Our mission is to provide all students with the skills they need to enjoy, appreciate and excel in the art of dance for a lifetime.
Ballet Abilene Staff
Nancy Gore graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970. She has performed with local civic ballet companies, community theater and university musicals and has participated in numerous workshops and master classes from Las Vegas to New York. Nancy has owned and operated her studio, Ballet Abilene, since 1983. Her ballet company, Abilene Ballet Theatre, was also established in 1983, became a 501C3 in 1985, and was accepted as a member company in Regional Dance America/SW in 1987. In 1993 and 2005, ABT hosted the RDA/SW Festival. Nancy has served on the dance panel for the Texas Commission on the Arts for two years and has served as historian for the RDA/SW board.
Nancy is happily married to Richard Gore and they have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Lisa Gore Etter
Lisa Gore Etter was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She was a 1992 Cooper High School graduate. Lisa graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance in 1996. While attending OU on a ballet scholarship, she performed with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet under the direction of Mary Margaret Holt. In 1994, Lisa was crowned Miss University of Oklahoma and received special recognition for her dance talent. After graduating from college, Lisa moved back to Abilene where she has enjoyed working for and with her mother, Nancy Gore, and teaching both ballet and jazz to all ages since 1998 at Nancy’s studio, Ballet Abilene.
In addition to being the Studio Director of Ballet Abilene, Lisa co-directs the regional ballet company, Abilene Ballet Theatre. Each year ABT performs “ The Nutcracker” which has been seen on Good Morning America and featured in Southern Living magazine, “Love in Bloom” which is a mixed repertoire concert performed in February, and at the Regional Dance America festival. Lisa has choreographed several works for ABT over the years. In 2002, Lisa was one of 10 in the nation to be awarded the Monticello Scholarship for Choreography at Regional Dance America/ Southwest Festival for her work, "Valse Triste." In 2005, Lisa was awarded the “Excellence in Choreography” Scholarship for her piece “Beyond the Sea" by RDA/SW. Lisa truly loves working with all of her Ballet Abilene students from age 3 on up. Besides good technique, Lisa hopes she is helping to mold her students into the most capable and confident dancers that they can be, giving them the skills they need to enjoy, appreciate, and excel in the art of dance for a lifetime.
Lisa is happily married to Cary Etter and they have three wonderful children. When Lisa is not in the studio, you will find her simply enjoying being a wife and mother and the daily chaos that goes along with raising three children. She is a member of the PTO, Junior League of Abilene, and Abilene Panhellenic-Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae.
Lisa teaches jazz and ballet.
Meredith Brannon went to Stephen F. Austin State University with bachelors degree in Kinesiology of Dance. Meredith has been dancing since she was two and a half, she has always wanted to be a ballet teacher. Meredith is from Abilene and has danced under Nancy Gore since 1994. She has danced many roles with Abilene Ballet Theatre in the Nutcracker and in various other shows.
Now Meredith now gets to share her love of ABT and ballet with her daughter, her greatest joy. Meredith, Harper and her husband Chris are proud to be apart of Ballet Abilene.
Brittany Eddleman, originally from Chicago, Illinois, began her dance training at the early age of three. She was trained by Donna Ziegler and Jayme Radeke in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, modern and pointe at La Danse Academy, now known as Willow Street Dance Theatre. She spent ten years competing all throughout the United States and won several awards including Cathy Roes's dance nationals in Las Vegas. Her continuing education was done yearly at CNADM and Marcus Alford's Jazz on Tap festival in Atlanta, Georgia and Broadway Dance Center. She was also a dancer for Radio Disney, opening up for many famous artists. She is currently a professional dancer for Dancing With the Abilene Stars.
Brittany is delighted to share her passion for dance with the students of Ballet Abilene.She is happily married to Chris Eddleman and they have one daughter, Scout. When she isn't dancing you can find her at the hospital where she is a cardiac nurse.
Brittany teaches ballet and jazz.
Originally from Northern Kentucky, Lauren Gent began her dance training at the age of four. Lauren trained in numerous dance styles at her hometown dance studio, Expressions Dance Theatre, and competed nationally from the age of eight, until graduating high school.
