Samantha SheltonJuly 7, 2022 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University's Dance Department will welcome Samantha Shelton as Associate Professor of Dance in August 2022.

Shelton brings extensive experience as a dance educator, performer, choreographer, and repetiteur. She will teach ballet, pointe, men's and women's variations, pas de deux, pedagogy, ballet teaching methods, and performance.

“I am thrilled that Ms. Samantha Shelton is joining our faculty this fall,” said Belhaven University Dance Department Chair Krista Bower. “She has many years of experience and fully embraces the Christian mission of our program. Dance majors will sit under the expert tutelage of a talented professor who wants to invest in the lives of her students.”

Shelton received her professional training from the Joffrey Ballet in New York and in Michigan with Rose Marie Floyd. She also studied in London with Anita Young (Royal Ballet) and at the Cecchetti International program in England.

Most recently, she was invited to guest teach at Duke University as part of the partnership between the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Studio Company and Duke University. For the past 20 years, she has been on the ballet faculty for ABT Summer Intensive, currently directed by Kate Lydon, setting repertoire and choreographing new ballets for the final performances.

Currently, she is on faculty for the ABT Summer Intensives at the University of Texas and travels the country as an adjudicator for the ABT National Audition Tour, selecting dancers for training programs in New York, Texas, California, Florida, and Alabama.

Shelton taught at the ABT program at the University of Alabama and the Detroit Opera House/Wayne State University.She has choreographed and taught for the professional ballet programs at Houston Ballet, Walnut Hill School in Boston, Ballet Tennessee, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Duke University, and Interlochen Arts Academy. She also taught company class for Complexions, Ballet Hispanico and Grand Rapids Ballet.

Shelton received her first professional offer at 17 and has performed extensively in both classical and contemporary ballets.Classical roles include the Grand Pas from Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle, and Raymonda. In her guest artist performances, she has partnered with Craig Salstein (of ABT), Arch Higgins (New York City Ballet), and Christopher Stowell (San Francisco Ballet) among many others.

She holds an M.F.A in Dance from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Rackham Thesis grant, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. She has also done graduate work at New York University in Performing Arts Administration with internships in development, public relations and marketing at Carnegie Hall and the Orchestra of St. Luke's.

For six years, she served on the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance Alumni Society Board of Governors, and in May 2012, she spent three weeks in Taiwan, teaching and presenting a piece of choreography for Tainan University. She has also held professorships at several colleges and universities including Alma College, Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University.

She is certified through the American Ballet Theatre National Curriculum Training Program and in August of 2014, co-taught the ABT NTC with Harriet Clark at the Detroit Opera House.Shelton is the Artistic Director of Samantha Shelton Ballet Training Programs.