The Oregon Ballet Academy is dedicated to offering the finest in dance training and performance. As a self-sustaining community arts organization, we provide a training ground for talented, aspiring artists and dance enthusiasts of all ages. We hope to inspire the love of dance and appreciation of music in students of varying abilities and ages, from preschool to pre-professional. We support the growth of classical ballet by maintaining the highest standards and by nurturing the talent of every student.
Pre-professional students have the opportunity to develop the skills, experience, and discipline which are the necessary foundations for a professional dance career. Our director is an accomplished professional dancer who brings his experience to bear for the benefit of our serious students.
Those students whose paths lead to non-dance careers gain immeasurably from having studied at OBA. They develop self-motivation, self-discipline, poise, grace, and an appreciation for the arts which they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Artistic Director - Upper School Director
(Upper Level Ballet Classes, Pointe)
Since his arrival as director of the Academy in 2003, John Grensback has had a profound influence on the students of the academy, specifically with his high standard of excellence, his working relationship with teachers and his dedication to every student.
John Grensback began dance training at the age of 7 with his foster father, Eldon Parish, in Chicago. At the age of 15 years, Mr. Grensback attended The School of American Ballet in New York City. Upon graduation from SAB, Mr. Grensback joined the New York City Ballet and danced with the company for two seasons. He then joined the Joffrey Ballet where he danced until 1982. In 1982 he was invited to join the Houston Ballet where he became a principal dancer and danced under the direction of Ben Stevenson.
Mr. Grensback retired from the stage in 1990 and moved to the island of Guam with his wife, Megan Murphy. He opened and directed his own studio in Guam until June of 2003. Mr. Grensback taught master classes in Hong Kong, The Philippines, Houston Ballet Academy and at the Joffrey Ballet School. While in Guam he choreographed, produced and directed The Nutcracker Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Hansel and Gretel, Carmina Burana, The Emperor and the Nightingale, and many other classical and contemporary works.
Principal roles (Artistic director)
Prince Siegried, Swan Lake (Ben Stevenson)
Prince Albrecht, Giselle (Peter Wright)
Prince Florimund, Sleeping Beauty (Ben Stevenson)
James, La Sylphide (Ivan Nagy)
Prince, Nutcracker (Ben Stevenson)
Dr. Faulke, Rosalinda (Ronald Hynd)
Male Jumper, Etudes (Harold Landers)
Dark Angel, Serenade (George Balanchine)
Male Lead, Paquita (Larry Long)
Prince, Cinderella (Ben Stevenson)
Pas De Deux, Don Quixote (Ben Stevenson)
Pas De Deux, Esmerelda (Ben Stevenson)
Pas De Deux, Blue Bird(Ben Stevenson)
Guest appearances Performed as a guest artist with the Cincinnati Ballet,
Chicago Ballet, Bartlesville Civic Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Indiana State
University, Teatro Municipal de Rio de Janiero.
John Grensback - Houston Ballet
Ms. Murphy began ballet training in Guam and left to study at The National Ballet School of Canada when she was fifteen years old. She attended The San Francisco Ballet School, studied under Richard Gibson in Palo Alto, California, and trained at The Houston Ballet Academy on a scholarship. She danced professionally with both The Atlanta Ballet and The Houston Ballet. After retiring from performing, Ms. Murphy joined the staff at the Houston Ballet Academy where she directed the pilates studio and the adult dance program. While attending The University of Houston she also managed the large
aerobics program at the Downtown YMCA in Houston.
She is currently a financial services professional with New York Life, or at the studio watching the students work.
Lower School Instructor
Sophie has grown up in the studio and has been dancing since she the age of 2. She trained mainly classical ballet at OBA, until she began competing Latin ballroom when she was 10. She became a National Champion in Latin ballroom at the age of 15. At OBA, she has danced solo ballet roles such as The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Evil Queen in Snow White, and the Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty.
Sophie received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Oregon State University in 2020, while still teaching ballet at Oregon Ballet Academy in the Summers.
Cornesha Tweede was born and raised in Riverside, California. She is the founder and owner of Tweede Tingz LLC where she teaches, interprets, translates and tutors in Spanish. She received her B.A. degree in Spanish with a minor in Biochemistry from Oral Roberts University. While at Oral Roberts, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Valencia, Spain.Cornesha is also a dance teacher and dance performer here in the Eugene/Springfield area. She has been dancing for 16 years and is very compassionate about how life is shaped through movement. She has trained in various styles of dance including West African, styles of hip hop, contemporary, jazz, praise dancing, (among others). She has taught hip hop, Zumba, jazz technique, drill and more to students ranging from age 5 years old and up.Currently, she is happily part of the Adult Performance Teams at Elite Dance Company and Xcape Dance Academy. She has been part of the choreography team at Elite for the past two years and will be again this year!
Lisa Morgan, a native of Eugene, is a wife and stay-at-home mom of three. Lisa’s ballet education started at Oregon Ballet Academy. She came to OBA in January of 2005 after her oldest child just turned 4. Starting as a mom/parent volunteer Lisa graduated to OBA part-time staff helper in the fall of 2008. Lisa is grateful to John and Megan for the opportunities they have provided for both her and her family. When not at the studio Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, cooking & eating, traveling (preferably abroad), camping, reading, and looking at interior design blogs.