BALLET EAST ALUMNA SOARS AT HOUSTON BALLET

In June of 2015, Ballet East (under the direction of Chelsea Nasby) student Madison Russo, attended the Indianapolis International Ballet Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. At this event, she was awarded the Jury Award for Contemporary, and was approached by the former director of the Houston Ballet Academy, Shelly Power, who extended an invitation for her to visit their training facility. During this visit, Russo was offered a full merit scholarship to attend the Houston Ballet Academy in the fall.

Acceptance of this incredible offer, meant moving away from family and friends to train at Houston Ballet’s $46.6 million Center for Dance. “Moving away from home at 15 was much harder than I thought it would be. I missed my friends and especially my mom and dad when times were tough”, states Madison. “I just kept telling myself it was going to be worth it.” After six months, Russo was promoted to trainee with Houston Ballet II, the second company to Houston Ballet. Over the last year Madison has performed alongside the main company, participated in Houston Ballet public relations events and appeared on the cover of Leapin Leotards 2017 catalog. 

In January of 2017, Russo was approached by Houston Ballet Academy to represent the school at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Festival to be held this summer in Becket, Massachusetts. Upon auditioning via video submission, Madison was one of twenty-two ballet dancers chosen worldwide to participate, and in addition, granted a scholarship. Jacob’s Pillow was founded by dance pioneer, Ted Shawn and has trained many of the world’s most distinguished dance artists. Located on 220 acres, Jacob’s Pillow is a National Historic Landmark. While there, Russo premiered a new work by choreographer, Bruce Wells and participated alongside nationally acclaimed companies celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Pillow.

Additionally, in February of 2017, perseverance and dedication landed Russo with a full contract to Houston Ballet II for next season. Being a contracted employee will entail more company participation, touring and community performances. Excited for the future, Russo stays focused on one day receiving a contract with Houston Ballet, America’s 5th largest ballet company. Russo’s debut performance with Houston Ballet II hits the stage September 22 – 24, 2017 in the production of ballet legend Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling. “The Houston Ballet being such a diverse company with both its repertory and its dancers, is a place I dream of being one day,” says Miss Russo. “I am incredibly thankful for the support of my family, and especially the wonderful training I received while at Ballet East. I know I would not be where I am today without them!”

Ballet East is now accepting students as young as 2.5 years – Pre-Professional for the 2017/2018 Season. Please contact Ballet East to inquire how to sign up your aspiring dancer. Inquires accepted at 561.683.0096,  info@balleteastfl.com, www.balleteastfl.com

Photos © Brooke Trisolini, brooke.trisolini@gmail.com taken at Jacob's Pillow, Becket, MA. 

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2017 Summer Intensive Faculty Released

One of South Florida's finest training schools, Ballet East seeks top talent for the 2017 Summer Intensive. This season marks 46th anniversary of the school's existence. Ballet East is known for providing top quality training to students in South Florida. Recent graduates of the program (ages 14-17) went on to attend outstanding finishing schools such as Houston Ballet Academy, School of American Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. International success can be found with Alum Alex Anderson who was recently offered a contract with Nederlands Dans Theatre 1 after preforming with NDT2 company for several years.     

The current list of world-renown instructors that will be teaching during the intensive received their training/experience from the following: Marcie Bowers-Russo, USA; Doreen Cafarella, USA; Elena Kiyanenko-Chiet, Russia; Oxana Kiyanenko, Austria/Russia; Andréa Mafra Gregori, Brazil; Bree Nasby, USA; Chelsea Nasby, USA, Alla Nikitina, Ukraine; Olivier Pardina, France.

Please see the full list of current Ballet East 2017 Faculty below. Additional instructors TBA. 


Chelsea Nasby, Owner and Artistic Director, Contemporary Faculty

Chelsea Nasby began her early dance training in West Palm Beach, Florida. She attended Jon Mullen’s Performing Arts Center, continued her training at BAK School of the Arts and later graduated from AW Dreyfoos Junior School
of the Arts located in West Palm Beach.

Nasby went on to earn her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a duel major of Management and Marketing from Florida Atlantic University in 2009. Shortly after graduation, Nasby purchased Susan Lyle Studios from Miss Susan Lyle and currently owns and directs the school, now called Ballet
East.

Nasby has been honored to choreograph works for students throughout the nation, direct full-length children’s ballets, and coach students for International Competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix and American Dance Competition.

