Meet the Instructors
David Herriott received his early dance training with Loyd Tygett at the Huntsville Civic Ballet. He danced professionally as a principal soloist with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre, touring internationally, and working with noted choreographers including Agnes de Mille, John Neumier, Norbert Vesak, and Elliot Feld.
Mr. Herriott has held the positions of Artistic/Executive Director of Huntsville Ballet Company and Columbus Ballet, and Artistic Director of AYB since its inception in 2006. He has choreographed for Fantasy Playhouse, Ars Nova, and Huntsville Community Chorus, and won the contemporary division of the 1992 Panoply Choreography Competition. He has been an instructor at Santa Monica College and at The University of the South. Mr. Herriott’s former students have been invited to study and perform with Alvin Ailey, ABT, Joffrey, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Harrid Conservatory to name a few.
Caitlynn Quintela, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, is a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor. She embarked on her dance journey at Alabama Youth Ballet where she trained in the company extensively during her school years. Caitlynn's passion for ballet led her to study under the instruction of Dominique Angel, a former dancer at Joffrey Ballet School. Additionally, she delved into the contemporary art form, honing her skills through collaborations with esteemed professionals like Dante Puleio, the artistic director of Limón Dance Company.
Caitlynn's dedication and talent have been recognized through numerous performing arts scholarships, which have opened doors for her to participate in festivals, intensives, and masterclasses both in the United States and abroad.
In 2018, she had the honor of representing Troy University at the prestigious Danza in Arte a Pietrasanta in Italy, immersing herself in training alongside accomplished dancers and choreographers from around the globe. Her exceptional abilities were further acknowledged when she received the "Wings Award" in 2019, recognizing her as the "Best Dancer in a Dance Piece."
In 2020, Caitlynn graduated with honors, earning a BFA in Dance from the University of Troy. She currently resides in Huntsville, where she has established herself as a respected professional choreographer and dance instructor. With a versatile repertoire encompassing jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop, Caitlynn Quintela's driving purpose is to leave a lasting impact on others through the transformative power of art. With her extraordinary talent, unwavering dedication to teaching, and profound contributions to the dance community, she strives to inspire and touch the lives of individuals through the expressive medium of dance.
Instructor of Ballet, Jazz, & Theatrical
Cynthia shapes the lives of students through the visual and performing arts. Her love of dance started with the Huntsville Community Ballet. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alabama, and studied with Alvin Ailey and Gus Giordano. She holds a Masters of Arts from Alabama A&M. Cynthia has choreographed for the Marching Maroon & White Band at Alabama A&M University and for the Fun-Set Social Club's annual Beautillion Ball.
She has won numerous Panoply competitions and Wings Awards, including 2018-2019 Original Choreography of W.C. Handy Tribute, and was Resident Choreographer for AYB Theatre (2019-2020). She received the 5th Annual Alabama Music Award from that production. Currently, she teaches at Huntsville High School, Oakwood University, and Alabama Youth Ballet.
Director of AYBT's Liturgical Company
Alicia Wright is the director of AYBT's Liturgical Company and has been dancing since age 3. She has performed leading roles with Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre as Dew Drop, Orchid, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Aurora and Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and Odette and Odile in Swan Lake.
In 2014 she was awarded Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre's Dancer of the Year Award of Excellence. Alicia also holds several nominations for Wing's Awards and her choreography was a finalist in the Panoply Choreography Competition. Alicia graduated from the University of Alabama with a master’s and bachelor's of science in nursing. She is employed as a RN with Hospice Family Care.
Instructor of Ballet, Tap, & Jazz
Rebekah started taking jazz classes at age 7 and fell in love with dancing; she later added ballet, tap and lyrical to her repertoire. She studied under Melissa Barnett at Huntsville Dance Academy and was a member of the company.
After graduation, she began teaching preschool classes at HDA and enjoyed teaching so much that she has continued for the last 17 years! Rebekah enjoys teaching beginners the most and primarily works with beginning ballet, tap and jazz students. She has been teaching at AYB for 12 years and has enjoyed watching her students grow from beginners into refined dancers!
Instructor of Ballet, Jazz, & Modern
Paula Osmer began dancing as a small child at Community Ballet School under the direction of Lloyd Tygett, Keren Gibb, and David Herriott where she joined the Huntsville Ballet Company. She also participated in the dance magnet program at Lee High School. Paula continued her studies at The University of Alabama where she obtained a BA in Dance and, upon graduation, began her professional career in the Washington, DC metro area. Her dancing credits include: Bosmadance, City Dance Ensemble Early Arts, Bowen-McCauley Dance, Crossroads Dance Company, and several independent projects with various choreographers.
