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Jessica Assef

Principal Dancer

Joined The Sarasota Ballet in 2023 as a Principal.

Born: São Carlos, Brazil.

Training: Escola de Ballet Corpo e Arte under Jolles Salles. Orlando Ballet School under the direction of Dierdre Miles Burger. Koltun Ballet Boston.

Previous companies: Atlanta Ballet, Orlando Ballet.

Favorite quote: “Say what you know, do what you must, come what may”. – Sofia Kovalevskaya.

Favorite role: I love all the roles where there is a dramatic content, where there is a story and character development. I love Giselle, La Sylphide from the classical repertoire – I can probably list them all. Also, couldn’t forget to mention the romantic comedy of Don Quixote as Kitri and Marie in Yuri Possokhov’s The Nutcracker. 

Favorite costume: Don Quixote Kitri’s third act tutu that belonged to Tatiana Terekhova who was a star prima ballerina of Kirov Ballet, presently Mariinsky Theatre in Russia. It was an honor.

Fun Fact: The ones whom are closest to me think that I am very funny. One said: “It’s never a dull moment”.

Lead and featured roles in previous companies include: Petipa’s Giselle, Paquita, Swan Lake; Possokhov’s, Don Quixote, Firebird, The Nutcracker, Kobborg’s La Sylphide; Balanchine’s Serenade, Who Cares?; Stevenson’s Three Preludes; McFall’s Nutcracker; Welch’s TuTu; Tomasson’s 7 for Eight, Morris’s Sandpaper Ballet; Amarante’s Love Fear Loss, The Premiere; Gaine’s Sum Stravinsky; Yanowsky’s AON; Scarlett’s Vespertine; Rhoden’s Sunrise Divine; Schreier’s First Impulse, Pleiades Dances; Masero’s Schubertiada; Baryshnikov’s Don Quixote; Robbins’ Fancy Free; Tharp’s Sinatra Suite; Pink’s Dracula; Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story.