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Carol Jean Heller


Carol Jean began studying with Jean Hiatt at the age of four. In 1960 she moved to New York to dance with Ballet Repertory of New York City. In New York, she studied tap with Jack Stanley (a student of the great Gene Kelly) and Jazz with Luigi.

After her time in New York, she returned to Dayton and opened Carol Jean's Dance Academy. She also began studying with Miss Jo (founder of Dayton Ballet School and Dayton Ballet).

She served as a member of Dance Masters of Ohio, where she became an examiner for new members.

During the 70s. Miss Carol Jean taught numerous children and adults in ballet, musical theatre, and tap at the Living Arts Center.

In addition, she choreographed for groups such as 'Peanut Butter and Jelly and The Production Company: She was also active in the campaign to Save the Victory the campaign to save Victoria Theatre.

She was a choreographer for WHIO- TV's special "Mr. Manime." which was so popular it turned into a weekly spin off called "Court

House Square.

featuring original music by Ron Kindell and lyrics

by Ernie Rock.

She was a stitcher for Dayton Ballet's costume department under Betty Kelly. where she built costumes for many of their productions. such as Stuart Sebastian's Sleeping Beauty.

Throughout the years. Miss Carol Jean has choreographed more than 30 musicals for Dayton Playhouse and also served on the Board of Trustees for eight years.

In 1986. Miss Carol Jean began teaching ballet and tap at Dayton Ballet School and was eventually named Ballet School Adminis-trator. She started the adult tap program that continues today.

She starred as "Mother" in Miss Jo's show. Fraya and the Bear, and as a 'Nun' in Dayton Ballet's Romeo and Juliet.

Carol Jean Heller retired in 2020 after more than 20 years as Dayton Ballet School Administrator. We are pleased to recognize the years of dedication and instruction she gave Dayton Ballet School and the Dayton arts community. Her legacy is the joy and appreciation of dance and the arts she instilled in countless young people. We all carry a bit of Miss Carol Jean in our hearts and wish her the best as she enjoys her retirement.

Carol Jean Heller
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