While growing up in a military family, Crystal Skelton studied ballet across the country at schools including the Virginia Ballet Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dance Aspen, and School of Ballet Omaha, where she also was a Trainee with the Ballet Omaha professional company. Skelton then attended the University of Oklahoma on dance and academic scholarships where she studied under Mary Margaret Holt and received a BFA in Ballet Performance. Ms. Skelton was the recipient of the 1997 Outstanding Senior Award in the OU School of Dance. Crystal then joined the Cincinnati Ballet and performed roles including The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and The Captain in Lew Christensen’s Con Amore. In 2000, she joined Ballet West in Salt Lake City, but was forced to stop dancing due to injury. Since that time, she has been on the staff of the Jillana School summer workshop, was the Assistant Artistic Administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, the Director of Marketing and Box Office for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and has taken the Stott Pilates matwork certification course. Ms. Skelton has been on the MMDA staff for nine years. She is also the Assistant Artistic Director and Apprentice Teacher for MMB. In 2010, her choreography was chosen to appear on the Emerging Choreographer’s performance at the Southeast Regional Ballet Association Festival in High Point, NC. In 2011, Ms. Skelton was appointed Executive Director of MMB.
Tee Land is a native of Chalmette, Louisiana. She trained in ballet, tap and jazz for fourteen years under Glenda Hoselle and Darlene Cabalerro in Saint Bernard Parish. She was also a student teacher during her last two years of training. Mrs. Land moved to Mississippi in 1980 and her focus switched to aerobics. She is certified through the American Fitness Association and has taught for seventeen years. She has been on the staff at MMDA for thirteen years and loves to teach young children. Tee has choreographed many community and school programs in Madison County.
Roger & Tena Long
Professional hip-hop dancer/choreographer Roger L. Long and dancer/vocalist Tena Long, also known as the power-duo of hip-hop, have been collaborating for over seven years. They are known as the innovators behind the Choreorobics Dance-Off! Dance athletics training program that was started in 2001 as the first, and now is the longest-running, hip-hop training program in the state. Both have been certified as group fitness instructors through Interactive Fitness Trainers of America (IFTA).
Roger was inducted in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America in 2002 for accomplishments in the arts and has choreographed productions for stage at festivals and events throughout the region. With his choreography and the couple’s coaching, select students have won Star Search and Apollo national competitions and numerous state talent contests.
Tena, a native of the Bahamas, received her B.A. from Belhaven College in 2002. Roger and Tena are also the owners of Go Long Productions (est. 1999), an arts production company based in Ridgeland that provides choreography services for video, stage, and competitons, along with visual art services.
Andrea Tyre’s ballet training includes Corpus Christi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pittsburg Youth Ballet, and the Tuzerdancenter in Dallas, TX. She was a recipient of a dance scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Andrea is a former professional dancer with Ballet Magnificat and also served as the lower school director at Ballet Magnificat. She is a former faculty member of The Northshores School of Dance in Covington, LA and The Springs City Ballet School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mr. Kegler began his dancing career after studying at New York University. While in school, Erik was an awards recipient in choreography from the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, as well as being a three-time Gala Award recipient at the American College Dance Festival. Erik danced professionally with The Cleveland-San Jose Ballet and The Cincinnati Ballet where he performed principal and soloist roles in many classical and contemporary pieces. Mr Kegler is best known for his World Premiere of the role of Peter Pan in the ballet by the same name. After leaving Cincinnati, Mr. Kegler worked with companies such as Ballet West, Ruth Page Foundation and Boca Ballet, as well as starting his own company, Visage, which toured and performed with symphony orchestras across the country. With Visage , Erik and his dancers performed with the Houston Symphony, Lima Symphony, Florida Symphonic Pops, as well as touring with pianist Danny Wright. Mr. Kegler has also worked in Vienna, Austria, where he performed and choreographed a PBS special at the Hofsburg Imperial Palace, which aired nationally. Erik has an interior design degree and owns his own design firm in Jackson.
Maria is originally from New Orleans, LA and began her dance training under Timmie Autement at Rhythm-n-Dance Studio in Houma, LA. She trained in numerous summer programs such as Joffrey Ballet School, Ballet Magnificat!, and Giacobbe Academy of Dance. She furthered her studies of dance as an undergraduate student at Louisiana State University, obtaining a minor in Dance from there, and also danced with groups such as Of Moving Colors
Dance Company, Cangelosi Dance Project, and the LSU Dance Ensemble. She now attends Belhaven University, where she pursues an MFA degree in Dance. Her choreography has been selected for numerous showings at the school, and she looks forward to being able to choreograph for the school’s Dance Ministry Ensemble this upcoming year. Maria is so excited to be on staff at MMDA this year and looks forward to working with her students!