Meet the Artists
Introducing the Professional Company of the 2016-2017 Season
Felecia Baker grew up in Chesapeake, Va and began her dance training at Academie de Ballet with ballet master Andrei Yemelinov. She continued her training throughout high school with the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) in Norfolk, Va where she performed principal and soloist roles in ballets such as La Sylphide, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, and Giselle. Felecia spent her summers at the American Ballet Theater, Richmond Ballet, and Point Park University’s Dance Program. After graduation, she attended the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati from 2011-2012, working towards a BFA in Ballet. Felecia departed Cincinnati to join the Richmond Ballet’s trainee program and joined the Charlottesville Ballet in 2014. She enjoys teaching fitness classes and is excited to be dancing with the Charlottesville Ballet for her third season.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Regina DuPont began her training at the Anneliese von Oettengin School of Ballet in Cheviot, Ohio under the direction of Cornelia Berns and Laura Hughes. She attended multiple summer intensive programs, all on scholarship, at Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Tech of Ohio, and Tevlin Ballet. She danced with the Tevlin Ballet pre-professional company for 2 years before attending the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music as a Ballet Performance Major in 2011. While at CCM she trained with Deirdre Carberry, Jiang Qi, Sabir Yapparov, and Michael Tevlin. She performed roles such as Kitri in Don Quixote, Nikita in La Bayadere, Russian Girl Quartet in George Balanchine’s Serenade, and a principal role in Twyla Tharp’s The Story Teller. She was also was chosen to perform a soloist role in an original choreographic work by Michael Bearden at the Beijing International Dance Festival in Beijing, China. Regina graduated from CCM in May 2015, joined Charlottesville Ballet as a Trainee, and was promoted to an Apprentice in February of 2016. She is thrilled to return for the 2016-17 season as a company member.
Regina’s performances for the 2016-17 season are graciously sponsored by Susan Proctor. Sponsor your favorite artist through our Sponsor A Dancer program!
Ricardo Dyer was born in Panama City, Panama. He began his dance training at The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia under the direction of Ricardo Melendez, Todd Rosenlieb, and Lorraine Graves. Ricardo has spent summers with Nashville Ballet and Richmond Ballet. In May 2015, Ricardo graduated from Butler University with a BFA in Dance Performance. While at Butler, he had the opportunity to perform Valse Fantaisie by George Balanchine and the Grand Pas Deux as the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker as well as many other principal roles. He was also chosen to represent Butler University in the International Concert of Schools Dance Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. Upon graduation, Ricky danced with Elements Contemporary Ballet as a company member. Ricardo joined Charlottesville Ballet in 2016 and is excited to begin his first season as a company artist.
Samantha Holland was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania where she received her training from the Brandywine Ballet Company under the direction of Donna Muzio. During these years she had the pleasure of working with such artists as Nancy Page, Matthew Neenan, Christine Cox, Meredith Rainey, Martha Chamberlain, Ronen Koresh, and Scott Jovovich. Upon graduating high school, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in dance at Point Park University where she studied with Dana Arey, Lindy Mandradjieff, Peter Merz, Susan Stowe, Doug Bentz, Jason McDole, and Kiesha Lalama. At Point Park Samantha had the privilege of performing various works choreographed by Val Caniparoli, Alan Obuzor, Gina Patterson, and Gerald Arpino. She graduated from Point Park University in May 2013, joined the Charlottesville Ballet as an apprentice, and was promoted the same year. Samantha is thrilled to begin her fourth season with the Charlottesville Ballet.
Originally from Bozeman, Montana, Caitlin Lennon began her intensive training at the Queen City Ballet. While a student there, she was given the honor of performing such roles as Sugar Plum, Dew Drop, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, as well as Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. Caitlin competed in the Youth America Grand Prix in 2006 and placed in the Top 12 in both classical and contemporary. She spent her summers studying at Juilliard, American Ballet Theatre New York, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Ballet West on scholarship. Her travels across the country ended at the Richmond Ballet, where she was accepted into the trainee program on full scholarship and danced for two seasons. Caitlin joined the Charlottesville Ballet as a founding member of the professional company in 2008. This is Caitlin’s ninth season dancing with Charlottesville Ballet, and she is thrilled to be continuing her role as Company Manager for the 2016-2017 season.
Caitlin’s performances for the 2016-17 season are graciously sponsored by an anonymous donor. Sponsor your favorite dancer through our Sponsor A Dancer program!
Nanae Matsushima was born in Hokkaido, Japan. She began dancing at the age of 3 and continued her training in Hokkaido. She received numerous awards in dance and was a finalist at the Japan Grand Prix. In 2012, she relocated to the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada to train at the School of Alberta Ballet. In 2014, Nanae was offered a trainee position at the American Repertory Ballet in Princeton, NJ and moved to the United States. While at ARB, Nanae danced the role of Kitri in Don Quixote, as well as other roles in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Firebird. Nanae joined Charlottesville Ballet in 2015 and has performed numerous starring roles including Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker, Kitri in Don Quixote, Snow White in Snow White. This is Nanae’s second season as a company artist with the Charlottesville Ballet.
