CAROLYN CLARK (Director) A native of New Jersey, Ms. Clark is Director of New Jersey School of Ballet and Founder/Director of New Jersey Ballet Company. Ms. Clark performed classical and contemporary ballet with American Ballet Theatre and toured with that company throughout North America, Scandinavia, Europe and Africa. Additional ballet company credits include the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Radio City Ballet, and as principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet and New Jersey State Opera. Ms. Clark's professional credits also include many Broadway musicals and television shows, most notably as assistant to the choreographer for the Bell Telephone Hour. She is a founding member of ArtPride New Jersey, served two years on the President’s Council on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center, and five years on the Advisory Board of Channel 13. Ms. Clark has been honored with a New Jersey Pride Award for her contribution to the arts, and also by the National Society of Arts and Letters and by Dance NJ. Ms. Clark attended Rutgers University.
EDWARD VILLELLA is certainly America’s most celebrated male dancer. Among his accomplishments are Emmy Award winner, star of New York City Ballet, guest artist with the Bolshoi, performer at President Kennedy’s Inaugural, first American to guest with the Royal Danish Ballet and the only American ever to be asked to dance an encore at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. In 1968, the Bell Telephone Hour’s salute to Villella became an Emmy Award-winning special. His Harlequin–A Patchwork of Love, the first ballet ever commissioned by an American TV network, resulted in Emmy Awards for the show and for Villella as choreographer, producer and star! In recognition of his achievements, President Clinton presented him with the 1997 National Medal of Arts. That same year, he was named a Kennedy Center Honoree. He is a former member of the President’s Council on the Arts and a past recipient of the prestigious Capezio Award. He was recently selected one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by The Dance Heritage Coalition. Mr. Villella has been Artistic Advisor to New Jersey Ballet since 1972.
Toni Ann Auriemma
Ms. Auriemma joined New Jersey School of Ballet in 1996. For over 25 years, Ms. Auriemma has applied her organizational skills managing the school's scheduling, billing, and client communications. She also organizes NJSB students and parent volunteers for company and school productions and rehearses the Clowns for New Jersey Ballet Company's Nutcracker. Ms. Auriemma majored in Business Administration at Montclair State University.
Mr. DiBonaventura credits include several years as principal dancer with Cleveland Ballet where he danced principal roles in numerous ballets including Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Coppelia, Balanchine’s Apollo, Midsummer Night’s Dream and the standard classical pas de deux. He also guested numerous times in Caracas with ballerina Zhanda Rodriguez. Choreographer Fleming Flindt invited him to Denmark to film his Lucifer’s Daughter, a ballet to celebrate the Queen of Denmark’s 25th Anniversary. He was a principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet and with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Leigh-Ann Esty is a multi-disciplinary artist originally from Maine. She danced under Edward Villella and Lourdes Lopez for 11 seasons as a part of the Miami City Ballet Company. Leigh-Ann's professional theater credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (Broadway, Louise understudy/ensemble), The Forest of Arden’s Alien/Nation (Williamstown Theater Festival), and three different versions of An American in Paris: 1st National tour as the Lise Dassin alternate/ensemble, at Drury Lane as Lise Dassin, and most recently at the Cape Playhouse as Lise Dassin. Her film/TV credits include Maestro (2023, Netflix), Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, HBO’s The Gilded Age, FX’s Fosse/Verdon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. Leigh-Ann was incredibly lucky to train at the School of American Ballet, Maine State Ballet, and Miami City Ballet School. Other artistic training includes acting at The Freeman Studio, HB Studios, and with Joan Rosenfels, and vocal training with Bradley Dean and Matt Farnsworth. Leigh-Ann has been acknowledged for certain awards including the Jeff Awards (Nominee for outstanding performance in a principal role for An American In Paris, Drury Lane), the Chita Rivera Awards (Winner for outstanding Broadway ensemble in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel), the National Geographic Traveler Merit Award (Winner for the World In Focus photography contest), and the Princess Grace Award (Nominee for excellence in dance with Miami City Ballet).
Ms. Guimaraes a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Guimaraes graduated from the University of Rio de Janeiro with a degree in dance. Her early ballet studies were with Russian dancer Tatiana Leskorva and Ismael Guizer in Brazil. Ms. Guimaraes later joined the Nina Verchinina Contemporary Ballet and Jazz Company in Rio de Janeiro. She has taught all levels of Ballet, Jazz and Modern in Brazil. After relocating to the U.S., she was on the dance faculty at Oakland University in Michigan teaching all levels of Ballet, Jazz and Modern. She also teaches Tap and Brazilian.
Se Hyun Jin
SeHyun Jin is from South Korea and began her ballet training when she was 10 years old and continued her training at the Daejeon Art High School. In 2009, she was accepted into the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. on both artistic and academic scholarships. While in Washington, D.C. SeHyun also trained at the Kennedy Center Master Class Series where she was awarded the Certificate of Merit from the National Society of Arts and Letters in recognition for her impeccable technique. After she graduated from Kirov Academy of Ballet, she became a company member with Milwaukee Ballet, a soloist with Charleston City Ballet and a principal dancer with Columbia Classical Ballet for 4 years. Ms. Jin is a principal guest artist in Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet, Kingsport Ballet and Charleston Ballet in WV. She received the Silver Medal (Professional Division) at the 2015 World Ballet Competition in Orlando where she performed selections from Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. Past honors include third place at the Korea International Ballet Competition and finalist at the Seoul International Dance Competition. Ms. Jin has been a dancer with New Jersey Ballet Company since 2018.
