AD&M Performance Group Dancers
Juliana Bertelsen, Dancer
Juliana Bertelsen, a Santa Barbara native, has danced professionally with the Hartford Ballet, Ballet Iowa, Rhode Island Festival Ballet, The Universal Ballet, and was a principle ballet dancer in the American National Ballet of Duluth (Minnesota). She danced as a guest artist with Ballet Santa Barbara‘s first two seasons. Juliana also enjoys choreographing, and has choreographed and produced dance concerts collaborating with other artists. Juliana enjoys many styles of dance, and also is a licensed and certified sports and therapeutic massage therapist.
Colleen Bialas is originally from Muskegon, MI where she trained with Julie Powell and Jefferson Baum. She graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and continued dancing in Virginia with the Richmond Ballet as a trainee for two years. Locally she has performed with SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre and State Street Ballet in such productions as The Nutcracker, the China tour of Beauty and the Beast, and Giselle. Outside of dance, she enjoys theatre where she has performed with Muskegon Civic Theatre and The Cherry County Playhouse. At the time, she was also majoring in Biology at Santa Barbara City College.
Melody Collins, Dancer
Melody Collins, a native of Santa Barbara, received her early training from Gustafson Dance and Goleta School of Ballet. She continued her dance training at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Graduate Program during the 2010-2011 school year. Her summer intensives include two summers at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet Choreographic Intensive, and Sacramento Ballet on full scholarship from Regional Dance America. She has danced in professional performances with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, State Street Ballet, and Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo. Melody loves teaching dance and Pilates, and is excited to join AD&M for the 2015 season!
Eduardo Cueto, Dancer
Eduardo Cueto began his dance training in 1986 with choreographer and teacher Rikki Lugo from Jazz Etc. There he trained in jazz, modern, tap, spanish, and classical ballet. He continued his studies with Lois Ellyn in Fullerton and then David Wilcox of the Long Beach Ballet, later called the Los Angeles Classical Ballet. From 1988 to 1994 he worked for the Los Angeles Classical Ballet and danced principal roles in Petruschka, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, David Allan’s On Occasion and Etc!, Marie D’Angelo’s The Unicorn, and Aymara by Helen Coop. He also danced with the Los Angeles Ensemble Ballet, Los Angeles City Ballet, California Ballet, Francisco Martinez Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet Pacifica in Irvine. In 1995, he danced for John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet, training with Kevin Hagen and Irena Jacobson and dancing roles in John Neumeier’s Requiem, Vivaldi: Or What You Will, Odyssey, St. Mathew’s Passion, and Mats Ek’s modern version of Sleeping Beauty. In 1998, Eduardo guested with Alonzo King’s Lines Contemporary Ballet at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. In addition to BSB, he is also a member of Santa Barbara Dance Theatre.
David Eck, Dancer
David Eck, a native of Santa Barbara, began studying ballet at 10 years of age. He attended summer dance programs at San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Dance Aspen and Ecole Superieure de Danse de Cannes with Rosella Hightower. Mr. Eck joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company in 2001 as a member of the Corps and performed in Giselle, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Vesak’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, Mark Godden’s Miroirs, the Canadian Premiere of Mauricio Wainrot’s Carmina Burana and was featured in Sleeping Beauty as “Puss in Boots”. He performed the lead in Macbeth with North Carolina Dance Theatre. In 2005, David joined State Street Ballet and performed in Rodney Gustafson’s Bolero, Cinderella, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bill Soleau’s Carmen and was featured in a new work called Nous Sommes. David joined Ballet Santa Barbara in Fall, 2007.
David Fonnegra, Guest Artist
David Fonnegra was born in Venezuela and was a principal dancer for the Ballet de Caracas directed by the legendary choreographer, Vincente Nebrada. After seeing him perform on tour, Mr. Fonnegra was invited by Edward Villella to join the Miami City Ballet. During his tenure, he appeared in principal roles in ballets such as Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. Mr. Fonnegra joined State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara for their 2002-03 Season and appeared in principal roles in Taming of the Shrew, Hollywood Nutcracker, and Romeo and Juliet. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2004, Mr. Fonnegra has been featured in The Legend of Taj Mahal, Petrushka, They’ve Lost Their Footing and Who Cares?
