School of Dance Faculty 2018-2019



Director, School of Dance

Before being named Director of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance in December of 2016, Michelle Manzanales was in the midst of her seventh season as the Rehearsal Director of the main company of Ballet Hispánico of New York. Named Artistic Associate in August 2014, Manzanales lends her artistic voice not only to the main company, but also to its School of Dance, BHdos (BH’s second company), as well as collaborates in creating and leading educational programs in communities across the country and internationally. Michelle began working with BH CEO & Artistic Director, Eduardo Vilaro, in 2003 as a dancer for his company Luna Negra Dance Theater of Chicago, where Manzanales later became Rehearsal Director in 2006 and eventually served as Interim Artistic Director 2009-2010.

A choreographer and dance educator originally from Houston, TX, Ms. Manzanales has 25 years of teaching experience serving on the faculties of Lou Conte Dance Studio (home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), the University of Houston, Rice University, San Jacinto College South, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth American Grand Prix, as well as numerous dance studios, high schools and college dance programs across the country and internationally as a master teacher for Ballet Hispánico Education and Outreach programs. Her students' accolades include New York City Dance Alliance Teen Outstanding Dancer of the Year and numerous scholarships and top awards from Houston Ballet, The Rock School, Joffrey Midwest, Youth American Grand Prix, JUMP, On Stage New York, and Dance Masters of America among others. 
Ms. Manzanales has created works for professional dance companies, universities, and schools across the nation.  Most recently, she is honored to have been commissioned to set a new work on the main company of Ballet Hispanico for its 2017 season at the Joyce Theater in April. Her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, was hailed as a "visual masterpiece" by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Ms. Manzanales was invited in 2008 by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange to co-create the site-specific work entitled Muscle and Mortar: Animating Architecture at the National Building Museum for the Capital Fringe Festival. In 2007, Michelle created Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda) for LNDT, which was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as "a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work." Over her choreographic career, five of her works have been recognized by the American College Dance Festival which, in 2006, she had the great honor of having her piece, Pour Me Out, presented at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), for the National Gala.  ACDFA bestowed this honor once again in 2008 for The Letting Go.  Manzanales’ choreography has also been presented by Texas Contemporary Weekend (Houston, TX), Spring to Dance (St. Louis, MO), Festival de Danza Córdoba (Veracruz, Mexico), and Fort Worth Dance Festival (Fort Worth, TX).



Associate School Director

Kiri Avelar is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at Rutgers University, and holds a B.A. in Dance with honors from New Mexico State University. Having studied as a scholarship recipient at the Boston Ballet School, and more extensively in New Mexico and Spain, her training includes ballet, Clásico Español, Latin American and Spanish folkloric forms, flamenco, jazz, and modern dance. She later performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, Cor Ignis in Mexico, Sol y Arena in New Mexico, and the American Bolero Dance Company in NYC. She is the Founding Director of the Academia de Ballet Emmanuel, an after-school program providing quality dance education for the children of Hogar de Niños Emmanuel Orphanage in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. Throughout her career she has served on the dance faculties of New Mexico State University, Rutgers University, El Paso Community College (TX), Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts (NJ), and as a teaching artist in both private and public schools. In 2011 she joined the faculty of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, where she currently serves as Associate School Director.



Stella Almblade began her dance training in a Ballet-Tap-Tumble class at a young age. She holds a BFA in Dance and BA in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Arizona. Stella feels blessed to have had her passions of performing and teaching dance combined with travel, having taught and performed in 15 countries. Stella has taught ballet, tap, modern, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, contemporary, creative movement, improvisation, and cheer to all ages since 2007. She has also completed the Horton pedagogy training under Ana Marie Forsythe and studied flamenco extensively in Madrid, Spain. Stella's teaching style reflects her background, emphasizing the importance of strong technique with excellence in performance quality. Stella's performance credits include international tours with Ad Deum Dance Company, Arrows International, Belarus Xtreme Dance, Ballet Jazz di Italia, Rimini in Danza, Ballet Folklórico de Guadalajara, and local New York City performances with Footprints Dance Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Atmosphere Dance Company, Broadway Blessing, and Project Dance NYC. As a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, she is excited to be performing with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Memoria this Fall at City Center. Stella also serves her community as a PMA® Comprehensive Certified Pilates Instructor in Manhattan.