In 2014, Nasby became the rehearsal director for the West Palm Beach children's roles in Miami City Ballet Presents George
Balanchine's The Nutcracker TM. Chelsea has been recognized nationally for many outstanding achievements.

Recent achievements include 2014, 2015, 2016 ADC-IBC Outstanding Choreographer, 2016 UBC Outstanding Choreographer, 2015 YAGP Outstanding Choreographer, 2014 and 2015-work selection to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala.

This summer, Nasby’s students will train at programs such as School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Ellison Ballet, Haird Conservatory, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, Ellison Ballet and Miami City Ballet to name a few.

Nasby is a certified member of Florida Dance Masters and is a Member of The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.                                  


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Marcie Bowers-Russo, Ballet Faculty

Marcie Bowers-Russo began her early training locally at the Palm Beach Ballet Centre under the direction of Joan Miller, and continued her study during the summers at Ballet West and Rosella Hightower’s School in Cannes, France. During her study, she was privileged to perform with the Key West Dance Theatre and the Jacksonville Ballet. Bowers-Russo was also featured in a dance education film with Russian ballerina Ilona Vera, and at the age of seventeen won a bronze medal at the International

Ballet Competition of the Americas. In 1981, Bowers-Russo began her professional career with the Ballet Concerto of Miami, and continued on with Ballet Mississippi where she rose to the rank of principal dancer. Bowers-Russo has taught, choreographed, and coached locally for the past 20 years and is a certified member of Florida Dance Masters, Inc


Doreen Cafarella, Ballet Faculty

Doreen Cafarella has been a dance educator for twenty-five years. In 1986, Cafarella founded Northern Ballet Theatre Dance Center that has gained a reputation for excellence in dance training. Students of Cafarella have gone on to dance with companies such as Boston Ballet, Ballet West and Joffrey Ballet to name a few. Other students have found success as Rockettes and Garrett Hawe, had his Broadway debut in Marry Poppins and presently has the role of “Albert” in the new Broadway show Newies.

Students have also participated in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix competition, where several students were offered full scholarships to ABT and Cafarella received the Outstanding Teacher Award.

Cafarella has danced with notable companies such as Boston Ballet, New England Ballet, Boston Repertory Ballet, Atlantic Ballet and Ballet Arts Ensemble. Her teaching credits include: Northern Ballet Theatre Dance Center, The Boston Conservatory of Music and Dance, The Edra Toth School of Ballet and Ballet Arts Academy. 


Andréa Mafra Gregori, Ballet Faculty

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ms. Gregori graduated from theMaria Olenewa State School and Rio Dance Center. In 1980, she was invited to the trainee program at the Joffrey Ballet where she expanded her dance education.

While still a dancer Ms. Gregori decided to fulfill her passion for teaching, and received extensive training in the Russian Methodology (Vaganova System)

training in the Russian Methodology (Vaganova System). Later on, she became proficient and certified in the Cuban (Escuela Nacional de Ballet) and English (Royal Academy of Dance) ballet methodologies. She is also an ABT® Certified Teacher—ABT® National Training Curriculum, Primary through Level 7 & Partnering. In addition, Ms. Gregori pursued a certification in “Psicoballet” (dance therapy) with Dr. Georgina Fariñas Garcia—Havana, Cuba—at IPIA (Psychiatric Institute for Childhood and Adolescence) in São Paulo, Brazil.

For seven years, Ms. Gregori owned and directed “Escola Paulista de Dança,” where she also choreographed, produced; costumed and scenic designed a total of eight ballet productions.

Throughout her thirty two years of experience as a professional ballet teacher, Ms. Gregori has prepared numerous students for the Royal Academy of Dance and The Cuban Ballet School’s exams as well as for national and international ballet competitions —winning many prizes. She assisted in the production of a variety of full-length ballets, some of which include Giselle, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Sleeping Beauty, and staged several suites and children’s performances.


Olivier Pardina, Ballet Faculty

Olivier Pardina, a former Artistic Director and Principal Instructor at the Nice Opera Ballet School, Pardina has lived in the United States since 1991. He taught at The HARID Conservatory for 20 years and has taught master classes throughout the world. Pardina has been a guest teacher at American Ballet Theatre and the Youth American Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet competition. A native of France, Pardina began his ballet training at age 10.  His training included master teachers from the Paris Opera Ballet. The Nice Opera Ballet offered the 16 year old Pardina his first professional position and promoted him to the rank of Principal Dancer by the end of his first year.

