Kathy Chamberlain – Founder/Artistic Director
Kathy Chamberlain began her training at age five at the Winifred-Bryan School of Dance where she was introduced to ballet. After realizing her dream of becoming a professional, she focused on classical ballet and made the switch to Etgen-Akinson School of Ballet. At age eleven, Kathy was accepted as an apprentice to the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, where she was noticed by talent scout, Violette Verdy of New York City Ballet.
Through the School of American Ballet (SAB) and the New York City Ballet (NYCB), Kathy became a Ford Foundation Scholar at age twelve. After suffering a career ending knee injury, Kathy was given the idea to turn her passion to teaching. Her focus has been to teach young dancers whose dreams were based, like hers, on a love for the art and beauty of ballet. Just shy of her twenty-first birthday, she had her teaching philosophy, ethics, and style in mind and thus began the Chamberlain School of Ballet at Keystone Park in 1977. Starting with 127 students, the school blossomed enough to expand to a second location north of Richardson, and a branch was opened in Plano in 1984.
Desiring to be able to give students a stepping stone into a professional career, Kathy established The Chamberlain Ballet Company, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to presenting world class dance and educate through outreach programs in May of 1984. In 1986, Kathy consolidated the schools into one location in Plano, which remains the current site.
After focusing on classical ballet for much of her teaching career, Kathy began reflecting on past students and their talents and realized many of her students excelled in other dance genres other than classical ballet. She then started a highly anticipated jazz and tap program, which expanded into modern and composition classes. Having created a program that produces well-rounded performers, she is proud of the diverse training Chamberlain Performing Arts has to offer its company members.
Carter Alexander – Associate Artistic Director
Mr. Carter Alexander began his ballet training with his mother Amanda Stone in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He continued at Arts Magnet and Dallas Ballet Academy before joining the Hartford Ballet, where he studied with his mentor, Truman Finney. He danced principal and soloist roles with the Kansas City Ballet, and also danced with Pennsylvania Ballet (where he taught on the faculty of the Rock School). Mr. Alexander received an offer to become the principal teacher at the Ballet Workshop New England in Boston, where he taught for five years. He also became the artistic associate of the Massachusetts Youth Ballet. He then joined Truman Finney at The School of Ballet Arizona as Assistant Director of the school. He was most recently Principal on the Miami City Ballet School faculty.
Jane Martin – Ballet Mistress
Jane Scichili Martin grew up in Richardson and received her ballet training with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, Kathy Chamberlain and the School of American Ballet in New York. She was a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet Company in Connecticut for 11 years. She danced lead roles in Concerto Barocco, Moors Pavane, Esplanade, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker and Coppélia. She originated many lead roles in choreography by director Michael Uthoff. Jane returned to Texas in 1990 to teach for Kathy Chamberlain and was ballet mistress for Chamberlain Ballet for 7 years before taking a break to raise her twin boys. She returned in January 2013 as Ballet Mistress for Chamberlain Performing Art’s production of Coppelia and began teaching full time again in the fall of 2013 as well as working as Ballet Mistress for the company.
Lynne Short – Rehearsal Mistress
Lynne short joined the faculty of Chamberlain School of Ballet in the fall of 2013. From 2001-2012, Ms. Short was Principal and head teacher at Ballet Austin Academy where she developed and honed a syllabus that has produced students and dancers who learn to realize the joy of working in a deep, thorough, meticulous way.
Before moving to Texas in 2001, M. Short was a faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet School (PNBS) from 1984-2000. During this time, and under the guidance of Francia Russell, Director of PNBS, the ideas of dedicated colleagues with various backgrounds were formed into a unified, cohesive syllabus. Much of the success of the training at PNBS was attributed to the curriculum and the collaborative efforts of its teachers.
Ms. Short’s professional career dancing with Memphis Ballet, Hartford Ballet, First Chamber Dance Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet allowed her opportunities to appreciate the art and her love of teaching.
Suzette Mariaux – Rehearsal Mistress
A Dallas native, Ms. Mariaux began her training at the Etgen-Atkinson School of Ballet. She went on to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Subsequently, Suzette performed professionally with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and in Europe with the Frankfurt Opera Ballet. The mother of four, Suzette brings that insight and experience to her exceptional teaching background.
Lisa Hess Jones – Resident Choreographer
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Ms. Hess trained with her parents, Neil and Camille Hess. Further training included the San Francisco Ballet, Harkness Ballet, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Hess joined New York City Ballet in 1975 and later became a soloist. She danced with Nureyev and Friends, was a guest artist with Sydney Ballet in Australia and toured Asia with Stars of the American Ballet. In 1989, Ms. Hess became involved with the Carlisle Project allowing her to create choreography for professional dancers and for the Northeast Regional Dance Festival and the Southwest Regional Dance Festival. She has created works for ballet companies around the country such as Annapolis Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Brigham Young University, and West Texas State University.
Megan Taylor - Relevé Manager and Instructor
Megan Taylor received her BFA in Modern dance and double minor in English and Secondary Education from Texas Christian University in May of 2013. Her early dance training began at Chamberlain School of Ballet in Plano, TX.
Most recently she has studied under the TCU faculty as well as other artists including Peter Kyle and Parisa Khobdeh. Megan has performed in works by Susan Douglas Roberts, Suki John, and Sarah Gamblin. She is currently dancing with Impulse Dance Project under artistic director, Anastasia Waters. Mrs. Taylor looks forward to beginning her second year with Chamberlain Performing Arts as the manager of the Relevé program and assistant to the Director of Operations.
Suzy Matheson- Shining Stars Instructor
Dallas native, Suzy Rossol Matheson, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, received a BFA in Dance Performance at Southern Methodist University and an MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. Suzy is currently a board certified dance/movement therapist through the American Dance Therapy Association and a certified counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Suzy served as the President of the Texas Chapter of the ADTA from 2006 to 2011, receiving an Exceptional Service Award from the ADTA for the inspiring, revitalizing, and dedicated role she has embodied, as well as helping to breathe new life into the chapter. She is an inspiration to DMT’s in Texas and continues to be a zealous advocate of the field of DMT. Suzy has also served as the Adaptive Dance Chair for the Dance Council of North Texas for two years. She was active is managing grants and planning Adaptive Dance workshops.
Suzy’s clinical experience as a dance/movement therapist began in 2000 where she has worked with a variety of populations and settings including geriatric, children, behavioral health, developmentally delayed, autism, rehabilitation, and substance abuse. Suzy’s passion is being able to integrate her work as a dancer and therapist to help people experience the healing power of movement.