Ms. de los Angeles began studying ballet and Spanish dance at the Ballet Hispanico School in 1992. In 2002, she was selected to participate in the inaugural apprentice program with the American Bolero Dance Company where she studied with founder Gabriela Granados, as well as Jose Molina, Mariano Parra, and Escuela Bolera with Jeraine Michel. During the summers of 2004 and 2005, she studied flamenco in the advanced level of the Summer Program at the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco in Seville, Spain with Milagros Menjíbar, Carmen Ledesma, and Rafael Campallo. In 2008, Ms. de los Angeles received a scholarship to attend the Jacob’s Pillow Cultural Traditions workshop for Flamenco Dance where she studied under Noche Flamenca’s Soledad Barrio and Martin Santangelo. In the same year, Ms. de los Angeles attended the International Flamen-co Festival in Albuquerque, NM, where she had the opportunity to study with Rocio Molina and Antonio Canales. She spent two years living and working abroad in Madrid, Spain from 2010-2012, where she studied Clas-sical Spanish Dance and Escuela Bolera with one of the founding members of the Ballet Nacional de España, Lupe Gomez, as well as Flamenco technique with Concha Jareño, Marco Flores, Alfonso Losa, Inmaculada Ortega, and Pepa Molina. Ms. de los Angeles has had the privilege to perform as a featured soloist with the Melinda Marquez Flamenco Dance Center in Flamenco Made in the USA in 2012 and in Tablao de la Luna Nueva in 2014. In 2015, she was a featured soloist in and co-producer of Ryan Rock-more's Generacion del 16 at the Teatro Circulo in NYC. Also in 2015, the two cofounded the Al Margen Flamenco Dance Company, which had its opening season in April of 2017 with the how, Adorno. This show has since gone on to be nominated for a Latin ACE award for best musical production. The company is pleased to be presenting its second work in the Spring of 2018, Enduendado.


Amélie Bénard was born in France. She studied at Centre international de danse jazz Rick Odums in Paris before coming to NYC. Amélie came to the Martha Graham School in 2006 with a scholarship and joined Graham II in 2007. After graduating from the Professional Training Program, she enrolled in the Teaching Training Program and obtained her certificate of recognition as a Teacher of Martha Graham Technique Level I in June 2009. During her time at the school she assisted Virginie Mécène in staging excerpts of "Appalachian Spring" on the Harvard Dance Company. Currently, she is a member of Edgar Cortes Dance Theater and Caliince Dance. She has also danced for Nu Dance Theater and performed works from choreographers such as Pearl Lang, Robert Battle, Virginie Mécène, Peggy Lyman, and Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch.


Rebecca Bliss is honored to bring over 15 years of experience with Afro-Cuban arts to the school at Ballet Hispánico, and a passion for working at the intersection of education, performance, and culture. In addition to serving on the faculty of Ballet Hispánico, Rebecca is currently adjunct professor of dance at Barnard College and a teaching artist for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Dancewave. Previous experience includes over 10 years of dedication to arts education programs throughout New York and to her ongoing open community workshops, master classes for local universities (Princeton, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence College), several collaborations with Afro-Caribbean contemporary artists (RumbaTap, Areytos Performance Works), and ongoing performance and choreography work as an independent artist. Rebecca received her initial training in modern and ballet from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center followed by over a decade of study in Cuba, and ongoing study of ballet and contemporary dance in New York. She has a Master of Arts degree from New York University with a focus on pedagogy, culture, and performance.


Franchesca Marisol Cabrera is a dancer, choreographer, director, and instructor actively involved in the dance community for 25 years. She began her dance training in Santa Barbara, California, in the styles of Classical Spanish dance, Flamenco, Baroque, Ballet and Mexican Folklorico. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelors’ of Arts degree in World Arts in Cultures, Franchesca also lived in Madrid, Spain, for three years, receiving her credentials in Danza Española and Flamenco. She has traveled much of the world to perform, including London, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and Hong Kong. Franchesca has grown to love working with young children in arts education and outreach to public schools enriching and sharing the importance of the performing arts. In 2011, Franchesca completed her Masters of Arts Degree from New York University on integrating arts into curriculums for elementary school classrooms with an emphasis on critical thinking.


Cecilia L Cáceres is an alumnus who began her dance training at the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance and is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. She then continued her dance training in the Junior Division of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for six years. Cecilia has a dance background in ballet, modern, hip-hop, Latin dance, jazz, ballroom dance, tap, flamenco, repertory, contemporary, and West African dance. She also studied Dance Education at Marymount Manhattan College and became a member of the Soldiers of Hip-Hop Dance Team for three years. Cecilia went on to teach hip-hop, Latin jazz, modern, and ballet at Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx working with various ages in students of her community. In 2009, she taught middle school and high school students hip-hop and Latin ballroom at Urban Assembly for Applied Math & Science. She has assisted the Dance Chairperson in the Dance Department of LaGuardia High School for 17 years. Cecilia is overjoyed to teach hip-hop, jazz, and salsa dance in the School of Dance and currently serves as a School of Dance Associate at Ballet Hispánico.


Ann Dragich has choreographed and performed around NYC, including Symphony Space, FIT, and Duplex Cabaret Theater, and is on faculty at NJPAC, ATDF and The DreamYard Project. Notably, she performed in Paris Fashion Week as part of the Rick Owens Spring 2014 Women’s show.




Georgina Greenleaf is from Herndon, Virginia where she began her ballet studies at Reston Conservatory Ballet. She studied the classical Russian Vaganova method and other dance forms including Character, jazz, modern and Flamenco. Training in a family atmosphere awarded her the opportunity to begin working with children at a young age, assisting with classes and rehearsals. At 15, she co-created and ran a week-long summer camp. Georgina has performed as a supernumerary multiple times with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet during their seasons at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She also attended the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow, Russia as a summer student. Upon graduating school she traveled to New York City to continue her studies with Ballet Hispanico. After graduating from the Pre-Professional Program she began assisting with classes and joins the BH faculty this year.



