Originally from New York, Sara trained at the Ballet School of New York under the direction of Diana Byer and Sallie Wilson. In 2001, she graduated from the Professional Children’s School in New York City and began to dance professionally with New York Theatre Ballet. While dancing with NYTB, Sara had the opportunity to tour the United States, perform at the Florence Gould Hall in New York City, and dance roles in Cinderella, Carnival of the Animals, Firebird, and Alice in Wonderland.
In 2004, Sara moved to Richmond, Virginia to join the Richmond Ballet trainee program. While at the Richmond Ballet, she performed with the professional company in such ballets as The Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and original choreography by Richmond Ballet Faculty. She danced with Richmond Ballet for two years before being asked to join Starr Foster Dance Project. As a member of Starr Foster Dance project, Sara performed the role of the White Rabbit in Alice and had roles created for her in many new works for the company.
Sara Jansen Clayborne is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has enjoyed teaching dance for many years and served as the Ballet Director of The Dance Company located in Hanover, VA. She is excited to put her myriad of experiences to work as Co-Director of Charlottesville Ballet, while keeping her love of performance alive in her dual role as dancer and director. Sara looks forward to nurturing the growth and appreciation for dance among CBA students, peers, and community.
Emily Mott fell in love with ballet at the age of five. She began dance classes at Roanoke Ballet Theatre in her hometown of Roanoke, VA and continued her training with Unurbat Gunaajav and Michele Goacher. She performed in several collaborative shows with Opera Roanoke, the Mill Mountain Theatre, and with Radford University as the Snow Queen in a joint production of The Nutcracker. She has attended summer intensives at the Richmond Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and on scholarship with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Emily spent her senior year of high school at the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA under the late Petrus Bosman. Upon graduation she joined the Richmond Ballet as a trainee, performing in Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and Who Cares?, and in many new works by Richmond Ballet faculty. She also enjoyed working with school children in Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion program. In 2008, Emily relocated to Charlottesville to join Charlottesville Ballet and to attend the University of Virginia, uniting both her artistic and academic pursuits. She pursued an interdisciplinary degree in Nonprofit Management & Arts Administration.
Emily is the Co-Director of Charlottesville Ballet’s professional company and enjoys choreographs Children’s Ballet Series productions like A Fairy Tale Gathering. Emily serves as CBA’s Principal and enjoys teaching future generations of talented, healthy, intelligent dancers at Charlottesville Ballet Academy.
Megan Giroir began her dance training at the School of the Hartford Ballet in her home town of Hartford, Connecticut. She received her early training from Franco DeVita, Raymond Lukens, Hilda Morales, and Susan Brooker. She was chosen to perform the role of Clara in Kirk Peterson’s world premier of “The American Nutcracker” and performed the role at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. During high school, she also performed side by side with professionals from American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company in “The American Nutcracker.” After graduating from high school, Megan attended Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program for two years. She performed The Nutcracker with the company and danced in many ballets with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School including Allegro Brillante, La Bayadere, Theme and Variations and Paquita. In 2007, she joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an apprentice where she studied and performed for three seasons. Megan is very excited to be returning for her thrid season with Charlottesville Ballet and to be on faculty at Charlottesville Ballet Academy.
Miss Megan teaches Princess Ballet, Storybook Ballet, Ballet I, and Ballet III/IV.
Heather fell in love with dance at the age of four when her parents placed her in dance classes at a local dance studio in Ridge Manor, FL. She then moved on to dance with South Georgia Performing Arts, the South Georgia Ballet, and later at Charlottesville’s Wilson School of Dance. In the summer of 2008, Heather was chosen to attend the Summer Residential Governor’s School for dance. She has also performed in many ballets including: Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Coppelia, and as the Sugar Plum Fairy for The Dance Barn’s production of The Nutcracker. Heather was previously on faculty at The Dance Barn and was a dancer with Charlottesville Ballet. After an injury last year, Heather is excited to transition into her new role as a faculty member at Charlottesville Ballet Academy.
Miss Heather teaches Princess Ballet, Dance Mix, and the Jazz and Tap program at CBA.
Check out Heather’s “Meet the Artist” interview from November 2010.
Although Blake only started dancing 3 years ago as a freshman at Vassar College, his newly found passion has lead him to unparalleled happiness. Along with his training at Vassar College under such names as John Meehan and Steve Rooks, Blake trained with Six Step Studios in his hometown of Fairfax, Virginia, in Contemporary and Hip-Hop dance. He is ecstatic to be dancing with Charlottesville Ballet this year and cannot wait to contribute to the company and the Contemporary program at Charlottesville Ballet Academy. Now dancing with the University of Virginia, he will finish out his last year of college devoting as much time as possible to creating a life for himself with the love he finds from dancing and performing.
Mr. Blake teaches Mom & Me Yoga, Hip Hop, and Contemporary in the Open Division at Charlottesville Ballet Academy.