Dance

Saundra Bohl, Dance Faculty & Spanish Dance Artistic Director

Saundra Bohl studied ballet at the Ballet Arts of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Company in New York. She has a BA in Math and Music from Oberlin College and a Masters in Education from John Carroll University.

Emily Dietz, Dance Faculty

Emily grew up in California, training at the Western Ballet. As her love for dance grew, Emily attended summer programs with the American Ballet Theatre School, Colorado Ballet and American Ballet Repertory Ballet. She continued her dance education at Butler University, graduating with a BS in Dance Arts Administration. Emily has been dancing professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.

Sabrina Lindhout, Dance Faculty

Sabrina began dancing at the age of 4, and was accepted as a member of the pre-professional program, Ashland Regional Ballet, when she was 12. She has performed as a guest dancer in Ohio Dance Theatre’s and Verb Ballets’ first collaborative production of The Nutcracker and was a guest dancer with Verb for their Heinz Poll repertoire. She joined Verb Ballets as a trainee during their 2016-17 and 2017-18 season. Sabrina is now an apprentice with Inlet Dance Theatre for their 2019-20 season.

Libby Lubinger, Recreational Dance Director, Spanish Dance Artistic Director Emeritus

Libby has been part of Fairmount Center since its inception in 1971, sharing her passion and vision for the Spanish Dance program. In addition to Spanish Dance, she has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Ethnic dance. She holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College in New York City.

Fredrick Moodie, Dance Faculty

When you ask about Kinderdance or Tap Dance at Fairmount, you’ll hear one name again and again: Mr. Moodie. Fredrick teaches tap, ballet and jazz. He has choreographed dance works at East Cleveland Theater, Karamu House, Theatre Ensemble, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Coordinated Arts Program, and in numerous schools.

Mariana Perez, Fairmount School of Dance Director & Dance Faculty

Mariana has been dancing since the age of four following the Royal Academy of Dance Curriculum, which she concluded including the Solo Seal Award. In 2013 she moved to New York City to train at the Joffrey Ballet School. After two years as a trainee, she joined the school’s performance group, where she performed nationally and internationally. She danced professionally with Verb Ballets in the 2017-2018 season.

Beatrice Parker, Dance Faculty

Beatrice Parker has influenced the lives of many children, not only with her love of dance, but here love of life. Beatrice teaches the youngest dancers through adults. She loves all styles of dance and shares her knowledge of ballet, jazz, and African Dance with others. Beatrice graduated from Lakeland Community College in 2015 and won the Distinguished Student Service Award. She is also a recent graduate of Cleveland State University.

Ryan Rosinski, Dance Faculty

Ryan Rosinski is a professional dancer that you might have seen on “So you think you can dance” or perhaps from his full dance segment/interview on the hit PBS show “Fashion Style Miami.”
Ryan has been featured in numerous online commercials where his dance moves have helped promote energy drinks, clothing, and even LED shoes. His dance skills have been seen all around America from numerous tours and from youtube, where he has more than 2,000,000 views. If you ever see Mr. Ryan in class or at the studio please be sure to say “Hiiii”; he will be the person with the biggest smile on his face and some crazy awesome dance moves!

Rebecca Sanders, Dance Faculty

Rebecca’s love of dancing runs in her family. The daughter of a dancer – and now a mom herself to one too – Rebecca has a BFA, Dance Performance, The Ohio State University. She is professionally trained in jazz, ballet, tap, modern and character. Rebecca also has 6 years of performing and teaching experience with Inlet Dance Theatre, a modern dance company.

Ben Shepard, Dance Faculty

Ben began his dancing career in Maryland where he trained with the Ballet Theater of Maryland as well as attended summer programs at The Washington School of Ballet, The Kirov Academy, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Ben continued his training and education at Butler University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration and Dance. Ben has danced professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.

Kate Webb, Director of Fairmount Dance Company & Dance Faculty

Kate dances professionally with Verb Ballets in Cleveland. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she danced as a company trainee with Richmond Ballet. She then attended Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Seeing her students improve is one of her favorite things! She is deeply passionate about helping children experience personal growth by finding their own artistic connections.

