Our Staff

Anne Johansson

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Anne Johansson, CFRM, took over direction of The Children’s Ballet with Emily Miser in 2015. 

Anne also serves as Executive Director for Downtown Danville Partnership where she is responsible for administration, planning, event management, marketing, public relations, all program services and outreach services of the organization, and  provides responsible administrative support to the Downtown Danville Partnership board of directors.

Anne founded an event planning firm in 2010 and has organized hundreds of weddings, corporate and social events across central Indiana. Prior to 2010, she was the Group Sales and Events Coordinator for the Indiana State Museum. Anne grew up in Danville and was a student in the first class at The Children’s Ballet in 1987. She danced with the school through high school, and performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre in the 1989 Midwest tour of “The Nutcracker.”

Anne holds a BA from Indiana University and a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy. She lives in Danville with her husband and two daughters, both students at The Children’s Ballet. Anne also volunteers as President of the Hendricks County Arts Council, and serves on the steering committee for the Plainfield Performing Arts Center opening in 2024.

Emily Miser

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR + SENIOR INSTRUCTOR

Miss Emily started dancing at The Children’s Ballet where she studied ballet and pointe under Deni Jacks, Robyn Wenrich, Edward Moffat, and Heidi Eads Jones. During her study at The Children’s Ballet, she discovered her love of teaching by working as a teaching assistant and student teacher.

She continued dancing at Anderson University, graduating summa cum laude with departmental awards and honors with a BA in dance business. While at Anderson she studied a variety of styles under Oybek Tashpulatov, George Salinas, Debra Silveus, Shauna Steele, Doug King, and Kenny Shepard. Emily has worked with Lynn Peterson (Syren Modern Dance), Sharon Wong (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Jillian Godwin (Dance Kaleidoscope), and Mocha Dance Project.

Her choreographic works have been awarded and featured: “Forever Night” received an Allen Choreography Award, “Compter Sur” was presented at the American College Dance Festival in 2014, and “Lux et Gravitas,” “This Tea/This Chair/This Place,” “Civil Blood, Sweet Sorrow,” and “Amber Waves” were performed at Indy Fringe 2016-2019. Emily was a member of Phoenix Rising Dance Company in 2016-17. She co-founded Crossroads Dance Indy in 2015 and currently serves as a company member and choreographer; she has also performed in various programs with Ballet INitiative (most recently Helena in A Mischevious Misdummer). She has served as the Artistic Director of The Children’s Ballet since 2015.

Emily is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique junior, senior, and advanced programs and is a member of the National Dance Education Organization. She shares her passion for dance, storytelling, and the arts through dancing, choreographing, and teaching.

Vanessa Schuldt

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR + INSTRUCTOR

Vanessa began her dance training in 2007 at The Children’s Ballet in Danville, Indiana. Here she received training in ballet, pointe, and modern. While there, she was a student teacher, and choreographed for the end of the year shows. This inspired her to continue her dance journey by attending Anderson University after her high school graduation. Her technique expanded to include tap, jazz, dance composition, and improvisation.

While at Anderson, she participated in numerous shows and worked with fantastic teachers like Christine Thacker, Debra Silveus, Doug King, and more. She also had the opportunity to dance with Gregory Hancock Dance Theater in the premiere of EXODUS and danced as an intern in their production of Violin Under the Bed. She graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance Business.

Lise Hearn

INSTRUCTOR

​Ms. Hearn holds a BA (magna cum laude) in Dance from the International University of San Diego, CA. Her dance training began with Gail Grant and continued at Indiana University, Bloomington receiving a scholarship under the direction of Nicolas Beriozoff. She also studied with such notables as Rosella Hightower and Jose Ferran in Cannes, France; Christine Du Boulay and Richard Ellis in Chicago.

Lise has danced with the Feld Ballet NY, Colorado Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Nevada Dance Theatre, and Ruth Page Ballet. Some of her leading roles occurred in such favorite ballets as Raymonda, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Graduation Ball, Petrouchka, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Serenade, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sacre du Printemps, Carmina Burana and Pas de Quatre. She also can be seen in the television production of Die Fliedermaus, directed by Larry Long.

Lise received a series of scholarships for Performance and for the Teachings of the Russian Syllabus from the International Ballet Seminar. She has given Master Classes for several teacher organizations; Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ; St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN; and Regis-Loretto Heights College, Denver, CO. Before arriving in Indianapolis, she was on faculty, teaching ballet and character, at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and was the certified Pilates Instructor of Rehabilitation for Cirque du Soleil.

Lauren Hamilton McConnell

INSTRUCTOR

Lauren Hamilton McConnell grew up in Montgomery, Alabama where she trained with Montgomery Ballet. After graduating high school, she was chosen to join Montgomery Ballet’s professional company. A couple of years later she received a full dance scholarship to the Dance Theatre of Harlem of New York where she trained under Arthur Mitchell. She also received a scholarship to Birmingham-Southern College where she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. After graduation, she continued dancing professionally with various companies around the country.

Ms. Hamilton McConnell has danced professionally with Montgomery Ballet, Northwest Florida Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Ballet des Ameriques, Georgia Dance Theatre, CONNetic Dance Company, and Ballet Theatre of Indiana. She has also performed many lead roles as a guest artist for multiple professional companies throughout her career.

Ms. Hamilton McConnell has performed principal and lead roles such as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, and The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Lucy in Dracula, Bertha Mason in Jayne Eyre, and Princess Katerina in The Firebird. She has also performed soloist roles in other productions such as La Bayadere, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, and Sleeping Beauty. She has also performed lead roles with various contemporary companies.

In addition to her professional performing career, Ms. Hamilton McConnell has been a dance educator and choreographer with various professional studios. She is currently guesting, teaching, and choreographing with multiple companies in the Midwest.

2022/23 Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors includes individuals with a passion for the arts and experience in business development and arts organizations. Most of them are also parents of ballet students. Our board helps us navigate the challenges of growth while remaining true to our mission.

Lauren Thomas President
Julie Wilmot Vice President
Tierney Dininger Secretary
Ian Hays Treasurer
Joe Johansson
Angie Winslow

OUR MISSION

We serve students of all ages from Hendricks County and surrounding areas.

We are dedicated to providing high-quality dance instruction while helping students develop self-discipline, dedication, positive self-esteem, and an appreciation for the art of dance.

We value and nurture each student’s unique gifts of talent and creativity in a safe studio environment in order to educate, enrich, and inspire.

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