After graduating from Central High School in Memphis, Katie began her professional career with the Minnesota Dance Theatre where she first discovered her passion for arts education. Later, as a performing and teaching artist for the Los Angeles Music Center, she developed a condensed Cinderella ballet that toured extensively in the Los Angeles County School Districts. Through these experiences and active volunteering in PS 199 in New York City, she dreamed of a new program that would build a pathway to vocation through arts education and excellence in training, regardless of the ability to pay. Katie returned to Memphis in 1997 with that vision in mind, founding New Ballet Ensemble & School to bring children together by offering a professional standard of dance training for children, regardless of economic barriers. (Learn more about her vision in her 2015 TEDx talk.)
Over time, she has created new works for New Ballet, most notably NutRemix™; Harlem, a commissioned work for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and The Swan, created in collaboration with international star and New Ballet alumnus Charles “Lil Buck” Riley.
Katie serves as the Secretary on the Board of Trustees for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, as a panelist for the Tennessee Arts Commission and as an active member of Americans for the Arts. She was selected as a Scholar (now Fellow) of the Aspen Institute in 2016. Katie is also a founding member of the board of directors of the Overton Park Shell and has served on the City of Memphis Youth Guidance Commission and the Cooper-Young Business Association. Katie was awarded the Tennessee Governor’s School award for excellence in teaching as Teacher of the Year in 2019 and the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Community Service Award in 2020.
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David has been working with New Ballet since 2019 and started as the Program Assistant in 2021. David has been assisting with classes, performances, and programs at the studio as well as supporting the program team with safety protocols and mentoring. David is a local music producer and teaching artist specializing in percussive instruction. He has been teaching in the Memphis Shelby County Schools System as well as instructing in other capacities throughout the community for the past seven years. David has also worked with and enhanced operations at various non-profit organizations in Memphis such as; MAM Boys and Girls Club, Notes for Notes, and Memphis Music Initiative.
Kathy greets all who walk through the doors of New Ballet and is the longest serving staff member in the organization. As patron services liaison, she assists in supporting and facilitating numerous communications with parents and students as well as directing our patrons to the person or place that will address their needs. A member of the team since 2010, Kathy has played an integral role in program and finance operations in addition to making everyone feel like part of the family. She is a native Memphian and proud Kingsbury High alum.
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As New Ballet’s development and communications manager, Shelby assists in streamlining organizational processes, fostering donor relations, and managing New Ballet’s special events and giving campaigns. A Midtown Memphis native, Shelby is dedicated to serving the Memphis community and sharing her passion for the arts and youth engagement with others. She previously served as a development manager and other roles with the Orpheum Theatre Group. After receiving her affiliate real estate broker license, Shelby worked as an affiliate broker with the Halloran Realty Group. She was later named chief administrative officer at Positively Memphis.
Jacqueline joins New Ballet Ensemble & School as Youth Program Coordinator with over ten years of experience working with diverse youth and young adults. She leads peer, group, and one-on-one mentoring programs for students and Professional Apprentices in the Cooper-Young studios and students in our Pathways Program in partner schools through our Lunch Buddies program (supported by the Memphis Grizzlies).
Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, she graduated from Visible Music College with a degree in Music Business, touring as a vocalist with various musical artists around the country. Before joining New Ballet, Jacqueline served as a Youth Director at Mentors Care in Dallas, Texas, where she worked to break down cultural barriers within group and one-on-one mentorship sessions, creating a positive and inclusive environment for all students.
She is passionate about combining her love for music and leadership to connect with young people, inspiring them to pursue their dreams. Jacqueline’s mission is to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those around her.
Since 2017, Mary has been the director of education and community partnerships at New Ballet, overseeing the operations of studio classes, Pathways K-12 Residencies and school performances. She also serves as the point of contact for both parents and school leaders. Before joining New Ballet, Mary was a professional violinist for 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and earned her graduate degree in nonprofit arts administration from New York University. Mary has two daughters, both of whom have been dancing with New Ballet since 2015.
