A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Alexandre received his training from Escola de Dancas Alice Arja and Escola Estadual de Dancas Maria Olenewa. At the age of 15, he came to the United States to study with the Harid Conservatory. After graduating from Harid, he joined Atlanta Ballet in 2011 as a Fellowship dancer, where he has performed works by choreographers James Kudelka, Juel Lane, Christopher Wheeldon, Bruce Wells and Tara Lee. Alexandre would like to thank his family, friends and the instructors at Harid for all their support and love. He is thrilled to be a part of the Company and is looking forward to a long and fruitful career.
A native of Taiwan, Peng began training in Chinese folk dance and gymnastics at the age of 10. She received her BFA from SUNY Purchase under Carol Walker and received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the President’s Award for Achievement. She has performed with Kevin Wynn Collection and in Metropolitan Opera Ballet’s production of Doug Varone’s The Rite of Spring. She joined American Repertory Ballet for three seasons, where she performed works by Graham Lustig, Lauri Stallings, Val Caniparoli, Melissa Barak and Twyla Tharp. Since 2007, she has performed leading roles in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and John McFall’s Peter Pan. She was featured in Stallings’ big, Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa, Kudelka’s The Four Seasons, Godden’s The Magic Flute, Pickett’s Petal and Tharp’s In the Upper Room. Dance Magazine named Peng one of the “25 to Watch” in 2007, and she thanks her family and friends for all the support and love. Sponsored by Corps de Ballet.
An Atlanta native, Christian began his training at age 8 with the Atlanta School of Ballet under the direction of Robert Barnett. As a Company member, Clark has performed the leading roles of Prince in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Laertes in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in John McFall’s Swan Lake, the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Romeo in Michael Pink’s Romeo & Juliet. Christian was featured in Margo Sappington’s Shed Your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project, John McFall’s Jupiter, Christian Holder’s Transcendence, Lauri Stallings’ The Great Gatsby and big and Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa. When not dancing, Christian enjoys playing music with the band The Neighbors with fellow dancer Jesse Tyler. Christian thanks Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education, his family, and his lovely wife, Naomi-Jane, for their support.
A San Francisco native, Pedro began his training with the Academy of Ballet, the School of the Arts High School San Francisco and the School of American Ballet. Pedro began his career with the Smuin Ballet, where he worked with choreographers Michael Smuin and Amy Seiwert. He then enjoyed a stint at Dayton Ballet, where he worked with choreographers Septime Webre and Stephen Mills, followed by time at American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. During his four seasons with ARB, he danced ballets by Val Caniparoli, Lisa de Ribere, Twyla Tharp and Graham Lustig, among others. Pedro joined Atlanta Ballet with wife Abigail Tan and brother-in-law Jared Tan. Since dancing with Atlanta Ballet, he’s danced ballets by Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Helen Pickett and John McFall. Pedro is very happy to be a part of the Atlanta Ballet family and looks forward to a great season.
A native of Illinois, Heath began his dance training at age 4 with jazz, tap and gymnastics. He later began to study ballet under the direction of Deena Laska-Lewis and received summer training at Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Texas Ballet Theater. At age 18, he moved to Atlanta to train and perform with Atlanta Ballet. In Atlanta, he has performed in works by John McFall, Helen Pickett, Michael Pink, David Bintley, James Kudelka, Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Ohad Naharin, Lila York, Val Caniparoli, Mark Godden, Tara Lee and Lauri Stallings. Recently, he has been featured as Harker in Dracula, the improv soloist in Minus 16 and the 1st Seminarian in Carmina Burana. Some of Heath’s other interests include playing piano and trumpet, watching movies and camping. Heath would also like to thank Clara Cravey for her guidance and his friends and family for their love and support.
Jonah was born in Atlanta and raised in Blue Ridge. He studied with the Gainesville Ballet during high school and was an apprentice with the Louisville Ballet. With Atlanta Ballet, Jonah has performed leading roles in many productions, including Michael Pink’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dracula and Romeo & Juliet; Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly; and John McFall and Lauri Stallings’ The Great Gatsby. He was featured in Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge© — The Ballet and John McFall’s Don Quixote, and he worked with Helen Pickett in Petal and Prayer of Touch and Gina Patterson in Quietly Walking. He is the official photographer of Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi and choreographed a piece in last season’s program. Jonah graduated from Georgia State University and lives in Decatur with his wife and two children. He would like to thank his wife and family for their love and support.
