Board of Directors


Mary Sours is a Denver native born into a large Hispanic family. She retired as the Swansea Elementary School principal after spending 30 years working with at risk students. Mary’s love for ballet began when her two daughters, now adults, started taking classes as children. She had the opportunity to provide this dance experience for her students when she partnered with director, Ilena Norton, to offer affordable classes at Swansea Elementary School. Some of Mary’s interests as a board member include having a culturally inclusive company and making an effort to reach out to as many Colorado communities as possible.


Joan Casey has been committed to animal welfare throughout her career.  After attending the University of British Columbia as an English and French major, she took some time off to teach skiing.  She then spent several years as a veterinary technician, working with both small animals and horses.  As Director of Animal Services for the City of Sandy, Utah, she served as president of the Utah Animal Control Officers Association and as a National Animal Control Association director, and certified as a police officer and an EMT.  Joan moved to Colorado to accept the position of Director of Operations and Animal Services with the Dumb Friends League.  She then worked as Assistant Director of Shelter Services for the American Humane Association and as Director of Programs for the Animal Assistance Foundation.  Joan is a board member of Animal Charities of America, The Summerlee Foundation, St Joseph’s Hospital Volunteer Board, Ballet Ariel, The Feline Fix (emeritus) and Animal Help Now (advisory). She has volunteered at Saint Joseph’s Emergency Department for 7 years.  Joan is also on the Outreach Committee, Prayer Chain and Pastoral Care Committee, and participates in the choir and bell ringers at her church.   Networking, community and national connections, management skills and a passion for the mission are Joan’s greatest attributes.


Jane Potts brings to Ballet Ariel a broad range of experience in the arts, events, nonprofits, historic preservation, conferences and planning.  She helped turn-around and boost the economic revival in both Old Town Fort Collins and Uptown Denver and managed conferences for Colorado Council on the Arts, the Colorado Arts Consortium and Intertec Publishing.  From 2001 – 2011 she was the City of Denver’s first SCFD Tier III administrator giving her the opportunity to work with over 100 local arts, science and cultural organizations.   As a board member of the Inter Neighborhood Cooperation Jane is co-chair of the Climate & Sustainability committee. She and her husband George are ballroom dancers and, she loves to bake cakes.


John Richardson is a Senior Principal for Insight Enterprises’ Cloud and Data Center Transformation Consulting Services group. John has been principal bassoon of Stratus Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and is a founding member of Gossamer Winds. He has been on the board of Ballet Ariel since (year), and has also served on the boards of Augustana Arts and Colorado Mahlerfest.


Janet MacFarlane lawyer

Joni Hibbard software engineer

Ilena Norton is founder and director of the Ballet Ariel Company since 1998. She has produced and co-choreographed many original ballets for Ballet Ariel including A Tale of Molly Brown, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, and Ballerina by Degas. The Ballet Ariel Director has a Bachelors Degree from Stanford University and postgraduate education from Yale University and the Univ. of Colorado in health and psychology. She is current enrolled in the graduate certificate program in nonprofit management at the Univ. of Colorado.