The Company. . .
Priscilla Crommelin Ball - Executive Artistic Director
Curran Tellalian - Associate Artistic Director
Kyana Goodyear - Executive School Director
Jennifer Talley - Marketing Director & Photographer
Laura Bonner - Wardrobe Mistress
Faith Ladnier - Bookkeeper
Abby Stephens - Receptionist
Lavia Walker - Receptionist
Priscilla Crommelin Ball Executive Artistic Director
From a young age, Priscilla Crommelin Ball was given the opportunity to study dance in many of the finest ballet schools in the United States and Europe, most notably, the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Arts Educational School in Tring Park, England, Mary Day's in Washington D.C., Rosella Hightower's in Cannes, France. She began her professional career as a member of the Harkness Ballet of New York under the directorship of Brian MacDonald, Larry Rhodes, and Ben Harkarvy, respectively. Ms. Ball continued her career with Ballets Felix Blaska based in Grenoble, France. She was subsequently Principal Dancer of Maryland Ballet in Baltimore, Maryland, and Birmingham Ballet in Birmingham, Alabama and Ballets Classiques de Paris in Paris, France. During her prolific international performing career Priscilla danced the leading roles in many classical ballets most notably- "Giselle", "Les Sylphides", "Sleeping "Beauty", "The Nutcracker", "Spring Waters". She worked with many renowned choreographers, often under their personal tutelage,including: Alvin Ailey ("Feast of Ashes"), William Dollar ("Le Combat", Norman Walker ("Night Song"), Brian MacDonald (Time Out of Mind"),(Firebird"), Ben Harkarvy ("Madrigalesco") Todd Bollender ("Souvenirs"), Rudi Van Danzig ("Monument for a Dead Boy"), Elena Tchernichova ("Romeo and Juliet'), William Dollar's "Eaters of Darkness", Felix Blaska, Vicente Nebrada, Ben Stevenson, Ana Ricarda, John Taras, Vladimir Dokoudovsky, Gilbert Canova. Her favorite role was "Clorinda" in William Dollar's ("Le Combat"). During the "Paris Years" she was the principal teacher at L'Academie International de la Danse, later founding her own school in Paris, L'Academie de Danse du Stade Francais-Paris. After returning to Alabama in 1992, she taught in the Montgomery Ballet School at Huntingdon College. The Montgomery Ballet unanimously voted her School Director, Company Ballet Mistress, Associate Artistic Director (1995) Artistic Director (1996-2007) and Executive Director (2008-2012). Ms. Ball is thrilled to begin a new chapter in her career surrounded by so many fine friends, talented artists, and young rising stars and their families of the New, Alabama River Region Ballet School and Youth Company!
Curran Tellalian trained at The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and attended summer intensives at l’Académie Américaine de Danse de Paris (France). She continued training with Alexei Tchernichov, during which time she competed in Youth America Grand Prix and had the wonderful opportunity to be coached by Elena Tchernichova. She was awarded a full dance scholarship to Point Park University, where she pursued a BFA in Ballet and Dance Pedagogy. She danced professionally with Albano Ballet, Exit 12 Dance Company, and Montgomery Ballet. In 2013, Ms. Tellalian was honored to be asked by Priscilla Crommelin Ball to join Alabama River Region Ballet, as a ballet teacher and, later, Youth Company Repetiteur. She attended Open World Dance Foundation’s Vaganova Teacher Training, where she studied with Prof. Ludmila Safronova, at the time, one of the last remaining students taught directly by Agrippina Vaganova, herself. In 2017, Ms. Tellalian became Ballet Mistress of the Naples Academy of Ballet in Naples, FL. Currently, she is Artistic Assistant of DAP Festival in Pietrasanta, Italy, under the direction of Adria Ferrali. Ms. Tellalian is delighted to return home to River Region Ballet!
