Headshot of Paula K. Shiff


DIRECTOR                                                 ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Marblehead School of Ballet                  North Shore Civic Ballet

Paula K. Shiff has devoted her life to dance. She started training with
E. Virginia Williams at the Boston Ballet School and studied in New York at the American Ballet Theatre and the Martha Graham Studio. Ms. Shiff performed with the Boston Ballet. She also had full academic training with a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts.

In 1971, Ms. Shiff opened the Marblehead School of Ballet. She also has served on the faculties of the North Shore Community College and Salem State University. The unusual range of her training and experience gives her

a unique approach to dance education. Rather than adhering to one style of training, she draws the best from many styles. Primary emphasis is always placed on correct alignment and on a graded approach to material so that the dancers extend their skills in a balanced way, without injury. They are prepared to go on in their training in many forms of dance. The school also emphasizes the appreciation of music and the history of dance.

In 2009, Salem State University recognized Ms. Shiff’s success and dedication with their Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts. Ms. Shiff currently guests teaches in the greater Boston area, NH, and Miami.



Marblehead School of Ballet

Ivan Korn is a native of Santiago, Chile. He performed there with the Companie Espiral. He earned his MFA in choreography at the Boston Conservatory and has performed in New England at the Boston Center for the Arts, Impulse Dance, Cyclorama, Copley Theatre of Boston, The Joyce Soho in New York, and at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA.

He is currently starting his third season with Prometheus Dance. Ivan is also a guest artist with Zoe Dance. He has taught at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Ballet Etc., and is currently on the faculty of the 

Headshot of Ivan Korn

Dance Workshop of Hanover. Ivan focuses primarily on a post-Limon style emphasizing proper alignment and the use of weight. His class is rhythmical and dynamic. In addition to being a dancer, teacher and choreographer, Ivan is also a composer.

Headshot of Sarah Fader


Marblehead School of Ballet

Sarah Fader began teaching Children’s Ballet I classes at MSB in the fall of 2005.  She has taught Creative Movement classes at the school since 2010. 

Her ballet training began in Connecticut, at the Hartford Conservatory, and continued at the Hartford Ballet Company. She studied with Edward Villella of the New York City Ballet, and with William Anderson of the American Ballet Theatre.  Locally, she has studied with Marie Paquette, Anna Myer, and, of course, Paula K. Shiff.

Sarah graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where her concentration was in Dance, Theatre, and English Literature.  She has been teaching dance classes in a variety of styles, from Ballet to Jazz, African to Cuban Modern, to students of varying ages — from 3 to 80 — all of her adult life.



Marblehead School of Ballet

A graduate of Salem State University, Jimmy started his classical ballet training at MSB under the direction of Paula K. Shiff. His extensive performing career includes our very own North Shore Civic Ballet, as well as Boston Ballet, Boston Opera Company, Arlene Erb Jazz Company, and the historical works of Doris Humphrey at Windhover directed by Ina Hahn. He has also performed in numerous musical theatre productions with choreography by Thomas Molinaro.

A well known teacher, Raye owned and directed Action Dance Theatre in

Headshot of Jimmy Raye

Salem, MA, for over two decades. Other teaching credits include: Salem State University, Endicott College, Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University, Jeanette Neil Dance Studio in Boston, MA, and other schools throughout the country.

One of the first teachers to bring Pilates from New York City to the North Shore, he studied with Pilates master teacher Romana Kryzanowska, the inheritor of Joseph Pilates’ studio. He has a Pilates studio in Salem, MA where he carries on the Pilates method.

Headshot of Nancy Murphy


Marblehead School of Ballet

Nancy has been dancing since early childhood. She performed with the Maine State Ballet and the Connecticut Ballet. Later, she also performed with the Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble. Today she is a member of the Back Pocket Dancers.

She now specializes in partnered dances, including ballroom forms such as Waltz and Foxtrot; latin forms such as Rumba, Cha Cha, and Salsa; East Coast Swing and Argentine Tango. She teaches at a number of venues in the Boston Area.

