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Ballet Austin II

Endowed by Sarah & Ernst Butler though the Ballet Austin Foundation.

Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Ballet Austin II was established in 1999, and serves as Ballet Austin's apprentice program and second company. The 8 apprentices, ranging in age from 18-23, are employed for 34 weeks. They perform with the main company in larger productions and present a minimum of three independent projects per year in residence at Ballet Austin’s AustinVentures StudioTheater. Additional projects have taken Ballet Austin II to Houston, Dallas and Orange County, as well as smaller venues across Central Texas. Choreographers represented in the Ballet Austin II repertoire include Stephen Mills, Jennifer Hart, Thang Dao, Thaddeus Davis, Nick Kepley, Viktor Kabaniaev, and Nelly van Bommel.

Apprentices are contracted with Ballet Austin II for up to two years during which time they receive artistic guidance, career management counseling and job placement assistance. Each spring Ballet Austin brings artistic directors from across the nation to observe and audition Ballet Austin II dancers in class and rehearsal. Ballet Austin II members take company class, augmented by their own classes and rehearsals conducted by Ballet Austin's artistic staff. Apprentices are paid a weekly salary and Ballet Austin provides rehearsal/performance shoes. A network of healthcare providers offers free care to Ballet Austin II members.

Ballet Austin II apprentices are recruited through Ballet Austin's Summer Intensive Program and the year-round Trainee Program. 70% of the main company’s current roster are graduates of Ballet Austin II. Additionally, former Ballet Austin II dancers have joined the ranks of both ballet and modern dance companies, including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Washington Ballet, Nai-Ni Chen, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Met, Kansas City Ballet, Kim Robards Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Wideman/Davis Dance and Thang Dao Dance, and Oklahoma City Ballet. Through a partnership with St. Edward’s University, Ballet Austin II members are eligible to receive 24 college credit hours for their second company experience.

For more information on Ballet Austin II shows click here.


Natasha Carl Towa Shinagawa
Tanya Garcia Oliver Greene-Cramer
Rayleigh Vendt Kevin Murdock-Waters
Nicole Voris Rosie Grady Sayvetz
Casia Wilson

Natasha Carl

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Natasha grew up in Northern California. She studied at Contra Costa Ballet where she was encouraged by her teachers to pursue a ballet career. After an inspiring summer at Ballet Austin's summer intensive program in 2009, she finished high school early to focus her time and energy on ballet and Pilates. In 2010 she moved to Florida to train with Miami City Ballet School's Pre-Professional Division for two years.

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Tanya Garcia

From Andover, Massachusetts, Tanya trained at Dance Theatre of Harlem's Professional Program with a BA in Dance from Point Park University. Notable roles included George Balanchine's Raymonda Variation II and Valse Fantaisie, Marius Petipa's Paquita Variations II & III and Alan Obuzor's On The Other Side of Now. In Harlem (Virginia Johnson, Director) notable roles included Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Fairy Princess Pas de Deux Garden of Paradise and Robert Garland's Waltz in Springtime performed for National Urban League Gala in New York. Previous three year ballet scholarship & graduation from The Rock School (Bojan & Stephanie Spassoff, Directors). Other training included Ballet Workshop of New England (Jacqueline Cronsberg & Carter Alexander,Directors) and summer intensives (three at Ballet Austin), School of American Ballet, Suzanne Farrell, Alonzo King's Lines, Orlando and Pittsburgh Ballet.

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Oliver Greene-Cramer

This is Oliver's first Season with the Ballet Austin II. Originally from Marlboro, Vermont, he received his early training at the Brattleboro School of Dance and Burklyn Ballet Theatre. He recently graduated from SUNY Purchase College cum laude with a BFA in Dance - Ballet Concentration and was given the award for Outstanding Senior in Modern Dance. While at Purchase he danced works by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Nicolo Fonte and premiered works by Ori Flomin and Jonathan Riedel. In 2012 he was honored to join Purchase on a tour to Taipei to perform Dvorak Serenade by Lar Lubovitch. Immediately after graduation Oliver joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company for the creation of two new works as well as performing Men's Stories for the company's 45th Anniversary.

