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.
Assistant to Artistic Director
Robert Zaloga began his formal dance training under Miss Helen M. Gaus (Founder of SCBC) in 2013. He later became her assistant and an instructor for the Civic Dance Centre (School of Scranton Civic Ballet Company). While studying with the school, in 2016, Robert was promoted to Principal Dancer with the Civic Ballet Company. Some of Robert’s most noted roles with the company include Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Franz in Coppelia, Prince in Cinderella Divertissement, El Capitan in Stars and Stripes, Pas de Trois in Midnight Masquerade, Snow King, Waltz of the Flowers Pas de Deux, Prince and Cavalier in the Scranton Civic Ballet Company’s annual production of Helen Gaus’s The Nutcracker.
Robert has furthered his studies outside of Scranton with famed instructors and choreographers such as Sascha Radetsky, Ethan Stiefel, Peter Stark, Charles Askegard, Elizabeth Walker, Michael Owen, Russel Clark, Denise Lewis, Igor Burlak, Barbra Weisberger, and Barabra Sandonato.
Robert has trained with companies and schools across the east coast including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet School, School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the Performing Arts Institute.
Robert has been a member of the Wyoming Seminary Dance Company under the direction of Mrs. Bernadine Vojtko and performed as a Principal Dancer with the company since 2015. While performing with Wyoming Seminary Dance Company, he was a featured guest artist for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic's production of Peter and the Wolf, performing as the Wolf. In the spring of 2020, he was the recipient of the Barbara Weisberger Dance Award (founder of the Pennsylvania Ballet). Robert has been a featured guest performer for the Mostly Opera Company of Scranton since 2014.