Testimonials

Alumni Testimonials

EID alumni are dancing in professional companies throughout the world. In addition many of our alumni are utilizing their dance training and the valuable life lessons learned from their experience at EID. We have many college level dancers and
non-dance professionals who are leaders in their fields. We are proud of all of our alumni.


Katie Keith Dettling –  Washington Ballet, Dayton Ballet – “Being a part of the Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance studio and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet was one of the most valuable experiences of my childhood. Not only did I build a wonderful foundation for a career in professional ballet, but I also built a wonderful foundation for life. I learned how to accomplish my goals. I learned discipline, focus, respect, perserverence and I learned how to express myself. It is so important for everyone to learn these things, to be successful in anything that they do. Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance Studio and the CVYB provide an ideal atmosphere for learning these things through the training of a beautiful art form.”

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Heidi KokBroadway Dancer -“Ballet has taught me so many things over the years and has helped shape who I am. Through ballet, I learned to be more disciplined, diligent, respectful, and passionate about the arts. No teacher demanded those values as much as Nan Klinger did, and I am so thankful she did. It not only made me a stronger dancer, but it also made me a stronger person. Ballet is a part of me and always will be. No matter how hard I may try, it is something of which I can never let go. It has become a part of my soul, and I have found it is the best way for me to express myself. There is nothing more freeing than dancing, and I would not have that freedom had I not taken ballet. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to work with Nan Klinger and to be a member of the CVYB. It is a gift I will forever cherish.” 

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Thelca HarrisRosie’s Broadway Kids – “As a child, my direction in life was family, school and Excellence in Dance. This is what made me a successful adult. With my studies at Excellence in Dance and as a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, I was part of a community outside of regular academia. It enhanced and contributed to my success as a well-rounded student because I was challenged and inspired as a student and artist. The discipline, instructed direction, and ethics instilled in those years molded me as a teacher with a professional training to draw from, strong work ethics and the experience of being a team player. My years there have made it possible for me work in many different environments, both pre-professional and professional. To learn the importance of being a member of a team has made me a success in the world of dance education.”

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Sally Hinderegger – “Studying ballet and being part of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet growing up was in invaluable experience for me. It taught me self-discipline, confidence, and creativity. I learned first hand what it meant to be a team player and the dynamics of working with others. These skills I learned as a youth are basic values that all children should learn no matter what profession they choose. Even though, I am not part of the ballet community as an adult, my passion for creativity has led me into my career of being a designer for one of the top architectural firms in the country. I will always love ballet but now it is just from a different perspective, the audience.”

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Elisa HeinsohnBroadway Dancer, Actress – “I was a pudgy little awkward kid when I first arrived at Nan’s school of Dance and emerged a lithe, graceful, experienced performer. I, shortly after, moved to New York to pursue a career in dance where I implemented all the tools I had acquired from Nan and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet. I have since done five Broadway shows, a couple of television series and numerous television commercials having never lost the love, discipline and respect for the art of dance that stemmed from my early years with Nan and the CVYB. I have many fond memories of that time in my life and I want to thank Nan, her family and the CVYB for giving me such a strong beginning to a wonderful and very full life, which now includes a six week old baby. My greatest accomplishment to date!” 

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Tiffany KmetMiami City Ballet, Ballet Met – “When first I began my pursuit of becoming a ballet dancer, my mother was told if I wanted quality training, I was to go to Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance. To anyone who knew, Nan Klinger was synonymous with serious ballet training. “Miss Nan”, as we reverently called her, equipped me with the strength of technique, discipline, grace, and direction to chart out my dreams of becoming a ballerina. In my almost 10 years of professional dance with companies such as; Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet as a principal, Ballet Met, overseas and guest appearances with Fernando Bujones. I have Nan Klinger and the CVYB to thank for helping to mold me into the dancer and person that I am today. She was in the business of training not only dancers, but competent and confident individuals. CVYB became a second “family” to me and out of that, grew close bonds of friendship, and an ability to work together, which is an essential tool in any professional scene. My path has evolved into becoming a teacher at the New Albany Ballet Company. For the past 6 years, my students are getting accepted into prestigious schools across country, and are striving for the excellence that was instilled in me. I am modeling our pre-professional company off of the concept of CVYB, and continuing the legacy Nan Klinger began with a new generation of dancers. My accomplishments are reflective of the solid foundation I was given by Nan Klinger and the CVYB. “Miss Nan” still lives in spirit through my teaching, and her voice resonates within me.” 

