Mr. Brooks is the Company’s Artistic Director as well as one of the Company Choreographers. He has a wide range of professional experience including 18 years as a Principal Dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City (DTH). Brooks is featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and was recently inducted into (MOBB) Museum of Blacks in Ballet. To learn more about Mr. Brooks, visit his full biography under the leadership section.
chief operating officer
Lauren Hernandez is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Tallahassee Ballet. She is also an experienced choreographer. Hernandez’s choreographic achievements include Spanish, Arabian, and the Battle Scene from The Tallahassee Ballet’s The Nutcracker and pieces from 2014-2016 performances of An Evening of Music and Dance. Hernandez was the Director of Ballet at North Georgia Dance Arts (NGDA) and Director/Choreographer for the 2017-2019 productions of NGDA’s The Nutcracker. To learn more about Lauren Hernandez, visit her full biography under the leadership section.
Katy E. Cashin
Guest Choreographer & Répétiteur
Katy E. Cashin is a freelance choreographer in New York City, creating works for White Horse Theater Company (WHTC) and The Tallahassee Ballet (TTB). Cashin’s WHTC productions include Tennessee William’s A Cavalier for Milady, Sam Shepard’s Eyes for Consuela, and WHTC Artistic Director Cyndy Marion’s world premiere, You Are Perfect, which was selected for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival and restaged in Los Angeles, CA in 2018. Cashin has created ten original works for TTB, including Rhapsody, Retour, Focus, Mainframe, and Rebonds B. She created works for “First Look” presented by Brooklyn Ballet and South Georgia Ballet’s FUSE: Boots & Ballet.
Cashin received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance and Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Southern Methodist University, where she performed soloist roles in masterworks by George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Arthur Mitchell, and Gerald Arpino. She trained with The Tallahassee Ballet (TTB) under the direction of Joyce Fausone as well as under Christina Paolucci (New York Theatre Ballet), Sheila Humphreys (Royal Ballet), and Richard Sias (National Ballet of Canada). At TTB, Cashin performed several principal and soloist roles in full-length ballets such as The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Beauty and the Beast. Cashin received her Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York City. Cashin is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Company Teacher, Coach, and Choreographer
Meagan Helman is a faculty member at Florida State University’s School of Dance and Company teacher at The Tallahassee Ballet. She performed professionally as a principal dancer with Ballet Theatre of Maryland (BTM), where her repertoire included: Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Coppélia, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Firebird, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Nutcracker, Carmen, and The Scarlet Letter, among many other contemporary works. Helman served as the Ballet Mistress for BTM from 2009-2014, where she also choreographed and taught for the company and school. Her choreography has been performed by Ballet Theatre of Maryland, The Tallahassee Ballet, Delaware Dance Company, Goucher College, and at the American College Dance Association. Helman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from Goucher College and a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University. She is currently the photographer for FSU’s School of Dance and the performance photographer for The Tallahassee Ballet. Her photographs have been published in Dance Magazine, Dance Studio Life, and Dance Teacher Magazine. Helman is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
2023-2024 Guest Choreographer
Caleb Mitchell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where he started his serious early ballet training at the age of 16 under Rose Marie Floyd. After graduating cum laude in 1998 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Arizona, Mitchell joined the Houston Ballet under Ben Stevenson, O.B.E.-emeritus, and later Stanton Welch, Artistic Director.
During his tenure with Houston Ballet (1998-2007), Mitchell performed many featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Christopher Bruce, Ronald Hynd, Lila York, Natalie Weir, Julia Adams, Trey McIntyre, Stanton Welch, James Kudelka, and David Parsons. In 2007, Mitchell was awarded a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship (Helen Russell Scholar) at the University of California-Irvine. In June 2009, Mitchell received a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance, and soon after became Assistant Professor of Dance faculty at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi where he received tenure (2009-2016).
Mitchell’s guest choreographic, teaching, and guest panel engagements include the following institutions: Co-choreographed with late legendary choreographer and teacher Dr. Donald Mckayle on a creation for University of California, Ad Deum Dance Company, Irvine’s Etude Dance Ensemble entitled Sanctuary (2009), METdance, Ballet 5:8, The Link School of the Arts, Vivid Ballet , Ballet Hartford, Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, Cirque du Soliel: Elvis, Brigham Young Univeristy Department of Dance, Texas Ballet Theater Professional Division, University of California Irvine’s Etude Ensemble (Dr. Donald McKayle–Artistic Director), Charlotte Ballet Summer Intensive, The Masterworks Festival, Belhaven University, University of Utah, University of Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma Summer Dance Intensive, East Carolina University School of Theater and Dance, Santa Monica College, Houston Ballet 2, Southern Methodist University, and others.
In the fall semester 2016, he joined Santa Monica College Dance Department (Santa Monica, California) as a full-time Associate Professor of Dance. Currently, since August 2018, Mitchell serves as a full-time Assistant Professor of Dance at Florida State University’s School of Dance.
Christopher L. Huggins
2023-2024 Guest Choreographer
Christopher L. Huggins is a visionary dance innovator. He is an Alvin Ailey disciple and historian, developing multilayered storytelling through dance. Christopher attended Purchase University, the Julliard School, and was a merit scholar at the Ailey School. He’s a former soloist of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Aterballetto of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
His work is rooted in research that memorializes our darkest history: this is found in his ballet THE LIST, a story about the systemic genocide of a Jewish family and those in concentration camps, and in his ballet NEW FRUIT, inspired by Nina Simone’s music, documents terror lynching.
Through his dance initiative, he provides access to emerging dancers and choreographers to study abroad with him. He works around the globe and held residencies at over 25 universities and colleges. Christopher is a multi-award winner, including the 2021 Guggenheim Award Winner for Choreography, two Alvin Ailey Awards from Black Theater Alliance, a Walt Disney Diversity award, a Critics Choice award, and silver medalist of the International Dance Competition in Seoul, Korea. In addition, he holds the distinction of being “répétiteur” of Mr. Ailey’s ballets. Learn more about Christopher’s artistry here. Christopher wants his work to heal, entertain, and inspire mankind as he continues his dance legacy.
Dr. Kathryn Karrh Cashin (1957-2023)
Kathryn (KK) Karrh Cashin, PhD, was a beloved former dancer of The Tallahassee Ballet (TTB) and long-time Resident Choreographer, best known for the brilliant choreography of our production of The Nutcracker.
In addition to The Nutcracker, KK is known for numerous chamber works, most notably Boléro. Her full-length ballets include Beauty and the Beast, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coppélia, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty. She also choreographed several children’s ballets and shared her artistry with Florida State Opera, choreographing over 20 works, including The Mikado, Eugene Onegin, Orpheus in the Underworld, and Romeo and Juliet.
The Tallahassee Ballet will always be indebted to the countless hours, creative passion, high standards, and unwavering support of Dr. Kathryn Karrh Cashin. Her commitment to TTB was beyond reproach and her kindness had no bounds. Her choreography and influence will be seen in our performances and in our hearts for as long as TTB exists.