Staff & Instructors
Most of our staff members are professional dancers with the Ballet 5:8 Company, bringing a wealth of experience to their classes from their own experiences performing with Ballet 5:8 and other professional companies. Instructors always teach classes that match their area(s) of expertise teaching particular age groups or dance disciplines.
Julianna Slager, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director
Lauren Ader-Cumpston, Ballet 5:8 Ballet Mistress and Director of Residency Programs
Brette Benedict, Ballet 5:8 Trainee Program Ballet Mistress
Laura Schlatter, Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts Ballet Mistress
Abigail Gray, Children's & Youth Dance Division Director
Amy Kozol Sanderson, Ballet 5:8 Executive Director and School Administrative Director
Additionally, some classes are assisted and/or taught by student instructors. Student instructors are required to progress through our official Teacher Training Program and must complete a minimum of one year of successful assistant teaching prior to instructing their own classes.
Board of Directors
Rather than having an owner, like a for-profit business, Ballet 5:8 is managed by its Executive and Artistic Directors and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board is made up of a group of community members, representing a wide range of professional expertise, who volunteer to oversee the organization, ensure that it is operating with integrity, and that it is always working to fulfill its stated mission.
Current Board of Directors
Jennifer Maniscalco, President
Director of Product Engagement (VIP), Sears Holdings Corporation
Michelle Modrzejewski, Board Secretary
Manger of Community Programs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Jeff Kristoff, Board President
Senior Manager at Health Care Service Corporation
Katie DeGraaf, Board Member
Senior Consultant at Towers Watson
Dario Caravette, Board Member
Managing Partner of Affiliated Companies
Michael Abramczyk, Board Member