Robin Gilbert Campos, Guest Artist
Robin Gilbert Campos began her dance training in Cleveland, Ohio and later graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts. Her career includes the ballet companies Connecticut Ballet Theatre, Dallas Ballet, Dance Theatre of Westchester, and Anglo-American Ballet where she was featured in the roles of “Aurora” in Sleeping Beauty, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She has also danced in musical theatre, industrial shows, opera, commercials, videos, and has worked with Peter Pucci Plus Dancers, and choreographers Ann Reinking, Lila York, Arthur Faria. In 1991, she danced with Carrie Diamond’s New American Ballet Ensemble, and shortly after became a company member of BALAM where she pioneered the role, “Raka Froggy” in Animal Wedding in which she danced in a wooden Balinese mask en pointe! In her non-dance life Robin is married to her wonderful husband Manny, and is a drummer/vocalist in his Rock band, The Generators.
Felicia Guzman, Dancer
Felicia Guzman was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas where she trained at the Vladimir Marek Ballet Academy under Vladimir Marek and Nancy Smith. As a member of the San Antonio Ballet Junior Company, she danced roles in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle. She also appeared in Ballet West’s local productions of The Nutcracker. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT, Felicia relocated to Southern California where she continued her training at Anna Cheselka Dance Center and most recently at Media Dance Centre. As a Soloist with Media City Ballet, Felicia has danced the roles of Icicles and Chinese from The Nutcracker and Carmen in the Carmen Pas de Deux. Felicia has recently danced with Ballet Santa Barbara in Sueños Castellanos in Media City Ballet’s Noche de Sabor.
Nicole Helton, Dancer
Nicole Helton received her early ballet training from Christine Fossemalle in Santa Ynez. While in college, Nicole discovered her love for contemporary and post modern dance. She received her B.F.A. in dance from UC Santa Barbara in 2006. While attending UCSB she had the privilege of working with many renowned artists including Robert Battle, Alonzo King, Doug Elkins, and members of the Lyon Opera Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater among others. As a choreographer, she is currently creating a commissioned work for the Daughter of Zion Dance Company to be performed in Greece in 2007. Nicole is delighted to be a member of Ballet Santa Barbara.
Rachel Hernandez, Dancer
Rachel Hernandez is a native Midwesterner, originally from Elgin, IL. She has enjoyed dance class her entire life but began her professional studies in Salvador, Bahia. She has had the privilege to study with landmark masters such as; Joffre Santos, Mestre King, Rosangela Silvestre, Vera Passos, Matias Santiago as well as at the Escola de Danca, Bale Folclorico da Bahia, and Universidade Federal da Bahia. Being a diverse dancer she is skilled in Afro-Brazilian Diaspora and Modern as well as ballet. Rachel has danced with Grupo Genisis, Bale da Mata, and in the legendary production Saure. She has worked with the Children’s Creative Project in Santa Barbara, introducing Afro-Brazilian dance to many elementary school children. She also performs with Viver Brasil, Fusion Dance Company, and in many local Afro-Brazilian festivals and events. Rachel is honored to be a company member of Ballet Santa Barbara.
Kiara Justine Kinghorn, Dancer
Kiara Justine Kinghorn began her early training all throughout Southern California including California Dance Theater, Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts, Moorpark College, and most extensively at Oakley Ballet Center in her hometown of Camarillo. She performed company roles with The Channel Islands Ballet and later with Footworks Youth Ballet. From there, Kiara was fortunate to train with Ballet Austin Academy in 2003 and with The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City in 2004. She was accepted into the UCSB Dance Department in 2006 and was featured in many student and faculty works. As a senior, Ms. Kinghorn toured six pieces of repertoire to various venues, including New York City and San Francisco with the UCSB Student Dance Company and also choreographed, designed, costumed and directed an evening-long work entitled Through the Wasteland with her co-collaborator Mia Orozco, which received much acclaim. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance in June 2010 with honors distinction and an additional Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. She is also the proud recipient of the 2010 Corwin Award for Choreography, as well as the Undergraduate Creative Research Award.
Aimee Lopez, Dancer
Aimee Lopez is a Santa Barbara native. She was trained locally at the Santa Barbara Ballet Center under the instruction of Michelle Pearson and Denise Rinaldi. She was a soloist with their pre-professional company, the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, for many years. Upon graduating from Dos Pueblos High School in 1999, she was accepted into Pennsylvania Ballet’s Rock School summer intensive. After taking a brief vacation from dance, she rediscovered her love for performing during this holiday season when she returned to the Festival Ballet as a guest artist in their production of The Nutcracker. Most recently, she has began studying with Ms. Rinaldi for the Cechetti method examinations in hopes of not only improving as a dancer, but also to further her understanding of classical ballet and its history.
