Academy Faculty

Steve Beirens
Co- Director/Ballet Instructor & Artistic Director

Steve Beirens began his studies at the age of 12, at The National Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium, under the direction of Jos Brabants. There he received instruction from Annie Vancauwenbergh, TomVancauwenbergh, Pavel Vokum, Stephan Schullerand Alexander Prokofiev.

During his studies, Steve also worked with The Royal Ballet of Flanders, directed by Valery Panov. He was selected to participate in The Rencontres Internationales de La Baule in France, where he received the award for “Best Classical Dancer”.

Following graduation(1989), Beirens danced for one season with Le Jeune Ballet de France, where his numerous solo and principal roles included those in Flames of Paris, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, LaFille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote and Le Corsaire, among others. From 1990 to 1991 Beirens danced with The Zuricher Ballet, under the direction of Uwe Scholtz. Duringthis season, he danced many solo roles in Scholz’s choreography, including Schopfung, SchumanSymfonie, TausendGrusse and Tocatta, as well as the Pas de Huit in La Sylphide. In January of 1992, Pierre Wyss invited Beirens to Wiesbaden Ballet to perform the role of Apollo in his ballet Oedipus. In September of the same year, Steve joined The Royal Ballet of Flanders, directed by Robert D’envers. There he worked with such choreographers as Paolo Bartolucci, Peter Anastos, Attilion Labis and Menia Martinez.Ricardo Cue invited Beirens, while he was dancing with The Royal Ballet of Flanders, to participate in a gala performance in Murcia, Spain that honored Prima Ballerina Maya Plitzetskya. Cynthia Gregory also invited him to perform the “Pas de Deux” Stay With Me as part of The Career Transitions in Dance program.

In October 1995, Beirens joined The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, under the direction of Gerald Arpino, as a principal dancer. While with The Joffrey, Beirens performed in ballets including Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, Ann Marie DeAngelo’s Stay With Me, George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi, Confetti, Suite Saint-Saëns, and Kettentanz. Choreographer Alonzo King created a role for Beirens in his Joffrey-commissioned Cante. From January 2001 through December 2005, Beirens has worked as a Guest Dancer and Coach innumerous companies across the United States, including Tulsa Ballet, The Civic Ballet of Chicago, Maddison Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Dance Galaxy, Westside Ballet, LA Dance Theater, LA Chamber Ballet and New Mexico Ballet. Since 2003 he has been invited to teach and coach in ballet schools across the United States, including New Mexico Ballet, New Mexico University, Reif Art Center Minnesota, Dance Arts Tennessee, Idyllwild Arts School, Los Angeles School of the Arts.

In April 2007 he was appointed the position of Artistic Director of Ballet Quad Cities, where he served for one season and choreographed ballets including The Nutcracker, Sentimenti, and Coppelia.

Since August of 2008 Steve Beirens has been a Faculty member of University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music Dance Department.
Steve Beirens co-founded and directed Le Jeune Ballet National 2011 summer project. The company focuses on helping establish first-time professionals. They successfully premiered the performance, Music and Dance in the Park. It was chosen as one of the top three events to see that weekend by local NBC channel 5 News.

From January 2014 until August 2014 Steve Beirens served as an interim Artistic and Academy Director for Ballet Theatre Midwest.

In 2015 Mr. Beirens and wife Hannah Dorfmueller opened the doors of Le Jeune Dance with the vision of a professional training program for young artists to develop skills and experiences to launch them into successful careers. Mr. Beirens is passionately committed to contributing to the dance world though educational teaching, coaching, advising, and choreographing for pre-professional and professional dancers.


Hannah Dorfmueller
Co Director/Ballet Instructor & Children’s Program Director

Hannah Dorfmueller began her formal ballet training in the Greater Cincinnati under former Cincinnati Ballet principal dancers and current Joffrey Academy of Dance Artistic Directors Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. At the same time she studied modern dance under former Dayton Contemporary Dance Company dancer Terrence Greene. In summer intensives she studied under coaches such as Bolshoi Master Teacher Aleksander Bondarenko and former prima ballerina of the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater Eleanor D’Antuono. Ms. Dorfmueller attended the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in a two-year residency program where she studied under Elena Tchernichova, former Ballet Mistress for American Ballet Theater and coach to Mikhail Baryshnikov. While at Nutmeg she was chosen to perform choreography created and coached by Momix Director Moses Pendleton. Ms. Dorfmueller became a member of Ballet Quad Cities in the 2002 where she performed many principal and soloist roles in choreographies by Johanne Jackelln, Mathew Keefe, Deanna Carter and Steve Beirens.

Throughout Ms. Dorfmueller’s career she has enjoyed teaching and coaching in pre-professional schools as well as developing and fulfilling outreach programs in elementary schools. Many of her students have gone on to be accepted in to national ballet programs. Others have won national recognition in competition.

After retiring from the stage Ms. Dorfmueller and husband Steve Beirens founded and directed Le Jeune Ballet National in its premier production of Music and Dance in the Park.

In 2015 Ms. Dorfmueller and husband Steve Beirens opened the doors of Le Jeune Dance. Inside the studios of Le Jeune Dance Ms. Dorfmueller enjoys instilling the passion for the arts in her students while providing the technique and discipline of pre-professional training. She is equally passionate about growing a dancer though strength and technique as she is about growing a dancer’s methodology knowledge for complete awareness of movement precision. Ms. Dorfmueller has taken her creative approach to developing young dancers into the composition of two children’s workbooks for ages 3-6. The Essential of Ballet Training Workbook: Creative Dance and Pre Ballet to aid young dancers’ educational and creative journey.

Karren Russo Burke
Ballet Instructor

Karen Russo Burke celebrated 30 seasons with Dayton Ballet in 2023. During her time in the organization she was Ballet mistress, Director of DBII and Artistic Director for 12 years. She created over 40 works for Dayton Ballet and Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. She brought Sensory performances to their season and increased the audience attendance by 35 percent.

Her professional dance career with American Repertory Ballet spanned over 12 years where she danced leads in ballets by Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Gerald Arpino, Septime Webre , Dermot Burke and more.

In 2005, she was honored by ARB for her commitment and excellence in the field of dance. She won the Ohio Arts Council’s Excellence in Individual Creativity Award in 2006 and in 2010 was honored in the Dayton Business Journal for her professionalism in the Dayton arts community.

Throughout her career, Karen has taught at Dayton Ballet as well as Wright State University, University of Dayton, Stivers School for the Arts, and  Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

She has also taught at Princeton Ballet and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Quentin Appollovaughn Sledge
Modern Instructor

Quentin Appollovaughn Sledge (Chicago, Illinois) began studying dance with Homer Hans Bryant, a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.Mr. Sledge graduated summa cum laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in management. He also received recognition as a National Society of Collegiate Scholar and accepted into a training program at Gotta Dance Atlanta under the direction of Daryl Foster and his LIFT company.

In 2016, Mr. Sledge performed in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder at David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City.

He credits DCDC’s Associate Artistic Director, Crystal Michelle, as an important influence on his artistry because “she is an astounding choreographer who has poured her years of knowledge into her work at DCDC in such a short time!”
Mr. Sledge joined DCDC’s first company in 2014.

Annalese Fusaro
Musical Theater Dance Instructor

Annalese Fusaro is a current Musical Theatre performer and student with over 16 years of dance training in ballet, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre, broadway/rhythm tap, hip hop, and even danced competitively for 6 years. She is currently a rising junior BFA Musical Theatre student at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati studying under Diane Lala, Katie Johannigman, and Chaz Wolcott. Some recent theatrical credits include Adelaide in Guys and Dolls (The Carnegie), Maggie in A Chorus Line (Riverside Center), Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Swing Dance Concert (CCM), She Loves Me (CCM), and Ragtime in Concert (Cincinnati POPS).