Who We Are


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   


Ryan McMichael, President, Canton Ballet Board of Trustees
Phone: 330.631.1800
Email: zzram@neo.rr.com

Canton Ballet Announces New Leadership

October 4, 2022 (Canton, Ohio) The Canton Ballet Board of Trustees announces that longtime Artistic and Executive Director Cassandra Crowley will retire on December 31, 2022. Jennifer Catazaro Hayward will take over the artistic leadership of the organization as Acting Artistic Director beginning January 1, 2023. Ms. Catazaro Hayward has been with the Canton Ballet for 40 years, first as a student and performer, later as a teacher, and most recently as Assistant Artistic Director.

Ms. Crowley joined Canton Ballet in 1980. Her artistic vision has led the organization from its beginnings as a small local company to become an internationally-known pre-professional ballet school – and one of the premier arts organizations in Northeast Ohio. In addition, the successes of hundreds of alumni have demonstrated what a Canton Ballet education can provide.

“I have treasured my time at Canton Ballet,” Ms. Crowley says. “The rich and rewarding personal and professional relationships I have developed will be with me forever. This company has been my passion, my artistic center, and my home. I have striven to guide it with integrity and genuine care for the artists and audiences who turn to it for inspiration, beauty, and joy. My work to develop the organization over the last 42 years has been conceived not just for the present but for those days, months, and years that go to make up the future.“

“The Board of Trustees is committed to the mission of Canton Ballet,” states Ryan McMichael, President of the Canton Ballet’s Board of Trustees. “We have every confidence that Ms. Catazaro Hayward will successfully lead the organization and carry on the legacy of the Ballet.”

“We are grateful for the years of service Ms. Crowley has invested in the ballet,” McMichael continues. “She has established a solid foundation that we will continue to build upon in the decades to come. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

The Canton Ballet Board of Trustees will commence a search for a new Executive Director in the coming months.


Canton Ballet has fostered an appreciation of the art of dance throughout the region for over 50 years. The Ballet is regarded as one of the most admired pre-professional dance companies in Ohio, and its School provides the highest quality of instruction for all ages and skill levels, toddler to adult. Each year, Canton Ballet performs public and school performances at the Canton Palace Theatre for audiences to enjoy.

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Who We Are

Artistic Staff

Guest Faculty

  • Laura Alonso, Ballet Laura Alonso, Prodanza, National Ballet of Cuba
    Artistic Advisor and Guest Master Teacher
  • Rochelle Zide-Booth, Joffrey Ballet, Netherlands Dans Theatre, Butler University
    Artistic Advisor Emeritus
  • Nadja Tikhonova, Vaganova Academy
    Artistic Advisor Emeritus

Teaching Faculty


Administrative Staff

Production Staff