About Us

Longest Established Studio in Forsyth County

About Us

Established in 1990 under the direction of Joan Kall Stewart, the Sawnee School of Ballet is recognized in the Cumming dance community for its standard of excellence.

Classes are taught with enthusiasm by an outstanding faculty of experienced, caring professional instructors and are presented in a manner appropriate to the age and development of the students.

The Sawnee School of Ballet is the home base for the recreational performing groups Sawnee Ballet Sapphires and the Sole Tappers as well as the non-profit Sawnee Ballet Theatre known for their annual Nutcracker and Spring Concert performances.

Whether your child is studying strictly for pleasure, or as a serious student with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer, The Sawnee School of Ballet offers classes and performance tracks that suit the interests of all dancers.

Students from Sawnee Ballet have been accepted in prestigious summer intensive programs such as The Rock, North Carolina School of Arts, Boston Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, School of American Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Alonso King’s Lines, and the American Ballet Theatre.  They have also received scholarships to pursue dance collegiately at Ballet Magnificat, Belhaven University, the Joffrey School of Ballet, Kennesaw State University, Point Park University and Brenau University.  Many of our alumni have gone on to have successful stints performing and teaching.  Click a photo below to check out what our dancing alumni are currently doing.

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Click a Photo to Check Out What Our Dancing Alumni Are Currently Doing


“My 12 year old daughter has been dancing since she was three and we moved to Cumming from NC a few years ago and looked for a new dance home for her. We have been so happy to have found such a welcoming, family-like studio in Sawnee School of Ballet. We are happy to have found her dance home.” – Kerri Molter (Nov 2015)

“Abby started taking the Irish dance class this fall and she’s completely new to dance. She LOVES it! Ms. Ernst has been so encouraging and Abby really looks forward to class every week. I can’t believe how much she has learned so quickly! Everybody there is really great. I also love how efficient the office staff is with parent communication and billing – they make everything super easy on parents!!” – Jodi Carlton (Nov 2015)

“Two things stand out to me about SSB: First, the school knows how to strike a magical balance between challenging dancers and providing an emotionally rewarding experience that draws dancers back. The litmus test for me as a single dad has been been my daughter’s deepening love of dance continuing unabated throughout 4 years. I can say without hesitation the happiest moments of her life during this time have been at that school. The second thing that stands out are the dancers themselves. The dancers always treat each other with such tremendous kindness and respect.” – Kyle Sager (Oct 2015)

“SSB is great! My daughter has been taking ballet there for a few years and she can’t wait for her classes each week. My son started boys hip-hop this year and he loves it!! Great programs!!” – Charlotte Johnson (Oct 2015)

“I began dancing at Sawnee School of Ballet when I was 7. I continued to dance with the school until I was 18 years old. I learned to dance, developed an appreciation of music, and became self-disciplined. My mother frequently reminds me that one of her initial reasons she enrolled me to dance at the Sawnee School of Ballet was so I would not have “two left feet”. So, I started taking tap classes. Which then led me to take ballet, jazz, and modern. Not only did I learn to dance, I joined the family of Sawnee School of Ballet and made many friends that I will have for the rest of my life.” – Michael Papesh (Nov 2012)

“I danced with Sawnee School of Ballet for 16 years, and I loved every minute of it. Growing up, Sawnee was like a home away from home. At Sawnee, they not only provide a quality dance education, but they instill values and discipline that will stay with your student for the rest of their life. I really do feel like I am a better person because of what I learned during my years at Sawnee, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of my time with them (and I spent a lot of time there!!).” – Kristen McKay (Nov 2012)