Encuentros: Open Class Program

End of Year Recital

June 11, 2022

Eduardo Vilaro

Artistic Director & CEO 

Michelle Manzanales

Director, School of Dance

Kiri Avelar

Deputy School Director

School of Dance Staff

Michelle Manzanales

Director, School of Dance

Kiri Avelar

Deputy School Directo

Rodney Hamilton

Professional Studies Program Director

Cecilia L. Cáceres-Ntiamoah

School of Dance Programs Manager

Rebecca Tsivkin

School of Dance Early Childhood Programs Associate

Joshua Winzeler

School of Dance Artistic Associate

Victoria Vargas

Program Coordinator

Blythe Drucker

Communications & Engagement Associate

Doreen Miranda

School of Dance Finance Associate

Kiefer Rondina

School of Dance Registrar

Georgina Greenleaf

School of Dance Administrative Assistant

Brianna Figueroa

Administrative Assistant


School of Dance Wardrobe Associates

Azael Acosta

Veronica Gutierrez

Kaileen Langstone

Diana Ruettiger

School of Dance Production Associates

Jackie Cabrero

Stacey Dávila

Eli Justin Medina

Becky Nussbaum

Jimmy Kavetas


Amanda Goodridge

Gregory Wickam

Production Copyright 2022, Ballet Hispánico of New York, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Program is subject to change.

The taking of video, audio and photographs is strictly prohibited.


Program A: Ages 8 & 9 • 11:15am

No naqueres

Teacher & Choreographer JoDe Romano

Music Camaron de la Isla

Performed by Tuesday Flamenco Ages 8 & 9

Vienna Asbell, Olivia Cohen, Hadley Rodriguez

Guest Performance by Renata Suarez

La Academia Level 4B

Saturday Ballet Ages 8 & 9

Teacher & Choreographer Blanca Huertas-Agnew

Music "Sleeping Beauty" by Tchaikovsky

Performed by Saturday Ballet Ages 8 & 9

Valentina Abundis, Aria Ali, Salma Dlshaarawi, Kaylize Hernandez, Nina Hounsinou, Salome Miranda Ortiz, Jhalanny Nunez, Chloe Plou Alejaldre, Juliet Rose Promuto, Nadia Requena Padilla, Lucy Rose Rivera-Westin, Joyreliz Sanchez, Aurora Torrente

Ballet Suite

Teacher & Choreographer Rebecca Tsivkin

Music "Ballet Suite No 3 Gavotte," Dmitri Shostakovich, Dmitry Yablonsky, and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra

Performed by Wednesday Ballet Ages 8 & 9

Stella Bautista, Clara Binisti, Aaliyah Caro-Barzey, Olivia Cohen, Joan Gallarello, William Goodman, Evelyn Huang, Sophie Martinez, Nikolina Pereda, Madison Rodney, Natalie Spetalnik, Margot Young

Guest Performance by Amanda Goodridge

La Academia Level 5

España Cañí

Teacher & Choreographer JoDe Romano

Music by Pascual Marquina Narro

Performed by Saturday Flamenco Ages 8 & 9

Siena Cantamessi, Emma Hernandez, Kaylize Hernandez, Jhalanny Nunez, Juliet Rose Promuto, Nadia Requena Padilla, Raphael Rhodes-Schedler, Olivia Rivera, Lucy Rose Rivera-Westin, Joyreliz Sanchez, Aurora Torrente, Daniela Torres, Jason Uceta

Program B: Ages 8-18 • 2:00pm

Mi Gente

Teacher & Choreographer Yanil A. Pabon

Music "Besame" by Jcnicolas, "Meto mano" by Amarfis y la manda de atakke, and "Pa' mi Gente" by Havana D' Primera

Performed by Latin Rhythms Ages 10-18

Sofia Aita, Sofia Birchard, Tess Chasen, Campbell Creps, Isabella Delgado, Delia Kenny Trinidad, Olivia Falconer, Isabelle Kane


Teacher & Choreographer Nicole Ohr

Music Poison by Post Modern Jukebox

Performed by Tap Ages 8-18

Karolina Barschdorff, Carlin Bernstein, Fiona Gimlett, Zoe Gladstone, Natacha Hardouin, Quelenn Lindo-Aguilo, Abigail Watkin

