In her last two years with Southold, she discovered a passion for teaching ballet to the younger students, a way she could share with them her love for dance and learning. Through her teaching she hopes to be able to pass on all of the lessons she’s learned from her own teachers at Southold and in college, and inspire all of her students to see the beauty in the art of dance.
Tara Kelly started her dance training in her hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of 3 and knew that she wanted dance to be her career from a young age. Tara received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in Indianapolis. During her time at BUI she performed many soloist roles with The Butler Ballet. At the same time, Tara received a contract with Gregory Hancock Dance Theater, touring Latvia and performing soloist roles at the Latvian National Opera House in Riga, where she had the pleasure of meeting Latvia's president.
In 2000, after graduating from Butler, Tara was offered a lead dance role for Carnival Cruise Lines, performing in multimillion-dollar Broadway-style shows. In 2002 and 2004, she became part of the inaugural cast for the Conquest and Valor. In 2006 Tara was promoted to Dance Captain, being in charge of casting, rehearsing, and staging full-length Broadway-style productions. After 13 years of traveling the world and performing five nights a week, two shows a night, she retired from Carnival Cruise Lines, moved to South Bend, and started her Comprehensive Pilates teacher training through BASI. Currently, Tara teaches Pilates reformer and equipment classes during the day and ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, acrobatics, contemporary, and musical theater classes in the evenings. Tara has been teaching at Southold for eight years and is honored to be part of the Southold family!
Meleah Ladd brings to Southold a broad background in fine arts, extensive experience in organizational administration, and a demonstrated proficiency in research and writing. She received her B.Mus. from Heidelberg College and her M.A. and Ph. D. from Notre Dame. A homeschooling mother of three (two still studying at home and one graduating from university in 2023), she also works as an independent research scholar, freelances as a copy editor, and serves as an editorial assistant for academic journals. Having fallen in love with ballet at an early age, she studied first at the Fairmount Center for the Arts, then with Ernst Hillenbrand at Heidelberg College. Meleah also danced with Ballet Arts Denver, under director Paul Fiorino. At Southold, Meleah has been active for over a decade in various capacities: onstage, backstage, offstage, in the office, and in the studio.
Jack Lennon trained from a young age at the Grand Rapids Ballet School. In 2014, Jack officially joined Grand Rapids Ballet and performed in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Val Caniparoli among others. In 2017, Jack joined Ballet San Antonio where he performed the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, the role of Dew Drop Cavalier in the Nutcracker, and in George Balanchine’s Rubies and Gerald Arpino’s Round of Angels.
While in San Antonio, he performed the role of Henry in Newsies with the Public Theater of San Antonio. In 2020, Jack joined The Royal New Zealand Ballet and performed in many classical ballets along with Twyla Tharp’s Waterbaby Bagatelles, Alice Topp’s Aurum, and Danielle Rowe’s Remember Mama.
Now retired from performing, Jack is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Russian and The Program of Liberal Studies at The University of Notre Dame. He is currently an undergraduate fellow at The Notre Dame International Security Center. He also has a passion for boxing and competed in the 2022 Bengal Bouts, Notre Dame’s historic annual boxing tournament which raises money for Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh.
Abby Marchesseault hails from Northern Virginia, where she first studied classical dance at The Fairfax Ballet. She graduated with honors in Dance Performance and Applied Physiology from Southern Methodist University, before working as a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher in New York City.
Abby has danced with, toured with, and choreographed for a variety of contemporary companies in NYC, including Tina Croll + Company, ARIM Dance, Adams Company Dance, Artists By Any Other Name, ShadowDance Productions, and others. She was also a member of The Connecticut Ballet, where she performed both solo and ensemble works including those by Michel Fokine, Anna Sokolow, Lila York, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Aguibou Bougobali Sanou; and performed and served as dance captain for works by Joe Locarro, and Bob Fosse. As a freelancer, she has had the privilege of performing works by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Danny Buraczeski, Heidi Latsky, Adam Hougland, Joshua L. Peugh, Ari Mayzick, and Mitzi Adams; and was a cast member of Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham's From the Horse's Mouth, which received a Bessie Award for Best Revival in 2020. Other credits include appearing in Julian Fellowes' The Chaperone with Elizabeth McGovern, Mirando Otto, Robert Fairchild, and principal dancers of Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance, performing gala events alongside Kenny Loggins, and serving as dance consultant for the Bach Cello Suites Festival at Carnegie Hall.
Her own choreography has been presented in multiple festivals and venues in New York City, Chicago, and Dallas, as well as internationally in Sydney, Australia, and Ubud, Indonesia. She continues to choreograph and perform both in Michiana and New York, often collaborating with filmmakers, visual artists, musicians, actors, and other dancers through Avoir Motion Dance Project which she co-founded. Abby has taught both classical and contemporary dance in Connecticut, Texas, Virginia, Panama, Indonesia, and Australia; she is delighted to join the Southold family, and continue sharing her love of movement with her students.
