Deborah Hess

Ballet Staff

Deborah Hess is an internationally renowned ballet teacher and coach. A senior faculty member at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), she also leads NBS’ Student Exchange Program. 


A native New Yorker, Hess is a frequent guest teacher at companies and schools around the world and is a sought-after juror for major international ballet competitions.  

Hess began pursuing her passion for teaching as the Assistant to the Director at the San Francisco Ballet School, following a successful international performing career. She was fortunate to have danced a wide range of roles from Odette in Swan Lake to neo-classical works by choreographers such as Bronislava Nijinska and contemporary works by choreographers like Lar Lubovitch, to name a few. She performed throughout Europe, North America and South America with such luminaries as Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. 


Greatly influenced by her own teachers, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Kathleen Crofton, Asaf Messerer and Anna-Marie Holmes, Hess values most highly the artistic possibilities of dance and strives in her teaching to bring out the individuality of each student, highlighting musicality, generosity of spirit and dynamic range, while respecting the purity of form.


She is delighted that many of the dancers she has trained are now dancing so successfully on stages around the world.