CBM Faculty 2017–18

 
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Winthrop Corey, Artistic Director

Winthrop Corey, Artistic Director of Classical Ballet of Mobile and former Artistic Director of the Mobile Ballet, holds the distinction of having been a principal dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. He is especially well known for his classical roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella and Coppelia. Dancing opposite Rudolph Nureyev in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, Time Magazine noted “a chillingly effective performance” while Clive Barnes of the New York Times added “Corey, excellent in every way, a performance with style and authority”.

Born in Washington D.C. he trained with Igor Schwezoff, Maria Swoboda, Vera Volkova, Erik Bruhn and Daniel Selliere. He has been a long time summer faculty member of The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, and more recently with American Ballet Theater. He has also taught master classes throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.  He has choreographed full-length productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. His original full-length productions include Dracula, Snow White and A Streetcar Named Desire for which he was awarded a Dance Fellowship by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.  Corey is also well known for his design and construction of the classical tutu though his company, Winthrop Corey Designs.

 

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Pamela Thompson, Academy Director

Pamela Thompson has been a ballet teacher for more than twenty-five years, having taught in Mobile and Birmingham. She began her ballet training with Carol Graham, then continued in various programs, studying with Alexandra Danilova, Melissa Hayden, James Eaton, and others. She was a member of Mobile Civic Ballet under the direction of Duane Dishion, and teacher, Ann Duke. In Birmingham, she performed with the Birmingham Concert Ballet.

She graduated with honors from Samford University with a BA in English and Education. In 1999 she joined the faculty of Mobile Ballet under the direction of Winthrop Corey, serving as Associate Director of the school from 2007–2015, during which time she established the Student Choreography Workshop. A strong advocate of continuing education, she has participated in dance educator workshops with Marcia Dale Weary and Darla Hoover at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and at the Alabama Dance Summit, as well as numerous teacher observation opportunities in New York. Her life's passion is passing on the love and beauty of ballet through teaching young people to dance.

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Catherine Scott Ashbee

Catherine Scott Ashbee began her dance training with Lori Bilbrey-Vaghefi in 1979, and then trained with Ann Duke and Vasile Petrutiu. When Mobile Ballet was formed in 1987, she became a member of the first Junior Company under the direction of Winthrop Corey. As a Senior Company member, Catherine danced featured and leading roles in The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty.

A graduate of UMS-Wright, Catherine earned a BA (summa cum laude) and an MBA from The University of Alabama. Her education included studies at The University of Cambridge in England, and The University of Tours in France.

Catherine began teaching ballet in 2014, with an emphasis on first–third grade children. She loved her individual dance experience, but she has particularly enjoyed teaching and watching her students fall in love with classical ballet.

She is married to Zack Ashbee and they have three children—Cooper, Virginia, and Robert.

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Micayla Stone

Micayla Stone has studied classical ballet and dance conditioning intensively for over 15 years. From the age of 4-years-old she began ballet lessons in her hometown in Southern California, performing in The Nutcracker and assisting with summer programs under the direction of David Wilcox. At age 11 she continued her training at Maple Conservatory of Dance under retired ABT soloist Charles Maple; there she became part of the junior company, performing solos and achieving roles such as Clara in The Nutcracker.

At age 13 she began training exclusively with Alicia Head of Up Studio, a talented instructor who had much influence on the training of Misty Copeland of ABT. Under the keen eye of Ms. Head, Micayla studied for a year, focusing solely on ballet strengthening and technique which lead to receiving a place at The Royal Ballet School in London England. Dancing before ballet mistresses such as Diane Van-Schoor, Jessica Clarke, and ballet master Antonio Castilla; Micayla learned the art of classical ballet from one of the top 3 ballet schools in the entire world. After completing year 10 of White Lodge, Micayla returned to California in pursuit of passing on the knowledge she received throughout her years of ballet training.

Recently relocated to Alabama, Micayla is delighted to be a part of the staff at Classical Ballet of Mobile and awaits the joy of helping the students achieve their goals as dancers. 

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Riley Johnson

Riley Johnson began her ballet training at the age of three. In 2006 she joined Mobile Ballet Company under the direction of Winthrop Corey where she eventually became a Principal Dancer. Her favorite roles include Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Lead Bride in Winthrop Corey’s Dracula, Prayer in Coppelia, and Mouse Queen in Winthrop Corey’s The Nutcracker. Riley spent several summers studying at Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, as well as American Ballet Theater Tuscaloosa and Joffrey Ballet School. She recently graduated from Spring Hill College with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, and is now a Junior Account Executive at Red Square Agency and an instructor at barre3 Mobile.

Riley has been teaching ballet for seven years and is thrilled to be a part of Classical Ballet of Mobile.

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Rebecca E. Davis

Rebecca E. Davis is a dance instructor and choreographer working along the Gulf Coast. For six years, she has trained dancers of all ages and levels in classical ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, and more. Her training began at a young age, and she studied intensely under many notable teachers including Winthrop Corey, Sydney Adams, Pamela Thompson, Dorothy Lister, Noel Hanley, Renata Pavam, and others.