A native of South Korea, Yoomi trained at the Korea National Ballet Academy; the Seoul Arts High School, graduating summa cum laude; and Ewha Women’s University, where she earned a master’s in Dance Arts. Yoomi received first prize in the 30th Dance Association of Korea National Ballet Competition and performed Sleeping Beauty at the International Performing Arts Festival in Japan. Since moving to the United States in 2006, Yoomi has performed works by John McFall, Twyla Tharp, Amy Seiwert, James Kudelka and Christopher Wheeldon. She performed in the North West Dance Project in 2010 and Wabi Sabi in 2012. Yoomi was invited to perform Esmerelda and Helen Pickett’s Petal at the Korea World Ballet Dance Star Festival in 2011.
Tara grew up in Connecticut, where she trained with Donna Bonasera of Connecticut Dance Theatre. After dancing with Joffrey II, she became a member of Atlanta Ballet in 1995. Tara was a guest artist with New Orleans Ballet Theatre and joined Vancouver’s Ballet British Columbia for the 2006-07 season. This past summer, Tara danced at the Joyce Theatre New York with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Tara has performed works by John Alleyne, Jorma Elo, James Kudelka, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gina Patterson, Helen Pickett, Crystal Pite and Twyla Tharp. Principal roles include those in McFall’s Swan Lake and Firebird, Hampson’s Rite of Spring, Pink’s Romeo and Juliet and Dracula, Welch’s Madame Butterfly, Stevenson’s Cinderella and Three Preludes, Bintley’s Carmina Burana, Morris’ Moulin Rouge© — The Ballet, Godden’s The Magic Flute, Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Tharp’s Princess and the Goblin and In the Upper Room, and Stalling’s big. Tara has choreographed three works for Atlanta Ballet, most recently Pavo, which premiered in May 2012. Sponsored by Lynn Cochran-Schroder.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Nadia trained at the National School of Ballet in her country, where she graduated as the best dancer in school and was awarded the Elena Smirnova Gold Medal by Argentine ballet critic Honorio Destaville. In the United States, Nadia started dancing with North Carolina Dance Theatre. At Atlanta Ballet, she performed the lead in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, Sugar Plum Fairy in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Mina in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Pamina in Mark Godden’s The Magic Flute, and principal roles in Jorden Morris’ Moulin Rouge© — The Ballet and James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons. She was also featured in Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, Jorma Elo’s 1st Flash, and Wayne McGregor’s Eden|Eden. Nadia wants to thank her beloved mother for giving her courage, strength, support and, most of all, love during all these years. Sponsored by Amy and Allen Nelson.
Miguel Angel Montoya
Miguel was born in Cali, Colombia, where he began his training at the Instituto Colombiano de Ballet, Incoballet. In 2008, Miguel relocated to Philadelphia to attend the Rock School. In 2010, Miguel competed in the IBC Jackson International Ballet Competition, progressed to the second round semifinal and made it to the Youth American Grand Prix New York finals. Before joining Atlanta Ballet, Miguel danced with Incolballet Company under the direction of Gloria Castro de Martinez, appearing as the Slave in Le Corsaire and Basilio in Don Quixote. Miguel worked with Twyla Tharp and originated roles in The Princess and the Goblin. Miguel also danced in Juel Lane’s Moments of Dis, Helen Pickett’s Prayer of Touch, Michael Pink’s Dracula, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Gina Patterson’s I AM, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush. Miguel thanks Atlanta Ballet for its graciousness and support.
