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 & Gregory Schramel
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 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.
Lisa Keller 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.
Denise Oustalet joins the faculty as the Intermediate/Advanced adult morning class instructor on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10:00-11:30. Denise brings with her a lifetime of professional ballet first as a professional ballet dancer and as a much sought after coach and teacher throughout the country. She was a founding ballet faculty chair of NOCCA and was on staff at Giacobbe Academy of Dance for many years. We welcome Denise with excitement and look forward to her wonderful leadership!
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.
Felicia McPhee received her early Vaganova training at The Ballet Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah. She continued her dance education with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Brigham Young University. There, she was president of BYU’s Ballet Showcase Company and was a member of BYU’s Theatre Ballet Company. Felicia spent a few years in San Francisco dancing as a freelance artist and as a company member with Bay Pointe Ballet, under the direction of Bruce Steivel. Moving to Dallas, she spent two seasons with Contemporary Ballet Dallas and two seasons as a Soloist with Dallas Neo-classical Ballet. This season, Felicia will be dancing with New Orleans Ballet Theatre. She loves teaching and sharing her passion for dance with her students. She believes in the importance of understanding how the body anatomically works and functions in the vocabulary of ballet, and encourages correct usage of muscles, bones, and alignment. Felicia has had many exciting opportunities teaching all over the country, including teaching at Google in California. She feels very fortunate to do what she loves every day and share her passion for dance.
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.
Mei-Ling Murray is a classically trained dancer from San Francisco. She studied with American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance; and attended The University of Arizona’s School of Dance on scholarship.
Following her undergraduate studies, Mei-Ling worked as the Program Director for Movement Exchange, where she developed international dance programs alongside the U.S. Embassies in Panama and India. Since 2011, she has performed with Bay Area contemporary dance company, Project B., and worked as a teaching artist for Performing Arts Workshop, bringing dance education to the San Francisco Unified School District.
Sabrina Swayder started her Ballet training at Ballet Hysell with Harvey Hysell and Diane Carney. While at Ballet Hysell Sabrina had the great fortune to study with Vincenzo Celli, famed student of Enrico Cechetti, and world renowned teacher of the Cechetti Method. Sabrina performed with the New Orleans Ballet until she moved to New York City to study at the Joffrey Ballet School, American Dance Machine, for Broadway Theater Dance and with Hector Zeraspe, famed Ballet Coach. Sabrina performed with The Portuguese National Ballet, Tiroler Landestheater Innsbrook and The State Theater of Schwerin, Germany where she became principal dancer. Sabrina became the Jazz Dance teacher for her colleagues in Schwerin as well as having several opportunities to choreograph for the company. Ms. Swayder taught Ballet, Point and Contemporary Dance at Dansarts Ballet Zentrum Ulm, and choreographed for Naturtheater Heidenheim. After returning to the U.S., she continued teaching Ballet at Claire School of Dance(Houston, Tx.) and became Pilates Teacher Certified through Physical Mind Institute.