She also taught ballet, jazz, and modern classes at several schools including City Dance Center, Crossroads Academy of Dance, and Metropolitan Fine Arts Center. Paula has been teaching for Alabama Youth Ballet since 2012 and was the outreach director for The Dance Connection from 2013 to 2017. She enjoys teaching and inspiring her students, and also learning from them. Creating new works is one of Paula’s biggest passions. She has had the opportunity to choreograph for an Ars Nova production and has created multiple works for AYBT. In January of 2023, Paula began her newest project of working with The Arts on the Move program with Arts Huntsville. Paula’s greatest pride and joy is her loving family. She married her high school sweetheart in 2003 and has three amazing children.
Instructor of Irish Dance
Mrs. Bonnie Hardison began dance lessons when she was 3 years old, which instilled in her a lifelong passion for dance, and studied ballet 14 years. While attending Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, GA, she studied jazz under Leon Von Brown of the Atlanta Ballet, along with tap and modern dance. Upon graduation, she expanded her dance training for several years, to include cabaret style and tribal belly dancing, traveling as far as Boston, MA for studies.
In 2009, Mrs. Bonnie expanded her dance training, yet again, to include Irish dancing within the bounds of the CLRG. This was the beginning of her competitive career in dance. She has won many awards, and a few adult championships, within the CLRG. In 2018, she further expanded her Irish dance training to include Rince ar an Sean Nòs (old style Irish dance). This style of dance is her current focus. In 2019, she placed top 2 in the region, qualifying top 15 in the world at the Fleadh Cheoil na Eireann (All Ireland World Championships) held in Drogheda, Ireland. In 2021, she placed top 3 at the Fleadhfest na Eireann held in Sligo, Ireland of that same year. In 2022, Mrs. Bonnie completed her first level of Sean Nòs teacher certification under Shannon Dunne, University of Notre Dame. In 2023, she, again, placed top 2 in the region, qualifying top 16 in the world. She has studied under multiple Sean Nòs dancing teachers, including Siobhan Butler, Edwina Guckian, and Sharleen McCafferey, to name but a few. It has been her pleasure to perform locally, regionally, and in Ireland.
Instructor of DanceFun, PreBallet, Ballet, Pointe
Marian Hoover is originally from Enola, Pennsylvania. She began ballet lessons at the age of 9 with The Columbus Ballet in Columbus, Georgia under the direction of Maria Hirsch and Beth Griffin and later under the direction of David Herriott. She also attended summer programs at Cental Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Louisville Ballet.
While attending college, she trained and began teaching at Capital Area Dance Theatre in Enola under the direction of Holly Mora. She graduated from Harrisburg Area Community College with a degree in Business Management.
After graduating, she moved to Huntsville and began training and teaching with Huntsville Ballet under the direction of Phillip Otto and Rachel Butler-Otto. Later, she moved to Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre under the direction of David Herriott and Keren Gibb-Hillard.
Some of her favorite roles include Swanilda’s friend in Maria Hirsch’s Coppelia, Tango Dancer in David Herriott’s Charlie Chaplin, and in the Nutcracker the roles of Arabian, Sugar Plum, Snow Queen and Spanish.
Instructor of Hip Hop, Jazz, & Tap
Bio coming soon
Instructor of Tap
Danielle Burleson began dancing when she was 3 years old at Becky Kerns Dance Studio in Belleville IL. Her family moved to Huntsville when she was 10 years old where she began studying under Barbra Ellen Smart at North Alabama Dance Center. She spent 9 years at NADC where she studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and contemporary. Danielle was also a part of the NADC competition team until she graduated high school. During her junior and senior year at Sparkman High School, she danced on the varsity dance team bringing home the National Hip Hop Championship both years. Danielle has received many gold, platinum, and national championship awards for her dancing over the years, and her senior year in high school was chosen to be on the National Dance Association Team to perform in parade's all over the world.
Since High school Danielle's passion for dance has continued to grow. She worked with Cynthia Quintela doing choreography for the Huntsville High School dance team, and was asked back to Sparkman to do some choreography with their JV dance team as well. She attended college at Athens State University where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in business management, and is currently working at Marshall Space Flight Center as the Photography Lead.