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Melissa Morris is the Director of Blue Springs Ballet Inc. 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 scholarship 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 2018 Russian Ballet Teachers Seminar Vagonova Method with Victoria Schneider at the 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 30 years. They have two grown children Kyle and Erica.
Erica Richardson Co- Director and Administrative Assistant for Blue Springs Ballet, Inc.
Erica Richardson has trained in ballet under the direction of her mother Melissa Morris for 27 years. 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 2018 Russian Ballet Teachers Seminar Vagonova Method with Victoria Schneider at the 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, rehearses the Blue Springs Ballet Company members and is an administrative assistant to the school. She finds great joy in working with children. She is married to Adam Richardson.
Instructor / Rehearsal Assistant
Katie 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 enjoys teaching ballet to all ages as well as choreographing for the Ballet Company. She helps run Company rehearsals and still enjoys performing.
Instructor / Rehearsal Assistant
PROGRAMS AND COLLEGES STUDENTS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO--------------
STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS NOTED BY AN ASTERICK *
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* , Missouri Contemporary Ballet*, Storling Ballet Theatre*, Kirov Ballet Summer Intensive , Atlanta Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Nashville Ballet,
Ballet Intensive from Moscow *, Southern Ballet Theatre ( Florida ) , Kansas City Ballet *, Stephens College *, Friends University *, Oklahoma City University* , University of Oklahoma *, University of Nebraska *
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 Univ. , University of Arizona Dance Dept. *