Artistic Staff


Kathleen rathbun

Artistic Director

In addition to directing Syracuse City Ballet, Kathleen Rathbun is also the Director of Ballet & Dance of Upstate New York. Ms. Rathbun is an accomplished professional dancer and choreographer. Her repertoire includes Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Cinderella (with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra) and a number of other ballets which have performed to capacity houses and four-star reviews. In December 2009, on the heels of an October production of Dracula, Ms. Rathbun choreographed the company’s first Nutcracker, and it quickly became a beloved holiday tradition throughout Central New York. As a teacher,

Ms. Rathbun has in-depth experience developing young dancers’ technique, strength and artistry. A former soloist with Princeton Ballet Society of New Jersey, and Dancer’s Ensemble of Syracuse, Ms. Rathbun attended The Juilliard School on a full scholarship. She also studied with David Howard, Melissa Hayden, Finis Young, and other world renowned teachers. Ms. Rathbun taught classical ballet at Syracuse University and was the former director of the Dance Department at Metropolitan School of the Arts.




Company Manger & Ballet Mistress

Rachael Cierniakoski began her dance training at age 8 with the Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theater under Artistic Director and former Kirov soloist Rafael Grigorian. Rachael is a graduate of Mercyhurst University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude  with a B.A. in Dance and Arts Administration. She has also trained through summer programs and residencies with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Bruce Marks, Laura Alonso, Vivi Flindt, The Paul Taylor Dance Company, Dutch National Ballet, and Nederlands Dans Theater.

Previously Rachael has performed with and instructed classes for Lake Erie Ballet, has taught college level ballet and pointe classes at Mercyhurst University, and managed and instructed for La Luna Dance Studio, a 600-student school in the Philadelphia area. She currently teaches ballet and pointe at Ballet & Dance of Upstate NY.

Contact Rachael:


Kristen Davis

Community Youth Outreach & Education Coordinator

Contact Kristen here.


Administrative Staff


Managing Director

Contact Kaitie: