Charlotte Ballet is excited to announce the addition of two new Academy Associate Directors to CHARLOTTE BALLET ACADEMY. Also joining the academy are five new teaching faculty, all with esteemed performance careers and extensive teaching experience. Read on to be introduced to our exciting new staff and find out more about who will be teaching academy classes.

Two New Academy Associate Directors



Anita studied ballet at the Columbia Conservatory Ballet, the Reston Conservatory Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. Her senior year in high school, she received the Princess Grace Award in Dance, was the National YoungArts Level 1 winner and received the Presidential Scholar in the Arts in Ballet award at the White House.

She then joined The Washington Ballet and ascended to the a Principal dancer. She trained at the Chautauqua Institution in Dance and performed for fourteen summers as both a student and a founding company member under the artistic direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, which lead her to join Charlotte Ballet.

In Charlotte, she performed as a Principal Dancer, for seven years. This is where she met fellow dancer Hernan Justo – who proposed to Anita onstage in front of a packed house at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. In 2001, she came to Carolina Ballet Theatre in Greenville, SC to join her husband as artistic leadership of Carolina Ballet Theatre and in 2004, she became director of the school. During that time she also coordinated and facilitated many of CBT’s arts integration work through Metropolitan Arts Council’s SmartArts program – connecting students, artists and teachers to deeper learning and self-awareness through integrating the arts with all areas of education. She is grateful to rejoin Charlotte Ballet again after 16 years.



Laszlo Berdo was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he began dancing at the age of five. At age 11, his mother encouraged him to try an audition for a local Nutcracker production. Initial resistance to classical ballet turned into a life-long passion.

Laszlo intensified his studies at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. Upon graduation, he first joined Ballet Austin and then the Louisville Ballet under Alun Jones and Helen Starr. He was later hired by Ivan Nagy first as a guest artist then later as a soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet. Laszlo joined the Boston Ballet in 1990 as a corps de ballet member under Bruce Marks. He was promoted to soloist in 1993 and became a principal dancer in 1995.

He began choreographing in 1993 and has since created works for Boston Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and the Finnish National Ballet in Helsinki. He choreographed for the Boston Conservatory and participated in ChoreoPlan 2001 in which he choreographed for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Laszlo has been a faculty member for the Boston Conservatory, Harvard University and CPYB. He was appointed Artistic Director and School Director of Eglevsky Ballet in 2011. Under Laszlo’s leadership, Eglevsky Ballet opened its doors to the community with a brand new state-of-art facility in Bethpage, NY, reestablishing Eglevsky Ballet as the premiere ballet school and only professional company on Long Island. Laszlo was previously Ballet Master of the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet and a private coach.

Five New Teaching Faculty

blog-emily-bowen-webEMILY BOWEN

Emily received her dance training at Cumberland Dance Company in PA, Charlotte Ballet Academy and Houston Ballet Academy. While in Houston Ballet II, Emily competed in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. At Houston Ballet, she was featured by world renowned choreographers including: George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth McMillan, Antony Tudor, William Forsythe, Stanton Welch, Wayne McGregor, Jiri Kylian and Nacho Duato. After retiring from the stage in July 2016, Emily is excited to begin this new chapter in her ballet journey.



Leah has trained at The Art of Classical Ballet and danced with The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, The Joffrey Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Florida Classical Ballet and Columbia Classical Ballet. During her career, she has instructed ballet and contemporary to all ages and levels, drawing from her influential Cuban and Russian training. Leah moved to Charlotte in 2016 and has taught classes for local studios including Caroline Calouche & Co. and Jena  Burgin-Peters Entertainment.



Jamie completed her eighth year as a Charlotte Ballet company dancer this past season and now joins us as an Academy teaching artist. Jamie has danced with Orange Country Regional Ballet in California, American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey and BalletMet Columbus. She has received the California Alliance for Arts Education’s 2000 Emerging Young Artist Award, accompanied Nai Ni Chen Dance Company on their 2002 China Tour, has been a guest artist with L.A. Chamber Dance and received the 2008 Violetta Boft Award at BalletMet Columbus.

marvis-scully-headshot-webMAVIS SCULLY

Mavis has been on faculty with the prestigious Rock School for Dance Education, the Walnut Street Theatre, Samford University and the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She studied ballet at the School of American Ballet, NYSSSA, Cincinnati Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Savannah Ballet and Ballet Oklahoma. Mavis also danced for the Cincinnati Opera before receiving her BFA in Acting from Philly’s University of the Arts. She has choreographed for Stage One – the Louisville Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera, Birmingham Music Club, Alabama Shakespeare Company and City Equity Theatre (for which she won the 2015 Broadway World’s Best Choreographer Award.)



Alissa received her early ballet training from Cecchetti master teacher Rose Marie Floyd and from the Cleveland Ballet School, the Atlanta Ballet School and the New School of the Arts in Amsterdam. Alissa has performed soloist roles with the Detroit Contemporary Civic Ballet, Chicago Ballet and Elements Contemporary Ballet. She earned her BFA in Dance emphasizing Ballet Performance at the University of Arizona, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She is an accredited ballet instructor through the American Ballet Theatre National Teacher Training Curriculum as well as a Fellow member of the Cecchetti Council of America. Alissa has taught for the dance departments of Northwestern University, Florida State University and Appalachian State University. Alissa is a Certified Pilates Teacher, holds a specialized certification in Pilates for Dancers, and is the founder of GYROTONIC in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood.