Ellen Gaintner grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she received her ballet training at Marin Ballet under Mikko Nissinen and Cynthia Lucas. She majored in dance at Bryn Mawr College, after which she joined Nashville Ballet 2. While at Nashville Ballet, she transitioned to the administrative side of things, serving as Executive Assistant to Artistic Director/CEO Paul Vasterling for 5 years. She spent a year with Ballet San Angelo before returning to the Bay Area, where she now works as Special Projects Manager at Smuin Contemporary Ballet. Her blog is at goingtotheballet.com.