Rita Corridon

(Joffrey Ballet) Adult Program. Rita Martinez Corridon began her training in Miami at Ballet Concerto under the tutelage of Cuban Instructors.  She attended The School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet's Summer Intensives.  At seventeen, she was a junior semi-finalist at The Jackson International Ballet Competition and was invited to join Joffrey II in New York.  She joined the main Company a year later and danced with them for seven years.  Her Repertoire included:  Clara, in the Nutcracker, Frivolity in Massine's Les Presages, Blue Girl in Ashton's Les Patineurs and many Arpino works.  Ms. Corridon earned personal training certificates from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  She also took courses in Nutrition at NYU and taught The New York City Ballet Workout in NYC.  While living in Europe, she worked as a personal trainer in a homeopathic clinic in London and taught at the Academie Americaine de Danse de Paris.  Upon her return to the States, she lived in NYC for ten years before coming to Westport  three years ago with her husband and four children.

Christina Fagundes

(American Ballet Theatre) Advanced Ballet, Pre Professional level. Christina Fagundes Turner began her twenty four year professional dance career with San Francisco Ballet in 1982. In 1985 Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to join American Ballet Theater and appointed her soloist in 1989 where her extensive repertoire included principle roles in the 19th century classic, as well as works by Balanchine, Robbins, Tudor, Macmillan, Ashton, Morris, Kylian, Lubovitch, Welch, and Martins, many of which she created roles for. In 1999, Ms. Turner guested with international companies and was a founding principle member of Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Ms. Turner graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A from Fordham University and is a certified ABT teacher.

Maia Fitzpatrick

Maia Fitzpatrick received her early training in Kansas and was a founding member of the Topeka Ballet.  She then studied at the San Francisco Ballet School on scholarship student of the San Francisco Ballet School.  Ms. Fitzpatrick graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, where she danced featured roles in numerous ballets.  In 1996, she joined the International Ballet Project, under the direction of Diana White and Valentina Koslova.   In 1997, Ms. Fitzpatrick was invited to Poland by the Ministry of Culture to teach an intensive course on "Balanchine technique" to the students and faculty of the Bytom State Ballet School.  In 2006, she worked as a choreographic consultant on the motion picture "Reservation Road" starring Jennifer Connelly and Mark Ruffalo.  Ms. Fitzpatrick's lifelong dedication to the performing arts and the education of children has lead her to teach at leading ballet schools in the Northeast for over 20 years.

Emily Hull

(Trained SAB) Ms. Hull trained with Carol Sumner (NYCB), in Stamford, CT and the School of American Ballet in NYC.  She attended summer programs at Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (scholarship), and Pennsylvania Ballet (scholarship) with whom she danced prior to attending Kenyon and Principia Colleges.  She graduated Phi Alpha Eta with a BA in Theatre.  She also studied with Jacques D’Amboise at the National Dance Institute and attended ABT’s teaching program.  A singer and actor, she has performed in professional and community theatre in the Mid-West and New York City areas.  Local roles include Peep-Bo in the Trouper’s Light Opera production of The Mikado, and Elsa Schraeder in Curtain Call’s production of The Sound of Music.


Stephanie Marini

(Boston Ballet)  Ms. Marini was born and raised in Boston. Her early training was with Albert and Diane Pesso. After winning a choreographic competition, she was given a rare scholarship to study at The Boston Conservatory and then invited by Miss E. Virginia Williams to attend The Boston School of Ballet on a Ford Foundation scholarship.  She was soon asked to join the Boston Ballet Company with whom she danced for seven years.   She turned her passion toward teaching and has taught at many of the country’s leading ballet schools. Ms. Marini was approved by the Balanchine Trust to act as assistant director for the Balanchine Nutcracker, performed in Stamford for 15 years.  In 1999 she became the Artistic Director and co-founder of The Ballet School of Stamford.

Megan McCool

Megan Bonneau McCool trained in classical ballet with Gail Collins, Jana Fugate, and others at the Pioneer Valley Ballet in MA and at the School of American Ballet with teachers such as Suki Schorer, Susie Pilarre, Kay Mazzo, Stanley Williams, Antonia Tumkovsky, Andrei Kramarevsky, Adam Luders and Sean Lavery. At SAB she received the Mae L. Wein Award for Outstanding Promise and danced the principal roles in ballets including George Balanchine's Dances Concertantes, Raymonda Variations, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, as well as originating principal roles in ballets by James Sewell and Sean Lavery. Mrs. McCool danced as an apprentice with the New York City Ballet in the early 1990’s in ballets by Balanchine and Peter Martins while also learning ballets by
Jerome Robbins. She then attended Smith College, graduating with an A.B. in American Studies and a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance. During this time, she also served as Ballet Mistress for the Pioneer Valley Ballet, where she staged many full length classics and rehearsed ballets including Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and original works by choreographers such as Christopher D'Amboise, Jerry Bevington, and Saeko Ichinoe. Mrs. McCool has taught extensively and choreographed over 30 commissioned full length and abstract ballets throughout the northeast at numerous schools and colleges. She received RDA/NE Emerging Choreographer's Award and Scholarship for her first piece in 1995. Her choreography has also been performed at the RDA Festivals and at the ACDFA’s National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Marc Spielberger

Marc started dancing at age 14 in his small hometown Lauingen in Bavaria/ Germany and at 15 got accepted into the Ballet Academy Munich/ Heinz Bosl - Foundation. He graduated in 1997 and was offered a contract with the ballet of the Berlin Staatsoper. In 1999 he began working for Edward Villella's Miami City Ballet, where he was promoted to soloist in 2006. Marc ended his career in 2011 after a final performance in Paris at the l'Etats de la danse. Until 2012, he worked as Artistic Coordinator for Houston Ballet. He began his teaching career in 2012 for the New Haven Ballet and has since taught in many schools in Connecticut, Idaho, Minnesota, Germany and Japan. Marc has performed in over 50 states, China, Japan and Germany in ballets by Petipa, Bournonville, Balanchine, Robbins, Petit, Bejart, Forsythe, Bart, Duato, Tharp and many others. Amongst his teachers were S. Schorer, S. Pilarre, E. Villella, V. Verdi, I. Kramer, T. Finney, A. Klemm and M. de Lutry.

Nanette Vallas

Director, Ballet Etudes Company and The Studio Ballet School. Ms. Vallas began her training at the Academy of Ballet Etudes under the direction of Russel Fratto, Madame Jeanette Lauret (Paris Opera Ballet and Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo) and James Zynda (ABT).  She continued her studies, on scholarship at The American Ballet Theatre School under the direction of Leon Danielian and later with Maestro Vincenzo Celli, Finis Jung and David Howard.  Realizing her passion for teaching, she was awarded her first teaching opportunity at the age of sixteen.  Ms. Vallas taught and directed at several schools prior to founding The Sono Dance Academy and Company in 1988.  Sono Dance changed its' name to The Academy of Ballet Etudes and Ballet Etudes Company in 2002. 

Faculty and Guest Faculty have included:   Charles Askegard, Amanda McKerrow, John Gardiner, Cynthia Harvey, Sandra Brown, Sasha Dmochowski, Denise Lewis, Mark Grothman, Karen Ellis-Wentz, Brian Reeder, Chris Martin, Laura Martin, all of American Ballet Theatre.  Allegra Kent, Judith Fugate, Arch Higgins and Ben Huys, New York City Ballet.  Medhi Bahiri, Cindi Green-Hart, Bivi Kimura.


The Faculty of The Studio

Emily Hull, Maia Fitzpatrick, Nanette Vallas, Christina Fagundes & Stephanie Marini