Faculty Bios

Grace Atkinson

Grace Atkinson has been directing, teaching and writing for Children’s Theater for 30 years. She majored in Theater Arts at Stephens College and became a professional actress with stage and television credits. Marriage turned her on to Children’s Theater. She has taught and directed in Toledo, Charlotte and Rochester. After returning to her hometown of Virginia Beach, she realized there wasn’t a Children’s Theater here. She founded the first one and called it “Theater for Kids/Teens”.

Helen Gault

Ms. Helen has graced the stages of many Hampton Roads venues with her work with Ballet Virginia and Virginia Ballet Theatre. She danced many principal roles with Ballet Virginia including Sugar Plum Fairy, Princess Aurora and Snow White. We are thrilled to have her on faculty.

Janelle Jones

Janelle Jones is originally from Virginia Beach. She began her training at Virginia Ballet Theater which later in her training, merged to Ballet Virginia. She also attended the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. After high school, she attended the Fordham University/Alvin Ailey American Dance School Program, where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. Upon graduation, she has performed globally. Janelle is now the Director of Churchland High School’s Dance program, and teaches throughout the Hampton Roads area.

Kaitlyn McMillion

Sophia Perrotti

Ms. Perrotti is a Ballet Virginia alumni. As a student, she was a member of BVII and danced many soloist roles. She continued dancing while obtaining degree at William and Mary. We are happy to have her back with us teaching ballet and tap.

Jennifer Teller

Hannah Whelton

Hannah began dancing in Mandeville, Louisiana and trained mainly in ballet at the Conservatory of Ballet Aviv at the age of 9. After training throughout her high school years, she auditioned and was accepted into Ballet Magnificat’s Trainee company based in Jackson, MS where she trained under Kathy Thibadeaux and Jiri Voborsky. During her time as a trainee, Hannah was given the opportunity to perform in a variety of local venues in the Jackson Metro area as well as touring with Ballet Magnificat’s professional touring company in annual concerts. After being promoted to Events company, she was sent out to represent Ballet Magnificat both nationally and internationally touring to New Orleans, Louisiana, Tabasco, Mexico and La Lima, Honduras to perform full length ballets as well as teach a variety of master classes. At age 21, Hannah moved
back to her home town of New Orleans where she went on to teach ballet at The Schramel Conservatory of Dance as well as dancing with the New Orleans Ballet Theatre professionally. She performed with NOBT with corps and demi soloist rolls in ballets such as the Nutcracker and Giselle as well as collaborating with the New Orleans Opera association. Hannah joy for teaching also spread to NOLA Pilates where she went on to gain her certification in Pilates through Balanced Body. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. Currently living in Norfolk, Hannah enjoys teaching at Ballet Virginia.

Joppa Whitehead

Miss Whitehead was raised in Portsmouth, Virginia and started dancing at the age of 13.  She trained locally with Andrei Yemelianov at Academie De Ballet, performing Variations from Markintanka, Swan Lake, Giselle, Esmeralda and Don Quixote. While training at Academie De Ballet, she also performed in The Nutcracker with the original Virginia Ballet Theatre. In 2009 she joined TRD, where she performed Graduation Ball, La Sylphide and Paquita. Alongside TRD, she was also able to dance with Todd Rosenlieb Dance company, which is a Hawkins and Graham based Modern company. Miss Whitehead has had the opportunity to perform in the International Tattoo, Virginia Musical Theatre in Oklahoma, Lyric Opera Virginia in King and I, and Virginia Symphony Chorus to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Stravinsky in Les Noces. Additionally, she’s worked with many choreographers including Joni Petre Scholtz, Elbert Watson, Ryan Corriston, David Keener, Janelle Spruill, Angela Brown Myers and Kendall Grant. She has also danced alongside company members from Louisville Ballet and Ballet San Juan. Miss Whitehead has attended summer intensives at Richmond Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Chacott Ballet in Yokohama Japan, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions

Ema Amuial

Ms. Ema trained with our academy for many years and is now an apprentice with the professional company.

Aimee FitzPatrick

Ms. Aimee has studied with Ballet Virginia for many years and is currently a member of our second company, BVII.

Helen Gault

Ms. Helen danced for many in the Hampton Roads area including Virginia Ballet Theatre and Ballet Virginia. She performed many principal roles with Ballet Virginia including Sugar Plum Fairy, Princess Aurora and Snow White. She taught for Ballet Virginia in its early years and we are thrilled to have her back on faculty.

Lauryn Hedelund

Ms. Lauryn has studied with Ballet Virginia for many years and is currently a member of our second company, BVII. She has also done summer programs at Joffrey Chicago and Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre.



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