Richards, Melanie - Richmond Ballet
photoshoot

Melanie Richards

Faculty

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA // Joined: 2000

Melanie Richards received her B.A. and M.A. Degrees in Dance/Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles. Throughout her career, she performed as part of the Margalit Dance Theater, Eyes Wide Open Dance Theater, and Repertory West Dance Theater. Melanie was also a guest artist at California State University, Fresno; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara;, Scripps College; Dartmouth College; and Denison University. From 1982-2017 she was an Associate Professor, Department of Dance and Choreography, at Virginia Commonwealth University.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Richmond Ballet?
The high level of integrity and artistry, the wonderful faculty and students and the School Director, Judy Jacob

What is your favorite aspect of living in Richmond?
Richmond is a very livable city with a good “urban vibe”. There is an emerging food scene with great new restaurants, support for the arts continues to expand and the city is in a wonderful geographic location with beautiful natural surroundings as well as easy access to Washington D.C. and New York!

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I travel, dine in lovely restaurants, ride my bike, walk along the river, binge watch Netflix!

School of

Richmond Ballet

FACULTY  /   ADMINISTRATION  /   MUSICIANS

Faculty

The Faculty of The School of Richmond Ballet is comprised of knowledgeable instructors who share a mutual love for dance and teaching. While performing is considered the pinnacle of dance, the unseen practice and hard work in the classroom is where students spend most of their time. And under the guidance of a dedicated teacher, they’re able to reach their fullest potential.

Judy Jacob headshot, Artistic Associate & School Director.
Judy Jacob
Artistic Associate & Chairman of the Faculty
Tara Penick
Tara Penick
School of Richmond Ballet Director
Lauren Fagone
Lauren Fagone
Adult Division Coordinator
Anne Sidney Hetherington
Anne Sidney Hetherington
Children's & Lower Division Coordinator
Cecile Tuzli
Cecile Tuzii
Ensembles Coordinator
Sarah Ruppel Bullis
Sarah Ruppel Bullis
Ballet Birthday Party Coordinator
Igor Antonov headshot, Richmond Ballet II Director & Ballet Master.
Igor Antonov
Artistic Associate and Richmond Ballet II Director
Starrene Foster
Starrene Foster
Faculty
Jasmine Grace
Jasmine Grace
Faculty
Jerri Kumery headshot, Ballet Master.
Jerri Kumery
Artistic Associate
Susan Israel Massey
Susan Israel Massey
Faculty
Callye Robinson
Faculty
Deanna Seay
Deanna Seay
Faculty
Katherine Smothers headshot, Associate School Director, Community Engagement.
Katherine Smothers
Faculty
Ira White
Ira White
Faculty

Administration

The Administration of the School of Richmond Ballet is made up of a highly organized, devoted team. On any given day, they know what’s happening at the School and help keep our multitude of classes, programs, and special events running smoothly.

Susan Collet
Susan Collet
School Business Director
Sarah Ferguson headshot, Operations Director and Company Photographer.
Sarah Ferguson
Education & Community Programs Director and Company Photographer
Kate Fillenwarth
School Administrator

Musicians

The Musicians at the School of Richmond Ballet are a valuable asset in creating a unique and joyful class experience. In keeping with tradition, our ballet and modern classes are accompanied by live music – a true gift to instructors and students alike.

Portrait of Rachel Shimkus
Rachel Shimkus
School Music Administrator
Sharon Berg
Accompanist
Judy Bice
Accompanist
Portrait Blanton Bradley, MInds In Motion Music Supervisor.
Blanton Bradley
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Douglas-Jayd Burn
Accompanist
Amy Hruska
Accompanist
Shellie Johnson
Accompanist
Ken Myers
Ken Myers
Accompanist
Joy Price\
Joy W. Price
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Dave Robbins
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Jim Smithson
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Keith Tan
Accompanist
Binyan Xu
Accompanist

FACULTY

 Faculty

The Faculty of The School of Richmond Ballet is comprised of knowledgeable instructors who share a mutual love for dance and teaching. While performing is considered the pinnacle of dance, the unseen practice and hard work in the classroom is where students spend most of their time. And under the guidance of a dedicated teacher, they’re able to reach their fullest potential.

Judy Jacob headshot, Artistic Associate & School Director.
Judy Jacob
Artistic Associate & Chairman of the Faculty
Tara Penick
Tara Penick
School of Richmond Ballet Director
Lauren Fagone
Lauren Fagone
Adult Division Coordinator
Anne Sidney Hetherington
Anne Sidney Hetherington
Children's & Lower Division Coordinator
Cecile Tuzli
Cecile Tuzii
Ensembles Coordinator
Sarah Ruppel Bullis
Sarah Ruppel Bullis
Ballet Birthday Party Coordinator
Igor Antonov headshot, Richmond Ballet II Director & Ballet Master.
Igor Antonov
Artistic Associate and Richmond Ballet II Director
Starrene Foster
Starrene Foster
Faculty
Jasmine Grace
Jasmine Grace
Faculty
Jerri Kumery headshot, Ballet Master.
Jerri Kumery
Artistic Associate
Susan Israel Massey
Susan Israel Massey
Faculty
Callye Robinson
Faculty
Deanna Seay
Deanna Seay
Faculty
Katherine Smothers headshot, Associate School Director, Community Engagement.
Katherine Smothers
Faculty
Ira White
Ira White
Faculty

ADMINISTRATION

 Administration

The Administration of the School of Richmond Ballet is made up of a highly organized, devoted team. On any given day, they know what’s happening at the School and help keep our multitude of classes, programs, and special events running smoothly.

Sarah Ferguson headshot, Operations Director and Company Photographer.
Sarah Ferguson
Education & Community Programs Director and Company Photographer
Kate Fillenwarth
School Administrator
Susan Collet
Susan Collet
School Business Director

MUSICIANS

 Musicians

The Musicians at the School of Richmond Ballet are a valuable asset in creating a unique and joyful class experience. In keeping with tradition, our ballet and modern classes are accompanied by live music – a true gift to instructors and students alike.

Portrait of Rachel Shimkus
Rachel Shimkus
School Music Administrator
Sharon Berg
Accompanist
Judy Bice
Accompanist
Portrait Blanton Bradley, MInds In Motion Music Supervisor.
Blanton Bradley
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Douglas-Jayd Burn
Accompanist
Amy Hruska
Accompanist
Shellie Johnson
Accompanist
Ken Myers
Ken Myers
Accompanist
Joy Price\
Joy W. Price
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Dave Robbins
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Jim Smithson
Accompanist
Portrait Placeholder - Male
Keith Tan
Accompanist
Binyan Xu
Accompanist