Born in Delhi, India, Sanchit Babbar began his dance training in 2009 with Anthony Noa and Tino Sanchez at The Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts, New Delhi under the direction of Ashley Lobo. After being inspired by the choreographic genius Alvin Ailey, Sanchit attended the The Ailey School, the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), on full scholarship under the direction of Tracy Inman. Sanchit has performed in Alvin Ailey’s signature work Revelations alongside the AAADT. Sanchit danced lead role in the ballet “1914” by Darshan Singh Bhuller, where he was remarked as “Spectacular” by Judith Jamison (Artistic Director Emerita of the AAADT). As a member of The Ailey Students Performance Group under the direction of Freddie Moore, Sanchit has also performed works of Alvin Ailey, Matthew Rushing, Hope Boykin, Ray Mercer, Jamar Roberts. Sanchit has also danced principal roles of Cavalier and Snow King as a guest artist with Western Colorado Dance Theater and American Liberty Ballet. Recently, Sanchit was featured as a guest artist for Ballett Vorpommern (Germany) in the ballet called Soul Of Ballet choreographed by Robert Glumbek and Sabra Johnson under the direction of Ralf Dornen. Sanchit is the recipient of the The Yass Family Scholarship, The Ada Brandon Scholarship, The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation Scholarship, and The Bob Fosse-Gwen Verdon Scholarship. Sanchit is thankful for his parents and teachers for their great support and trust. After his return to the USA, Sanchit is very excited to join Oakland Ballet for the 2017-2018 season.
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. Bell’s piece titled, Pistolero became the first-ever dancer choreographed creation to be added to the company repertoire. She toured extensively with SSB, traveling both internationally and nationally, including a two month tour of China. Samantha has danced in commercials, films, as well as the MTV Video Music Awards. Since moving to the Bay, Bell has performed with Menlowe Ballet, Western Ballet, as well as guesting in numerous places. She is thrilled to join Oakland Ballet.
Alysia Chang was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in the Bay Area. She trained at the Contra Costa Ballet School under Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong while spending summers at San Francisco Ballet School, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Alonzo King’s Lines Summer Training program. She moved to New York to train at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College performing works by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine and Helen Pickett. Alysia graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Arts Management. Alysia has since danced with Sacramento Ballet performing works by Yannis Adoniou, Lila York, George Balanchine, Melissa Barak, and Ron Cunningham. She has also performed with Sacramento Music Circus, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York and toured through China with Ziru Dance. Locally she has danced with Concept O4, Sarah Bush Dance Company and DawsonDanceSF. Alysia is excited to be appearing in her fourth season with Oakland Ballet.
Ava Chatterson from Flint, Michigan, began her training at the Flint School of Performing Arts. She is a graduate of Indiana University, with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an Outside Field in Legal Studies. She also trained in the Graduate Program at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and appeared in many performances with the company. Since 2010, Ava has been a company dancer with the Sacramento Ballet. While there, she has performed leading roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Ron Cunningham, Ma Cong, Trey McIntyre, Edwaard Liang and Darrell Moultrie. Ava has also appeared with Texture Contemporary Ballet and Capital Dance Project. This is Ava’s second season with Oakland Ballet.
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. He joined Dance Theatre of San Francisco in 2013 as a founding member. This is Christopher’s first season dancing with Oakland Ballet.
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.
A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Tori Jahn received her training at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton Ballet School and was a trainee and apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux. She has danced with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Lustig Dance Theatre, Oakland Ballet, and ARC Dance where she has performed featured works by Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, Edwaard Liang, Alex Ketley, Gerard Theoret, and Marie Chong. Tori is thrilled to be back at Oakland Ballet this season.
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 Forsythe and Ronald K Brown. Ramona danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in the touring production of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away. She is a current member of Twyla Tharp Dance based in NYC. Ramona has also performed with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Sidra Bell, and the Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. She is thrilled to be in the Bay Area dancing with Oakland Ballet for her fourth season.
