Born - Miami, Florida
Trained - The Sarasota Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School
Joined - 2002, promoted to Principal in 2009
Favorite Quote - Per Ardua, Ad Astra! (Latin for, Through Struggle, To The Stars!)
Favorite Ballet - La Fille mal gardée has a special place in my heart. This was my first full length, three act ballet as a Principal dancer, and I just fell in love with the role of Lise because she is charming, witty, and madly in love with Colas. Plus, I can't help but love a challenge, and La Fille is full of tough technique, lots of prop work, and it requires immense physical stamina to keep the character's energy up until the final act.
Ashton's choreography is filled with fierce footwork, tricky partnering with ribbons, and also the best storytelling in a ballet that involves precise comedic timing. Lucky for me, I got to share the stage and share many laughs with the talents of Ricki Bertoni, who played Widow Simone, and Logan Learned, who played Alain. I enjoyed bringing the story of "The Wayward Daughter" to life onstage with all the characters through dancing and acting, and having the full company by my side made it even more special.
I will never forget the first time I danced La Fille, I performed the role of Lise three times in 27 hours with two different, but equally amazing partners; Ricardo Graziano and Ricardo Rhodes. That was by the far the most challenging and most memorable experience of my dance career. Plus, it was a bonus that I got to share the longest onstage kiss in ballet history with both of the "Ricardos"!
I have so many favorite moments, including the famous Fanny Elssler Pas de Deux in second act where Lise balances on one leg holding just the ends of the ribbons. I remember not knowing if the audience would think it was as difficult or impressive as it looks. Then I tossed the ribbons into the air after the balance, and the audience went wild, cheering and clapping so loud. I was so surprised, and relieved all at the same time! The moment I will never forget was on opening night when I got lifted into the air for the last time in third act. I open my arms in celebration on this big musical note, and l could see everyone in the audience and on the stage. At that moment, I was so exhausted, so happy and so proud of accomplishing such a hard ballet that I couldn't help but celebrate for real. I remember crying with joy at that moment because my dream came true!
Favorite Costume: I absolutely love the costume from La Chatte metamorphosée en femme, which also happens to be one of my favorite Frederick Ashton roles. The chic costume is all white, layered in feathers and fur from its bodice to the bottom of the full length skirt. A fuzzy tail, bejeweled collar and cat ears complete the look. You can't help but feel feminine and feline all at the same time! By the end of the solo, there are feathers and fur flying around the stage! I got to wear the original costume worn by Merle Park the first time I performed La Chatte at the Ashton Festival. For our recent tour to the Joyce Theatre in New York City, Jerry Wolf, our head of wardrobe, made me my own original costume. So it feels special all around because I am the only dancer in the company who has performed the role, and worn the fabulous "cat" costume!
Fun Fact or Awards - I was named one of three finalists for the Young Professional of the Year Award by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Also, I am thrilled to be one of the Co-Chairs for the 2020 Sarasota Ballet Gala.
Lead and featured roles include Ashton’s Birthday Offering, La Fille mal Gardée, Les Patineurs, Les Rendezvous, La chatte métamorphosée en femme, The Two Pigeons, Jazz Calendar, Marguerite and Armand; Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Apollo, Rubies, Serenade, The Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Who Cares?; Bintley's 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café; Bruce’s Sergeant Early’s Dream; de Valois’ The Rake’s Progress; Flindt’s The Lesson; Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Petrushka; Graziano’s Symphony of Sorrows, Shostakovich Suite, En las Calles de Murcia, In a State of Weightlessness; Hart’s John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker; Kobborg’s Salute; MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations; Nureyev’s Raymonda Act III; Prokovsky’s Anna Karenina; Samsova’s Paquita; Taylor’s Company B; Tuckett’s The Secret Garden, Changing Light, Lux Aeterna; Tudor’s Gala Performance; Wheeldon’s The American, There Where She Loved; Wright’s Summertide.