MIA klinger

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.

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kristen habel

Kristen 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.


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juliana freude

Juliana trained at The University of Akron Dance Institute where she was a recipient of the Gena Carroll Scholarship and appeared with The University of Akron Repertory Dance Company in many roles including as a soloist. She has trained with Jennifer Muller Modern Dance, Nashville Ballet, Ohio Dance Theatre, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Connecticut Ballet. Juliana has performed with the Ohio Ballet and with Nashville Ballet as a trainee and has apprenticed with the Charleston Ballet Theatre. Juliana currently teaches at a number of different dance schools in the area and can be seen performing with NEOs Dance Theatre, where she has been a company member for the past seven years. 

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Brianna Habel


Brianna began her training at Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance Studio. She was a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, now known as Ballet Excel Ohio. She has studied with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and American Ballet Theater in New York. Brianna earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Brianna danced with Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Neos Dance Theatre.  She is currently a member of Cleveland Ballet.


Keila hamed-ramos

Keila is most recently the latest addition to The Joffrey Ballet Community Engagement team. A 2016 Millikin University graduate, she also is the VP of Digital Outreach and Product Development for the As Seen on Shark Tank social good company, Peaceful Fruits and Social Media Guide for DanceWorks Chicago. She has taught dance at Steps Dance Center, Marba Dance, Spirit Sports Camp, Rosie’s Theater Kids, and more.

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rebeca ramirez vargas

Rebeca is a dancer in the Cleveland Ballet. Originally from Mexico City, she began her ballet training at a local school in Cuernavaca Morelos. At the age of 15, she began her professional training at Fernando Alonso’s Cuban National Ballet School in Havanaunder the direction of Ramona de Saa Bello. At the age of 18 she returned back home to work with the National Ballet Company of Mexico. Later Ms. Ramirez moved to NYC to join the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group under the direction of Davis Robertson. Where she performed choreographies such as Valse Fantaisie and Serenade by George Balanchine, Suite Saint-Saëns, Light Rain, and Viva Vivaldi by Gerald Arpino; as well as many other pieces by Robert Battle, Gabriel Lamb and Dwight Rhoden.


carson sandiford-hoxie

A company member with The Cleveland Ballet, started ballet at the age of 13 at Monona Academy of Dance. At sixteen he attended Nutmeg Conservatory, where he graduated from 2 years later. After attending the JKO school at American Ballet Theatre he studied at the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School.  As a member of the Joffrey Ballet's Concert Group in New York he performed works such as Gerald Arpino's Suite Saint Saens, Birthday Variations, and Light Rain, Dwight Rhoden's Ballad Unto, and George Balanchine's Valse Fantasie around the United States, Canada, and Italy.

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chelsea mae shump

Bio not available





Annie Unk

Annie started her training at Nan Klinger's Excellence in Dance, and was a member of The Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and Ballet Excel Ohio. She danced summer intensives with Ballet Met Columbus, and Nashville Ballet. Annie went on to also study musical theatre. She has performed in countless shows, with many leads over the years. A few of her favorites were Cassie in A Chorus Line, Cassidy Theatre. Mary in Mary Poppins, All City Musical. She enjoys working children and bringing the best out in each of them individually! Annie currently teaches with R.O.A.D, Reach Out and Dance. She also is pursuing work in film and television, her most recent work in A Last Summer a Netflix film to be released in 2019.