Allendale, NJ, USA
Originally from Allendale, New Jersey, Kira began her training at Kozlov Dance Academy. She trained at Irene Folkine School of Dance, Petrov Ballet, and Manhattan Youth Ballet. In 2008 she participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded a scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. Most recently, Kira was with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio as a second company dancer. Her favourite roles to dance include Bluebird from Sleeping Beauty, Rubies by George Balanchine, and Edward Liang’s Art of War.
Santa Fe, NM USA
Eli Barnes’ ballet training began in his hometown of Santa Fe at the age of 15. He trained with both Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle as well as Cincinnati Ballet. Some of the roles that Eli has danced in his previous six seasons with Alberta Ballet are Roman in All of Us, Tweedledee in Alice in Wonderland, and the Pink Couple in Forgotten Land. Favourite productions include George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Christopher Anderson’s Cinderella, and Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land.
Houston, TX USA
Brittany Broussard is originally from Houston, TX and recently graduated from Alberta Ballet School. She performed with Alberta Ballet in several performances in the 16/17 season, including Draculaand Our Canada. Brittany was also selected to represent Canada in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Florence, Italy this past summer. She previously trained with Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, FL and Vitacca Dance Project with Phillip Broomhead. Additionally, Brittany has been fortunate to train in summer programs with San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet.
Oakland, MD USA
John Canfield grew up in rural Virginia and received his early training at local studios. He then moved on to train with The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and The Richmond Ballet School before coming to Canada where he attended the National Ballet School in Toronto. In 2015, John was recognized with Canada Council's Peter Dwyer Award for the Arts. Some of his favourite repertoire includes Aszure Barton's Happy Little Things (Waiting on a Gruff Cloud of Wanting) Jiří Kylián's Lieder Eines FahrendenGesellen, and The Nutcracker.
Zhenghong (Jason) Cao was born in Beijing, China. He began ballet training at the Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy at the age of 10 and performed internationally with the Academy. He attended both Canada’s National Ballet School and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. Prior to this first season with Alberta Ballet, Jason danced with Washington Ballet Studio Company, dancing principal roles such as Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppelia, and Waltz Couple in Serenade.
Montreal, QC Canada
Born and raised in Montreal, Gabrielle Chenard is a graduate of l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec. Additionally, she has attended several intensives, including Canada’s National Ballet School and Art of Forsythe workshop in Berlin, Germany. Gabrielle also danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ professional corps de ballet in their annual production of The Nutcracker.
Calgary, AB Canada
Born and raised in Calgary, Tanya Chumak trained at Alberta Ballet School where she completed her Advanced 2 Cecchetti Exam and was selected to compete in the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. Tanya then went on to dance professionally with New York Theatre Ballet in New York City for two years. After her time in New York, Tanya returned to Calgary and is very happy to be dancing with Alberta Ballet in her hometown. Some of Tanya’s most memorable performances with Alberta Ballet include Giselle, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Balletlujah!
Zacharie originates from the eastern coast of Australia and received his early training from schools in his local hometown of Taree, NSW. He was accepted to train with the Australian Ballet School and National College of Dance before moving to Brisbane to accept a scholarship with Queensland Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program. Zacharie later joined the Queensland Ballet as an extra Company Dancer before being promoted into Queensland Ballet’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Program. Some of Zacharie’s career highlights include Lead Matador in Christian Tatchev’s Don Quixote, Soloist in Amy Hollingsworth’s Til Enda, Liam Scarlett’s A Mid Summers Night’s Dream, and Derek Deane’s Strictly Gershwin.
Huntington Beach, CA USA
Melissa Eguchi began training at the age of three at California’s Huntington Academy of Dance under the direction of Marnell Himes-Ushijima and has also been privately coached by artist Jayne Persch. After completing Cecchetti exams, Primary through Grade 10 with honours, Melissa furthered her training at the School of Alberta Ballet. She has received numerous scholarships to institutions such as Marin Dance Theatre, the Elmhurst School of Dance and the School of Alberta Ballet. She is a two-time finalist for the Youth American Grand Prix and the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition and winner of the CICB Audience Choice Award 2014.
Calgary, AB Canada
Alexandra Gibson was born in Toronto and moved to Calgary as a young child. She trained exclusively at Alberta Ballet School. This will be Alexandra’s tenth season with the company. She has performed the role of Myrtha in Giselle, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Klara in The Nutcracker, the Lover in Balletlujah!, and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.
Calgary, AB Canada
Jennifer Gibson was born in Toronto and moved to Calgary with her family at a young age. She received twelve years of training at Alberta Ballet School and is now in her tenth year with the company. She has enjoyed performing a wide variety of roles during her decade with Alberta Ballet, most notably as Cinderella in last season’s world premiere of Cinderella, as well as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Klara in The Nutcracker.
