Company Dancers

Company Dancers

2019 Spring Season

Samantha Bell

Samantha Bell, from Orange County, California, trained with the Anaheim Ballet on full scholarship and joined their company in 2008. She won third place at Youth American Grand Prix and went on to the New York City finals. From 2010-2015, Samantha danced with the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara (SSB) where she performed soloist roles including the Autumn Fairy in Rodney Gustafson’s Cinderella and Bianca in Robert Sund’s Taming of the Shrew. She originated the lead role of Mrs. Medlock in Josie Walsh’s premiere of The Secret Garden. Samantha’s piece, titled Pistolero, became the first-ever dancer choreographed creation to be added to the company repertoire. She toured extensively with SSB, including a two month tour of China. Samantha has danced in television, film, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards. Samantha has performed with Menlowe Ballet, Western Ballet and most recently spent the summer dancing with ARC Dance in Seattle. While with ARC, Bell performed the lead in Paul Destrooper’s new ballet. This is her second season with Oakland Ballet Company.

Kevyn Butler

Born in Oakland, California, Kevyn trained and graduated from Oakland School for the Arts with an emphasis in Dance. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona, Kevyn joined Ronald K. Brown Evidence, a Dance Company in Brooklyn, New York. Kevyn has also performed at the 2015 Jose Limon Dance Festival, the Tucson Regional Ballet and worked with choreographers such as Reginald Ray-Savage (Savage Jazz Dance Company), Robert Garland (Dance Theater of Harlem),  Daniel Agami (Ate 9 Dance Company), Guy Shomroni and Yaniv Abraham (Batsheva Dance Company). This is Kevyn‘s first season with Oakland Ballet Company.


Vincent Chavez

Vincent Chavez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His dance education has been generously funded and nurtured through full tuition scholarships from the following dance institutions: Dance Theater Southwest, Ballet Hispanico, Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. His professional experience includes New Mexico Ballet Company (2003-2007), Nevada Ballet Theatre (2007-2011), Robert Moses’ Kin (2012-Current) and Oakland Ballet Company (2013-current). Since Vincent joined OBC he has danced in works by Robert Moses, Molissa Fenley, Val Caniparoli, Janice Garrett/Charles Moulton and Graham Lustig. In addition to company life, Vincent works independently as a Bay Area Dance Artist, teaching, choreographing, collaborating with various projects and performing as a guest artist.

Lawrence Chen

Lawrence Chen began his ballet training at the age of thirteen. He spent most of his time under the care of Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky of V&T Dance Academy in Irvine, CA where he studied ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop. He has participated in the YAGP for several years, placing in the Top 12 Pas de Deux in 2014. In 2016 he was accepted into Pomona College and now participates in the ballet and ballroom programs while studying Mathematics and Chemistry. His past repertoire includes: Basilio in “Don Quixote”, Benno and Siegfried in “Swan Lake”, The Slave in “Le Corsaire”, Mazurka in “Coppelia”, various roles from “The Nutcracker”, Faruch in “Seven Beauties”, Fire from “Ancestors”, The Prince and The Lobster in “The Little Mermaid”, and The Guy in “Comedy Ballet”.

Landes Dixon

Landes Dixon is from Jacksonville, Florida and pre-professionally studied at LaVilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and Jordan College of the Arts. Landes graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance and is certified in Laban Notation. Landes attended The Martha Graham Summer and Winter Intensives, Bates Dance Festival, and Atlanta Ballet Summer Intensive. Post university, Landes has performed and collaborated with various repertory companies such as The Bruce Wood Dance Project, Steps Repertory Ensemble, Heidi Latsky Dance, Trainor Dance, Saltmarsh Dance, and BalletNext. Beyond concert repertory, Landes has performed for multiple Mary Kay Cosmetic International Conventions and commercials for Palmers Lotion. This is Landes’s second season working with Oakland Ballet Company.

Christopher Dunn

Christopher Dunn has danced as a principal dancer with Reno Dance Company (RDC) productions in Reno, NV since 2002 – dancing classical and contemporary works. He also danced professionally on the Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line, and various productions throughout Nevada and California. He has taught jazz, tap, ballet and hip-hop at numerous schools, including the University of Nevada, Reno. In the Bay Area, Christopher has danced with Napoles Ballet and Peninsula Ballet and joined Dance Theatre of San Francisco in 2013 as a founding member. This is Christopher’s second season dancing with Oakland Ballet.


Karina Eimon

Karina Eimon began her studies at four years old with Ayako Takahashi at Ayako School of Ballet in Belmont, California. During her time in school, Karina placed in the Top 3rd of YAGP SF for five consecutive years, and spent her summers at Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and Kaatsbaan Ballet. When she was 17, she competed in the Jackson International Ballet Competition (2014) and received a contract with Ballet Memphis. Since then she has danced with Milwaukee Ballet and Colorado Ballet, and has also traveled through Europe to study Forsythe choreography and improvisation technique. She is thrilled to be back dancing in her hometown.

Garth Grimball

Garth Grimball received his MFA in choreography and performance from Mills College where he performed original and repertory works by Merce Cunningham, Mel Wong, Molissa Fenley, Katie Faulkner, Sheldon Smith, Sonya Delwaide. He was an ODC Pilot Program Resident in 2016 and 2017 and is currently an Artist in Residence at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. He danced professionally with Dana Lawton Dances, Asheville Ballet, and Oakland Ballet.

