top of page

Our School Faculty

Talent and dedication to the art of classical and modern ballet bring artists together to create the magic of the New York State Ballet.

Katie Headshot-BW.jpg
Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson is the founder and artistic director of New York State Ballet, as well as the owner and artistic director of the NYSB Training Academy. Katherine studied at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School for four years, graduating with professional certification in the Cecchetti Method and Vaganova System of ballet technique and training.


Katherine has choreographed major portions of several professional ballet performances, most notably of a full-length adaptation of The Nutcracker, excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty for NYSBTA, and Alice in Wonderland for Western New York Youth Ballet.  She also choreographed pieces performed at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division’s “First Steps” Choreographic Competition.

Janet BW-LR.jpg
Janet Wentling

Janet Wentling began her early training with Yvonne Cusack (R.A.D.) and later with Stanley Holden in Los Angeles. She spent several summer intensives in the U.S. and Canada, and had the opportunity of studying with many ballet legends, including Royes Fernandez, Lupe Serrano, Valerie Taylor, Anatole Vilzak, and Stefan Wenta. She trained in the Vaganova method for 12 weeks under Natalia Zolotova, master teacher of the graduating class of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Russia.

Janet attended both the Pennsylvania Ballet and San Francisco Ballet schools on year-round scholarships.

After beginning her professional career in San Francisco, Ms. Wentling then joined Loyce Houlton’s Minnesota Dance Theatre where she performed in works by George Balanchine and Frederick Ashton and was part of the creation of many original ballet and contemporary ballet works by world-renown choreographer, Loyce Houlton.

Following her performing career, Janet was chosen and mentored by Francia Russell, former co-director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and director of the P.N.B. school in the syllabus of the P.N.B. school and in the art of pedagogy.

Janet has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota Dance Department, Northwest Ballet, and was a founding faculty member of Ballet Arts Minnesota, Minneapolis.

She was hired by both Joffrey Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet as the children’s rehearsal director in their Nutcracker productions and received a grant to travel overseas and study international dance education.

For the past eight years, Janet has worked as instructor, coach, choreographer and office manager for New York State Ballet.

Angela Wentling


Angela began her training under the direction of her mother, Janet Wentling, and teachers Julianne Deming and Inna Esipova. She has attended summer intensives at Kaatsbaan, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and the American Ballet Theater NYC. Angela joined the New York State Ballet in 2020 after completing her student years in its school.

Angela has had the privilege to work with choreographers Sarah Rothrock-Rickel, Robert Royce, Rebekah Von Rathonyi, Zachary Frazee, and Bonnie Mathis, and has danced many roles in ballets including Paquita, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Snow Queen, the Nutcracker, the Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Don Quixote, and the Firebird.

In 2021, Angela began teaching in the New York State Ballet Training Academy; she has discovered a love for sharing her knowledge with the next generation of dancers. She is grateful to be dancing in her fourth year with the company!

Anna Ackerman 

Anna Ackerman began her dance training in 2015 at Sovereign Ballet in Erie, Pennsylvania. She studied under Christina Maria Adelhardt of Boston Ballet and Lake Erie Ballet. Anna participated in summer intensives at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Mercyhurst University. In 2019, she continued her full-time training in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s pre-professional program, where she had the opportunity to perform with the company in The Nutcracker and Beauty and the Beast. She was accepted into Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate program in 2020 where she had the opportunity to perform principal and soloist student roles that include Marie and the Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Flower Festival in Genzano, and Pas de trois and Cygnets (Swan Lake).


In 2021, she competed in the National Society of Arts and Letters competition, where she won 1st place regionally and 3rd place nationally. Since joining the New York State Ballet in 2022, she has performed the roles of Clara in The Nutcracker and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Anna looks forward to her second season with NYSB.

bottom of page