Nobody Like Me

Teacher & Choreographer Laura de la Garza Noble

Music "They don’t make them like me no more" by Pigeon John and "Masquerade" by Siouxxie

Performed by Hip Hop Ages 10-18

Mischa Abend, Tess Chasen, Gannon Gladstone, Lauren Imohiosen, Isabelle Kane, Lourdes Lezcano, Cate McGee, Alicia Ocasio, Maileigh Olivares


Teacher & Choreographer Blanca Huertas-Agnew

Music Antonio Vivaldi

Performed by Ballet Ages 10-18, Level 1

Sebastian Arbeiter-Hoole, Aureliana Basso-Wiideman, Olivia Caraballoso, Leah Cordova, Lilah Martinez, Michael Uceta, Emma Vasquez, Margo Walsh

Dance. Play. Repeat.

Teacher & Choreographer Cecilia L. Cáceres-Ntiamoah

Music by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones

Performed by Hip-Hop Ages 8 & 9

Zoe Gladstone, Natacha Hardouin, Jasmine Medina

Tangos de Granada

Teacher & Choreographer Gabriela Granados

Music "Tangos de Granada" by Juana La Tobala

Performed by Flamenco Ages 10-18, Level 2

Campbell Creps, Isabella Delgado, Isabelle Kane, Delia Kenny-Trinidad, Hailey Lester, Claudia Lipsey, Christina Vitaki, Maileigh Olivares

Program C: Ages 10-18 • 5:00pm

Harlequinade Polka

Teacher & Choreographer Ana Lourdes Novoa

Music Morelli, J M

Performed by Ballet Ages 10-18, Level 2

Ana Chippas, Isabella Delgado, Isabelle Kane, Delia Kenny-Trinidad, Harlow Moss, Audrey Ng, Maileigh Oliviares

Afro Beats

Teacher & Choreographer Rodney Hamilton

Music "Voices Of Savannah" by DJ Chus fromThis Is Afrodelic! - 25 Afro Tribal House Tracks composed by Chus L. Esteban

Performed by Afro-Caribbean Ages 10-18

Madeleine Druker, Dalia Panchano, Ari Twersky

Guest Performance by Amanda Goodridge

La Academia Level 5

Shine al Son

Teacher & Choreographer Marisabel Vasconez

Music by "Trucutú" by Tommy Olivencia y Su Orquesta and "Pa'l Bailador" by Joe Arroyo

Performed by Salsa Ages 10-18

Ana Chippas, Gannon Gladstone, Luca Nedelkovic, Dalia Panchano, Chelsea Phillips, Sophia Quiroga, Michael Uceta, Daniel Zador, Ilan Zador


Teacher & Choreographer Deanna Martinez

Music "That's My Girl" by Fifth Harmony, "***Flawless" by Beyoncé, "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé, "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera, and "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia

Performed by Hip-Hop Ages 10-18

Eve Fersko, Brynn Garton, Liana Parkan, Margo Porges, Isabella Rivero, Olivia Simoni, Liana Stepens, Sasha Treuhaft, Ari Twersky

A Glow In The Dark

Teacher & Choreographer Kiefer Rondina

Music "Glowing" by A Great Big World

Performed by Boys Class Ages 10-18

Paul Collin, Alexander Furman, Gannon Gladstone

España Cañí

Teacher Kiri Avelar

Choreography Kiri Avelar and Sandra Rivera in collaboration with the Student Performers

Music Traditional pasodoble recorded by the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla

Performed by Flamenco Ages 10-18, Level 1

Francesca Abbatangelo Gray, Nathalia Bethencourt, Deanna Cruz, Madeline Ferriera, Elizabeth Mercado, Jessie Mitnick, Maya Suzuki, Sophia Quiroga, Michael Uceta

About the School of Dance

Ballet Hispánico's School of Dance is the direct link to the organization’s values of access, opportunity, and pride for all students interested in dance and Latinx culture. The School is an accredited training center that leads with a holistic curriculum for today’s young dancer.

