Faculty and Staff
Led by School Director Dede Barfield, our best-in-class instructors deliver the finest instruction in San Antonio. Dede and her ballet instructors have taught dance around the world and across the country. Their perspective reaches beyond our community inspiring our students to beauty and grace beyond the classroom. Many of our instructors are current or former professional dancers.
Dede Barfield – School Director
Born in Ft. Worth, Texas, Ms. Barfield began her training in Ft. Worth with Gayle Corkery and continued at the Etgen Atkinson School in Dallas. At the age of 14, she began studying during the summers at the School of American Ballet in New York City and by the age of 16, she move there to study exclusively.
Ms. Barfield joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1984, was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal in 1990. Her repertoire includes a wide variety of classical roles including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Myrtha in Giselle, Vera in Robert Weiss’ full-length production of Winter Dreams, Les Sylphides, the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella and Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. On June 12, 2004, she gave her last performance as a professional dancer as her favorite role of Odette/Odile in Christopher Whealdon’s Swan Lake.
Since leaving the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Barfield has been busy teaching at Bryn Mawr College, The Performance Garage at Jeanne Ruddy Dance, The South Jersey Ballet School and with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Outreach Program. She has been a guest teacher for the Chamberlain Ballet in Plano, Texas, the Country Day School in Ft. Worth, the Brandywine Ballet and the Dance Theater of Pennsylvania. Ms. Barfield also taught ballet classes at the University of Las Vegas during the 2007 Spring semester.
In addition to Ms. Barfield’s extensive ballet training and experience, she has studied Pilates since 1979 and in recent years completed a 2-year advanced teacher training seminar with her mentor of 20 years, Karen Carlson. She is certified in all apparatuses and mat. She has been with the Ballet Conservatory since 2007.
Rose Mary Forte Hensley – Artistic Director
Rose Forte (Rosie) Hensley began her dance training at Capital Area Dance Theater in Enola, Pennsylvania. She later joined the pre-professional program at Cumberland Dance Company. Mrs. Hensley has performed at regional festivals and received a variety of awards, including the Monticello Award for Best Performer. During an attendance at Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive in New York, she auditioned and was selected to perform La Bayadère with the Kirov Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House. In 2004, she participated in the Cultural Dance Festival in Germany.
Mrs. Hensley graduated from Indiana University’s Ballet Program under the direction of Violette Verdy and received a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance and English Literature with a minor in Contemporary Dance. She danced professionally with the Chicago Ballet and was a guest artist with the Civic Ballet of Chicago. In 2007 she was invited to perform in a music and dance festival in Rome, Italy.
Mrs. Hensley is a certified instructor in Pilates, Progressing Ballet Technique, and TRX teaching. She has attended the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) Teacher Training seminar for two years, and is proficient in teaching ballet, jazz, tap and modern to students ages 3-18. Mrs. Hensley has had the distinct pleasure of being a guest instructor for many summer intensives in the San Antonio Area, as well as Brandon Ballet in Florida, and numerous academies in Maryland. Mrs. Hensley was a former corps de ballet with Ballet San Antonio for approximately 8 years, as well as a freelance professional dancer for several dance organizations such as Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre and others. Mrs. Hensley has been an instructor at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas (BCSTX) since 2011.
Jessica Ramm – Associate Artistic Director
Originally from Seabrook, Texas, Jessica Ramm trained at The Houston Ballet Academy for six years before completing her training with the Texas Ballet Theater. She completed training programs hosted by Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Theater, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Her professional experience includes Coastal City Ballet located in Canada, Oklahoma City Ballet, Ballet Austin, Alabama Ballet, and Ballet San Antonio. As a member of these companies, she has performed in popular ballets such as The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, Coppelia, Giselle, George Balanchine’s Rubies in addition to a variety of other classical and contemporary works. After leaving Ballet San Antonio, Jessica became a principal guest artist around Texas performing various lead roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Bluebird pas de deux, Moszkowski Waltz and contemporary works.
