Offering excellent
training to students
of all levels

<b>Connect With BSS </b>
Connect With BSS

About The Ballet School of Stamford Foundation


The purpose of The Ballet School of Stamford is to foster the Art of Ballet. Toward this end, it will undertake the following activities:

  • Offer excellent ballet training to all levels of students
  • Work with other educational institutions to develop outreach programs on ballet
  • Develop a community awareness of the value of dance education
  • Promote and encourage cultural diversity in ballet training
  • Strengthen the connections between visual and performing arts by working with other arts organizations
  • Engage in cultural activities that will enhance the quality of life in Stamford

Our History

The Ballet School of Stamford was founded in 1998 as a non-profit organization. We have earned a reputation of nurturing young dancers through a disciplined and focused training program that brings out the best of their natural talent. Our faculty is a dedicated and knowledgeable group of professionals who are passionate about teaching. Our outreach program “Dance for All began the first week we opened our doors with a class at St. Lukes LifeWorks and has continued successfully by partnering with other social service organizations to ensure we are reaching young people who can benefit from our programs. We are proud that in the last 23 years, 100% of our graduates have gone on to college including those who dance professionally.


Marti Etter — Executive Director

Marti Etter’s professional career encompasses over twenty years of experience as a production manager and coordinator for theater, opera, concerts, film, dance and multi-media projects.

These projects have included dramatic, corporate and educational pieces. Many have been used as fundraising vehicles for non-profit organizations. Clients have included The U.S. Navy, Smithsonian Institution, New York Philharmonic, the Dallas, Denver, and National Symphonies, Grollier Publishing, AT&T and Pitney Bowes.

Locally she has served on the Friends Board for St. Lukes Lifeworks, Roxbury School Executive Board, the Connecticut Association of Production Professionals Executive Board, Connecticut Film and Video Commission Advisory Board, the steering committee for the Collaborative Alliance and as a board member of the Stamford Public Education Foundation. She is on the advisory board for the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

Faculty Lilia Khanina – music director Lisa Graziano – ballet and jazz Tara Jaboe – ballet and tap and jazz Barry Kerollis – ballet and contemporary Kristin Montana – hip-hop and jazz Carolyn Paine – ballet and jazz Elizabeth Rodbell – ballet and modern

Guest Faculty and Choreographers Alex Brady Lauren Etter Alexandra Gonzalez Kwame Henry Jones Laura Mead Dana Thomas Indah Walsh


President Judith Ellenthal – Cacace, Tusch & Santagata Paula Bell – High Ridge Brands Peter Buck – Creative Pension and Design Melinda Cloobeck – J.P. Morgan Securities Marti Gibson Etter – The Ballet School of Stamford Jeffrey Gerdes – Drum Capital Management Marie D. Hlavaty – General Counsel Pearl Mayo – Swiss Re Irene Ricci – Community Member Cindy Shumate – Cynscape Design

Interns Kiara Cabrera, Dina Cordova, Sophie Xu