Our Alumni

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre has produced many dancers who are now performing in professional companies across the country. Likewise, many of our alumni are continuing to dance while they attend college. Here are some of our most recent alumni:

Alessandra Ball

BallAlessandra graduated from GBT in 2001. That summer, Alessandra won the Bronze Medal the Grishko Prize for Charm and Elegance at the Premio Roma competition in Rome, Italy. To begin her professional career, Alessandra joined Colorado Ballet and then the North Carolina Dance Theatre, now the Charlotte Ballet. In 2005 she was a recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award. Her career at NCDT led to her become soloist and then one of their Principal Dancers in the 2007-2008 Season. In the summer of 2008, Alessandra left the USA to dance with the Victor Ullarte Ballet in Madrid, Spain for a season. She has performed with this company in Cairo, Egypt and in Italy, where she danced the lead role in the ballet “Coppelia.” After a short retirement, Alex has returned to Charlotte Ballet for the 2014-15 Season.

Nancy Casciano

After leaving GBT at the age of 14, having studied with GBT from a very young age, Nancy was accepted on scholarship to the School of American Ballet and trained there Nancy Cascianofor the next 5 years. There she performed in the annual Workshop performance for 3 years and was a part of many choreographic showcases. After graduating from SAB she was offered a position in the Professional Division with PNB where she performed in “Jewels” with the company. She was then offered an apprenticeship with the company and has been working with the corps in “The Nutcracker” and “Don Quixote.”

Jessica Collado

ColladoJessica graduated from GBT in 2003. She is now a First Soloist with Houston Ballet. She became a member of Houston Ballet II and a student at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy where upon graduation in the Spring of 2004, she won the Michael Wasmund Memorial Award. Ms. Collado joined Houston Ballet as an apprentice in July 2004 and was promoted to a corps de ballet member in July 2005 and to a demi soloist in March, 2009. Ms. Collado has been featured in numerous roles by Kiri Kylian, Stanton Welch, Christopher Bruce, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Hans van Manen, Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon, Ben Stevenson, and Sir Kenneth MacMillian. In 2009, Ms Collado was declared one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch.”

Robert Dekkers

Dekkers Robert graduated from GBT in 2002. Named a “25 To Watch” artist for 2011 by Dance Magazine, Robert began his professional career at Ballet Arizona where he performed in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Marius Petipa, August Bournonville, and Ib Anderson. After moving to San Francisco to work with ODC/Dance, Dekkers joined Conpamy C Contemporary Ballet. He began choreographing in 2001. His first work was awarded the Monticello Award for Emerging Choreography, allowing him to attend RDA’s Craft of Choreography Conference on full scholarship. Since then, he has created dozens of new works, including “Toccare” in 2006 which was performed at the Ballet Builders Showcase in New York City and “Suite No. 2,” presented at the World Ballet Competition in Orlando; and “Believe,” 2003, which was performed at the Tanzsommer Festival in Vienna, Austria. In 2008, Dekkers was named Resident Choreographer of Novaballet, Arizona’s contemporary ballet company, where he created works including “AnOther,” 2008, “Milieu,” 2009, and “No One Does It Like You,” 2009. In 2009, Dekkers founded Post:Ballet in San Francisco with the vision to create multidisciplinary collaborations that use dance as a means, not an end, to artistic expression. Roberts works closely with diverse artists to develop works that are presented through various mediums including film, photography, and live performance. He has created several new works for Post:Ballet including “The Happiness of Pursuit,” “Colouring,” “Ours,” “I need to be Touched,” “Me No You,” “Flutter,” and “B-Sides.” Robert also holds a business degree from Rio Salado College. See Robert’s new company and follow them on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/l/b78f6gacXMiw1zYKAR1CBq925mw/www.postballet.org)

Maggie Ellington

Maggie 2

Maggie graduated from GBT in 2012 and currently attends Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA on a Conservatory scholarship and she is enrolled in the Honors Program pursuing a BFA in Ballet. She dances in the Conservatory of Performing Arts Dance Company.  In 2012 she performed in the Erie Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker, and during 2013-2014 she performed in Nicholas Petrov’s “Romeo and Juliet” winter performances at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Theater in Pittsburgh. During her freshman year she became a Youth America Grand Prix New York City Finalist and placed 7th overall for “Contagion,” an ensemble choreographed by Garfield Lemonius.  Maggie attended summer programs following high school with Alonso King’s LINES Ballet, San Francisco, CA (performing choreography by Lee-Wei Chao and Robert Sher-Machherndl, 2012 and Julia Steifel, 2013) and Ballet West, Salt Lake City, UT (studying under Adam Sklute, Rene Daveluy, Francois Perron 2014). After graduation, she plans to audition and dance with a professional ballet company.

Garet Erwin

ErwinGaret graduated from GBT in 2008. She attended the Milwaukee Ballet’s summer intensive on scholarship and was invited to remain as a part of the company’s trainee program. Garet performed with Milwaukee Ballet as one of Carrabosse’s three attendants in “Sleeping Beauty” and  performed in the corp de ballet in their “Nutcracker” in Snow and several other character roles.