Ramona Kelley

Ramona Kelley is from Berkeley, CA where she began her training at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She went on to earn a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she performed in works by William Forsyth and Ronald K Brown. Ramona danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in the touring production of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away and went on to dance with the Tharp company creating new roles in addition to performing repertory works. She has danced leading roles with Oakland Ballet since 2013 and was honored with Dance Europe’s ‘Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer’ for her work in Mr. Lustig’s 2017 production of Consort. Ramona has also performed with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Claudia Schreier and Co, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Post:Ballet, Sidra Bell, and Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. She has taught master classes in Tharp technique across the country and is on the summer ballet faculty at NYU’s Tisch Dance.

Sharon Kung

Sharon Kung was born in New York, and currently resides in the bay area. She received her early training at the Jean M Wong School of Ballet in Hong Kong, and continued in the bay area before graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Economics. Her repertory includes works by George Balanchine, Lucas Crandall, William Forsythe, Bob Fosse, Yayoi Kambara, José Limon, Graham Lustig, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, Robert Moses, Donald McKayle, and Amy Seiwert. Her experience includes Thodos Dance Chicago, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, KAMBARA + DANCERS and freelance projects in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Morocco, and San Francisco. This is Sharon’s seventh season with Oakland Ballet Company.

Terra Liu

Terra Liu is from Longmont, Colorado where she trained with Centennial State Ballet. She has spent summers dancing on scholarship with The Joffrey Ballet School, Milwaukee Ballet, Bodytraffic, and ODC in San Francisco. She attended University of Colorado Boulder for a year before joining State Street Ballet as a trainee. She was promoted to an apprentice the next year where she toured nationally with the company and danced original works by Gina Patterson, Autumn Eckman, William Soleau and Kassandra Taylor Newberry. Along with State Street Ballet, Terra has danced professionally with Owen/Cox Dance Group and Kambara + Dancers. She is very excited to be joining Oakland Ballet for her first season.


Adonis Martin

Adonis Damian Martin was born in Contramaestre, a province of Santiago de Cuba. He holds a degree from Jose Maria Heredia Dance Academy of Santiago de Cuba in Modern & Contemporary Dance. Adonis joined Danza Teatro del Caribe in 2008 under the Direction of Eduardo Rivero Walker and became a soloist in 2010. In Santiago de Cuba, he also performed with Locomotion, an audiovisual and interactive dance company. In the Bay Area since 2013, he has danced for Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theater (an aerial arts dance company), Dance Brigade, KAMBARA+DANCERS, SoulSkin, Tandy Beal & Company, Alayo Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Raisa Simpson, and Dance Theater of San Francisco (DTSF). He was nominated for an IZZIE (Isadora Duncan Dance Award), for Outstanding Achievement in Performance-Ensemble in Defection-Deflection-Devotion, featured in Dance Brigade’s 40th anniversary concert at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He also performed as a seasonal dancer with the company ODC in the season 2018-2019.

Constanza Murphy

Constanza Murphy trained at The North Star Ballet in Fairbanks, Alaska before attending the University of Utah. She has danced with several classical and contemporary companies throughout the country, including Ballet San Antonio, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, and Bay Pointe Ballet. Her career has been highlighted by roles such as Tinkerbell, Lucy, and Swanhilda, as well as opportunities to dance in works created by Amy Seiwert and Renaud Doucet. She last danced with Oakland Ballet Company in 2013 and is very happy to return for her second season.


Nina Pearlman

Nina Pearlman was born in Los Angeles, California where she began her dance training at Los Angeles Ballet Academy, under the direction of Andrea Paris. In 2009, Nina relocated to the Bay Area to attend the Alonzo King Lines Ballet BFA program at Dominican University, and graduated in 2013 with a BFA in dance. Throughout her career, she has performed with Dawson Wallace Dance Project (Denver, Colorado), Soulskin Dance, Milissa Payne Project, Marika Brussels, and most recently as a corp de ballet member with Bay Pointe Ballet. Apart from dancing, Nina is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® teacher and has a regular practice in both San Francisco and Marin County. This is Nina’s second season with Oakland Ballet, and she is thrilled to be returning for 2018-2019.


Brandon Perez

Brandon Perez, born and raised in San Mateo, California, started his dance training at Tiffany’s Dance Academy in South San Francisco – learning many different styles of dance under Jessi Rodriguez, Claire Calalo Berry, and Hannah Varga, and tap and musicality with Loree Kenagy. As his focused shifted more towards ballet, he began training at The Academy of Ballet in San Francisco working with Zory Karah, Richard Gibson, and Connolly Strombeck. Brandon is an advocate for bullying prevention and depression awareness and shares his story freely in the hope that he can help others through any trouble and heartbreak they may be experiencing. This is Brandon’s first season with Oakland Ballet.


Jazmine Quezada

Jazmine Quezada is from Ventura County, California where she began her ballet training at age 11 with Ventura County Ballet and was the first to receive the Ron Noblin Full Scholarship Award with Ventura County Ballet. Jazmine attended American Ballet Theater’s New York summer intensive in 2011 and was accepted to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT that same year. She then attended the Joffrey Chicago International summer dance intensive on full scholarship and in 2016 she moved to San Francisco to continue her training on scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School. Jazmine has performed San Francisco Ballet productions such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and the 2018 Gala, and danced the lead role of Grace in Helgi Tomasson’s Meisten Mozart. This is Jazmine’s first season with Oakland Ballet Company.

Ashley Thopiah

Ashley Thopiah has a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler university. She began her dance training at the Christine Rich Studio Dance Academy. She has performed at Dance Chicago and has trained during the summer at State Street Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Ashley has performed corps, soloist, and principle roles in ballets including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Ashley has choreographed pieces for Butler’s dance department, including Jyoti and Ekta. Her choreography modern and Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance to express two distinct but intertwined aspects of her identity. Both styles use motion and gestures to express various features of human emotion and illuminate two cultures coming together. During the summer of 2018, Ekta was performed in the National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland and then were carried across Prague, Krakow, Poznan, and Bratislava.