Ballet 5:8’s Artistic Director, Mrs. Julianna Slager, is originally from Spring Arbor, Michigan. Mrs. Slager studied under notable teachers from Ann Arbor Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Vaganova Academy and Dance Theater of Harlem. Before becoming the founding Artistic Director of Ballet 5:8 in 2012, Mrs. Slager danced with Greater Lansing Ballet, Ballet Magnificat and worked as a freelance artist, teacher and choreographer in the Chicago area. Mrs. Slager sets the artistic vision for the Ballet 5:8 professional company and regularly choreographs new abstract and narrative works for both the company and Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts. Mrs. Slager is an expert in classical ballet training and teaches in many of the school's Pre-Professional Program classes in addition to overseeing the school's teaching staff. Mrs. Slager is blessed to be married to Jeremy Slager, Associate Paster at St. Paul’s Bible Church, and she lives in south Chicago along with their two sons.
Mrs. Lauren Ader-Cumpston
Ballet 5:8 Ballet Mistress Director of Residency Programs
Mrs. Lauren Ader-Cumpston, now in her fourth year as a Ballet 5:8 Company Artist and Ballet Mistress, is a senior member of the teaching staff at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts. She joined Ballet 5:8 in 2012 after training at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and performing with their studio company for several years. Mrs. Cumpston specializes in working with Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts' intermediate and advanced training levels and brings an extensive knowledge of Vaganova technique, classical port de bras and artistry to the school.
Ms. Laura Schlatter
Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Ballet Mistress
Ms. Laura Schlatter joined Ballet 5:8 as a Company Artist in 2013 and has been serving as the Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Ballet Mistress since 2014. Ms. Laura teaches in several Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts divisions and regularly works with the students of the Junior and Level I divisions of the Student Ensemble Program in rehearsals for student performances. Before joining Ballet 5:8, Ms. Laura has taught students at the Chattanooga Ballet School in Tennessee, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective, His House Studios School of the Arts and various dance studios in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has also choreographed for many productions including The Savior musical in 2012.
Ms. Abigail Gray
Children's Dance Division Director
Ms. Abigail Gray, originally from Bolivia, has been teaching with Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts since 2012 and currently serves as the Children's Dance Division Director. Besides teaching many classes in the Children's Dance Division, Ms. Abi manages parent communications with students and families in the Children's Dance Division and directs the Children's Cast for Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts' student ballet performances. Ms. Abi is pursuing a career in professional dance and is currently studying as a Trainee in the Ballet 5:8 professional company. Before joining Ballet 5:8, Ms. Abi began her training at the art conservatory “Eduardo Laredo” in Cochabamba Bolivia. She trained at Eduardo Laredo for nine years, graduating as a modern/contemporary dancer. Abi later danced with a Bolivian classical school for two years and with a jazz company for six months before moving to the United States in 2012.
Ms. Lorianne Barclay
Instructor Ballet 5:8 Head of Wardrobe
Ms. Lorianne Barclay, currently a Company Artist with the Ballet 5:8 professional company, teaches some Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts classes in addition to her work in the Ballet 5:8 Costume Department. Before joining Ballet 5:8, she studied for four years in Portland Festival Ballet’s trainee program under the directorship of John Magnus. Over the years she has spent summers training with Ballet Magnificat!, Ballet West, Point Park, Alonzo King LINES ballet and Magnus Northwest. Ms. Lorianne has been teaching ballet for over six years as well as working as a rehearsal assistant for Portland Festival Ballet and Jefferson Dance. Lorianne is a choreographer for Trueheart Productions and a choreography winner of Bloom (2013).
Ms. Brette Benedict
Instructor Front Desk Team Member
Brette Benedict, a Company Artist with Ballet 5:8 since 2014, began teaching her freshmen year at Indiana University under the direction of Doricha Sales. She taught a range of classes in the IU pre-college program from the youngest of kids through to their highest level. While at IU she also taught the elective ballet classes for college students. Ms. Brette was given several opportunities for choreographing, more specifically for their higher level students. Since then she has fallen in love with teaching and choreographing. She has also had the opportunity to teach at Cornerstone Academy in Peoria, IL, Rochester City Ballet and DK dance studio in Rochester, NY.
