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Artistic Staff

Gretchen Erickson

Gretchen Erickson began her formal dance training in the pre-professional division at Louisiana Dance Theatre under the direction of Carol Anglin. With LDT, Gretchen preformed at Regional Dance America Festivals, Jazz Dance World Congress, and the Tanzsommer Festival in Austria and Germany. Gretchen has studied at Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffery Ballet School in New York, and in the BFA program at New World School of the Arts.

In 2014, Gretchen received a Leverhulme grant for further postgraduate study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, where she graduated with a Masters of Dance Performance. With Transitions Dance Company, Gretchen toured throughout Europe performing works by Bawren Tavaziva, Zoi Dimitriou and Miguel Pereira.

This is Gretchen's second year teaching at the School, and her third season with the Marigny Opera Ballet. She is also a Pilates teacher at Romney Studios.

Ballet & Pilates

Nikki Hefko

Read full bio here.

Artistic Director

Angie Mazerat

A true New Orleanian, the roots of Angie Mazerat’s love of the stage started at a very early age;

performing with the New Orleans Youth Ballet and the Giacobbe Academy of Dance. Additionally at a

young age she trained and performed with Myra Mier and the Jefferson Ballet. Wanting to further nurture

her passion of classical ballet, she went into intense training with Harvey Hysell, performing multiple

roles with the Ballet Hysell Company. While still attending high school, she studied and performed with

Loyola University Pre-Professional Program under the direction of Gayle Parmalee. Angie was also

fortunate to further her studies of classical ballet with her mentor Jackie Frye. With the New Orleans

Dance Academy she performed numerous soloist roles and appreciated the opportunity to have the

tutelage of such illustrious local talent as Wayne Soulant, Valerie Concha, and Mary Monroe. Angie was

a dancer in the Hollywood film “Fletch Lives”; she danced in the opening ceremonies of the U.S.

Olympics Track & Field event with Tina Turner and Show Corp International. She also performed in

countless local Nutcrackers, beginning at the young age of seven-and never stopping!

Angie furthered her performance career with Colombia City Ballet, located at the University of

South Carolina. She then moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to dance with a concentration in choreography at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Angie choreographed and performed her original work: “Christmas Reflection-Carol of the Bells”, receiving the “Intensive Arts-Choreography Award” for an original piece with multiple dancers. Angie returned back to New Orleans to become a company member of New Orleans Ballet Ensemble/New Orleans Ballet Association. Currently, Angie prepares choreography and instruction of classical ballet, pointe, and stretch

exercise at local dance studios. In 2017, Angie assisted the New Orleans School of Ballet as the Rehearsal

Director for the inaugural performance of the Nutcracker in New Orleans; and even pursued her life-long love of the stage by performance once again!

Ballet & Progressing Ballet Technique

Cheryl O'Sullivan

Elementary and Intermediate instructor, Mrs. O’Sullivan trained in the Vaganova syllabus under Gayle Parmelee.  She is co-director of Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble and founding member of D’Project.


Drew Pearson

Drew is a dancer and actor originally from Chicago, IL. A recent graduate of Tulane University with a Dual Degree in Linguistics (BS), History (BA), and Theatre Performance (BA), she is delighted to join the New Orleans School of Ballet. She received her professional ballet training while dancing in the Ballet Chicago Studio Company under Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair. At Ballet Chicago, she had the honor of performing in such ballets as George Balanchine's "Rubies," "Serenade," "Who Cares?," "Tarantella," and "Concerto Barocco," as well as numerous world premiere works by resident choreographer, Ted Seymour. Drew has also trained with esteemed ballet instructors across the country including Colleen Neary and Suzanne Farrell. In addition, Drew is a trained actor, most recently seen in New Orleans Shakespeare Festival's "Hamlet" and The Storyville Collective's "Silence: The Musical." She holds a certificate in Shakespearean Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK. 


Lauren Ashlee Small

Lauren Ashlee Small is a member of New Orleans' Marigny Opera Ballet.  Lauren graduated with an MFA in Dance at Belhaven University in May, 2017. She was awarded a BFA in Dance at that university in 2010, and trained at The Ailey School in New York City with a Professional Division Scholarship. Lauren’s performance career includes the New York Jazz Choreography Project, the 92nd Street Y Undertoe Dance Festival, Museum of the Moving Image’s Persona by Ming Wong, and with the Amalgamate Dance Company (ADC)’s Guest Artist Show. She was awarded membership in the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, and received the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship Award to The Ailey School, as well as the John D. Henderson, Sr. Memorial Scholarship from Belhaven University.


Edward Spots

New Orleans native Edward Spots began his dance training with Baderinwa "Mama" Rolland at the very first New Orleans Charter Middle School.  After taking his first ballet class under Diane Carney and Harvey Hysell, he began his formal ballet training at the Schramel Conservatory of Dance.  He graduated in 2009 from the Walnut Hill School for the Fine Arts as a full scholarship student.  Mr. Spots also trained at Joffrey Midwest, The Joffrey School in NYC and The Washington Ballet School in D.C.  

In 2010, he entered The Ailey School as a scholarship student, and shortly after he received an apprenticeship for the Ailey II company.  With Ailey II, Mr. Spots performed and taught in more than 8 international countries and toured domestically.  Mr. Spots favorite dance moment is dancing Alvin Ailey's iconic "Revelations" with The Ailey Company at New York City Center.  He has also danced with Urban Ballet Theatre, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Civic Scranton Ballet, Delaware Dance Company. 

He has worked with many choreographers including Daniel Catanach, Camille A. Brown, George Faison, Jennifer Archibald, Francesca Harper, Troy Powell, Judith Jamison, Earl Mosley, Thang Dao, Jennifer Muller, Sonia Dawkins, Willy Laury, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, and Robert Battle.  

He has been seen on FOX's hit tv show, So You Think You Can Dance and Bulgaria's Dancing With The Stars.  Mr. Spots has modeled for Dance Magazine, Essence, and The New York Times.  He appeared in the Omnibus film American Rhapsody directed by Garret Bradley.  Most recently Mr. Spots was featured in an international Walmart commercial directed by Seth Rogan and choreographed by Tricia Miranda which aired during the 2017 Academy Awards.

This is Mr. Spots second year teaching at the School.  He is a professional dancer with Marigny Opera Ballet and KM Dance Project.

Ballet & Modern

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