Yvonne Gutierrez is an alum of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance of Cuban descent with a BS in Applied Computer Science from Pace University. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Ms. Gutierrez started teaching at Ballet Hispánico in the late 80s and returned in 2010. Her teaching history has also taken her to work at Flamenco Latino, the New School, Joffrey Ballet, Purelements and Educational Alliance. She was formerly on the dance faculty of Henry Street Settlement for over twenty years. There, she was responsible for creating and building a flamenco program which included enlightening collaborations with her students and Carlota Santana’s Flamenco Vivo. Her freelancing has exposed her to multiple venues as a dancer, teacher, coach and/or choreographer. She creatively choreographed salsa, cha-cha and flamenco to the music of Tchaikovsky in an original production of “The Nutcracker in the Lower” (2002-2011) at the Harry Du Jur Playhouse. Although Ms. Gutierrez’s teaching is based in New York, she has taught workshops in Orlando, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, Stamford, Connecticut, and Montreal, Canada. In 2015, she received recognition from the Lower East Side Community for her years of service (HIV/AIDS Awareness and support festivals throughout the LES). Highlights of her past experiences includes numerous performances with Flamenco Latino Dance Company, AllNations International Dance Company, Stringbeans Latin Brazilian Jazz Band under the direction of Annette Aguilar as well as events/operas under the direction of Luis Montero. Ms. Gutierrez and her administrative work offer her an opportunity to attend conferences in Early Childhood Education giving her insight on high quality early care, education and school readiness. She is always working on enhancing her approach to teaching, focusing on the complete student with specific attention to their individual uniqueness.


Rodney Hamilton is a native of St. Louis, began his dance training at the age of 10 and trained with Carr Lane V.P.A., COCA, Alexandra School of Ballet, and Katherine Dunham. After graduating with a BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School, he joined Ballet Hispanico of New York where he was a principal dancer and as-sistant rehearsal director for 10 years. During this time, he performed works by José Limon, Paul Taylor, Hans van Manen, Robert Battle, Ohad Naharin, David Parsons, William Whitener, Ann Reinking, Ramon Oller, Sergio Trujillo, Trinette Singleton, Agnes DeMille, Talley Beatty, Annabel Lopez Ochoa, Vicente Ne-brada, and numerous other well-known choreographers. Mr. Hamilton was part of the national touring cast of Hello Dolly with Carol Channing and worked with the Broadway cast of Tarzan. In 2012 Mr. Hamilton became the resident choreographer for the Saint Pete City Theater where he choreographed Hello Dolly, Footloose, and Memphis. Mr. Hamilton has taught ballet and modern all over the world, and is a master teach-er of the Dunham technique. He is now obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.


Adriana Jacinto started her early training in Los Angeles, CA. At 17, she began her professional training at the Joffrey Ballet School as well as her professional career with the Joffrey Ballet in New York. She has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ohio Ballet, Dance Galaxy, and has been a guest artist with Dennis Wayne. Ms. Jacinto's wide range of repertoire includes Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Raymonda, La Sylphide, Giselle, Petrouchka, Allegro Brillante, Concerto Barocco, The Green Table, and Light Rain. The versatility of her dance styles is continuously being explored which eventually brought her focus back to flamenco and classical Spanish dancing. She has been performing with American Bolero Dance Company since 2009. As a teacher, Adriana enjoys sharing her love of dance with her students by focusing on technique, musicality, and creative expression.


Loni Landon is a Dancer, Choreographer, and Movement Consultant based in New York City. Born and raised in New York City, Landon received her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in 2005. While a student at the NYC High School of Performing Arts, Landon was a NFAA Young Arts Modern Dance Winner. After Juilliard, Landon performed with Aszure Barton and Artists, Ballet Theater Munich, Tanz Munich Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera. Landon is the 2013 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship winner award-ed with BODYTRAFFIC. As a sought after choreographer, her work has been commissioned by the Joyce Theater, Keigwin and Company, James Sewell Ballet, Whim Whim, LEVY DANCE, The Juilliard School, BODYTRAFFIC, American Dance Institute, Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street II, Ballet X, Ballet Austin, SUNY Purchase, NYU, and Marymount Manhattan College. Her company has performed at The Joyce Theater, Pulse Art Fair, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series, as well as at Bryant Park and the first annual Beach Sessions in Rockaway Beach. Landon has won numerous awards including 1st Prize Winner of Ballet Austin’s New American Talent Competition, Winner of Northwest Dance Project’s “Pretty Creatives’” Choreogra-phy Competition, Winner of the Next Commission from CityDance Ensemble, Finalist in the International Solo Tanz Theater Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, and Finalist in the Hannover International Choreography Competition. Landon choreo-graphed the feature film “Saturday Church,” Directed by Damon Cardasis, which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.Landon was also a participant in the 2012 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Other residencies include ITE, NYU and CUNY Dance Initiative. She has been adjunct faculty at NYU, Barnard, SUNY Purchase and Princeton University. Alongside Gregory Dolbashian, Landon co-founded THE PLAYGROUND, an initiative designed to give emerging choreographers a place to experiment, while allowing professional dancers to participate affordably. Dance Magazine recognized the Playground as a 25 To Watch for 2013.