Brittany Sterling, Dance & ArtsyoU Faculty

Brittany is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University where she studied Communication Disorders and Dance. She currently teaches jazz and hip hop at Fairmount Center for the Arts, and also specializes in pre-k dance, creative movement, modern, adapted dance, yoga and conditioning for all ages! 

By day, she services individuals on the autism spectrum at Therapy and Wellness Connection center as a Behavior Technician. Brittany has been working in the early intervention field for 7+ years and has been teaching dance for 3!  

She enhances her dance education and training by taking technique classes regularly, studying at the graduate level, and performing. She is a member of MadJax Dance Company; a local modern and concert dance company. She has performed with the Cleveland Dance Project and Expedition Dance Company as well as in shows at the Cleveland Dance Fest, House of Blues: Raw Artists, Hard Rock Rocksino, Ingenuity Fest, and more. 

Brittany is currently pursuing a master’s in Counseling and Human Development specializing in Dance/Movement Therapy. In 2017, she obtained her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification and enjoys practicing in her free time. With the right weather, you can catch her outside on a biking or hiking adventure. Otherwise, she’s indoors cooking, reading, or working on a DIY craft. 

Music

Gregory Berlin, Violin and Viola Faculty

Gregory’s passion for strings began at age seven when he started learning the Suzuki method, which creates a positive, interactive environment for students to learn and grow through music.

Gregory teaches violin and viola and has performed in several local ensembles, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches at the Great Lakes School of Music and formerly instructed at Mercyhurst College’s Young Arts String Program in Erie, PA.

A few weeks before former Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster Josef Gingold passed away, he praised Gregory’s skill in a violin master class. “He gave me a wink and said, ‘You did a good job today, young man,’” says Berlin. “I’ll always remember that.”

Liliana Garlisi, Piano Faculty

What does figure skating, painting, swimming, archery and unicycling have to do with Fairmount Piano Faculty? Liliana Garlisi enjoys all of these activities, plus playing and teaching piano! Liliana Garlisi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance. Previously, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory Department, where she studied piano, music theory, and chamber music and received the Outstanding Theory Award. A winner of many piano competitions, Liliana has performed as a piano concerto soloist with the Kent State University Orchestra, the Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, and the Lakeland Civic Orchestra. Liliana is also a harpist and was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

David Gorski, Guitar, Ukulele & Saxophone Faculty

Beloved music teacher at St. Anselm School, David shares his passion for music teaching guitar, ukulele and saxophone with the Fairmount community. David has a BS in Music Education from Malone University. When he’s not in our community teaching, you may find David hanging out in one of his favorite spots in Ohio – the corner of E. 9th and Carnegie.

Caitlin Luck, Voice Faculty

Caitlin Luck has been teaching voice lessons since 2016.  She uses voice science and modern pedagogy as a basis for her lesson instruction.  She specializes in classical music, but also enjoys singing and teaching in musical theater and other CCM styles.  

Joseph Rangel, Guitar & Ukulele Faculty

Joseph has been playing guitar and was originally trained by his father, Rey, in classical guitar. He soon began to study pop and rock music, enjoying classic rock as well as other genres like Motown. In 2005, he began studying jazz. This love led him to Tri-C Metro studying jazz performance with a minor in piano. Joseph recently graduated from Cleveland State University and landed at Fairmount sharing his love for music. In addition to guitar, Joseph teaches ukulele and beginner piano students.

Harry Richardson, Piano Faculty

Mr. Richardson holds a BA in piano performance from the University of Akron.  He has been working as a professional pianist for over 35 years, performing with symphony orchestras, national Broadway tours, and as an accompanist and music director for several schools and churches. He currently serves as accompanist for the North Royalton School District.

Ann Castellano, Piano Faculty

Ann Castellano has been faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music for many years. She holds two music degrees, a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting.  Ann has worked as a church musician and music director at Saint Clare Parrish.  She has extensive experience as a pianist, organist, vocalist, and choral conductor.  Ann also taught piano at Ursuline College was appointed to the Diocesan Music Commission by Bishop Anthony Pilla.

