Darleen Callaghan

Darleen Callaghan began her dance training with the Stone-Camryn School of Ballet in Chicago where she performed as a child with the New York City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Stone-Camryn Ballet. She was then awarded full scholarships for further study at the American Ballet Theatre School and the School of American Ballet in New York City. As a student at SAB, she had the privilege of performing with Jacques D’Amboise & Friends, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux-Patricia McBride & Company, and at the White House for the President at a NATO Summit Dinner. Throughout her performing career, Callaghan danced in numerous ballets from the Balanchine repertory including Symphony in C, Divertimento #15, Square Dance, Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Valse Fantaisie, and Allegro Brillante. She danced in a variety of principal, soloist, and corps de ballet roles with the North Carolina Dance Theatre performing in classical and contemporary works by Aiello, Ariaz, Balanchine, Bournonville, Nebrada, Petipa, Thomasson, and Vesak. She joined the company for two European tours, performances at the Spoleto Festivals in America and Italy, and extensive annual tours throughout the United States.

Upon retiring from the stage, Darleen honed her skills as a teacher, choreographer, and arts administrator. Darleen is nationally recognized for her work as Director of the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance (the official school of the 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 academy. 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.

Zippora Karz

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Today, as a repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, Zippora teaches and stages Balanchine ballets for schools and companies around the globe.

She is a private instructor/coach in the Los Angeles area. Zippora joined the faculty of the Colburn Dance Academy in 2014.

Diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 21, Zippora is passionate about motivating others to take care of themselves and live their dreams. She is the author of her memoir, The Sugarless Plum, as well as her children’s story, Ballerina Dreams.

James Fayette

James Fayette retired from New York City Ballet in 2005 at the rank of Principal dancer. Throughout James’ dancing career, he was privileged to work with the greatest dancers and choreographers of that time, originating roles in Jerome Robbins’ 2 and 3 Part Invention and Brandenburg Concertos as well as in works by other choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Susan Stroman, Lynn Taylor-Corbett and numerous works by Peter Martins. He also established himself as an excellent partner in a number of signature roles in the New York City Ballet repertoire including Balanchine’s Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Brahms Schoenberg Quartet and Jerome Robbins’ In The Night and West Side Story Suite.

James started ballet at age five in his hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut. He trained in a variety of ballet styles beginning with classes that were derived from the Russian Vaganova School after which he studied Balanchine technique at the School of American Ballet as a full scholarship student. Furthermore, he was awarded a Danish/American exchange scholarship in 1989 to train in Bourneville technique at the Apprentice program within the Royal Danish Ballet. From 1986 to 1991, Mr. Fayette also participated in and helped to develop lecture demonstrations for the School of American Ballet. These taught about the history and art of ballet and were performed at schools throughout the New York City area.

His vast training and knowledge of ballet served him well as a guest teacher of pas de deux at the School of American Ballet and guest teacher at Ballet Academy East and the New York State Summer School of the Arts along with the number of master classes he would offer at schools across the country when visiting as a performing artist.

During his professional career, James founded and managed an independent touring group of dancers from varied dance disciplines, which toured both domestically and throughout Italy from 1995 through 2002. In addition to setting choreography and coaching the dancers, he organized all aspects of the company including programming, casting, staging, rehearsing, and most areas of management including production and domestic touring.

Throughout James’ career at New York City Ballet, he was a union delegate and participated in all dancer employment contract negotiations. Following retirement from full time performing in 2005, he was recruited by the dancers’ union to become the New York Area Dance Executive for the American Guild of Musical Artists, representing professional dancer employment nationwide. He has worked closely with the managements and dancers of most major American dance companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet West, Kansas City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company and Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He has a deep understanding of how the employment of dancers is managed and is keenly sensitive to the needs and career concerns of professional artists. His approach to resolving problems between companies and their artists has earned him a high level of respect throughout the professional dance world with both the artists and their managements.

James performed principal roles in the PBS Broadcasts of Live From Lincoln Center’s, New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project in 2002, and Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100 in 2004.

James also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from St. Mary’s College of California.

Seth Belliston

Seth Belliston was trained at the Belliston Academy of Ballet and the School of American Ballet. He is the recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award for Excellence, as well as the Mae L. Wien Award, and twice received the Florence Ruston Award from the Denver Ballet Guild. In addition to achieving the rank of Principal Dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mr. Belliston has appeared around the globe as an international guest artist. When in London, the BBC filmed Mr. Belliston’s performance of ‘Puck’ in George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Seth has appeared in an exceptional repertoire of ballets by renowned choreographers such as, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Rudi van Dantzig, Paul Taylor, Nacho Duato, and Peter Martins. Mr. Belliston is also at home in the classic story ballets having performed such works as The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker. Mr. Belliston was an original cast member in one of Jerome Robbins’ later works, 2 & 3 Part Inventions.

Jenifer Ringer

Jenifer Ringer is a native of Summerville South Carolina and enjoys one of the most successful and celebrated dance careers of her generation. Promoted to principal dancer of the New York City Ballet in 2000 and dancing featured roles from almost the beginning of her 24 year career, she has performed in almost every major American city and around the world. She originated roles in new works by numerous choreographers including Jerome Robbins, Alexi Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and Peter Martins and has performed in the world’s choreographic masterpieces including the major works of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She has also inhabited the prima ballerina roles of legendary works including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia.

In addition to her dancing career, Ms. Ringer has also taken on the role as Artistic Director. She has led the New York State Summer School for the Arts annual summer session since 2006, directed all the artistic elements of the New York City Ballet Dancer’s Choice performance at Lincoln Center in 2010 and co-hosted New York City Ballet’s Dance with the Dancers fundraising event in 2002. Also, beginning in 2009, she has presented an annual lecture demonstration and gala performance at Williams College.

In February 2013 Jenifer was appointed the Artistic Consultant for Dancing Dreams, a non-profit dance program that gives NYC/metro-area children with physical challenges a chance to dance. In this role she has had the privilege of teaching these young artists both movement and choreography and has arranged for them to attend performances at the New York City Ballet where they meet and talk with professional ballerinas. She has also successfully recruited important fundraising support for the organization.

In addition to teaching Master Classes at a variety of dance schools and institutions, Jenifer has been invited to be a regular guest teacher for company class at the New York City Ballet and in 2012 was appointed a teaching fellow at the School of American Ballet. Jenifer has also worked internationally as Assistant Répétiteur for the Jerome Robbins Foundation setting choreography at the National Ballet of Canada, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

Jenifer has been an outspoken advocate for healthy eating practices and shared publicly her struggles with and recuperation from disordered eating. She appeared on the TODAY show and Oprah to discuss these issues and the overall professional field of ballet. Her book, Dancing Through It; My Journey in the Ballet was released through Viking Press in February 2014.

Jenifer performed principal roles in the Live From Lincoln Center Broadcasts, New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project in 2002 and Lincoln Center Celebrates Balachine 100 in 2004 and currently appears in America Online’s first season of city.ballet. web episodes.

She has been celebrated multiple times on the covers of Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine and is the recipient of both the prestigious Dance Magazine Award, Jerome Robbins Award and in 2014 she participated as a judge for L.A.’s 26th Annual Music Center Spotlight Awards.

Jenifer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fordham University with a Bachelor degree in English.