Organizing Staff

Again this year, the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival will be overseen by two of its co-founders - Dave Lieberth and the Festival Director Jane Startzman, a former dancer and ballet mistress with Ohio Ballet.  Tuesday Musical Association of Akron is the presenter and fiscal agent for the Dance Festival and the symphony performances.


Jane Startzman

Jane joined Heinz Poll’s Ohio Ballet in 1969, during its second year and danced major roles in nearly all of his ballets until her retirement from dance in 1989.  She traveled with the company on tour throughout the United States, South America and Central America.  From 1989 – 1999, Jane was Artistic Administrator/ Company Manager.  She has taught for the Dance Institute of The University of Akron.

Dave Lieberth

For Dave, the Festival is a personal matter.  Not only was he the stage announcer for Ohio Ballet’s final performance on August 6, 2006 at Goodyear Metropolitan Park, but in 1968, as a 21 year old junior at the University of Akron, he was a technician, overseeing the audio playback of music for the very first performance of Heinz Poll’s company.  Lieberth was a trustee of the former Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, and is a board member of Groundworks Dance Theater and the Akron Symphony Orchestra.  His daughter, Kate Lytton had a professional ballet career with companies in Richmond, Memphis, Oakland and the Bay Area, and is the Dance Program Manager for Google in Mountain View, California.

Founding Steering Committee

Lana Carroll Haylock, Former School of Dance, Theatre & Arts Administration, the University of Akron.  Christine Meneer, Artistic Director, Ballet Theatre of Ohio.  David Shimotakahara, Artistic Director, Groundworks Dancetheater.  Jane Startzman, founding Festival Director.  Dr.Margaret Carlson, Director, Verb Ballets.  Neil Sapienza, Director, School of Dance, Theatre & Arts Administration, the University of Akron.  Christine Mayer and Leslie Nelson, The GAR Foundation.  Dave Lieberth, Chairman, former Deputy Mayor, the City of Akron.