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Permanent Faculty

Jonathan Chapman – Executive Director
Jonathan Chapman was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and began his dance training at the age of 13 with Stacey Herrington, Mandy Neeley, Amy Lindsey, Jeremy K and Tara Drew – training in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, and tap. He was accepted on full scholarship into the Belhaven University Dance Department in Jackson, Mississippi where he received training from instructors that included Stephen Wynne, Laura Morton and Cynthia Newland. Jonathan then spent two years training under the guidance of Jiri Voborsky and Sol Nazario in the Professional Training Program at Ballet Magnificat. In 2008 he was promoted to apprentice with Ballet Magnificat, and then to Company Artist, which he held from 2009-2014. He has over 15 years of experience as a performing artist in classical and contemporary ballet, traveling in most of the continental United States and fifteen countries worldwide. He has performed at the International Ballet Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, and in partnership with the Suzhou Ballet Theatre in Suzhou, China. Jonathan has also appeared as a guest artist and/or instructor with Shechah Touring Company in Japan, Project Dance, Boca Ballet Theatre, Alabama Dance Theatre, At Marah Dance Theatre in Russia and Poland, Roswell Dance Theatre, and others. In 2014, he and his wife founded The Perla Ballet in St. Augustine with Artistic Director, Lori Ladwig. There he seeks to inspire students to pursue technical excellence and creative expression. Students from this program have been accepted and received scholarships to programs around the world, such as, Joffrey Ballet, Butler University, Kirov Academy, The Bolshoi Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, French Academie of Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts and many others. Along with directing The Perla Ballet he is a master class teacher, choreographer and guest performing artist and father to four wonderful children.


Meghan Chapman – Creative Director & Ballet Mistress
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.

Lori Ladwig – Artistic Director
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.

Lori Ladwig is certified in the ABT© National Training Curriculum, Pre-Primary – Level 3

Permanent Guest Faculty

Zhanna Dubrovskaya – Classical Ballet

Guest Master Class Faculty

Beatriz Martinez Sese – Classical Ballet

Dawn Morrow – Contemporary and Jazz

Becca Lecy – Modern

Jiri Voborsky – Ballet

Alexandria Perzhu – Ballroom

Sol Maisonet – Ballet

Richard Steinert – Ballet

Tiffany Fish – Modern & Ballet

Casey Noblett – Contemporary

Marcial Ibarra – Ballet

Julianna Slager – Ballet

Preston Miller – Contemporary Ballet

Carlos Garland – Jazz & Contemporary

Christa Sylla – Pan African Dance (Founder of Nan Nkama Pan African Dance company)

Maddie Martens – Contemporary

Zhanna Dubrovskaya – Ballet

Beatriz Martinez – Ballet

Luba Gulyaeva – Ballet

Hannah Helmer – Dancer’s Health and Nutrition

Nissa Kilman – Ballet

Dawn Morrow – Hip Hop

Hannah Beaver – Contemporary

Cynthia Newland – Dance Nutrition

Guest Choreographers

Alexandria Perzhu

Casey Noblett

Preston Miller

Ginelle Figgins

Brandon Ragland

Gary Taylor

Sara Sanford


Permanent Guest Faculty

Guest Master Class Faculty

Guest Choreographers

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