Rachel Mann, Dancer
Rachel Mann began studying ballet at age four and received the majority of her early training from Celia Dale at the Hayden School of Ballet in Albuquerque, NM. She attended summer programs at Marin Dance Theatre, Ballet West Conservatory, and the Washington School of Ballet before receiving a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah, where she studied with Sharee Lane and Conrad Ludlow. She has performed with Ballet Theatre of New Mexico, Albuquerque Children’s Theater, the Character Dance Ensemble, and Utah Ballet. Her roles include solos in Tchaikovsky Celebration, Paquita, The Fairy Doll, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Alice in Wonderland, and Songs of the Auvergne, as well as ensemble work in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Snow Queen. At the time she performed with Ballet Santa Barbara, she was working on a Ph.D. in English at UC Santa Barbara.
Thomas McDonnell, Dancer
Thomas McDonnell was born and raised in San Francisco. He studied commercial art and played high school basketball for four years, graduating with Honors. He attended San Francisco City College, the Academy of Art College of San Francisco, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Thomas started dancing seriously at the age of nineteen at the San Francisco Ballet School and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. He danced professionally with the Empire State Ballet Company in Buffalo, New York, Ballet Omaha, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Santa Barbara Festival Ballet, State Street Ballet School, the Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, and the Oakland Ballet. He is currently a member of the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. Thomas loves to teach, choreograph, paint, draw, and ride motorcycles. He was married in May, 2005 and is now the proud father of a beautiful baby girl.
Ian Vincent McGinnis, Dancer
Ian Vincent McGinnis began dancing with Dimension Dance Co. in Oakland, California. He studied with the Garth Fagan Dance Co. in New York, then returned home to the West Coast to dance for the Oberlin Dance Collective and the Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company of San Franscisco, as well as Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. In 2000, Ian joined Disney’s The Lion King (Los Angeles) and from 2002 to 2006 performed in The Lion King on Broadway (NYC). Last year he returned to Santa Barbara Dance Theatre and made his debut with Ballet Santa Barbara.
Sam Mitchell, Dancer
Sam Mitchell was pleased to be dancing in Ballet Santa Barbara’s debut performance. In addition to numerous guest appearances with Santa Barbara companies, he has danced with Santa Barbara Dance Theatre for five years, working with choreographers such as Christopher Pilafian, Jerry Pearson, Nancy Colahan, Doug Elkins, Christina McCarthy and Stephanie Gilliland. He has had the good fortune of performing in Bologna Italy, Prague, New York, Washington D.C. and San Fransciso. He looks forward to collaborating with his wife, Judy Bauerlein, making dance theater pieces for the people. He would like to thank his wife for her support, love, and encouragement.
Ellen O’Connell, Dancer
Ellen O’Connell, a Santa Barbara native, began her early training age six in the Royal Ballet School in London, England, where she began her Royal Academy of Dance training and grade exams. Two years later she began dancing at the Santa Barbara Ballet Center, under the guidance of Michele Hulse Pearson and Denise Rinaldi. She continued her RAD exams until Advanced 1, earning marks of distinction and highly commended on several of them. With Santa Barbara Festival Ballet she danced in ten Nutcrackers, with solos including Clara, Candy Cane, and Dew Drop. Her solos in other ballets include Paquita and Cupid in Don Quixote, as well as On the Banks of Helicon by Carrie Diamond. In Summer 2003 she attended Walnut Hill in Boston and participated in their summer intensive program. Ellen was accepted at UC Irvine’s reputable dance program with an emphasis in ballet in Fall 2004. Under UC Irvine’s program she was privileged to dance and perform with such greats as David Allen, Leslie Peck, and Donald McKayle. She transferred to UCSB for Winter 2006 where she was a double major in literature and French.
Jekyns Pelaez, Dancer
Jekyns Pelaez began his studies at Incolballet in his birthplace of Cali, Colombia. He danced with Ballet De Cali, Ballet Arizona, Chautauqua Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and others before joining Diablo Ballet. He has also toured extensively throughout the United States, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba (XIII Festival de Ballet de la Habana), and appeared at the International Children’s Festival. His repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Carmen, Cinderella, Lilac Garden, Rodeo, Giselle, Don Quixote, Carmina Burana, Serenade, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Flames of Paris, Napoli, Le Corsaire, Esplanade, and Hymn for Her. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2003, he has danced roles in The Magic Toy Store, Carmen, Amadeus, La Vivandiere Pas de Quatre et Pas de Six, Lady of the Camellias Pas de Deux, They’ve Lost Their Footing, Walk before Talk and Who Cares? Mr. Pelaez appeared as a non-competing partner at the 2006 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. His website is www.jekyns.com.