Vanessa Majewski, Flute Faculty

Vanessa Majewski plays flute and piccolo, and earned a Bachelor’s of Music Degree from Ball State University. Vanessa both performs in and manages the Solon Philharmonic Orchestra and subs with the Lakeland Civic Orchestra. She has also performed with the Cleveland Music School Settlement Flute Choir and the Lake Erie College Flute Choir in addition to keeping an active schedule as a freelance musician. Ms. Majewski has studied with Cleveland Orchestra flutists Mary Kay Fink and William Hebert, in addition to her collegiate studies with Dr. Julia Mattern. As a performer she was a member of the Muncie, Indiana Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet and has been featured as a soloist at the Ohio Music Educators Association and National Flute Association Conventions. Vanessa has taught students of a wide variety of ages and levels in Ohio and Indiana.  Ms. Majewski loves sharing her passion for music and performance with her students.  She currently resides with her husband and two daughters in Mentor.

Theatre

Joan Bendix, Music Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Joan studied piano and voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Joan has served as music director and performed on the keyboard/piano for musical productions in schools and theaters, including the Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theater, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Mercury Theatre Company, Walsh Jesuit High School, and University School. She is currently Music Director at First United Church of Christ in Eastlake.

Joan loves teaching children and helping them find that spark of passion for music. She believes in guiding students to find their own voice and the confidence to participate in the community of theater and musical production.

Merlynne Hancock, Choreography Director of Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Merlynne Hancock joined the Fairmount faculty in 1989 as a choreographer for the Youth Theatre and has taught a variety of children’s classes and camps, including Movin’ Together and Kreative Kids. For 35 years, Merlynne has choreographed productions at area schools, from elementary to college level. She started dancing at age 6, and studied under Bea Fried, Noreen Londregan, and Ernst Hillenbran. She graduated from Heidelberg College with a degree in Communication and Theatre Arts and French, with an acting/directing emphasis.

Justin Steck, Theatre Faculty

Justin, who you may just see wearing an Elvis suit occasionally, completed his Dramatic Arts degree from Cleveland State University with concentrations in Acting, Directing and Theatre Education. As well as acting, Justin has directed and taught for various schools including Garfield Heights High School and Middle School, Cuyahoga Heights High School, Cleveland State University, St. Ignatius High School and Wickliffe Middle School. He is currently the Artistic and Managing Director for the Garfield Heights Youth Theatre.

Patti Susman, Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Patti is an honors graduate of Cleveland State University.  She has a degree Dramatic Arts.  She has been with the Fairmount since 1982, where she has directed over 80 productions.  She has also taught dance, art and gymnastics.  Patti was the first Youth Theatre Director at the Solon for the Arts and was also an Assistant Director and instructor for the Heights Youth Theatre. 

Patti trained as a dancer with Dave and Shirley Morganstern.  She was a member of the Morgan Dancers.  She and her sisters performed throughout the Cleveland area.  She began her acting career at the old Musicarnival Theatre, located in Warrensville Hts. Ohio. At age 13, she was selected as one of the youngest apprentices in the theatre’s history.  She spent 3 summers working, in various capacities, on Broadway touring company productions,  concerts and children’s theatre performances.  It was at Musicarnival that Patti was given the opportunity to teach and direct theatre classes to younger students and that is when she decided that arts education was her passion, and she has pursued that passion ever since.

Alex Stroming, Theatre Faculty

Alex Stroming (she/her) is a director, teacher, and theatre artist originally from Washington State, where she began performing as soon as she could talk. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Whitworth University with her B.A. in Theatre, concentrations in acting, directing, and devising. She has taught students of all ages and backgrounds, from Wenatchee, WA to Ahuachapán, El Salvador. She creates a constructivist learning environment in which learners explore their world with courage and curiosity. She is committed to actively pursuing anti-racism, promoting marginalized voices, inclusion of the LGBTQ community, and following best practices for theatrical intimacy.  She is the co-author of Poetry and Prose, an original musical, and continues to create work driven by female characters.

Claudia Taller, Theatre Faculty

Claudia Taller is a Cleveland-area writer who has written for many local and national publications over the last 25 years and has authored four books. In 2008, she launched Igniting Possibilities, a conduit for helping people realize their creative potential through writing, art, meditation, and yoga. She’s been leading workshops and retreats for over 20 years, many of them at Lakeside, Ohio’s Chautauqua on Lake Erie.