Virginia GreenVirginia Green

Virginia Green graduated from Gwinnett Ballet Theatre in 2012 and is in her third year as a Dance Performance and Choreography major at the University of South Carolina. She is taking advantage of every opportunity the program has to offer and is involved in a myriad of school activities. Virginia has been lucky enough to perform in a main stage performance each of her semesters so far at the University of South Carolina. She has performed Alwin Nikolai’s “Tensile Involvement,” faculty choreographed pieces by Thaddeus Davis and Kiyomi Mercadante, as well as George Balanchine’s “Stars and Stripes” and “Walpurgisnacht.” She has also performed in multiple student-choreographed works. In addition, when she performed “Stars and Stripes” it was alongside New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns at the annual Stars of New York Gala. In the fall of 2013, Virginia choreographed a piece on fellow students for the Student Choreography Showcase. Along with her busy dance schedule, she has maintained a 3.9 or higher grade point average each semester. During the summers after freshman and sophomore year Virginia worked as a counselor for USC’s Summer Dance Conservatory mentoring and chaperoning young dancers for three weeks. Virginia plans to pursue a professional career in dance after graduating and looks forward to what the future has to offer.

 

Kendall Greene

Kendall 1

Kendall graduated from Brookwood High School with honors in 2013. She was awarded a summer intensive scholarship at Nashville Ballet for the summer after graduation. After a great summer experience she moved to Nashville, Tennessee that fall to train with Nashville Ballet’s Professional Training Division. While in Nashville she danced five days a week and worked at the studio on the weekends.  After completing a year in the training division and getting invited to stay another year, she accepted a job as a character performer for Disney World. She moved to Orlando and worked full time while going to school part time online. After a semester in Florida, Kendall decided to come back to her home state and pursue her degree fulltime. She is now working towards a degree in Nutrition at Georgia Southern University. Kendall is involved in the swing dance class on campus and intends to continue her dancing through other avenues in and around Statesboro.

 

Jennifer Hite

Jennifer 1

2012 GBT graduate Jennifer Hite is in her third year on scholarship, as a Dance Pedagogy major at Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts in Indianapolis, Indiana.  As a member of Butler Ballet Company she has performed in the Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, as well as the yearly Senior Choreography, Midwinter Festival and Student Choreography productions.  In 2014 she performed with a select touring group for 25 days throughout Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.  Jennifer is the Butler Community Art School’s Dance Division Coordinator; an active member of Butler’s dance fraternity Sigma Rho Delta; President of the student campus ministry, Converge; Archivist for sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta; a member of Best Buddies club and is a National Society of Collegiate Scholar member.  This summer she will be attending Princeton Ballet’s summer intensive on a full RA scholarship.  Jennifer plans a career as a professional ballerina and is excited to see what her future holds.

Whitney Sue Jones

JonesWhitney Sue Jones is now our GBT School Administrator. She graduated from GBT in 2006 and continued to dance with the company for another year. During the 2007-8 season, Whitney Sue danced with the North Carolina Dance Theatre as an apprentice. In the summer of 2008, she decided to continue training and dancing with NCDT in their Professional Certificate Program while finishing her college degree with UNC Charlotte.Whitney Sue will earn a” Professional Training Certificate in Dance” while she performs each semester with NCDT and/or the UNC Charlotte Dance Department. She most recently performed in the UNC Charlotte Fall Dance Concert dancing “The Waiting Room” from the Sal Aiello Trust restaged by Mia Cunningham of NCDT. See more at pbase.com

Margaret Hannah

Margaret graduated from GBT in 2001. She has performed both corp and soloist roles with Ballet Theatre of Maryland. She danced the lead role in the ballet “Cinderella.”

Pablina LopezPablina

Pablina Lopez is a native of Atlanta and a proud Alumna of the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. She has had the honor of performing with the Kennesaw State University Dance Company for four consecutive seasons in venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and Rialto Center for the Arts. Apart from GBT she has danced and trained in programs with the Atlanta Ballet and El Ballet Municipal de Santiago in Chile. She is currently in the process of receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Science in Communications from Kennesaw State University in Spring of 2015.

Emily Oppelet

OppeletEmily graduated from GBT in 2006. She became an apprentice at Ballet Theatre of Maryland where she had the opportunity to perform demi-soloist roles, such as a Winter Fairy in “Cinderella” and Arabian in “Nutcracker.” Shealso continued her education through the University of Cincinnati where she worked on her BFA in Ballet and qualifications to apply for a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. She was a member of Dayton Ballet II where she performed corps roles with the company.

 

Bianca MelidorBianca 2

Bianca Melidor graduated from GBT in 2014. She attends Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where she receives intense dance training from amazing teachers. She has had the opportunity to participate in some choreography projects for performances and many of those projects are with the Point Park Impulse hip hop team.

Sabrina Sandoval

SandovalSabrina graduated from GBT in 2008. She attended Atlanta Ballet as a student, and she is enrolled as a full time student at Georgia State University. As a member of Atlanta Ballet’s pre-pro division, she was given opportunities to dance with the corp de ballet in Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.

Lauren Ring

RingLauren Ring graduated from GBT in 2008 and  attended Point Park University as a dance major. In the Conservatory of Performing Arts program, Lauren pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in ballet. She received a Community Service Scholarship, an Academic Scholarship, and the highest Dance Scholarship the conservatory offers.

Colleen Saul

SaulColleen graduated from GBT in 2008. She was accepted as a jazz major into the conservatory at Point Park University. She received scholarships based on talent, academics and leadership. She loves it in Pittsburgh and finds the level of dance very challenging. She plans to start coursework to minor in musical theatre her sophomore year.