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Meet Our Team

Our Mission is to provide our students with the personal care, guidance, and training to help them become consummate dancers and young adults of exceptional caliber.


Maryann Bayless

Artistic Director & Owner

Maryann Bayless, Artistic Director and Owner of Pacific Ballet Conservatory started
her studies on Mercer Island, Washington. At the age of ten, she was selected to perform by audition with the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Dance Class” ballet in their Seattle visit. She continued her studies at Cornish University in Seattle. Ms. Bayless studied on scholarship with Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet for three consecutive summers and was invited to NYC.

Ms. Bayless performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet (as a founding company member) and Seattle Opera Ballet under the tutelage of her Ballet Mistress, Janet Reed, former NYC Ballet Soloist for Balanchine. Learning Balanchine’s difficult technique from Janet Reed places Ms. Bayless in a unique position in the ballet world, as an instructor once removed from Balanchine himself.

Ms. Bayless was also fortunate to pursue her studies in other performances/programs
with past greats Richard Englund, Royal Ballet, Lew Christensen, San Francisco Ballet, and Kay Mazzo, New York City Ballet among others. Ms. Bayless attended the University of Washington where she majored concurrently in Dance, Drama and English Literature.


Ms. Bayless has taught in Seattle and California since 1978. Past students have danced professionally with San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Met of Cincinnati, Colorado Ballet, Miami Ballet, Santa Barbara Ballet, Universal Studios and Disneyland. Many of her students have been accepted to nationally recognized ballet company schools including American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet,

Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Academy Washington D.C., Boston Ballet,
Houston Ballet, Detroit Ballet, Princeton Ballet, the Tisch School of Dance at NYU, Princeton Ballet, and other prestigious University programs.

Ms. Bayless was also the Director of Dance and Choreographer at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo for 14 years. She loves passing on the dance legacy that was bequeathed to her by her many teachers to all her students, as she helps them to become amazing dancers and productive adults.


She credits her father with the guidance that helped her to find her purpose in life, her husband, Chuck, and her daughter, Marissa, and the professional instructors and staff at PBC for its success and its cutting edge training.  She is excited to be celebrating the School’s 40th Anniversary!


Marissa Wennerberg

Operations Director | Co-Owner | Instructor

Marissa Wennerberg has been dancing for over 40 years in Orange County. Her studies began at this studio in the early 80’s under the direction of Alan McCarter, Rosemary Molak-McCarter, Maryann Bayless, Elizabeth Molak-Huebner, Joanne Paugh, Karen Lerner, Marie Barnett and countless other amazing instructors. When she was a teen she spent a summer studying at Pacific Northwest Ballet and taught an after school dance program for Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest. She went on to live in Japan while performing for the Misugi Resorts in their dance and magic shows and  choreographed and provided voice-over talent for yoga/dance videos included in the children's sports series “Yoga Diva" by Sport-Fun and Pangea Corporation. She lives in Dana Point with her husband Daniel and their two sons. Marissa loves being in class with her students and watching them grow as artists and individuals. Marissa was a Co-Owner and Administrative Director for the Pacific School of Ballet starting in 1999 and has held the same positions for Pacific Ballet Conservatory since 2011. 


This year marks the 25 th year that she has worked with her mother, Maryann Bayless. Marissa is grateful for all the knowledge and grace she taught her and to have had the opportunity to watch art and confidence flourish in dancers year after year.


Julie Binowitz


Julie Binowitz began her dance training with Alexandra Zaharias in St. Louis.  She was awarded scholarships to San Francisco, Pacific Northwest, and Joffrey Ballet Schools.  She was the principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet Theatre, Southern Ballet Theatre and Fort Wayne Ballet.  Julie has performed principal and soloist roles in such ballets as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Paquita, LaBayadere, Dracula, La Vivendere and Nutcracker.  She was Assistant Ballet Mistress with the regional company, Alexandra Ballet for two years.  Julie taught at the Ballet Conservatory for 8 years before moving to Naperville, IL where she taught and choreographed for Dance West Ballet.  She has now returned to Orange County and is very happy to be back.  Julie is an American Ballet Theatre®Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT®National Training Curriculum.


