Meet Our Team

 
Maryann Bayless

Maryann Bayless

Artistic Director & Owner

Maryann Bayless, Artistic Director and Owner of Pacific Ballet Conservatory, started her dance studies at MercerArt with Camille Chrysler in Mercer Island, Washington, continuing on to Cornish University, in Seattle, Washington. At the age of ten, she was selected to perform with the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Dance Class” in its Seattle visit. She studied with Robert Joffrey of the Joffrey Ballet for three consecutive summers, and was fortunate to pursue her studies in other scholarship programs with Richard Englund, Royal Ballet, Lew Christensen, San Francisco Ballet, Janet Reed and Kay Mazzo, New York City Ballet and many others. Mrs. Bayless performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet as a soloist and Seattle Opera Ballet. She also attended the University of Washington where she majored in Dance. Mrs. Bayless has taught in Seattle and California since 1978. Past students have danced professionally with San Francisco Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Met of Cincinnati, Eryc Taylor Dance (NY), Oregon Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Nevada Ballet, Universal Studios and Disneyland. Many students have been accepted to nationally recognized ballet company schools including American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kirov Academy, Washington D.C., Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Detroit Ballet, Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet, Princeton Ballet, Tisch School of Dance at NYU, Princeton Ballet and many other University programs. Mrs. Bayless was also the Director of Dance and Choreographer at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo. She credits her professional, international staff for their success in nurturing and guiding students with cutting edge training.

 
Julie Binowitz

Julie Binowitz

Instructor

Julie Binowitz began her dance training with Alexandra Zaharias in St. Louis.  She was awarded scholarships to San Francisco, Pacific Northwest, and Joffrey Ballet Schools.  She was the principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet Theatre, Southern Ballet Theatre and Fort Wayne Ballet.  Julie has performed principal and soloist roles in such ballets as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Paquita, LaBayadere, Dracula, La Vivendere and Nutcracker.  She was Assistant Ballet Mistress with the regional company, Alexandra Ballet for two years.  Julie taught at the Ballet Conservatory for 8 years before moving to Naperville, IL where she taught and choreographed for Dance West Ballet.  She has now returned to Orange County and is very happy to be back.  Julie is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Rebecca Bush

Instructor

Rebecca began her training in Chico, CA, where she performed at 16 years old as Cookie Monster for Sesame Street Live's regional summer performances. She performed with the Golden State Ballet, Healdsburg Ballet, Sebastopol Ballet, and Anything Goes. More recently she has graced the stages of the Saddleback College, Orange Coast College, the Opera Magnifique, and has performed for 5 years in CHOC Follies to support Children's Hospital Orange County. Rebecca continues to train with recent master classes from Poloma Herrera (ABT), Kathryn Doby and Sandal Bergman (Verdon Fosse legacy), and also Melissa Allen Bowman (ABT). Rebecca holds a BA from San Diego State University.

 

Lauren Denney

Instructor

Lauren Denney grew up training in Orange County, until she joined Ballet West’s trainee program in 2012 on full scholarship. In 2013 she was promoted to Ballet West II. Lauren has performed in many ballets including; “Giselle”, “Swan Lake”, Gerald Arpino's “Confetti”, George Balanchine’s “Serenade”, etc.  Lauren participated in Youth America Grand Prix, winning regional competitions and qualifying 6 years consecutively for the international Finals in New York City, and she was awarded the Grand Prix Award in Seattle, WA. Her repertoire also includes The Nutcracker, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Firebird.  Lauren loves working with all her students.

 

Anna Ellis

Instructor

Miss Anna is from Fort Myers, Florida and started dancing at age seven.  She trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Modern with Jorie Evangelista (NYC Broadway Dance Center) and Erin Rivera (Florida School of the Arts/Cecchetti Counsel of America).  She spent a year training with Ingredients Dance Company, and went on tour with Dance Revolution in Dallas, Chicago, Orlando, and Winston-Salem.  She joined the Ballet Magnificat! Trainee Events Company in September 2013 and toured with them internationally for a year.  After that, she moved to Champaign, Illinois where she was offered a company position with Aaron Chen's Filter Dance Conservatory.  For the past year she performed with Artesan Dance Company in Redding, California.  During the past six years, Anna has taught multiple styles of dance to students of all ages and has choreographed/directed three full length productions along with many group pieces and solos.  Ballet Magnificat!'s Omega Company still performs her flash mob choreography on their tours to this day.

 

Clancy Hickson

Instructor

Clancy began her Hip Hop journey taking classes at PBC for two years in middle school. She has been trained in basic fundamentals such as wacking, tutting, popping, housing, and waving. Since then, Clancy has been on Aliso Niguel High School’s Varsity Dance Appreciation Team (DA) for four years and has served as a team Captain for her Junior and Senior year. She has competed in all four Varsity divisions winning several different awards such as 1st place in the 2016 CADTD State Championship, the 2017 Sweepstakes Award, and a 2017 CADTD State Dance Scholarship. She was awarded by her teammates as the team’s “MVP” for the years of 2016 and 2017. Clancy has trained under the guidance of the coach/founder of GRV, David Lim. She has danced on the Junior collegiate team Gravy Babies and won first place at the 2018 World Of Dance Los Angeles and first place at the 2018 Urban Street Jam. Clancy has choreographed for Aliso Dance Appreciation’s Medium Coed Competition set, along with Solos and Small Groups for Aliso Dance Appreciation’s annual Summer Showcase. Clancy is currently studying at IVC and is involved in the Irvine dance community. She was invited to perform in UCI’s 2018 Spring Quarter Dance Festival with a group called “Juice Troop”, a group of students for UCI who are involved in different collegiate teams within the Irvine community. She has attended the Team Millenia SI Summer Intensives in the years of 2016 and 2017. Clancy looks forward to sharing the knowledge she learned through the Hip Hop community with the next generation of aspiring dancers.

 

Jennifer Kornswiet

Instructor

Jennifer Kornswiet comes to PBC with a rich background of dance training, choreography experience, and education.  Jenn has a BA in Communications, Video and Film from Ohio State University, studied abroad and interned in London, England and also attended USC.  Jenn is trained in ALL dance genres and is presently teaching Tap, Jazz and Contemporary at other OC schools.  Jenn has competed in ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz and lyrical, and has also performed in many classical ballets including Nutcracker, Cinderella, Giselle, and Don Quixote.  Jenn also has extensive experience in the production side of Performances, Commercials, Television, Film and Music Videos.  Jenn loves to teach, has an extremely engaging personality, and is excited to train students at PBC.

 

Rashida Mann

Instructor

Rashida Khan Mann, tap teacher/choreographer/director, began dancing at the age of 3. She trained in all forms of the art, but fell in love and began to focus on tap dancing around the age of 12. The turning point when she was selected to join the Jazz Tap Ensemble’s Caravan Project, a company under the direction of tap master Lynn Dally. It was there she began to appreciate and learn the history of the dance and understand the complexity and musicality of tap. She also performed with Rhapsody In Taps with Linda Sohl Ellison, with which she toured throughout the US, Canada, Japan, and Bali. This company also gave her the opportunity to train and share the stage with many of the greats, from the Nicholas Brothers to Gregory Hines to name a few, as well as the honor of assisting Leonard Reed in his original Shim Sham master class. Rashida has been featured in tap/ hip hop/percussion shows for both Disney and Universal Studios, tv shows for the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, as well as fulfilling her childhood dream of working with Michael Jackson on his video and short film, “Rock My World.” She has choreographed many musicals, theater, and high school performances, most specifically with the Nationally award-winning Los Alamitos show Choir, along with her mentor Heather Hoppus Werner (of Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast).
 
In 2002, Rashida met her now husband, Parris Mann (of both Broadway and touring casts of Riverdance, and Black and Blue) when she performed in his show “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be”. They toured Russia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and surrounding areas, even making history as the first African American performers at the Kremlin. They now own a production company, KhanMann Productions, producing stage shows and various performances. Rashida and Parris tag team teach, choreograph and direct together, with a fun, energetic, style: a representation of their passion for both the artform and teaching. They are currently the Tap Team Directors at Elevation Studios in Long Beach, teach at Hart Academy in La Habra, and numerous master classes on both the east and west coast.

