Professional dancers with WSFB bring their specialized skill set, training, and life experiences to the classroom along with professional teaching faculty.  Ensemble students experience a variety of instructors/master classes on a rotating basis for maximum training diversity.


RITA TAYLOR, CEO and Executive Director of WSFB is also Director of  Festival Dance Center. Rita oversees all scheduling, curriculum, and faculty.  Rita has a BFA in performance & choreography and a BA in psychology, Graduate studies in clinical counseling and has been a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director for the past 30 years. With a diverse background in the performing arts and over 100 productions in classical ballet and musical theatre, she is a respected member of the arts community.



GARY TAYLOR, Founder and Artistic Director of Winston-Salem Festival Ballet takes a very active interest in the school.  He visits classrooms and consistently teaches master classes to upper level ensemble students.  Gary is considered a premiere expert in classical ballet, pointe, and partnering training. Students also receive the mastery of his choreography as his works are often adapted for student performance.



ELIZABETH FOWLE, Ballet Master, Faculty. Elizabeth, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in  Contemporary Dance focusing on contemporary, ballet and composition. Ms. Fowle has a diverse training background in ballet, pointe, partnering,  contemporary, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, and tap, and was a member of the pre-professional companies Taylor Dance/Moore OnStage  and High Point Ballet. Currently, Elizabeth performs with Winston-Salem  Festival Ballet.



CAROL JOHNSON, Faculty. Faculty Liason.  Carol holds a BS degree in Dance from Radford University and also studied with the Eglevsky School of Ballet and PointPark College in Pittsburgh,PA.  Carol has choreographed numerous musicals and industrials for theatre companies, schools, and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia.  She has served on the faculty of University of  N.C.School of the Arts Winter Dance Festival.



JACQUELINE (JACKY) DRAUGHON, Faculty, Jacky received full time ballet training from North Carolina School of the Arts and North Carolina Dance Theatre, (now Charlotte Ballet).  She also studied jazz, tap, contemporary, African dance, character dance, ballroom and musical theatre dance. Jacky as taught at the School of Greensboro Ballet and performed professionally with Greensboro Ballet for eight years.  She performs professionally with Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.


INDIA GREEN, Faculty, India has trained in both Cecchetti and Vaganova techniques and studied tap and clogging with mistress Heather Ellis.  White obtaining her Arts degree scholastically, she toured with Arts Evangelica’s Dance Company and has attended Ballet Magnificat summer intensives for two years.  EMT certified with a focus on injury prevention, India serves as a faculty member and performs with Winston Salem Festival Ballet.


RYAN TAYLOR, Faculty, Ryan is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts in contemporary dance, has a diverse training background in ballet, partnering, contemporary, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, tap, and is an aerialist. He has danced professionally with High Point Ballet and MOMIX Dance Theatre and performed with RWS NYC and Holland America touring worldwide. Ryan also dances professionally with Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.


LEVIZADIK BUCKINS, (Shadeek), Guest Faculty, Shadeek began his dance education at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction Ethan Stiefel. During his time at UNCSA, he worked with choreographers such as Brenda Daniels, Trish Casey, and Diego Schoch.  He has also had the chance to work with well-known choreographers Maurya Kerr, Larry Keigwin, Scott Rink, and Trish Lent. Shadeek frequently teaches nationally and performs with Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.


JAKE STAINBACK, Guest Faculty, is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. He began his training at the Wake Forest Community Ballet and later went on to attend high school at UNCSA. Jake is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, He is also an alumnus of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and of Circus Warehouse.  Jake has also attended the National Circus School in Montreal. Professionally, Jake has performed with Larry Keigwin, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Mark Dendy and Dancers, and tours worldwide with MOMIX Dance Theater. He also performs with Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.


BRANDON WOODS, Faculty. Brandon has a BFA from UNC School of the Arts where he has been featured in performances by Eric Oberdorff, Sean Sullivan, Trish Casey, Zane Booker, Juel Lane and many others. He has taught dance and choreographed for various Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and performed for Cyrus Art Productions, Theatre of West Virginia, and Shenandoah Ballet, and Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.