Caitlin Brophy


Caitlin Brophy began her ballet training in SoCal at the age of five at the Richter Academy of Classical Dance. Caitlin refined her training/repertoire at Pacific School of Ballet, and was a soloist in Pacific Theater Ballet for four years. She was on the ANHS Dance Team from 2010-2013 and served as team captain during her senior year. Caitlin also attended an American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive program. She began teaching dance classes in Orange County and attended Saddleback College. She was on the Cheer squad and in the Saddleback Dance Program, while working at Disneyland in Anaheim as a parade performer for 6 years in the parades. Caitlin attended Utah Valley University on scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis on Ballet. She was a member of UVU’s Repertory Ballet Ensemble for three years and guest performed with Repertory Dance Theatre, in Salt Lake City. From 2018 to 2020 she taught dance and coached Dance team at Saddleback Valley Christian School. Besides her classes now at PBC, she currently teaches K-12 physical education and dance at Fairmont Private school and is their cheer and dance advisor. Caitlin is passionate about dance and believes that a teacher not only teaches dance steps but life lessons along the way.


Clancy Hickson


Clancy was on Aliso Niguel High School’s Varsity Dance Appreciation Team (DA) for four years and has served as a team Captain for her Junior and Senior year. She has competed in all four Varsity divisions winning several different awards with her team such as 1st place in the 2016 CADTD State Championship, the 2017 Sweepstakes Award, and a 2017 CADTD State Dance Scholarship. Clancy has trained under the guidance of the coach/founder of GRV, David Lim. She has danced on the Junior collegiate team Gravy Babies, winning first place in the 2018 World Of Dance Los Angeles and the 2018 Urban Street Jam Competitions. Clancy is currently a captain and member of The G.O.O.D. Project, an adult dance team, based in Irvine, CA. She has choreographed for Aliso Niguel’s Dance Appreciation Team and The G.O.O.D Project Competition sets. Clancy is currently studying to attain her B.A. in Psychology and minoring in Health Sciences at Chapman University. She looks forward to sharing her choreography and the knowledge she has learned from the dance community, with the next generation of aspiring dancers.


Katelyn Maggi is so excited to be returning home after 8 years of living and working in New York. Katelyn’s training began at Pacific School of Ballet in addition to California Conservatory of the Arts through high school. She graduated with a B.A in Vocal Performance from San Diego Christian College and went on to pursue a M.A in Performance Studies from New York University.  

While in New York, she studied under Bob Fosse's dance captain, Jeff Shade (Broadway: Sweet Charity, Chicago) and was Kathryn Mowat Murphy’s (Broadway: Pal Joey, Fosse) assistant for her classes at Steps on Broadway. Some of her favorite shows she has been cast in includes 42nd Street and Hello Dolly!. Katelyn believes that the discipline of dance can infiltrate into many different areas of a student’s life and hopes to leave her students inspired to always dance full out. 

Katelyn Maggi



Rashida fell in love with tap around the age of 12, when she was selected to join the Jazz Tap Ensemble’s Caravan Project (Lynn Dally). Her performances then with Rhapsody In Taps afforded her the opportunity to travel throughout the US, Canada, Japan, and Bali, and train and share the with stage tap legends such as Gregory Hines as the Nicholas Brothers. Commercially she has performed tap/drumming shows for Disney and Universal, and was honored to work with Michael Jackson on his video/short film “Rock My World”. Rashida met her husband, Parris Mann (Broadway and touring casts of Riverdance, Black and Blue) performing in his show “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be”, touring the US, Russia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, etc., making history as the first African American performers at the Kremlin. Together they tag team teach and choreograph award-winning numbers seen across the country.

Rashida Mann



Kira Martin has been classically trained in ballet for 8 years as well as other dance styles at Pacific Ballet Conservatory. She was accepted into the San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet Summer Intensive programs and attended the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive.  She also attended multiple workshops with Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre and others. Kira has worked with Aliso Niguel Theatre Company, training students in musical theatre choreography. She has also worked for three years choreographing children's musical theater productions at Canyon Vista Elementary School.  Kira is excited to guide our youngest dancers and develop a love for dance within them.

Kira Martin



Ms. Matty has enjoyed dancing for over four decades; professionally with San Francisco Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, Holland. She was also a studio owner and artistic director for 8 years. She attained a degree in Architecture and studied for her MFA in dance at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona before relocating to California in 2001, to spend more time with her three children.

Jane Matty



Debra Maxwell comes to Pacific Ballet Conservatory with over 20 years of teaching experience from LA to OC. Her performing experience spans from Europe to Boston to Broadway. She is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory and has trained extensively in Germany, London and 4 years at ABT in New York City. In Los Angeles she worked with Stanley Holden, Pat Neary, Nannette Charisse and Jane Fonda as well as being on the board of the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet . In 1990, Debra wrote, produced and appeared in, I Can Dance, a children's video for young aspiring ballerinas. Upon her arrival in OC she spent many years with Ballet Pacifica under the direction of Molly Lynch, as well as Alaine Aubert, Janek Schergen, David Allen and many others.  Debra is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.  Debra is certified in Mat Pilates.

Debra Maxwell



Ann-Marie McClellan received her BA and MFA Degrees from the University of California, Irvine.  Ann-Marie was the inaugural winner of the Leo Freedman Fellowship for excellence in the arts in Orange County.  She has appeared in many musicals including “The Magic Flute”, “On The Town”, and “Follies” choreographed by famed Fosse dance director Chet Walker.  She was featured by Donald McKayle in his premiere cast of Ringalevio and has appeared with San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Coast Ballet Theatre and the Golden State Ballet (artistic director 1996-98.)  She has taught ballet, tap and jazz dance techniques in the Saddleback Valley for over 25 years.  Her students have continued their professional training with New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.  She has students currently dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet and Houston Ballet.  Ann-Marie’s focus in her teaching is to make even the youngest dancer look and feel like a professional ballerina.  Ann-Marie is a mother of 3 children who have all gone through the pre-levels at our school.

Ann-Marie McClellan



Megan Morphis began her training at the age of seven in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Pointe. Megan was a member and senior captain of the Troy High School Dance Team, and competed locally and nationally with her OC dance studio. She continued her dance education at California State University, Long Beach where she studied Modern, Ballet and Hip Hop and earned her BA in 2010.  Megan served on the dance ministry at Rock Harbor Church for over six years where she was blessed to choreograph and dance at many Christmas and Easter services. She was a member of Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks-Long Beach and has been a guest choreographer at Concordia University and for other local charity events.  Over the past eight years Megan has taught throughout Orange County and recently joined the staff at Crean Lutheran High School where she teaches Dance 1, Dance 2 and Dance Ministry. Megan is thankful to be on staff at Pacific Ballet Conservatory and hopes to inspire her students to be well-rounded and passionate dancers!

Megan Morphis



Micah Hayden has been dancing for over two decades and trained at Pacific Ballet Conservatory for 11 years. When she graduated from high school and PBC, Micah went on to follow her passions for dancing, singing, and acting and received her B.F.A in Musical Theatre at Syracuse University. Then she moved to New York City and pursued Musical Theatre full time for 4 years. Upon returning to her home state of California, Micah choreographed San Clemente High School’s production of Mary Poppins and was nominated for Best Choreography at the JRay Awards and the National Youth Arts Awards. She has performed in theatres all over the U.S. and was last seen in the ensemble of Hello, Dolly! at 3-D Theatricals. Other credits include Carousel at Arizona Broadway Threatre, Singin’ in the Rain at Musical Theatre West, Oklahoma! at Berkshire Theatre Group, Shrek at Yorktown Stage, and White Christmas at Syracuse Stage. Micah is well aware of how important being a Triple Threat (dancing, acting and singing) is to be successful in Musical Theatre and looks forward to emphasizing these three qualities in a cohesive manner while instructing students. Micah is honored to return to her home studio to teach and inspire the next generation!

