Colburn Welcomes Silas Farley and Darleen Callaghan to the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute

Silas Farley and Darleen Callaghan

Silas Farley will become Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute and Darleen Callaghan will become Associate Dean, effective July 1, 2021.

The Colburn School recently announced that dancer, educator, and choreographer Silas Farley, a New York City Ballet alumnus, will become Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, and Darleen Callaghan, former Director of Miami City Ballet School, will become Associate Dean, effective July 1, 2021. Following seven highly successful years, current Dean and Associate Dean of Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette, will conclude their tenures at the end of June 2021, after which they will be appointed visiting artists, continuing their relationship with the School.

“Silas Farley’s brilliance as a dancer, educator, and choreographer, combined with his passion for the development of young dancers, make him an inspired choice to lead the Colburn School dance program,” said Colburn President Sel Kardan.  “Darleen Callaghan comes to the program with a distinguished background as a dancer and dance school administrator.  Together they will form an exceptional team who will continue and build upon the extraordinary work of Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette. We are delighted they will return to the School as visiting artists.”

“Colburn is an amazing institution and we have been very proud to have had an opportunity to contribute to the development of its dance program,” said Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette. “We became part of a community where young people that wanted to come and dance were welcomed and students looking to advance in their training thrived. We are extremely excited about Silas Farley and Darleen Callaghan leading TZDI. We truly believe they will bring new light and life to Colburn, and we can’t wait to see the new heights the program will attain.”

Jenifer and James began their tenure at Colburn School in 2014, overseeing the School’s Dance Academy program, and under their guidance, many alumni have gone on to significant professional success around the country, earning positions in national dance companies such as the New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Silas Farley, a multi-faceted artist, choreographer, performer, and teacher will carry forward their work as the new Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, with his longtime mentor Darleen Callaghan as Associate Dean. Silas has already been working with students in multiple ways over the past year, as a choreographer for the School’s virtual summer intensive and virtual performance of The Nutcracker, as an inaugural artist in the Amplify Series, which celebrates the careers of artists of color, and in master class. Silas brings to the School a background and teaching philosophy rooted in the Balanchine tradition and built upon a deep knowledge of the history of ballet. He is passionate about the adaptability and accessibility of the art form moving forward.

“It is a joy for me to join the Colburn School in this role, leading a multidimensional program that nurtures the whole dancer,” said Farley. “To do this alongside my longtime friend and mentor, Darleen Callaghan, makes this opportunity even more special. I have admired and respected Jenifer and James for years, and it is a privilege to build upon their excellent work. Darleen and I are thrilled to steward this next chapter at the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute. In collaboration with the School’s brilliant faculty, we hope to further develop the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute as a premier dance training program.”

“It is truly a privilege to join the Colburn School as Associate Dean, and build upon the incredible work of Jenifer and James,” said Callaghan. “To serve in this capacity with Silas is the culmination of a rich, decades-long partnership. Together, we bring a unique breadth of experience to the School, from artistic to administration, and I look forward to helping these young dance students realize their dreams as a part of the rich legacy of the Colburn community.”

At the age of eight, Silas attended a Charlotte Ballet performance of The Nutcracker and was invited backstage, where he met Darleen Callaghan. The invitation and introduction was made through the company’s videographer, who had fortuitously met Silas at a local PBS station when he was there with his mom who was running an errand. Darleen had just started a scholarship program for young male dancers and, immediately noticing Silas’ passion for dance, invited him to join. Darleen soon began to recognize Silas’ natural gifts for teaching and choreography, and gave him the opportunity to choreograph at 11 and teach at age 13, cultivating his interests in all dimensions of dance. Silas trained under Darleen’s direction until the age of 14, before he entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB), as a full scholarship student. In 2012, Silas became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2013.

A highly respected dance professional with over 30 years of performance and administrative experience, Darleen Callaghan is nationally-recognized for her work as Director of North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance (the official school for North Carolina Dance Theatre, now Charlotte Ballet), where she increased enrollment from 150 to 700 students in the first three years and achieved national recognition for the School as a major professional training institution. As Director of the Miami City Ballet School, she was instrumental in establishing a variety of new curriculum, performance, and outreach initiatives. Darleen oversaw the development of a new school syllabus and expanded the Pre-Professional Division curriculum to include composition classes, a Student Choreography Showcase and a comprehensive Supplemental Training Program that included Pilates, Gyrotonics, and weight-training classes. She established the Miami City Ballet School Ensemble, a pre-professional student performing company, which performed the Miami City Ballet’s signature outreach program, “Ballet for Young People” in major theaters throughout South Florida. Darleen also developed the widely-acclaimed “Ballet Bus” program, providing transportation, counseling, and ballet training to underserved children in the local community.

Read news coverage of the appointments and learn more about Colburn’s new deans here.