Colburn Announces New Dean Appointments



(Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Los Angeles) – Colburn School announced today that dancer, educator, and choreographer Silas Farley, a recent New York City Ballet alumnus, will become Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute (TZDI), and Darleen Callaghan, former Director of Miami City Ballet School, will become Associate Dean of TZDI, effective July 1, 2021. Following seven highly successful years, current Dean and Associate Dean of TZDI, 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.

Sel Kardan, Colburn School President and CEO stated: “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.  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.”

“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.”

The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, led by Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette since 2017, offers comprehensive dance programs for youth and adult students, and includes the Dance Academy, a rigorous ballet training program for young people ages 14-19, as well as sequential programs in ballet, modern, and tap dance.  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 TZDI 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. 

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.

About Silas Farley
Silas Farley received his training at King David Christian Conservatory, Charlotte Ballet, and The School of American Ballet (SAB). From 2012-2020, he danced with New York City Ballet (NYCB), where he performed principal roles in the works of George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon and originated roles in ballets by Wheeldon, Lauren Lovette, and Justin Peck. Farley has taught nationally and internationally, including at SAB, NYCB, Slovak National Ballet, The Colburn School, The Peabody Conservatory, The Hartt School, The Chautauqua School of Dance, and The Kennedy Center. He has choreographed for SAB, The New York Choreographic Institute, Columbia Ballet Collaborative at Columbia University, and Works & Process at The Guggenheim. In 2017, Farley collaborated with poet Ilya Kaminsky on the ballet adaptation of Kaminsky’s book, Deaf Republic, at Grace Farms Foundation. In the fall of 2017, Farley was commissioned by MetLiveArts to choreograph a site-specific work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. That work, Songs From The Spirit, was made in collaboration with the Ear Hustle podcast and was set to music by currently and formerly incarcerated musicians from San Quentin State Prison. The ballet premiered at The Met Museum in 2019. Mr. Farley was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. He has written for Dance Magazine and lectured for NYCB, The New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Park Avenue Armory, and The Museum of Modern Art. Farley is writer and host of the NYCB podcast, Hear The Dance. He is an Amplify Artist at The Colburn School. He is an Alumnus Trustee of Professional Children’s School (PCS) and serves on the Board of The George Balanchine Foundation. Mr. Farley currently serves as The Armstrong Visiting Artist in Residence in Ballet in The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) for the 2020-2021 academic year.

About 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. She was invited by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride to direct the North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance under their artistic leadership, expanding the school from 150 to 700 students and establishing it as a nationally-recognized training academy.  Darleen went on to direct the Miami City Ballet School at the invitation of Lourdes Lopez, implementing a variety of new programming and outreach initiatives for the students at the school.

A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.

  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers over 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This residential program balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field. 

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community. Learn more at

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