Our Faculty

We are proud that all the members of our faculty either currently hold or are actively studying for teaching certifications in their field of expertise. Our instructors are currently certified by ABT National Training Curriculum, Escola Nacional de Ballet de Cuba, Imperial School of Dancing, and New England Conservatory of Circus Arts. We encourage and support our staff in pursuing continuing education opportunities for the benefit of our students’ training.

Current Instructors

Boleyn Willis-Zeger

Founder & Director

Ballet, Adult Ballet, Pointe, Jazz

Boleyn H. Willis-Zeger began her dance training at age 5 in Durham NC, studying ballet with Adrianna Ciompi. She continued at New Performing Dance Company on scholarship, and in 1978 was granted apprenticeship to the company. In 1979 Boleyn entered NYU School of the Arts, Theater & Dance Department and studied ballet with Lawrence Rhodes, modern with Linda Tarnay , Feldenkrais with Moshe Feldenkrais and studied at Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute with Geoffrey Horne and Hope Arthur. 

Eileen Thorsos

Aerial Silks

Eileen Thorsos began studying aerial silks in 2008 here at DSB. She has been practicing the art ever since, including co-choreographing aerial scenes for Durham Ballet Theatre productions of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Cinderella. 

Courtney Liu

Courtney Liu received her training at the Cincinnati Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet School, and Duke University.  She has taught all ages and levels of ballet for the past 13 years.

Dani Snook

Dani, a native of Green Bay, WI, started dancing at age 4. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and pointe at various studios, until she found Green Bay School of Dance, where she trained in the pre-professional program during high school.

Ballet, Pointe

Modern, Ballet, Pointe

Faith Towner

Faith Towner began aerial silks in 2009 under the instruction of North Carolina’s first aerial instructor, Rebecca Drake. Once she learned to climb she’s never looked back, or down. 

Aerial Division Coordinator

Aerial Silks, Rigging

Gena Dubose

Gena has always been a free spirit, loving the adventure of moving to different cities and interacting with different people.

Aerial Lyra (Hoop)

Isabelle Frame

Isabelle Frame originally began her dance studies at Beckley Dance Theatre in West Virginia. 


Julian Stebbins-


Julian Stebbins-Sharpless began ballet at a small school in Fredericksburg Virginia in 2010. He trained in classical ballet there, took Master Classes at the Kennedy Center, and trained part time with the Richmond Ballet school.

Kathy Reeves

Pre-Primary Ballet,

Primary Ballet, Ballet, Pointe

Kathy Reeves began her dance training at the age of five at The Raleigh School of Dance Arts. During her early teens, she performed with the Raleigh Civic Ballet Company.

Madison Ford

 Virginia Madison Ford was born and raised in Durham, NC. She started dance at the age of 6 at Bounds Dance Studio in Chapel Hill, NC under Barbara Bounds Malone. 

Ballet, Pointe

Melinda Wiggins

Melinda Wiggins has loved dance since childhood, but only began taking dance classes as an adult.

Aerial Silks

Ruth Leney-Midkiff

Ruth Leney-Midkiff has been a master teacher, choreographer, and coach for over 25 years. She received her early training at the Point Park College Conservatory for Dance, under the tutelage of Edward Caton, Mansur Kamaletdinov, Kenneth Johnson, Robert Munoz, and Nicolas Petrov.


Tracey Durbin

Tracey started dancing professionally at the age of four. After studying years of piano, theater and ballet at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan ... 

Modern, Contemporary,


Visiting Instructors

Blythe Williams

Blythe Williams was introduced to aerial silks in the spring of 2010, when an instructor starting a class asked potential students if they had “ever wanted to run away and join the circus”.

Aerial Silks

Eileen Juric

Ms. Juric, fondly referred to here as "Miss Queen Eileen Standing Leg Ma'am Dude" studied with David Howard, Robert Joffrey, Maggie Black and Finis Jhung among others. 

Ballet Master Classes

Erick Uphoff

Erick is originally from Chapel Hill, NC and currently lives in Atlanta, GA.

Master Classes, Hip Hop

George Sanders

George is currently a soloist for Ballet Memphis. He is from Durham, North Carolina, and had trained at Dance Theatre of Harlem coach(s): Miguel Campaneria, NC; Gus van Heerden, NYC.

Ballet, Hip Hop

Julie Degnan

Born in Kingston PA, Julie Degnan began her dance training at the age of 3 with the Degnan Ballet Center, home of Ballet Northeast, under Kristin Degnan-Boonin, Karla Kovatch, and Sara Smith Gravine.

Contemporary, Ballet

Kristi Vincent Johnson

Kristi Vincent Johnson, a Louisiana native, has been performing, choreographing, and teaching dance for over 15 years.

Jazz, Broadway

Lauren R. Newton

Fascinated by videos of Michael Flatley performing in Lord of the Dance, five-year-old Lauren endeavored to teach herself how to Irish step dance—breaking a cabinet in the process. 

Irish Step Dance

Ruben Suarez

Mr. Suárez a Cuban/Dutch Chicago native, began training when he was three years old.A Raleigh School of Ballet and Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts alum, he continued his training at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. 

Contemporary, Ballet

ShaLeigh Comerford

Comerford’s professional dance career began with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre where she performed and toured principle roles with the company from 2000-2004.

Modern, Contemporary,


Tama Guerra Rivero

Tama Guerra began her ballet training in Brazil with Mrs. Aracy Evans, who is best known in Brazil as the "teacher of the teachers". 

Ballet, Pointe


Durham School for Ballet & the Performing Arts’ aim is to provide a space for the cultivation of creativity through dance. Dance is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. Our role as Dance Educators is to help children climb their own mountains.

608 N Duke St, Durham, NC 27701

©2020 Durham School for Ballet & the Performing Arts