Meet the Staff

Matthew Powell, Artistic Director

Matthew Powell received his training at the School of American Ballet, and danced professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, San Francisco Opera, the international tour of West Side Story and more. As a choreographer, Powell was awarded a fellowship from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, and received a choreographic award at Regional Dance America. He has created works for Kansas City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Point Park University, Broadway Dance Center, the art exhibit 'Capturing Nureyev,' and worked as an on-set choreographer for BLOCH dancewear. Powell's ballet master credits include Royal New Zealand Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Slovak National Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet and the television show Flesh and Bone, which aired on STARZ. His teaching credits include The Juilliard School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Rock School for Dance Education, Ballet Hispanico, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance, Ballet Tech, Kansas City Ballet School, Trey McIntyre Project, Matthew Bourne, Karole Armitage, Billy Elliot on Broadway, Universities of Iowa and Alabama, and more. Additionally, Powell has worked extensively as an assistant director for opera productions across the country.

 

Constance Walsh, Director of Enrichment & Adult Programs, Principal of the Pre-Professional Division

Constance Walsh is a faculty member, as well as the Director of Enrichment & Adult Programs and Principal of the Pre-Professional Division at BalletNova. Ms. Walsh began her training in New Jersey with Michael Fokine Jr., continuing at the French School of Ballet. She attended the New Jersey School of Performing Arts with William Inglis. After working with Daniel Nagrin, Ms. Walsh moved to New York City in 1971 to attend the Martha Graham School on full scholarship for 8 years.  

Ms. Walsh danced with Martha Graham, Pearl Lang, Sara Rudner and John Goodwin. In New York, she started her own company Lacey/Strom. Her work was chosen by Martha Graham to be in the Young Choreographers Series in 1975. She began her teaching career in the 1980s after moving to DC to perform with Larry Ensign. 

In 1991, she started her own studio Classworks in Easton, MD. Designing a 4 studio/theater space, she created a new company, Dance Harrison Street. Her work was honored by Governor and Mrs. Glendening at the Governor’s Mansion in 1998. She was appointed by the Governor to the Maryland State Arts Council where she served for six years. After moving back to DC she became a member of the great faculty at BalletNova Center for Dance. Ms. Walsh has choreographed several pieces on BalletNova including “Blue Sox," "Sigame," and City Thoughts.” As the Principal, she develops the studio curriculum, performances and other activities, addresses issues, and communicates with dancers and parents.

Kathy Paczak, Operations Manager

Kathryn (Kathy) Paczak is a lifelong resident of Fairfax county.  She received her BA in Business from Loyola College in Maryland and her MBA from George Mason University.  Her career spans positions in finance, accounting, project management, and payroll for large and small Government Contractors and non-profit organizaions in the DC area.  Kathy's skills include Budget and Cost Analysis, General Ledger, Information Research, Billng and Payables Management, and Business Operations.  Kathy danced for three years as a youth under Thomas and Ilona Russell at the Russell School of Ballet in Northern Virginia.  Her daughter's ballet career brought her to BalletNova in 2009.  Kathy was a supportive mom helping in the studio, backstage, and with fundraising efforts.  She began volunteering at the Front Desk in 2012.  In 2017, Kathy put her ballet shoes back on and now takes several classes a week at BalletNova.  When her daughter is in town, Kathy enjoys when they can take ballet classes together!

 

Deko Ruch, Registration and Front Desk Manager

Deko Ruch was born, raised and educated in Tokyo, Japan.  As a child she took piano lessons and is now married with three dancing daughters.  Mrs. Ruch has been on the part-time desk staff since 2008.  Prior to this, Deko was a Freelance English / Japanese translator for Nippon Business Translations and the Office Manager at Classical Ballet Academy in Herndon.  Her position is responsible for all registrations and payments, front desk management, box office management, and assisting with special events.  

 

Elizabeth Spatz, Development Manager and Education Outreach Coordinator

Ms. Spatz brings a wealth of arts and administrative experience to BalletNova Center for Dance. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she began her study of dance at the Ruth Page Foundation with Larry Long and the Chicago City Ballet with Maria Tallchief. Upon graduating from Columbia College Chicago where she studied both arts management and dance, she relocated to New York City where she danced with Dura Mater, Joanna Mendl Shaw and Randy James Dance Works (RJDW). As a founding member of RJDW Ms. Spatz performed with the company for nine years, eventually assuming the administrative roles of development assistant, rehearsal director and associate director.  As an educator, she has taught nationally and internationally at festivals, colleges and universities including George Mason University, Roger Williams University, and Northern Virginia Community College. Elizabeth completed her M.F.A. at the University of Washington in Seattle.

 

Hassan Sultan, Finance Manager

Hassan Sultan, CPA in Finance and Accounting provides financial services to BalletNova. Mr. Sultan and his staff at Reckenen provide regular accounting, tax, payroll, audit and budgetary services. For more information about accounting and financial services with Reckenen, visit http://reckenen.com.