Nanae’s performances for the 2016-17 season are graciously sponsored by Joe and Sharon Mott. Sponsor your favorite artist through our Sponsor A Dancer program!
And a special thanks to our corporate sponsor Poarch Law for helping our international artists perform across Central Virginia. For more information about their immigration services, visit www.PoarchLaw.com.
Toma Mori originally from Kyoto, Japan. He began his dance training at Le Studios in Pasadena, California and continued at the Colburn Dance Institute in Los Angeles. Additionally, Toma attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Virginia School of the Arts, where he eventually graduated. He has danced as the second company member of Nashville Ballet and as a company member with the Lexington Ballet. He has performed roles such as Peter from The Story of Anne Frank, the Frog from The Princess and the Frog, the Faun from Afternoon of a Faun, the Prince from Snow White, the Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle, and Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is thrilled join Charlottesville Ballet for his first season.
Rachel is from Los Angeles, California where she began her training at the Pacific Dance Academy with Louise Mandel. Rachel continued her training at the School of Ballet Chicago, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Lines Contemporary Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre (now the Charlotte Ballet), and The Richmond Ballet. With Ballet Chicago, she performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Who’s Cares?, Serenade, Divertimento No. 15, and Rubies. In 2014, Rachel joined the Charlottesville Ballet as an apprentice and was promoted to the company in 2015. During Rachel’s time with the Charlottesville Ballet, she has performed as a soloist in Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, and other new works. In 2016, Rachel performed as an apprentice with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and continues her third season with the Charlottesville Ballet.
Cassidy is a recent graduate of Point Park University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts on scholarship for ballet and jazz. Originally from Northern Virginia, Cassidy trained for 15 years at The Dance Academy of Loudoun. She has spent summers training on scholarship with the American Ballet Theatre, Charlotte Ballet, The Rock School, Joffrey, and more. She has also participated in competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix, where she placed in the New York City finals in 2013. In the same year, Cassidy was invited to perform at the International Ballet Fest in Miami, Florida. While attending Point Park, she performed works by faculty members Peter LeBreton Merz, Garfield Lemonius, Ron Tassone, Susan Stowe, and Keisha Lalama; as well as guest artists Septime Webre, Matthew Powell, and Emery LeCrone. Some of her favorite roles she’s performed include Juliet in Nicolas Petrov’s Romeo and Juliet and Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade. This is Cassidy’s first season as an apprentice with the Charlottesville Ballet.
Growing up in White Plains, MD, Cindy was exposed to an eclectic mix of dance styles that included square dancing, Appalachian clogging, Irish step, Hula and Tahitian dancing. At 15, she pursued her serious dance training at the National Ballet School under the direction of Pamela Moore, DFCCA. Cindy spent two years as a trainee at the Richmond Ballet, where she had the pleasure of performing with the company in Swan Lake and Serenade. In 2014, Cindy left Richmond to become a second company member with Nashville Ballet. Some of the repertory she performed in Nashville includes Carnival of the Animals, The Nutcracker, and Gina Patterson’s The Story of Anne Frank. Most recently, Cindy was a guest artist with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s production Metamorphosis. This is her first season as an apprentice with Charlottesville Ballet.
Jessica is a native of Virginia. She began her dance training at the Ballet Box when she was three years old and studied many styles of dance under director Jann Shenk. At age fifteen, Jessica began dancing with Rockingham Ballet Theatre where she performed leading roles, including Cinderella, Sugar Plum, and Swanhilda in Coppelia. She loves to share her passion for dance through teaching and is also on faculty at Charlottesville Ballet Academy. Jessica joined Charlottesville Ballet in 2013 as a Trainee. She is excited for her fourth season with Charlottesville Ballet.
Jessica’s performances for the 2016-17 season are graciously sponsored by William and Tricia Van Ryn. Sponsor your favorite dancer through our Sponsor A Dancer program!
Originally from south Florida, Marinna spent her early years training in gymnastics. She was introduced to Ballet at the age of 12 and began her intensive training at the School of Ballet Palm Beach under the direction of Colleen Smith. Upon completing her training with Colleen Smith, Marshall Levin, Ruth Petrinovic, and Claudia Cravey, Marinna joined Ballet Palm Beach’s professional company for an additional two years. During her time at Ballet Palm Beach she performed corps and soloist roles with favorites including Myrtha from Giselle and the Mazurka Soloist from Les Sylphides. In 2008, Marinna traveled to London, England to train with The Royal Ballet School for a three week summer intensive. In 2012, she completed summer training in San Francisco, California with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. From 2013-2016, Marinna performed as a Company Artist for Ballet 5:8 based in Chicago, Illinois. During her time at Ballet 5:8 she performed many corps and soloist roles in the company’s diverse repertoire of original works. In 2016, Marinna joined Charlottesville Ballet and looks forward to her first season as an apprentice.
Presenting the Trainee Class of 2016-17
Avery Snyder, Jean-Marie Bralley, Jocelyn Bowman, Kate Kayton, Madison Case, Rachel Dart, Rachel Dowd, Victoria Bartlett
(Listed from left to right)
Special thanks to Keith Alan Sprouse for creating Charlottesville Ballet’s artist portraits!