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Meet our Dancers


Erica Briganti

Co-Founder | Executive Director I Company Dancer

Erica Briganti has been dancing since the age of 3 and always had a passion for ballet. She studied under the direction of Dawn Greene at Grosse Ile Academy of Dance. During her studies, she attended summer intensives with Milwaukee Ballet, Cecchetti Council of America and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, where she toured Europe. She also competed at many renowned dance competitions winning 1st overalls and various titles during her tenure.

Erica performed many lead titles with the Metro Shores Ballet Company and Plymouth-Canton Ballet Company. She also performed guest roles with American Ballet Theater (ABT) in Le Corsaire, performed at the Detroit Opera House and with the Metropolitan Ballet Company of Minneapolis.

Erica attended Grand Valley State University and graduated with B.A. in Accounting. She is currently an accountant at a major accounting firm in Troy. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with her husband and her 11 month old son at their second home in Naples, FL.

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Angel Lavery

Co-Founder | Artistic Director I Company Dancer

Angel Lavery grew up in San Francisco, CA and has a relentless passion for dance. She performed with Santa Clara Ballet and Peninsula Ballet Theater. She was also a San Francisco 49ers Cheerleader.

Since moving to Detroit in 2009, she has performed as a Stoli Ballerina at the Detroit Opera House, Dancing With The Detroit Stars at the Townsend Hotel, and the Press Release for GAC at the North American International Auto Show. Her love for dance prompted her to start Ballet Edge Detroit!

Serving as Artistic Director of Ballet Edge Detroit, she has choreographed widely-recognized pieces such as Game of Thrones, Lose Yourself, Fur Elise, and Smooth Criminal which won the People's Choice Award at the Detroit Dance Race. She was also featured in Downtown Publications for bringing an innovative dance style to Detroit.

She and the company have produced popular shows such as Ovation at Orchard Lake Country Club, Heat at Orchard Lake Country Club, Holiday Cheer at Audi Birmingham, and Electric at the Redford Theatre.

Angel is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley. In her free time, she tutors high school math students and enjoys life with her husband and two kids.

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Elise Armstrong

Company Dancer

Elise Armstrong, began dancing with Melva Stelzer- Zavisa. In 2016, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marygrove College with a B.F.A in dance performance. During her four years at Marygrove Elise performed with the Marygrove College Dance Company under the direction of Jordeen Ivanov- Ericson and Susan Panek. Throughout her 18 years of training she has had the privilege to study in New York City at the Joffrey Ballet School under Meg Paul and Davis Robertson, as well as Complexions Contemporary Ballet with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.

Elise has had the opportunity to perform at many dance festivals across the country including the American College Dance Festival during her four years of college, Detroit Dance City Festival, Motor City Movement, Art X Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre and the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn New York.

Elise danced professionally with Contexture Dance Detroit for two seasons and most recently just finished a season with Inaside Chicago Dance. Elise is very excited to be back in Detroit dancing with Ballet Edge Detroit.

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Nicole Neff

Company Dancer

Nicole grew up with ballet from a very young age and it is her true passion. She attended summer intensives with Ballet Met, North Carolina School of the Arts, South Dance Conservatory and was a scholar recipient to the David Howard summer intensive. She also performed as a guest artist being featured in major roles throughout the United States.

Nicole has a Bachelors in Sociology and a dance minor from Oakland University. She also has a Bachelors in Health Information Management at Davenport and is currently a medical coding manager.


Grace Russell

Company Dancer

Grace began her early dance training at Dance Alliance in Saline, where she was immersed in the styles of ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and modern. Deciding to hone in on her classical ballet training, Grace attended the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet in Wixom, MI under the tutelage of Sergey Rayevskiy. Rising to the highest level in the studio, she performed many leading roles in the Nutcracker and spring productions as a student at ARCB. 

Grace furthered her ballet and contemporary training by attending intensive programs at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Complexions, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. She attended the year-round program at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in New York City, under the tutelage of Gelsey Kirkland. In 2010, she traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to participate in the Dance Open Festival on scholarship. At age 17, Grace also placed in the Top 12 Senior Classical Division at the Youth American Grand Prix in Indianapolis, IN. Grace has also performed with Pure Existence Contemporary Dance Company in Ann Arbor for two seasons.

Since 2014, Grace has been teaching at dance studios in Metro Detroit including: the Academy of Russian Classical Ballet, Oakland Rhythmic Gymnastics, Power Dance Company, Inner-Action Dance and Piazza Dance Company. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and challenging them to push out of their comfort zones to grow as artists and individuals.

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Shauna Shea

Company Dancer

Shauna graduated from Wayne State University summa cum laude, where she received a BFA in dance. She was a member of WSU’s Dance Workshop, where she had the opportunity to choreograph her first piece “Gray Area.”

Before WSU, she trained at Ballet Theatre of Toledo and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Shauna has been a company member for Lexington Ballet Company and MoveWorks. She was also a company member of Detroit based ArtlabJ.

Shauna is currently a ballet instructor and enjoys sharing her love for ballet to her students. She has fun showing her creative side by creating unique works of her own. She is also working towards her second degree to become a Dental Hygienist.


Jessica Thomas

Company Dancer

Jessica Thomas is a native of Detroit, MI. She obtained a M.F.A in Dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Thomas also received a B.F.A in Dance from Wright State University.

She currently instructs/assists classical ballet at Christina’s Adult Ballet, The Foundation House, and Juliana's School of Dance. Thomas is also a part time classical ballet professor at Wayne State University. She has guest appeared and performed for American Ballet Theatre, Ohio Dance Theatre in collaboration with Verb Ballets, Dayton Ballet, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Aretha Franklin, to name a few.


Abby Zeitvogel Skallerud

Company Dancer

Abby began her training at New Hampshire Academy of Dance and Juliana’s Academy of Dance. She graduated with honors from University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance and Bachelors of Arts in political science. While at the University, she had the opportunity to dance in the restaging of Martha Graham’s “Primitive Mysteries” and to travel to India to study the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam. In 2015, Abby danced as an apprentice member of Take Root Dance.

Abby loves to share her passion for dance through performance and teaching. She currently works as the Ballet Director at Kaleidoscope Studio for the Performing Arts, and is also pursuing her doctorate in physical therapy at Wayne State University.

Meet Our Dancers: Team
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