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Dominic AntonucciAmerican Ballet Theatre, Royal Birmingham Ballet – “The Nan Klinger School of Dance instilled in me a great work ethic and discipline that has served me well in all areas of my life. It provided a strong foundation from which the success of my career was built.

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Brian Murphy– Ohio Ballet, Groundworks, Verb Ballets
Jackson Sarver– BalletMet
Dustin True– Los Angeles Ballet
Ashley Klinger– A Chorus Line National Tour, Verb Ballets
Gary Lenington– Ballet Florida, Groundworks, Verb Ballets
Lauren Stenroos– Ballet Cleveland
Morgan Stinnett– Cello Pointe, Connecticut Ballet
Katie Spagnoletti– City Ballet of San Diego
Kate Lieberth– Company C, Oakland Ballet
Aubrey Klinger– Apex Contemporary Dance, Renegade Performance Group
Jessica Welch– Sapphire Moon
Laurie Nielsen– James Sewell
Jordan Pacitti– Pacific Northwest Ballet
Brianna Habel– Nevada Ballet Theatre


Parent Testimonials

Mrs. Jody Frank, Mother of EID student Lauren – “Excellence in Dance came highly recommended to us by several families for its practice and teaching of true ballet form. In this our fifth year, we have always been delighted by the school’s highly trained and experienced staff that work to procure dancers of class and talent. This studio truly exudes “excellence” in dance!”

Carrie and Ben Vaughan, Parents of EID student Lucina – “Our daughter Lucina began ballet classes at Excellence In Dance just after her third birthday and now, at age five, she is in her third year. We chose Excellence In Dance for its respected reputation, and our expectations have been exceeded from Lucina’s very first day of class. Our dancer looks forward to her class each week, and is always eager to practice at home as well. Each of Lucina’s instructors has been positive, encouraging and exceptionally talented. We have see Lucina’s confidence grow as she acquires new skills, makes new friends and performs on stage. The annual recital is the highlight of our year, and we love to see our daughter’s excitement and pride as she performs with her class and enjoys the audience reactions. Our entire experience with Excellence In Dance has been wonderful, and we hope to see Lucina’s participation in ballet continue through the years.”

Wendy Greathouse, Mother of EID Students Gwen and Elizabeth – “There are some experiences that we, as parents, are grateful that our children get to have. Being a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet is one of those. From the auditioning process, where many dancers try multiple times to gain entrance, to the weekly rehearsals and the daily class work to the final polished and professional scale performance the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet offers opportunities, technique, and instills a work-ethic in young dancers which serves them well through-out their lives. Of all the things CVYB has given my daughter, the most important is the sense of self and the certain knowledge that hard-work and dedication lead to success. When we chose to enroll our children in the Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Studio, it was because of the teaching staff. It is rare to find such a dedicated team of dance professionals working to teach dance technique that is unrivalled in the area.  Expertise, beautiful facilities, extensive class schedules—all good solid reasons to try the studio. Once you’re here, the dedication of the students, the technique, and the caring instruction are reasons to stay. ”

Mrs. Gina Poblete, Mother of EID students Cara and Christianna -“I did the due diligence in seeking only the best the community has to offer. I contacted the studio, and observed the teaching style and finally found “home” for my daughter’s passion. Dance was now a 25-minute drive from our home but very much worth the extra mileage. The discipline, work ethics, classical method of teaching and the professional environment that aimed to mold young ladies/lads into well rounded individuals and excellent dancers, (in this order), was what the school (Excellence In Dance) offered. The holistic approach and vision of EID/CVYB appealed to us.  The students who move on to EID’s dance company (CVYB), a group that embraced founder Nan Klinger’s philosophy even further, learn to value the minutest attention to detail: every tondue, jete, plie and elonge, so earnestly displayed by each dance member; stretching that neck just a centimeter more, arching that foot as humanly possible and giving 101% at the barre, dance floor or stage, it didn’t matter where, one always gave her/his best and mediocrity certainly did not have a place in the CVYB studio. I am convinced this was not just to please Miss Mia, artistic director and Head Ballet instructor. They did this for themselves as well. The dancers at CVYB have somehow developed a sense of reverent self-worth, a sense of responsibility to push themselves on their own, always and to the fullest.”

Mrs. Stephanie Lallement, Mother of EID student Llyona* –“A complete life instruction delivered with grace and professionalism. An amazing journey in our daughter’s life!”

* Denotes members of Ballet Excel Ohio formerly Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet