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Trainee Biographies

Click here for information about American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School's Trainee program, including how to audition.
 
Current Trainees:
 
Flavio Altieri
Torre del Greco, Italy.  Flavio trained at the Accademia dello Spettacolo, in Portici, Italy, with Virginia Vincenti.  He began his training here with the 2014 Summer Intnesive, where he was a featured dancer in Mary Barton’s “A Summer’s Day.”  During the 2014-15 season, he appeared as the Nephew/Prince in “Nutcracker,” a Rustic in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Minion in “Firebird,” and a Toreador in “Don Quixote.”  This fall, he is preparing Soldier Doll and Spanish lead for “Nutcracker.”
 
Adriana Ardila
Bogota, Columbia.  Adriana joined the Trainee program after receiving her BFA in Fine Arts, Dance, from Florida State University.  She received her early training in Miami, with summer programs at the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the National Capital Ballet School of Australia, and Orlando Ballet.  Adriana was a Resident Assistnat in the dormitory for our Summer Intensive in 2014 and 2015.  During the 2014-15 season, she performed in “Nutcracker” (Snow and Flowers), and also appeared in featured roles in “Don Quixote.”
 
Greta Battistin
Verona, Italy. Greta studied with Stefania Cantarelli and Giovanni Patti, former dancers with the Fondazione Arena di Verona. She has also attended The Alvin Ailey School’s summer intensive before moving to Princeton to begin her fist season as a trainee. Greta recently appeared as The Sheep in “Grumpy Bird” and can be seen in Snow and Flowers in "The Nutcracker."
 
Leticia Chindler
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Leticia began her training at Balletarrj Escola de Dança and later attended The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. In 2014, she won First Place and Top 12 in the ensemble category at the Youth America Grand Prix New York Finals. She is also a recipient of two German certificates from the Escola Alemã Corcovado Deutsche Schule. Leticia recently was a Rosebud in Mary Barton’s “Once Upon a Summer’s Day” and can be seen in Snow, Flowers, Candy Cane and Spanish in "The Nutcracker."
 
Claudio Cirsone
Cerignola, Italy.  Claudio received his early training in Bari, Puglia, at Unika, and then at the Scola del Teatro dall’Opera in Rome.  He has attended summer programs with Boston Ballet and with Ajkun Ballet.  Claudio appear last season at the Nephew/Prince in “Nutcracker,” a Rustic in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and Espada in “Don Quixote.”  
 
Médélice Cluzeau-Fortier
St. Julien, France.  Médélice began her training at the Ecole de Danse Marie-Helène Pelletier, near Lyons, France.
 
Dana Cox
Lexington, South Carolina. Before joining American Repertory Ballet as a trainee, Dana danced at Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet and studied for two years at The Boston Ballet School. She is also pursuing degrees in Gender Studies and English from the University of Massachusetts. Dana has appeared as a Rose in Mary Barton’s “Once Upon a Summer’s Day” and as The Raccoon in “Grumpy Bird.” In this year’s “Nutcracker,” Dana can be seen in Snow and Flowers. 
 
Anna Danner
Amarillo, Texas.  Anna studied under Mark and Stephanie Lanhan at Landance Conservatory, and then moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where she studied at LINES.  She came to Princeton Ballet School for the 2014 Summer Intensive, appearing in Janell Byrne’s contemporary work in that performance, and also participating in a contemporary intensive with Urbanity in Boston.  During the 2014-15 season, she appeared in “Nutcracker,” (Snow and Flowers), “Grumpy Bird,” and “Don Quixote.”  This fall, she has danced in Mary Barton’s “A Summer’s Day,” and is appearing in “Nutcracker.”
 
Marisa Ellis
Wayne, Pennsylvania.  Marisa trained at Brandywine Ballet, and started her study at Princeton Ballet School with Summer Intensive 2014.  Last year, she appeared in “Nutcracker,” (Snow, Flowers, and Marzipan), “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (Firefly), and in featured roles in “Don Quixote.”  She is working on an online degree in early childhood education, and looks forward to adding Arabian to her list of “Nutcracker” roles.
 
Paulina Espinoza-Hernandez
Sinaloa, México. Paulina has studied dance at Karemia Del Rey’s Escuela Con La Tecnica Cubana, Delaware Valley Dance Academy and spent one year as a trainee with Atlantic City Ballet. She has performed the Rose Pas de Deux in Mary Barton’s “Once Upon a Summer’s Day”, the Rabbit in “Grumpy Bird” and is learning Fireflies for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She can currently be seen in Spanish, Snow and Flowers in “The Nutcracker”. Paulina plans to eventually pursue a career as a brain injury therapist, following in the footsteps of her mother.
 
