Company

Our History

Chattanooga Ballet was founded in 1973 by a group of people passionate about dance who realized the need for quality dance education in the Chattanooga area. In 1975, the organization found a home at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and began the instruction of classes through the Division of Continuing Education. The performing company was founded in 1980.

In 1988 the company presented their production of The Nutcracker with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. This production has grown to be one of Chattanooga’s most attended performing arts events and is enjoyed by an audience of 10,000 each season.

The Chattanooga Ballet Children’s Company was formed in 1989 to provide additional training and performance opportunities for students ages eleven through fourteen. Renamed the School Ensemble, this program continues to serve as a training and performance opportunity for intermediate level dancers.

In 1991 the organization established the Choreographer Development Program to promote the work of emerging Tennessee and regional artists. In the ensuing years the organization steadily grew and moved into its current location on North Market Street in 2006.

The past three years have seen new levels of artistic excellence and visibility within the community. In early 2019, a new strategic plan was established and named the “4th Pillar Strategy,” referring to Chattanooga Ballet’s goal to stand alongside the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the Hunter Museum, and the Chattanooga Theatre Centre as the 4th artistic pillar of the community.

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Our People

Board of Directors, 2019-2020

Meg Kramer, Chair
Meg is a longtime supporter of the arts dedicated to seeing Chattanooga Ballet become one of the premier arts organizations in our great city. Meg moved to Chattanooga in 2012 and is an owner of Southeastern Trust Company. A member of the Board of Directors for Chattanooga Ballet for 7 years, she has served as Chair for 4 years.

Dr. Deanna Gardenhire Brown, Vice Chair
is a native Chattanoogan and a graduate of Belmont University, the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and Case Western Reserve University/MetroHealth Medical Center dermatology residency. She is a board-certified dermatologist with Susong Dermatology in Hixson, TN. She has served on the Board for the last 5 years.

Brooke Moore, Secretary
is a native of Chattanooga and graduated from Furman University. She is an alumna and current parent of Chattanooga Ballet. She is a graduate of Girls Preparatory School, where she was a member of Terpsichord (the school's modern dance company). Brooke is the Director of Admissions at The Bright School.

Barbara Lord, Treasurer
is a marketing communications specialist providing marketing and design services to organizations, public agencies and private firms. A graduate of Auburn University, she currently serves as Design Director for Reichman Frankle Inc., a marketing communications firm serving clients in New York. She is in her second year as a member of the Board of Directors of Chattanooga Ballet.

Sonia YoungPresident Emeritus
is Chattanooga Ballet’s longest serving board member. Her husband Mel was one of the founders. She has served on many local arts boards including Chattanooga Ballet, CSO and Chattanooga Theatre Centre, as well as the Chattanooga Zoo and McKamey Animal Center. Founder of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Youth Theatre, she taught 32 years in the UTC Theater Department.

Ellyn Brooks
is a retired special education teacher from Montgomery County, Maryland. She has resided in Chattanooga for 12 years and is actively involved in the arts community. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Ballet for 5 years.

Lilas Taslimi Call
is a Chattanooga native. She trained with Chattanooga Ballet and was a performing member of Emory Dance Company at Emory University. She earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law and is a member of the Tennessee bar. Lilas currently works within the United States federal judiciary.

Karen Erwin
is a strategy and business transformation consultant with Leonard Erwin & Associates LLC. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she was a member of the United Performing Arts Fund Allocation Committee there. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism and Political Science) and MBA (Finance) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Andrew Farrell
is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. Most recently from Washington, DC, Mr. Farrell has resided in Chattanooga for over 5 years and currently serves as Managing Partner for his firm, Cox Farrell Ventures. Mr. Farrell has served on the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Ballet for 1 year.

Danny Fell
has over 30 years of marketing and advertising experience. Nationally recognized for his writing and speaking on topics ranging from consumer ratings to digital marketing strategies, he served on the boards of the Mountain Education Foundation, WTCI/ Channel 45 (PBS), Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Maymont Foundation.

Jennifer Jolly
is a healthcare professional currently serving as Marketing Community Liaison for Hospice of Chattanooga. She has been a member of the Chattanooga Ballet Board of Directors for 8 years.

Betsy Kramer
is a graduate of Western Kentucky University. Most recently from Southern Indiana, Ms. Kramer has resided in Chattanooga for over 7 years and currently works as a Portfolio Administrator for Patten and Patten, Inc. Ms. Kramer has served on the Board of Directors for The Chattanooga Ballet for 5 years.

Robin Morrison
is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Ms. Morrison has resided in Chattanooga 22 years and currently works at First Tennessee Bank as a Financial Center Manager. This is her first year on the Board of Directors for The Chattanooga Ballet.

Leonard Murray
is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He was an Instructor in Advanced Airborne Radar Circuits for the U.S. Navy, and worked at RCA in Army missile systems and mainframe computers. At United Press International, he was Director of Data Processing. He served as Manager of Data Network Design for TVA, then worked with AT&T on high-speed data communications. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for 5 years.

Ali Robinson
is co-owner of the top real estate team in Chattanooga with the Robinson Team at Keller Williams Greater Downtown Realty. Ali serves as the lead buyer specialist and has a passion for putting people in homes that bring them joy. Ali has lived in Chattanooga for 28 years and is a new member of the Board of Directors.

Natalie Rothwell
is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South with her Master’s from University of Tennessee. She works as a mental health therapist at Focus Treatment Centers. Originally from Arkansas, Natalie moved to Chattanooga 5 years ago, and has been a member of Chattanooga Ballet Board of Directors for 1 year.