Faculty Bios

Patricia Sorrell

Ms. Pat grew up in Southern California and graduated from Hollywood Professional School. She studied dance with Theodore Kosloff and Madame Baldina, who was the original Waltz Girl in Fokine’s Les Sylphides. As a young adult, Ms. Pat danced with the Gollner-Petroff Ballet under Nana Gollner and Paul Petroff. She has also appeared in movies, television, and toured in musical theatre productions such as Annie Get Your Gun and in Olsen and Johnson’s Oh What a Night. Ms. Pat moved to the East Coast and danced with the National Ballet and Washington.

In 1974, she joined the faculty of Tidewater Ballet, which became the Virginia Ballet Theatre. Ms. Pat has also been the Assistant to the Director of the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet summer program since its inception in 1975. Her teaching credits include Allegheny Ballet, Arlington Dance Workshop, Parou Ballet, Tidewater Ballet, and others. Ms. Sorrell has staged many classics such as Giselle and Swan Lake. Her original works have been performed at the Northeast Regional’s.

Ms. Sorrell directed Ballet Tidewater, a performing company with Young Audiences of Virginia for several years. She directs First Pointe Players, a junior training company for BV, and is a sought after guest teacher nationwide.

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”.

Deon Ridley

Mr. Ridley has performed both on and off Broadway. His Broadway credits include  A Christmas Carol starring Frank Langella at Madison Square Garden, The Lion King and most recently, a Broadway tour of Chicago the Musical.  In 200,  Deon performed with Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden along with a line of celebrities including Whitney Houston, Usher, Jill Scott, Mya, Missy Elliott, Monica, Al Jerau, Deborah Cox and Gloria Gaynor for Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Internationally, Deon has  performed in many shows including Cats in Hamburg, Germany and has been featured in shows throughout Europe and Asia. On tour, Deon has been seen in shows such as Damn Yankees the Musical and Fame the Musical. In 2003, Deon was featured as leading dancer and dance captain for Grammy Award Winning singer Celine Dion in her Las Vegas premiere show, A New Day, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with Director Franco Dragone and Emmy award winning choreographer Mia Michaels.

His most recent credits include the world premiere of Secondhand Lions the Musical at 5th Ave Theatre in Seattle with Emmy award winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse and The Wiz at Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida and Chicago the Musical National Tour. His work as a choreographer includes several music videos for recording artists and most recently, Hairspray the Musical for Maltz Jupiter’s Conservatory for the Arts. Deon has also choreographed many events in Las Vegas with Marketing Entertainment Company Freestyle Xpressions such as the opening night gala for Michael Jackson’s This Is It movie premiere at the Palms Casino. Television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Last Week Tonight show with John Oliver and coming up, he will be seen as a dancer on Netflix’s original musical series The Get Down.

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

Charlotte Mann

Charlotte Mann has been with Ballet Virginia for the past 12 years and is a member of our second company. She had attended BV’s summer intensives and the Carolina Ballet SI in 2017. Her favorite role is either as a Weaver in “Coppelia” or Arabian in “The Nutcracker”. She attends Granby High School’s IB program and will be graduating this spring.

Katherine Shillito

Katherine Shillito has been a dancer at Ballet Virginia for 12 years and is currently a member of our second company. She has attended many summer programs at Ballet Virginia along with the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive in 2019. Katherine is a junior at Granby High School and attends the IB Program. Prior to being given her own classes, she was a class assistant for several years.

Emily Kodolitsch

Emily  has been a dancer at Ballet Virginia for 13 years and is currently a member of our second company.  She attends Granby High School’s IB program and will be graduating this spring. Prior to being given her own classes, she was a class assistant for several years.