HELEN M. GAUS
Founder & Artistic Director
For the past sixty years, Miss Gaus, our founder and artistic director, has defined the Scranton Civic Ballet Company with her brilliant choreography, and more importantly, her caring tutelage of our dancers. She is a retired PCA Rostered Artist having worked with school children in Northeastern Pennsylvania for ten years. She spent three years as the owner and operator of the Ballet Academy of Baltimore and has also taught students from the Scranton State School for the Deaf. In addition, she has directed and choreographed local television commercials, special programs and mall shows, as well as various summer works with children in the Musical Theater Camp in Southlake, Texas. Miss Gaus was awarded an “Arts Engage!" grant from Lackawanna County Council on the Arts and Children and Youth Services for a new multi-discipline art camp in June 2009.
Miss Gaus maintains membership with the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England and the Mostly Opera Company in Pennsylvania. She has also received numerous awards including Marywood College Order of St. Genesius, Lackawanna Arts Council for outstanding contribution to the arts, Northeastern Pennsylvania Woman of the Week award from the Scranton Times, the 1983 Chamber of Commerce Award for 25 years of Teaching Excellence, American Heart Association Commitment Award, the Easter Seal Award for 25 years of service and the Achievement Award for MDA, and Northeast Intermediate Unit's Artist of the Year for 2007.
Miss Gaus began her formal dance education with Constance Reynolds. She later became her assistant and taught for nineteen years. She was a featured soloist and ballet mistress with Ballet Theatre of Scranton since their first performance in 1958 until 1978, working with outstanding choreographers such as Hilda Butsova, Stanley Herbett, Henry Danton, Evelyn LeMone, Paul Glover, Michael Falatico, Paschel Guzman and Valerie Deakin.
Miss Gaus furthered her studies in Canada at Queens College, Kingston, Ontario and the National Ballet School in Toronto, as well as various schools in New York City. She has studied under the direction of prominent teachers such as John Burker, Bettina Byers, Marjorie Haskins, Betti Olyphant, Sonia Chamberlain, David Howard, Jack Stanley, Paul Draper, Ernest Carlos, Charles Kelly, Luigi and Roye Dodge.
Miss Gaus has taught traditional ethnic dance for the Polish Women's Alliance. She also taught for several years at the Jewish Community Center, was on the faculty at Marywood College as the director of dance and was the director of the Abington Heights Dance Academy for fifteen years.