Pardina has toured with Rudolph Nureyev and worked closely with him as his understudy while working for the Nancy Ballet Theatre.  He also danced and toured the world with major French ballet companies. Among his breakthrough roles, was his portrayal of Petrouchka, in Hommage a Diaghilev. He also received critical acclaim for his performances in Serge Lifar’s Phedra, Moses Pendleton’s Pulcinella, Birgit Cullberg’s Miss Julie and Hans Van Manen’s Songs Without Words, Five Tangos, and Septet Extra. His students have won major prizes at both national and international dance competitions and many are now principal dancers at some of the top ballet companies in the United States and Europe.

Pardina is currently a principal instructor at the Miami City Ballet School Pre-Professional Division, instructing students at the Advanced Level.


Alla Nikitina, Character Dance Faculty

Alla Nikitina was born in Ukraine and began her early training at the Donetsk School of Ballet. She was invited to attend St. Petersburg State Academy of the Arts in Russia where she studied the Vaganova method of classical ballet, and was extensively trained in all methods of character dance.

Nikitina graduated from the Academy with honors in 1979. She then embarked on a successful career with a number of Russian dance companies. Soon, she was performing as a soloist at the prestigious State Academic Ensemble of Dance in Russia. In 1985, Nikitina founded the Rovesnik Dance Company in Kiev, Ukraine. Her company’s numerous appearances received high awards for excellence and mastership at national and international dance competitions and festivals. This includes the first prize at the First National Choreographer’s competition in Ukraine in 1985. Nikitina was also honored with the much sought after N. Livitsky National Award for her work as a choreographer.

In 1997, Nikitina moved to the United States and began working as a full time member of the faculty at Hartford Ballet, Hartt School, and BFA Dance Division of the University of Hartford. She has also been a guest teacher at a number of professional dance schools including Brass City Ballet and School of Rochester Ballet.

Nikitina was invited to join Boston Ballet School as a full time faculty member in 2008.  For Boston Ballet School, Nikitina has choreographed many original works including Dance of the Girls and Lesginka for Next Generation in 2012, Demonstration D’Etudiants and Alice in Wonderland for Spring Showcase, and East Meets West for Summer Dance Program in 2012.   She staged several works for Summer Dance Program students, including Character Dances from Flames of Paris in 2009, Gypsy Dance in 2010, and Aragon Jota in 2011.


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Bree Nasby, Contemporary Faculty

Bree Nasby grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. She attended A.W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts with a focus in dance. She holds a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Purchase College where she spent a semester abroad studying at London Contemporary Dance School. She was a part of San Francisco based company tinypistol in 2014-2015. In NYC she has danced with Molly Mingey Projects in addition to founding private parts, with Quinn Dixon in 2015.


Elena Kiyanenko-Chiet, Rhythmic Gymnastics Faculty

25 years experience of coaching (1986-2011 Olympic Sports School, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation)
1978 Master of Sport of rhythmic gymnastics of Russian Federation
1978-1980 Multiple Champion in groups (USSR)
1979-1980 Member of the National Team of the USSR Numerous

Rhythmic champion of St. Petersburg (Russian Federation)
1986 graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Training from State Institute of Physical Training named after P.F. Lesgaft
1990 – present National Judge (Russia)
1996 – present International Brevet Judge
2006-2011 Worked with Italian National Team
2011 USAG Safety Certified
2011 USAG Professional Member


Oxana Kiyanenko (Rhythmic Gymnastics Faculty, Ballet Faculty)

Oxana Kiyanenko, born in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) studied under Altynai Asylmuratova, Vasilieva Marina, Tarasova Natalia and Desnitskiy Vadim in the Vaganova Ballet Academy where she graduated in 2006.

Following graduation, Kiyanenko was offered a contract with Vienna State Ballet. Kiyanenko has been with Vienna State Ballet since 2006.