A native of Connecticut, Jackie started her ballet training at the Connecticut Dance School under the direction of Alan Woodard. She then spent two years in the dance and academic residency program at the Rock School for Dance Education, graduating in 2009. During her summer studies, she attended the Chautauqua Institute, Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet and Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. She has enjoyed dancing roles such as Marya in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and performing works by Christopher Wheeldon, David Bintley and Val Caniparoli. She has also worked with such choreographers as James Kudelka for The Man in Black, Twyla Tharp for The Princess and the Goblin, Jorma Elo for 1st Flash and Helen Pickett for both Petal and Prayer of Touch. Jackie would like to thank her loving parents and amazing sister for their endless support and encouragement.
A native of Texas, Brandon found his love for dance at the Margo Dean School of Ballet in Fort Worth and later moved on to Texas Ballet Theatre. He furthered his training at Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy, performing solo and principal roles with Houston Ballet II. He received his first job with Orlando Ballet under the direction of Bruce Marks and, later, Robert Hill. While in Orlando, he also became an artist with Cirque du Soleil as a lead male dancer in La Nouba. In 2010, he performed with Mariah Carey for the Disney Christmas Day Parade. Brandon thanks his parents, Atlanta Ballet for being so welcoming and his past, present and future teachers.
An Atlanta native, Thom started dancing at age 11 and began his training with the New Mexico Ballet Company under the direction of Patricia Dickinson. After studying and training all over the United States, he moved to Los Angeles and received a degree in Business: Merchandise Marketing from the Fashion Institute. While in Los Angeles, he trained and studied with Marat Duakayev of the Kirov/Kirov Academy and Patricia Neary of NYCB. With Atlanta Ballet, Thom has danced in John McFall’s Jupiter, Tealia and Firebird. He has also performed the role of Snow King in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and roles in Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa, Helen Pickett’s Petal and Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes. Thom would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support and looks forward to a long and exciting career with Atlanta Ballet.
Alessa began her dance training with Daphne Kendall and later graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She spent one season with North Carolina Dance Theatre II before joining Atlanta Ballet. Favorite roles include Lucy in Pink’s Dracula, Lover Girl in Bintley’s Carmina Burana and Princess Irene in the world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin. She has performed works by Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, Helen Pickett and Tara Lee. She was recently a guest artist with the National Choreographers Initiative in California and Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance in Asheville, N.C. Alessa likes vegetables and the color yellow. Sponsored by Lucy, Charlotte and Ginny Brewer.
Claire began dancing at age 4 in her hometown of Saratoga, Calif. She studied with Karen Millar before joining San Francisco Ballet School and spent summers training at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. Before joining Atlanta Ballet, Claire was a company member with the Boston Ballet for three years and the Pacific Northwest Ballet for two years. Her most memorable performances have included a role in Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun and the pas de deux in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, which she performed with Atlanta Ballet. Claire enjoys rock climbing with her siblings, spending time with her sister and cousins here in Georgia, and volunteering with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is also pursuing a degree in mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Benjamin began dancing in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, under the guidance of Tim Podesta. In 2008, at age 16, Ben advanced into the Australian Ballet School after winning the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald Ballet Scholarship. Ben studied under Mark Annear, Dale Baker, Simon Dowe and Jia Hong Wang and graduated in 2011 with an Advanced Diploma of Dance. Ben danced and toured with Australian Ballet, appearing as Lead Gypsy in Don Quixote. Ben made his Atlanta Ballet debut two years ago as Prince Charming in Bruce Wells’ Snow White and was last seen in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush. Ben thanks his parents and grandparents as well as those involved in Atlanta Ballet for their encouragement and support.
Jared was born in the Philippines and started dancing at age 9 with Philippine Ballet Theatre under the direction of Gener Caringal. He trained for more than 14 years under Russian Ballet Master Anatoly Panasyukov and distinguished visiting Ballet Masters Robert Barnett, Graham Lustig, Batt Abbit, Stefan Hoff, Ida Beltran-Lucila, Nonoy Froilan, Maiqui Mañosa, Edna Vida and Stanley Canete. In 2009, he joined American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey under the direction of Graham Lustig, where he danced the Prince in Nutcracker, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and roles in Rhapsodia and Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen. Jared loves to take pictures and play guitar, basketball and video games. He thanks his family and friends for their continued love and support. He is so thankful to be a part of Atlanta Ballet.