Associate Artistic Director & Ballet Teacher
Executive School Director
& Ballet Teacher
Kyana Goodyear was named the School Director of the Alabama River Region Ballet in June 2013. Kyana, an Atlanta native, began her formal training with Bernadette Campbell of the Buford School of Ballet in Buford, GA. She was later accepted into the pre-professional division of the prestigious Atlanta Ballet, where she trained under various world class artists and teachers. Kyana began her professional career with the North Atlanta Dance Theater, under the direction of Michael Garrison, and later moved to Montgomery, AL to continue her career with the Montgomery Ballet. Kyana spent seven seasons as a member of the Montgomery Ballet Professional Company, where she achieved the level of Principal Dancer. She performed many principal roles including Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Odile in Swan Lake, Medora in Le Corsaire, Myrtha in Giselle, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has also performed the lead in La Vivandiere, and danced various roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and Carmen. The role of “Artemis”, in Alpheos et Arethusa, was created for Kyana by international choreographer, Adria Ferrali. Kyana has performed in the Pietrasanta di Danza International Festival in Pietrasanta, Italy, and as a guest performer and teacher in many dance institutions throughout the United States. Kyana, a regionally renowned and highly experienced teacher, has served as the School Director of the Montgomery Ballet, and has more than seventeen years’ experience teaching all levels of Classical Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Kyana was recently featured in RSVP magazines “the LIST”, which distinguishes her as one of the River Region’s “young leaders”.
Director of Modern Dance
Adria Ferrali, International Coordinator and Director Modern Dance Department, is a native of Florence, Italy. She has spent eight years in New York City dancing and specializing in the Martha Graham Technique and gained an Advance Degree in Modern Dance. During her professional career, she was a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Martha Graham Ensemble, and the Pearl Lang Dance Theatre. She toured the USA performing leading roles of the Graham repertoire notably, “Red Girl” in “Diversion of Angels”, “Mary” in “El Penitente” and the Lead dancer in “Acts of Light”. Recently she received permission from the Martha Graham Dance Company to dance the leading role in a revival of “Sketches from Chronicle” and “Primitive Mysteries”. Adria has worked in Amsterdam at the Dutch National Ballet as an assistant to Yuriko and a demonstrator of the Martha Graham Technique. In 2003 she was awarded the Nijinsky Prize as Best Dancer and Choreographer at the Kiev National Opera House in Ukraine. She was Guest Teacher and Choreographer at the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark for seven years and also at the School of La Scala Theater in Milan, Italy. She was invited as a member of the examining Board of La Scala in the year 2004. She has also worked as guest teacher at the “University College of Dance” in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School, and at Boston Conservatory in the USA as Regisseur. In 2012 she was a jury member at the “VII International Contest for Choreographers and Ballet Masters” in Novosibirsk, Russia and guest choreographer and jury member at the Kemerovo State University of Siberia. She was Chair in Contemporary Dance and Choreography at the Ballet Academy of Gӧteborg in Sweden from ’99 to 2005. She has extensively taught Master Classes and international workshops in Berlin, Cologne, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Ravenna, Cremona, Milan, Florence, and Rome. She was invited as Guest Choreographer and Teacher at Montgomery Ballet by Executive Director, Priscilla Crommelin Ball, in 2011 and again in 2012. She was Artistic Director and founder of the “Pietrasanta In Danza International Dance Festival 2010” in Italy. Adria’s choreographies were staged at the Royal Danish Theater in Copenhagen, at the Opera House of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at the National Opera House in Kiev, and at the Atlanta Theater, the Thalia Theatre and the Stora Teater in Gӧteborg, Sweden, at the Drama Theater of Kemerovo in Russia, at the Davis Theater, the Performing Arts Center of Montgomery, AL, USA, and also in Italy at the Festival La Versiliana, at Villa Strozzi in Florence, at the Teatro Dante Alighieri in Ravenna, at the Arena in Cremona, at the Teatro Greco in Rome, at the Teatro Comunale Pietrasanta, at the Pietrasanta in Concerto and at the Festival Estate Regina in Montecatini Terme.
Carroll Cobb Thompson grew up dancing in Memphis, Tennessee and attended Southern Methodist University as a dance and theatre major. Carroll came to us from the Charleston area, where she was the founder and director of Metro North Dance Company for 12 years. Previously she taught at Dothan School of Dance teaching Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Ballet and Tap.
