Elaine is the owner and Artistic director of the Cullman Ballet Theatre School, 

and the Cullman Ballet Company and founder of the Cullman Ballet Society.

Elaine teaches class levels 5-7 Ballet technique, pointe and Variations.

Elaine Brown Willingham, a native of Cullman, has studied classical ballet from some of the

best teachers in the United States and abroad. Starting her training at the age of 11 with

Anita Burbage of Cullman, Elaine's love of dance took her to the Birmingham Civic Ballet School.

She then auditioned and was accepted into the Alabama Ballet Company at age 14 to begin

strenuous training with such famous teachers and dancers as Richard England, Gage Bush,

John Kritza, Patricia Wilde of American Ballet Theatre (from New York), and Yuri and Vicki Chatal.


Elaine performed lead roles in full length ballets including Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet,

Giselle, Swan Lake, & Coppelia while touring the southeast with the Alabama Ballet Company.

Also, during her association with the Alabama Ballet Company, she studied with the

Alabama School of Fine Arts.


While performing in the Southeastern Regional Ballet Festival, Elaine was one of five

girls from Alabama to be given summer scholarships to George Balanchine's                                                                        "School of American Ballet" in New York City.

Elaine was then offered and accepted a full scholarship for the next three years.


Elaine performed in New York at Lincoln Center and with Memphis Ballet Company,

The International Academy of Dance in Portugal, and Ballet West in Colorado.

Elaine has taught at Athens College, Huntsville Ballet School, Snead Junior College,

Auburn University, in Paris, France, and Cullman Ballet Theatre School since 1973.

In 2016 at the age of 61 Elaine was asked to be in her first pageant and won the title of

Ms Senior Cullman County the at age 62 won the title of Ms Senior Alabama which took her

to the national pageant and Elaine won second place in the Ms Seniour America Pageant

held in Atlantic City.

Elaine performed a contemporary ballet on pointe that she choreographed.

Elaine is married to Attorney Dan J. Willingham and has three children:

Jason, Anna, and Daniel and four beautiful grandchildren: Clara, Liam, Esther, and Violet.

Elaine with Daughter Anna