Artistic Director/Administrative Staff

Brandon Ragland | Artistic Director, Dayton Ballet

Brandon Ragland received early training in Birmingham, AL, and graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration. After graduation, he joined the Alabama Ballet, performing numerous classical and neoclassical works by choreographers such as Roger Van Fleteren, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, and Septime Webre. He joined the Louisville Ballet in 2010, where he spent 13 years as a leading artist and performed featured roles in classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by choreographers such as Alun Jones, George Balanchine, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Lucas Jervies, Stanton Welch, Ronald Hynd, and Tim Harbour. 

As a skilled dancer and arts administrator, Ragland has more than a decade of professional experience as a dancer, choreographer, and educator. He spent 13 years as a leading artist with the Louisville Ballet, as the Pre-Professional Program Manager for the Louisville Ballet School, and as Resident Choreographer for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble (LBYE). His dedication to education led him to teach for numerous ballet schools and companies, such as the Louisville Ballet School, Louisville Ballet Studio Company, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Ballet School, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Next Generation Ballet, Samford University, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet Arkansas. 

Ragland’s commitment to the community has led him to receive awards for his contribution to the Louisville arts community, including the “Best Artist” award in Louisville Magazine. Additionally, he received The Lift a Life Foundation’s “Emerging Leader in the Arts Award” from The Fund for the Arts and the M. A. Hadley Prize for Visual Arts. 

A respected choreographer, Ragland has created works for Louisville Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Sedona Chamber Ballet, and The Perla Ballet. His choreography with the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble was performed several times at the Regional Dance America/Southeast Festival. In addition, he choreographed two one-act ballets, Cinderella’s Ball and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for the Louisville Ballet School. 

Ragland has collaborated with many local community programs, such as the Root and Wings project, IDEAS xLab, and The Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program. In 2017, Ragland was honored to perform with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the Kennedy Center’s Dance Across America Program. 

Megan Forney | Co-Director, Dayton Ballet II

Megan Forney has been a teacher at Dayton Ballet School since 2008. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she moved to Dayton to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Wright State University. While at Wright State, Megan performed with the Wright State Dance Ensemble and was a member of the Dayton Ballet II Senior Company. During her summers away from WSU, she studied at Ballet Chicago and Ballet Internationale. As a member of DBII Sr., Megan performed in Dayton Ballet productions including The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, An American Cinderella, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Swan Lake, America’s Robin Hood and There Was a Time. She is thrilled to be in her third year as Director of the Dayton Ballet II Junior Company.

Gabrielle Sharp | Co-Director, Dayton Ballet II

Gabrielle Sharp has been a teacher at Dayton Ballet School since 2010 and was in Dayton Ballet II Junior and Senior Company before dancing with the Dayton Ballet professional company at age 17. While in Dayton Ballet II Senior Company, she won the Dancer Peer Award, Walter J. McCaslin Memorial Award, and the Josephine and Hermene Schwartz Award. Gabrielle has performed in Dracula, Nutcracker, Tales from the Shadows, There Was a Time, and America’s Robin Hood. Her most memorable roles include Dracula’s wife and a Spanish dancer in The Nutcracker. She is also an American Rhythm ballroom champion. She is thrilled to be working with Dayton Ballet II.