Claudia brings her spirit to Fairmount Center for the Arts to foster people’s voices. Many people would love to write, but don’t know how to get started, and once they trust the process of putting words on paper and find their “voice”, inspiration takes over and there’s no stopping them! One-on-one sessions will begin with Claudia listening to the student’s ideas and responding with projects that make sense for where the person’s at in the creative process. Each session will begin with homework completed since the last meeting. The writing can take any form, and the lessons may involve listening to and reading great poets, essayists, and novelists to learn to read like a writer!

Visual Arts

Sandi Fink, Visual Arts Faculty

Having homeschooled her five children, Sandi is a lifelong learner. Along the way of teaching her children, Sandi picked up mad skills in cooking, baking, the art of Zentangle, calligraphy, graphic design and even ballroom dancing. Though she’s enjoyed a variety of jobs along the way – from preschool teacher to working as an administrator with the city of Wickliffe – she found that working with non-profit arts organizations were a great way to utilize a variety of her skills and passions.

Brian Jacobs , Visual Art Faculty

Brian has been creating and exhibiting drawings, paintings and prints for several decades. His signature style involves depicting people and scenes while breaking up the picture plane with rectangles, triangles, and other shapes. A graduate of the Academy of Art University, with an MFA in Figurative Painting, Brian has taught children and adults at several art centers locally. Trained also in graphic design, Brian produces print and digital art and develops websites alongside his career as a visual artist.

Brigitte Fiorille, Director of Visual Arts & Visual Arts Faculty

Brigitte loved teaching her four sons (now awesome adults) about her love of the arts. Growing from those arts lessons, Brigitte was inspired to pursue a degree in Art Education (Kent State University). Brigitte has grown with Fairmount, as an instructor and administrator and wears many hats each day to support the mission of Fairmount. When she’s not in the ceramics studio creating awesome art, you’ll find her with the admin team making the arts happen at Fairmount and in the community.  When she’s not at Fairmount, you’ll find Brigitte playing with her granddaughter, making the world a more beautiful place with her green thumb, or cooking for her awesome family.

Linda Merchant Pearce, Visual Arts Faculty

Linda has been painting for as long as she can remember. As a child, she was inspired by the detailed wildlife artwork of Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders, and others. Primarily self-taught, she pursues a realistic approach to drawing and painting, creating detail in meticulous layers. Each painting can take months to complete, as she must wait for each layer to dry before adding the next.

Linda holds a B.A. in Archaeology from Youngstown State University and a M.S. Degree in Special Education from National University, as well as teaching credentials in K-12 and Pre-K special education. To see Linda’s professional artistry, visit http://www.lamgallery.com/.

Kathy Oravecz, Visual Arts Faculty

Kathy Sabbath Oravecz is a graduate of Ursuline College with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic design/Art education, and a Master of Education in Reading  from John Carroll University.  The National Endowment of the Humanities awarded her two fellowships from Rutgers and Syracuse Universities. Ms. Oravecz is also the recipient of the American Watercolor Society Teacher Scholarship. She is a signature artist with the  Ohio Watercolor Society, the  Hawaii Watercolor Society and the  Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and Whiskey Painters of America.  The Holden Arboretum selected her for Teacher in Residence.   She taught art for thirty years with the Madison Local Schools, and also was an instructor at Lake Erie College and John Carroll University.  She is the author/illustrator for a children’s picture book entitled “The Frog and the Footbridge”.    Her watercolors are in collections  across the USA and in the Netherlands.

Tara Seibel, Visual Arts Faculty

Tara’s best known for her collaboration with the late Harvey Pekar of American Splendor comics. She worked at American Greetings and spearheaded Tara Seibel Art Gallery in Cleveland. Her editorial cartoons and graphic stories have been published in The Graphic Canons Volumes 2 & 3, Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, Comics Comics, Mineshaft, Jewish Review of Books, New York Times, LA Times, Cleveland Scene, Austin Chronicle, Chicago Newcity, US Catholic, Heeb, Hippy Comix, and USA Today’s Pop Candy. She teaches at Fairmount Center for the Arts and lives with her husband, Aaron, her three children, and her dog and cat in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