Lauren attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where she earned a degree in Dance, with a concentration in Jazz. Professional training include, RiverNorth Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Complexions Ballet Intensive in New York City. Professional dance honors include, performing at Kings Island, an Ohio amusement park, at the age of 16, performing a dance role in the film, Love & Other Drugs and performing for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, on board the Brilliance of The Seas.
Lauren also holds a degree in Marketing and has worked in corporate sales and marketing over the past 5 years. Lauren moved to Abilene in 2017 with her Husband, Ryan, who is a Football Coach, at Abilene Christian University. Currently, Lauren sells real estate full time and is eager and excited to return to her roots, teaching dance to the dancers of Ballet Abilene.
Meghan Martin grew up dancing at Ballet Abilene and performed with Abilene Ballet Theatre for many years. An Abilenian since birth, Meghan is a recent Hardin-Simmons University graduate where she studied psychology with a leadership minor. She participated in student activities, Sigma Alpha social club and leadership. She is currently employed by Abilene ISD as a communications facilitator for three- and four-year old deaf ed at Woodson Early Childhood. She has been dancing since she was three years old and hasn't stopped since.
She is happily in a relationship and has a dog named Marley Jo.
Meghan teaches baby ballet.
Tracy Patterson grew up in Overland Park, Kansas and began dancing at the age of four with the Jack & Jill Players of Kansas City, a children's performing arts company, where she studied tap, jazz, ballet and acting. She was a tap soloist for many years. She also studied ballet with The University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory of Music and performed in one season of The Kansas City Ballet Nutcracker as a party girl and clown. She appeared in lead roles in dozens of children's musicals with the Jack & Jill Players, performing in television productions and in live performances at venues in the Kansas City area. She also performed in summer musicals at Starlight Theatre, The Theatre in the Park and in television commercials. She danced with the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers while in graduate school and performed with Theatre Tuscaloosa in several musicals. After moving to Abilene in 1999, Tracy began dancing with Ballet Abilene and has performed with ABT since 2001.
Tracy has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Baylor University and a Master's degree in Communication from The University of Alabama. She is also an instructor with Abilene Jazzercise, a freelance writer, and a community volunteer. Tracy is married to Coleman Patterson, a professor at Hardin-Simmons University, and has three children: Kirsten (a former company member with ABT), Jack and Cole. She is also the mom of a cat, three dogs and a parakeet.
Tracy teaches tap and ballet.
Julia Siewert is a native of Abilene. She received her BA at McMurry in communications with a minor in theatre. She is currently a student at McMurry working toward her EC-4 teaching certification. Julia's inspirations are her four children: Nick, Molly, Jackson and Emory. She has taught dance for over 20 years and still loves to teach students to love the art and all the advantages that are learned with it.
Julia has performed, costumed, directed and choreographed many productions throughout the years for theatres and ballet companies in Abilene. She is currently on the board of the Children's Performing Arts Series.
Julia teaches ballet, pointe and is available for private or semi-private lessons for dancers ages 11 and above.
Amy Harrison Smith
Amy Harrison Smith graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education degree in Counseling and Human Development. While at Hardin-Simmons, Amy earned her Texas Teaching Certification, a graduate assistantship and was named president of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. Amy is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has practiced both in the mental health counseling field and as a solo practitioner specializing in play therapy and family counseling.
Amy has spent the last 30 years studying, performing, and teaching ballet, first at the Becky Payne School of Dance and then at Ballet Abilene under the artistic direction of Nancy Gore. Amy danced with Abilene Ballet Theatre as a member of the regional dance company, upon completion of graduate studies. She continues to enjoy performing with ABT, along with her family, in the productions of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty and is priviledged to teach young children the joy and discipline of ballet. Amy's education and training in both music and dance have enabled her to also perform in community and church musical and theatre productions, including the annual production of Christmas At The Paramount.
Amy is married to Stanley and is the mother of five children. Amy is a homemaker who enjoys investing her time into shaping the lives of young children by helping them to discover their areas of giftedness.
Amy teaches Baby Ballet.
Mercedes Valdez has been studying with Ballet Abilene since she was three years old and has participated in numerous ABT productions of “The Nutcracker” as well as various spring shows, recitals, and Regional Dance America festivals. Mercedes graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and is honored to be teaching ballet at ABT.”