Elisa Schroth began her early ballet training at Eastern Connecticut Ballet and Connecticut Concert Ballet. She was accepted into summer programs such as American Ballet Theater, Burklyn Ballet Theater, and Moscow Ballet. Elisa was cast in corps de ballet and leading roles in classical ballets such as The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Paquita, and Sleeping Beauty. After graduating high school, Elisa continued to pursue her B.F.A. in ballet at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. While attending Belhaven, Elisa also performed as a guest artist for Ballet Mississippi. She performed in ballets such as the Nutcracker, and Aida. Elisa found her love for teaching and choreography while running the inner city dance program at a local boys and girls club in Jackson. In 2003 Elisa returned to Connecticut and completed her dance education with her certification in dance pedagogy and performance at the Hartford Conservatory. While at the Conservatory Elisa danced for local choreographer Sonia Plumb and performed in the 5X5 Dance Festival as a company artist. She also interned with Jaques D’amboise at the National Dance Institute. In 2005 Elisa founded and continues to work as the Artistic Director of Christian Academy of Dance, a pre-professional dance Academy in Killingworth, CT. Elisa has written and choreographed original ballets such as Ahavah and The Forgotten Fruit. Elisa has also choreographed original ballets inspired by the films The Red Shoes and An American in Paris. In 2010 Elisa was awarded the rights to create a ballet based on the book Hinds Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard which she titled “Much Afraid.” In 2007 Elisa worked to have a ballet summer dance intensive for ages 5-adult translated into Spanish and traveled to implement the program at a church in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. In the summers of 2008-2009 Elisa traveled to Juarez, Mexico teaching dance at Emmanuel Ministries. Elisa has performed original works by choreographers Randall Flinn, Steve Rooks, Katie Stevensen-Nollet, and Ruth Lewis. Elisa has been a guest instructor at New Haven Ballet, Connecticut Concert Ballet, and Southern Connecticut State University. Elisa became an ABT® Certified Teacher, after successfully completing the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She incorporates this syllabus into her student’s training at Christian Academy of Dance. Many of Elisa’s former students of Christian Academy are currently pursuing a professional dance or teaching career. Elisa is married to artist Jon Schroth and together they have two boys Clayton Ryan and Asher Karl.
McMillan began her ballet training with the Alabama Dance Theater in Montgomery. At the age of thirteen, she was accepted into Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy in the pre-professional division and Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. McMillan was promoted to the professional division of Houston Ballet Academy and placed on a full merit scholarship while performing with the Houston Ballet. Her other training includes Joffrey Ballet and USA International Ballet Competition School. In 2000, she joined Ballet Magnificat! touring nationally and internationally with the main company for seven years, performing in Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic in addition to the USA International Ballet Competition Gala in Jackson, MS and most major cities across the United States. In 2006, she accepted a position as Adjunct Professor of Dance at Belhaven University; two years later she was promoted to the full-time faculty position of Specialty Instructor of Dance. McMillan is the Founding Director of Belhaven University’s Dance Ministry Ensemble. She has served on the faculty of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Ad Deum Dance Company, Yale Ballet and as Ballet Mistress for Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Point Park University’s International Summer Dance Program in Pittsburgh, PA. McMillan served as Shoreline Principal with New Haven Ballet for three years and was named Assistant Choreographer for New Haven Ballet’s 2012 production of The Nutcracker. McMillan is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She received her certification in September 2012. In the fall of 2013 McMillan co-founded Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet.