Megan Marvel, Artistic Director
Megan Marvel grew up in Raleigh and trained at The Raleigh School of Ballet and was a member of Raleigh Dance Theatre. She studied at NC State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Degree focusing on Choreography and Dance Design. She served as the Assistant Director of the NC State Dance Program from 2000-2006. Ms. Marvel joined The Raleigh School of Ballet’s faculty in 1997 and served as RDT’s Administrative Assistant from 1997-2006. She became Associate Director of RDT in 2006 and was named Artistic Director in June 2021.
Ms Marvel lives in Apex with her husband, Rob Cranfill and daughter, Jacqueline. She owns Natural Marvels Massage Therapy and Living Marvelously Wellness and works as a licensed massage therapist, wellness coach, and ACE certified personal trainer. This work outside of RDT/RSB influences her philosophy of training well-rounded, grounded, healthy dancers who are ready to step out into the world in whatever capacity they choose with strength and grace.
Hong Yang, Artistic Advisor
Hong Yang is originally from Beijing, China where she studied dance at the school of the Beijing Dance Academy graduating in 1995. She joined the National Ballet of China and was a principal dancer there before going to Toronto, Canada where she danced with Ballet Jörgen Canada. In 2002 she joined Carolina Ballet as a soloist. Ms Yang’s repertoire is extensive. Along with being featured in many ballets by Robert Weiss, she performed choreography by George Balanchine including, Apollo, Allegro Brilliante, Concerto Barocco and The Four Temperaments; Lynn Taylor Corbett including Carmina Burana, Great Galloping Gottschaulk, and Carolina Jamboree, and Jose Limon including Moor’s Pavane. She also performed works by Dameon Woetzel, Christopher Wheeldon and Tyler Walters. She retired in 2011 with a performance of Tatiana in Balanchine’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Since then she has been passing on her knowledge and love of dance through teaching.
Ms. Yang was named School Director of The Raleigh School of Ballet and Artistic Advisor of Raleigh Dance Theatre in June 2021.
Layla El-Khoury, Administrative and Artistic Coordinator
Layla El-Khoury received her training at The Raleigh School of Ballet where she graduated from the Professional Division Program in 2015. She was also a member of the school’s affiliate performance training company Raleigh Dance Theatre for six years. She attended summer intensives with Atlanta Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. Ms. El-Khoury continued her training in ballet and contemporary dance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance training with Peter Sparling, Bill DeYoung, Amy Chavasse and Judy Rice. With her growing interest in choreography, she attended the Glenda Brown Choreography Project for two years working with Leslie Jane Pessemier. Ms. El-Khoury received her young children’s ballet teacher training under RSB faculty members Kathryn Daniel and Christine Grider.
Ms. El-Khoury joined the RSB summer faculty in 2018 teaching advanced modern and composition. We are pleased to welcome her to The Raleigh School of Ballet’s Young Children’s faculty. She was named Administrative and Artistic Coordinator in June 2021.
Mary LeGere, Artistic Director Emeritus
A native of Rotterdam NY, Mary LeGere began her dance training at age nine. In 1976, she won a scholarship to the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet where she studied with Barbara Weisberger, Benjamin Harkavy, and Lupe Serrano. In 1980, she joined the Pennsylvania Ballet, and in 1986 was promoted to soloist. Working under the artistic direction of Benjamin Harkavy and later Robert Weiss she danced lead roles in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Symphony In C, Tarantella, Symphony in Three Movements, and Steadfast Tin Soldier, as well as Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. She was featured in Calcium Night Light by Peter Martins, and in works by Lynn Taylor Corbett, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor. In 1990, she retired with an acclaimed performance of Myrta in Giselle.
After moving to North Carolina with her husband, Ms. LeGere joined the faculty of The Raleigh School of Ballet. She became Associate Director of Raleigh Dance Theatre in 1991, and served as Artistic Director of Carolina Ballet during its 3 year transition to a professional company. Choosing to no longer direct Carolina Ballet, Ms. LeGere became the Director of the reestablished Raleigh Dance Theatre until her retirement in June 2021.
Ms. LeGere has choreographed 17 works for Raleigh Dance Theatre, many that were chosen to be performed at the RDA/SE annual festival. In April 2016, Ms LeGere received the Regional Dance America National Choreography Recognition Award.
Ms. LeGere co-directed The Raleigh School of Ballet, where she taught for 30 years. She has guest taught and set her choreography at schools and companies all over the country. She was honored with the 2006-2007 North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Award. This prestigious award honors individuals who have made significant life-time contributions to the growth and development of dance in North Carolina.
In August of 2021, Ms. LeGere was named Artistic Director Emeritus of Raleigh Dance Theatre and the RDT Board of Directors established a fund in her honor. She continues to work with RDT overseeing the George W. Newton School Performance Initiative and other outreach activities.