Ms. Marinna Kus
Ms. Marinna Kus, known by some of her younger students as "Ms. Marinna Ballerina," has been a Company Artist with the Ballet 5:8 professional company since 2013 and has been teaching since 2007. She began her teaching career at Amazing Grace School of Dance in Florida under the direction of Marcy Beal. She took some time off teaching regularly between 2009 and 2011 to focus on training and performing with Ballet Palm Beach. She returned to Amazing Grace School of Dance in the fall of 2011 to teach and perform as a guest artist with the school until June of 2013.
Ms. Christina Perry
Ms. Christina Perry is joining Ballet 5:8 for the 2015-2016 season as a Senior Apprentice with the professional company and an instructor in the Children's and Youth Divisions at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts. Before joining Ballet 5:8, Ms. Christina toured Europe with Tanszommer on a full merit scholarship with Company Dance Traverse at age 16. She attended two summer intensives on merit scholarship with Ballet Met. She also has trained with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) Joffrey Midwest, Joffrey LA, Complexions and New York City Dance Alliance. Ms. Christina earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the prestigious Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana in 2015. Ms. Christina began her teaching career at Steppin Up Dance Studio in Evart, MI under Kate Price and Dance Arts Academy in Traverse City, MI under Betsy Carr & Melinda Baker while in middle school.
Ms. Summer Smith
Ms. Summer Smith is a Company Artist with the Ballet 5:8 professional company and teaches classes in several Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts divisions. Ms. Summer grew up in South Jersey, where she began dancing at a young age. Having an arts focused family, she received exposure to all types of art throughout her childhood and studied painting and drawing under her mentor, Patricia Witt. In high school, Summer decided to begin her serious training at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. During this time, she received scholarships to study at Orlando Ballet, and in New York, at American Ballet Theatre. Following highschool, Summer attended The University of the Arts for Ballet and Painting. At Uarts, she was selected to perform works by Ronen Koresh, Christine Cox and Anastasia Babeyeva.
Instructor Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Alumni
Ms. Rebecca is currently a student at Grand Valley State University, double majoring in Education and Physical Education (K-12), with a double minor in Dance and Health Education. She is the Student President of the Council for Future Professionals SHAPE America for US Midwestern District. Ms. Rebecca completed her dance training at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts in Chicago, and has performed and choreographed with the Grand Valley Dance Company for three years. She has danced at Lou Conte, American Dancer Center, Hubbard Street, and River North Dance. Rebecca is an active volunteer working with students with disabilities, at Mel Trotter Services, and as a current Life Group leader for Grand Valley State University Campus Ministries. She is passionate about teaching and working with students; and feels blessed and delighted to be back teaching at Ballet 5:8!!
Mrs. Amy Kozol Sanderson
Ballet 5:8 Executive Director Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Administrator
Amy Kozol Sanderson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude, from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terra Haute, Indiana. As a performer, Mrs. Sanderson spent time training with Ballet Quad Cities under former Artistic Director Johanne Jakhelln and at Christian company Ballet Magnificat! before moving to Chicago in 2009. She spent three years working in the administrative offices are the Joffrey Academy of Dance before beginning her work with Ballet 5:8 in 2012. After performing with the Ballet 5:8 professional company full time between 2012-2014, Mrs. Sanderson now performs just occasionally, spending most of her time managing administration and operations for both the Ballet 5:8 professional company and the School of the Arts. She and her husband Clayton live in Pilsen, on Chicago’s near south side, where Clayton serves as the Worship Director and Pastoral Intern at Pilsen Community Church.
Ms. Torie Arrington
PiYo Instructor Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Administrative Assistant
Ms. Torie joined Ballet 5:8 in 2014. She currently works as a Senior Apprentice with the professional company in addition to serving as the School Administrative Assistant for 2015-2016 and teaching PiYo classes in the Adult Division. Ms. Torie began her training at Ballet Academy of Texas under the direction of Lisa Slagle. When she was a junior in high school, she moved to Portland to train with John Magnus at Portland Festival Ballet. Torie was blessed with the opportunity of performing various leading roles in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Raymonda. Over the years, Torie has spent her summers at Orlando Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Montgomery Ballet, and she was a company member with Avant Chamber Ballet for the 2013-2014 season.