Molly Buchmann - Artistic Director
Molly Buchmann (Artistic Director) is co-artistic director of BRBT, co-owner of The Dancers’ Workshop and retired Director of Dance for the LSU Department of Theatre. She has choreographed over 50 musicals for professional, community and university theatres and is currently choreographer-in-residence for Swine Palace. Named a Louisiana Division of the Arts Choreographic Fellow in 1982, she has created ballet and modern works for BRBT, LSU, Western Oklahoma Ballet and San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet with works for both BRBT and San Antonio chosen for Regional Dance America Galas., Ms. Buchmann has written dance and fine arts curriculum guides for the Louisiana State Department of Education and served as dance clinician for teachers throughout the state. She holds a master’s degree in dance and has taught choreography, dance history and dance performance at LSU where she won a TAF Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and also serves on the graduate faculty. She has studied and performed with ProDanza Italia and studied with noted teachers in New York City including Leon Daneileon and Bertram Ross. In 1999, she and Ms. Mathews received the Mayor-President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, and in 2003, she was inducted into the Baton Rouge High School Hall of Fame. In 2007, she and Ms. Mathews received the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s John W. Barton Excellence in Nonprofit Management award. She is an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Instutute in Primary through Level 7 and Partenering of the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Sharon Mathews - Artistic Director
Sharon Mathews (Artistic Director) is co-artistic director of BRBT and co-owner of the Dancers’ Workshop. She worked as Dance Director for Baton Rouge High School from 1976 until her retirement in 2014. Ms. Mathews holds a BS and MS in dance from Louisiana State University. The Louisiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance have named her Outstanding Dance Educator in Louisiana. Ms. Mathews serves on the Board of Directors of Regional Dance America Southwest, and is a member of the Superintendent’s Task Force for Arts in Education and the State Arts Contents Standards Committee. She has written curriculum guides for dance at the state and parish levels. Ms. Mathews was resident choreographer for the Baton Rouge Opera and has choreographed for Baton Rouge Gilbert and Sullivan Society, LSU Opera, LSU Theatre, and Baton Rouge Little Theater. Her choreography includes Carmen and The King and I for LSU and Oklahoma! and West Side Story for Baton Rouge Little Theater. In 2003, she was inducted into the University High School Hall of Distinction and Baton Rouge Magnet High School Hall of Fame. In 2007, she and Ms. Buchmann received the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s John W. Barton Excellence in Nonprofit Management award. She is an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Instutute in Primary through Level 7 and Partenering of the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Susan Perlis, Ballet Mistress, Associate Director
Susan Perlis (Ballet Mistress, Associate Director) teaches ballet for Dancers’ Workshop and the LSU Department of Theatre. After early training with Bill Weber, she danced with the Louisville Ballet under the direction of George Skibine and Nels Jorgensen and as a trainee with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She trained at the Joffrey American Ballet Center and holds a BS in ballet from Indianan University. Ms. Perlis has created numerous classical and contemporary works for BRBT as well as many full-length works for BRBT’s Youth Ballet. As the Youth Ballet director, she has created ballets, restaged classics and directed the annual summer tour. Her choreography has garnered recognition from Regional Dance America including the Choreography Recognition Award in 1997 and Choreography Conference Scholarship in 2001.
In 2004 she received one of tree RDA Project Tier Commissions at the Choreography Conference directed by Alan Hineline.
Michele Ball, Associate Director
Michele Ball (Associate Director) holds a degree in ballet from the University of Utah where she trained in the Checchetti technique. She has danced professionally with Ballet West in Utah and toured the US for two years with the American Festival Ballet, which included performances at the Kennedy Center during the US Bicentennial Celebration. Originally from Pennsylvania, she received her early training at the school of the Pennsylvania Ballet with summer study at American Ballet Theater in NY. Ms. Ball moved to Baton Rouge in 1985 and began working with BRBT initially as a soloist in The Nutcracker and spring performances of Don Quixote, Messiah and Cinderella. In 1991, she created the Ballet for Children program for BRBT, which under her direction has brought ballet performances to elementary schools and libraries in six parishes in Louisiana. In May 2004, Ballet for Children was selected to perform as part of the Volunteers in Public Schools’ annual celebration at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. Her ballets, Emerald Suite and Concerti Grossi, have been performed on BRBT Spring Concerts and at Regional Dance America Southwest Festivals. She regularly appears as the Stepmother in BRBT’s productions of Cinderella. Ms. Ball also holds a master’s degree in Nutrition and works as a Register Dietician in Baton Rouge.
Rebecca Acosta, Associate Director
Rebecca Mathews Acosta (Associate Director) teaches ballet at Baton Rouge Magnet High School and at The Dancers’ Workshop. An LSU graduate, she also earned a nursing degree from Our Lady of the Lake College. She has appeared in numerous principal and solo roles with BRBT and studied on full scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, and on scholarship with the Eglevsky Ballet where she appeared as a demi-soloist in Swan Lake and a soloist in Paquita. She is an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Instutute in Primary through Level 7 and Partenering of the ABT National Training Curriculum.