Ms. Kapteyn began her training at the East Street Ballet, Massachusetts. She continued training with Irina Vakhromeeva while a student at Deerfield Academy. Ilse attended summer programs at the School of American Ballet, the Chautauqua Institution, and American Ballet Theatre NY. Ilse traveled to Moscow in the summer of 2011 and was accepted at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Ilse joined the New Jersey Ballet in the fall of 2012.
Ms. Kojima-Noa was born in Japan and studied with School of American Ballet, Former Bolshoi and New York City Ballet principals Valentina Kozlova and Leonid Kozlov, Former New York City Ballet Dancer Diana White. Ms. Kojima-Noa joined New Jersey Ballet during the 2001-2002 season and has danced many soloist and principal roles in Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Paquita, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and other contemporary works. She is a Repertory coach New Jersey Ballet Company and is on the ballet faculty of New Jersey School of Ballet. In 2018, she joined New Jersey Ballet as a Marketing Director.
Mr. McRae began training in San Francisco when he was 9 years old and continued at New Jersey School of Ballet. He became an apprentice to NJB at age 16. While attending Point Park College, he performed for 4 years with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. A member of NJB for 15 years, he danced numerous solo and principal roles and often returns to the stage in character roles such as Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote in Don Q. He is a former member of the boards of Dance/ New Jersey and ArtPride New Jersey and NJB’s Assistant Artistic Director.
Ms. Mochizuki trained at the Royal Ballet of Flanders and at ballet academies in Japan. She danced solo and principal roles with the Teatrul Ballet Sibu, Romania, the Constanta National Opera Ballet and the Timisoara National Opera Ballet. Her principal roles include Don Quixote, Pacquita, Nutcracker, Chopiniana and La Vivandiere. She has won medals in several international competitions. Most recently, she took the bronze medal in the Kozlova Competition in New York and a Gold Medal at the World Ballet Competition in Florida.
Ms. Sabovick-Bleich joined New Jersey Ballet in 1981 and performed as soloist and principal until 2004. A strong classical dancer, she excelled in roles that demand the elegance of the Sylvia pas de deux, the bravura virtuosity of the Stars & Stripes pas de deux and the feistiness of the Cowgirl in Agnes deMille’s Rodeo. Ms.Sabovick-Bleich toured with the Pavlova Celebration Ballet, Kozlov and Friends and International Ballet Stars. Her teaching experience includes ballet and pointe classes at all levels.
Ms. Scarangelllo studied ballet at American Ballet Theatre and at New York’s Dance Circle under noted master Alfredo Corvino. She also studied Jazz and Flamenco and performed with Dance Circle Company in New York. Her credits include over 20 TV shows and numerous movies. She is a graduate of Montclair State University and is certified in Arts Administration by New York University. Her teaching credits include the Wein Center for Dance, New York City, and the Governor’s School of the Arts.
Eunice Suba enrolled at New Jersey School of Ballet at the age of 11 and joined the Intensive Program at age 13. A Junior Company member for 3 years, she was chosen to dance the coveted role of Clara in NJ Ballet’s Nutcracker. Ms. Suba received scholarships to attend summer intensive programs at Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, NY, and French Academie. She won a Gold Medal at the 2018 Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition NYC.
Mr. Tamaki began his formal training at New Jersey School of Ballet at age 7 and became a member of the NJB Junior Company in 1998. A year later he joined the company and during his career danced principal roles, which included the Champion Roper in Rodeo, the Prince and Trepak in Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet and Le Corsair pas de deux to name a few. Mr. Tamaki is a ballet instructor for New Jersey School of Ballet and is Director of Advancement for New Jersey Ballet Company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California where he graduated summa cum laude and holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University. Mr. Tamaki also leads NJ Ballet’s Dancing for Parkinson’s program, which provides free weekly dance classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease, and is a Stanley J. Wertheimer Fellow.
Ms. Walsh received a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance with high honors from Butler University. She danced professionally with several companies as a soloist and principal including Indianapolis Ballet Theater, St. Louis Ballet, and Ballet Memphis. She teaches all levels of ballet and is a private coach working with rhythmic gymnastics levels four through eight. Ms. Walsh choreographed for several New Jersey School of Ballet student workshops.
Ms. Whiting trained at the New Jersey School of Ballet and also attended programs at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She was part of the school’s ensemble that took first place twice in the Youth Dance Festival of New Jersey. Ms. Whiting also won first place performing a pas de deux in that competition. Her repertory includes Fairy Doll, Le Corsaire and Don Quixote. She joined NJB in 2011.
Mr. Wilder is known for his quick feet and solid, rhythmic style. He is a principal dancer for the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble under the direction of Deborah Mitchell. Mr. Wilder has studied with many accomplished artists including Deborah Mitchell, Jimmy Slyde and Savion Glover. He has worked with renowned composers Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Conti, J. Leonard Oxley and Nikki Denner.
Ms. Yatsenko is a graduate of the famed Moscow State Academic Choreographic School in Moscow, Russia, and since 1988 has been featured in performances in Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Belgium, China, Mexico, Canada, Germany and Turkey as a principal ballerina with the Moscow State Classical Ballet Theatre. She has also won a Silver Medal at the Intermational Ballet Competition in Russia in 1991.
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