The Tallahassee Ballet is proud to have a resident costume staff to design and create for every production.
Kiersten Boyett is a native of Mobile, Alabama, where she began her dance training at age six. She also began learning to sew from her grandmother at the young age of five. Kiersten trained at the Mobile Ballet school from 13 until 17 when she chose to focus on teaching dance at her own small studio and sewing professionally. For nearly a decade, she taught at her school and created several children’s ballets, for which she also designed and constructed all of the costumes. In 2019 she was offered the position of Wardrobe coordinator at Mobile Ballet, where she worked alongside Director Katia Garza for four seasons. Kiersten has created costumes for minor roles in Garza’s Giselle, Beauty and the Beast, Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Princess and the Frog, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake. In 2021, Kiersten attended several classes at Tutu.com’s tutu school, including Bodices, Classical tutus, Men’s Tunics, and Basic Leotards.
Boyett loves combining her passion for ballet with that for sewing to create beautiful costumes for the many wonderful dancers she has had the pleasure of working with.
Costume Designer Emeritus
Ann Todd became involved with The Tallahassee Ballet in 1988 when her daughter, Julie, was in the Company. She immediately found a creative outlet on the costume committee and began creating her own designs. In 1990, she became the Resident Costume Designer, and this will be her 28th season of costuming at Tallahassee Ballet.
Her original costumes include the ensemble pieces of An Evening of Music and Dance productions, such as Boléro, Malachite, and the gypsy costumes of Madeline’s Gypsy Adventure. She also designed the Company’s 2002 production of the full-length The Sleeping Beauty, and the premiere costumes of Coppélia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2005, Ann was commissioned by the FSU Dance Department to design the costumes for the premiere of Aqueous Myth. Over the next two years, Ann and her staff added costumes for two new premiere ballets, Henry Hernandez’s Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan. The following years brought us Story Book Ballet, Tallahassee Rocks, Snow White, Rapunzel, Carnival of Animals, In Performance with The Tallahassee Ballet, and the 2016 productions of Firebird and La Bayadère, all with new designs.
Ann officially retired as of this 50th Anniversary year, but she will held in Emeritus status as her legacy will be seen in our performances for years to come. The Ballet is also indebted to costume mistresses and support staff through Ann’s reign, including Boo Hartsell, Yenna Colvin, Laurie Molina, Sue Kay, and Brenda Huang for their dedicated years of time, talent, and energies to the costume department.
Boo Hartsell has been a valued member of the costume team for more than 30 years. She first got involved when her three daughters danced with the company. Now, her granddaughter is a member of the Company.
Michelle Wheeler is the Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives at North Florida College, in Madison, FL. She is working to attain an MBA from LSU and a Spanish for Professionals Graduate Certificate from MNSU. Costume design for community theatre in her hometown has been a labor of love for the past six years for productions of The Lion King, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Something Wicked This Way Sings, Frozen, and Something’s Afoot. Her nine-year-old daughter loves the stage and Michelle loves to help the cast shine. She joined the Tallahassee Ballet as a Seamstress in March of 2023 and is thrilled to put her creativity and skill to work for the company. “I am so happy that I found my tribe and I am looking forward to all that we can accomplish together.”