Leonetta Gandon
Leonetta trained at the Renato Greco Dance Studio in Rome, before joining the Trainee program.  Last year, she appeared in “Nutcracker” (Clara, Snow and Flowers), “Grumpy Bird,” and in featured roles in “Don Quixote.”  She will be reprising her role of Clara again in this year’s “Nutcracker.”
 
Caileigh Gold
Norfolk, Virginia. Caileigh received her training from Ballet Virginia and has attended summer intensives at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Orlando Ballet and Joffrey Ballet Chicago, among others. She recently performed the role of the Thistle Queen in “Once Upon a Summer’s Day” and is learning Fireflies for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She can be seen as a Maid, a Rat, Marzipan, Snow and Flowers in this year’s “Nutcracker.” Caileigh is also working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Photography. 
 
Jacopo Griffo
Turin, Italy. Jacopo studied at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome before beginning his first season as a trainee with American Repertory Ballet. In this year’s “Nutcracker” he can be seen as the Rat King and the Butler. Jacopo has also performed as The Gardener in “Once Upon a Summer’s Day” and has learned the role of The Grumpy Bird in Matthew Keefe's "Grumpy Bird."
 
Mia Hetherington
Sydney, Australia. Mia studied at the Rogerson’s Dance Studio and The McDonald College as well as summer intensives at Australia’s International Summer School and Joffrey Ballet Chicago. She is a Flower in “The Nutcracker” this year. Mia enjoys camping and traveling in her free time. 
 
Lindsay Jorgensen
Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Lindsay began her training as a child at Princeton Ballet School and participated in their Professional Training Program. She has also spent summers at Carolina Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Boston Ballet. Lindsay performed the role of Kitri in Princeton Ballet School’s production of “Don Quixote” in May 2015 and was the Dew Drop Fairy at this year’s Cranbury Day Festival. She is a Maid, Marzipan, Arabian, Snow and Flowers in this year’s “Nutcracker.”
 
Anthony Lee
Chino Hills, California. Tony has trained at Anaheim Ballet and Towson University. He recently received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Film & Media Studies from Johns Hopkins University. This season Tony is learning Rustics for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and is dancing as the Nutcracker Prince/Nephew in Douglas Martin’s “The Nutcracker.” 
 
Ashlyn Lewis
Agoura Hills, California.  Ashlyn returned to the Trainee program this year, recommencing with Summer Intensive ’15.  This fall, she appeared in Mary Barton’s “A Summer’s Day,” and she is currently rehearsing several roles in “Nutcracker”—Arabian, Marzipan, and Snow.  She is also cast as a Firefly in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
 
Brenda Liu
Taichung City, Taiwan.  Brenda joined the Trainee program in November of 2014.  She was featured in “Don Quixote.”  This year, Brenda is doing an Independent Study with Princeton Ballet School while apprenticing with San Diego Ballet.
 
Oronzo Loparco
Ceglie Messapica, Italy. Ronny received his training in Rome at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza. While studying ballet, he also participated in musical productions of “Grease,” “Sister Act” and “Hair”, among others. In this year’s “Nutcracker” Ronny will perform as The Rat King and The Butler and has learned the role of The Grumpy Bird in Matthew Keefe's “Grumpy Bird.”
 
Nanae Matsushima
Hokkaido, Japan.  Nanae received her early training in Hokkaido, then at the School of Alberta Ballet in Calgary, Canada.  Nanae started her work with Princeton Ballet School in the summer of 2014, when she appeared as the female lead in “A Summer’s Day.”  During the 14-15 season, she appeared in “Nutcracker” (Clara, Marzipan, Snow and Flowers), as a Firefly in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and as Kitri in “Don Quixote.”  This current year, she is doing Independent Study with us by appearing as an Apprentice with Charlottesville Ballet, in Virginia.
 
Jordan Miller
Temecula, California. Jordan has trained at the Inland Valley Classical Ballet Academy and attended Ballet Chicago’s summer intensive. She has learned the role of The Sheep in “Grumpy Bird.” Jordan is currently performing the roles of Spanish, Snow and Flowers in this year’s “Nutcracker.”  
 
Giorgia Monorchio
Naples, Italy. Giorgia began dancing at eight years old at the Teriscore School in Naples. She has learned the role of The Beaver in “Grumpy Bird.” In this year’s “Nutcracker” Giorgia will dance the roles of Spanish, Snow and Flowers. 
 
Chiara Negrisolo
Naples, Italy. Chiara trained at Akerusia Danza, earning awards in both dance and gymnastics before joining American Repertory Ballet as a Trainee. She has learned The Fox’s role in “Grumpy Bird” and performed as a Rosebud in Mary Barton’s “Once Upon a Summer’s Day.” Chiara will be performing in Snow, Flowers and Marzipan in this year’s “Nutcracker.”
 