Rebeca Maso is a former ballet dancer from Cuba. She received her training at the Professional School of Ballet Arts in Cuba under the direction of Fernando Alonso. She also obtained her diploma as a Ballet Teacher in Cuba and has been teaching for more than 25 years. She was one of the founding ballet dancers of the Professional Ballet Company of Santiago of Cuba in 1990, under the direction of Maria Elena Martinez and choreographer and dancer Jorge Lefebvre, artistic director of Royal Ballet of Wallonie at that time. In 1994, she traveled to Venezuela as a guest ballet teacher to different ballet schools in the southern part of the country, working in regional ballet festivals and teaching Cuban ballet methodology. In Venezuela, she was a member of the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas for five years under direction of Zhandra Rodriguez, where she performed neoclassic and contemporary works by choreographer such as Jose Pares, Paulo Denubila, Dennis Nahat, Gabriel Castillo, Hector Montero, Maria Rovira among others, participating in European tour and International Ballet Festivals in Cuba. During her time in Venezuela she had the opportunity to perform with Ballet Metropolitano of Caracas by Artistic Director Keyla Ermecheo in different classical ballet productions like The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Ms. Maso also was invited from Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas to be part of the world premier “Dejando Rastro,” a modern dance created for four female ballet dancers by Carlos Orta, a leading dancer and teacher with the José Limón Dance Company and director of Corearte Dance Company of Venezuela. Ms. Maso came to U.S in 1999 as a guest artist of Metropolitan Ballet of Caracas participating in the international Ballet in Philadelphia. Ms. Maso is currently a student at Saint Mary’s College (LEAP), an internationally recognized Bachelor’s degree program specifically designed for current and former professional dancers. Ms. Maso was a judge of NJN Hispanic Youth Showcase at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for three years and still teaches throughout NY & NJ.


Camille Moten, a New Jersey native, is a freelance performer, choreographer and educator who is passionate about the promotion of dance arts as a form of citizenship and inclusion. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from Temple University while training with the PHILADANCO! Apprentice Company, D/2. As a freelance performer, Camille has had the pleasure of working with Kim Bears-Bailey, Laurie M. Taylor, Ashlé Dawson, Laura Peterson, Kavin Grant, and Sonia James Pennington, among others. Camille also served as the Assistant Choreographer to André DeShields on the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Crossroads Theater Company’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2018). Her work was most recently commissioned by CoLab Arts: Motion New Dance Works, and she continues to self-produce throughout the tristate area as freelance choreographer. Camille serves on the Junior Committee Board of Dance/NYC and is currently a teaching artist at Ballet Hispánico, Rutgers University, and Artists in Motion. She is in her final year at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University as a MFA in Dance candidate.


Ana Lourdes Novoa began her training in La Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana. She graduated eight years later in 1976, and was immediately admitted into the National Ballet of Cuba. In 1982, she was promoted to first soloist and in 1990 to principal dancer. Her repertoire included all the classics in the company such as Giselle in Giselle, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Swanilda in Copellia, Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Lisette in Fille Mal Gardee, Nikiya and Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Medora in Le Corsaire and others. Along with the classics, she performed many modern pieces from Cuban and international choreographers. Her partner for most of the roles in her professional career was Jose Manuel Carreno. In 1992, she became a Principal Dancer for the English National Ballet. She performed all her roles alongside partner Jose Manuel Carreno and Carlos Acosta. She returned to the Cuban National Ballet and toured the globe while performing in many renowned stages. She danced in several US cities including LA, NY and Boston. She also danced in many European countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Switzerland and others. In 1997, she retired after dancing for 22 years and began to teach at the National Ballet of Cuba. Her career as a teacher continued in the U.S. as she taught advanced classes at Dance Center in New Jersey for over a year, and also instructed Tony Award winner Kiril Kulish as he played the leading role in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical.


Kimberly Prosa is a New York City based dancer, teaching artist, and choreographer. She began her training in Southern Oregon studying classical ballet under Joan Sanders-Siedel of Nederlands Dans Theatre and North Carolina School of the Arts. She continued her training in classical ballet and modern dance at American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey School, The Paul Taylor School, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and with alumni of New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Limon Dance Company, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, and the Martha Graham Dance Company. She has studied theatre arts under Anthony Abeson and Brue Ornstein. Kimberly received her B.F.A in dance from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and holds an M.A. from NYU in International Affairs with a special concentration in community peacebuilding through dance.

