Ballet Prestige

Katherine Johnson
Artistic Director & Certified Professional Instructor

Born in Spencerport, New York, Katherine's passion for ballet began at age three, inspired by her mother, a dancer with the Lake Erie Ballet for many years.  

Katherine studied at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWB) for four years under the tutelage of Ms. Johanne Gingras, Teacher Training Program Director and Ms. Arlene Minkhorst, School Director, Professional Division. While studying at RWB, Katherine also had the honor of training with several world renowned dancers and ballet instructors such as Glen Gilmour of The National Ballet of Canada and Suzanne Plante of The Royal Ballet in London. 

Katherine graduated from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWB) with professional certification in the Cecchetti Method and Vaganova System of ballet technique and training.

While teaching in Maryland, Katherine also benefitted from the tutelage of Ms. Misako Aoki-Oda at Misako Ballet (Columbia, MD).

Professional Teaching Experience

Katherine’s professional ballet teaching experience includes positions with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (Winnipeg, Canada), Peoria Ballet (Peoria, IL), Flower CIty Ballet (Rochester, NY), Western New York Youth Ballet (Rochester, NY), and Ballet Theatre of Maryland (Annapolis, MD).

Katherine is one of the only ballet instructors in the greater Rochester area with professional certification in the Cecchetti Method and the Vaganova System of ballet technique and training, which she uses as the basis of all of her dance classes.

Choreography Experience:
Katherine has also choreographed major portions of several professional ballet performances, most notably of a full-length adaptation of The Nutcracker and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty for Ballet Prestige, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Western New York Youth Ballet.  She also choreographed pieces performed at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division’s “First Steps” Choreographic Competition.

As a student, Katherine danced in various professional ballet performances such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Paquita, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 


Kara Heald, Ballet Instructor

A dancer since the age of four and ballet instructor since the age of 18, Kara received her ballet training at Draper Center for Dance Education in Rochester, New York.  As a former company member of Rochester City Ballet member, Kara has danced professionally in numerous productions.  Highlights of her performance portfolio include the Arabian princess in 
The Nutcracker, as well as multiple roles in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Little Red Riding Hood, and many more. 

Ballet Prestige
 • Brighton Commons • 1855 Monroe Avenue • Rochester, NY 14618 • (585) 704-1903

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