L'Ecole de Ballet
Offering quality dance education to
all ages and levels

Clarissa Eaton, Artistic Director

Clarissa’s classical training began with Wayne Stewarte formerly with the Royal Ballet. She participated in the Royal Academy of Dance program, and later continued her training at the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. She has studied also in London, Paris, and at the Joffrey School of Ballet.

A Company member of the Dance Prism for the past thirty years, Clarissa also serves as assistant to its directors. She is a rehearsal coach for the Dance Prism's annual productions of "The Nutcracker" and spring & fall performances. In addition to her teaching background in classical ballet, Clarissa was a preschool teacher for 17 years , and is qualified as an Early Childhood teacher. She holds a BA in both English and Psychology, as well as an MA in English, and is currently teaching English at UMass Boston. With teaching experience ranging from preschool through college age students, she is able to tailor classes to fit the needs and capabilities of all children.

 

Tiana Nygren, Assistant Director

 

Tiana has taught at L'Ecole de Ballet for 10 years, and now directs the jazz, tap and contemporary portion of our program.  She has a BA in psychology from Wheaton College, MA, and performed in the Dance Company there for 4 years, as well as choreographing company pieces.

At Wheaton, she worked with Kurt Adametz of Lehrer Dance and Andrea Taylor-Blenis formerly with Prometheus Dance. She has 25 years of experience in Ballet, as well as extensive training in Jazz, Contemporary and Hip hop. However, contemporary remains her passion. Tiana continues to study in New York with such teachers as Chio, Ashlee Dawson from SYTYCD, and other notable instructors. She maintains a close relationship with Ben Needham-Wood, soloist at Smuin Ballet, San Francisco. She has also participated in Alvin Ailey workshops. Tiana has also recently been promoted to company member with Dance Prism! Tiana currently works as a special education paraprofessional in the Lunenburg school system and is midway through her Master's Degree in Counseling.

Sarah Drinkwater, Office Manager & Teacher

Sarah is excited to be teaching for her 9th year now and working as the office manager of L’Ecole de Ballet. As a student here, she received a solid background in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary while under the primary instruction of Clarissa Eaton, Mary Demaso, and Miranda Bailey. To expand her dance education, Sarah danced at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Boston Ballet School where she studied ballet and modern with many notable instructors including Vanessa Zahorian, Sarah Wroth, and Lasha Khozashvili. 

 

Currently, Sarah is dancing for OnStage Dance company and performs in many styles of dance throughout the Boston area ranging from musical theater and tap to modern and contemporary. Sarah has also been dancing with Dance Prism for 15 years and is currently a company member and rehearsal coach there. Along with teaching dance, Sarah works for the Littleton Public Schools and has extensive experience working with children in preschool through grade 5. 

 

Mary Demaso, Teacher

 

Mary's background includes the unusual combination of dance and academics: she has studied ballet with a wide variety of teachers in the New England and New York areas, and has studied literature at Simmons College and Brown University.  She is currently Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer for Dance Prism.

Jonathan Towle, Teacher

Jonathan, a charter member of Dance Prism, began his dance training at the age of 15 with tap and ballroom and his ballet training at 17 with Mary Demaso, one of the founders of Dance Prism. Jonathan graduated from Dean College with an AFA after majoring in music, theater and dance. His professional performance credits include: West Side Story, Pippin, A Chorus Line, The Fantastiks, Cabaret and numerous principal roles with Dance Prism productions. Jonathan is very excited to be joining the team at L'ecole and is looking forward to working with its dedicated and talented students!

 

Amy Higgins, Teacher

Amy is a L’Ecole de Ballet alumna, where for 13 years she took classes in ballet, jazz, and contemporary. She is currently a company member and rehearsal coach with Dance Prism ballet company in Concord and has most recently been seen as Snow Queen in the Nutcracker and Wendy in Peter Pan. Amy is also a recent graduate of UMass Amherst, where she balanced studying psychology and neuroscience with ballet and contemporary dance.  Amy is excited to be back at L'Ecole and looking forward to working with the students teaching the contemporary classes she enjoyed so much as a student.

Paige Tully, Teacher

Paige has been dancing for 14 years, and has been at L’Ecole for the past 11. She has received an extensive amount of training from other faculty members such as Clarissa Eaton, Tiana Nygren, Sarah Drinkwater, Brenda Lavin, and Mary Demaso. With this training, she has excelled beautifully in many styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary. Paige recently had the opportunity to take classes from Sasha Lunev, a graduate of Vaganova Academic School of Choreography, and Ben Needham-Wood, a soloist with Smuin Ballet. She has also been affiliated with Dance Prism for the past 4 years, dancing in their performances every season. 

Zoe Tatarka, Teacher

Zoe has been an energizing presence for the L’Ecole summer programs for the last three years, acting as the motivating force for our conditioning program in addition to teaching many of the summer classes.  She is entering her 14th year at LDB, and in addition to teaching many classes  she was recently promoted to a company member with Dance Prism where she also is a rehearsal coach.  Zoe has rounded out her extensive dance training by spending several summers at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet Pre- Professional Program in NYC.  There she trained with Gelsey Kirkland (New York City Ballet & American Ballet Theater), Vera Solovyeva (Vagonova Ballet Academy), Nikolay Levinsky (Kiev Ballet Academy) & Pilar Garcia (Broadway Movement Coach).  In addition Zoe consistently seeks out new teaching and learning opportunities with classes at Broadway Dance Center (Chio, Slam, Benny Ninja, Ashlé Dawson, Mark Albrecht) and multiple master classes including with our alum Ben Needham-Wood, a soloist with Smuin Ballet.  

Taylor Erickson

Taylor M. Eriksen is from Chelmsford, MA. She received her training from Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet and is fortunate to have danced in works by Lynn Cote, Benjamin Briones, Ashley Walton and Bafana Solomon Matea at Regional Dance America. Taylor is a recent graduate of Point Park University, where she was a double major, studying both Dance with a concentration in ballet, and English. While at Point Park, Taylor had the opportunity perform in Colleen Hooper’s The Beast.

Student Teachers

Our student teachers are in the process of completing L'Ecole de Ballet's Teacher Training Course and rotate through our children's ballet, jazz, and tap classes during the year.

2019-2020 Student Teachers:

 Mia Kottler, Elyse Moores, Ana Sanchez, Gabby Staffiere, Abigail Turner

Director: Clarissa Eaton                          lecoledeballet@gmail.com                     64 Willow Rd. Littleton, MA 01460