Lake Erie Academy of Dance - Faculty

Artistic Director – Gretchen Patchell,

Originally from Pennsylvania, Gretchen began dancing at the age of seven, receiving her early training at the esteemed Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with a strong focus on classical ballet and pointe.  At the age of fourteen, she joined The School of American Ballet in New York City on full scholarship.  There, she attended classes year-round and had the privilege of working and dancing with George Balachine.

Gretchen danced professionally with the New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and the former Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (now the Texas Ballet Theater) performing and touring in the United States and across Europe for over 12 years, dancing in over 50 shows a year. For over 20 years, Gretchen has taught various ages of students the art of classical ballet and pure technique from youth beginner through the professional level.

Her teaching career brought her across the United States having taught in California, Texas, New York, and Connecticut. Ms Patchell begins the 2017-2018 season as the Artistic Director of Lake Erie Ballet & Lake Erie Academy of Dance in Erie, PA.


Ashley Lauria – Contemporary Faculty

Bio coming soon!

Alexa Phelps – Creative Movement & Ballet/Pre Pointe

Alexa was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania and has been dancing since the age of three.  She has taken and loved all styles of dance and was inducted into the National Honors Society of Dance Arts in 2006. Her passion drove her to New York City, where she performed for Project Dance multiple years in a row, and took master classes with many talented choreographers and Broadway dancers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in 7-12 English Education and a master’s degree in 7-12 Special Education.  She has been teaching dance for over 10 years and is also a certified yoga teacher. She thoroughly enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students and hopes to inspire them each and every class.