Abigail was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She started to dance professionally with Philippine Ballet Theatre at age 14. With PBT, she danced lead roles in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Madame Butterfly, La Bayadère, Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Who Cares?, Serenade and Concerto Barocco. In 2009, she danced with American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey under the direction of Graham Lustig. After one season, she was
blessed to dance with Atlanta Ballet, where she performed works by Twyla Tharp, John McFall, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett, Gina Patterson, Amy Seiwart, Juel Lane,
Jorden Morris, Christopher Wheeldon and Ohad Naharin. She graduated with a BA in Communication Arts from Angelicum College. She recently married fellow artist Pedro, and together they have a four-legged daughter named Hazel.
Jesse began his training at the School of the North Carolina Dance Theatre at age 9 under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. In 2003, he joined North Carolina Dance Theatre as an apprentice and was promoted to the Company in 2004, where he worked with choreographers such as Alonzo King, Dwight Rhoden and Mark Diamond. Since 2006, he was a guest artist with many companies in the Southeast, including the Florida Ballet. With Atlanta Ballet, he has danced works by John McFall and Lauri Stallings. When not dancing, he spends his time as the singer and guitar player for his band The Neighbors. Sponsored by Amy Nelson and Lynn Cochran Schroder
Rachel Van Buskirk
A native of Vancouver, Rachel trained with Li Yaming at Pacific DanceArts. With Atlanta Ballet, Rachel has been featured in Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Moulin Rouge© — The Ballet, James Kedulka’s The Four Seasons, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa’s Requiem for a Rose, and Helen Pickett’s Petal and Prayer of Touch. Last season, Rachel performed the role of Lucy in Michael Pink’s Dracula and the lead role of Fortuna in the North American premiere of David Bintley’s Carmina Burana, Rachel was nominated and the cover girl for Dance Magazine’s 2012 “Top 25 to Watch” and named a “Top 30 Under 30” by ArtsATL in 2013. This summer, Rachel was co-director of Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Professional Division Program and is now teaching for the Pre-Professional Program year-round. Outside of dance, Rachel enjoys reading, crafting and obsessing over her cats. She sends her love to her family and Kyle and thanks them for being awesome.
John trained at BalletMet Dance Academy, the School of American Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba and Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, Colo. John’s roles with Atlanta Ballet include Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrect in Giselle, Basilio in Don Quixote, Cavalier in Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Dracula in Michael Pink’s Dracula, and Principal Male in John McFall’s Firebird. He has also been featured in James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons and Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush. John has recently worked with other choreographers like Christopher Hampson, Victor Quijada, Helen Pickett, Twyla Tharp and Jorma Elo. For the past three years John has served as ballet master of Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi, and for six years has served as mentor at Atlanta Ballet’s Summer Intensive. He is a dance major at Kennesaw State University and looks to pursue a graduate degree in Arts Administration. John and Christine, wife and fellow artist, just welcomed their firstborn son, Lucas, into the world. Sponsored by Lynda Courts.
A California native, Christine trained with Barbara Crockett and furthered her studies with the San Francisco Ballet School. She then joined Ballet West, where she met husband John Welker. Memorable highlights since joining Atlanta Ballet in 1995 include Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Michael Pink’s Romeo & Juliet, Odette in John McFall’s Swan Lake, Mina in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Kitri in Don Quixote, Waltz Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Principal Woman in John McFall’s Firebird, Cio Cio San in Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly, and Daisy in John McFall and Lauri Stallings’ The Great Gatsby. Christine has worked with choreographers Christopher Hampson, Lila York, James Kudelka, Val Caniparoli, Wayne McGregor, Twyla Tharp, Darrell Moultrie, Gina Patterson, Jorden Morris, Helen Pickett and Juel Lane. Guest appearances include American Repertory Ensemble, Chamber Dance Project and New Orleans Ballet Theatre. For six years, Christine has served as co-director of Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s Professional Division Summer Intensive Program. Christine, along with husband and fellow Company member John Welker, welcomed the arrival of their son, Lucas, in April 2013.