The Academy of Performing Arts is pleased to include the following teachers in our growing master series program.  Please read their bios below to learn more about their backgrounds, careers, and teaching experience. This is an exciting opportunity to learn from teachers across the country. 


Christopher McDaniel

Christopher McDaniel is originally from East Harlem, NY, and is a former dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, and more recently, Los Angeles Ballet and Ballet San Antonio. Christopher has had the honor of dancing many featured roles in the company's eclectic repertoire. He has received multiple highlights and shout outs from critics at the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, and Broadway World.  In addition to dancing, Christopher served on faculty at Los Angeles Ballet School, and the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, teaching ballet and jazz dance. Christopher was very active in the development of several outreach programs at the Los Angeles Ballet. Christopher has appeared as a guest teacher at Los Angeles County High School of the Arts,  Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, Infinity Dance Company, Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, and Debbie Allen Dance Academy!  Christopher has completed the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet's Ballet Teacher Workshop, where he learned how to teach and apply the syllabus created by Marcia Dale Weary. In 2016 Christopher was invited to join the School of American Ballet’s National Visiting Fellows program. There he consulted on diversity and inclusion and learned the SAB curriculum/syllabus! Students of Christopher's have gone on to get scholarships at many prestigious dance institutions. After appearing with Ballet San Antonio as a Guest Artist in the Fall of 2015, Christopher joined the company as a Soloist, dancing an array of principal roles. In the fall of 2017, Christopher accepted a contract with the Dance Theatre of Harlem company! Since joining he has traveled the world dancing leading roles and teaching master classes!



Jamie Zollinger

Jamie Zollinger grew up in Pasco, WA, and trained with Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet. Her training also includes summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, School of American Ballet in NYC, and San Francisco Ballet. She danced professionally with the Los Angeles Ballet, and then Ballet West for eight years.  Since retiring in 2016 she has invested her time in teaching. She has taught for studios all over Idaho, Washington, and Utah. Since returning to Utah she now teaches for the Ballet West Academy and Barlow Arts Conservatory. 



Bryony McCullough


Originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Bryony McCullough began her professional ballet training at the age of 11 at the North Carolina School of the Arts.  She was accepted into their high school program in 2005 and continued her studies there through her senior year Upon her graduation in 2009, Bryony began a traineeship with the Richmond Ballet.  While there, she was cast in several of the company’s productions including The NutcrackerGiselle, and Romeo and Juliet by Malcolm Burn. She later joined Ballet West’s trainee program in Salt Lake City, where she performed in multiple company performances including Anna-Marie Holmes’ Don Quixote and Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella.  In 2011 as well as 2012, she had the privilege of touring with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as a Guest Artist in their production of The Nutcracker under the artistic direction of Tom Mossbrucker.  She joined Nevada Ballet Theatre as a trainee in 2013 and performed in many of the company's productions including Coppélia and Swan Lake Act II set by the renowned ballerina, Cynthia GregoryMs. McCullough joined Ballet San Antonio as an apprentice in 2014.  She was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in January 2015 under the artistic direction of Gabriel Zertuche. Her performance repertoire includes Ballet San Antonio’s productions of Rubies by George Balanchine, The Whistling by Dominic Walsh, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet by Ben Stevenson, and Sleeping Beauty in which she performed the leading role of “Carabosse”. With over 5 years of teaching experience, Ms. McCullough has taught ballet at multiple dance schools in San Antonio. She teaches ballet at San Antonio Dance Academy, as well as for the SA Youth after-school program at several elementary schools in San Antonio.  She is currently the Ballet Director at Sarita’s Dance Studio Inc. where she has been a ballet and pointe instructor for four years. 


Kira Peterson
Kira Petersen grew up in Minnesota where she studied multiple styles of dance with Lakeville City Ballet.  She then trained on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School Trainee Program in New York City.  During that time, she worked with critically acclaimed dancers and choreographers from around the world.  She was a founding member of the Joffrey Ballet School Performance Company where she performed soloist roles choreographed by Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet, Matthew Prescott of Morphoses, Julie Bour of Ballet Preljocaj, and Davis Robertson of Joffrey Ballet.  Kira has guested with Twin Cities Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet in lead roles such as Fairy Godmother in Frederick Ashton’s  Cinderella and Lead Harlot in Kenneth MacMillan’s  Romeo & Juliet. She also worked with renowned choreographer Karole Armitage in  On The Nature Of Things performed at The Museum of Natural History in New York City and in the American Premiere of  The Witches of Venice with Opera Saratoga. Kira previously danced with New Mexico Ballet Company for their 2012-2015 seasons and was thrilled to rejoin the company in the 2017 season. A career highlight of hers was performing as Christine in NMBC's 2019 production of  The Phantom of the Opera Ballet.
Madeline Bay-Dallas

Madeline began her ballet training at Illinois Ballet Theater in Moline, Illinois. In 2006 she joined the pre-professional company River Point Ballet. She studied under scholarships with the Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet West, Pittsburgh Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, and Texas Ballet Theater. After high school, she attended the University of Utah and joined their resident ballet company, Utah Ballet, in 2009. She also performed soloist and lead roles as a guest artist for Salt Lake City Ballet and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She graduated in 2012 with a B.F.A. in ballet performance and instruction. She joined Ballet Idaho as a company and became a member of the Ballet Idaho Academy faculty in 2012.

Some of her performance highlights with Ballet Idaho include Fairy Godmother in Edwaard Liang’s Cinderella, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. She has performed principal roles in works by choreographers Penny Saunders, Robyn Mineko Willams, Alejandro Cerrudo, Danielle Rowe, and Ricardo Armante. In the summer season, Madeline dances with ARC Dance in Seattle. During her 5 seasons performing with ARC, she has originated lead roles for Alex Ketley, Wen Wei Wang, and David Fernandez. Madeline has also performed with LED, Boise Dance Co-op, and Treefort Music Fest, and is a highly requested ballet teacher.

Jefferson Baum

Mr. Baum was awarded a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York City. Mr. Baum started his career with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company and subsequently was a soloist with the Ballet de Monte Carlo touring Europe for two years. Upon his return to the United States, and for the next 12 years, Mr. Baum performed as a principal with the New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Milwaukee Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Santa Fe Opera Ballet, New York City Opera Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Mr. Baum has been a principal guest performer, teacher and choreographer with numerous regional, civic and New York City companies and ensembles in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe including a 6-week tour of China with the Los Angeles Ballet, a 4 -week tour of Russia with Stars of American Ballet and a 3-week tour of Spain and Portugal (“Nureyev & Friends”) performing with Rudolf Nureyev. For 18 years he successfully headed the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Dance Department, touching the lives of thousands of young dancers. Providing top-notch training and choreography with the top Ballet Ensemble touring Europe for three weeks annually, he transformed the Blue Lake program into a highly respected national-level summer dance department. Mr. Baum served as Director of Dance, Associate Professor at Grand Valley State University from 2000 to 2007. Given the task of developing this university dance program, Mr. Baum, at the helm from its inception, focused on teaching, choreographing, directing, and producing dance performances of the highest quality with an absolute commitment to excellence. Formerly Director of Dance at the National Dance Institute, Mr. Baum is currently on the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet School faculty teaching Advanced Ballet, Men's Class, and Partnering. His students have gone on to professional careers with major companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet, Momix, Pittsburg Ballet Theater, Dutch National Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Boston Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Richmond Ballet. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.