Natalia Botha ~ Ballet School Director

     Natalia Botha, born in Pretoria, South Africa, began her training in Canada as a chosen scholar at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. At age 11, she was awarded a full scholarship for the summer to attend the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Also on scholarship, and under the continued tutelage of her mother, Gwynne Ashton, Ms. Botha studied at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, training both in the United States and abroad with many world-renowned teachers of this century. She soon became a member of the National Ballet of Illinois.

     To further her career, Ms. Botha joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1976 under the direction of Patrick Frantz and later Patricia Wilde. During her tenure, she danced many soloist and principal roles of varied repertoire from the great classics (Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker) to original contemporary works by Alvin Ailey, Agnes de Mille, Domi Reiter Soffer and George Balanchine.

     Currently Ms. Botha teaches, directs and choreographs locally for Pas de Vie Ballet. Ms. Botha and her husband Charles Hagan staged Peter and the Wolf for Chattanooga Ballet in 2008. Most recently, and also for the Chattanooga Ballet they staged an original work, Totemotion.