INSTRUCTORS & FACULTY OF DANCE
MIA KLINGER Artistic Director
Ms. Klinger was a founding member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, now renamed Ballet Excel Ohio, where she is also the Artistic Director. After training with her mother, Nan Klinger, Mia went on to study as a scholarship student with the School of the American Ballet, Melissa Hayden Studio and Steps Studio in New York City. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she performed with NCSA’s touring dance ensemble. A premier teacher and coach, Mia has studied many years under her mother Nan Klinger, John White of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society, Marcia Dale-Weary of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, School of American Ballet, Ballet Academy East and many others. Her unequaled dedication to her school, students and instructors and her unique teaching style has brought national attention to the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and Excellence in Dance for being one of the top training schools in the country.
She has guest taught at Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, Vevey Youth Ballet in Vevey, Switzerland, West London School of Dance in London, England and many others. Mia joined the faculty of Excellence in Dance Studio in 1989, where she has continued to meet the growing needs of the pre-professional program. Since 1989 she has introduced Variation Class, where the most advanced students learn world-renowned choreography, Men’s class and Partnering for the increasing numbers of young men studying ballet and a Choreographic Workshop in which veteran dancers create original dances and compositions for the Excellence In Dance Spring Workshop. Many of her students are now enjoying professional dance careers, excelling in college dance programs and teaching dance throughout the world.
KYLEE FAITH BEHRINGER
Ms. Behringer trained at the Canton Ballet and was a member of the Canton Ballet pre-professional Company for many years. She has danced professionally for the Real Edge Dance Company. She has a BA in psychology from the University of Akron. Teaching experience includes the Starlight School of Dance and The Studio. She has also completed several dancer and choreographer's workshops including Glenda Brown Choreography Project with Glenda Brown and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s student workshop with Marcia Dale Weary. She has also performed at Regional Dance America for multiple years.
She has received in-depth training in ballet, modern, and jazz, as well as contemporary, lyrical, variations, partnering, and conditioning. Her former instructors and choreographers, especially her mentor Angelo Lemmo, influenced her choreography and teaching style. Her approach to classical ballets and choreography has been influenced by the style of Laura Alonso of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Kylee has received awards for her choreography, including Excellence in Choreography from Nexstar (2020) and Solo Choreography Standout Award Beyond the Stars (2020) for her original work. This will be Kylee's first year teaching at Excellence in Dance, with the goal of sharing her love of the art and knowledge of technique with the students.
Ms. Habel has danced professionally for the Cleveland Opera, Harbinger Dance Company of Detroit and Cleveland Dancers Repertory Company. She has a BA in Ballet and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron. Teaching experience includes the University of Akron and Harbinger Studios, Detroit Michigan.
She has also completed several teacher’s workshops including Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet’s Vaganova Workshop with John White, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s teacher workshop with Marcia Dale Weary. Kristen has been teaching at Excellence in Dance for over twenty years, honing her own craft of teaching its younger dancers in particular, her goal to share both knowledge and joy! She believes strongly in the benefits and value of dance, whether participation is for fitness and recreation, or as a professional career. Kristen is proud to work at a studio that promotes and encourages both interests, continuing the best of the tradition of ballet.
Scotto Hamed-Ramos was born in Akron, Ohio. He began his ballet training at Nan Klinger's Excellence in Dance Studio at the age of four, and continued training with Houston Ballet Academy.
He joined the Houston Ballet second company (HBII) in 2018. Scotto received The Royal Ballet Achievement Award for two-consecutive years with The Royal Ballet School, Covent Garden. His most memorable roles to date include dancing in the American Civil War-themed work by John Nuemier titled Yondering, Stanton Welch’s Brigade, and dancing Paul Taylor’s Bugle Boy. He is currently dancing with Alberta Ballet.
Ms. Lott is currently working towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts for Dance at The University of Akron. She graduated with honors from Stow Munroe Falls Highschool in 2018. Most recently, Carolyn received a featured role in The University of Akron’s fall UADC performance in 2018 and 2019. Carolyn also guest performed in NEOS Dance Theater’s “Petrushka” in 2018, The All City Musical’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 2018, and The University of Akron’s Dance Institute’s production of “Snow Maiden” in 2019. She received intense classical ballet training in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance under the instruction of Mia Klinger from 2008 until 2018.
She was a member of Cuyahoga Valley Youth ballet and Ballet Excel Ohio’s youth ballet company performing at the Akron Civic each spring from 2012 until 2018. In addition, Ms. Lott attended summer intensives at BalletMet in 2014 and 2015, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater in 2016, and Cleveland Ballet in 2017. She loves sharing her joy and passion for dance with everyone she meets. Ms. Lott also enjoys spending time with family and working with children any chance she gets.
Ms. Nielsen grew in Stow and began her dance training at Excellence in Dance at the age of two. She made her first appearance with the CVYB in 2000, as the baby chick in Carnival of The Animals. She became a member of the company in 2003 and continued to perform with CVYB until 2005 when her family was transferred to Canada. Upon graduating at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, as well as the Stepanova Ballet Academy in Toronto, Canada in 2013, she took her first job as a Trainee with Carolina Ballet. She then continued her career dancing with James Sewell Ballet from 2014-2018. She currently dances with the Tivoli Ballet Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ms. Sherman began her dance training at the age of three in Beaver County Pennsylvania under the direction of Paula Scriva. She graduated from Slippery Rock University with a B.A in Dance with a dream to perform and share her love for dance! She has performed works by a variety of choreographers including Robert Battle, Tara Madsen, Teena Marie, Pearl Ann Porter, Nora Ambrosio, Ursula Payne, Sarah Parker, and Joe Nickel. She has attended and received scholarships for dance intensives such as the American Dance Festival and the Jones Summer Dance Intensive. Her self-choreographed solo “As My Bones Break” was chosen to be featured in the ACDFA 2013 Gala concert in Michigan.
Her professional dance career started while being a member of Continuum Dance Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.. After graduating college she moved to NYC for one year where she danced with the contemporary company Touch Theory Dance Project. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she moved to Chicago where she danced as a member of BISI Dance Company for 4 years. Chicago is where her love of teaching truly took off! At All About Dance Chicago she taught multiple genres to every age group and served as Recreational Director and Starlet Program director. After years or dancing in Chicago, she, her husband, and baby girl moved to Ohio to be closer to family. She is thrilled to now be teaching here in Cuyahoga Falls and to share her excitement and love for dance with the students.
Hannah Stephens currently attends Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She graduated from Solon High School with honors in 2018. Her dance training began at Dance Studio M and has continued at Kent State. Hannah has been seen in multiple musicals, including “Chicago” with Millennial Theatre Company and “Heather’s” with Western Reserve Playhouse. She enjoys multiple styles of dance, from jazz to ballet. Hannah loves working with children and teaching dance!
Katie began taking ballet classes at the age of three and received the majority of her training at Nan Klinger Excellence In Dance in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. She was a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, now Ballet Excel Ohio, where she performed in ballets choreographed by world-renowned choreographers. During the summers, Katie attended intensive dance programs at Lake Erie Ballet, University of Akron, Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Upon graduation in 2001, Katie went on to further her education on scholarship at Mercyhurst University. There, she continued her dance education, taking courses in dance, performance, anatomy, kinesiology and pedagogy. She was also a member of the Mercyhurst Ballet Theater. In 2005, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Katie has danced professionally with Ballet Concerto and Pointe West Performances.
Katie has been teaching ballet in the Northeast Ohio area since 2006. In 2011, she was afforded the opportunity to teach with Reach Out And Dance®, the premier dance outreach program of Ballet Excel Ohio, where she taught dance education in Northeast Ohio public schools. From 2016-2017, she served as the Dance Program Manager for Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, OH.
In 2020, Katie added Certified Yoga Teacher (200 hrs) to her resume and teaches Yoga classes weekly.
Katie currently teaches ballet classes in Canton and Minerva, OH.
Erich Yetter discovered dance after a Texas high school football injury. He began studying with former Berlin Opera Ballet ballerina Ingeborg Heuser and continued his training with Fernando Schaffenburg in Ft. Worth, Texas; Ben Stevenson at the Houston Ballet Academy; and David Howard and Maggie Black in New York City.
Yetter danced with Ballet Met in Ohio before traveling to England and Ireland, where he danced a year in London and two years as principal dancer of the Irish National Ballet. Returning to the United States, Yetter graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at El Paso before moving to Tennessee to dance with Ballet Memphis, where he was a principal dancer for twelve years. While still dancing, he received the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award and choreographed many pieces for Ballet Memphis, including a sparkling, full-length Cinderella. His professional experience includes dancing a wide variety of choreographic styles—from Petipa to George Balanchine to Trey McIntyre.
After leaving Memphis, Yetter worked for a decade as Artistic Director of Peoria Ballet where he brought a heightened sense of professionalism and community participation to the company. His service also included ten years on various grant panels of the Illinois Arts Council in Chicago, and in 2006 he received the ArtsPartners of Central Illinois Gem of the Arts Award. Yetter has staged and choreographed over 75 works for ballet, theater, and opera companies. In 2010, he received a Master’s of Science in Higher Education from Kaplan University in Chicago and was awarded a ten thousand dollar “Arts Works” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to subsidize his production of Romeo and Juliet.
Yetter went on to teach graduate and undergraduate ballet technique at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio for six years. He also served on the dance faculty of the Cleveland School of the Arts, Wayne Center for the Arts, Ballet Excel Ohio and was on the Board of Directors of OhioDance. He freelanced as a choreographer and teacher throughout Northeast Ohio giving workshops at events such as the OhioDance Festival, American College Dance Festival Association, Youngstown State Dance Festival, The International Black Dance Conference and multiple summer intensive programs. Yetter has choreographed ballets for Canton Ballet, Ballet Excel Ohio, Ballet Theatre of Ohio, Ohio Northern University, Ashland Regional Ballet, The University of Akron and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. His works have been performed internationally and across the United States including Ireland, Guatemala, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, and Ohio. In 2018, he choreographed and designed another full-length ballet, The Magic Flute, for Ballet Excel Ohio which was premiered at the historic Civic Theatre in downtown Akron. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Anderson University in Indiana, where his wife, Mary Ragna Yetter, serves as the University Organist.