Empowering Youth

Ballet Hispánico's School of Dance serves members of its community through formative dance training, reaching children to young adults across the socioeconomic spectrum and at all levels of training. At the heart of its mission, Ballet Hispánico provides dozens of young dancers with merit and need-based scholarships that are individually tailored to fit the needs of each students. Scholarships are critical to filling the gap in dancers of color on the world's stages, creating not only a pipeline of talent for the professional dance sector, but also infusing long-neglected communities with artistic resources ensuring underserved voices are both celebrated and magnified. Together with your support, Ballet Hispánico can continue providing excellent dance education to countless young people for years to come.


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EDUARDO VILARO (Artistic Director & CEO) is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico (BH). He was named BH's Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape.

Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers, and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity, and the meaning of community.

Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity, and through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American. He has created more than 40 ballets with commissions that include the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony.

A Ballet Hispánico dancer and educator from 1988 to 1996, he left New York, earned a master’s in interdisciplinary arts at Columbia College Chicago and then embarked on his own act of advocacy with a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.

The recipient of numerous awards and accolades, Mr. Vilaro received the Ruth Page Award for choreography in 2001; was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in 2016; and was awarded HOMBRE Magazine’s2017 Arts & Culture Trailblazer of the Year. In 2019, he received the West Side Spirit’s WESTY Award, was honored by WNET for his contributions to the arts, and was the recipient of the James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award. In August 2020, City & State Magazine included Mr. Vilaro in the inaugural Power of Diversity: Latin 100 list. In January 2021, Mr. Vilaro was recognized with a Compassionate Leaders Award, given to leaders who are courageous, contemplative, collaborative, and care about the world they will leave behind. He is a well-respected speaker on such topics as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts, as well as on the merits of the intersectionality of cultures and the importance of nurturing and building Latinx leaders.

MICHELLE MANZANALES (Director, School of Dance) is a choreographer, dedicated dance educator of 30 years, and co-founder of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance. The Director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance since December of 2016, Michelle previously led the organization’s professional company as Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate for seven seasons. Ms. Manzanales is committed to creating an environment where all students are inspired to explore movement, feel supported in their individual dance journeys, and draw meaningful connections between dance and their lives.

Manzanales has co-presented at the New York State Dance Educators Association, ARTs + Change, and the National Dance Education Organization conferences, “Questioning TODO: A Latinx Inquiry of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy”, a direct response to the historical and continued exclusion of Latinx contributions and experiences in the dance field. A current faculty member of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, she has also served on the faculties of the University of Houston, Rice University, Lou Conte Dance Studio (former Home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. She has been a guest artist for the Professional Work Sessions at STEPS on Broadway, the Joyce Master Class Series at Gibney, the Taylor School, New Orleans Ballet Association, the Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, Generation Dance Festival Houston, Artisan Ballet Company, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth America Grand Prix, Houston’s Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, along with numerous other dance studios, schools, and college dance programs nationwide and internationally.

A member of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Michelle has served on the National Association of Schools of Dance’s (NASD) Committee on Ethics, juror for the Nebraska Arts Council - Individual Artist Fellowships, a panelist for Dance/NYC's #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Facebook Live Series: Arts Educators Leading the Charge, adjudicator for the Independent Study in Choreography Showing for Ailey’s BFA program, and was honored to be part of a round table planning dialogue supporting Carnegie Hall’s education project ‘All Together: A Global Ode to Joy.’ Ms. Manzanales is currently on the selection panel for 92Y’s Future Dance Festival for emerging choreographers and was a past panelist for Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico and the Houston Arts Alliance grants program.

Her current choreography commissions set to premiere in Spring 2022 include new works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, and Montclair State University. Her choreography for Ballet Hispánico, Con Brazos Abiertos, described as a “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) and “an exceptional, heart-tugging beauty” (LA Times), premiered in 2017, and has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its feature at New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. CautivadX, a dance film she choreographed, edited, and directed for Noche Unidos, A Ballet Hispánico Night of Dance and Unity was presented in June 2020. If by Chance... which she created for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 75th Anniversary Gala in December 2019, “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” (-Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine).

Other acclaimed works by Manzanales include her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, which was hailed 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.” Her 2007 choreography for Luna Negra Dance Theater, entitled Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as "a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work." Five of her works have been recognized by the American College Dance Festival, of which two were presented at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), for their National Gala; Pour Me Out in 2006 and The Letting Go in 2008. Manzanales’ choreography has also been presented by Texas Contemporary Weekend (Houston, TX), Spring to Dance (St. Louis, MO), Festival de Danza Córdoba (Veracruz, Mexico), Capital Fringe Festival (Washington D.C), and Fort Worth Dance Festival (Fort Worth, TX).

