Ballet Mistresses

Sarah Hillmer

Sarah Hillmer, an Atlanta native, began her professional career with Atlanta Ballet, where she performed both classical and contemporary works.  She danced principal roles in classics such as Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake and originated roles in a variety of contemporary works.  Sarah’s desire to further explore contemporary movement led her to become a founding member of gloATL, where she performed the original works of Lauri Stallings in both Atlanta and New York.  Sarah’s love of coaching brought her back to Atlanta Ballet, where she has had the privilege of assisting and collaborating with choreographers and extraordinary dancers.  She has worked as a ballet mistress to choreographers including Twyla Tharp and the Ballet’s current resident choreographer, Helen Pickett.  She has also restaged choreographers’ works in New York, San Francisco, and Canada.  Sarah teaches ballet and contemporary in the upper levels of Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education throughout the year and summer.  She is a guest teacher at various institutions in the Atlanta area, including Emory University and Spelman College.  Sarah is thrilled to be part of the team at Atlanta Ballet and is an individual committed to finding the possibilities in the world around her.

Rosemary Miles

Rosemary Miles is in her 18th season with Atlanta Ballet.  One of eight children of an English brigadier general, Rosemary Miles trained at Elmhurst and the Royal Ballet School in England, during which time she successfully passed all Royal Academy and Cecchetti examinations. Throughout her professional career, Rosemary danced with the Royal Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the London Festival Ballet. In America she performed with the educational division of the New York City Ballet and as a soloist with the National Ballet of Washington, Chicago Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Upon retiring as a dancer, Rosemary has enjoyed being a principal teacher at the Houston Ballet Academy; a guest teacher throughout the United States, England, and the Far East; artistic director of the Lexington Ballet; and a member of John McFall's artistic team for 17 years. Rosemary is the proud aunt of 22 nieces and nephews, 28 grand-nieces and nephews. Rosemary thanks the dancers of Atlanta Ballet for being such an inspiration.

Sharon Story

Sharon Story is currently in her 19th season with Atlanta Ballet. She joined Atlanta Ballet after a professional dance career that spanned more than 20 years, including tenures with Joffrey Ballet, the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Boston Ballet. In 1996, in addition to her role as ballet mistress, John McFall's vision and mentorship brought Sharon to her current position as Dean of the Centre for Dance Education, which has rapidly grown to one of the largest dance schools in the nation. She is committed to providing a non-competitive atmosphere and access to dance education that is shaped by the community needs, is innovative, and inspires the commitment and excellence that are the trademarks of Atlanta Ballet. Under Sharon's direction, the Centre achieved accreditation with National Association of Schools of Dance. Sharon is a member of the Commission on Accreditation for NASD and is delighted to serve on many community and national boards.

Dale Shields

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, Ms. Shields graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts and Butler University before starting her career as a professional dancer. After joining and rising to principal dancer with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, she appeared in the leading roles of many productions, including Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Gaité Parisienne, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppélia, Night Shadow and The Moor's Pavane. Ms. Shields' artistic collaboration with IBT's artistic directors George Verdak and Dace Dindonis produced a great number of original works as well as staging and performing the Russian premiere of the ballet Le Bal in St. Petersburg, Russia. In her position as Principal Ballet Mistress for Ballet Internationale, she assisted with the original choreography of several full length ballets by Artistic Director Eldar Aliev and worked alongside Irina Kolpakova in staging many well-known Russian classics. Dale has taught on the faculty of the Academy of Ballet International and Butler University’s Jorden Academy. She enjoys her time guest teaching around the country and in the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Summer Intensives.  It has been inspiring for her to work with John McFall and the artists of Atlanta Ballet in creating new and more exciting productions every season.