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Having served as Pathways Program Liaison this past season, Daya Hampton-Cox has been promoted to Director of Program Implementation. She will now oversee all instructional and creative leadership of the Pathways Program as well as additional classes in satellite locations at independent schools. Daya will be the outward face of Pathways, enriching New Ballet’s vision for free dance education in public schools. In addition to her past work with New Ballet in the dawn of our public school instruction in 2002, Daya has taught dance in New York City Public Schools, earned her master’s in education and recently completed a fellowship with LUNA Dance Institute in Berkeley, California. Through New Ballet’s professional development program, she will continue her teacher training at the Dance Education Laboratory in New York City.
Since 2016, Glenda has been responsible for the day-to-day financial operations at New Ballet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Memphis and has been active in nonprofit finance since 1995. Her prior experience includes serving as the managing director for Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia and working with several arts-based nonprofits in Memphis. Glenda is involved with Playback Memphis, can be seen in numerous theatrical productions around Memphis and on local television in commercials. She also produces, directs and is a licensed Yoga instructor.
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With a passion for education and elevating our community’s youth, Chevon joined the New Ballet team in 2023 as the executive assistant to the CEO. Her primary responsibilities include managing daily schedules and driving communication among staff members, Teaching Artists and students’ families. She has a decade of experience overseeing administrative duties in higher education institutions in the Mid-South, making her a seamless fit to New Ballet’s educational and youth development model. A native of Illinois, Chevon resides in Memphis with her teenage daughter, Amya.
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As the former music director of the Nubian Theatre Company and with years of experience in his repertoire, John Washington champions West African dance and drumming at New Ballet. He is also responsible for technology, assists families with registration and mentors Teaching Artists in the New Ballet Pathways Program partnership with SCS. John He holds a master’s degree in education from Tennessee State University and was a teacher with Memphis City/Shelby County Schools for 27 years. John is a professional musician trained in voice, keyboard, saxophone and African/world drumming. When he’s not playing instruments, he arranges and composes his own music. John has performed in Orlando at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT, in Tokyo at Japan’s Mitsubishi Mirage Bowl, and in the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He has also played with notable jazz musicians such as Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie and Dr. Clark Terry.
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From the age of three, Catherine has had a deep passion for dance. She has trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and modern and utilizes her skills in each of these genres to prepare New Ballet students for their future artistic careers.
She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre with a concentration in dance from the University of Memphis in 2020. While there, she studied ballet, improvisation, dance composition, dance teaching methods, dance science and the Horton technique. Some of her previous stage credits with the University of Memphis include Momentum, Falling/Up, Lest We Forget and 5×5.
Crystal has performed on multiple stages, bi-coastal and internationally, and recently retired from a 25-year professional career as a ballerina, 23 of those years with Ballet Memphis. Crystal won the Individual Artist Award from the Tennessee Arts Commission, was named one of the Top 8 Dancers in the World to Watch by Pointe Magazine, and won an Ostrander Award for her performance as Victoria (the white cat) in Theatre Memphis’ 2019 production of Cats. Crystal performed in Hello Dolly! and was Phaedra, a Cagelle, and Dance Captain in La Cage aux Folles at Theatre Memphis, and was an ensemble member and Dance Captain in Playhouse on the Square’s 2022 production of Something Rotten. In addition to teaching ballet and Stott Pilates for over two decades, in 2019 Crystal became a teaching artist at New Ballet Ensemble both for the school and company, and in 2020, Crystal became a Licensed Massage Therapist and opened up her own business, Crystal’s Body Shop. In 2021 Crystal was voted 2nd Best Massage Therapist in Memphis by Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine. Crystal loves her sweet fur babies and her loving and supportive community!