KIRI AVELAR (Deputy School Directoris an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and scholar based in New York City. Fronteriza de El Paso, TX/Cd. Juárez, Chih., México, her teaching philosophy employs an intersection of teaching practices through a Latinx inquiry of translanguaging, sentipensante (sensing/thinking), and critical dance pedagogies, centering Chicana/Latina Feminist methodologies and pedagogies of testimonio and plática. The movement between her cultures in the borderlands, and time lived away from the area, has shaped her interest in accessible, inclusive dance practices anchored in Chicana/Latina feminist theories and frameworks.

An NYU Teaching Fellow for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, her decolonial curriculum praxis asserts transnational, interdisciplinary, and Chicana/Latina feminist interventions that both disrupt and reimagine our American modern dance histories, engaging students through an in-between space of embodied research and creative practice to further understand and challenge the notion of Latinidad that has been absorbed, often unnamed/unacknowledged, into the historical and contemporary accounts of dance histories. The curriculum builds on her scholarly research Descubriendo Latinx: The Hidden Texts in American Modern Dance, developed through a 2020 Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellowship for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Her correlating artistic practice provokes thought around the experiential borderlessness of Latinx artists in the United States in artistic, physical, and cultural terms, immersed in themes of ruido, mestiza consciousness, intersectionality, migration, and Latinidades through film, embodied oral history performances, interactive screendance, and soundscapes.

She is the Founding Director of La Academia de Ballet Emmanuel, a dance program she established for the Hogar de Niños Emmanuel orphanage in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, where she has worked with her family since 1999. Her advocacy continues through her current projects: co-curating the exhibition, The Mestizo as Ambassador: José Limón and the Transculturation of American Modern Dance for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; scholarly research in collaboration with the José Limón Dance Foundation; co-founding the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance, a resource site for dance educators centering Latinx/a/o/e/Hispanic contributions; and serving on the Research Committee for the National Dance Education Organization. ​Holding an MFA in Dance from Rutgers University, and a BA in Dance with honors from New Mexico State University, she has spent the last decade honing her craft as an educator, cultural community organizer, social justice advocate, and arts administrator at Ballet Hispánico, where she currently serves as Deputy School Director and teaching faculty. 


KIRI AVELAR is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and scholar working to embody, represent, honor, question, and challenge space for Latinx identities to be expressed. A 2020 Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, her scholarly research Descubriendo Latinx: The Hidden Text in American Modern Dance, visibilizes the Latinx diasporic presence in the early American modern dance canon as a way to retell our collective dance histories, shifting the narrative through a re-examination of the archive. Her correlating artistic practice is designed to further provoke thought around the artistic, physical, and cultural borderless experience of Latinx artists in America, and immerses audiences in unique spaces to explore themes of ruido, mestiza consciousness, intersectionality, migration, and Latinidades through film, embodied oral history performances, interactive screendance, and soundscapes. Her current projects include serving as Associate Curator for the José Limón 75th Anniversary Exhibition for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and collaborating with the José Limón Foundation on scholarly research in celebration of their 75th anniversary.

Ms. Avelar’s teaching philosophy employs an intersection of teaching practices through a Latinx inquiry of culturally responsive and critical dance pedagogies, centering Chicana/Latina Feminist methodologies and pedagogies of testimonio and plática. Most recently awarded a Teaching Fellowship through NYU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Ms. Avelar will be developing curricular work for K-12 public schools around the theme, Developing Critical Pedagogies of Care in our Schools, exploring language, culture, immigration, race, contemporary politics, indigeneity and identity in the dance classroom. As 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, where she resided for ten years, she continues to advocate for dance as co-founder of two creative learning sites - the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance, a resource center for dance educators, and ColectivXs, an interdisciplinary artist collective - initiatives designed to hold space for continued investigation centering collaborative community expression in diaspora.

