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Ballet Austin Welcomes New Dancers By Michelle Martin, Associate Artistic Director

When Ballet Austin’s company dancers began rehearsals for our 2008-09 season, there were several new faces (and pairs of legs and feet) gathered at the barre for morning class. In all, six new dancers joined the ranks of our main company including Michael Patterson, formerly with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Edward McPherson, a past student of Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive, and most recently, with Ballet West in Utah. Johnstuart Winchell is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, hired by our Artistic Director, Stephen Mills, at Jacob’s Pillow this summer.

Additionally, we are very proud to promote three former members of Ballet Austin II into the main company.  Chelsea Renner, a Butler Scholarship recipient, came to Ballet Austin as a Trainee in our Professional Division in 2005 and was a member of Ballet Austin II for the 2007-08 season. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Kirby Wallis was a member of Ballet Austin II from 2006-08, and Edward Carr began his tenure with Ballet Austin as a Trainee in 2006, followed by a position with Ballet Austin II during the 2007-08 season.

Seven new dancers have been added to the roster of Ballet Austin II. Returning apprentices, Ryan Lutu and Nicole Stout are joined by Holly Curran (Rock School - Pennsylvania), Ana Harmon (Boston Ballet School),  Felicia McBride (North Carolina Dance Theatre II), Preston Patterson (National Ballet School of Canada) and Ian Bethany (Pacific Northwest Ballet School) as well as Donald Hicks and Brittany Strickland, promoted from our Trainee Program.

For more information about our dancers, click here.

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