Executive Artistic Director
Janet Strukely-Dziak is from North Ridgeville, Ohio and founded North Pointe Ballet in 2016. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Mercyhurst University with a B.A. in Dance, Janet danced professionally with Lake Erie Ballet under the direction of Christina Maria, with Saint Louis Ballet under the direction of Gen Horiuchi, and as a guest artist for other companies. Her performing career highlights include soloist roles in Paquita and Raymonda; Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker; Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; title role in Cinderella; and Waltz Girl and Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade. Janet’s prior dance training includes School of Ohio Dance Theater, University of Louisville Dance Academy, summer training at North Carolina School of the Arts, Cleveland Ballet, and Boston Ballet.
Currently, she teaches at Jillian Rian’s Dance School and Baldwin-Wallace Community Arts School. She has served as adjunct faculty at Oberlin College and has guest taught at Mercyhurst University and other various schools and programs locally and nationally.
Janet also serves on the board of directors for OhioDance as the Chair of the Education, Membership, and Community Engagement committee; and she is passionate about arts advocacy. Choreographic highlights for NPB include several full-length ballets such as: Cinderella, 2017; Peter Pan, 2018; The Sleeping Beauty, 2019; and The Wizard of Oz, 2022.
She is immensely grateful for the support of her family, especially her husband, Josh, and children, Lucas and Natalie.
Melaina McConnell is from Cleveland, Ohio and joined NPB in its founding year as Assistant Director. She began her ballet training at the age of four with the School of Cleveland San Jose Ballet, under the direction of Dennis Nahat and Gladisa Guadalupe, performing in Cleveland San Jose Ballet’s performances of Toreador, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. In addition to her classical ballet training, Melaina also studied modern and contemporary dance under the tutelage of Tom Smith, Sabatino Verlezza and Tom Evert. At the age of sixteen she joined Dancing Wheels, America’s premier physically integrated dance company, as the youngest Trainee in their history. She soon became their Principal Dancer, performing featured roles in company works by world-renown choreographers such as Sabatino Verlezza, May O’Donnell, Hernando Cortez, Michael Medcalf, Rosalind Newman, David Roussseve, and Pilobolous Dance Theater. In addition to dancing in over 120 performances across the country annually, Melaina served as an instructor and the School Administrator for the School of Dancing Wheels, where she conducted weekly dance classes, workshops, master classes, and summer camps nationally for students with and without disabilities.
She currently teaches dance at Absolute Dance, Rock City Dance, and Beyond Words: Music and Dance Center. Melaina and her husband, Dan, live in Lakewood, Ohio with their dogs, Dexter and Odette.
Sensory-Friendly Initiative Coordinator
Elizabeth Radachi is a founding member of North Pointe Ballet and also serves as the Development Director for the company. Between these positions, she is excited to be able to help NPB expand its presence in the community as it works diligently to fulfill its mission to make ballet experiences available to everyone. Her favorite projects include NPB’s A Chance to Dance program and the sensory-friendly performances, both of which allow her to utilize skill acquired from her professional work as an educator and behavior analyst.
Perhaps the most thrilling part of her dance career is the opportunity to share the stage with her family. Elizabeth has had the privilege of performing alongside both her son, Alexander, who is a dancer, and her husband, Patrick, who has performed with the NPB band to provide live music for performances.