 

Kira Martin

Instructor

Kira Martin has been classically trained in ballet for 8 years as well as other dance styles at Pacific Ballet Conservatory. She was accepted into the San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet Summer Intensive programs and attended the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive.  She also attended multiple workshops with Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre and others. Kira has worked with Aliso Niguel Theatre Company, training students in musical theatre choreography. She has also worked for three years choreographing children's musical theater productions at Canyon Vista Elementary School.  Kira is excited to guide our youngest dancers and develop a love for dance within them.

 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Jane Matty

Instructor

Ms. Matty has enjoyed dancing for over four decades; professionally with San Francisco Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Holland. She was also a studio owner and artistic director for 8 years. She attained a degree in Architecture and studied for her MFA in dance at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona before relocating to California in 2001, to spend more time with her three children.

 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Debra Maxwell

Instructor

Debra Maxwell comes to Pacific Ballet Conservatory with over 20 years of teaching experience from LA to OC. Her performing experience spans from Europe to Boston to Broadway. She is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory and has trained extensively in Germany, London and 4 years at ABT in New York City. In Los Angeles she worked with Stanley Holden, Pat Neary, Nannette Charisse and Jane Fonda as well as being on the board of the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet . In 1990, Debra wrote, produced and appeared in, I Can Dance, a children's video for young aspiring ballerinas. Upon her arrival in OC she spent many years with Ballet Pacifica under the direction of Molly Lynch, as well as Alaine Aubert, Janek Schergen, David Allen and many others.  Debra is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  Debra is certified in Mat Pilates.

 

Ann-Marie McClellan

Instructor

Ann-Marie McClellan received her BA and MFA Degrees from the University of California, Irvine.  Ann-Marie was the inaugural winner of the Leo Freedman Fellowship for excellence in the arts in Orange County.  She has appeared in many musicals including “The Magic Flute”, “On The Town”, and “Follies” choreographed by famed Fosse dance director Chet Walker.  She was featured by Donald McKayle in his premiere cast of Ringalevio and has appeared with San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Coast Ballet Theatre and the Golden State Ballet (artistic director 1996-98.)  She has taught ballet, tap and jazz dance techniques in the Saddleback Valley for over 25 years.  Her students have continued their professional training with New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.  She has students currently dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet and Houston Ballet.  Ann-Marie’s focus in her teaching is to make even the youngest dancer look and feel like a professional ballerina.  Ann-Marie is a mother of 3 children who have all gone through the pre-levels at our school.



 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Megan Morphis

Instructor

Megan Morphis began her training at the age of seven in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Pointe. Megan was a member and senior captain of the Troy High School Dance Team, and competed locally and nationally with her OC dance studio. She continued her dance education at California State University, Long Beach where she studied Modern, Ballet and Hip Hop and earned her BA in 2010.  Megan served on the dance ministry at Rock Harbor Church for over six years where she was blessed to choreograph and dance at many Christmas and Easter services. She was a member of Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks-Long Beach and has been a guest choreographer at Concordia University and for other local charity events.  Over the past eight years Megan has taught throughout Orange County and recently joined the staff at Crean Lutheran High School where she teaches Dance 1, Dance 2 and Dance Ministry. Megan is thankful to be on staff at Pacific Ballet Conservatory and hopes to inspire her students to be well-rounded and passionate dancers!

 

Micah Nameroff

Instructor

Micah Nameroff has been dancing for over two decades and trained at Pacific Ballet Conservatory for 11 years. When she graduated from high school and PBC, Micah went on to follow her passions for dancing, singing, and acting and received her B.F.A in Musical Theatre at Syracuse University. Then she moved to New York City and pursued Musical Theatre full time for 4 years. Upon returning to her home state of California, Micah choreographed San Clemente High School’s production of Mary Poppins and was nominated for Best Choreography at the JRay Awards and the National Youth Arts Awards. She has performed in theatres all over the U.S. and was last seen in the ensemble of Hello, Dolly! at 3-D Theatricals. Other credits include Carousel at Arizona Broadway Threatre, Singin’ in the Rain at Musical Theatre West, Oklahoma! at Berkshire Theatre Group, Shrek at Yorktown Stage, and White Christmas at Syracuse Stage. Micah is well aware of how important being a Triple Threat (dancing, acting and singing) is to be successful in Musical Theatre and looks forward to emphasizing these three qualities in a cohesive manner while instructing students. Micah is honored to return to her home studio to teach and inspire the next generation!