Having studied as a scholarship recipient at the Boston Ballet School, and more extensively in the New Mexico/Texas borderland region and Madrid, Spain, Ms. Avelar has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet, Cor Ignis Contemporary Dance, Sol y Arena Spanish Dance, American Bolero Dance Company, and as an independent artist. She holds an MFA in Dance from Rutgers University, and a BA in Dance with honors from New Mexico State University. Fronteriza de El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, México, Ms. Avelar currently resides in New York City, serving as Deputy School Director and teaching faculty for Ballet Hispánico, and for the National Dance Education Organization's Research Committee.

CECILIA L. CÁCERES-NTIAMOAH 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 Programs Manager at Ballet Hispánico.


GABRIELA GRANADOS began training at the age of four in her native Perú, studying a wide range of classical and regional Spanish dances, Flamenco, Classical Ballet, Character dance and Latin American folklore. She attended Universidad de Lima, in Perú, to study Communication Sciences. Ms. Granados performed extensively throughout her youth including productions at Teatro Municipal and Teatro Segura in Lima, Perú. While appearing in classical productions, she performed in full-length ballets such as Carmen, Giselle, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker and Pugni’s Grand Pas de Quatre.

In 1980, she moved to New York where she continued her dance studies and performing career. She traveled to Spain in 1985 and made her debut at the legendary Tablao Flamenco Los Canasteros in Madrid. Ms. Granados also studied in Seville and performed in Madrid’s renowned tablaos flamencos Las Brujas and Zambra, where she had the opportunity to work alongside Spain’s top flamenco professionals. After returning to the U.S., she became a member of the flamenco dance companies of Maria Benítez, Andrea del Conte and Carlota Santana.

In 1996, Ms. Granados founded American Bolero Dance Company (ABDC), with a mission to present other aspects of Spanish music and dance, besides Flamenco. Her company received a Heritage and Preservation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002 and, since 2009, yearly consecutive grants from NYC-DCA and NYSCA through the Queens Council on the Arts. Her work for ABDC encompasses classical and folkloric Spanish dances, 18th Century Bolero, Zarzuela and Flamenco. In 2002, Ms. Granados established her company-affiliated Spanish Dance School, dedicated exclusively to the preservation of all these dance styles.

As artistic director, dancer and choreographer of ABDC, Ms. Granados has successfully presented her productions in New York City, the Mid-Atlantic States and Europe. She created and produced “Olé! Olé!” in 1998 at Intar Theater, “Olé! Olé! Fin de Siglo” in 1999 at The Kaye Playhouse, “Spanish Gems” in 2005 at Flushing Town Hall, “Tablao Flamenco” from 2008 to 2015, which ran in Astoria-NYC for eight seasons. In 2014 she presented her “Retrospectiva” at Tony Bennett Concert Hall at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts; and in 2016, 2017 and 2019, she produced “FlamencoLIC” at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City, NY.

Her choreographic credits include the creation of Spanish dances for Ballet Municipal de Lima in Perú, Cuadro Flamenco for New York’s Pancho Villa, La Traviata for Virginia Opera and Mannes Opera, Carmen for Orlando Opera, La Vida Breve for DiCapo Opera Theatre, Goyescas and La Vida Breve for Bronx Symphony, and the original version of El Amor Brujo for Wesleyan University’s Ensemble of the Americas, where she performed with flamenco singer Esperanza Fernández.

She appeared as a guest soloist with various companies and music ensembles, such as Orchestra of St. Luke’s -in Carnegie Hall, Queens Symphony, Baltimore Opera, and in 2007, Ms. Granados toured with The Sherman Ensemble and the Saratoga String Players, dancing her newly created work Fandango by Luigi Boccherini; and in 2008, she performed at the Metropolitan Opera gala honoring Plácido Domingo.

