- Written by Joe Cronin
Ballet Excel Ohio
MIA KLINGER, Ballet Excel Ohio’s Artistic Director, was a founding member of the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, now renamed Ballet Excel Ohio. After training with her mother, Nan Klinger, Mia went on to study as a scholarship student with the School of the American Ballet, Melissa Hayden Studio and Steps Studio in New York City. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she performed with NCSA's touring dance ensemble.
A premier teacher and coach, Mia has studied many years under her mother Nan Klinger, John White of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society, Marcia Dale-Weary of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, School of American Ballet, Ballet Academy East and many others. Her unequaled dedication to her school, students and instructors and her unique teaching style has brought national attention to the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and Excellence in Dance for being one of the top training schools in the country. She has guest taught at Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, Vevey Youth Ballet in Vevey, Switzerland, West London School of Dance in London, England and many others. Mia joined the faculty of Excellence in Dance Studio in 1989, where she has continued to meet the growing needs of the pre-professional program. Since 1989 she has introduced Variation Class, where the most advanced students learn world-renowned choreography, Men's class and Partnering for the increasing numbers of young men studying ballet and a Choreographic Workshop in which veteran dancers create original dances and compositions for the Excellence In Dance Spring Workshop. Many of her students are now enjoying professional dance careers, excelling in college dance programs and teaching dance throughout the world.
Mia served as Artistic Assistant when the ballet company toured Taiwan in 1992, and assisted in many rehearsals before being named Artistic Associate in 1999 and Artistic Director in 2001. Since being named Artistic Director, Mia has played an integral role in creating the International Youth Festival in Vevey, Switzerland in which her took students classes and performed with dancers from around the world including England, Russia, South Africa, and Switzerland. In 2005, the company was asked to perform Madeline At The Circus at Symphony Space in New York City, fulfilling the dream of Founding Artistic Director, Nan Klinger. In 2010, they also performed Fancy Nancy at Symphony Space in New York City. Mia’s artistic vision has brought two new holiday ballets and ten new modern and classical ballets to the repertoire. In 2011, the ballet company was recognized among the 2011 Beacon's Best Top 10 for an outstanding contribution to the community as it celebrated its 35th season. Mia received the Arts Alive! 2011 Award for the Outstanding Artist in Dance, currently serves on the board of OhioDance and is a member of Leadership Akron: 2013-2014 Thirtieth Class.