Founders: Anna Baker-VanCura & Barry VanCura

(423) 821-2055 ~ 3202 Kelly's Ferry Rd. Chattanooga, TN, 37419 

Emily Sapere is delighted to join the Ballet Tennessee faculty for her fifth year.  A native of Mayfield, Kentucky, Emily received her early training with Joan Crawford School of Dance in tap, ballet and jazz.  She received a summer intensive scholarship in Los Angeles with Dupree Dance USA at age sixteen. After high school, she attended Columbia State Community College in Franklin, TN on a commercial entertainment scholarship. Her passion for teaching, brought her back to Kentucky were she assumed ownership of her family’s dance studio.   She spent summers training at The Edge Performing Arts Center in West Hollywood, California.  In 2002 Emily moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in dance. She has danced professionally in the television series “American Dreams” and was a principal dancer and choreographer for “The Rick Alviti Elvis Tribute Band”. While living in LA, she was on faculty at Dance Dimension. 


Monica Coulter holds a BFA and MFA in Ballet from TCU.  With over 25 years experience onstage, she has performed with Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, TX, Chattanooga Ballet, Ballet Tennessee and the Civic Ballet in Chattanooga.  Teaching credits include TCU, UTC and several local private studios, as well as in Cleveland, TN and Dalton, GA.Most recently Monica has added multiple training certifications in PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) teaching adults at The Wellness Corner in Chattanooga, weaving in this new methodology into her Classical Barre classes.  "Training the pre-professional dancer with PBT has become my personal mission!”  She currently lives in Harrison, TN with her husband, Monte. 

​​​​​Anna Baker Van-Cura began her dance training with Josephine Schwarz in Dayton, Ohio.  She was selected by Frederic Franklin for a Ford Foundation Scholarship with the National Ballet of Washington, D.C. in 1964.  She was accepted into Ruth Page’s International Ballet Company in 1965 where she rose from corps de ballet to principal dancer.  Ruth Page created several roles for Ms. VanCura.  In Ms. Page’s autobiography she mentions Anna Baker as her “favorite dancer.”  Ms. VanCura also danced with American Ballet Theater, under the direction of Lucia Chase, in New York and on tour.  She appeared with St. Paul Municipal Theater and St. Louis Municipal Opera in roles such as Jeanne in Brigadoon and Louise in Carousel with John Davidson.  Ms. VanCura also appeared for many season with Chicago Lyric Opera and Cincinnati Summer Opera.  She was on the faculty of Ruth Page Foundation, Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago, Bill Evans Dance Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Memphis Dance Alliance, Northwest Florida Ballet, Tennessee Association of Dance Conference, and BalletFest Summer Intensive in Atlanta, GA.  Mrs. VanCura attended the teacher conference in Russia on the first three years of Soviet method training.

Catherine Goduco Gaudreauwas born in Worcester, Massachusetts and studied ballet with Anna Marie and David Holmes and furthered her studies at the Nutmeg Conservatory under the tutelage of Sharon Dante. She attended the School of American Ballet as well as North Carolina School of the Arts. She was a principal dancer with the Alabama Ballet and danced numerous leading roles including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppelia, just to name a few. She also danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brilliante” and “Tarantella.” She had the opportunity to work with such choreographers as Vicente Nebrada, Val Caniparoli and Michael Smuin when she was a soloist with Ballet Florida dancing ballets such as “Our Waltzes” by Nebrada, “Lady of the Camellias” by Caniparoli and Smuin’s “Quattro a Verdi.” Catherine also excelled in principal roles in contemporary works choreographed my Mauricio Wainrot, Johann Renvall and William Soleau. She has guested with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Los Angeles Classical Ballet as well as the Tupelo Ballet and other companies throughout the South.
Catherine trained with Ruth Petronovic in the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM) that honors all traditions of ballet and is based on anatomy and kinesiology. She was a coach for the United States team for the International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland 2001. She was a faculty member at the Alabama Ballet School and taught in their professional division as well as their summer intensive program.
Ms. Goduco-Gaudreau is happily married to her husband of 10 years, Matt and they have a daughter named Ava.

Jenison Owens began her training in 2003 through the Dance Alive and TIP Scholarship Program at Ballet Tennessee, under the direction of Barry and Anna VanCura. She was featured in many roles as a company member and professional training student, and assisted Barry VanCura in the musical productions of The Broadway Project (2011) and Aida (2012) at Covenant College. Ms. Owens began her teaching/choreography career in 2013 and served as faculty member at Ballet Tennessee, Weave Dance Company, and Creative Arts Guild. She has studied with The Ailey School, Sidra Bell Dance New York, and Weave Dance Company. Ms. Owens holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and founded an immersive visual and performing arts production,"Celebrations: a Community Collaboration," in 2018. Ms. Owens is delighted to serve as Program Administrator, professional dancer and faculty member this season. 

Lauren Day started her dance training in 1996 under direction of  Barry and Anna VanCura with the Ballet Tennessee Conservatory. She had the opportunity to be a part of the outreach performance programs with the Hamilton County School System, as well as many performances and showcases throughout Chattanooga's city events featuring Ballet Tennessee. With Ballet Tennessee she danced as a company member and had many lead roles such as Bluebird in Peter and the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood in Cinderella, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol, Sugar Plum Doll and Soldier Doll in Nutcracker and many others. Lauren graduated from The Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts majoring in Dance, and attended Birmingham Southern College studying under Mira Popovich, a former prima ballerina with Serbian National Ballet, as a dance major and education minor. She has also taken workshops and summer intensives with Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Virginia School of the Arts. Lauren joyfully started teaching in 2016 and is proud to have joined Ballet Tennessee's program this year, as well as serve as an Office Administrator.