BALASOLE DANCE COMPANY'S roster includes artists from renowned companies such Martha Graham Dance Company, Limón Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Parsons Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Les Ballets Trocadero De Monte Carlo, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Tulsa Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, San Francisco Ballet, Romanian National Ballet, as well as graduates from The Juilliard School, New York University, SUNY Purchase, The Boston Conservatory, Columbia University, Harvard University, Duke University, Ailey School/Fordham University, Barnard College, Long Island University, Rutgers University, Hunter College, University at Buffalo, Muhlenberg College, North Carolina University, East Carolina University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Marymount Manhattan College, University of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, George Mason University, California Institute of the Arts, and University of Oklahoma. Many have received undergraduate/graduate degrees in Dance, Education, Neuroscience, Psychology, Exercise Science, Business Management, English Literature, Political Science, and American Studies. Some also performed in Broadway musicals West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Fame and Cabaret, as well as in music productions of pop artists Celine Dion and Nicki Minaj.
KAYLA AFFRUNTI is a recent graduate of Montclair State University where she obtained her BFA in Dance. While at MSU she has had the pleasure to perform works by Maxine Steinman, Christian von Howard, Frederick Earl Mosley, and Kathleen Kelley. Kayla has danced with comedian Hannibal Burress on tour, and with social justice organization Woke Empowerment. Along with concert work, she has been in films Proteo by Kathleen Kelley, Des tic et Des Tocs directed by Jonathan Coutette and creates her own dance films. While currently on staff at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in NYC as a summer teaching assistant, Kayla guest teaches and choreographs at various studios around NY/NJ.
LAURA ASSANTE was born and raised in New York City. She has studied, taught and performed ballet, Lindy, Charleston, and social dance throughout NYC and the U.S. Laura trained at American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet School, and graduated with a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College. After graduation, Laura formed and directed Kindling Arts Troupe, a company comprised of freelance artists and people of wide ranging professions and backgrounds, devoted to performing and creating joyful, original and collaborative work for senior centers throughout NYC. Laura has performed for Covenant Ballet Theatre’s Nisei Project Hawaiian Island Tour, Neville Dance Theatre, Hope Dance NYC, DanceSport, Fleur Seule with the Wounded Warrior Project on the Intrepid, Kilowatt Dance Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow and Vanaver Caravan on the Hudson. Laura is a returning BalaSole soloist.
NICOLE COREA (Guest Soloist) is originally from Palmyra, NY. She received her early dance training from Sandy Stramonine and Lynne Kareken, and her BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School. Her dance company credits include Ballet Hispanico of NY, Elisa Monte Dance, Ballet Memphis, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Her choreography credits include Thang Dao Contemporary Dance Festival, Latin Choreographers Festival, MMAC and Greenspace Brooklyn, and Ballet Memphis main company and junior company. Most recently she has collaborated on a work for the students at MindLeaps in Rwanda for the Ubumuntu Arts Festival. As a teaching artist and repetiteur she has taught master classes for all affiliated companies and has also staged the work of Elisa Monte and Lar Lubovitch. Nicole has served as the ballet mistress for Damagedance and rehearsal director for Steps Repertory Ensemble. She is a teaching ambassador for Rwandan street children with the non-profit organization Mind Leaps and an annual guest teaching artist for the Jikei Group of Colleges in Japan. Her other company credits include Nilas Martins Dance, Pier Group, Thomas/Ortiz, Roger C. Jeffrey Subtle Changes, Mark Stuart Dance, Morales Dance as well as numerous independent choreographers throughout NYC and the East Coast.
DONTERREO CULP began his training at I-Live Center of the Arts in Saint Mary’s, Georgia. He is currently enrolled at East Carolina University where he trains in ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Donterreo will graduate from ECU next May with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Donterreo has completed summer training at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where he studied dance science and dance technique. He has worked with and performed works by choreographers David Ingram, Danielle Sheather, Tommi Galaska, Teal Darkenwald, John Dixon, Joe Cotler and Richard Smith.