With Jessica’s performance experience, she is an established choreographer who has choreographed contemporary works on ballet companies such as the Alabama Ballet and Ballet San Antonio. She has also choreographed virtually on dancers around the world.
In addition to performing and choreographing, Jessica has been teaching ballet and modern at the Ballet Conservatory since 2018.
Rachel McCalla – Lower School Principal
Ms. McCalla began her ballet training at the age of 6 with Sandra Bravo at the Performing Arts School of Classical Ballet in San Antonio, Texas. At the age of 15, Ms. McCalla expanded her dance training and joined Stellar Gymnastics in Kerrville. Ms. McCalla coached Mommy and Me classes as well as numerous other gymnastic and dance levels. In 2012, Ms. McCalla began teaching for Sandra Bravo at Bravo! Ballet School in the heart of Castle Hills. During this time, Ms. McCalla had the pleasure of working with and training under Mrs. Katia Garza, former principle dancer of the Orlando Ballet.
Ms. McCalla enjoys spending her free time with her husband in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that she calls home.
Zane Terry – Company Coordinator
Zane Terry began his training at Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan at the age of thirteen. He continued his formal training at Michigan Ballet Academy under the Direction of Akop and Gaianne Akopian. While there, he performed leading roles in many classical ballets such as Le Corsaire, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. In 2014, Mr. Terry joined Oklahoma City Ballet as an Apprentice and during the summer of 2015, he performed with the Atlantic City Ballet. In the fall of 2015, Mr. Terry joined Ballet San Antonio as an Apprentice, and in 2017 was promoted to Corps de Ballet. Mr. Terry has also had the privilege to study with teachers such as Nikoloz Makhateli, Wes Chapman, Maria Kowroski and Misty Copeland. His repertoire includes Balanchine’s ‘Rubies’ and ‘Prodigal Son’, Twyla Tharp’s ‘Nine Sinatra Songs’, ‘Hilarion’ in Giselle, as well as a large variety of classical and contemporary works.
Mr. Terry has been a ballet instructor with The Ballet Conservatory of South Texas since 2018.
Hannah Christian began her training at The Central Florida Ballet School at the age of 8. She went on the train at the Patel Conservatory as a new Artist. Then, after winning ‘The Audience Choice Award’ and 2nd prize at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, she had her choice to attend any school in the world. She decided to attend the Royal Ballet School in London. Shortly after her arrival she was chosen to be a Nadia Nernia Scholar. During her time at RBS she danced with The Royal Ballet, performed at Buckingham Palace, and was able to work with world-renowned choreographers such as David Dawson and Liam Scarlett. Christian also attended various summer schools including School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She then went on to join Boston Ballet in 2014 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2017.
During her time with Boston Ballet she had the privilege of working with some of the greatest choreographers of the 20th and 21st century such as, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Justin Peck, Jorma Elo, Helen Pickett, and Ivan Liška. Her repertoire highlights include Fancy Free, Glass pieces, and Interplay (Jerome Robins), Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty (Petipa), Effy in La Sylphide (Bourniville), Romeo & Juliet (John Cranko), Artifact, and Pas Parts (William Forsythe), Le Corsaire (Ivan Liška), Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker (Mikko Nissinen), and Chaconne (Balanchine). During her professional career she was able to perform all different types of styles.
In addition to her professional career Christian has won many awards. She has won multiple awards in different international competitions. In 2011 she won the Gold Medal in the Junior Division at Youth American Grand Prix and received a Sliver Medal in the Pre-Professional Division in the World Ballet Competition. In 2012 she was invited to compete at the Prix De Lausanne and was awarded the 2nd prize and won the “Audience Choice Award”. In 2012 she won the Gold Medal in the Senior Division at the YAGP and received a Bronze Medal at The Beijing International Dance Invitational. Other accomplishments include the cover of Pointe magazine and many articles in Dance Spirit and Dance Magazine.