Schramel Conservatory of Dance Faculty

At Schramel Conservatory of Dance, all of the teachers on our staff are classically trained dancers who have had careers in professional dance companies throughout the United States and internationally.

Marjorie Hardwick Schramel and Gregory Schramel started Schramel Conservatory of Dance in 2002. The Schramels also founded New Orleans Ballet Theatre, a professional ballet company. The Schramels have enjoyed dance careers which spanned some 20+ years in some of America's top ballet companies, such as Cincinnati Ballet, Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet and the Broadway musical CATS.

Both trained with The School of American Ballet in New York. Gregory comes from New Orleans, where he was trained privately with Alexander Minz (Baryshnikov's teacher,) and Marjorie from Dallas where she was trained by Marjorie Tallchief, George Skibine and Flemming Flindt. They have performed and taught ballet all over the world and bring to SCOD and NOBT a vast ballet vocabulary. Marjorie is a certified instructor of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) curriculum which SCOD follows.

Kit Braddick

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Kit Braddick grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana where she began her early dance training at Apetrei Dance center under Constantin and Kelly Apetrei. While there she performed with their studio company Ballet Apetrei and began her teaching career. She has trained at the American Ballet Theatre in Detroit, the Atlanta Ballet, and the Alabama Ballet summer intensives and danced with the Alabama Ballet and the New Orleans Ballet Theatre. She has performed numerous roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Paquita, and many more. She hopes to continue her dancing career, meanwhile spreading her love of dance to her many students.

Diogo de lima

Diogo de Lima is originally from Brazil and became a New Orleans-based dancer/choreographer/filmmaker. He is the artistic director of MindField Productions with headquarters in New York and São Paulo (Brazil) and has produced and directed short and feature-length films, documentaries, TV segments, and dance films. As a dancer he worked with Grupo Corpo, José Limón Dance Company, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, First Physical Theatre, and Compañia Nacional De Danza, among others. He has received many awards for his dancing and choreography, both in Brazil and internationally. He’s also a professor at Tulane University, where he teaches Media and Choreography.

Lisa Keller

Lisa has come to New Orleans from California, where she managed and taught at Peninsula School of Performing Arts in Palos Verdes, California. A graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor’s in Science in Biology, she performed frequently with Duke Ballet Repertory and Duke Jazz Repertory Ensembles. She has danced professionally as a tap dancer with the Hot Cotton Candies, and also as a principal ballet dancer with Southern California Dance Theatre. Most recently, she has performed with New Orleans Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker and New Orleans Opera Association’s production of Die Fledermaus. In addition to teaching at Schramel Conservatory of Dance, she has also recently taken on the role of administrative director of New Orleans Ballet Theatre.

ELIZABETH VAN ALSTYNE

A native of Hammond, LA, Elizabeth began her early training with Phoebe Brantley in Baton Rouge, and Joseph Giacobbe and Richard Rholden in new Orleans. She continued her studies on full scholarship at The Harid Conservatory, and at Indiana University, where she worked closely with master teachers Leslie Peck and Violette Verdy. After college Elizabeth danced professionally with The Nashville Ballet and Ballet Austin. Elizabeth teaches Pilates and ballet for SCOD and has been an NOBT company member since 2007.

LAURIE VOLNY LANGDON

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A native of New Orleans, Miss Langdon's early dance experiences came with the Delta Festival Ballet under the tutelage of Joseph Giacobbe. After having been a scholarship student at the schools of American Ballet Theater and San Francisco Ballet, she joined Houston Ballet in 1980. She danced fourteen seasons with that company and as a soloist was featured in many roles such as Solvieg in Ben Stevenson’s Peer Gynt, the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, and the Crouching Woman in Margo Sappington’s Rodin, Mis en Vie. Little did she know that her turn as Mary Pickford in the Grand Tour by the Tony Award winning Broadway choreographer Joe Layton would presage her future career path. In 1994 she left the classical ballet world to join the touring company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway hit, the Phantom of the Opera, as a singer/dancer. In addition to her skills as a versatile dancer, her ability to effectively teach new members of the company the choreography and blocking of the show and lead efficient rehearsals in a demanding touring environment led to her promotion to the position of Dance Captain. In 2008 she left the tour and became the Dance Captain of the Broadway production of Phantom playing at the Majestic Theater in New York City. A highlight of her tenure with that company was the 25th anniversary show in 2013, where she, along with her fellow company members, celebrated Broadway’s longest running musical onstage with the producer, Cameron Mackintosh, director, Hal Prince, and composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber. After a long and varied dance career spanning 34 years Laurie hung up her pointe shoes, left Phantom of the Opera and returned to her hometown of New Orleans. Last year she spent 3 months in Hamburg, Germany where she helped set a new production of the Phantom of the Opera.

Mollie Williamson

Mollie was born in Dallas , Texas and began practicing yoga in high school . She graduated from Newcomb College of Tulane University with a degree in Art History and fell in love with her new home , New Orleans . She is the proud mother of her little ballerina and yogi , Lucie , born in 2004. In 2011 she completed 350 hours of teacher training to become certified through Swan River Yoga. In 2012 she attended a Jivamukti immersion in Costa Rica led by Senior Yoga Teacher Yogeswari and Advanced Certified Yoga Teacher Rima Rabbath. In 2016 she spent a week at a yoga retreat in Thailand.  Her love of dance , music and life is apparent in her vinyasa flow style of teaching infused with a positive dharma message. Listen for tunes from your favorite local artists in her playlist. She is deeply influenced and forever grateful to her teachers Michele Baker, Keith Porteous, Jack Sun Slaughter, Libby Love, Rima Rabbath and Yogeswari.

Maya Taylor

Maya Taylor is an internationally recognized performer, choreographer and teacher. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, she studied classical ballet for many years before diving into contemporary, jazz and classical modern. Maya has studied at Ballet West Conservatory, The Alley School, Jacob's Pillow and is a graduate of the Alley Fordham BFA Program. Shortly after receiving her degree, Taylor joined Elisa Monte Dance and for several years performed throughout the United States and Europe. Maya had been commissioned to create works from the Midwest to the UK. In 2012 her work, La Dispute was performed at Regional Dance America's National Festival in Montreal and she was chosen to choreograph a large scale piece for Omaha Performing Arts' The Rite Returns festival in February 2013. In April 2015, she premiered her solo, Under a Glass Bell, at the launch of Lets Dance International Frontiers in Leicester, England. Maya is currently the rehearsal director and resident choreographer for Marigny Opera Ballet in New Orleans.