As a dancer, Kimberly has performed works by Dance Theatre of Oregon, the Eugene Ballet Company, Purchase Dance Corps, Stephanie Tooman, Bettijane Sills, Angela Harriel, Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre, Kyra Johannesen, Aera Dance Company, and was a company member for six years with the Bessie award winning modern dance company, H.T. Chen and Dancers, originating roles in several repertoire. Kimberly appeared as a dance double for Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 Academy Award winning film, Black Swan.

As a teaching artist & choreographer, Kimberly has taught ballet, pointe and modern dance at several schools, studios and universities throughout New York and Oregon in addition to serving as a guest teaching artist and artist in residence restaging works, and creating choreography throughout New York City, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Birmingham, southern Oregon and Ghana, West Africa. She is currently Senior Teaching Artist at Chen Dance Center, leading the contemporary program at the center in addition to teaching the modern dance public school program for 3-5th graders at P.S. 42.

Kimberly is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the emerging modern dance company, Humanistics Dance. Her choreography has been shown throughout New York City, Oregon and New Jersey at venues including: Shetler Studios, Riverside Church Theatre, Triskelion Arts, the Connelly Theater, Manhattan Movement Arts, Liberty University, Nimbus Dance Works, the Center for Performance Research, Judson Memorial Church, Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, as part of the Fertile Ground Series, the Wax Works series and was selected as one of 10 leading modern dance companies presenting works for the Voices Transposed Series: a benefit for the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  Kimberly is thrilled to be joining Ballet Hispánico’s modern dance faculty.


Sandra Rivera has had an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer and educator. A founding member of Ballet Hispánico, she has maintained a long association with the company as a dancer and educator. She started her training at the Tina Ramirez School of Spanish Dance where she was exposed to a wide variety of styles that were informed by the repertory of the Lola Bravo School of Spanish Dance. Through this thorough training she absorbed the distinct aesthetics of Spanish dance (folkloric, escuela bolero, danzas estilizadas, flamenco) passing this knowledge on to her students. Her past students have included Jennifer Lopez and Condola Rashad. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine with the Omega Dance Co., where she produced a series of dance concerts, including Flamenco Mystico, and Los Seises, an adaptation of a 13th century Spanish liturgical dance. She has created and produced work for the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center including Path of the Artist, An Homage to Julia de Burgos and Barrio Girl, A Life Through Dance. She has been a teaching artist for numerous institutions including El Museo del Barrio, the Bilingual, Bicultural School and Ballet Hispánico (Primeros Pasos). She was featured in From the Horses’s Mouth, Celebrating New York’s Clark Center for the Performing Arts with performances at Aaron Davis Hall and the 92 Street Y. At present she performs and is a teaching artist for Dancers for a Variable Population. With an area of concentration, Dance in the Latino Diaspora, she graduated with a BA from CUNY’s Baccalaureate for Unique & Interdisciplinary Studies.


Elisabet Rubio completed her dance training at the Cuban National Ballet School under Fernando Alonso and Ramona de Saá’s tutelage. In her native Cuba, she also performed with Pro Danza, a professional classical ballet company directed by Laura Alonso, Prima Assoluta Alicia Alonso’s daughter. In 2012 she moved to New York where she currently is a member of the Brooklyn Ballet Company and continues her studies under the direction of our world renowned Pre Professional Coordinator, Caridad Martinez.


Anilce Scasso was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She began her dance training in classical ballet at the School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Arts in Havana where her graduate thesis centered on eating disorders and nutrition in ballet. For over ten years now, Anilce has been teaching young children and adolescents from a wide range of dance levels. She has also served as a member of the committee responsible for evaluating auditions and admitting young dancers to the School of Ballet in Havana. From 2009 through 2012, she worked in Ecuador at Pam’s Dance School as a ballet and jazz instructor, where her main responsibility was teaching and developing ballet techniques in children and teenagers. In addition to teaching, she has also organized auditions and choreography for ballet and jazz ensembles and has trained students for international ballet competitions in Cuba and Ecuador. She has prepared students for the Royal Academy of Dance entrance exam and worked in Miami teaching ballet technique to gymnastic students. Currently, she teaches in New Jersey and she is part of the Ballet Hispanico Faculty in New York City where she works in the Early Childhood, Open and Pre Professional Programs as a ballet instructor.


Janice Tomlinson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She graduated from CUNY Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Dance. Janice has a dance background in hip-hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, and West African dance. Her formal training began in Fancy Feet Dance Studio and she became a member of the Fancy Feet Junior Jazz Dance Company during high school. She has danced in numerous festivals and has guest-appeared as a dancer on MTV’s reality show, MADE. In Syracuse University, Janice was a backup dancer for an opening act in JadaKiss’ concert. Janice performed in many renowned theatres such as the United Palace Theatre, Symphony Space, The Kaye Playhouse, and Off-Broadway at The Pearl Theatre Company. Additionally, she has competed in the Battle for Your Life Competition, Prelude Urban Dance Competition, and World of Dance New Jersey. During college, she had the pleasant opportunity to perform in the repertory works of Doug Varone and Marjani Fortè in The Kaye Playhouse. More notably, Janice has trained and performed abroad in Spain and Switzerland. She is very excited to join the teaching staff of Ballet Hispánico and embark on another journey with the faculty and students.