Nikki Pfeiffer, Dancer
Nikki Pfeiffer is originally from Santa Barbara, CA and has received awards from the SB Dance Alliance, SB Dance Arts, and the City of Santa Barbara for her accomplishments in dance. In the spring of 2013, she received a BFA in Dance and Choreography at the California Institute of the Arts. Additionally, Nikki has trained abroad on scholarship in Barcelona, Spain with Ingve Groven and Stephane Boko (Summer 2012), and at the Limón West Coast Summer Intensive at CSUF (Summer 2011). Some of her various performance experiences include works by Twyla Tharp (directed by Rika Okamoto), Ohad Naharin (directed by Danielle Agami), Daniel Charon, Glen Eddy, and Colin Connor. Nikki is currently a company member of AD&M and Santa Barbara Dance Theater.
Christina Sanchez, Dancer, Artistic Associate
Christina Sanchez recently relocated to Santa Barbara after sixteen years in New York City. She attended the San Francisco School of the Arts and later decided to continue her dance education in NYC. She received training on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School. She has had the privilege of being a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as well as Ailey II. It was there that she performed the works of such noted choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Ron Brown, Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, Lar Lubovitch, Barry Martin, Earl Mosley, Kevin Wynn, and Shapiro and Smith among others. She has also danced with Ballet Hispanico, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, and most recently with Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.
Sally Schuiling, Dancer
Sally Schuiling Proctor has performed professionally with the Merce Cunningham Understudy Group, Charleston Ballet Theatre in South Carolina, and freelance projects with Mark Morris, Karole Armitage and the NY Improv Festival. Her choreography has been produced at dozens of venues in the US and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and received a BS in Ballet from Indiana University. She moved to Santa Barbara in 2011 with her husband and two kids.
Darion Smith, Dancer
Darion Smith, a native Californian, studied dance at Folkwang University in Essen, Germany and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. He worked as a professional dancer in New York City and has performed with companies including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Buglisi Dance Theatre, New York Theater Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Darion co-founded Janusphere Dance Company in 2007 and serves as its artistic director and resident choreographer.
Robyn Wallace, Dancer
Robyn Wallace has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of California, Irvine, and previously trained in classical ballet with All American Ballet’s Clarissa Boeriu for twelve years, beginning at age five. At UCI she was a member of the prestigious Etude Dance Ensemble directed by Donald McKayle. Robyn spent her summers in leading ballet intensive programs including the Rock School of Ballet in Philadelphia, Boston Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Ballet Austin and Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. She has performed principal roles in full length ballets such as Sanctuary, choreographed by Donald McKayle and Caleb Mitchell, Pas De Deux by Jodie Gates, The Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel and Fairy Doll Ballet by Clarissa Boeriu, as well as solo and ensemble roles in Midnight Dancer and Rainbow Suite by Donald McKayle, Artifact Suite by William Forsythe, Seascape by Molly Lynch, A Spider’s Reverie by Shannon Cycendall, Color Club and Designated Paths by Caleb Mitchell. She had been a substitute teacher for All American Ballet six years before joining the faculty.
Denise Woods, Dancer
Denise Woods, a native of southern California, received her B.A. in Communications and minor in Dance as an honorable mention undergraduate from Cal State University of Long Beach. Extensively studying ballet and various forms of dance for over 15 years, Denise’s training began at California Dance Theatre with Kim Masseli and Stanley Holden, later returning as guest artist in their Pacific Festival Ballet Theatre. She was featured in classical and contemporary work at the Cal State Long Beach Dance Department with Alaine Haubert and Sophie Monat-Gaydos, with the Long Beach Ballet Theatre under mentor and teacher David Wilcox, and as a State Street Ballet scholarship student performing Without Walls by Bill Soleau. Continuing on to New York City last year, she danced in Peter and the Wolf in Avery Fischer Hall, as well as What is Hip? for choreographer Lonne Moretton in Ballet Builders, an annual New York City showcase for ballet choreographers. She is currently on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy and taught jazz for BSB’s 2007 Summer Intensive.
Chelsea Yarnell, Dancer
Chelsea Yarnell is a native of Santa Barbara. At the time of the Wisperfal performance, she was in her third year as a dance major at California Institute of the Arts. She’s spent most of her life dancing in Santa Barbara and enjoys drawing, contemporary choreography and yoga.