Meeting the needs of adult learners: Lisa Mayer Lang
Lisa Mayer Lang
Interdisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in Business
School Director, Toledo Ballet
Lecturer of Musical Theatre Styles, University of Michigan
A veteran of Broadway, movies and television, Lisa enrolled as a part-time adult learner to learn more about the business side of running a dance studio. College also has given the talented dancer, actress, singer and teacher the chance to “exercise the left side of my brain for a change which is so important for those of us who are artists usually exercising our right brain!”
Attending evening classes with fellow adult students, she appreciates the supportive atmosphere Lourdes provides. Considering herself very traditional, Lisa prefers classes taught on site rather than online offerings. To her fellow adult learners who attend college part-time, she says, “Continue to see the end goal and be patient with yourself. It can be overwhelming at times when you think of how long it will take to finish due to work and family commitments; however, hang in there and keep chipping away.”
Raised in Lambertville, Michigan, Lisa trained at the Toledo Ballet and moved to New York City after graduating from St. Ursula Academy. In a career that spanned more than two decades, she appeared in several Broadway plays including Cats, Jekyll and Hyde, and Beauty and the Beast as well as performances around the country and in London, England.
After having hip surgery, Lisa began to teach more than she performed. A natural transition for her, she found the teaching side of dance to be very rewarding. “To see the progress of kids, to help them learn to appreciate the art of dance and music is very inspiring to me as an artist. The students also learn discipline and perseverance that are so important in their daily lives and for their future endeavors. Mostly, I love to see them feel good about their accomplishments when they have worked so hard and finally make a breakthrough.”
After performing for nearly 25 years, Lisa and her husband Michael moved back to raise their daughters and to be closer to his family in Indianapolis. The star who can proudly say she danced with Gene Kelly and Liza Minelli now plays a pivotal role in the lives of aspiring artists in the region.
Since 2006, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT®) Certified Teacher has served as the Artistic Director and School Director of the Toledo Ballet. Inspired by well-known teachers Marie Bollinger Vogt and Velta Cernonok, she hopes to prepare her students with the same drive and dedication. “I truly am happy where I am in my life. I want to continue educating young dancers and teach them the importance of the arts in their lives and how it can have a great impact on them and on society.”