She also received summer training from several prestigious companies including Ballet Chicago, Ballet Pensacola, and Ballet Austin. Rebecca has been a Senior company member with Mobile Ballet, and also a principal dancer with South Alabama Youth Ballet. Additionally, her choreography works were selected to be performed at the 2016 and 2017 Alabama Dance Festivals, and she has had many pieces win State and National titles in Fine Arts competitions.

Above all, Rebecca believes that the foundation of all dance is passion, and it is her mission to instill this passion into her students.

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Olivia Cockrell

Olivia began her training with Mobile Ballet at the age of three. In 2008, she was selected to be a member of the Mobile Ballet Company. Her roles included the Mouse Queen in Winthrop Corey's The Nutcracker, the Lead Czardas in Coppelia, and the Summer Fairy in Cinderella, as well as performing in Swan Lake, Dracula, and Balanchine’s Serenade. She also performed the role of Clara in the University of Mobile’s Christmas Spectacular in 2014. She has attended the summer program at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and studied with various guest Master teachers brought in by Mobile Ballet. Her favorite ballets include George Balanchine's Serenade and Stars and Stripes, as well as Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet, and Winthrop Corey's Dracula. Olivia is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is applying to medical school, in hopes of becoming a physician.

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Caroline Hunt

Caroline Hunt began her ballet training at age three at Mobile Ballet, where she rose through the ranks and ultimately became a Senior Company member under the direction of Winthrop Corey. Caroline was particularly fond of her roles in Winthrop Corey’s Dracula, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty.

She recalls, “That time on stage meant the world to me. Ballet was my world in my childhood and teen years. I learned discipline, gracefulness, and confidence. I want to share this with the little girls I teach.”

Caroline also trained at summer intensive programs, including Alabama Ballet, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. And, she taught ballet to young children.

A graduate of St Paul’s Episcopal School, Caroline recently finished her studies at the University of Alabama. While at UA, she was involved in the dance program and became an accomplished ballroom dancer, focusing on Latin dance.

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Carley Smith

Carley began dancing at the age of three at Briarwood Ballet in Birmingham, Alabama. After moving to Mobile she continued her training in ballet, tap, and jazz at Gale’s Studio of Dance. At the age of nine, she began training at Mobile Ballet and later joined the company under the direction of Winthrop Corey. Carley has spent her summers training at the School of American Ballet in New York City, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Carolina Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She has trained privately under Leslie Hench, Tara Hench, and Rafeal Grigorian. While at Mobile Ballet, she has been awarded the Pitcock Scholarship and Nutcracker Charity Ball Scholarships. Some of Carley’s favorite performed roles include Pas De Trois in Swan Lake, Carelessness Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Summer Fairy in Cinderella, Nymph Queen in Snow White, and Arabian and Dewdrop in The Nutcracker. She has also performed in Winthrop Corey’s Dracula and Balanchine’s Serenade. In addition to performing, Carley’s passion is teaching. She has been teaching ballet for three years and assisting since she was eleven.

Carley graduated high school from Cottage Hill Christian School and now attends Spring Hill College with the Ignation Leadership Award.
 

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Brennan Smith

Brennan began dancing at the age of three at the Gwinnett Ballet Theater, and at the age of six she moved to Mobile and began dancing at Mobile Ballet. She has attended Saratoga Springs Dance Intensive to study under teachers from various professional companies, including NYCB. Her favorite roles she has performed include Lead Bride in Winthrop Corey’s Dracula and Cygnet in Swan Lake. Dracula would be her favorite ballet because "it's unique and intriguing for both the audience and the dancers". Not only has she performed those roles, she has been the Queen of Nymphs in Snow White, Spanish in Swan Lake, Summer in Cinderella, Lead Spanish and Mirliton in The Nutcracker, and the Beauty Fairy and Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. The reason she loves ballet and performing is "the ability to become someone she's usually not and let go and dance in a way many people can't".

Brennan graduated from McGill Toolen High School and is currently a junior at Spring Hill College studying biology/pre-med. 

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Ellie Saget

Ellie began her ballet training at the age of 3.  She danced at Mississippi Metropolitan Dance Academy under Jenifer Beasley and joined Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet company at age 9.  There, she performed in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. When she moved to Hurley, MS, she began training at Mobile Ballet and became a member of the Mobile Ballet Company under the direction of Winthrop Corey, dancing there for 8 years.  She was awarded the Janet Young Mosteller Scholarship in 2012 and has performed multiple roles in Winthrop Corey’s The Nutcracker, Dracula, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and Coppelia. 

Ellie has spent her summers training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Mobile Ballet, Florida State University School of Dance, and Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. She was also awarded the Nutcracker Charity Ball Summer Studies Scholarship for 2013 and 2014. Ellie is currently a senior at East Central High School and plans to attend Mississippi State University in the fall. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach at CBM and to be able to share her love for classical ballet with young dancers.


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Board of Directors

Connie E. Catranis, President

David Beech, Vice-President

Emily H. Shell, Secretary

Kelli Etheredge, Treasurer

Cart W. Blackwell

Douglas Bridges

Robert L. Fleming III, DPT

George Gigicos

Margaux Bodet Golden

Tricia P. Graham

Stephanie D. Grosz, MD

Donnelly N. Howard, MD

Jan F. Johnson

Marc P. Pelham

Celeste W. Thomas

 

The Board is committed to fulfilling the mission of CBM while adhering to the highest ethical standards and practices.