Peter LeBreton Merz joined Ballet West as the Director of the Academy in 2015. Peter is known as a master teacher for his enthusiastic and encouraging approach to ballet training. He has choreographed over 40 original ballets across the USA and internationally. His award-winning choreography relies heavily on his background in classical ballet, but is informed by his passion for contemporary dance forms. As a performer he worked with the Dayton Ballet, the Louisville Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet. In 2002, he served as the Artistic Administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. In 2004, he joined the faculty of Point Park, where he was an associate professor of dance and Head of Ballet. He has served as a judge and Master Teacher for Youth America Grand Prix, the American Dance Competition, the American Ballet Competition, and many other organizations. He has twice been named Outstanding Choreographer by the Youth America Grand Prix, and was also honored to be named Outstanding Teacher by that organization in 2014. He holds a BFA in Theater Design and Production from the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, and an MBA in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management from Point Park University.