Our Regular Faculty
Sophie received her primary ballet training under Denise Vogt, and has also studied with Barry Leon, Janet Smith, Marcia Keegan, Peggy Seipp-Roy, and Benjamin Johnson. Sophie has taught ballet in Lakeville schools since 2004, and at Ballet Royale since its inception. Since 2003 she has worked closely with Denise Vogt in Twin Cities Ballet's annual production of "The Nutcracker." She has performed multiple roles in TCB's Nutcracker and brings an inspired passion and depth of knowledge to the program. Sophie has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas, and is both trained in and assisted with updating Ballet Royale's Teacher's Curriculum and developing Ballet Royale's advanced Preparation for Pointe regimen. Sophie is also a certified Pilates instructor, and in addition to being one of Ballet Royale's primary Youth Ballet instructors, she provides Pilates individual core training and mat classes, cross-training and injury prevention, and recovery training for all levels, Youth Ballet through Professionals.
Julie Marie is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the inaugural class of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet BFA Program in San Francisco, CA, and of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She has taught dance for all ages in the United States, Israel, and Italy, and her choreography has been set and performed nationally and internationally. She has danced with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel and Compagnia AiEP in Milan, Italy, and was the Assistant Director of Revolution Dance Theatre in Ohio, where she regularly returns as a guest artist with the company. A newcomer to Minnesota, Julie Marie dances, choreographs, and teaches across the Twin Cities, including with the Threads Dance Project and Dance & Other Behaviors, and is also a musician, writer, and certified Pilates instructor. Julie Marie teaches Professional Trainee and Performance Track Ballet and Modern (Contemporary) dance.
Leah Gallas danced professional for over 16 years, including with Colorado Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Minnesota Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and most recently James Sewell Ballet. Leah has danced many solo and principal roles in various classical and contemporary ballets including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Balanchine's Serenade, Ben Stevenson's Dracula, Paul Taylor's Black Tuesday, and as Sugar Plum Fairy in Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota’s The Nutcracker. Leah received the majority of her primary training at Ballet Arts Minnesota in Minneapolis studying with Bonnie Mathis, Lirena Branitski, and Denise Vogt, and summers training at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Boston Ballet School on full scholarships. While still dancing professionally, Leah taught for several years at Ballet Royale’s Summer Intensive before becoming a regular faculty member in 2014.
Emily is an Alumna of Ballet Royale Minnesota, reaching the Pre-Professional Perfomance Track level before graduating in 2011. She also has studied at Magnus (formerly Joffrey) Midwest Intensive, Milwaukee Ballet, and as an Apprentice with James Sewell Ballet and Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota, and is a past Twin Cities Ballet Student Dancer Recognition Grant winner. Emily has danced almost every role in TCB's "The Nutcracker," from Snow Angel to Snow Queen, and originated and performed the roles of Dorothy in TCB's "Wizard of Oz – The Ballet" and Cinderella in "Cinderella 1944: A Love Story." Emily is fully trained in Ballet Royale's Teacher's Curriculum, and in 2013 joined our Regular Faculty. Emily teaches Pre-Ballet Creative Dance, Youth Ballet and Adult/Teen Ballet, and also works as Ballet Royale's Administrative Assistant.
A native of Buffalo, NY, Barry received his training in tap, jazz, character, contemporary and ballet while on scholarship at the Ballet Center of Buffalo. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship and attended the School of American Ballet and the Harkness Ballet School in NYC, dancing later professionally with the Harkness Ballet. As Principal Dancer, he danced with Pennsylvania Ballet for six seasons and was a guest with Ballet de San Juan. Mr. Leon also danced with Eliot Feld and New Jersey Ballet before assuming directorship of the Ballet Center of Buffalo, and founding Buffalo Ballet Theater where he danced and directed for ten years. He received a Choreographic Award Fellowship from the New York State Council for the Arts and was inducted into the New York Dance Hall of Fame for his contribution to dance in NY State. Barry has taught and choreographed for over 30 years, including locally at Minnesota Dance Theatre & the Dance Institute and the University of Minnesota Dance Department. Barry was a Ballet Royale guest faculty for several years before becoming a regular faculty member in 2013. Barry currently teaches Advanced Youth and Performance Track Ballet at Ballet Royale.
Emily Winn is originally from Statesboro, Georgia, and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia Southern University at the age of 18 with her BA in Writing and Linguistics. As a student, she performed with Ballet Savannah and Columbia City Ballet, and attended summer intensives with Alonzo King's LINES, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. After graduating, she danced with Greensboro Ballet and studied modern and ballet at Belhaven University, and taught ballet, modern, and tap at Statesboro Youth Ballet. Since moving to Minnesota in 2014 Emily has danced in Twin Cities Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Narnia: The Ballet, and is also currently performing locally with Borealis Dance. Emily currently teaches Modern, Pre-Ballet Creative Dance, and Preparation for Ballet at Ballet Royale Minnesota.
Our Guest faculty:
Bonnie Mathis (Performance Track Ballet)
Laura Daugherty (Performance Track Ballet)
Gary Joyce (Youth and Performance Track Ballet)
Maureen Haworth (Youth, Performance Track, Adult Ballet)
Jill Patterson (Modern)
Benjamin Johnson (Performance Track Ballet)
Brittany Fridenstine Keefe (Performance Track Ballet)
Maryann Johnson, P.T. (Conditioning, Injury Prevention)