Ms. Granados has been on the faculty of the Neubert Ballet Institute for over a decade, an artist in residence at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center, a freelance teacher at Fazil’s Times Circle Studios, and a guest teacher and lecturer for the Dance Department of New York University and Barnard College, plus Alvin Ailey and Joffrey Ballet. She currently teaches at Ballet Hispanico and American Bolero’s Spanish Dance School. She’s been featured on Oxygen TV Network and was selected by It’s Queens The Magazine in the “Top 15 Movers & Shakers 2011”, a list of the borough’s behind the scene entrepreneurs, artists and leaders. In 2017, she received a Certificate of Merit from the New York State Assembly in recognition of her achievements. The New York Times called her production Olé! Olé! “Exuberant and stylish”, and her solo work “stunning…a tour de force”. www.ambolero.com

RODNEY HAMILTON began his training in his native St. Louis at several schools including Carr Lane V.P.A., the Center of Contemporary Arts, and Alexandra School of Ballet. He also studied with Ms. Katherine Dunham and joined the chorus at the MUNY where he performed for seven years. After arriving in New York City, he graduated with a BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School and joined Ballet Hispánico where he was a principal dancer and assistant 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, Ramón Oller, Sergio Trujillo, Trinette Singleton, Agnes DeMille, Talley Beatty, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Vicente Nebrada, 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 during its workshop process. In 2012, Mr. Hamilton became the Resident Choreographer for the Saint Petersburg City Theater in Florida where he choreographed Hello Dolly, Footloose, and Memphis. In 2019, Mr. Hamilton became the Associate Choreographer for a new version of the musical Evita that will premiere at New York’s City Center, Encores! series this fall. Mr. Hamilton holds an MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has taught ballet, modern, and Dunham technique all over the world. Mr. Hamilton is happy to be returning home to Ballet Hispánico as a faculty member at the School of Dance and to take on the role of BHdos Rehearsal Director.

BLANCA HUERTAS AGNEW began her training in Puerto Rico under the tutelage of her mother, Blanca E. Cortés. She later joined Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico as an Apprentice (Taller) and further became a member of the corps of ballet. Later on, she joined Ballets de San Juan where she earned the title of Principal Soloist under the direction of Ana García. During her career, she had the opportunity to perform an array of classical and contemporary repertoire. She was chosen to dance lead roles such as Lise in Fille Mal Gardée, Swanilda in Coppélia, Myrtha in Giselle, and Polyhymnia in Balanchine’s Apollo. As corps de ballet member at Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, she was able to learn classics such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Romeo & Juliet from ballet masters such as Alexander Beriozoff and José Parés. She also had guest appearances with Ballet Municipal de San Juan under her father’s direction, Victor Huertas. Her professional career allowed her to perform not only in her native Puerto Rico, but in United States, Central America, South America, and Europe. As an educator, Blanca is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 & Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is experienced in Classical French, Russian, Italian, and Cuban schools of dance. Her students have been accepted to International Programs such as the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Summer Programs as well as national programs such as American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, The Cuban Classical Summer Intensive at The School of Ballet Hispánico, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Ellison Summer Intensive in NY. Blanca was the founder and Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet Arts in Chalfont, PA. She is currently part of the faculty of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet and is part of the Dance Chance and Let’s Dance Community Engagement Programs of Pennsylvania Ballet. Blanca also has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University with a concentration in Risk Management & Insurance with a second concentration in Real Estate. Blanca is certified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique Junior thru Advanced level. In 2017, she received the Howard Gilman Fellowship Award at Jacksonville University, where she completed her MFA in Choreography in 2019. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition. Blanca has been commissioned to choreograph for Drexel University in Spring 2020.

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 US 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.

DEANNA MARTINEZ holds an MA (summa cum laude) and New York State Initial Certification in Teaching Dance, All Grades (Pre-K–12) from NYU Steinhardt’s Dance Education Program. She previously received a BA (summa cum laude) in Dance and Africana & Puerto Rican/Latinx Studies from Hunter College, as a Macaulay Honors Scholar, after graduating from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Deanna is a recipient of the New York State Dance Education Association (NYSDEA) Graduate Student Award, a published author in Dance Education in Practice (DEiP), and the current Graduate Student Representative to the Advisory Board of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). She has studied, performed, and taught in New York City, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda, throughout the private, pre-K–12, and higher education sectors. In addition, she has completed education administrative roles at the Joyce Theater Foundation and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Deanna is currently creating the inaugural dance program at Flushing International High School, working with English Language Learners and students who are immigrants to promote the use of dance as a cultural and diplomatic tool of soft power. She is also in the midst of publishing an article based on her research entitled “Redefining American Dance: A Conglomeration of Cultures and Identities”. Deanna is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Ballet Hispánico with the opportunity to share her love of Hip-Hop dance and culture.

