Karen Menter - Ballet, Pointe, Creative Movement, Tap, Pilates

Karen was born to dance and has reinvented herself many times in her long dance career. Her father wanted her to be an educated dancer, so she received her BA and MA in dance from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. She has performed with dance companies in Indiana (most notably Dance Kaleidoscope), Virginia, and New Jersey and has had the privilege to work with brilliant teachers, such as at the Joffrey School and Marjorie Mussman and innovative and world renowned choreographers. She has taught at A&M University in Alabama, Butler University and Northern Virginia Community College.

When her sons started school, Karen created and implemented creative movement curriculums in pre-schools and movement curriculum syllabi in elementary schools in Virginia and New Jersey. She has been active in many organizations such as the Indiana Arts Commission and has been a board member of many arts and business organizations.

Karen is teacher trained in Stott Pilates on mat and reformer and is certified in active isolated stretch. She continues her teacher training at the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada and at the Bill Evans Dance Intensive, she also attends continuing education courses in Pilates.


She now devotes herself to The Ballet & Dance Center teaching ballet, pointe, tap, creative movement and Pilates. She has been an adjunct professor of dance at Syracuse University in the Musical Theater department since 2002 and also teaches Pilates at the JCC.

Ruth Arena - Ballet, Pointe, Modern

Ruth K. Arena began her dance training in Santa Fe, NM, continued her studies at Barat College in Lake Forest, IL and went on to earn a BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona. While in college Ruth performed in numerous ballet and modern works, including Paquita and The Nutcracker as well as originating roles in works by Sam Watson and Dr. John M. Wilson. Upon graduating Ruth moved to New York City where she studied on scholarship at the Paul Taylor Dance Company School, and performed with Dzul Dance. While in New York she attained a Pilates Mat certification and worked as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

Ruth is an Adjunct Instructor of Dance at Le Moyne College and has worked with Syracuse City Ballet as a teacher and performer. Her choreography has been presented at the Syracuse Fringe Festival, in Le Moyne Theatre Department productions, and with The Ballet & Dance Center. Ruth loves teaching, learning, and dancing at the BDC.


Laurie Deyo - Modern

Laurie has taught, choreographed, and performed in the Syracuse area since 1984. She has her master’s in Dance and Dance Education from NYU where she studied with members of the Limon, Graham, and Cunningham Modern Dance Companies; continued her ballet training at the Joffrey School and with David Howard; and studied jazz at S.T. E P.’s and other NYC studios. She spent 15 years as Dance faculty at Syracuse University and has taught ballet, jazz, creative movement for the classroom, tap, and aerobic dance.

Laurie has been teaching at The BDC since 2010 and currently teaches various levels of modern as well as ballet to our younger dancers.


Cristina Battle - Modern

Cristina Battle is a graduate of Le Moyne College where she served as Head Choreographer of the Le Moyne Student Dance Company. She continues to teach and choreograph for the Le Moyne Student Dance Company as well as other local schools and studios. Cristina has been classically trained in ballet, jazz, and modern. Much of her modern study and training in Syracuse has been under the guidance of Laurie Deyo.

Cristina is also a certified Zumba instructor and continues to teach locally, as well as travel for workshops and master classes.


Lisa Stuart - Tap, Jazz

Lisa began dancing at a young age in New Jersey learning technique through the Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Program, a Modern dance scholarship at the Princeton Ballet, and studying with Joe Villane, a former Martha Graham dancer. Living close to Manhattan, her parents exposed her to the magic of Broadway, and gave her the opportunity to take dance classes in the “Big Apple.”


Lisa holds a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire - Anthropology Major, Minor in Dance; Teaching Assistant in Dance, Jean Mattox Dance Scholarship Award. After college, Lisa performed in Latin Fever Revue at the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, PR, with Holland America Cruise Lines & Royal Caribbean Cruises (formerly Admiral Cruises), where she also held the title of Production Manager. Lisa has also danced in and held the position of dance captain in various musicals. Favorite performances include 42nd Street at the Jupiter Theater (Fla), Chicago at the Miami Shores Theater (Fla), Oklahoma at Buck County Playhouse.

Lisa has over 20 years of teaching experience in New Jersey and Upstate New York. She is the currently the choreographer at CNS High School.


Hanni Schwarzlander - Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®

Hanni has worked as a professional dancer, director, choreographer, and teacher for over 25 years. Raised in Syracuse, she began her early training at the Syracuse Ballet Theatre and the Lorraine School of Dance. She danced her way through a BA at Oberlin College and Syracuse University, after which she spent several years performing extensively in Paris and throughout Europe in revues, on cruises, and for national television.

Back in the US she continued performing, primarily in musical theater, touring nationally with the Will Rogers Follies and working in both dance companies and regional theaters in the Northeast. Between shows, she returned to NYC to take classes with many notable teachers at Steps, Broadway Dance Center, Djoniba’s, and the David Howard Studio.


Hanni has done extensive work in Arts in Education programs in the region, working as a Teaching Artist for the Central New York Aesthetic Education Institute, teaching students in numerous schools, as well as training teachers to integrate creative arts into their curriculum.

A former faculty member of Manlius Pebble Hill School, she spent years helping grow the Performing Arts program under Baxter Ball, Headmaster. Through her teaching, directing, and choreographing, the Dance and Musical Theater programs expanded and flourished, and provided the springboard for numerous students to launch into successful careers in both fields.

As a dance educator, Hanni has taught master classes internationally, and currently teaches at Syracuse University, the Ballet and Dance Center, and the Dance Theater of Syracuse. In addition to her regular classes of ballet, jazz, musical theater, and tap, she is a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre ® Mentor, and is excited to bring this valuable technique to the Syracuse area. Hanni also holds local dance classes for the Parkinson’s community.

Passionate about her work, she creates environments and provides opportunities where individuals are empowered through creative expression, while simultaneously challenging themselves as they learn technique, discipline, and safe practices. Hanni is happy to be part The Ballet and Dance Center family, and to share her joy of dance with the wonderful students here!


Kate Lemos Brown - Jazz, Musical Theater Dance

Katie Lemos Brown is overjoyed to bring what she’s learned from the magical world of musical theatre to the students of The Ballet & Dance Center!
Kate is a graduate of Shenandoah University Conservatory, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, with an emphasis in dance. Her training is inclusive of ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hiphop, flamenco, ballroom, choreography and musical theater styles. Her performance resume is extensive, as she enjoyed her first career as a professional actress, traveling throughout the states from one regional theater to the next. Some of her favorite professional dance-centric roles (shows) include: Tantomille/ Dream Griz/Griz US (Cats); Maggie (Brigadoon); Manson Trio (Pippin/Fosse’s Choreography); Andrea/Choreographer (Once on This Island); Entrantress/Ensemble/Napkin (Beauty & the Beast); Marty/Dance Captain (Grease); Ulla Inga Hansen, etc. (The Producers). 
She has continued to pursue her theater interests locally, most recently seen in The District’s Civil War. This will be Kate’s third year as the director of Marcellus High School musical. Kate believes that the musical theater dancer needs to be the most versatile and expressive dancer, and that’s what she hopes to instill in the hearts of her students!


Kerry Gilberti - Tap

Biography Coming Soon


Barb Laneve - Ballet, Tap

Biography Coming Soon