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."
Masumi Iriye, Costume Mistress
Masumi Iriye has a PhD in art history (University of Michigan) and is currently Deputy Director of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois. She joined the CU Ballet costuming volunteer corps in 2005. Though she has been sewing since she was five, she has no formal training in costume design or construction but has a true passion for it. She describes her years of sewing costumes for CU Ballet productions in this way: "I have discovered the many hidden challenges to putting together a costume in which a dancer looks great, feels great—and most importantly—dances confidently."
Ginny Martinez, Rehearsal Assistant
Martinez began her ballet training at the age of five and subsequently danced with Champaign Ballet Academy for three years. At the age of sixteen, she was granted admission to Ballet West Academy where she trained in the Professional Training and Intermediate Divisions. In 2017, Martinez joined the faculty of Champaign Ballet Academy and the professional staff of Champaign Urbana Ballet and is a full time student at Parkland College in Champaign.
Lauren Frost, Rehearsal Assistant
Lauren has trained at Champaign Ballet Academy under Deanna Doty and guest instructors for nine years. She has been a member of the Company for seven years, and has performed in Cinderella, Swan Lake, Coppélia, and The Sleeping Beauty and most recently danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in last season’s The Nutcracker. She is a freshman at Parkland College.