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

Lorianne Barclay
Antonio Fernandez
Morgan Kelly-Williams
Stephanie Joe
Samuel Opsal
Bethany Patterson
Laura Peterman
Summer Smith
Genevieve Szaly

Amy Kozol Sanderson, Ballet 5:8 Executive Director and School Administrative Director
Haley Kisch
Lauren Pulkstenis

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
Technology Specialist