NOËLLE DAVÉ began her training in Sumter, South Carolina under Jennifer Reimer. She is a recent graduate of East Carolina University where she received her degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. During her time at ECU, she worked with choreographers David Ingram, Danielle Sheather, Michel Kouakou, Tommi Galaska, Teal Darkenwald, John Dixon, Micah Geyer, and Joe Cotler. She also performed in repertory pieces including Standing in Tears from Koresh Dance Company. Noëlle has performed professionally at the Williamsburg Art Nexus in Brooklyn, New York. She has choreographed numerous works, and one was selected to perform at the regional American College Dance Association. Noëlle is currently a member of Atlanta Dance Collective in Atlanta, GA.
AURORA HASTINGS hails from Buffalo, NY, and is a current Junior in the Honors College at the University at Buffalo. She is working towards obtaining her BFA degree in Dance. She has been a soloist and featured dancer in the department’s company, Zodiaque Dance Company and was selected to represent the school at the American College Dance Association’s Northeastern Conference. She has had the opportunity to be part of dance films as well. Aurora also trained at Entity Contemporary Dance Summer Intensive in Los Angeles, California and GoldeArts for Aerial Silks Dance. Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, and Modern all contribute to her unique Contemporary style of movement. Additionally, she teaches for LIV Travel Dance Team and American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY.
MISAKI HAYAMA was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from Saitama Prefectures High School of Arts and attended Japan University for dance. She trained in modern dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, Japanese traditional dance, tap and singing. She won many dance competitions of modern dance, as well as first place in a hip hop dance competition in the Philippines. At 18 years old she worked as an ensemble dancer in the Lion King and A Chorus Line at Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka in Japan for four years. Also, she worked as a show dancer in Tokyo. Thereafter, Misaki moved to New York and started training at the Alvin Ailey School as a scholarship student. She has performed at the Apollo Theater, and has worked with George William Faison in a gospel festival as a guest dancer at Prudential Center.
MIKAEL JAWORSKI recently graduated from Manhattanville College with a B.A. in Music Technology, and a Minor in Dance. He has been dancing since he was 14 years old. At the age of 16, he was accepted into the Orange School of the Performing Arts, where he was invited to join the junior company and compete in Hip-Hop across the Eastern Seaboard. Some of the teachers Mr. Jaworski has worked with included Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer, Matt Steffanina, and Voltaire Wade-Greene. Upon graduating high school, Mikael began to study with Earl Mosley from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. With Mr. Mosley, he became part of the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, as well as the Ailey School, where he studied hip hop, modern, contemporary, and ballet techniques.
BENJI MARTIN JR. is originally from Charlotte, NC. He began his dance training at the age of 15, taking classes in modern, hip hop, and ballet at Center Stage School of Performing Arts and at Garner High School. He continued his training at East Carolina University, receiving his BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. Benji has studied under, performed, and assisted in works choreographed by John Dixon, Tommi Galaska, Teal Darkenwald, David Ingram, and Patricia Weeks. He has danced in works invited to perform in Chapel Hill, New York, Chicago, and Maryland. His professional credits include The Lost Colony outdoor drama.
ASHLEY ROSSI began her dance training at Center Stage Dance Studio in Buffalo, NY. She attended NYSSSA School of Modern Dance in 2012 and 2013 under the direction of Carolyn Adams. Ashley graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University at Buffalo this past May. Ashley has worked with many choreographers such as Robert Battle, Thomas Ralabate, Former Rockette Jill Wollins, and Carolyn Adams. Ashley is currently teaching and choreographing at Center Stage Dance Studio.