Rebecca Tsivkin is a graduate and licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, and is an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Her RAD training included a 3-year, in-depth program that covered Ballet, Anatomy/Kinesiology, Dance Pedagogy, Child Psychology, Labanotation, Character, Modern, and Dance History. Over two decades Rebecca has taught ballet in universities, private dance studios, and company schools. Her students have gone on to attend advanced training programs in such places as the School of American Ballet (SAB) and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theater (JKO), and to dance in professional companies such as Ballet Austin, Sacramento Ballet, and BalletX, among others. Rebecca was on the teaching faculty at American Academy of Ballet, where she was also the executive coordinator and international judge for the Performance Awards program under the direction of Mignon Furman. She was also the Head Children's Instructor at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and has guest-taught across the United States and internationally. Rebecca is the co-director of Ballet Extensions and International Dance Acclaim (IDA).


Raquel Valiente holds a BFA in Dance from Adelphi University, where she trained under the direction of ballet master Frank Augustyn. Raquel was also a scholarship student at Jennifer Muller/The Works, where she studied with Artistic Director Jennifer Muller, Associate Director John Brookes and principal company members. In addition, she has completed DEL’s Foundations of Dance Education and Dance for Students with Special Needs. Raquel is an ABT ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT ® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT ® National Training Curriculum.

In her native El Salvador, Raquel created a dance program for the prestigious British School and also founded The Broadway Ballet School, which made its debut on the Salvadorian reality TV show Bailando por un Sueño. Raquel served as a judge for the show’s third season (2010), which holds the highest ratings in the history of Salvadorian TV, and also made guest appearances on other popular shows like Brinka and Viva la Mañana. Currently, Raquel serves as Programs Manager at Ballet Hispanico, where she supervises the Early Childhood Program, teaches ballet for the Open and Pre-Professional programs, as well as Latin American folkloric dance as an Education & Outreach teaching artist. In addition, Raquel is Ballet Mistress for Dances Patrelle’s Nutcracker, performs with American Tap Dance Foundation’s Tap Addicts Anonymous and enjoys sharing her expertise through presentations, as she has done for organizations such as the Arts in Education Roundtable’ Face 2 Face conference, City College of New York, Adelphi University and the Department of Education’s Dance Department.


was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He trained with the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and the School of American Ballet. In 2011, Joshua graduated from New World School of the Arts with his B.F.A. in Dance. In the Fall of 2011, he joined Ballet Hispánico’s main Company and served as a Company dancer for the next six seasons. During his tenure with the Company, Joshua worked and collaborated with choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Nacho Duato, Cayetano Soto, Michelle Manzanales, Eduardo Vilaro, Edgar Zendejas, Fernando Melo, and Tania Pérez-Salas. He continues to be a vital teacher and mentor to the School of Dance and to numerous Community Arts Partnership residencies in NYC and abroad. In the Fall of 2017, Joshua retired as a dancer and now serves as Ballet Hispánico’s Rehearsal Director for the second company, BHdos, and as an Associate for the School of Dance.




Ryan DeFranzo is an NYC based pianist and performer who has performed around the city at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, the Liederkranz Foundation, and Kosciusko Foundation— studying under concert pianist Jerzy Stryjniak. He is finishing his final year of undergrad at Marymount Manhattan College and is excited to be joining the Ballet Hispanico family for his first year as an accompanist.


For almost a quarter century, Baba Don a percussionist very much in demand, has performed with many Major American Dance Companies in the world’s greatest performing-arts venues.  His recording career is as equally varied as it vast; the jazz idiom, rhythm and blues, and most African derived percussion styles are represented in his discography.  He is a featured member of the esteemed last poets.  He has long been acknowledged as one of New York City’s master teachers of African Drumming and the rhythms of the Diaspora in the Americas.  Baba Don is presently on faculty at the Harlem school Of the Arts for over 25 years, teaching all ages from 4 years of age to adults.
He has performed and recorded with The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Maurice Hines, Gregory Hines, Andy Williams, and Chuck Davis Dance theatre, Pattie Labelle, philicia Reshard, Choreographers Frank Hatchet, Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson and many more. Don Eaton has recorded with many Jazz artist Donald Brown, Joe Henderson, Jason Linder, Tyrone Jefferson, James Spaulding, Ron Carter, Gorge Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, and The Last Poets
Baba Don has theatrical credits with The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Macbeth, Caligula, and Dream on Monkey Mountain as percussionist for each production and with HBO’s Hoop Life sound track.  Mr. Eaton has performed with Maurice Hines’s "UPTown It’s Hot," as a Featured Percussionist.  Baba Don Eaton has performed with the Metropolitan Orchestra at the Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The State Theater,  Avery Fisher’s Hall , City Center, The Apollo Theatre and The House Of Blues and is also features on Sesame Street segment called "Drumming School" to name a few .
Mr. Eaton has received proclamations from the City of New Orleans, The City of New York Public Advocate’s Office as well a plaque of recognition from the Mid- Manhattan branch of the NAACP for his contribution to the Arts
Mr. Eaton Has also conducted workshops throughout the Metropolitan, Tri State  Area, with many institutions such as The Harlem School of The Arts, John Jay College, Arts Connections, African Horizon, Pyramid Dance Company, Arts Horizon, Yaffa Productions, North Hampden High School and Jack and Jill Arts Center to name a few.



