Eastern Michigan University

College of Arts and Sciences

Music & Dance

direct edit

Ellen Kent


N101 Alexander Building




M.S. in Psychology - Specialist of education; University of Cincinnati

Courses Taught

  • Ballet


A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Ellen Kent began her ballet studies in Tallahassee with Sharon Davis. She continued her studies at the North Carolina School of the Arts, receiving her principal instruction from Balanchine ballerina Melissa Hayden, and completed her training at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ms. Kent’s career as a dancer spans thirteen years. She danced professionally with the Alabama Ballet, the Ballet Company of Spokane, Miami City Ballet, and as a soloist with the Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet Florida. She performed classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works, toured nationally and internationally, and worked with prominent American choreographers. Notable principal roles include Marguarite in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes, George Balanchine’s Emeralds, Divertimento No. 15, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, the title role in Kirk Peterson’s Carmen, and the classical roles of Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker.

Ms. Kent performed as a guest artist with the Tallahassee Ballet, the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet, and the Missoula Ballet. Ms. Kent also performed with the Dancers of New York Ballet, Robert LaFosse’s International Touring Group, performing with soloist and principal dancers from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She was reviewed in Dance Magazine in 1996 for her role in Balanchine’s Emeralds and featured in Point Magazine in 2002.

After retiring from performing, Ms. Kent pursued her interests of education and psychology. 

Ballet has been a lifelong passion for Ms. Kent and she was unable to stay out of the studio for long. Her teaching experience includes teaching at the Otto M. Budig Academy, the Cincinnati Ballet’s professional school, the Finger Lakes Ballet Academy, and multiple studios throughout the United States. She specializes in Ballet Technique, Pointe, and Variations and enjoys setting and rehearsing classical and neoclassical works.

Ms. Kent currently works both as a school psychologist and a ballet instructor. She believes that her background in classical ballet and education helps her deliver instruction tailored to the individual dancer. She especially loves helping students discover their own, individual talents and learn how to be invested in their own growth. Ms. Kent is honored to be a part of the wonderful community of artists at Eastern Michigan University!

The School of Music & Dance is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold • Faculty Resources