NICOLE OHR is a professional tap dancer/choreographer/teacher based in NYC. She's had the opportunity of performing with choreographers such as Felipe Galganni, Jared Grimes, Max Pollak and Tamii Sakurai, and has guest performed with Sean Fielder’s Boston Tap Company. She was the Tap Dance Captain of Undertoe Dance Project and is a current member of Germaine Salsberg’s Les Femmes and Cole Collective (which she is Artistic Director of). As a choreographer, her choreography has been presented in various dance festivals in NYC. Nicole is also the producer of Dance Astoria, a dance festival held annually in Astoria, Queens at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. As a teacher, Nicole teaches all ages and various styles of dance. She is a certified ATDF Certified Tap Teacher (levels 1 and 2) and is currently teaching throughout the tri-state area, including studios and organizations such as the American Tap Dance Foundation,, and Steps On Broadway, on top of being a K-1 teacher at The School at Columbia University. She is in the MA program for Dance Education at Hunter College and recently presented her studies of how to teach Tap Dance through using Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences at NYSDEA. Nicole is extremely excited to join the faculty at Ballet Hispánico!

YANIL A. PABON was born in San Juan, PR. She began her training at the age of three at the Academia de Baile Yolanda Ortiz in Carolina, PR. While in High School she trained at the Paul Taylor School with the Taylor Teen Ensemble. In 2017, Pabon graduated from the Professional Training Program at the Martha Graham School where she danced lead figures in Heretic and Appalachian Spring. At the Graham School, Pabon performed with Graham 2 during their season, under the direction of Virginie Mécène. She furthered her training at the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance’s La Academia program, and was one of the School’s Nuestro Futuro Scholarship recipients. She is now a faculty member of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance and a Teaching Artist for the Community Arts Partnerships Department.

JODE ROMANO was a guest teaching artist & graduate of the High School for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas where she was featured in the Houston Grand Opera's Carmen. She also performed in the Franco Zeffirelli original production of Carmen, starring Placido Domingo and Maria Benitez at the Metropolitan Opera, attended by president Clinton, which was broadcast for PBS's Live From Lincoln Center and toured Japan with the Three Tenors. For over 20 years, Ms. Romano lived, studied, and performed Spanish dance in Spain and Japan, was soloist and choreographer for the José Greco Dance Company at The Joyce Theater, the Town Hall New York City, and toured the US and Spain. She was also a dancer in The Charo Show in Las Vegas with Jerry Lewis, Joel Grey and others, and taught a castanet workout on the Dr. Oz Show. JoDe Romano choreographed the Broadway Workshop production of Rita Hayworth-Hollywood Goddess, numerous Zarzuelas, and the mixed media dramatic presentation, Picasso's Guernica, at The Thalia Theater in New York.
Ms. Romano has taught at Alvin Ailey and NYC public schools. Currently, Ms. Romano conducts Spanish dance and castanet classes at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center and is a graduate of the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) program. She has been a guest teacher at Hunter College and co-developed and taught a DEL workshop at the 92Y. Ms. Romano also taught a master class and workshop at NYU for NYSDEA and at Fall for Dance at NY City Center. She teaches at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispánico, the Joffrey Ballet trainees, and Joffrey summer intensive NYC, along with other locations throughout the NY metropolitan area. Ms. Romano holds a teaching license from the Bureau of Provisionary School Supervision (BPSS) under the NY Department of Education. She has completed a series of instructional DVDs on castanet and flamenco movement techniques and produced and played castanets on her "Spanish Classical Piano and Castanets" CD.

KIEFER RONDINA was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. Prior to moving to the U.S., he trained at Fundacion Centro Flamenco in Manila. In 2019, he graduated with a BA in Dance Education with K-12 Certification at Hunter College (Magna Cum Laude). During his undergraduate, he was honored as a recipient of the Hunter Mellon Arts Fellowship for his dedication to arts management and leadership. In 2017, he interned at Ballet Hispánico and later served as a Community Arts Partnerships Assistant. He also has worked in various dance organizations in NYC as a teaching artist. In 2019, he served as a K-5 dance teacher in Brooklyn. He has studied and performed with various flamenco artists in NYC including Soledad Barrio, Giselle Assi and Sol Koraeus “La Argentinita.” Currently, he continues to mentor the newest cohort of Mellon Fellows at Hunter College and help support minorities historically underrepresented in the arts.