For more on Tara, check out taraseibel.blogspot.com

Gloria Ritter, ArtsyoU Visual Arts Faculty

The art of Gloria Ritter expresses a vivid blending of the literary and visual arts which would also be an accurate description of the soul of the artist. Gloria was born into a family of gifted writers and artists, with a rich myriad of ethnic backgrounds. Like many talented artists, Gloria has wrestled with these strong, influences, which at times both intimidated and drove her. As a result, when viewers look at her work, they see Celtic, Hispanic, African, Asian and Middle Eastern themes, often depending on what their individual background happens to be. Throughout her life, Gloria has possessed a special sensitivity and passion for words. In her hands, words and passages assume a life and vitality of their own. In her art work, she has discovered a way to express this life form both verbally and visually. She calls her artwork Word Inspired Design (WID). Her art conveys not only the written word, but the emotions, colors and images the passage evokes.

John Troxell, ArtsyoU Visual Arts Faculty

Professional Artist John Troxell was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960, and attended Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and The Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington. He also attended and graduated from the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.

John’s paintings and murals are prominently displayed in many public collections in Ohio such as The Cleveland Clinic, Dollar Bank, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Metro General Hospital, Akron General Hospital, Thompson Hine, LLP. also in San Francisco, California and Missoula, Montana. His works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Ohio, Michigan, New York and Washington.
He received the Hudson Valley Art Association Award from the Pastel Society Of America, the William Grauer Award in Studio Art from Case Western Reserve University and Best of Show at the Fairmount Center for the Arts in 2007 and 2019. He is a member of the Cleveland Art Association, Murray Hill Life Drawing Group and The Pretentious Cleveland Portrait Artists.

John lives in Mentor, Ohio and teaches adults and teens drawing, painting, pastel or mural painting.

Mandy Peltier, ArtsyoU Visual Arts Faculty

Mandy is an artist and instructor who predominantly works in the fine art medium of colored pencil,
and her award winning drawings are known for appearing realistic in nature. Mandy’s artwork has
been displayed in several gallery and museum exhibitions, in private collections, and her artwork and
tutorials have also been published in various books and magazines. Mandy has achieved her signature
status through American Women Artists and her CPX signature status through the Colored Pencil
Society of America (CPSA). She has taught various classes and workshops around the United States,
and she currently serves as the Membership Director for CPSA. Her desire is to portray her subjects
in such a way that they cause the viewer to pause, reflect, and see the beauty in what is too often
taken for granted or never noticed, and she hopes her love and excitement for colored pencil is
contagious to everyone she talks to!

Fitness

Suzanne Kamenskey, Yoga

Sue Kamensky: Sue is a 300 hour Certified Yoga Instructor, who completed her training through Awaken Yoga, a registered Yoga Alliance School. She has been teaching various forms of yoga in the community since 2009. Her education and teachings include the history of yoga, the chakra system, Sanskrit, meditation techniques, anatomy and the therapeutic and healing aspects of Yoga.

Her focus and passion is on the traditional teachings of Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga. Sue has found Yoga to bring her many joys in her life, such as peace, balance and confidence in her mind, body, and spirit. She has a passion to inspire and pass these benefits onto her students. “When you guide someone through a yoga class, and they appreciate and accept it, both the teacher and the student will feel the true depth of this amazing practice.”

Darlene Kelbach, Yoga

Darlene completed her yoga teacher training through Namaste Yoga in 2007 and began teaching shortly there-after. Darlene seeks to blend yoga with her passion for plant-based nutrition and healthy eating and share that with her students. With her dedicated focus, she feels she is now “living her yoga” which in turn, she hopes to inspire others to “Live Their Yoga” so they also can be the creative expression of their own passions and inner truth and live inspired, joyful lives each day!

Beatrice Parker, Zumba & African Dance

Beatrice Parker has influenced the lives of many children, not only with her love of dance, but here love of life. Beatrice teaches the youngest dancers through adults. She loves all styles of dance and shares her knowledge of ballet, jazz, and African Dance with others. Beatrice graduated from Lakeland Community College in 2015 and won the Distinguished Student Service Award. She is also a recent graduate of Cleveland State University.