Madeleine began her classical ballet training at the age of 2 at the Royal Academy of Dance in California, and continued at the San Francisco Ballet on full-scholarship, where she was also a recipient of the Rosalie Helman Merit Award for outstanding achievement. Her background includes the Vaganova method, the Balanchine technique, Bournonville, Spanish/Russian character dance, modern, contemporary, and neo-classical. She was a principal dancer with José Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA, for 14 years and has also performed abroad in Romania and Mongolia. Bonn holds a teaching certification from American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum. At Amherst Ballet, Madeleine serves as the Artistic Director and ensures the advancement of the overall artistic and dance education mission of the school. She also teaches all the levels of Ballet classes while being in charge of producing annual performances. As a teacher, Bonn focuses on fostering confidence and self-esteem in her students, encouraging them to find their own voices through experimentation with musicality, phrasing, clean technique, and artistic expression.
Anna Plummer trained in ballet, musical theater, and modern dance styles beginning from a young age here in Amherst, MA. and is a certified Zumba® Fitness Instructor and member of the Zumba instructor Network™. She has choreographed for and performed in numerous theatrical productions in the region, and has taught classes in private, summer camp, and educational settings.
Anna is an alumna of Amherst Ballet and holds a BA in Theater and Dance, and English at Amherst College. Training and intensives at the National Theater Institute, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Goodspeed, Musicals, Massachusetts Academy of Ballet, Barrington Stage Company, and numerous master classes have enriched her technique and enthusiasm for learning new styles. she has also pursued an interest in anatomy and dance injury prevention through kinesiology courses.
Anna brings a passion for cultivating joyful expression and precise technique to the ballet studio, and her Zumba class offers the undeniable fun of sweating it out judgement-free to a mix of Zumba’s trademark South American beats and pop favorites.
Minh Sullivan is a teaching artist currently based in the Western Mass region, where she inspires her students to find confidence in authentically expressing themselves through movement, and make space for all who wish to move their bodies. Minh holds a BFA from the Boston Conservatory at Berkeley and is also an alumna of Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School where she performed with Catalyst Dance Company under the direction of Jennifer Polins. Minh has trained at The Hackworth School of Performing Arts in her hometown of Easthampton, MA. She also trained at the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet, under Charles and Rose Flachs. She has spent summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and with the LA-based company BODYTRAFFIC, and trained with Marcus Schukland, Tai Jimenez, Kurt Douglas, Brian Mcginnis, and Joy Davis.
Minh believes dance is a way of life that can be used to heal, connect, challenge, and advance the human experience.
Growing up in Amherst, MA, Stephanie Shumway started her dance training at the age of 3 in jazz, tap lyrical and hip-hop. She continued on to train in Ballet at East Street Ballet under the direction of Noble and Ruth Barker. In her early ballet career, Stephanie had the opportunity to work with some of today’s well known choreographers and instructors, including Mikko Nissinen, Jennifer Glaze, Margaret Tracey, Katrina Killian, Carlos Molina, and Tamara King.
Stephanie started teaching at 16 in all styles of dance and has been a faculty member at Deerfield Academy since 2010. She holds certification in Levels 1-3 of the Vaganova Syllabus. To keep her teaching curriculum up to date, she attends ballet classes at local ballet schools, NYC and Boston. In the summer of 2019, she attended the Dance Teacher Summit in Long Beach, California. Stephanie also holds certification in T-Spheres Injury Prevention.
Stephanie’s teaching style is enthusiastic yet demanding on precision and correct body alignment. She loves to help her students improve their bodies through her knowledge of the human anatomy, stretching and strengthening.
Adele Fisk is a performer and choreographer interested in the healing power of dance both seen and experienced. After graduating from Amherst Ballet in 2015, she moved to New York City to attend the Ailey Fordham BFA Program from which she graduated in 2019. During her time in the city, she was lucky to work with choreographers including Chuck Wilt of UNA Projects, Cameron Mckinney of Kizuna Dance, Jacqulyn Buglisi, and Stephanie Nelson of Stephanie Nelson Dance Project. At Amherst Ballet, Adele teaches Modern.
At Amherst Ballet, you can learn ballet from the very beginning and reap all of its benefit safely at any age in “Intro to Ballet” with Karen Michaels. Karen holds a BFA in dance from The Boston Conservatory of Music and has been teaching dance at various locations in the Pioneer Valley since 2004. Karen is also a licensed massage therapist for over 30 years, a certified Zero Balancer and mentor for the Zero Balancing Health Association, and a certified yoga teacher.
With her profound knowledge in both dancing and body mechanics, Karen has designed an 8-week introductory course that teaches adults the beginning basics of ballet technique as well as proper and healthy bio-mechanical body alignment. In this course, students will learn basic ballet positions, vocabulary, and class exercises, with an emphasis on alignment and musicality.
Originally from the UK, Liesl grew up in Hanover, NH where she began dancing with Vicki and Pepe DeChiazza. She received her pre-professional training at Elmhurst Ballet School in England, subsequently danced with Boston Dance Company, and had great fun performing a supernumerary for Boston Ballet- Lady in Waiting, Swan Lake; Knitting Lady, Sleeping Beauty; and Don Quixote. Most recently she performed at Jacob’s Pillow in Faye Driscoll’s Thank You For Coming; Play. Over the years she has had the privilege of taking master classes with many artists, mostly memorably Dwight Rhoden of Complexions, and Mathew Rushing of Alvin Ailey.
She has taught for over fifteen years and is passionate about teaching, dancing and the transformative power of the arts. Her teaching career began in Cambridge, MA at Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and included several other Boston area studios, as well as Ballet Nova Center for Dance and Metropolitan Fine Arts Center.
Liesl is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher, having successful completed ABT® National Training Curriculum for Primary through Level 5.
Board of Directors
Halina Radosz, Co-President Hillcrest Adjustment Counselor
Barbara Krauthamer, Co-President Dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, UMass Amherst
Wei Zhang, Treasurer Assistant Professor of Accounting, UMass Amherst
Caroline Daman, Secretary Family Law Attorney and Mediator
Julianne Applegate Fashion Technology Entrepreneur