MARISABEL VASCONEZ began her ballet training at Academia de Artes Franceschi in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. She trained in Classical Ballet and competitive dance through Act One Dance Studio in Watauga, Texas with Janet Schenk and Marina Almayeva. Mari studied Dance Sciences and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University and graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Operations Management. She holds a Master's degree from New York University in Dance Education, Teaching Dance in the Professions: American Ballet Theater Pedagogy Track and is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Mari has taught and performed all over the states in events such as Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Convention, American College Dance Festival Association, Los Angeles Salsa Congress, Houston Salsa Congress, Unity Dance Festival, and Aventura Dance Cruise. She is the owner and founder of MotionScoop Dance Academy in Queens, NYC where she teaches recreationally to local dancers. She developed a Curriculum Thesis at NYU that focuses on the addition of LatinX Genre studies in higher education and professional settings and hopes to continue her passion for merging dance education and her cultural roots. Through her work, Mari hopes to provide the legacy of enlightening and opening doors to young Latinas and Latinos who are deeply passionate about both dance and their culture. Ultimately, Mari’s mission is to guide young dancers and train them at the level that she wished her family could have once afforded. Offering this to her community is her life passion and mission.

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).

Ballet Hispánico Staff


EDUARDO VILARO, Artistic Director & CEO

Grace Azmitia, Executive Assistant


Johan Rivera, Associate Artistic Director
Amy Page, Wardrobe Director
Glenn Sims, Company Manager
S. Watson, Production Manager
Caitlin Brown, Lighting Supervisor
Morgan Lemon, Stage Manager

School of Dance

Michelle Manzanales, Director, School of Dance
Kiri Avelar, Deputy School Director
Cecilia L. Cáceres-Ntiamoah, School of Dance Programs Manager​

Rodney Hamilton, Professional Studies Program Director
Rebecca Tsivkin, School of Dance Early Childhood Programs Associate

Victoria Vargas, Program Coordinator

Blythe Drucker, Communications & Engagement Associate
Doreen Miranda, School of Dance Finance Associate

Kiefer Rondina, School of Dance Registrar

Joshua Winzeler, School of Dance Artistic Associate

Georgina Greenleaf, School of Dance Administrative Assistant
Brianna Figueroa, Administrative Assistant

Community Arts Partnerships

Tamia Santana, Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer

Natalia Mesa, Community Engagement Director

Mariana Ranz, CAP Program Manager​

Marisabel Vasconez, CAP Administrative Assistant

External Affairs

Lorraine A. LaHuta, Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Emily Mathis Corona, Assistant Director of Institutional Relations
Ashley Heckstall, Event Manager
Ellie Craven, Manager of Individual Giving

Mary Lintott, Development Assistant
Rolando G. Reyes Mir, Director of Marketing

Julio Carrillo, Digital Marketing Manager

Vincent Creer, Marketing Assistant


Fredrick V. Pandian, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
Nora Perez, Assistant Finance Manager

Mary Burns, Controller


Joshua Preston, Chief Operating Officer
Victor Millan, Facility Manager
Lynn Shipley, Operations Associate
Alexa Racioppi​, Front Desk Receptionist
Jonathan Duvelson, Front Desk Receptionist​
Dustin James, Front Desk Rececptionist

Daniel Chico, Handyman
Eric Gonzalez, Porter


Support for the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation/The Hearst Foundations, and the Miranda Family Fund. Funding for Ballet Hispánico School of Dance scholarships is provided by the New York Community Trust and the Ted Snowdon Foundation. Generous support for School of Dance scholarships is provided by James F. McCoy & Alfio J. Hernandez, The Rogers Family Foundation, Nam Tsou, Gigi Chavez de Arnavat & Gustavo Arnavat, and Maritza & Richard Williamson.

Transformational funding for Ballet Hispánico is provided by MacKenzie Scott, the Ford Foundation America’s Cultural Treasures program, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Major support is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, the Tatiana Piankova Foundation, the Prospect Hill Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Ballet Hispánico programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Encuentros End of Year Recital Virtual Program

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