Emily Hrones Umland (Director)

Ms. Emily grew up in Needham and trained at Boston Ballet School. She then enjoyed a seven-year career as a professional ballet dancer with Nevada Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet. Since 1997, she has directed and taught her Children's Summer Ballet program in Needham. In May 2001, she retired from the stage and expanded her program to form Charles River Ballet Academy, where she is the principal teacher. Emily loves helping each student become the best dancer he or she can be, while never losing sight of how important it is to enjoy every step of the way.

Robin Buratowski

Ms. Robin trained with San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Regina Karoly in Italy, and the Virginia Ballet Company. She also studied ballet at Goucher College where she performed ballets staged and choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefous. Ms. Robin's great dedication to the philosophy of CRBA, and her desire to foster an atmosphere of team building, help her to bring out the best in her students.
Charlotte Caron

Ms. Charlotte grew up in Needham and received her ballet training at Charles River Ballet Academy, with additional training at Burklyn Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet.  Throughout her college years and beyond, she continued her rapport with CRBA, supervising and organizing our backstage each year at our performances.  Ms. Charlotte received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and now teaches at a preschool in Newton.  We are thrilled Ms. Charlotte will be bringing her creative eye and passion for teaching children to her new role as a teacher at CRBA!
Barbara-Jean Francalangia

Ms. Barbara-Jean holds a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory and further trained on full scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She danced professionally with Chambers Ballet, Nicola Hawkins Dance Company and several local choreographers as well as producing her own choreography. Well versed in both ballet and modern, Ms. Barbara-Jean strives to inspire a love of movement and passion for expression in her classes.
Christine Higgins

Ms. Christine trained at the Boston Ballet and has extensive teaching experience, specializing in age 2-7 at the Neighborhood Music School in Connecticut and most recently at the Creative Movement and Arts Center in Needham. Ms. Christine shares CRBA's vision of making the art form of ballet accessible to our community.
Rie Ichikawa

Ms. Rie received her initial training in her native Japan, before moving to the United States to pursue her professional ballet career. She was a principal dancer with Ballet Arizona and then danced for eighteen seasons with Boston Ballet, where she rose to the rank of soloist, transitioning into teaching last spring. We are thrilled that Ms. Rie is now sharing her extensive professional experience, technical knowledge, artistry, and kind approach with her students at CRBA.
Harunaga Yamakawa

Mr. Harry trained with the Nowa Ballet School in his native Japan, and later with the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany.  He danced professionally with National Company of Portugal, Colorado Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence.  Now he brings his great energy, technique, and upbeat spirit to the students of CRBA.
Grosshans lease


Emily Hrones Umland, Director

(508) 545-1257