Edmonton, AB Canada
Garrett Groat was born and raised in Edmonton, AB where he trained at Dance Unlimited in various styles. At age 17, Garrett was awarded a scholarship to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in New York City. Some of his favourite roles with Alberta Ballet include Puss in Boots in The Sleeping Beauty, The Elton Fan in Love Lies Bleeding, White Couple in Forgotten Lands, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Escamillo in Yukichi Hattori's Carmen, and as a cast member in Dump the Physical Memory.
Hayna Gutierrez is in her ninth season with Alberta Ballet. She was born in Havana, Cuba, and trained at National Ballet School. Hayna was a principal dancer with the Ballet National de Cuba and has been a guest principal dancer in multiples countries around the world. In 2013, she won the Miami Life Award for Best Hispanic Female Dancer. Her favourite roles include the title role in Giselleand Kitri in Don Quixoteand Carmen. Hayna has also performed as She in Balletlujah!, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, a lead in Balanchine’s Serenade, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and as Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly.
Akron, OH, USA
Scotto Hamed-Ramos was born in Akron, Ohio. He began his ballet training at Nan Klinger's Excellence in Dance Studio at the age of four, and continued training with Houston Ballet Academy. He joined the Houston Ballet second company (HBII) in 2018. Scotto received The Royal Ballet Achievement Award for two-consecutive years with The Royal Ballet School, Covent Garden. His most memorable roles to date include dancing in the American Civil War-themed work by John Nuemier titled Yondering, Stanton Welch’s Brigade, and dancing Paul Taylor’s Bugle Boy.
Seira Iwamoto is from Fukuoka, Japan. Seira received her training at Fukuoka City Kawazoe Ballet Academy, Alberta Ballet School, and The Dutch National Ballet Academy. In 2013/2014 she performed with the Dutch National Ballet in Sir Peter Wright’s Sleeping Beauty, as well as in the live stream project in Assemblée Internationale. During her training she has had the privilege to work with Hans Van Manen, Sorella Englund, Jacquelin Barrett, and Kirk Peterson. Some of her favourite repertoires includes Swan Lake, Dracula, and Happy Little Things (Waiting on a Gruff Cloud of Wanting).
Mariko Kondo was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and has danced professionally with Leipzig Ballet in Germany and Opera Atelier in Toronto before joining Alberta Ballet. Mariko’s repertoire includes several soloist roles including Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Desdemona in Othello, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly, and Giselle in Giselle.
Lang (Alan) Ma is from China and began his formal training at the LiaoNing Ballet of China Academy. He continued training in Vancouver, BC at the Goh Ballet Academy before joining the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, DC. Alan has won numerous awards, including a Gold Medal in the 2014 World Ballet Competition, 2015 Youth America Grand Prix Third Place Senior Division NYC, 2014 Youth America Grand Prix Finalist, 2012 China Tao Li Bei Competition First Place, and First Place in the 2010 Osaka International Youngsters Ballet Competition. Alan was with the Columbia Classical Ballet Company in Washington, DC, before accepting a contract with Alberta Ballet.
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Kelley grew up in Edmonton, training with Dance Alberta and The Banff Centre. He would subsequently perform with DanceArts Vancouver, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, and The Banff Centre’s Festival of Dance. In 2008, Kelley performed parts of Kirk Peterson’s Othello at the Benois de la Danse Awards Gala at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. In 2015, he was Guest Principal Artist in David Nixon’s Madame Butterfly with the Northern Ballet in the UK. Some of Kelley’s favourite Alberta Ballet repertoire includes Winter Room, Futureland, Iago in Othello, D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, and Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons.
Eatonville, WA, USA
Reilley grew up just outside of Seattle in Eatonville, WA and trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and Canada’s National Ballet School. In addition to attending summer programs at the School of American Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet School, she is also an alumna of Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. Since joining Alberta Ballet, her favourite pieces to dance include Jean Grand-Maitre’s Winter Room, Wen Wei Wang’s Futureland, as well as dancing the roles of Queen Anne in David Nixon’s The Three Musketeers, and Tourvel in Jean Grand-Maître’s Dangerous Liaisons.
Born in Japan, Sayuri Nakanii started training at age eight at Tanaka Ballet Studio and eventually moved to Canada in 2015 to begin training at Alberta Ballet School. Sayuri was invited to join Alberta Ballet II, which then led to her dancing with Alberta Ballet. Sayuri has danced in Alberta Ballet’s productions of Dracula, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Dangerous Liaisons, Cinderella, and All of Us.
