Dancer

 

 

International Ballet Intensive

 

Dancer Feet

Guest Faculty

Paloma Herrera, Classical Ballet
Former Principal, American Ballet Theatre

Paloma Paloma Herrera

Born in Buenos Aires, Paloma Herrera began her ballet studies with Olga Ferri at age seven. As a young dancer, she was a first prize winner at several major competitions in South America, and, at the age of 11, studied at the Minsk Ballet School in Russia before returning to Buenos Aires to dance the role of Cupid in Don Quixote at the Teatro Colón.

Herrera was a Finalist at the Fourteenth International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1990. After the competition, she was invited by Natalia Makarova to take class with the English National Ballet in London and by Hector Zaraspe to continue her studies at the School of American Ballet in New York. After just six months, Herrera was selected to dance the leading role in Raymonda at SAB's annual workshop performance. She joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in June of 1991, was promoted to Soloist in June of 1993, and to Principal Dancer in March of 1995.

Herrera's roles with the Company include Mathilda Kchessinska in Anastasia, Terpsichore and Polyhymnia in Apollo, Gamzatti and Nikiya in La Bayadère, Zina in The Bright Stream, the second movement in Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1,the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Swanilda in Coppélia, Medora and Gulnare in Le Corsaire, the pas de deux Diana and Acteon, Kitri in Don Quixote, Katherine in Christopher Wheeldon's VIII, the first girl in Fancy Free, Giselle in Giselle, His Memory and His Experiences in HereAfter, Hanna Glawari and Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kevin McKenzie's The Nutcracker, Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, the Paquita pas de deux, Cerrito in Pas des Déesses, the Siren in Prodigal Son, Raymonda in Raymonda, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, a Lover in Sin and Tonic, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Coupava in The Snow Maiden, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, Sylvia in Sylvia, the first movement in Symphony in C, the Sylvia Pas de Deux, The Awakening Pas de Deux, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Americans We, Bach Partita, Ballet Imperial, Brief Fling, Clear, Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Duo Concertant, Études, Glow - Stop, The Howling Cat, In the Upper Room, Majisimo, Overgrown Path, Petite Mort, Sinatra Suite, Sinfonietta, Stepping Stones, Symphonie Concertante, Theme and Variations and workwithinwork.

Herrera created Olga in On the Dnieper and leading roles in The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Chamber Symphony, Citizen, Cruel World, Disposition, From Here On Out, How Near Heaven,One of Three, Rabbit and Rogue, Triptych, Turnstile and Without Words.

Herrera has been a member of Artists Committee for The Kennedy Center Honors since 2004.

 

Laura Alonso, Classical Ballet
Cuban International Ballet Master

 

Ms. Alonso, daughter of world famous ballerina Alicia Alonso and renowned teacher and coach Fernando Alonso, is herself known as a teacher, coach and an expert at staging the well-known classics. For seven years she served as the personal coach and teacher for international prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso. Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director, former prima ballerina and former editor of Pointe magazine, Virginia Johnson, calls her an, “international master teacher extrordinare.”

Ms. Alonso was honored with an award as the best coach at the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1990. Her student, Jose Manuel Carreno, won the Grand Prix de Ville, the highest award possible. Ms. Alonso has served as coach, jury member and teacher at the Jackson IBC and as jury member of the Concours International de Dance de Paris, France, the Alicia Alonso International Ballet Competition and other competitions around the world. A teacher of world-class experience, Ms. Alonso has taught for professional ballet companies all over the world.

Ms. Alonso’s 25-year performing career with Ballet National de Cuba included soloist work in all of the traditional classics. Today she travels around the world teaching and staging the classics for pre - professional as well as professional companies such as London’s Royal Ballet School and The Royal Danish.

Amanda McKerrow, Classical Ballet
Former Principal, American Ballet Theatre

Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.

Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance, where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day, where she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed to the position of soloist in 1983 and became a principal dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadère, Coppélia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Jiri Killián. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full-length classics like Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.