As a social dancer, Nancy can be seen on the floor at events ranging from Milongas to Swing dance clubs, and just about anything in between. She bring this “real life” experience to her teaching. She’s trained many Boston area dancers and teachers.



Marblehead School of Ballet

Christine holds extensive training in Barre and dance. With training from American Barre Technique, she is a certified fitness instructor and continues to take classes regularly to keep up with current training techniques. As a dancer, she trained at the Marblehead School of Ballet for several years, and danced with the North Shore Civic Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Ballet Theatre of Boston. DeSalvo received an Associates degree in Business Management from North Shore Community College.

Headshot of Julie Pappas Smith
Headshot of Iris E. Berry


Marblehead School of Ballet

Jessica grew up in Bedford, NH where she studied jazz, tap, theatre, and voice at the Bedford Youth Performing Company and studied ballet at Southern NH Dance Theatre. She has attended summer intensives at The Rock School of Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Balletand San Francisco Ballet School. She is currently a member of The Radio City Rockettes in New York City and just completed her 6th season performing in the their Christmas Spectacular. In the summer of 2016 she was in the cast of the New York Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes, choreographed by Mia Michaels.



Marblehead School of Ballet

Carlos is the artistic director of BALAM Dance Theatre, a contemporary world dance company. He specializes in Baroque, Balinese, and Spanish escuela bolera dances and works as a choreographer, dancer, and teacher.  Known for spirited, elegant performances, Fittante’s choreographies received praise from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, and Dance Magazine, to mention a few.  He has performed his work with the Boston Early Music Festival, Blue Hill Bach Festival, Apollo’s Fire, Gotham Early Music Scene, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Downtown Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Metropolitan Museum of ArtMuseum of Natural HistoryYale University, Princeton University, 2nd Encuentro de Baile Contemporáneo in Mexico, International Arts Festival in Bali, and others.  

Headshot of Julie Pappas Smith

As a guest artist, Fittante’s repertoire features these eclectic dance solos: the masked Baroque dance, Chaconne de Phaeton, by Louis Pecour (circa 1704); Terunajaya, a Balinese fan dance, and El Vito, a Spanish escuela bolera dance performed with castanets.  Dance critic Deborah Jowitt described Amantes, his fusion choreography combining a Balinese mask and Latin pop-music as, “a haunting solo of indeterminate gender”.  His choreography ranges from the Baroque operas Dido and Aeneas, Versailles-Portrait of a Royal Domain, and the Prologue to Il Pastor Fido, to the ballet Sita Lost in the Forest, a Balinese/contemporary fusion piece inspired by the Hindu epic Ramayana. He offers master classes and is a movement and gesture coach for independent films. He also creates customized choreographies for diverse communities.  A graduate of The School of American Ballet, he holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin.  He teaches ballet and Introduction to Dance at Queens College: City University of New York.

Headshot of Iris E. Berry


GUEST TEACHER | Anatomy, Sutton Dance Writing™
Marblehead School of Ballet

Iris returns to MSB having previously taught ballet, jazz, injury prevention, and Sutton Dance Writing™. Having danced from the age of 5, she went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in PE/Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

She also has completed a degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant, became a certified athletic trainer and a massage therapist. Continuing her efforts to assist in injury rehabilitation, she is on staff at the ProEx Physical Therapy clinic in Salem, MA where her specialty is dance and sports injuries. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Sports Science departments at Salem State University and Endicott College.



GUEST TEACHER | Floor Barre, Broadway Jazz
Marblehead School of Ballet

Julie received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory, and her professional career has spanned the globe, appearing in A Chorus Line, Showboat, West Side Story, and many other productions. She is a master teacher of the Zena Rommett Floor Barre technique.

A former faculty of Miami City Ballet, she is currently based in Florida where she owns and operates Miami Performing Arts Studio. She began her ballet training at MSB under Paula K. Shiff, and returns to teach for our Summer Intensive programs.

Headshot of Julie Pappas Smith




The majority of our photographs are currently provided by NSCB board member