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 seven grandchildren.
Nancy teaches ballet technique and pointe classes.
Lisa Anne Gore graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance pedagogy 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 ballet and jazz to all ages since 1998 at 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, “Fairy Tales & Fables” which is a mixed repertoire concert performed in Spring, 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.
When Lisa is not in the studio, you will find her simply enjoying being a 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 ballet and jazz.
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 a part of Ballet Abilene.
Meredith teaches ballet.
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 three children- Scout, Andi, and Cash. When she isn't dancing you can find her at the hospital where she is a cardiac nurse.
Brittany teaches jazz.
Amanda Seale Farrow
Amanda Seale Farrow has been dancing since before she could walk. She is trained in classical ballet, pointe, contemporary ballet, modern, tap, and jazz. Originally from Abilene, she began dancing at 4 years old and performed in her first ABT’s “The Nutcracker” in 1994. She was a company member of Abilene Ballet Theatre and a dance instructor for Ballet Abilene from 1999 to 2005. In that time, she attended the annual Regional Dance America Southwest Festival, where she also performed in several dance pieces and debuted an original choreographed piece.
After she graduated from Wylie High School in May of 2005, she attended and graduated from Baylor University in August 2009 with a BBA in Arts and Entertainment Marketing. From 2006 to 2009, Amanda taught at Joy’s School of Dance in Waco, TX for ages 3 to adult in ballet, jazz, contemporary ballet, and tap. From 2009 to 2016, Amanda worked in the Marketing Department at Dallas Summer Musicals and also choreographed over 10 musicals for the DSM Academy. Upon moving back to Abilene in 2017, Amanda began dancing and choreographing again with ABT. She feels very blessed to be back!
Amanda is married to Clayton and has 2 children, Graham and Wyatt, and 2 fur babies. She is very involved with her church and Bible study, and is passionate about personal wellness and spending time with her family!
Amanda teaches ballet, Challenge, tap, regularly choreographs, and is available for private lessons for ballet and tap, beginners to advanced levels, ages 8 and up.
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 deaf education teacher at Allie Ward Elementary. She has been dancing since she was three years old and hasn't stopped since.
Meghan teaches baby ballet.
Kortnie Coffey has been dancing since she was three years old, starting with baby ballet and jazz, and has been seriously studying ballet for nearly fifteen years. She has danced with many studios in Abilene over the years and has enjoyed performing in countless recitals, as well as various local events and productions such as "Christmas in November", "City Sidewalks Parade”, performing as a children’s corps member in Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker”, HSU’s production of “Orfeo ed Euridice”, and touring with the former local company Ballet Eleve in 2012. Since graduating high school, Kortnie has taught all levels of ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary. She has also choreographed many group and solo pieces for competitions that have been awarded and given high scores.
Kortnie graduated Thomas Edison State University with her BA in English in 2019. She continues to dance and perform with Abilene Christian University under the instruction of former NYCB member Lily Balogh. Kortnie also loves being a member of Abilene Ballet Theatre, performing in “The Nutcracker” and other ABT productions.
Sharing her love of dance with the next generation of tiny dancers brings her great joy, and she loves to work with students one on one in private lessons, or with a class full of precious ballerinas.
Kortnie teaches Ballet II.
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. She has been a performing member of Abilene Ballet Theatre for many years and has performed in numerous productions of "The Nutcracker" as well as various spring performances including "Sleeping Beauty" and "Fairy Tales & Fables", "The King & I" (ABT dancers featured in Abilene Opera Association's production), "West Side Story" (ABT dancers featured in Abilene Opera Association's production), Regional Dance America festivals and countless Ballet Abilene recitals. Mercedes graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and is honored to be teaching at Ballet Abilene.
Mercedes teaches ballet and jazz.
Susan Baker-Dillingham grew up dancing in Abilene, Texas at the Abilene Civic Ballet under the direction of Ellen Rutherford. She completed her senior year of high school and one year of college at the highly acclaimed North Carolina School of the Arts. From there, Susan danced professionally with the Louisville Ballet, Balletmet Columbus, the Eglevsky Ballet in NYC, the modern troupe Michael Mao Dance in NYC, and Ballet Austin. During her 20 year long professional career, Susan worked with many world renowned choreographers including: Lou Conte, Lynn Taylor Corbett, James Kudelka, John McFall, David Parsons, Kirk Peterson, Michael Smuin and Glen Tetley. Susan performed in a wide range of works from the absolute classicism of Marius Petipa, to the neo classic George Balanchine and the modernism of Paul Taylor.
Susan teaches Senior I and II level ballet and pointe classes.