Nataliya Frolova is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she received her Master’s Degree in 1984 and Ph.D. Diploma in Piano Performance 1988. She was invited by Maestro Valery Gergiev to work as a Ballet Accompanist and Vocal Coach at the Mariinsky Theater, where she worked from 1990 until 1997. She played at piano rehearsals for opera and ballet repertoire. At the same time, she was working as a guest accompanist at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, assisting Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Temirkanov and Mariss Jansons. Since 1997 she lives in the United States. She worked in the Colorado Ballet in Denver under the artistic direction of Martin Freeman from 1997 until 1998. From 1998, she resides in New York City, working in all the major Ballet companies as a Ballet Accompanist - playing Ballet classes and rehearsals. These companies include: American Ballet Theater, Eliot Feld Ballet Company & The Ballet Tech Foundation, The Juilliard School, Ballet Hispanico, Steps on Broadway, and Alvin Ailey, among others. Her ballet class repertoire includes a large variety of music in different styles, from baroque to modern pieces.



A New York City native, graduated from Swarthmore College. She studied piano privately with Olga Heifetz. With her husband, Ben, she has written many published children's songs, two of which aired repeatedly on Sesame Street. For over fifteen years, Freya has been an accompanist at New York City ballet studios for dancers of all ages. She is happy to have been accompanying classes at Ballet Hispanico since 1998.




Mauricio Herrera is from the eastern province of Holguin, Cuba. The interest in music comes from the musical legacy of his family but He first entered the world of music was at age 7 playing violin, but by 14 began studying percussion where he found his niche. After graduation from the Jose Maria Ochoa Conservatory in Holguin, he began playing in various local popular and folkloric groups and was on faculty at Escuela Vocacional de Arte. In 1994 he moved to La Habana to broaden his horizons, where he played, toured, and recorded with the likes of Paulito FG, Manolito Simonet, Manolín el Medico de la salsa, Hector Valentin, Angel Bonne, La Barriada, and Pachito Alonso.  In 2001 he relocated to Mexico where he played with several local groups including Amaury Gutierrez, David Torrens, and many others. In 2005 Mauricio moved to New York where he currently resides.  He has played, recorded and toured with: David Sanchez, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Christian Scott (90 Miles Project,),  Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ignacio Berroa, Yerba Buena, Lila Downs, Manuel Valera and the New Cuban Express, Alfredo de la Fe, Bryan Lynch, Luis Perdomo, The Rodriguez Brothers, Dave Samuels and The Caribbean Jazz Project, Edward Simon , Hector Martignon, Batyr Shukenov, La India, Spanish Harlem Orquestra, Steve Coleman, Jackie Terrasson, John Benitez, Mark Weinstein, Lew Soloff, Aruan Ortiz, Candido Camero,Yerba Buena, Osmany Paredes, Yosvany Terry, Pedro Martinez y Grupo Ibboru, Francisco Mela and many others. Mauricio was a teacher at the Boys and Girls Harbour Conservatory in New York City, also has given Master classes at The Banff Centre Canada, on Berklee College of music, JAZZUV University Xalapa, Mexico, and playing around the World with Several major artists from the Scene of Jazz and other Musical Genres.  Mauricio is endorsed by Latin Percussion (LP) and Vic Firth (Sticks). 



Pianist-Composer Moshe S. Knoll is a free-lance Classical artist working throughout the NY metro area.   A graduate of The Juilliard School, he has given solo recitals and has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, the UK, Israel and Venezuela. An avid fan of Chamber Music, he has devoted considerable energy to its dissemination through his membership in ACMP: Associated Chamber Music Players. Moshe sits on the Board of DAHA: Dvorak American Heritage Association; a branch of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, devoted to preserve the legacy of Antonin Dvorak and his influence in American Music. As a collaborative pianist, he works with singers, instrumentalists and ballet classes. As a ballet pianist, he has made recordings for the use of Maestro Pedro Ruiz. Moshe has also worked for the Hebrew Arts School and Belvoir Terrace, a summer arts camp for girls in Lenox, MA. Moshe is on the Faculty of the ArtsAhimsa Chamber Music Festival, also in Lenox, MA.


Santiago Leibson was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After studying in Buenos Aires at Conservatorio Manuel de Falla, Santiago moved to New York City in 2014 to do a Masters in Jazz Performance at NYU. Santiago’s most recent album is "Out of Orden" and it features Drew Gress on bass and Devin Gray on drums. He has two other albums with his Argentine trio: AMON (2013) and Pendular (2014). Santiago has performed with the NYU Jazz Orchestra at different venues such as The Blue Note and Drom; with different special guests that includes Alan Ferber, Billy Drewes, Michael Rodriguez and Lenny Pickett. He has also performed or recorded with “Guillermo Klein’s Symmetrical Moon Vamps”, Jeff McGregor quintet and Brian Adler's Shankar.


