Deanna Doty, Artistic Director
Born in Chicago, Illinois to ballet dancer Joan Marley Doty and graphic designer/photographer David Doty, Deanna began her training at the Evanston School of Ballet and Ellis-Du Boulay in Chicago. At age 16, she moved to train and subsequently dance under Harvey Hysell of New Orleans Ballet. Doty continued her career with Robert Ivy Ballet in South Carolina, Lexington Ballet in Kentucky, and as a guest artist with Ballet Alaska, Mississippi Ballet, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
Throughout her years of dancing, Doty enjoyed many opportunities to teach and continued to do so when she moved to Champaign. In 1998, she opened Champaign Ballet Academy, and in the fall of that same year, she founded Champaign Urbana Ballet. Although most of her students train in ballet while pursuing academic excellence at regional schools, her instruction is credited for preparing others for professional careers in ballet, including Devon Teuscher of American Ballet Theatre and Kate Hosier of National Ballet of Canada.
"I have spent years dedicating myself to the establishment of a nationally recognized school and company right here in Champaign. It is an honor and a privilege to make my living as an artist and teacher, and I feel lucky to be able to do it in a community like this. My hope is to be able to give back to our ballet families, and community, as much as they have given to me."
Kay Greene, Executive Director
Kay Greene joined CU Ballet in July of 2013. Prior to joining CU Ballet, she was the Development Director for a private high school where she was responsible for building a strong brand for multiple audiences, managing the annual fund campaign, and increasing student enrollment, student retention, and community awareness. With over 20 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications, and a genuine passion for the arts, Greene says "At this stage of my life, it's rewarding to draw upon my experience, apply my skills, make a difference, and have fun all at the same time."
Lauren Frost, Rehearsal Assistant
Frost entered Champaign Ballet Academy and joined Champaign Urbana Ballet as an Apprentice dancer in 2011. She advanced to Senior Company in the fall of 2014, and in 2018 was awarded a performance contract with CU Ballet. Frost was recently promoted to Soloist, being only the third dancer to achieve this status with the company. Since joining CU Ballet in 2011, she has performed in every production. Her repertoire includes Clara, Sugarplum Fairy, Rose Queen, Arabian Princess, Ice Fairy, Spanish, and Rose Bud in The Nutcracker; Odile in Swan Lake; Lilac Fairy and the Queen in The Sleeping Beauty; Fairy Godmother in Cinderella; a Friend in Coppélia; and danced the role of Gamzatti in La Bayadère. In 2014, Frost began teaching at Champaign Ballet Academy under the direction of Tobey Martinez. In 2018, she joined the staff of CU Ballet as Assistant to Artistic Director, Deanna Doty. Frost, a sophomore at Parkland College is studying Criminal Justice and aspires to serve the public as a police officer.
Tobey Martinez, CBA Liaison
Martinez began her formal ballet training at the School of Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah. At age 17, she was granted early admission into the University of Utah Challenge Program, which afforded her further ballet training at the collegiate level. The following year, Martinez attended the University of Utah on the William F. Christensen Scholarship, which she earned based on her academic achievement and artistic potential. During her collegiate years, Martinez was a member of the Utah Ballet Company and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Ballet. She has instructed ballet in California, Illinois, Utah, and Virginia, familiarizing herself with a wide range of teaching styles and ballet techniques. Martinez joined the Champaign Ballet Academy staff in 2013 and is former Ballet Mistress of Champaign Urbana Ballet.
Gina Modica, Production Assistant
Gina Modica, a CU Ballet alumna, was among the first group of company dancers, performing from 1999-2003 in various ballets including Pas de Quatre, La Bayadere, and Arensky Variations. She currently serves on the CU Ballet Board of Directors in addition to her backstage production assistance. Modica is employed in the Admissions Department at the University of Illinois.