Huntington Beach, CA USA
Taryn Nowels is in her sixth season with Alberta Ballet. She is from Huntington Beach, CA, where she attended Orange County Dance Center from the age of three. Prior to joining Alberta Ballet, Taryn was part of the Professional Trainee Division at Ballet West under full scholarship, and was an apprentice with Oregon Ballet Theatre. In addition, Taryn has had the opportunity to perform in Germany and South Korea. Some of Taryn’s favourite performances with Alberta Ballet include Ben Stevenson’s Dracula and Jean Grand-Maître’s All of Us, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and one of the leading roles in Balletlujah!.
Hikaru Osakabe was born and raised in Saitama, Japan. He began his training at Hiroko Ugajin Ballet studio and attended Royal Winnipeg Ballet School for three years. As a student, Hikaru performed in several Royal Winnipeg Ballet productions, including Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, and The Nutcracker. In 2016-2017, Hikaru joined Alberta Ballet II before performing with Alberta Ballet in 2018. His most notable performances include Dracula, The Nutcracker, and Alice in Wonderland.
Leesburg, VA, USA
Allison Perhach began her training in her hometown of Leesburg, Virginia. She went on to attend Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. While at IU, Allison had the privilege of working with Ms. Violette Verdy and performed corps and principal roles by a variety of choreographers. Following graduation, Allison joined BalletMet’s second company under Edwaard Liang. She danced in various works with BalletMet including Liang originals, the Peasant Pas De Quatre in Giselle, and in Balanchine’s Serenade and Rubies.
Kentville, NS, Canada
A native of Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada, Liam Reid trained early in his career throughout western and eastern Canada before joining Canada's National Ballet School from 2013-2015. After graduation, he joined the Aspirant program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School as a student in the Aspirant program. His favourite roles to dance are the Russian Dancer from The Nutcracker, Carabousse Attendant from Sleeping Beauty, and core member ofCarmina Burana. His all-time favourite ballet is La Bayadere. This is Liam’s first season with Alberta Ballet.
Bellevue, WA, USA
Kuu Sakuragi was born in Bellevue, WA and started his training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School where he danced on full scholarship for 10 years. He has also attended numerous summer programs, such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, Canada's National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. In 2016, Kuu received a winner's award from the National Young Arts Foundation and continued his training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School until graduation. His favourite role to dance is Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. He also enjoys dancing in Giselle, and Valse Fantasie by George Balanchine.
Yoshiya Sakurai began training with Niigata Ballet School in his hometown. He subsequently began training at Royal Ballet School, John Cranko Ballet School, and Canada's National Ballet School. In 2008, Yoshiya joined Boston Ballet II, and later Kansas City Ballet in 2010. He has performed several lead and soloist roles including Benno in Swan Lake, Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Porthos in The Three Musketeers. With Alberta Ballet, he has performed White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, Frederick in Dracula, and Prince in Cinderella.
Luna Sasaki began her dance training at local studios in Japan. At the age of 16, she received full scholarship to the professional program of Houston Ballet Academy. She continued her training at Boston Ballet as a trainee before joining Alberta Ballet. Some of her favourite roles include Juliet in Romeo & Juliet and Alice in Alice in Wonderland.She has also performed as Klara and the Sugar Plum Fairy in Edmund Stripe’s The Nutcracker, Svetlana in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, “She” in Jean Grand-Maître’s Balletlujah!, Red Couple in Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land and Suzuki in Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly.
WILLIAM SHERIFF JR.
Dallas, TX, USA
William Sheriff Jr. is from Dallas, Texas where he began his formal ballet training at the age of 14. After applying to college, William attended Texas Christian University’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance before moving to Seattle, Washington. William recently graduated from the Pacific Northwest Balletʼs Professional Division, and completed several summer training programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. His favourite ballet is Emeralds by George Balanchine, and his favourite roles include George Balanchine’s Diamonds, Stanton Welch’s Waltz of the Flowers, and Splendid Gershwin.
Lewisberry, PA, USA
Originally from Lewisberry, PA, Heather Thomas began dancing with Pennsylvania Regional Ballet before moving to Toronto and graduating from Canada's National Ballet School. She has trained and worked with the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, Cincinnati Ballet, and BalletMet Columbus. Some of her favourite performances with Alberta Ballet include Ben Stevenson's Dracula and Christopher Anderson's Cinderella.
LAURA VANDE ZANDE
Calgary, AB, Canada
A native Calgarian, Laura trained at various local studios including Alberta Ballet School. In 2010, she completed her RAD examinations as a recipient of the RAD Solo Seal Award. She has attended many summer intensives and most recently furthered her professional training at The Banff Centre and Arts Umbrella this past summer. Her most memorable performances with Alberta Ballet have been Swan Lake, Forgotten Land, Happy Little Things (Waiting On a Gruff Cloud Of Wanting), and Futureland.