East Coast Ballet Company        

ECB’s Board of Directors:

    Dr. Ivis Alvarez

    Mrs. Theresa Graham

    Mrs. Mindi Mende

    Mr. Rick Mende

    Mrs. Cyndi Sauer

    Dr. Brenda Zenk


ECB is committed to enriching the lives of individuals through the art of dance in northeast Florida and beyond. The foundation fosters an appreciation and an aesthetic awareness for the arts.  This is achieved by providing high standard instruction and performance opportunities for artists and students, allowing them to discover and develop their talents for the benefit of their community.

East Coast Ballet’s professional company members inspire others through performances, building relationships with young adults and children in classes and workshops, and reaching out to the community through special projects throughout the year.   Scroll to the bottom to meet the ECB artists and instructors.


Monet Mende began dancing at East Coast Ballet at the age of three.  She has trained at many well-known institutions for summer intensives, such as: American Ballet Theatre in NYC, Miami City Ballet, Joffrey in Chicago.  She was accepted into the highest level at Next Generation Ballet in Tampa in 2013 and Ellison Ballet in NYC for their year-around-program in 2014. In 2014-15 Monet danced professionally with Oklahoma City Ballet.  She is an ECB 4th year company member with ECB’s professional company. Her roles have included Clara, Snow Queen, Arabian, Sugar Plum, Mrs. Staulbaum in     

The Nutcracker; Clown, Princess, Evil Magician in Spellbound; and Genevieve in ECB’s version of Coppélia. Monet loves sharing the love of Jesus through teaching and mentoring the students of East Coast Ballet’s school and performing in ECB's professional company.

Stephanie Doherty is an East Coast Ballet third year company member during her fifth year with the professional company.  She trained under Boris Chepelev and Janna Kirova in Melbourne, Florida. Stephanie also trained at Ballet Magnificat. Before relocating to dance for ECB, Stephanie studied at the Storling Dance Theater’s Artist Development Program in Kansas for two years. Her prominent roles with ECB include: Chinese and Evil Magician in Spellbound; Mrs. Staulbaum, Mirliton, Snow Queen, Lead Arabian, Mouse King, Lead Mirliton, and Flowers in The Nutcracker; and Coppélia in Coppélia. Stephanie is a very talented c

choreographer and instructor at ECB School.  She is known for unique dance storytelling and pageantry.  Her passion is to mentor and use her talents to glorify the Lord.

Rick & Mindi Mende are the founding directors of East Coast Ballet School and Company.  Mr. Mende holds a degree in Human Resources with an emphases in education, training, and development.  Mrs. Mende is classically trained by her mother, Katha Morrill.  She has followed a professional dance career path from corps de ballet, principal, ballet mistress, instructor, choreographer, and director over the past 33 years.  In addition to classical ballet, she studied jazz, tap, and musical theatre under acclaimed instructors Hilary Cartwright, Edward Villella,        C

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Conrad Ludlow, Kelly Brown, Wilhelm Burmann, David Holliday, and Olga Kostritsky.  Mrs. Mende toured throughout the US, Asia, and South & Central America via secular and Christian platforms.  Mrs. Mende has performed and choreographed for various venues: theatre, TV, video, industrials, and film productions.  In 1989, she invented and patented the Jazz Pointe Shoe, known today as the Dance Sneaker.  Rick and Mindi developed and patented a tight design, which is currently on the market by BodyWrappers.  Their joy is in guiding, training, and mentoring students, many of whom have gone on to excel as accomplished performers, choreographers, instructors, and directors in professional dance endeavors, such as: FALL, a Nashville Arial Company, ABT NY Company, OKC Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, Ad Deum, Joffrey, and East Coast Ballet!  Rick and Mindi are passionate about directing performances that touch the heart of performers and audience.  They aim to encourage all to attain a meaningful relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Our non-profit foundation relies on the generous support of individual giving and corporate sponsorship.  All donations are tax deductible and are dedicated to outreach, performance costs, continued development of our professional company, to house dancers that give our student base future career opportunities as professional dancers, and scholarships for individuals who otherwise are unable to afford dance training,.  East Coast Ballet does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, or national origin.

Dan Doherty has been performing with East Coast Ballet company dancers since The Nutcracker 2013. He played the father of Clara & Fritz, Mr. Staulbaum in ECB’s The Nutcracker.  Dan has played the Mouse King and the Cavalier in the Heaven Scene in years’ past. He played the role of Dr. Coppelius in Coppélia, the Pirate in Spellbound, and Goliath in Dancing Through The Bible.  He has extensive training in college cheerleading and is acquainted with ballet, partnering, mime, and ballroom techniques. He enjoys a successful career as a professional 3D artist and volunteers for a homeless ministry in his s

spare time.  He married Stephanie Doherty in her second year of joining ECB.  The couple is great role model to our young ladies and gentlemen of East Coast Ballet.

Jillian Ley is an apprentice with East Coast Ballet. At age 6, Jillian began her study of ballet at Eastern Connecticut Ballet under the tutelage of Lise Reardon, Adam Miller, and Krystin Dixon. At age 10, Jillian joined their Youth Company and studied under Gloria Govrin, a former Balanchine soloist at New York City Ballet. Jillian has studied at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s summer intensive as well as the Florida State University dance major under a talent scholarship. She has danced multiple principle roles, such as: Chinese, Nutcracker, Kangaroo in Carnival of the Animals, roles in Gershwin’s Who Cares, Stars and Stripes,

Ballerina Swan, and Danse Macabre.  Since joining ECB, her major roles have been, Chinese in Spellbound, Dew Drop, Doll, and Snow Trois in The Nutcracker. She is very excited to be dancing with East Coast Ballet’s professional company and to further strengthen her faith in Christ.