Julie Ratz (Artistic Director) is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She has performed with SBC; ISU Dance Theatre; Twin Cities Ballet Company; Scottish American Ballet in Edinburgh, Scotland; and Harvard University Summer Dance. Julie holds a B.S. in Dance Performance/Choreography from Illinois State University (ISU); and she has studied dance in Chicago at Lou Conte and Joseph Holmes dance studios, and the Ruth Page Foundation. She has received the Springfield Area Arts Council choreography award, and has been a member of the Illinois Arts Council Partners in Excellence and Dance panels. Julie has performed in, choreographed and directed many productions for Over the Moon Productions (OTM), Springfield Theatre Centre (STC), Muni and the Hoogland Center for the Arts (HCFTA).
Scott F. RaperDevelopment Director
Scott F. Raper joined the Springfield Ballet Company as Development director in 2020. He holds a B.B.A. in Management and Organizational Behavior and a M.B.A. from Benedictine University. Scott has owned and operated several business ventures including a residential construction and real estate company, a wedding business, online music company, and a nonprofit performing arts company. Scott has worked in various capacities for Sears Roebuck & Co., State Farm Insurance, Midwest Insurance, was the assistant band director and head drumline instructor for Olympia CUSD 16, worked as an AVID Tutor for Springfield School District 186, was the Student Advocate for Benedictine University, and most recently serves as an adjunct professor for the MacKinnon School of Business at Lincoln College. Scott has volunteered numerous hours for various performing arts organizations including Drum Corps International, Bands of America, Winter Guard International, the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, and Green Thunder Percussion.
Gina DeCroix RussellBallet Mistress
Gina DeCroix Russell (Ballet Mistress) is the owner of Dance Arts Studio, Inc., and is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She holds an M.A. and a B.A. in Communication from the University at Illinois at Springfield (UIS) and a B.A. in Dance Performance from ISU. Gina has performed in and choreographed for countless SBC productions and has performed with the Scottish American Ballet in the Edinburgh Arts Festival Fringe. She has choreographed Sacred Heart-Griffin’s (SHG) productions of Beauty & the Beast, Suessical: The Musical, State Fair, Back to the 80s, Godspell, Anything Goes and Grease. Gina is actively involved in community theatre, having performed in CATS, Urinetown: The Musical, Shakespeare Shorts, Sylvia and Man of La Mancha for OTM; A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon, The Producers and Guys & Dolls for Muni, and Chicago for HCFTA.