The Director & Staff

Alison Miller

Alison Miller, Director

Alison Miller holds a BA degree in Dance from Goucher College and a MA in Performing Arts from American University. She has completed the International Ballet Teachers Workshop in Mississippi and Paris, the Bolshoi Academy in Colorado, the Royal Academy of Dance, Professional Development Course, Primary through Grade 5, and several Vaganova training workshops as part of her ongoing training. This summer she will attend a 2-day intensive DancePhysiotherapy workshop for Dance Teachers and Health Professionals addressing preventing and managing dance injuries.

In addition to owning and directing the Ballet Academy, Ms. Miller is actively involved in the dance community. She has taught and performed in the Washington-Baltimore area and for over 30 years. She has choreographed for theater productions at Prince Georges Community College, University of Maryland and The Chamber Theater. She has lectured at the Cosmos Club on dance history, served as the dance representative to the Maryland Alliance for Arts Education and on the committee to form the MD State Comprehensive Education Plan. She has also served as treasurer, secretary, festival chair and president of the Maryland Council for Dance, and currently serves as the MC/D Festival Showcase Chair.

Additionally, Miss Miller served as a Helen Hayes nominator in 2002. In 2007, she was honored as a National Honor Roll Outstanding American Teacher, and in 2009, the Maryland Council for Dance honored her with the 2009 Outstanding Service and Contributions to Dance in Maryland. Ms. Miller has been the Artistic Director of the Performing Arts Repertory Company (PARC) since 2003.

Ballet Academy Staff

Rachel Knudsonteaches ballet, modern dance and creative dance. She holds a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from George Washington University and a Maryland Educator Certificate, Pre-K-12.  She has taught and performed in the Washington, D.C. area for over 20 years. Currently she teaches dance at the Ballet Academy, the Jewish Community Center and at Blackrock Center for the Arts.

Ms. Knudson is also a Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist.  In this capacity, she develops and leads workshops throughout the United States for early childhood educators that provide strategies for integrating dance with early childhood STEM curriculum and conducts residencies in Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms.

Ms. Knudson danced professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet and studied modern dance at Jacob’s Pillow and the American Dance Festival. She also attended the Teacher’s Institute at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Washington.

Ashley Thomas teaches Pre-Ballet and Ballet. She is an honors graduate of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Science and Technology program and is working on a BS in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, in the Life Science Scholars program. She also works as a research assistant at the University of Maryland.

Ms. Thomas began dancing at age 3, a student of the Ballet Academy, since age 7. Ms. Thomas has danced in Ballet Academy and PARC outreaches, story ballets and performances, for 11 years. She has worked with children as a summer camp counselor and aide in dance classes and participates in Ballet Academy Teacher Training workshop as part of her dance teacher training.

Contact Alison: stg_am@msn.com