Elyse is originally from McKinney, Texas where she began her training in ballet at the age of three, later adding techniques in tap, modern, jazz, contemporary and swing dance styles. As a student, Elyse was a company member with local pre-professional companies including Collin County Ballet Theater and the Allen Civic Ballet. She had the opportunity to participate and perform at Regional Dance America for several years.
Elyse moved to South Bend to attend Saint Mary’s College where she graduated with a B.A in Communication Studies and a Minor in Dance. Elyse studied under Laurie Lowry and Michele Foust and performed with the Saint Mary’s Dance Ensemble each year, where she was seen in solo and ensemble roles. During her time as an undergraduate, Elyse broadened her training by working with guest artists and began exploring her own choreographic voice through composition and improvisation classes, eventually creating work of her own. The following year Elyse received her Master in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Upon graduating, Elyse stayed in South Bend and has had the opportunity to choreograph several pieces for the Saint Mary’s Theater, Music, and Dance Department productions. In January 2022, Elyse joined New Industry Dance Company as a company member, where she has deepened her love for modern dance. Elyse is excited to join the faculty at Southold Dance Theater to help inspire the next generation of young dancers.
Colin (Mysliwiec) Raybin lived in New York City for 15 years and performed with the Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group, where she had the privilege to work directly with Merce, and also danced for Karole Armitage, Stephen Petronio, Moving Theater/Ryan Kelly, New Dance Group Company, Todd Williams/Williamsworks, Artichoke Dance Company, Robin Becker DanceNY, Independentdancemaker, Liz Gerring, CorbinDances, and as a guest artist to the “Stars of the New York City Ballet.” Colin is also a co-founder of Cosmosis Productions, for which she choreographed and created two multi-media rock operas in New York City.
While in New York, Colin danced in an interdisciplinary collaboration that included choreographer Karole Armitage and filmmaker James Ivory, the documentary of which created by Gerardo Puglia was selected for the Cannes Film Festival, qualified for an Academy Award, and aired on PBS affiliates. She recently moved back with her family to the Midwest, where she is a member of the dance faculty of Indiana University South Bend and a frequent guest teacher at the University of Michigan. Since moving back, she has collaborated with several artists in the area on performances at LangLab, University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and IUSB.
Colin studied on scholarship at Cunningham, Limon, and Boston Ballet, and received her BFA in Dance with Highest Honors from the University of Michigan, where she was a James B. Angell Scholar, a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, a Michigan Scholar for performance on the ACT, and a recipient of several merit scholarships: the Target Merit Scholarship, the Harrah Merit Scholarship, and the Julian and Vera McIntosh Memorial Merit Scholarship. She was also a National Merit Finalist and a Tandy Scholar.
Colin began teaching dance in 1995 at Southold Dancenter in South Bend, IN. Since then, she has worked with children as young as five, pre-professionals, non-dancers, and the elderly in studios and universities in South Bend, IN, Ann Arbor, MI, New York, NY, and surrounding communities including the University of Michigan and Indiana University South Bend (IUSB), where she is currently Associate Faculty for the Department of Theater and Dance. Colin has also been a member of the research team at the University of Michigan that is making strides to translate a dancer’s innate sense of balance to the elderly to prevent falls with a wearable machine.
Originally from Niles, MI, Colin’s dance career began with JoAnn and Debbie Pullen and then Southold Dance Theater with Bonnie Baxter, JoAnn Barkes, Jill Tulchinsky, and Mary Olen.
Laura Skarich began designing and creating costumes for Southold Dance Theater over three decades ago. In addition to that role, she has been a backstage presence for many years serving in a variety of positions including a make-up artist, Children’s Coordinator for The Nutcrackerproduction, and Company Assistant, serving the needs of several Artistic Directors of Southold Dance Theater. Over the years Laura has created costumes for productions such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Swan Lake, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Carnival of the Animals. Laura is very pleased to be back working with Calin Radulescu and the current staff of Southold. In addition to being a part of Southold Dance Theater, Laura is the costume designer and creator for A&A Ballet in Chicago.
She stays active with her own alterations and clothing repair business. She, also, enjoys spending time with her husband, two dogs, and five grandchildren.
LaRena Stuckwisch has been a long-time parent volunteer for Southold, which has enabled her to revisit her joy of theater and performance that she enjoyed as a child (drama, speech, and show choir). She appreciates the opportunity to assist in various capacities (costuming, hair and make-up, props, backstage) in order to witness the beauty, strength, joy, and goodness of ballet within her community and beyond.
LaRena is a wife to Rev. Rick Stuckwisch, homeschooling mom of ten children and "Grammie" of 14.
Joanna Whitmyer is a dancer, improvisor, and choreographer from Michigan. She began her dance training in Ballet at the age of six and has since trained in various styles and techniques ranging in Modern dance to Ballroom. Throughout her training, Joanna discovered her love of improvisation and Gaga technique where she began an exploration into her own personal journey of healing and embodiment. She is a true believer in the power and resilience that can come from within the human body and continues her exploration as a company member and choreographer with New Industry Dance Company in South Bend, IN.
Joanna joined Southold in 2019, bringing with her a background in fine arts and communication.