Carson Moody is a Brooklyn based performer who collaborates with various multifaceted artists in fields from pop, to improvisation, to the avant garde. Carson is a founding member of the music group, TIGUE, hailed as "high octane" by the New York Times. TIGUE performs internationally including performances and workshops at Latvia's Zemlika Festival 2016, Summer Nostos Festival 2017 in Athens, Greece, and locally, including Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park. Their sophomore album "Strange Paradise" was released April 2018 on New Amsterdam Records and NNA Tapes and is available on any digital music platform or at select record stores on vinyl. Carson performs with NYC based “new music dream team” (TimeOutNY), Ensemble Signal. Performances with Signal have ranged from appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall's "Next on Grand" series 2015 (Los Angeles, CA), Lincoln Center Festival 2013 and 2016 (New York, NY), Big Ears 2014 (Knoxville, TN), and the June in Buffalo Festival. Constantly exploring collaborations in dance as a mover and musician, Carson works with students and professionals all over NYC as well as students at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Adelphi University, The Martha Graham School, Eglevsky Ballet, Ballet Hispanico and the Mark Morris Dance Center. He has collaborated with choreographers David Dorfman, Doug Varone, Karl Rogers, Erik Abbott-Main, and James Graham providing soundscapes and moving on stage. Carson is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Eastman School of Music and is excited to join the artists roster with Vic Firth.


A native of the Midwest, Dan Meinhardt moved to New York after establish-ing himself among the best musicians in Chicago. After obtaining degrees from Lawrence University and the University of Oregon, Dan became a freelance multi-instrumentalist, versed in a multitude of styles and performance practices. He began playing for ballet at Chicago’s Visceral Dance Company and quickly became a must-call accompanist for dancers across the city, working with Hubbard Street, the Joffrey Ballet, and Ruth Page, among others. Dan has released two records as a saxophonist, composer, and bandlead-er: Gone West (2012) and Outset (2016), performed in a wide range of shows for musical theater, and has taught throughout the United States. His compositions have been featured in film and at a variety of jazz festivals on the west coast. Now living in Brooklyn, Dan brings his unique skillset and experiences to dancers in both class and performance.


Paul Jared Newman, a native of Manhattan, New York, has been a guitar player since his early teens. His first gig was as on-stage guitarist in The Love Cure, one of the first rock musicals produced in New York. An awakening to classical music and the Spanish guitar occurred soon after, and in recent years flamenco has deepened his involvement with Spanish music. Current and recent residencies include: Guitar Accompanist for the legendary Aileen Pasloff’s Spanish and Flamenco classes at Bard College; class accompanist for noted maestros José Molina and Mariano Parra in NYC; Teaching Artist, New York City Center Arts in Education Program. Recent performance/composition credits include: guitarist/actor: Este Nuestro Espacio dance theatre piece by Silvia Siller, Poet's Den Theatre, New York; guitarist: Under Fire, New York Musical Theatre Festival; Theatre at St. Clements; Composer/recording, (Black) Light, film by Deirdre Towers, danced by Katherine Crockett of the Martha Graham Company; composer/guitarist, Choreographers On The Edge with Compania Flamenco Librada, Byrdcliffe Theatre, Woodstock, NY; Guest Artist, Música en las Montañas festival in Las Alpujarras, Granada, Spain. Recently performed compositions include: Sonidos Sombreados (guitar & string orchestra); Ecos de la Petenera (clarinet & piano); Caras del Prisma (guitar, strings & percussion); "por la noche me llaman .  .  . " (violin & piano, commissioned for performance March 2013 by the Orfeo Duo). Jared is also a music book author whose publications include: A New Anthology of Falsetas for Flamenco Guitar, Bold Strummer, Ltd. 2009; Classics for the Guitar; Karamar Publications, Hauppauge, NY 1996; editor: The Keys to Flamenco Guitar seriesby Dennis Koster; AIG Publications, New York 1992 –4; arranger: Five Women Composers for Guitar; Mel Bay Publications 2004; Ernesto Nazareth: Brazilian Tangos; Mel Bay 2001. He holds a Masters degree in guitar performance from SUNY Stony Brook, NY, a BA in Music from UC Berkeley, and an Advanced Level Certificate from Taller Flamenco in Sevilla, Spain.


Bernard M. Schaller, guitar accompanist became interested in flamenco after seeing Antonio Gades and his flamenco company at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.  He was fortunate to come in contact with the legendary guitarist Mario Escudero.  Mr. Escudero had recorded several solo guitar albums. As it turned out, Bernard’s first flamenco album was of Mario Escudero. Some years later, he began to accompany flamenco dance classes at Ballet Hispánico in 1986, as well as for dancers Mariquita Flores, Maria Alba and Jose Molina.  Over the years, Bernard played at several local restaurants in Manhattan and performed at senior centers in New York and New Jersey.



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