M'Liss Dorrance, co-founder of the Ballet School of Chapel Hill, received her early training overseas, later winning scholarships to the National Ballet Academic School and the Harkness and Joffrey Ballets. She danced professionally as a member of the National Ballet, Eliot Feld's American Ballet Company, and the Arlington Dance Theater. M'Liss has been teaching and performing in the Chapel Hill area since 1974. She was a founder of the Chapel Hill Ballet Company, the 15-501 Ballet, and the Chapel Hill Dance Theater. M'Liss, now Associate Professor of the Practice Emeritus, taught on faculty for the Duke University Dance Program from 1975-2007 where she served as co-director of the Duke Ballet Repertory Ensemble and as Director of Undergraduate Studies for a number of years.