Meet the Faculty

Miguel Campaneria
Owner & Artistic Director

Mr. Campaneria was born in Cuba and was trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba underthe guidance of Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso and Azari Plisetski.  He joined the National Ballet of Cuba and was promoted to soloist at the age of 17.  He won the Bronze Medal in the Junior category at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.  He also partnered with Alicia Alonso in Marguerite, Armand and other ballets.

Upon leaving Cuba, Mr. Campaneria danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Harkness Ballet, America Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Ballets de San Juan.

Mr. Campaneria has over 45 years of dance experience as a Principal Dancer, guest artist, choreographer and artistic director in various well-established ballet companies all over the world.  In 2007 President Georg W. Bush appointed Mr. Campaneria to serve on the National Endowment of the Arts Council (NEA).

In August 2008, Mr. Campaneria was appointed the chair of dance at The Hartt School Community Division.

For over 20 years, Mr. Campaneria has been invited to Japan, serving four schools as Artistic Advisor, coach, choreographer and selective liaison bringing professional artists from the U.S. to perform in his ballet productions in Japan.  Additionally, Mr. Campaneria has been strategic in training talented international students from abroad in his programs here in the United States.  Since 2010, Mr. Campaneria has been Artistic Director and Ballet Master coaching pre-professional students and professional dancers in the state of North Carolina.  He currently has over twenty former students who are working in professional companies all around the world.

Under his professional coaching, numerous students have competed in many world competitions and won top places in both Classical and Contemporary Ballet categories.  In addition, he has been awarded “The Outstanding Teacher Award” by the Youth America Grand Prix in 2012 and 2013.  In 2014, Mr. Campaneria provided the opportunity and selected top students to perform abroad, dancing leading roles that provided not only invaluable dance experience and exposure to the students but tremendous personal cultural enrichment.

In September 2015, Mr. Campaneria established a permanent home in his own school in Cary, North Carolina – Campaneria Ballet School. In May of 2021, the school relocated to Apex, North Carolina.

Karen Olsen

Ms. Olsen received her ballet training at the School of American Ballet in New York City, where she attended on a Ford Foundation Scholarship for four years. There she studied under such ballet greats as Antonia Tumkovsky, Alexandra Danilova, Stanley Williams and Suki Shorer. Upon graduation she joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice where she performed in such Balanchine ballets as Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, Jewels and others. Ms. Olsen has performed in various cities across the U.S. and Europe and has appeared as guest artist with London Ballet Theatre, Maximum Dance Company and Miami Youth Ballet. For the past 25 years, Ms. Olsen has taught Ballet for various schools, including the prestigious Gulliver Academy. She designed the award-winning preschool dance program in Dade County, Florida, for Headstart. Currently, Ms. Olsen resides in Cary with her husband, Pat, and has three adult children.

Robin George
Ballet, Tap, Jazz; Mini Ballet Company Director

Robin has been a student of tap, jazz, and ballet since the age of four. She grew as a dancer in her home studio from a student to teacher’s assistant and onto becoming a choreographer and performance company director. She has studied tap and jazz at Chi-Town Jazz Dance (Evanston, IL), Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center as well as attending annual national workshops and conventions. Her journeys have taken her to several highly respected studios in Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida where she gained more experience as a director and instructor/choreographer with particular focus on ages three to eight. Robin’s teaching experience with Gulfshore Ballet in Ft. Myers Florida allowed her the opportunity to choreograph a holiday jazz performance piece for 6-10 year olds.  This performance was a collaboration between Gulfshore Ballet and the Southwest Florida Symphony.  She gained more experience as the primary instructor for Gulfshore’s Pre-Ballet program.  Upon arriving in Cary, Robin taught pre and beginner level ballet, jazz and tap classes at Cary Ballet Conservatory.  She was asked to join the 3D Jazz Project as a choreographer, and also updated children’s choreography for Cary Ballet’s Nutcracker production.

David Alan Cook

David Alan Cook is a native of North Carolina and Southern Georgia. He trained with Duane Dishion, Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski at Alabama School of Fine Arts, American Ballet Theater School, Joffrey Ballet School, and School of American Ballet for The New York City Ballet. David danced professionally with Cleveland-San Jose, Nashville, Pennsylvania, Atlanta and Delta Festival Ballet in New Orleans. Mr. Cook continued his career in The Netherlands, as an instructor for The Hogeschool Voor De Kunsten, Introdans, and ballet master for Djazzex, a modern jazz dance company in Den Haag. He continues his work here in North Carolina, as an instructor, coach and artistic adviser.

Lillian Prince
Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz

Lillian Grace Prince, from Concord NC, attends The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Animal Behaviors. Previously dancing at Piedmont Dance Theatre she has received training from instructors of American Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School, Charlotte Ballet and Alvin Ailey. Dancing from the age of three she’s had the honor of performing in 14 Nutcracker productions along with selections from Balanchine’s Serendade, Western Symphony, and Jewels along with Ailey’s ‘Revelations’, and La Sylphide. She continues performing on stage with the UNC Carolina Style Dance Company while also serving on its Board of Directors. She is excited to pass on her training and passion for dance to our up and coming dancers.

Toleu Mukanov

Born in Kazakhstan, Toleu Mukanov received his early training at the Almaty Choreographic College and later on graduated from Kyrgyzstan Ballet School. He was a gold medal recipient at the International Ballet Competition in Crimea, Ukraine, and also received a silver medal at the Almaty Ballet Competition. Immediately upon graduation, he joined Astana Ballet in Kazakhstan. Later on he danced with Kyrgyzstan’s Opera and Ballet Theatre. Toleu toured throughout most of Europe and other countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Japan, China, United States. No matter where he was traveling, the audience always admired his performance.

His past roles include: Basilio in Don Quixote, Golden Idol in La Bayadere, Ali in Le Corsaire, James in La Sylphide, Franz in Coppelia, Jester in Swan Lake, Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Diana and Acteon in Esmerelda, La Fil Me Gardee Pas De Deux, Satanella Pas De Deux, Festival des Fleurs at Genzano. Toleu also danced at a few ballet companies in USA like Festival Ballet Providence, Charleston City Ballet, Twin Cities Ballet, and American Repertory Ballet. In between, he also freelanced as well as taught ballet and partnering classes. While guest teaching, Toleu has been able to meet and coach students for YAGP. His students always loved and appreciated his experience, passion, and personality.