Carroll loves to be active in her church, to be playing with her seven grandchildren, to be leading exercise classes at the YMCA and to be creative in choreography, sewing and crafting. She is excited to be returning to Alabama River Region Ballet to continue teaching the Art of Classical Ballet.
Carrol Cobb Thompson
Emory Grace Smith was born in Huntsville, Alabama. She has been dancing for 8 years. She started her dance training at Dance Theatre of Huntsville. She has always had the dream of being a dancer since she was a little girl. Emory is a senior majoring in the Bachelor of Fine Arts at Alabama State University. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she focuses on outside activities that enhance her dance abilities and her love of helping people. Emory plans on furthering her dance career by traveling abroad and becoming a commercial dancer. Emory is a scholar with a 3.7 GPA who is a member of the Beta Phi Alpha Dance Honor Society and the Aspire Mentoring Program. She wants to continue to become well rounded by giving back to her community. In her spare time, she enjoys fashion, dancing, shopping, and spending time with family.
Laura Graham is a professional classical ballet instructor residing in Birmingham, Alabama. Laura trained as a youth under the tutelage of Lee Wells Meyer, a soloist from the original Ballet Russe, graduating to the Metropolitan Ballet of St. Louis Ballet Academy and it’s youth company, to be followed by the acceptance at age 14 to the Alabama School of Fine Arts training under Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowsky. Laura spent several summers in New York City training with Melissa Hayden, as well as Michael Maul at American Ballet Theater. After graduating from The Alabama School of Fine Arts, Laura danced with the State of Alabama Ballet and Ballet El Paso. Later, she settled with her family in St. Louis, MO to teach at the Ballet Conservatory of St. Louis and the Center of Contemporary Arts. Her love for teaching continued when she moved to Birmingham, Alabama taking a position with the Briarwood Ballet. She now works independently, coaching dancers privately. Laura has recently placed her ballerinas in Joffrey Ballet’s Chicago headquarters summer intensive, American Ballet Theater’s summer intensive and Alabama Ballet’s summer intensives. She has also placed dancers in The Alabama School of Fine Arts under the directorship of Wes Chapman. At age 56, her passion for dance continues to drive her desire to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of ballerinas.
Millie Hodge began her ballet training at age 5 at Montgomery Ballet under Kyana Goodyear and Priscilla Crommelin Ball. Millie continued her dancing at Alabama River Region Ballet when they opened in the Festival Plaza in 2013. While at ARRB, Millie has learned various dance techniques including: ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, and jazz. In 2015, Millie attended the summer dance intensive at Ballet Magnificat. She has also performed various roles including “Dew Drop Fairy” and “Candy Cane” soloist in “The Nutcracker,” along with “Cupid” in “Don Quixote.” As well as receiving her dance training at River Region Ballet, Millie has also had the opportunity to assist with various ballet classes and teaches at The Montgomery Academy. Millie has developed a love for teaching younger dancers and is thrilled to share her experience at Alabama River Region Ballet School and Youth Company.
Dominique H. Verville
After relocating to Montgomery, Alabama from her hometown of Kelowna, British Columbia, Ms. Dominique continued her ballet training under the direction of Kyana Goodyear and Priscilla Crommelin Ball of Montgomery Ballet. In 2013, Dominique followed her instructors to Alabama River Region Ballet where she has continued training in the styles of classical ballet, classical pointe, contemporary ballet, contemporary pointe, modern, contemporary jazz and classical jazz. While at ARRB, Dominique has performed in countless works choreographed by Kyana Goodyear, Kylee Montgomery, Hannah Beaver, Steven Grebel, Molly Wagner, Adria Ferrali and Michael Fothergill. Dominique’s most notable performances at ARRB have been “Dew Drop” and “Trepak” in “The Nutcracker” and “Princess Aurora” in “Sleeping Beauty.” In addition to performing, Ms. Dominique developed a passion for teaching and choreography while assisting ballet classes with Ms. Kyana Goodyear and being the assistant choreographer for several of Ms. Kylee Montgomery’s pieces. Dominique has also taught ballet classes for Lauren Foshee at The Montgomery Academy for the past several years. Dominique is looking forward to sharing her love and passion for dance with her students this year.