Marieli Guardiola Pope – Artistic Director
Marieli Guardiola Pope is our Artistic Director, now in her sixth season at Ballet Conservaotry of South Texas. Born in Puerto Rico, Mrs. Guardiola Pope began her ballet training at the age of 8 with the Conservatorio de Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and at a young age received intense summer training at Ballet National de Cuba. Later, she became a member of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and achieved a Principal Soloist position. She has performed lead roles in The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote and Coppeliato to name a few. Mrs. Guardiola Pope has performed in St. Thomas, Aruba, Egypt, Taiwan and throughout the United States. She has been a guest artist with Berks Ballet Theatre in Pennsylvania, and danced seven seasons with Ballet San Antonio.
Mrs. Guardiola Pope has also taught in numerous ballet schools throughout Puerto Rico and Texas and was the Rehearsal Assistant for Ballet San Antonio during her stint with the company. Mrs. Guardiola Pope attends Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for her continuing teacher education.
Most recently, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. This is Mrs. Guardiola Pope’s fifth season with the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
Email Miss Marieli
Suzanne Smith – Associate Artistic Director
Suzanne Smith joins the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas as Associate Artistic Director for 2016/2017 season. She is excited to have this opportunity to serve the San Antonio community.
A native of Harrisburg, PA, she began her studies at at the Harrisburg Academy of Dance. At the age of 15, she began to train at the Central Pennsylvania Youth ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. Upon graduation in 2000, Mrs. Smith performed professionally with the International Ballet Theatre in Philadelphia. At the International Ballet Theatre, under the coaching of Alexander Boitsov, Mrs. Smith performed classical variations from Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Esmeralda and Paquita. She joined the Peoria Ballet in Illinois for the 2003 winter season, then became a part of the Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theatre in New York from 2005-2008. She performed the principal roles in RGBT’s full-length ballet productions of Baba Yaga, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Nutcracker.
Mrs. Smith has instructed classes for the San Angelo Civic Ballet in San Angelo, TX, the Rafael Grigorian School of Classical Ballet in Elmira, NY and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA as a full time faculty member and continues to instruct at the CPYB summer programs. She has been invited to guest teach at numerous schools throughout the United States and in February of 2013 was a guest teacher and adjudicator for the Vancouver Junior Professional Division in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
In her most recent position at the San Angelo Civic Ballet, she had the opportunity to choreograph two original children’s ballets, Aesop’s Fables and Seven Princesses and a Bear.
She is grateful to God for he opportunity to teach the art of ballet. She is also thankful for the support of her husband and family.