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Ballet Austin Welcomes New Dancers

Somehow the beginning of each season always seems like the first day of school, and no matter how many times I go through this, it surprises me how a return to the familiar can also feel so new. While much of the work that we do each year includes restaging of repertoire favorites, these too take on a new tone and I think this is primarily due to the changes that happen within the roster of dancers each season.

This year we welcome four new company members to Ballet Austin. Ballet Austin II graduate Ian Bethany has been promoted into the company and will be joined by Joseph Hernandez, Oren Porterfield and David Ligon. David comes to us from Nevada Ballet Theatre and Joseph, a former Ballet Austin Academy student, was most recently a member of the New York City Ballet. Oren was also a student in our Academy, graduating through our Trainee Program and Ballet Austin II and eventually dancing professionally with Ohio Ballet and the Dayton Ballet before returning to her home in Texas. Our main company roster now includes 20 dancers with 12 of those having come through our own Academy, Trainee or Ballet Austin II programs.

We have also added new dancers to Ballet Austin II. Joining our second company for 2009-10 are Gidget Redmon (Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre), Kelsey Davis (University of Arizona), Emily McLaughlin (University of Utah), Calvin Thomas Jr. (Cincinnati Ballet), Dylan Duke (Baltimore School for the Arts) and Michael Villella (Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet). Returning to Ballet Austin II for a second year are Preston Patterson and Brittany Strickland, and promoted from Ballet Austin’s Trainee Program into Ballet Austin II, Emily Cloyd, Gwen Kelley and Elise Pekarek.


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