Micah Hayden



Isabel Sierzchula has been classically trained in ballet for 17 years as well as other dance styles at Pacific School of Ballet and Pacific Ballet Conservatory.  Isabel attended numerous Summer Intensive programs with Jillana in Taos, New Mexico, Alonzo King at UC Irvine, and The Joffrey Ballet.  She continued her training as a dance major at California State Fullerton and also continues to study dance at Saddleback College.  Isabel has participated in our own Pacific Theatre Ballet Nutcracker for the past 10 years, performing lead roles, and is now the new Dance Captain for the 2016 ensemble, working directly with director, Ann-Marie McClellan.

Isabel Sierzchula



Amber Slaybaugh has been dancing for over 20 years. As a young dancer Amber danced in many competitions in the U.S where she was awarded various special awards for performance and technique. Amber has attended the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York that was founded by the great George Balanchine. In the most recent years, Mrs. Slaybaugh has been a part of dance ministries in local churches in California and has lead small groups for both high school and college age girls. She currently leads a dance ministry and small group at Ballet Conservatory on Sundays for girls who are in levels 5 and up. Amber has a deep love for ballet and a great passion to teach.

Amber Slaybaugh



Brandi Walshe


Brandi has been dancing for the past 21 years, and grew up dancing at the Pacific Ballet Conservatory for 12 years.  She was a member of the Aliso Niguel High School Dance Team and later joined Orange Coast College Dance Team, and Pace Elite.  She had an opportunity to be a member of the Team USA Dance Team 2012, where they won first place at the international dance worlds in Orlando, Florida.  Later, she went on to study at Concordia University Irvine concentrating in Child Development, and also joined their Dance Company.  She has had the privilege to choreograph for schools such as Bishop Amat, Aliso Niguel, Cypress, Mission Viejo, Crean Lutheran, and Concordia University Irvine.

Brandi is a former NFL and NBA dancer as a Los Angeles Laker Girl and a Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader where she danced at all home games and participated in international events, philanthropic organizations, and promotional appearances.  She has been a performer at the Disneyland Resort for the past five years in various parades and atmosphere shows such as DJs Dance n Drive, Phineas and Ferb, Mickey's Soundsational Parade, Mickey's Halloween Party, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, Paint the Night Parade, and Fantasmic!  Brandi was also crowned as Miss Orange County USA 2015 where she competed at the Miss California state pageant.  During her reign she visited elementary schools and promoted the "Kindness Begins with Me," anti-bullying campaign.  She also holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Brandi is a staff member at Crean Lutheran High School in Irvine where she coaches JV and Varsity Song as well as assisting with the dance classes.  She is currently signed as a professional dancer with the Movement Talent Agency in Los Angeles where she gets the opportunity to audition and work for television and music projects in the commercial dance industry.  She continues to learn and stay current with the dance community and is excited to guide her students to a successful dance career.


Tracy Larsen’s passion for dance began at an early age when she was given a children’s role in the Ballet West production of The Nutcracker. Eventually, her study of dance grew to include all genres, including ballet, tap, jazz, and modern.  Tracy graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with a BFA in dance.  While there, she trained with many of the foundational members from companies such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mike Morris, and Hubbard Street.  She also led the tap program at Columbus Dance Theatre for 3 years before relocating to Orange County.  In her nearly 20 years as a dance teacher, Tracy has nurtured children of all ages, many of whom have won high awards at competitions and continued dance both collegiately and professionally. She is the mother of 5 children.

Tracy Larsen



Elena Sierzchula


Elena Sierzchula has been classically trained in ballet for 16 years at Pacific School of Ballet and Pacific Ballet Conservatory under Artistic Director Maryann Bayless, Jane Matty, Julie Binowitz, and Ann-Marie McClellan. She also trained extensively in Tap, Musical Theatre, Jazz and Lyrical/Contemporary. She attended both the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive program in San Francisco and received merit scholarships for her participation in their New York City Musical Theatre program. Elena has comprehensive experience both on stage and behind the scenes. She has both performed in and stage managed productions for Pacific Theatre Ballet. She graduated from the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University NYC with a BA in English Language and Literature and a minor in Child Development.


While living in Manhattan, Elena joined Jazz, Musical Theatre, and Contemporary classes at Steps on Broadway and PMT House of Dance. She is thrilled to be back in California sharing her love of dance with our young dancers.

Maryann Bayless
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