Samantha Patterson is a Modern Dance teacher, dancer, and choreographer from Greenville, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Dance from Hollins University in Roanoke VA. Her work has premiered as part of the Summer Shake Up Series hosted by Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn as well as in the MachineHDance Festival in New York City.

Samantha Patterson

Tess (Terri) Post, originally from Norfolk, Virginia, received her early ballet training at the Norfolk Civic Ballet. She continued her studies and professional career in NYC with many legendary teachers and directors. Tess opened The Post School Of Ballet in 1987 and in 1990 founded the Southwest Virginia Ballet Company, serving as Artistic Director until 2006, when she and her husband
Gene moved to upstate NY.
Mrs. Post is thrilled to be back in the Roanoke Valley and teaching
at The Dance Centre of Southwest Virginia.

Tess Post

Sandra Smeltzer

Mrs. Smeltzer holds a B.A. in Ballet from Virginia Intermont College, where she graduated summa cum laude, and an M.A. in Dance from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She performed throughout seven seasons with the Bristol Ballet, under the direction of the late Constance Hardinge. Bristol Ballet was one of fhe original honor companies of the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, an organization of highly acclaimed pre-professional ballet companies. Mrs. Smeltzer has studied with such notables in the field of dance as: Oleg Sabline, James Truitte, Robert Barnett, Robert Joffrey, Frederick Franklin, George Zoritch, Sally Brayle-Bliss, Edward Villella, and many others. Mrs. Smeltzer is a former Assistant Professor of Dance at Virginia Tech, where she received a Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Arts & Sciences. She has taught on the faculties of Virginia Intermont College, Academy of Virginia Beach Ballet, Emory & Henry College, UVA-Wise, and Washington and Lee University. She is a former Artistic Director of Virginia Tech Dance Theatre, and Washington and Lee Jazz and Tap Ensemble. She is a former Associate Director of Southwest Virginia Ballet.

Szalay A native of Venezuela, Szalay was born to Hungarian parents and is a native of La Guaira , Venezuela where he started dancing in local school by Ms. Machado .He received a scholarship at Ballet Nacional of Caracas, coached by Vladimir Isayev and many other national and international teachers. There he danced many of Nebrada's choreographed pieces. Later he traveled to New York City to be coached by Madame Darvash and performed with New York Dance Theatre directed by Frank Ohman.
After New York, Szalay was company dancer with Richmond Ballet from 1996 to 2006 where he was an inspiration for many choreographers and he danced pieces from Balanchine, Burn, Canaporoli, Lang, Soleau, Stevenson, Orff, Wainrot, Winslett and many others. He was also a guest performer and choreographer with the Latin Ballet of Virginia .
He has guest taught in South Carolina, Philadelphia, Virginia School of the Arts, Washington and Lee University and St. Paul's Ballet Company. Szalay served as a coach, choreographer for the School of Richmond Ballet and other Richmond dance schools. He served as Artistic Advisor for Chesterfield Ballet School . Szalay coached the Wheel Chair Miss Richmond. He currently teaches at The Dance Centre of Southwest Virginia. In summer 2016, he was invited to guest teacher in Murcia, Spain at Robles Ballet School.
Szalay for the past 10 years enhanced the lives of many 4th graders through his instruction of the Minds In Motion program in Richmond, Charlottesville, Martinsville, Salem and Roanoke City Schools. Beginning in 2012, Szalay developed a Spanish language, choreographed movement program called Dance Espanol for 4th graders in public schools. In 2013 created a Ballet program for Middle School in Roanoke City Public Schools.
January 2007, Szalay became Artistic Director of Southwest Virginia Ballet in the Roanoke Valley, since he has brought SVB to be recognized locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. In 2009 he was awarded the Perry F. Kendig Awards for Outstanding Performing Artist and in 2010 named the best Local Celebrity for Charity Events by the Roanoker Magazine.
Szalay is a Resident Artist for Carilion Clinic Healing Art Program. Board member of Thursday Morning Music Club as Dance Chairman - Footnotes and Roanoke City Public School Education Foundation, Inc.
Szalay's choreography credits include : The Long Christmas Ride Home , for Flournoy Playwright Festival, Ties: A Railroad Ballet, Cinderella, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Miss Richmond Pageant(2002-2003), the Miss Virginia Pageant(2009-2012), Like Winter Waiting ( 2012- 2014), Sewing Seeds with Ann Waldrop, Dominos for Charlottesville Ballet. Holidays Pops, Peter and The Wolf, Carmina Burana with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Excerpts of Act II of The Nutcracker, Firebird and Under the Tent with Roanoke Youth Symphony, Nick Cave, Norman Rockwell and many others for Taubman Museum of The Art. La Traviata and South Pacific for Opera Roanoke. His newest project for 2017 is a commission to choreograph for an original score in remembrance of the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Pedro Szalay

Carrie Jensen

Carrie Jensen received her classical ballet training at the Helena Baron School of Ballet in NJ. She was invited and joined ABT’s Studio Company in January 1999 and in May 2000 joined American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Kevin McKenzie as a member of the corps de ballet. During her career, she danced in a variety of classical and contemporary ballets in ABT’s repertoire working with renowned dancers and choreographers such as Gelsey Kirkland, Natalia Makarova, Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp among others until retiring from the company in 2010. She also performed in the filmings of ABT’s The Dream and Swan Lake.
Jensen has taught and served on the faculty for the American Ballet Theatre Gillespie School in Irvine, CA, the School of International Ballet in Redlands, CA, and the Cleveland Ballet Conservatory. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Maria Jessee

Maria grew up in Roanoke VA, dancing with Southwest Virginia Ballet. She continued her dance career at Butler University, where she was able to train under numerous renowned instructors and choreographers. In 2016, she graduated with a degree in Dance Pedagogy. Maria moved to New York City directly following and began her career as a ballet instructor and fitness trainer. She is now happy to be back in VA working towards her license as a Master Esthitician, continuing to teach fitness and dance. 

Sara Cate Bingham

Sara Early

Founding and Former Instructors