Emily Parker
Beverly Hills, New South Wales, Australia.  Emily began training at The McDonald College, in Sydney, Australia, and has done summer programs there, at Boston Ballet School, and with the Sydney Dance Company.  During the 2014-15 season, she appeared as Rosalind in “Romeo and Juliet,” a Firefly in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a Minion in “Firebird,” a soloist in “Don Quixote,” and in multiple roles in “Nutcracker.”  This fall, she has also been learning “Rite of Spring,” and will be dancing the roles of Arabian, Maid, Snow and Flowers in “Nutcracker.” 
 
Kyryk Pavlovsky
Ewing, New Jersey.  Kyryk started dancing with Princeton Ballet School in early childhood, and moved up through the ranks into our Professional Training Program, with summer programs here and with Richard Ellison.  A recent graduate of The Lawrenceville School, Kyryk has deferred matriculation at Columbia University in order to be a Trainee.  Last spring, he appeared as Basilio in our production of "Don Quixote."  This fall, in addition to appearances as the Soldier, and Spanish and Candy Cane soloist in "Nutcracker," he also appeared with ARB in "Ephemeral Possessions," and "Straight Up with a Twist."  He danced with ARB in the Jose Limon International Festival at the Joyce Theater, in Jose Limon's classic, "There Is a Time."  This coming spring, he will be appearing with ARB in "Rite of Spring" and Kirk Peterson's "Glazounov Variations."
 
Alec Pelerin
Anacortes, Washington.  Alec started his study with Princeton Ballet School with Summer Intensive 2014, where he was cast in Janell Byrne’s contemporary ballet.  Last season, he appeared as a  Rustic in “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and as Don Quixote in the eponymous ballet.  This year, he has  appeared in “A Summer’s Day” and is preparing roles in “Nutcracker.”
 
Renata Rocha Pastrana
Tuxtla Gutiérrez Chiapas, Mexico. Renata began studying ballet and modern in her hometown then attended The Rock School and the School of Alberta Ballet before joining Milwaukee Ballet II. She has attended summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, IBStage International Ballet Summer Intensive in Barcelona, and Milwaukee Ballet among others. She has learned The Rabbit role in “Grumpy Bird” and appeared as a Rosebud in “Once Upon a Summer’s Day.” In this year’s “Nutcracker” she can be seen in Spanish, Flowers and Snow. Renata is also pursuing an online degree in Psychology.
 
Jordana Rosenberg
Vineland, New Jersey. Jordana has danced at the Atlantic City Ballet School and was previously a trainee for Atlantic City Ballet. She has attended summer programs including Ballet West’s Summer Intensive and the Rockette Summer Intensive. She recently performed the role of The Rabbit in “Grumpy Bird” and will dance in Snow, Flowers and Spanish in Douglas Martin’s “The Nutcracker.” Jordana is currently pursuing a degree in Mathematics online through Southern New Hampshire University.
 
Jillian Schepis

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jillian began her training at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and later danced at The Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh. She has attended summer programs at Chautauqua, American Ballet Theatre: New York and Richmond Ballet, among others. She performed as the Rose Soloist in Mary Barton’s “Once Upon a Summer’s Day,” The Fox in “Grumpy Bird” and is learning Fireflies for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  In this year’s “Nutcracker” she can be seen in Marzipan, Snow and Flowers. Jillian received her Bachelor of Science from Butler University in Dance and Arts Administration with a minor in Marketing.

Federica Sestili
Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy.  Federica trained at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza di Roma, from which she received her Laureata in classical ballet.  Last season, Federica appeared in “Nutcracker” as Clara, and in Snow and Flowers, and she also had featured roles in “Don Quixote.”  She is currently rehearsing Marzipan, Snow and Flowers.
 
Sophia Thomas
Fresno, California. Sophia trained at the Maple Conservatory of Dance and has spent summers at Houston Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She recently danced as The Beaver in “Grumpy Bird” and is learning Fireflies for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Sophia will perform Snow, Flowers, Arabian, and Marzipan in Douglas Martin’s “Nutcracker.”
 
Celeste Zerbo
Catania, Sicily.  Celeste trained at Spazio Uno with Cettina Pandolfo, and then at the Accademmia Nazionale di Danza di Roma, from which she received her Laureata in classical ballet.  In fall of 2014, when she began her Traineeship, Celeste also choreographed and performed at the Mercer County Italian-American Festival.  Also trained in Spanish dance, this year Celeste is teaching Spanish dance for Princeton Ballet School.  She is appearing in “Nutcracker” in Arabian, Marzipan, Snow and Flowers. 
 