John Gardner, Classical Ballet
Former Soloist, American Ballet Theatre

 

John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he began his ballet training with Gwen Ashton. He subsequently trained at the National Academy of Dance in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre School summer program in 1977, and was invited to join the second company thereafter. In 1978 Mr. Gardner joined the main company of American Ballet Theatre, and was promoted to the rank of Soloist in 1984. Mr. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many Soloist and Principal roles, represented an extensive range of styles, and afforded him the opportunity to work with many of the master choreographers of the twentieth century, including Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Martha Graham, and Twyla Tharp.

In 1991 Mr. Gardner was invited to dance with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. He danced with the company for five years, and worked closely with many acclaimed modern dance choreographers, most notably Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and David Gordan. Mr. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with White Oak Dance Project, and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. He returned to American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in 1996, and continued to perform with the company until 2002.

After retiring from the stage Mr. Gardner began to pursue a career as a teacher and coach. He taught the graded level program at Ballet Academy East in New York City for three years. During this time he also taught at various dance studios around the city, including Broadway Dance, where he had the privilege of working as a substitute teacher for the Master Teacher David Howard upon his request. Mr. Gardner has enjoyed his development as a teacher, coach, ballet master, and choreographer over the years, and has worked extensively at both the professional and student levels. He is a sanctioned repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, and also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied. He has been invited to work in these many capacities for ballet companies and schools around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Mr. Gardner is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur Amanda McKerrow.

Antoaneta Alexieva, Character Dance
Former Principal, National Music Theatre, Bulgaria

 

Graduated from the National Ballet School (NUTI) in the class of Lyubov Fominih and Emilia Kirova. Ms. Aleksieva earned her Batchelor of Arts degree in Ballet Directing at the New Bulgarian University in the class of Margarita Arnaudova, and Ballet Pedagogy at the National Academy of music "Pantcho Vladiguerov" in the class of Kalina Bogoeva.  She Specialized in  Jazz dance with Benjamin Feliksdal (Belgium); Graham technique and Afro-Jazz with Ime Dalberg (Netherlands) and Flamenco with Jose Luis Molina (Spain).

In 1989, she became a laureate of the National Ballet competition "Anastas Petrov" and won an award for best performance in modern choreography.

In 1997, Antoaneta won the competition for a young choreographers "Margarita Arnaudova" with the choreography of her ballet "Embers” music by Alexander Yosifov.  She continues to choreograph  ballets, musicals and countless operettas and operas.

In 2012, Ms. Aleksieva was awarded the "Crystal lyre" for directing and choreography of the ballet "Crossroads of passion" and five "Crystal lyre” awards in the category “directors team" for the performances of "Don Quixote", “Count Von Luxembourg","Službogonci" and "Concerto."

Since 1998 she is a pedagoge and professor at the National School of Dance Arts (NUTI), Sofia, Bulgaria

Lisa Lock, Contemporary Ballet/Modern 
Lisa Lock Lisa Lock, Contemporary Ballet/Modern 

Lisa holds a Ballet Diploma from the Grande Ecole de Danse in Bern, Switzerland and a BFA and MFA Degree from the California Institute of the Arts. Lisa, moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles via Cleveland OH, and currently teaches at Brenau University. She was a recipient of an Individual Excellence Award by the Ohio Arts Council. In Los Angeles, she was honored with a Lester Horton Award for outstanding achievement in choreography, and was voted best female dancer of the year 2004 by the Beverly Hills Outlook. As a solo artist Lisa performed extensively throughout the L. A. basin as well as the greater Cleveland area. Her works have also been seen in Honolulu, San Francisco, Chicago and NYC as well as in international showcases in major cities like Paris, Madrid, Vienna, and Edinghburgh, in addition to in the countries of Switzerland, Lithuania, and Guatemala. Lisa has been a freelance artist with many companies, starting with the Swiss Chamber Ballet in Basel, Switzerland and finishing with Hysterica Dance Company in L.A. She recently choreographed and performed with Opera Cleveland. Her teaching expertise includes Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary Ballet, Modern Dance Technique, and Choreography. She has been a guest artist at Ohio University, Buffalo State University, Kenyon College and Kent State University, and has been Ballet mistress for the former Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater, Dancing Wheels, and Ohio Dance Theater. In Los Angeles she taught at Moorpark College, Pomona College, Scripps College, L. A Pierce College, Cerritos College, and Antelope Valley College, as well as many private studios. She has choreographed for many college and private studio students in L. A., at Ohio University, and the Kent State Dance Ensemble. Professional companies include La Danserie in L.A. Verb Ballet, Dancing Wheels, the Ohio Dance Theater, Opera Cleveland, and the former Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater in Ohio.