 

Isabel Sierzchula

Instructor

Isabel Sierzchula has been classically trained in ballet for 17 years as well as other dance styles at Pacific School of Ballet and Pacific Ballet Conservatory.  Isabel attended numerous Summer Intensive programs with Jillana in Taos, New Mexico, Alonzo King at UC Irvine, and The Joffrey Ballet.  She continued her training as a dance major at California State Fullerton and also continues to study dance at Saddleback College.  Isabel has participated in our own Pacific Theatre Ballet Nutcracker for the past 10 years, performing lead roles, and is now the new Dance Captain for the 2016 ensemble, working directly with director, Ann-Marie McClellan.

 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Amber Slaybaugh

Instructor

Amber Slaybaugh has been dancing for over 20 years. As a young dancer Amber danced in many competitions in the U.S where she was awarded various special awards for performance and technique. Amber has attended the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York that was founded by the great George Balanchine. In the most recent years, Mrs. Slaybaugh has been a part of dance ministries in local churches in California and has lead small groups for both high school and college age girls. She currently leads a dance ministry and small group at Ballet Conservatory on Sundays for girls who are in levels 5 and up. Amber has a deep love for ballet and a great passion to teach.

 

Brandi Walshe

Instructor

Brandi has been dancing for the past 21 years, and grew up dancing at the Pacific Ballet Conservatory for 12 years.  She was a member of the Aliso Niguel High School Dance Team and later joined Orange Coast College Dance Team, and Pace Elite.  She had an opportunity to be a member of the Team USA Dance Team 2012, where they won first place at the international dance worlds in Orlando, Florida.  Later, she went on to study at Concordia University Irvine concentrating in Child Development, and also joined their Dance Company.  She has had the privilege to choreograph for schools such as Bishop Amat, Aliso Niguel, Cypress, Mission Viejo, Crean Lutheran, and Concordia University Irvine.
 
Brandi is a former NFL and NBA dancer as a Los Angeles Laker Girl and a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader where she danced at all home games and participated in international events, philanthropic organizations, and promotional appearances.  She has been a performer at the Disneyland Resort for the past five years in various parades and atmosphere shows such as DJs Dance n Drive, Phineas and Ferb, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, Mickey's Halloween Party, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Paint the Night Parade, and Fantasmic!  Brandi was also crowned as Miss Orange County USA 2015 where she competed at the Miss California state pageant.  During her reign she visited elementary schools and promoted the "Kindness Begins with Me," anti-bullying campaign.  She also holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
 
Brandi is a staff member at Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine where she coaches JV and Varsity Song as well as assisting with the dance classes.  She is currently signed as a professional dancer with the Movement Talent Agency in Los Angeles where she gets the opportunity to audition and work for television and music projects in the commercial dance industry.  She continues to learn and stay current with the dance community and is excited to guide her students to a successful dance career.

 
PBC Staff & Instructors

Marissa Wennerberg

Director of Operations & Instructor

Marissa Wennerberg started her studies in dance with Rosemary Molak, Alan McCarter and Maryann Bayless. While dancing for ten years at the Pacific Ballet Conservatory, at the age of twelve, she was accepted to Pacific Northwest Ballet's Summer Intensive Program. Marissa performed professionally in Japan with the Hollywood Dance & Magic Show, a musical revue company, at the Misugi Resorts. Marissa recently choreographed, cast, and provided voice-over talent for yoga/dance videos included in the new children's sports series “Yoga Divas" by SportFun and Pangea Corporation with national distribution. She is a Co-Owner and Director of Operations for the Pacific Ballet Conservatory, and also for the Pacific School of Ballet in Laguna Hills.