Trainee/Apprentices

Trainees who take company class and rehearse daily with American Repertory Ballet.

Michael Landez
San Antonio, Texas.  Michael started his work with Princeton Ballet School in Summer Intensive 2014, where he was the male lead in Mary Barton’s “A Summer’s Day.”  Last year, he appeared with ARB in “Rite of Spring,” “Firebird,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and as a Rustic in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  He also appeared as Basilio in the school’s production of “Don Quixote.”  As an apprentice this year, Michael appeared in Kirk Peterson’s “Glazounov Variations,” and is preparing for his debut at Snow King in “Nutcracker.”
 
Mizuki Sato
Tokyo, Japan.  Mizuki started her Traineeship in fall of 2013, and was cast as Aurora in our production of “Sleeping Beauty,” spring of 14, although she was not able to perform due to injury.  After a rehabilitation period at home, Mizuki returned winter of 2015.  This fall, she appeared with ARB at the Limon International Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater, in three solos from José Limón’s “There Is a Time”—Heal, Mourn, and Dance.  She also was cast in Kirk Peterson’s “Glazounov Variations.”  For “Nutcracker,” she is preparing Dewdrop, Spanish lead, Chinese lead, and Marzipan.
 
Giulia Settimo
Foggia, Italy.  This is Giulia’s third season as a Trainee, and she is performing as an Apprentice with ARB, preparing Arabian, Marzipan, Spanish lead, and Chinese lead for “Nutcracker.”  She was a soloist in “Don Quixote,” and appeared as a Firefly and a Fairy in “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  She also appears with the company in “Rite of Spring,” “Firebird,” and “Shades of Time.”

Updates on former members of the Trainee Program:

Alessia Astro, Estelle Botella, and Valentina Paladino are all dancing with Manassas Ballet Theatre, in Manassas, Virginia.
 
Tullio Catà is now dancing with Atlantic City Ballet.
 
Shaye Firer graduated from the Trainee Program in 2012, after having spent her second year as an Apprentice to ARB.  As a current member of the professional company she has performed in many roles, including the role of The Chosen One in Douglas Martin’s “Rite of Spring.” Pictured on 
right: Shaye Firer as "The Chosen One" in Douglas Martin's Rite of SpringPhoto Credit: Leighton Chen
 
Jacopo Janelli, from Tor Vaianica, Italy, joined the Trainee program in 2011.  He trained with Fabula Saltis in Rome, with summer programs at The Royal Ballet School and Princeton Ballet School.  He became a full company member in fall of 2014.  Roles with ARB include Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet,” The Ancient One in “Rite of Spring,” and many others.  He is currently rehearsing for his first season as Cavalier in “Nutcracker.”
Pictured on right: Jacopo Janelli as Tybalt in Douglas Martin's Romeo and Juliet, Photo Credit: Leighton Chen
 
Mathilde LaBrusse is dancing with Compagnie JCDM in Fontainebleau, France.
 
Kelsey McFalls spent a year with ARB as an apprentice, and then danced in Los Angeles. is now in her second season dancing with Dance Theatre of San Francisco, where she recently had the honor of appearing in a new work by Robert Moses Kin.  This will be her second season of appearing as Lucy in "Charlie Brown's Christmas" with the San Francisco Symphony.  She's enjoying balancing her dance career with a part-time job as marketing and tour scheduler for a theoretical neuroscientist based in Berkeley.   

 
Karen Leslie Moscato, a member of the initial class of Trainees (fall, 2011), has been dancing with ARB since the end of her first semester and is currently a member of the professional company.  Current roles include Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”; Sugar Plum Fairy in “Nutcracker”; and featured roles in Kirk Peterson’s "Afternoon of a Faun" and “Tears of the Moon”, Douglas Martin’s “Rite of Spring,” and Titania in Douglas Martin's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Pictured on right: Karen Leslie Moscato as Juliet in Douglas Martin's Romeo and JulietPhoto Credit: Leighton Chen
 

Mattia Pallozzi, from Rome, Italy, spent a year as a Trainee, a year as an Apprentice, and became a full company member in fall of 2013.  Last season he was featured as Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” and as the Faun in “Afternoon of a Faun.”  He is currently preparing for his first performances as Cavalier in “Nutcracker.”
Pictured on right: Mattia Pallozzi as Romeo in Douglas Martin's Romeo and JulietPhoto Credit: George Jones
 
Eliana Trenam is dancing with Portland Ballet Company in Maine.
 
Janessa Urwin (née Cornell) is teaching for Princeton Ballet School, and is now the Wardrobe Manager for Princeton Ballet School.

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