Stevan Novakovich, Modern and Jazz

Stevan Novakovich launched his dance career at the age of six with the Yugoslavian national folk company and subsequently received his training at the Vaganova-based Ballet Academy in Novi Sad. Upon arriving in the United States in 1993, he trained at the Ballet West Conservatory, Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey School of American Dance. He has performed with Ballet West, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, New York City Opera, Alwin Nikolais Dance Theatre and Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles, to name but few.

Mr. Novakovich has worked with several luminaries in the world of dance including choreographers Stephen Koester, Daniel Ezralow, Bill T. Jones and Doug Varone. He has received numerous honors including the Performer of Great Merit Award, Olympiad Award Winner, Governor's Award and Honorary Achievement Award in Dance Performance.

Through the U.S. State Department he had the privilege of serving as a cultural ambassador from the United States. During this period, he taught and performed in all four corners of the world. He has been a frequent guest instructor at various American universities (including Tisch School of the Arts) as well as academic institutions abroad. Mr. Novakovich has been and still continues to work as a guest teacher at numerous international dance festivals including the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Due to his versatility as a performer, Mr. Novakovich is well recognized for teaching master classes and workshops as well as setting the original choreography that range from classical & contemporary ballet, to modern dance and work for film.

He earned a BFA in ballet from the University of Utah and an MFA in choreography and professional performance from the California State University, Long Beach.

His present day focus is honing his teaching methods and aesthetic philosophies and producing his own choreographic body of works. He is also working on establishing a non-profit organization S.O.D.A. (Society Of Dependent Artists) that will promote the collaborative approach to commissioning, exchanging and marketing dance/ performance art.

Stevan Novakovich is a twenty-first century choreographer. He is acknowledged and admired for his eclectic choreographic palette, inventive approach, unique interpretations, and mastery of traditions that underlie his work. Combining high technical prowess, curiosity and attention to details with a distinctive contemporary/modern movement style, Novakovich's inventions are infused with both intense complexity and mesmerizing simplicity. Even as his choreographic styles shift from Neoclassical to Surreal, this artist chooses to transcend the boundaries of Modernism, and his work remains individual and distinctive.

Subjected to the misfortunes of the war in his home country of Yugoslavia, Novakovich immigrated to United States in young adulthood. Here he continues to explore the core essence of human experience at large.
Jolie Long, Pilates
Jolie Long, Pilates

Jolie Long, Professor of Dance, is a Virginia native and began teaching at Brenau University in 1998, instructing modern dance and jazz technique, tap, improvisation, choreography and Pilates classes. Ms. Long also served as the Director of the Brenau Dance Ensemble for several years. Jolie graduated Cum Laude from Mary Washington College earning a B.A. in dance, and a M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Florida State University. Her training in modern dance includes: Limón, Graham, Cunningham, and Horton/Lewitzky techniques. Prior to moving to GA, Jolie was Director of Dance at Chatham Hall, a girls’ boarding school in VA. She has taught for the Gainesville School of Ballet and was a faculty member for the Virginia Governor’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Richmond for 12 years. Jolie has taught master classes and workshops at several colleges and conferences throughout the southeast, as well as for Brenau University’s Firespark! program. She was elected to the American College Dance Festival Association’s National Board of Directors in 2008, and was recently re-elected for a second term. In May 2009, Jolie received Brenau University’s Ann Austin Johnston Outstanding Faculty Award, Brenau’s highest teaching honor. Jolie has performed with Bighouse Dance Theater, guests with the Gainesville Ballet Company, and appeared with Duende Dance Theater in Atlanta. As a Pilates instructor, Jolie holds a comprehensive certification through Power Pilates, NY. She trains clients in both classical Pilates mat and apparatus sessions. Jolie taught Pilates at Studio Lotus in Atlanta and currently instructs at Core Design Pilates in Gainesville, GA.