– Lori Ladwig – Owner, Founding Artistic Director, Instructor
Lori Ladwig began dancing at the age of 8 where she studied with Grady and Louise School of Dance along with Pamela Leonard of St. Augustine Ballet School. She graduated from Flagler College with a BA in Theater Arts and Visual Communications and continued dancing at Lansing College of Performing Arts in Lansing, Michigan. Lori danced in the Greater Lansing Ballet Company under the direction of Barbara Banasilowski Smith where she performed in full length classical ballets, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Paquita, and Bolero. Later, as a studio owner and artistic director, Lori directed many productions of these ballets.
Lori has committed herself to continued professional development and has studied at several major ballet companies, universities, and dance workshops. Lori is a master in the Russian Vaganova Method having studied intensely with the following artistic directors:
Maria Gribanova: Vaganova Ballet School
Barbara Smith: Greater Lansing Ballet
Dimitri Roudnev: soloist, Bolshoi Ballet
Caroline Rocher and Kip Storm: principal dancers of the Dance Theatre of Harlem
Lori owned and operated the Academy of the Arts studio in Jackson, Michigan for 15 years. In 1995, she founded the Jackson Ballet Company, a competitive, award-winning group of amateur dancers aged 13-20. She worked with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Musical Review, and the Jackson Rose Pageant. Lori choreographed many musicals in the Jackson, MI area. “The Academy” hosted and participated in stage presentations with America’s premier Christian ballet company, Ballet Magnificat! four times. She hosted Valery Lantratov, artistic director for the Russian National Ballet twice. In 2010, Lori sold her Michigan studio and returned to St. Augustine with her family.
– Meghan Chapman – Artistic Director, Instructor
Meghan began her serious dance training at the age of 8 under the instruction of Lori Ladwig at the Academy of Arts in Jackson, MI and Barbara Banisikowski Smith at the Greater Lansing Ballet Company. Under their influence, she trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and character. She became a soloist in the Greater Lansing Ballet Company at the age of 16 and performed leading roles in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Les Sylphides, Raymonda, Dracula, Copellia, and other original works. She attended several summer dance intensives on scholarship including Joffery Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Ballet Intensive from Moscow, Ballet International, Pittsburg Youth Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She has received instruction under Maria Gribanova; ballet mistress of the lower school at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dmitri Roudenev; former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet, Rossanna Ruffo; former principal dancer with the Kirov, and Peter Jacobsson; former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet. She received a dance scholarship to attend the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Walnut Hill Performing Arts High School, and an invitation to train at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received a dance scholarship to Butler University where she attended for 2 years as a Dance Pedagogy major. After that she joined Ballet Magnificat, the world’s premiere Christian dance company. During her 6 years with the company, she had the opportunity to tour all across the United States as well as Europe; South Africa, Krakov; Poland, Prague; Czech Republic, and at the Macedonian National Opera House in Skopje, Macedonia.
Meghan has had experience teaching all ages and choreographing for all levels of training. In addition to the regularly scheduled dance classes offered at SADC, she will be offering a unique opportunity to coach dancers who are seriously considering dance as a profession or continuing in their education on the college or university level. Meghan’s training style puts an emphasis on proper muscle development and performance artistry in an encouraging and disciplined environment.
– Jonathan Chapman – Studio Manager, Accounts Manager, Instructor
Jonathan Chapman was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his formal dance training at the age of 15 at Impact Dance of Atlanta in Acworth, Georgia. After two years, he was accepted on full scholarship into the Belhaven University Dance Department in Mississippi where he received training from instructors that included Stephen Wynne, Laura Morton and Cynthia Newland. During this time with Belhaven, he was asked to join At Marah Dance Theatre in Russia and Poland. Jonathan spent two years training under the guidance of Jiri Voborsky and Sol Nazario in the Professional Training Program at Ballet Magnificat, and he also received training from Rinat Mousafarov of the Bolshoi Ballet. In January 2008 he was promoted to the Alpha Company of Ballet Magnificat as an apprentice, and then promoted to Company Artist in January 2009. He has taught in workshops around the country with Ballet Magnificat, including East Coast Ballet and Impact Dance of Atlanta. Since then he has also been a guest artist with Shechah Touring Company in Japan, Boca Ballet Theater, Impact Dance of Atlanta, Ballet Elite, and Christ in the Arts. In addition, he has set original choreography for Christ in the Arts, The Perla Ballet, and for the Pedro Menendez High School dance program in St. Augustine, FL.
– Heather Buchanan – Office Assistant
Heather has been by Lori’s side for the entire life of SADC. She has taught many classes and levels in previous years and recently saw one of her daughters, Sydney graduate from High School having been training with Lori since the studio was established. Although Heather works at the front desk, she also engages in organizing volunteers for the performances, sewing costumes, and more.
– Laura Cowart – Instructor
Laura has been instructing at SADC for several years and continues to teach and be an important part of making each year successful. She teaches ballet.
– Sarah Messenger – Instructor
Sarah has taught at SADC for several years and has been a valuable part of the studio. She teaches Modern and Contemporary.
– Megan Chapman – Instructor
Megan joined the SADC staff in 2015 season, teaching many styles, but focusing on the studio’s gymnastics program. She teaches Gymnastics, Jazz, and Hip Hop.
– Jasmine Baird – Instructor
Jasmine has been assisting and teaching with Lori for a number of years. This year, she has joined the staff as an instructor, having completed her training at The Perla Ballet School for the past two years and has been a student with Lori many years. She teaches Ballet.
– Sydney Buchanan – Instructor
Sydney has also been assisting and instructing with Lori for a number of years. This year, she has joined Lori’s teaching staff. In the spring, Sydney completed her training at The Perla Ballet School. She is a long time student of Lori’s and teaches Ballet, Jazz, and Tap.