2022 DANCERS

IMG_0817.JPG

LEIGH ANNE ALBRECHTA

Louisville Ballet

Originally from Fremont, Ohio, Leigh Anne Albrechta started her ballet training at The Fremont Ballet School and Ballet Theatre of Toledo. She then studied at The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. Upon graduating, she began dancing with Charlotte Ballet for two years as a trainee and apprentice, working with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Dwight Rhoden. In 2009 Leigh Anne joined Louisville Ballet as a trainee and was hired into the company for the 2010/11 season. Since being hired, she has enjoyed performing a range of classical and contemporary roles, including Juliet in Adam Hougland's Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Adam Hougland's Sleeping Beauty, Valencienne in Ronald Hynd‘s Merry Widow, Sugar Plum Fairy, Rose, and Marie in Val Caniparoli’s The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, and Andrea Schermoly’s Rite of Spring.  She has also performed principal roles in Balanchine’s Serenade, Emeralds, and Kammermusik No.2. While at Louisville Ballet, she has been featured in works by Artistic Directors Robert Curran, Ma Cong, Lucas Jervies, Bruce Simpson, and Amy Seiwert. 

Headshot.jpg

JOSH BODDEN

Kansas City Ballet

Joshua Bodden began his ballet training at the age of 10 at the Miami City Ballet School under the direction of Edward and Linda Villella, he also attended The Harid Conservatory and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s year-round program on a full scholarship. He spent his summers training at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduating from the Miami City Ballet School program Mr. Bodden was invited to join the Miami City Ballet dancing various ballets such as Stars and Stripes, Jewels, Scotch Symphony, Square Dance, Slaughter on10th Avenue and Giselle. Mr. Bodden also danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem. He was a member of Cincinnati Ballet expanding his repertoire of classical and contemporary works and having the prestigious honor of being the first African American male to perform a ballet boy in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room. With Kansas City Ballet, he has performed in Alice (in wonderland), Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Theme and Variations, Septime Webre’s The Wizard Of Oz, Melancholic in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Puck in Bruce Well’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gaston in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Quincy in Micheal Pink’s Dracula and works by Edwaard Liang, Amy Sewiert, Yuri Possokhov, Adam Hougland, Jennifer Archibald, Stephanie Martinez, Gabrielle Lamb, Haley Kostas, Andi Abernathy and Stephanie Ruch.

Kaleena Burks.jpg

KALEENA BURKS

Kansas City Ballet

Kaleena Burks was raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where she received training from Magda Auñon and Magaly Suarez. In 2005, she was awarded first place in the pre-professional division of the American Ballet Competition and has since been invited to perform in many galas, including International Ballet Festival of Miami as well as Moving Arts Dance Festival. Ms. Burks has danced with Cincinnati Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, and the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. She has been honored to dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy at the Kennedy Center with Kansas City Ballet’s tour of The Nutcracker in 2017. In Kansas City, she has been featured as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Marguerite Gautier in Lady of the Camellias, The Chosen One in Rite of Spring, Myrtha in Giselle, Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, along with principal roles in Diamonds, Diving into the Lilacs, In the Upper Room, Interplay, Mercury, Petal, Serenade, and Tulips and Lobster. This is Ms. Burks’ sixth year being a part of Moving Arts.  

image1.jpeg

LUCA DE-POLI

Cincinnati Ballet

Luca De-Poli was born in West Palm Beach FL where he began his training at the age of 14. Luca trained with Ballet Florida’s school under the direction of Marie Hale and also attended A.W Dreyfoos School of the Arts under the direction of Jan Goetz. Luca attended the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music as a ballet major and graduated in May 2015. De-Poli joined Cincinnati Ballet 2 for the 2015-2016 Season and was promoted to apprentice the following year. During his apprentice season, De-Poli danced a world premiere by Ma Cong, Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin and debuted the title role Zeus in the North American premier of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Eros Redux. He was promoted to New Dancer for the 2017-2018 Season and to the Corps de Ballet for the 2018-2019 Season. Since joining the Corps de Ballet, De-Poli has performed the title role in Nicolo Fonte’s world premier of Carmina Burana, Justin Peck’s Murder Ballads, Jiri Kylian’s Sechs Tänze and works by Victoria Morgan, Devon Carney, Adam Hougland, Kate Weare and Septime Webre.
 

Melissa headshot.jpg

MELISSA GELFIN DE-POLI

Cincinnati Ballet

Melissa Gelfin De-Poli began her ballet training with Lisa Collins Vidnovic at Metropolitan Ballet Academy and continued with Barbara Sandonato and Andrea Long-Naidu at Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet. She joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in 2009, under the direction of Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens, and was awarded a National Training Scholarship with ABT. Prior to dancing with Cincinnati Ballet, Gelfin De-Poli danced for Orlando Ballet II and Orlando Ballet Company from 2011-2014 and was a finalist in the 2014 Jackson International Ballet Competition. Gelfin De-Poli joined Cincinnati Ballet as a New Dancer for the 2014-2015 Season and was promoted to Corps De Ballet in February of 2015. She was promoted to Senior Soloist in 2017 and Principal Dancer in 2018. As a dancer with Cincinnati Ballet, Gelfin De-Poli’s repertoire includes classical and contemporary works by Septime Webre, Yuri Possikov, Victoria Morgan, Val Caniparoli, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Nicolo Fonte, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Adam Hougland, and Ma Cong. She has danced Principal roles in Septime Webre’s ALICE (in Wonderland) and The Wizard of Oz, Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker, King Arthur’s Camelot and Romeo and Juliet, Kirk Peterson’s Coppélia and Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Rubies and Serenade, Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty and originated roles in Penny Saunders Nannerl, Myles Thatcher’s Anamoly, Andrea Schermoly’s Swivet and several works by Jennifer Archibald. Gelfin De-Poli most recently debuted her world premier Clockwise in Cincinnati Ballet’s 2019 The Kaplan New Works Series and choreographed and performed a solo work in the inaugural 2018 Female Choreographic Initiative Festival hosted by Houston Ballet. During the summer months, Gelfin De-Poli performs and tours with Moving Arts Company.

Samantha-Griffin-web-1024x1024.jpeg

SAMANTHA GRIFFIN

Cincinnati Ballet

Originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Samantha received her preliminary training at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating from UNCSA, Griffin then went on to dance with the Charlotte Ballet before joining Cincinnati Ballet in 2015. She was promoted to Corps de Ballet for the 2017 Season. In 2018 Samantha was recognized in Pointe Magazine’s “Stars of The Corps”. Since being with Cincinnati Ballet she has enjoyed performing roles in a variety of classical and contemporary repertoire. Some of these roles include, Tall Girl in Balanchine’s Rubies, Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade, Princess Tsarevna in Adam Hougland’s Firebird, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, and Garrett Smith Facades.

Taryn Mejia.jpg

TARYN MEJIA

Kansas City Ballet

Taryn Mejia was born in Kansas City, Missouri and received a majority of her training on full scholarship at the Kansas City Ballet School and the School of American Ballet, performing Waltz Girl in Serenade for the SAB workshop. Ms. Mejia was given her Corps de Ballet contract with the New York City Ballet and performed numerous Balanchine and Robbins ballets including, Stars and Stripes, Jewels, Symphony in Three Movements, West Side Story Suite, and The Cage. Ms. Mejia is in her 9th season with the company and has been featured in numerous roles in The Nutcracker, Alice (in wonderland), The Four Temperments, The Sleeping Beauty, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Wendy in Peter Pan, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sylvie Pas From William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, the Lead Woman in James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and the Principal girl in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Diamonds. Some of her favorite choreographers to originate roles for include Matthew Neenan, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Price Suddarth.

849E77CB-5E81-4AE2-83E9-02AE070C538F.jpeg

CHASE PETERSON

USC Kaufman School of Dance

Chase Peterson grew up in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota and began dancing competitively at the age of 12. From 2017-2020, he attended Larkin Dance Studio in Saint Paul MN, where he trained under the instruction of Michele, Molly, and Mackenzie Larkin. Post-graduation, he decided to further his dance education by perusing a BFA at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in Los Angeles, California, where he is currently in the class of 2024. During his time at Kaufman, he has had the opportunity to learn repertory by Paul Taylor, Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Doug Varone, Peter Chu, Kara Wilkes and Toyin Sogunro. He wishes to pursue a career in contemporary/concert dance after his time at USC has concluded. 

Chandler-Proctor-web.jpeg

CHANDLER PROCTOR

Cincinnati Ballet

Chandler Proctor was born in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. He studied dance in North Carolina until 2013, when he moved to Houston to join Houston Ballet II. He then joined Tulsa Ballet for the 2015-2016 season. In 2019 Proctor was promoted to soloist. Chandler joined the Cincinnati Ballet in 2021. He has performed in works by renowned choreographers such as Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Derek Deane, Wayne McGregor, Ma Cong, and Edwaard Liang.

Minori-Sakita.jpeg

MINORI SAKITA

Cincinnati Ballet

Born in Washington, D.C., Minori began her training at the Maryland Youth Ballet and continued at the Houston Ballet Academy. In 2014, she joined Tulsa Ballet And she was promoted to Demi-Soloist in 2018. She joined Cincinnati Ballet as a soloist in 2019 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2020. Her repertoire includes the title role in Cinderella (Stevenson), Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Weber), Constance in The Three Musketeers (Prokovsky), Marie in The Nutcracker (Angelini), Petite Mort (Kylián), Rooster (Bruce), and principal roles in Strictly Gershwin (Deane). Minori has also performed in works by George Balanchine, Ma Cong, Jorma Elo, Yuri Possokhov, and Dwight Rhoden.

louie_williams_headshot_2022 (1).jpg

LOUIE WILLIAMS

USC Kaufman School of Dance

Louie Williams was born and raised in Austin Texas. He started his dance training at fourteen years old where he received experience in technique at Dance Institute, and was coached by his director Linda Holland and his mother, Andrea Williams. His remaining years of high school from 2016-2020 were spent at competitions and conventions, training to eventually join the USC Kaufman School of Dance’s class of 2024. There he has worked in process with artists such as Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden, William Forsythe, Doug Varone, Hope Boykin, and Micaela Taylor.