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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.

Continuing Trainees:

Michelle Amor.  Trainee since 2012.  Charlotte, North Carolina.  Trained at the Charlotte School of Ballet and Nutmeg Academy in Torrington, Connecticut.  Summer programs with Atlanta Ballet, Joffrey NYC, and Washington Ballet.  Has appeared with ARB in “Romeo and Juliet,”  “Rite of Spring,” and “Nutcracker,” and “Faerie Tyme,” and with ARBW in “Swan Lake, ” and “Hop, Skip and Joplin.”
Pictured on left: Michelle Amor as Rosalind, and former Trainee Mattia Pallozzi as Romeo, in Douglas Martin's Romeo and JulietPhoto Credit: Leighton Chen
Valentina Palladino.  Trainee since 2011.  Cagliari, Italy.  Trained with Balletto Mediterraneo in Sardinia, then the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome.  Appearances with ARB include “Rite of Spring,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Viva Vivaldi,” “Faerie Tyme” and “Nutcracker.”  ARBW roles include the lead in Mary Barton’s  “Hop, Skip, and Joplin,” the Polish Princess in “Swan Lake,” and a Fleurista in “Don Quixote.” Valentina is spending this year as an Independant Study student, while performing with Manassas Ballet Theatre in Virginia.
Pictured on right: Valentina Palladino in ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton's Hop, Skip, and Joplin, Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive performance 2013, Photo Credit: George Jones
Robert Jones
Trainee since 2013.  Pretoria, South Africa.  Robertson trained in RAD syllabus at the Pro Arte Senior Academy in Pretoria.  He first came to Princeton for a Summer Intensive.  Robert appeared with ARB last year in "Romeo and Juliet" and "Nutcracker," and with ARBW in "Sleeping Beauty," as one of the Princes, and as the White Cat. This year he is a Trainee Apprentice, and will be appearing in "Midsummer's Night's Dream" with ARB, among other roles. 
Melissa Kropf
Hometown: Macungie, Pennsylvania.
Training: Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy; Adelphi University (taking time out from pursuing a BFA)
Summer programs:  Joffrey San Antonio, Princeton Ballet School
ARBW repertory:  soloist in “Swan Lake”; Marzipan, Snow and Flowers.
Abigail Parker
Hometown:  Bedminster, New Jersey
Training: The Dance Center of New Jersey, Bernardsville
Summer programs: Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, The Dance Center of NJ.
ARBW repertory:  Summer, 2013, soloist, “Swan Lake”; learning snow and flowers for “Nutcracker.”
Mizuki Sato
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Training:  Misako Komiya, Tokyo;  The School of Alberta Ballet
Summer programs:  Alberta Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Princeton Ballet School.
ARBW repertory:  Summer 2013, soloist in Erika Mero’s “Les Reves d’Eté”; “Fille Mal Gardee” soloist; Marzipan, Snow and Flowers.
Giulia Settimo
Hometown: Foggia, Italy
Training: Accademia Nazionale di Danza, in Rome. 
Summer programs: studied on scholarship with the Tanzcompanie in Giessen, Germany.
ARBW repertory:  learning snow and flowers for “Nutcracker”

New Trainees:

Adriana Ardila
Anna Danner
Marisa Ellis
Leonetta Gandon
Ellen Lou
Nanae Matsushima
Emily Parker
Federica Sestili
Emily Standiford
Libby West
Celeste Zerbo
Claudio Cirsone
Michael Landez
Alec Pelerin

Updates on former members of the Trainee Program:

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.  Current roles include Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet”; Sugar Plum Fairy in “Nutcracker”; and featured roles in Mary Barton’s “Faerie Tyme”, Kirk Peterson’s new work, “Tears of the Moon”, Douglas Martin’s “Rite of Spring” and others.
Pictured on left: Karen Leslie Moscato as Juliet in Douglas Martin's Romeo and JulietPhoto Credit: Leighton Chen
Shaye Firer graduated from the Trainee Program in 2012, after having spent her second year as an Apprentice to ARB.  She has been performing with ARB ever since 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
Andrea D’Annunzio graduated in spring of 2013, and joined ARB as a full company member.  She is currently featured as The Nurse in “Romeo and Juliet”, and also appears on “Rite of Spring,” and many other ARB repertory works.
Pictured on left: Andrea D'Annunzio in Mary Barton's Straight Up With a TwistPhoto Credit: George Jones
Mattia Pallozzi (spring 2013) spent last year as an Apprentice to ARB, and is now a full company member.  He is currently featured as Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” and also has roles in several other ARB works.
Pictured on right: Mattia Pallozzi as Romeo in Douglas Martin's Romeo and JulietPhoto Credit: George Jones
Jacopo Janelli.  Trainee since 2011. Graduated in spring 2014, and joined ARB as a full company member.  Tor Vaianica, Italy.  Trained with Fabula Saltis in Rome, with summer programs at The Royal Ballet School and Princeton Ballet School.  Roles with ARB include Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet,” The Ancient One in “Rite of Spring,” and Prince in “Nutcracker,”   and ensemble work in “Faerie Tyme.”  ARBW repertory includes the Toreador in “Don Quixote” and Siegfried in “Swan Lake.” 
Pictured on left: Jacopo Janelli as Tybalt in Douglas Martin's Romeo and Juliet, Photo Credit: Leighton Chen
Allison Piccone.  Trainee since 2012. Graduated in spring 2014, and joined ARB as a full company member. Blackwood, New Jersey.  Trained at the Academy of Ballet New Jersey, and attended a summer program at Pennsylvania Ballet . With ARB, she has appeared in “Rite of Spring,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Faerie Tyme” and “Nutcracker.”  With ARBW, she has been seen as one of the Big Swans, and the Spanish Princesses,  in “Swan Lake.”
Pictured on left: Allison Piccone (center) dancing featured role in ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton's work for Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive performance 2012, 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.    She has recently re-located to the Bay area.
Eliana Trenam is dancing with Festival Ballet, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Janessa Cornell is teaching for Princeton Ballet School, and is now the Wardrobe Manager for ARB.


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