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Kevin Murdock-Waters

Originally from Roseville, California, Kevin started training at Hawkins School of Performing Arts. He then went on to dance at the San Francisco Ballet School where he performed dancing roles with the company in ballets including John Cranko's Onegin, Rudolf Nureyev's Raymonda, Act III, Christopher Wheeldon's new production of Cinderella and Helgi Tomasson's The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. During the student show case Kevin danced as the second movement principal in George Balanchine's Western Symphony.

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Rosie Grady Sayvetz

Originally from Ithaca, New York, Rosie began her training at the Ithaca Ballet under artistic director Cindy Reid. She danced with the Ithaca Ballet Company from 2005 to 2011. Having completed two years of the Ballet Austin trainee program rosie is excited to begin her first season with BAII. Roles with Ballet Austin include: Snow, Spanish, and French corps de ballet in Mills' The Nutcracker, Wilis in Giselle, and soloist in Christopher Swaim's Interpreting Bliss.

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Towa Shinagawa

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Towa started her training with Masako Tamura Ballet. The first year in the U.S. Towa studied at Olympic Ballet Theatre under Helen Wilkins. She was accepted into Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 2007 and was cast as Clara for her first Nutcracker with PNB. In 2011, she was offered a two year position in the Professional Division program by the artistic director Peter Boal. There she performed roles in Cinderella, Coppélia and The Nutcracker with the company. Towa attended summer programs of San Francisco Ballet with a half scholarship, Ballet Nouveau Colorado with full scholarship, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet Austin.

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Rayleigh Vendt

Rayleigh grew up in the Dallas, Texas area and began her pre-professional training at the Ballet Academy of Texas under the direction of Lisa Slagle. She joined Cincinnati Ballet as a Trainee for the 2012-13 season and enjoyed roles such as a Flamingo in Septime Webre's Alice (in Wonderland) and a Mirlipoo in Victoria Morgan's The Nutcracker. Miss Vendt has won many medals at international ballet competitions such as the Youth American Grand Prix and the American Ballet Competition. Rayleigh spent the previous summer attending Ballet Austin's Summer Intensive.

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Nicole Voris

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nicole started her training with Renee Antoinette's School of Dance and New Mexico Ballet Company. In 2007, she was offered a place in the San Francisco Ballet School year round program where she trained for three years on merit scholarship under Lola DeAvila's direction. She had many opportunities to perform with the main company including Helgi Tomasson's The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and toured with the company to China in 2009. For the 2010-2011 season Nicole was a part of the Cincinnati Ballet II program. Over the past two seasons Nicole has had the pleasure of working with choreographers, Nelly van Bommel and Jennifer Hart, on their new pieces. She was featured in Stephen Mill's Luminaria and enjoyed performing in many other ballets.


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Cassia Wilson

Cassia Wilson completed her formal and pre-professional training at the Dallas Ballet Center and Company under the direction of Brent and Judy Klopfenstein. There she held many lead roles including Snow Queen and Medora, danced in works by Jason Fowler and Thom Clower, and received professional training with Kim Able. Cassia is the recipient of the 2009 Natalie Skelton Scholarship by the Dance Council of North Texas, the 2010 Outstanding Student - RDASW, the 2010 Lynn Kubinec Heart of a Dancer Scholarship, and three Guild Merit Scholarships. She was thrilled to attend summer intensives at School of American Ballet, Ballet Magnificat!, and Nashville Ballet, and was offered a full-tuition scholarship to Pacific Northwest Ballet. Before coming to Ballet Austin, Cassia was a member of Nashville Ballet II where she performed roles in Anne Frank, folk ballets, and with the Company in Paul Vasterling's Carmina Burana, The Nutcracker, and Salsa Dreams.


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