Mary Frances Massey is excited to be joining the New Ballet Team this year teaching in the Pathways program & leading the Tap Program at NBE. Mary Frances started dancing at the young age of three under her mother, Sarah Karrant, at their dance studio, North Mississippi Dance Centre in Tupelo, MS. Mary Frances trained in various forms of dance, her favorites including Jazz & Tap where she trained under Frank Hatchett, Mike Weaver & Luigi just to name a few. She attended Mississippi State University on a voice scholarship and majored in Elementary Education. She finished up at Columbia State Community College in Commercial Entertainment and began her stage career in Singing & Dancing in 2006. She has starred as a Lead Production Singer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in six of their Broadway style production shows, a singer/dancer in Matt Davenports Christmas production “Christmas in Choclotetown” in Hershey, PA & has worked as a background singer in Nashville in the recording industry. Massey released her first Album, Movin’ On, in 2015 to budding reviews. She continues to sing in the North Mississippi/Memphis area with her Partner, Paul Tate, in their band Massey/Tate. Mary Frances is a teaching artist with the Mississippi Arts Commission and Tennessee Arts Commission where she creates lesson plans with dance and education standards. She has visited over thirty schools where she has created productions based on favorite children’s novels and taught her famous dance program, Math & Hip Hop ©. Mary Frances is excited to be a part of the Memphis Arts Community where she hopes to make a lasting mark on the Children & Schools of Shelby County
Trained as a young artist at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet professional division, Tamara has danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (retired as a soloist in 1998) and Ballet du Nord in France. In her 18-year career, she danced a wide variety of repertoire, including one of her favorite lead roles, Maria in John Neumier’s The Nutcracker. Tamara toured extensively throughout her career, dancing in Asia, Europe and South America, averaging 150 performances per year.
She entered Memphis’ dance scene as ballet mistress at Ballet Memphis in 1999, staging many works, including Swan Lake, Giselle, and Mark Godden’s Angels in the Architecture. Tamara is also a STOTT Pilates certified instructor and trainer, and she teaches pilates at Rehab etc., located in East Memphis.
As a professional dancer, Michael has been a member and guest artist with numerous professional companies, including Alfred Gallman’s Newark Dance Theatre, Ballethnic Dance Company in Atlanta, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver, Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, Lula Elzy Dance Theatre in New Orleans and Ohio Dance Theatre in Oberlin, among others. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre and the Greene/Medcalf Movement Project, which is also in Cleveland. Currently, Michael develops solo and duet projects for the stage and camera for Michael Medcalf/INVENTIONS. Michael is also an assistant professor at the University of Memphis’ department of theatre and dance.
Maxx Reed is a professional dancer and choreographer based in New York. At age 14, he received a scholarship to New Ballet, where he received extensive training in classical ballet and modern styles including Horton, Graham and Forsythe. Growing up in Memphis, he danced with many local hip-hop crews, molding his abilities as a street dancer. Reed gained a place in New Ballet as a Teaching Artist in 2006, creating and debuting roles in ballets such as Romeo in our version of Romeo and Juliet, as well as the Rat King, The Hero and The Cavalier in NutRemix™.
Professionally, Maxx has appeared in the ABC primetime special “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” and in staged productions of Cats, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, and Beetlejuice. He has also performed live with Usher in the 2011 American Music Awards and has appeared in Michael Jackson’s biopic “This Is It”, and his music video “Hold My Hand.” Other credits include commercials for Knott’s Berry Farm and Virgin Mobile and the music videos for Beyonce’s “Who Run the World (Girls)” and The Saturdays’ “Notorious.”
Today, his choreography can be seen in ballet companies, award-winning competition studios and music videos. Maxx is on the teaching staff of STEPS in New York City and continues to return to New Ballet as a visiting Master Teacher.
As a young dancer, Chloé was selected to train at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities under Nijinski awardee Stanislav Issaev. Her skills were nationally recognized when she ranked among the top 12 in the 2003-05 Regional Youth American Grand Prix competition, progressing to the finals in New York City. She later earned a BFA from SUNY Purchase College in 2009.
She has been featured with the Connecticut Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Island Moving Company, Battery Dance Company, Ballet Inc., Miami Contemporary Dance Company, New York Theatre Ballet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Oakland Ballet and Nimbus Dance Works. She was also selected to perform at the International Ballet Festival of Miami from 2015 to 2020. Chloé is an American Ballet Theatre-certified ballet teacher from pre-ballet to Level 7.
As the former coordinator for Mississippi Boulevard Dance Ministry and a former lead dancer for the Nubian Theatre Company, Candy’ce brings a depth of knowledge and experience to her role at New Ballet. Since 2007, she has led African dance classes at New Ballet and choreography for NutRemix™. Candy’ce is also the choreographer for the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s debutante cotillions.