LAUREN SETTEMBRINO began her dance training in central New Jersey under the direction of George Warren, Mickey Defranco, and Benjamin Briones. Her additional training includes summers at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and in Quebec City with Victor Quijada and RUBBERBANDance Group. Lauren holds a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated cum laude and was named a University Honors Scholar. She has performed works by Stefanie Batten Bland, Ori Flomin, Elizabeth Coker, and Giada Ferrone, and is a company member with Neville Dance Theatre. Lauren has also performed in Crystal Pite’s Polaris at New York City Center and at BAM as a featured emerging artist with BalaSole Dance Company in 2017. She is returning to BalaSole this summer as a soloist.
ALEX BAR, from Northern Virginia, was a dance major at The University Of Akron this past year. During his time in Akron, he performed works by Nick Carlisle, Jennifer Lehaney, Kara Stewart and Neos Dance theatre at E.J. Thomas Hall and Paul A. Daum Theatre. Alex also performed in the musical production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paul A. Daum Theatre. He has received training from professional dance companies such as Koresh, Groundworks, Neos Dance Theatre and Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, as well as in summer dance intensives with NYCDA, Earl Mosley, Christopher K. Morgan, Tricia Miranda, and Step On Broadway's Summer Study program. This summer his choreography was selected by Fredrick Earl Mosley to set on peers for a performance at Joan and Donald Schaeffer where the money goes towards scholarships for dance training. He also performed works by Jesse Obremski at Bryant Park and by Rachel Kreiling at the Joyce theater. In addition to dance, he also trained in vocals with a wide variety of music repertoire within the Broadway, classical, and cabaret styles.
ALYSSA BAR, from Northern Virginia, currently attends George Mason University where she studies education, dance and special education. While going to school she trains at multiple places in Virginia, Maryland and DC in various dance styles. This past year she performed at Sidney Harman Hall, The Sprenger Theatre, The Lang Theatre, ABC7 news, and the Thanksgiving Redskins Halftime show with a professional dance company in DC called Capital Movement. This summer her choreography got selected twice by Fredrick Earl Mosley to be set on peers and performed at Joan and Donald Schaeffer Theater where the money goes toward scholarships for dance training.
CHANTELLE BROOMES began her training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance School. She graduated and went on to train at the Dance Theater of Harlem. Simultaneously training at Uptown Dance Academy where she was granted the opportunity to perform the Nutcracker at the Apollo, performing alongside Misty Copeland. She then migrated to Los Angeles where she extended her dance training at the California Institute of the Arts. It is at this school she was awarded the opportunity to train in Barcelona. Afterwards, she moved to Paris for a different perspective on classical ballet. Here she attended the Paris Marais Dance School, and the LAAC ran by former stars of the Paris Opera Clairemarie Osta and Nicolas Le Riche. She trained privately with Marie-Agnes Gillot, former star of the Paris Opera and at Stanlowa with Lorena Lopez of the Ballet de Marseilles.
LIZA MARIE LEVY graduated Cum Laude from DeSales University in May, 2018 with a B.A. in Dance. While at DeSales University, she worked with choreographers such as Sean Sullivan, Colby Damon, Julia Mayo, and Trinette Singleton. She also performed a reconstruction of José Limón’s Concerto Grosso. In summer 2017, she studied at the Gus Giordano College/Pro Intensive in Chicago. Most recently, she performed in a new choreographic work by Julia Mayo at Tisch Dance Alumni Choreographic Workshop in New York City.
