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Our Staff

melissaMelissa Morris - Director of Blue Springs Ballet & Performing Arts and has been teaching in the Blue Springs area since 1982. She began ballet at the age of three with her mother Jeanette D. Pieknik. She also received training at San Francisco Ballet, on full year round scholarships at San Diego Ballet and Joffrey Ballet as well as a two year Ford foundation scholarship granted through New York City Ballet. She has trained in France, England, Greece, New Zealand and Australia. Favorite instructors where she received extensive training are Sonia Arova, Thor Sutowski, Day Power, Meredith Baylis, Ann Parsons, Richard Gibson,Harold Christianson, Marjorie Tallchief, and Rosella Hightower.She danced professionally with San Diego Ballet Company, San Antonio Ballet Company, Dallas Ballet and Westport Ballet Theatre. She has performed leading roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphide, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Pas de Quatre. She has also been a guest artist for several ballet companies. Melissa Morris has also taught for the Metropolitan Community College -- Blue River for several years. Her students have become professional ballet dancers and or teachers. Many have received college scholarships .*See scholarship list below* Professional companies our graduating students have danced with are Kansas City Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet San Antonio , Montgomery Ballet, Atlantic Southeast Ballet, Lexington Ballet, Wylliams/Henry Danse Theatre , City in Motion Dance Company, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Contemporary Ballet Dallas as well as the international ballet company Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Storling Dance Theater , Dimensions Repertory Dance Company, Anglo-American Ballet Company, Open Floor Dance, The Movement Collective, Tree Shakers, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company ( St. Louis ), Vida Dance, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Festival Ballet Company and in numerous productions on Broadway in New York City.

Melissa Morris has enhanced her training through teachers seminars such as The Russian Ballet Seminar at Lake Michigan College, Ballet Intensive from Moscow, as well as the 2002 , 2006, and 2014  International Ballet teachers seminars, Dance Teacher Live 2016 among others.Melissa recently completed the  Russian Ballet Teachers Seminar Vagonova Method with Victoria Schneider at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition.  She is also certified in Pilates mat training. In 2001 Melissa Morris was presented with the Teacher Appreciation Award from the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in recognition of excellence of teaching and in celebration of her contributions to students’ lives by Sarah E. Milosevich, Fine Arts Academy Artist. Melissa and her husband Michael have made their home in this area for over 35 years. They have two grown children Kyle and Erica.

Erica Richardson - Director for Blue Springs Ballet & Performing Arts
Erica StaffErica Richardson has been teaching students for over 17 years. She was trained in ballet under the direction of her mother Melissa Morris. She auditioned and was accepted to Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre , North Carolina Dance Theatre, Southern Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago , Houston Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. She also received scholarship offers from Ballet Met, Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Intensive from Moscow. Erica has performed as the Sugarplum Fairy and Clara in the Nutcracker, as the lead in Paquita, Cerrito in Pas de Quatre, in Swan Lake, Peter Pan and in many other classical ballets. Erica has attended seminars with Southern Ballet Theatre, Ballet Intensive from Moscow, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Kansas City Ballet’s summer workshop and the International Ballet Seminar in Jackson Mississippi as well as workshops with Luba Gulyaeva, Irena Lebedeva, Alla Osipenka and Dmitri Roudnev. Erica enhanced her teaching skills at the 2014 International Teachers Workshop with Roni Mahler where she was often asked to demonstrate various ballet movements. Erica also attended Dance Teacher Live 2016. Erica completed the Russian Ballet Teachers Seminar Vagonova Method with Victoria Schneider at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson Mississippi.  She is excited to bring new ideas to Blue Springs Ballet students. She instructs beginning through advanced levels  and is Co-Director  of Blue Springs Ballet Company . She finds great joy in working with children. She is married to Adam Richardson.

