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NEW JERSEY SCHOOL of BALLET

Official School of New Jersey Ballet Company

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Faculty & Staff
Carolyn Clark Director 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 Special Artist 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.
New Jersey School of Ballet Staff Toni Ann Auriemma School Administrator Rita Carew School Administrator Debbie Roldan Receptionist Diane Tamaki Ballet Boutique Manager Teachers
Marina Bogdanova Marina Bogdanova (Ballet) – a graduate of the Perm Ballet Academy, Russia, Ms. Bogdanova was a principal dancer with the Russian National Ballet Company, Moscow, dancing leading roles in the full classical repertory including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and others. She has the title of Honored Artist of Russia and has won acclaim in many countries including the U.S. when famed ballet critic Anna Kisselgoff praised her work.
Carolyn Tener Brown Carolyn Tener Brown (Ballet) – joined American Ballet Theatre at the age of 19 performing corps then soloist and principal roles for 7 years. Her Broadway, film and television credits include Hair, All My Children, The Sopranos, various PBS programs, Carousel, Brigadoon, Fame–The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles and a principal role in The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Brown trained at New Jersey School of Ballet from the age of 7, originated the role of Clara in New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Paper Mill, and continued in many student and Company roles before joining ABT
Peter Di Bonaventura Peter Di Bonaventura (Ballet) – 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. Most recently, he was a principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet and with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Natasha Girshov Natasha Girshov (Ballet) – trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Leningrad before joining the Kirov Ballet where she rose quickly through the rank to become principal ballerina, dancing leading roles in Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, Carmen and many others. Tours with the Kirov took her to the Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, Africa, New Zealand and Cuba. She was choreographer and director of the Special School of Classical Dance in Leningrad where she taught all levels of ballet.
Jeffrey Gomes Jeffrey Gomes (Jazz / Hip-Hop / Contemporary) - received his training at Broadway Dance Center, New York City and performed professionally with the Inspirational Dance Company. He has also appeared on television, in numerous music videos and performed in London, South Korea and Las Vegas.
Claudia Guimaraes Claudia Guimaraes (Ballet) – 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.
Ilse Kapteyn llse 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.

Brittany Kiss

Brittany Kiss (Jazz/Musical Theatre/Hip Hop/Contemporary) - has been dancing since the age of three.  She has trained in Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary and Salsa dancing.  Brittany has performed competitively as well as professionally.  She was a dance and Co-Captain of the Westchester Knicks and had the opportunity to perform at the NBA All-Star game at Barclays Center.  She has danced for new upcoming artists, Psyche of Sound and Los Productivos at venues such as Six Flags Great Adventure and The Ritz Theater.  Brittany was also fortunate enough to be a choreographed fan for Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl XLVIII Half Time Show at MetlLife Stadium!  She was a featured dancer/model for Disney's K-Mart Fashion Show in NYC and also took part in a music video for Independent Artist "Official Chase".  Besides performing, Brittany has a passion for teaching.  She shared her tapping skills at NADAA dance convention and has also taken part as an assistant choreographer for multiple musicals at Roselle Park High School.  Brittany strives to have a welcoming and upbeat classroom where kids can learn and have fun at the same time.  She continues her training today at Broadway Dance Center.

Kotoe Kojima-Noa Ms. Kojima-Noa was born in Japan and studied with Bolshoi and New York City Ballet principals Valentina Kozlova and Leonid Kozlov. Ms. Kojima-Noa joined New Jersey Ballet as an apprentice during the 2001-2002 season and became a full company member in 2004. Her repertoire includes Nutcracker, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty and Flames of Paris. Ms. Kojima-Noa has taught all levels of ballet for several years.
Paul McRae Paul McRae (Ballet) – 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.
Risa Mochizuki Risa Mochizuki (Ballet) - 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.
Gabriella Noa Gabriella Noa (Ballet) – began her training locally, joining the New Jersey School of Ballet at age 8. At 11, she performed the coveted role of Clara in NJB’s production of Nutcracker at Paper Mill Playhouse. Ms. Noa studied on scholarship at the Pennsylvania Ballet, dancing numerous roles. She joined NJB in 1999. Ms. Noa is noted for her work in such diverse works as For Ella and Flames of Paris, among others. She scored a major triumph as the Cowgirl in the company’s 2007 revival of Rodeo.
Rosemary Sabovick-Bleich Rosemary Sabovick-Bleich (Ballet) – 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. Patricia Scarangello Patricia Scarangelllo (Ballet) - Patricia 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.
David Tamaki David Tamaki (Ballet) – 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.
Darika Ukurchinova Darika Ukurchinova (Ballet) – trained at the Moscow Academy of Ballet, Russia, and the national Academy of Ballet in Kyrgystan, receiving a degree in classical ballet and as an instructor of the Russian School of Ballet. Ms. Ukurchinova performed with the National Theatre of Ballet, Kyrgystan. Her repertoire included Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Carmen, Paquita and Nutcracker. She has taught all ages and levels of ballet, speaks three languages and is an accomplished pianist. Jaynellen Walsh Jaynellen Walsh (Ballet) –Jaynellen 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. During 10 years at New Jersey School of Ballet, she choreographed for several student workshops
Tatyana 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. Kyle Wilder 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.
Pianists

Anna Bazhanova

Axel Belohoubek

Mark Fevelo

Emiliya Frenklakh

Vera Kharchilava

Illya Naymark

Olga Protyniak

Leonid Rakhlin

Regan Ryzuk

Maria Tsymbala

Svetlana Volf

Guest Teachers
Edward Villella EDWARD VILLELLA is a Kennedy Center Honoree and perhaps the greatest American premier danseur ever. Among his accomplishments are Emmy Award winner, star of New York City Ballet, guest artist with the Bolshoi, performer at President Kennedy’s Inaugural, and first American to guest with the Royal Danish Ballet. 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! He is a former member of the President’s Council on the Arts and a past recipient of the prestigious Capezio Award. Mr. Villella is founder and former Director of Miami City Ballet. He has been Artistic Advisor to New Jersey Ballet since 1971.
Leslie Browne LESLIE BROWNE was born Leslie Brown (no "e") into a dancing dynasty; her parents, Kelly Brown and Isabel Mirrow, and brother, Ethan, all danced with American Ballet Theatre. Leslie began her training at age 7 in her father’s studio, and went on to the School of American Ballet, then joined New York City Ballet and later ABT. She sparked an explosion of interest in ballet when she appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Shirley MacLaine in the movie, The Turning Point (1977), for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Ms. Browne has also appeared in other films, on television and on Broadway in The Red Shoes. She danced with ABT for seventeen years and is currently following family tradition by choreographing and teaching ballet. In 1997, she was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the New York City Dance Alliance.
Pedro Ruiz PEDRO RUIZ trained in Cuba and Venezuela and enjoyed a 21-year career as principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico, during which time he also choreographed three critically acclaimed ballets for the company. Since then he has created and set works for The Joffrey Ballet, Luna Negra and NJ Ballet among others. He has created dances for Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA Program and La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts. He has performed for several presidents, and in 1998, Pedro received the New York dance world’s highest honor, the Bessie Award, which recognizes outstanding creative work by independent artists in the field of dance. He has also received the Choo-San Goh Award and has been honored by The Cuban Artist’s Fund and The Joyce Foundation. In 2007, he was profiled on PBS’s “In the Life,” and “Coming Home,” a documentary about his return to Cuba to work with young dancers, which has aired on PBS Channel 13 several times. He teaches at Marymount College and at the Alvin Ailey School.