Maureen Breeze, President
Maureen Breeze is proud to serve as a founding board member of Ballet Melange and whole-heartedly believes in its mission to support the development of early career artists. When asked why she’s committed to this organization, her response is simple: its unwavering commitment to artistic excellence. In addition to serving on Ballet Melange’s board, Maureen teaches contemporary dance for Ballet Melange and Classical Ballet Academy. Outside of dance, Maureen is an executive coach and professional development trainer for Cultivage and Retreat Reinvent Recharge.
Please see our faculty pages for Ms. Breeze's teaching bio.
Elizabeth Shipiatsky, Artistic Director
Noticing that professional dance companies were evolving in the 2010’s, Ms. Shipiatsky saw a growing need for early career dancers to have diverse skills and performance experience to be competitive in seeking employment. Observing talented, early career dancers receiving inadequate performance opportunities in studio companies or lower-ranking company positions, she envisioned a finishing school and performance company for pre-professional academy graduates. Because professional companies focus on performing she also saw the need for dancers to enter the professional world with penultimate levels of technical prowess, injury prevention, musicality and dance history aptitude, distinguished social skills, as well as performance expertise.
Ms. Shipiatsky began seeking high level faculty with national and international connections in each of their disciplines, and recruited a board of directors team with varied professional skills and passion for the arts. Ballet Melange, a registered 105c3, was officially born in 2018. Ms. Shipiatsky and her carefully acquired teams have created the most complete curriculum, performance possibilities, and networking opportunities for dancers seeking university scholarships or professional contracts. Ballet Melange trainees have received contract offers, awards and recognition, and interest from companies around the world.
Please see our faculty pages for Ms. Shipiatsky’s teaching bio.
Elizabeth Grace, Secretary
Elizabeth Grace, MD, has over two decades of experience working in the non-profit sector. She is the medical director of a physician assessment and education center and the director of an ethics remediation program for healthcare professionals. She has helped develop and served as a lead faculty member of several intensive, skill-building courses in topics ranging from patient care documentation to professionalism, communication and prescribing. She has spoken at national meetings on topics related to physician competence and reentry to practice, and has written peer-reviewed articles related to these topics. Elizabeth currently serves as the president of the board of an international consortium of physician assessment centers.
She found herself in the ballet world after her daughter fell in love with ballet at the age of three. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Ballet Melange Board of Directors and serves as the Secretary of the Board. She has supported Ms. Shipiatsky’s artistic endeavors since 2011, first as a volunteer at Classical Ballet of Colorado and, more recently, on staff at Classical Ballet Academy and Ballet Melange.
Jessica Kirby, Treasurer
Jessica discovered ballet as a supplement to training as a level 10 gymnast. A career ending gymnastics injury redirected her to work in the fitness industry at a national association for personal training and nutrition certification while earning a BS in Business Administration. Upon graduation, she stayed in the fitness industry, but worked on the financial side, managing account executives for American Service Finance. She returned to ballet as an adult studying and teaching at several academies in Colorado and dancing with Ballet Ariel. Jessica was the Wardrobe Mistress at Classical Ballet of Colorado and later helped Elizabeth Shipiatsky launch Classical Ballet Academy and Ballet Melange. She currently serves as Academy Administrator at CBA, and Treasurer of the Ballet Melange Board. She is thrilled to combine her skills and passions in business management, ballet, and costuming to help Ballet Melange’s mission.
Cindy Manzano is a partner at the law firm of Frascona Joiner Goodman and Greenstein in Colorado with over 26 years of legal experience including business law. Before becoming an attorney, Cindy studied literature and journalism and also sang and danced. Cindy has been on Boards for other organizations and has volunteered as a parent for many years at Classical Ballet Academy and Ballet Melange. She is excited to have joined the Board in 2020 and to see Ballet Melange grow as a bridge for students seeking intensive training and performance experience in order to obtain a professional career.
Cortni Mullin studied and worked in the arts from a young age into adulthood. After Acting, dancing and choreographing, on film and in theater throughout her adolescence, Cortni went on to study theater at UCF. She performed professionally for Disney and with Terry Schreiber acting school in New York City. Cortni worked as a performer as well as casting national ads, and later becoming an award winning short film producer. Since the birth of her four children, she has transitioned into a career as a small business owner in the field of health and wellness. It was an honor to be asked to join the Ballet Melange Board and be part of its mission to assist young dancers working towards goals of becoming professional dancers.
Sasha Sosniak grew up dancing in performing arts schools in Los Angeles, California, later minoring in Dance at the University of California, Berkeley. After college, Sasha moved on to teach yoga and work in the marketing and technology world. She supports Ballet Melange by serving on the Board and advising on digital marketing efforts.
Outside of dance, Sasha works in digital marketing for non-profits, teaches yoga, spends time outdoors, and with family and friends.
Maggie Mehlman trained under the direction of Elizabeth Shipiatsky for nearly a decade. After graduating from Denver School of the Arts and the Classical Ballet Academy program, Maggie attended Colorado College as a Boettcher Scholar, where she received a degree in Mathematics. Maggie also directed and danced in many Theater and Dance Department productions during her time at Colorado College.
Maggie currently resides in New York City and works as a Reinsurance Analyst for PURE Insurance. She continues to take dance classes in New York and is proud to serve on the Board of Ballet Melange.