Instructor / Rehearsal Assistant
Katie WoodsKatie Wood began her ballet training at the age of 8 with Melissa Morris Director of Blue Springs Ballet. She trained and performed with Blue Springs Ballet Company for many years.
She performed leading roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen from The Nutcracker, as Taglioni in Pas de Quatre and as a soloist in Paquita, Swan Lake and many other ballets. She auditioned and was accepted into Springfield Ballet (received a scholarship) ,as well as Hartford Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet Summer Dance program,Idyllwild
School of Music and Arts Summer Program and Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company Summer Dance Program.
She graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Anthropology. She also spent 2 years in the Peace Corp in El Salvado working with children in schools. Katie is married to Bryan Wood and they have three children Ashton, Amelia and Rosalie. Katie teaches beginning through advanced levels.  She is a rehearsal Assistant for Blue Springs Ballet Company .  She has also choreographed several exciting works for the Company Dancers.

School Administrator / Erin Nelson

Accounting / Adam Richardson

Instructor / Rehearsal Assistant Elizabeth Nelson
Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience in ballet as well as jazz and modern dance.  She has performed with Blue Springs Ballet Company for many years where she received the majority of her training.  Additional dance education includes Missouri Contemporary Ballet 2017, USA International Summer Intensive 2018, Joffrey Ballet New York on full scholarship 2019,  Teachers Curriculum Training 2020. She has performed in the Nutcracker in leading roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara and Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers among others.  She was also Peter Pan in the ballet Peter Pan.  She has performed in the classic ballet of Giselle . She has also performed as a soloist in the role of Grisi from Pas de Quatre.  She teaches young beginning students through Intermediate / Advanced.  She is also a rehearsal assistant for The Nutcracker. She is also an assistant for our Spring shows.

Modern Dance Instructor Sarah Milosevich
Sarah received her ballet / jazz training from Blue Springs Ballet and was part of Blue Springs Ballet Company. She performed in leading roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, as the soloist Grahn in Pas de Quatre and the Swan Leader in Swan Lake and as the Fairy Godmother and Fall Fairy in Cinderella. Sarah received a degree in Dance from Stephens College Columbia.  She performed with Dimensions Repertory Company and then moved to the East Coast.  She performed with The Anglo-American Ballet Company in New York City as well as Open Floor Dance, The Movement Collective and Treehouse Shakers.  She has choreographed at various venues in NYC as well as the Silk Arts Festival in New Jersey.  Sarah teaches Modern Dance to intermediated / Advanced dancers.  She also teaches ballet.

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS NOTED BY AN ASTERICK * Professional Ballet Companies our dancers have joined are listed under Melissa Morris bio

Jacobs Pillow *(Boston, MA) , Springfield Ballet *, Milwaukee Ballet *, Ballet Met*, Joffrey Ballet *(scholarships and trainee positions) , Walnut Hill *, Boston Ballet*, Houston Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts *, North Carolina Dance Theatre ( The Dance Place), American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet*, Rock School of Pennsylvania*, Orlando Ballet*, Fort Wayne Ballet* plus trainee for Fort Wayne Ballet Company , Missouri Contemporary Ballet*, Storling Ballet Theatre*, Kirov Ballet Summer Intensive , Atlanta Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet, Peridance Capezio Center, Joffrey Texas *, Dance Theatre of Harlem, USA IBC 2018 Ballet Workshop, Lawrence Ballet/KU Intensive, Philadelphia Ballet *, Texas Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Sacramento Ballet*,
Ballet Intensive from Moscow *, Southern Ballet Theatre ( Florida ) , Kansas City Ballet *, Louisville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet,  Stephens College *, Friends University *, Oklahoma City University* , University of Oklahoma *, University of Nebraska *, University of Indiana,
University of Utah, Pointe Park College * ( Scholarship and Company apprentice ) , UMKC * , Wichita State University * , Kansas University * , Southwest Missouri State University *, Cottey College*, Texas Christian University, Butler University , University of Arizona Dance Dept *, University of Alabama.



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