Joanne Hughes Morscher is a former Principal dancer with North Coast Ballet Theatre. She is originally from Buffalo, New York where she received her initial ballet training from Bernadine DeMike, Janet Springer and Ginger Burke. She continued her formal ballet training in Cleveland with Troy McCarrty, Lynn Brennan Tabor, Dee Hillier, Marguerite Duncan and Nancy Arcuty. Mrs. Morscher has taught for over 20 years throughout the Cleveland community culminating in the opening of her own school, Royal School of Ballet (RSB) in 1998 and the formation of her 501(c)3 Royal Youth Ballet Company (RYBC) in 2004. Both RSB and RYBC produced students and dancers who have been invited to prestigious summer programs, received college scholarships, competed at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) ballet competition, awarded contracts with major ballet companies, have successful careers in the dance arts as well as the military and the medical profession.
Mrs. Morscher’s students have been awarded contracts to the following companies: Azugano African Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller- The Works, North Carolina Dance Theatre Trainee and Apprentice Program, Lake Erie Ballet, VERBS Ballet, MOMIX, Louisville Ballet, North Pointe Ballet, Tampa Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Midwest, Cleveland Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater.
In addition to receiving dance contracts, students of Mrs. Morscher have graduated from the US Naval Academy, work with professional dancers as a Physical Therapist at the Cleveland Clinic, worked for The Balanchine Trust and the School fo American Ballet in administrative positions. Lastly, the Founding Directors of Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Dance Project (CDP) and the Movement Project are all former students.
JOANNE HUGHES MORSCHER
A native of Ohio holds degrees in both painting and dance from Ohio University. Upon graduation Tom moved to New York City to apprentice with The Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais Dance Companies. From 1975-77 toured as a dancer and arts-in-education teacher with the Phyllis Lamhut Dance Company. His critical acclaim and maturity as a performing artist, however, developed while performing and touring nationally and internationally with "The Paul Taylor Dance Company" for eight years (1977-1985). In 1986 he founded the "Tom Evert Dance Company" and created a major body of work for which he has received Six Fellowships for Excellence in Choreography from the Ohio Arts Council and the Arts Council of Fairfax County VA.
The company (currently DANCEVERT) presents a home season and has toured extensively and is dedicated to outreach and collaborative community projects. He has been commissioned to create works for professional and pre-professional dance companies, university ensembles, and art institutions and commercial enterprises including: Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Cleveland Museum Of Art, the Darius Milhaud Society, the Leonard Bernstein Festival, the Kurt Weill Festival, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, fashion shows, civic celebrations, and the list goes on. He has been on numerous dance faculties including The Hong Kong Academy of the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lake Erie College, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, and The Paul Taylor Dance Studio in New York City, Cleveland Ballet, and The Beck Center for the Arts, Ohio Northern University, and Dennison University among many others.
Mr. Evert is regularly engaged to give master classes in tandem with company performances. After being involved in arts education programming in the schools for 31 years Mr. Evert has emerged as a prominent “teaching artist” nationally and internationally and on the artists rosters of Young Audiences Inc., The Ohio Arts Council and a Statewide Arts Talent Assessment Initiative (START-ID). Through the sponsorship of the Kennedy Center’s Ohio-State-Based Partnership, Tom has been actively presenting workshops for teachers on the integration of arts activities into the teaching of the core curriculum. Tom, who began his college career in the visual arts, designs and constructs many of the sets for his dances, is also a muralist and is a sculptor of figurative works for which he has received commissions and prizes in invitational shows.
Keila Hamed-Ramos lives in Chicago and works as a Business Administrator and Teaching Artist for The Joffrey Ballet’s Community Engagement team. A 2016 Millikin University graduate, she has danced with Joel Hall Dancers, Meadows Dance Collective, Joel Valentin Martinez, Noumenon, and Mariah Eastman Dancers. She volunteers with DanceWorks Chicago and truly loves all things dance.
Kali Oliver hails from Akron, Ohio. She is a senior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. She has had the privilege of performing works by Alvin Ailey, Yoshito Sakuraba, Maurya Kerr, William Isaac, Thang Dao, Mark Diamond, and David Shimotakahara. Ms. Oliver was honored to perform Mr. Ailey’s Memoria with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during their 2018 and 2019 New York City Center sessions.
She represented The Ailey School in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Ms. Oliver’s training has included five summers on scholarship at The Chautauqua Institute, two summers on scholarship at The Ailey School, and a summer scholarship at Alonzo King LINES Ballet. She is a teaching assistant at The Ailey School, and is excited to be back teaching at her home studio.