Harriet Ado*, Emily Aiken, Amanda Allyne, Lauren Alpert, Katherine Alvarado, Musashi Alvarez, Nika Antuanette, Laura Assante, Nadine Azoulay, Claire Babilonia*, Hailey Bates*, Davonna Batt, Tovah-Marie Bembridge*, Loganne Bond, Paulina Bracone, Sara Braun, Caroline Brethenoux, Jonathan Breton, Steven E. Brown, Will Brown, Briana Butler, Kristine Butler, Nicole Calabrese*, Vanessa Calderon, Aliyah Caldwell*,Chloe Cappo, Ashley Carter, Caitlyn Casson, Angelica Cassimiro, Jessica Cipriano, Janina Clark, Lea Clay*, Anastasia Coates, Megan Cubides, Durell Comedy, Trashina Conner, Courtney Cook, Emily Craver, Bridget Cronin, Anna Cuffari*, Misei Daimaru, Ann Dale, Teal Darkenwald, Fredrick Davis**, Kianí del Valle, Rockshana Desances, Laurie Déziel, Anthony Diep*, Jasmine Domfort, Kara Edwards, Jenny Efremova, Sarah Ewing, Nuria Martin Fandos, Odman Felix, Stephanie Flackman, Liz Fleche, Marie-Christine Giordano, Gierre Godley, Ezra Goh*, Alvaro Gonzalez, Shannon Grant, Aaron Gregory, Seth Grier, MeganAnna Griffin, Rebecca Gual, Julia Halpin, Carly Harper, DaJuan Harris, Kyla Healey*, Marion Helfenstein, Martha Hernandez, Laurel Higa*, Kennedy Hill, Christa Hines, Monica Hogan, Erica Holloway, Hunter Frederick Houde, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Yuki Ishiguro, Sunday Jackson, Alexandra Jacob, Marie Janicek, Emily Jeffries, Kudzaishe Jeti, Steven Jeudy, Alexandria Johnson, Alexis Julian, Nami Kaigaishi**, Elliott Keller, Kate Kenyon, Allison Kimmel, Melanie Kimmel*, Alan Khoutakoun, Katie Kilbourn, Alison Krauss, Nikole LaChioma, Roberto Lara, Elijah Laurant, Shawn Lawrence*, Ren Xin Lee, Vira Lee*, Haley Lindquist*, Courtney Liu, Devon Lodge, Joey Lorraine, Geneva Manley, Brigitte Madera, Bridgitte Manga*, Jacqueline Maitner*, Vanessa Martínez de Baños, Anna Massey, Brittany McNair, Raven McRae, Kali McSweeney, Morgana Mellett, Betheny Merola, Peter Mills, Gina Montalto*, Maxine Montilus, Cailin Murtha, Laura Neese*, Andrew Nemr, Lauren Nettles, Daisuke Omiya, Miki Orihara**, Emily Pacilio, Matt Pardo, Delphina Parentiv, Leslie Parker, Sandra Passirani, Gabriella Perez*, Ashley Peters*, Francesco Pireddu, Juan Michael Porter II, Lauren Putty, Christen Quattlebaum, Jacob Regan, Nicole Restani, Ricardo Mateo Rique-Sanchez, Carolina Rivera, Nicole Roberts*, Jennifer Roit, Sarah Roncone, Allyson Ross, Kendra Ross, Michael Ryan, Cesar Salinas, Andrea Samonilova, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Camille Schmoeker, Richard Scandola, Lauren Settembrino*, Danielle Sheather, Erin Shimberg, Mayu Shirai*, Saeed Siamak, Ellen Sickenberger, Michelle Siegel, Yvanhova Silva, Tracy Singer, Jessica Smith, Maya Smith, Sasha Smith*, Jesse Springer, Megan Starnes, Angelica Stiskin, Hayley Swinburne, Ellena Takos, Anne-Marie Talmadge, Ashley Taylor, Karina Teran, Zoe Thomas*, William Tomaskovic, Milagros Torchetti, Xavier Townsend, Ursula Verduzco, Roberto Villanueva, Oshini Wanigasekera, Malik Warlick, Charly Wenzel, Leslie Williams, Katie Winder, Daphne Yang, Richard Yé, Mark Brett Young, Nathan Young, Samsam Yung, Tiffany Zondorak*.
*Participated in BalaSole Dance Company's Emerging & Re-Emerging Artist Program
** Guest Soloists
Copyright © 2019 BalaSole Dance Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Photos by Eric Bandiero.