Ballet Tennessee ©
Ballet Tennessee is a funded agency of Arts Build, Tennessee Arts Commission, George R. Johnson Family Foundation, Coca~Cola Bottling Company, Elea Blake Cosmetics, First Tennessee, National Endowment for the Arts, Mustang Leadership Project, Patten & Patten, SunTrust Bank, corporate grants, and through individual donor support.
Emma Caines, Hip-Hop, Modern, Jazz
Jenison Owens, Primary Division/Hip-Hop/Jazz
Emily Sapere, Tap
Hannah Locke returns to Ballet Tennessee as the Ballet Administrator, and continues as a professional dancer and primary instructor. With Ballet Tennessee, Ms. Locke has performed the principal roles of Odile in Swan Lake, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She has been featured in original choreography by Barry VanCura, Lindsay Pierce, and Brian Gephart. Ms. Locke trained with VanCura Ballet Conservatory under the direction of Anna and Barry VanCura and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School Ballet Program under the direction of Ethan Stiefel. While at UNCSA, she was awarded several scholarships for outstanding achievement and performed soloist and principal roles. Ms. Locke spent summers at Ballet Tennessee, Joffrey Midwest, American Ballet Theatre, Kaatsbaan, and Boston Ballet. Upon graduation from high school, she received a full scholarship for Richmond Ballet’s summer intensive where she began her professional career as a trainee. Focusing on nutrition, Ms. Locke earned an Associate of Science Degree, Cum Laude, from Chattanooga State Community College. (Photo Credit: Blake Blamalam; MUA: elea blake cosmetics)
Brittany Johnson-Mills enters her second year as Programs Administrator, and her tenth year as an instructor. At the age of ten, Ms. Johnson-Mills began her dance training with Ballet Tennessee through the Dance Alive Program. She continued as a Talent Identification Program Scholarship student and danced featured roles in Les Sylphides, Paquita, and Barry VanCura's A Christmas Carol. Ms. Johnson-Mills studied for two summers on full tuition scholarship at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and received the Kitty Sharp Award from the Tennessee Association of Dance in 2005. In spring of 2016, Ms. Johnson-Mills made her return to the stage in Victoria VanCura's The Eyes of Truth. Ms. Johnson-Mills is the mother of two sons, Braedyn and Kamden. (Photo Credit: Blake Blamalam; MUA: elea blake cosmetics)
Anna Baker-VanCura 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. (Photo Credit: Blake Blamalam; MUA: elea blake cosmetics)