Marblehead School of Ballet title graphic
goto to the workshops goto Special Classes & Workshops goto to Swing, Ballroom, & Latin goto to Swing, Ballroom, & Latin goto School Policies goto Registration goto The NSCB Help the MSB goto The Staff goto the front door

115 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA 01945 Phone: 781-631-6262
Paula K. Shiff, Director -
Paula teaching

Our Staff

Faculty: Shauna Whelan Despommier. Sara Fader, Rosemary Grant, Mary Lee Karlins, Ivan Korn, Nancy Murphy, Jimmy Raye, Paula K. Shiff, Alikya Wingate
Emerita: Florence C. Whipple
Pianists: Brian Friedland,
Office Manager: Anita Novins

Director: Paula K. Shiff
Paula K. Shiff is the artistic director of the North Shore Civic Ballet. She has devoted her life to dance. She started training with E. Virginia Williams at the Boston Ballet School and studied in New York at the American Ballet Theatre and the Martha Graham Studio. Ms. Shiff performed with the Boston Ballet. She also had full academic training with a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts.

In 1971, Ms. Shiff opened the Marblehead School of Ballet. She also has served on the faculties of the North Shore Community College and Salem State College. The unusual range of her training and experience gives her a unique approach to dance education. Rather than adhering to one style of training, she draws the best from many styles. Primary emphasis is always placed on correct alignment and on a graded approach to material so that the dancers extend their skills in a balanced way, without injury. They are prepared to go on in their training in many forms of dance. The school also emphasizes the appreciation of music and the history of dance.

In 2009, Salem State College recognized Ms. Shiff's success and dedication with their Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts.

Comments from one parent, Maryann Gahagan:

"Watching my daughters develop as dancers—and as people—at the Marblehead School of Ballet was such a joy. I thought then, and I know now, that life long lessons were learned in its studios. The ability to set goals, to meet challenges, and to know success began right there.

The paths from the ballet studio are many and varied. One of my daughters was drawn to the theatre where performing, directing and teaching have brought fulfillment. Particularly in teaching, she finds opportunities to give to her students what MSB gave to her. My other daughter found her niche in the hotel industry where her poise and confidence have enhanced her professional stature. She credits Paula Shiff's mother, Ruth, with providing an early business sense as she sat at her side and 'helped' in the office.

Professionally and personally, my daughters continue to challenge themselves and to embrace all that life has to offer. What began at a ballet studio in Marblehead so many years ago still enriches their lives and fills this mother's heart with gratitude."

Mary Lee Karlins
Mary Lee Karlins joined the faculty at the Marblehead School of Ballet in 2001. Karlins danced in New York for twelve years, studying with Viola Farber and Dan Wagoner and performing with June Finch & Dancers. She recently received her MFA from Smith College and was formerly head of the dance program at Bradford College. There she trained students to perform, choreograph and teach dance. She also designed and supervised creative movement class for children, which the college offered to the community. She has been the director of Karlins & Company Dancers at the Edge of Time, as well as founder and director of a collaborative multimedia company. Karlins currently works with an intergenerational performing group called the Story Project, which creates innovative work combining personal stories and movement.

Christine Ploski
Christine Ploski has been a physical therapist for over 20 years. She is a pediatric specialist and has special interest in the prevention and treatment of dance injuries. She also has many years of dance training and is on the faculty of the Marblehead School of Ballet and the Boston Conservatory.

Ivan Korn
Ivan Korn is a native of Santiago, Chile. He performed there with the Companie Espiral. He earned his MFA in choreography at the Boston Conservatory and has performed in New England at the Boston Center for the Arts, Impulse Dance, Cyclorama, Copley Theatre of Boston, The Joyce Soho in New York, and at Jacobís Pillow in Becket, MA. He is currently starting his third season with Prometheus Dance. Ivan is also a guest artist with Zo?Dance. He has taught at the Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, Ballet Etc. and is currently on the faculty of the Dance Workshop of Hanover. Ivan focuses primarily on a post-Limon style emphasizing proper alignment and the use of weight. His class is rhythmical and dynamic. In addition to being a dancer, teacher and choreographer, Ivan is also a composer.

Announcements | Workshops & Events | Class Schedule | Swing, Ballroom & Latin | Newsletter | Studio Policies | Registration
North Shore Civic Ballet | Our Staff | previous page