As a professional dancer, Kiyanenko has performed roles in Le Corsaire by Manuel Legris, Onegin by John Cranko, Sleeping Beauty Nutrcarcker, Swanlake, Don Quijote, Raymonda by Nurejew, Fledermaus, Snowqueen, Bella Figura by Jiri Kylian, Marie Antoinette by Patrick De Bana, Karenina, Red Giselle by Eifman, Mozart À2 by Thierry Malandain, Bluebeard by Stephan Thoss, Midsummer Night´s Dream by Jorma Elo, Theme and Variations, Who Cares? By Balanchine

Kiyanenko has danced the openings on various occasions for the “Wiener Opernball”.

Kiyanenko finished the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health in 2013 with a degree in Aesthetic Gymnastic. Assisting a rhythmic-gymnastic coach and a choreographer at the Rhythmic Art Sport Center (in Miami).


Erin B Haag, Certified Pilates Instrcutor, Owner of Pilates of Palm Beach

Erin B Haag, a graduate of A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, studied dance at The Dance Center, Ballet Florida, North Carolina School of the Arts, Broadway Theatre Project, and Webster University's Conservatory for Theatre & Dance. It was Erin's love of dance, which led her to Pilates because of its unique ability to strengthen and condition the dancer's body. Erin is a Classically Certified Pilates Instructor through Power Pilates and the Pilates Method Alliance, and she is also a certified Teacher Trainer, which means she certifies aspiring Pilates instructors to teach. In 2009, Erin opened Pilates of Palm Beach and is proud to be recognized as the premiere Classical Pilates studio in the area. Erin enjoys training dancers and athletes alike in Pilates and is excited to bring the Classical Pilates Method to Ballet East. 

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Shelley Sweat, Certified Senior Pilates Instructor

Shelley is a Senior Level Instructor at Pilates of Palm Beach in Boynton Beach. She is comprehensively certified through Power Pilates, an internationally recognized training program based in New York City. She has been teaching Pilates for 5 years, and is also certified in the Xtend Barre

Shelley studied dance at Brenau University, where she performed with the Gainesville Ballet Company. She holds a degree in Marketing from Florida State University, and previously worked in direct sales, marketing and public relations.


Caroline Schwarz, Yoga Faculty

Caroline Schwarz is a certified RYT200hr Yoga Instructor. Ms. Schwarz is New York native whose passion is connecting our minds with our bodies, and finding the balance that allows us to see new perspectives in this world. Ms. Schwarz creates her classes inspired by her Anatomy based training, where she uses her knowledge of the anatomical body and energy centers, to develop sequences that strengthen the body and help expand each student’s flexibility and balance to their most comfortable level. Be prepared to explore deep within your inner self and doing it all with a smile on your face! 

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Ballet East Seeks Top Talent to Attend the 2017 Summer Intensive

One of South Florida's finest training schools, Ballet East seeks top talent for the 2017 Summer Intensive. This season marks 46th anniversary of the school's existence. Ballet East is known for providing top quality training to students in South Florida. Recent graduates of the program (ages 14-17) went on to attend outstanding finishing schools such as Houston Ballet Academy, School of American Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. International success can be found with Alum Alex Anderson who was recently offered a contract with Nederlands Dans Theatre 1 after preforming with NDT2 company for several years.     

The current list of world-renown instructors that will be teaching during the intensive received their training/experience from the following: Marcie Bowers-Russo, USA; Doreen Cafarella, USA; Elena Kiyanenko-Chiet, Russia; Oxana Kiyanenko, Austria/Russia; Andréa Mafra Gregori, Brazil; Bree Nasby, USA; Chelsea Nasby, USA, Alla Nikitina, Ukraine; Olivier Pardina, France.

The program will run for advanced students from July 17th - August 11th, 2017. Two audition options are available Saturday February 25th and Saturday March 11th ages 9+. For more information please visit http://www.balleteastfl.com/summerintensive

Classes will include Ballet, Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Variations, Pas de Deux, Contemporary, Character, Pilates, Yoga, Strength and Stretch and Rhythmic Gymnastic disciplines. Additional classes are offered to enhance dance education and include Dance History, Costuming, Nutrition and Repwork.  

Select advanced students attending 4-Week Program (July 17th - August 11th) or the 2-Week Option 2 (July 31st - August 11th) will be invited to perform contemporary works on camera by award winning Ballet East Director Chelsea Nasby.

Advanced Students auditioning will be eligible for select scholarships. Students auditioning will also be considered for the Ballet East Pre-Professional Program and Accelerated Training Program for the 2017-2018 Season.