Emily Kerr is a Bay Area native and received her training at Pacific Ballet Academy and Boston Ballet School. In addition to Oakland Ballet, she has also appeared with Lustig Dance Theatre, Chamber Dance Project, Ballet Neo, Menlowe Ballet, Milissa Payne Project, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Los Angeles Ballet, and BalletMet Columbus. Emily has had the pleasure of performing works by Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, Amy Seiwert, Val Caniparoli, Betsy Erickson, Dennis Nahat, Robert Moses, Robert Dekkers, Janice Garrett & Charles Moulton, Ron Guidi, Molissa Fenley, and Jennifer Archibald. This is Emily’s eighth season with Oakland Ballet.
Seyong Kim holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University as well as an MFA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University in South Korea. Mr. Kim is a member of Republic of Korea Marine Corps, American Guild of Musical Artists, and International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy. Also, Mr. Kim is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum and he is studying Certified Movement Analyst program in New York City. He has taught at New York University, Rutgers University, Peridance Capezio Center, Middlesex County College, Libera University in Italy, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, New Rochelle Arts High School, Seoul Arts High School, and Charlottesville Ballet Company. Mr. Kim is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. Mr. Kim has danced with Metropolitan Opera Ballet in Lincoln Center, Albania Opera Ballet Theatre, Korean National Ballet Theater, Arzid Modern Dance, Terra Firma Dance Theatre,Albany Berkshire Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Baltimore Ballet, Lustig Dance Theatre, Traverse City Dance Project, Neglia Ballet, Roxey Contemporary Ballet, and Oakland Ballet Company. In addition, his choreographic works have been performed at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Landes Theater Coburg in Germany, Dance in ITALY Festival, Seoul Fringe Festival, Korea-Japan Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
Theresa Knudson received her primary ballet training with Lois Ellyn, and performed as a principal with Nouveau Chamber Ballet. Her repertoire with Nouveau Chamber Ballet includes Lois Ellyn’s Appalachian Spring, Suzanne and Satie, Shostakovich, Cigale, Enigma Variations, The Nutcracker, as well as works by Joseph Gutierrez, Venti Petrov, and Eric Hines. Theresa has also performed for Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet, Ballet Collective/LA, Contra Costa Ballet, Ballet Bernasconi, and most recently in Marika Brussel’s premiere of From Shadows. She studied at summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Boston Ballet, Jose Límon West, and Ballet Austin, and graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.
Trained in Folklorico Ballet throughout his youth, Edgar Lepe began studying classical ballet in 2008 at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet, where he earned a full scholarship under the direction of ballet masters Richard Gibson and Zory Karah. Edgar has performed in Mexico and the United States with various companies including Presidio Dance Theater, Collage West Ensemble, Compania Mexico Danza, Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Ensambles Ballet Folklorico of San Francisco.
Coral Martin is a Bay Area native who began her classical ballet training at Berkeley City Ballet with Grace Doty. Coral furthered her studies at Contra Costa Ballet School with Zola Dishong and Richard Cammack, at Oakland Ballet School with Ronn Guidi, and at the Ballet Studio San Francisco with Henry Berg. In addition, she attended intensive summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, American Ballet Theater, the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, among others. Since graduating Cum Laude from Harvard University with Highest Honors in Social Anthropology and Visual Art, Coral has enjoyed furthering her maturation as a dancer through freelancing opportunities and fellowships in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, New York City, and Paris. In addition to performing, Coral is also passionate about teaching dance to artists of all ages. This is Coral’s third season with Oakland Ballet.
Jackie McConnell, from Salem, Oregon, trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, based in New York City and toured with the Portland-based company, Bodyvox. In the Bay Area, she has danced with Company C Contemporary Ballet, Post: Ballet, Garrett and Moulton Productions, Menlowe Ballet and the San Francisco Opera. She currently dances with Diablo Ballet as well as Oakland Ballet.
An Atlanta native, Thom Panto started dancing at age 11 and began his training with the New Mexico Ballet Company under the direction of Patricia Dickinson. After attending and graduating from the School of American Ballet, he moved to Los Angeles and received a degree in Business: Merchandise Marketing from University of California, Los Angeles with a minor in fashion design from the Fashion Institute. While in Los Angeles, he trained and studied with Marat Daukayev of the Kiro Ballet. Thom joined the Atlanta Ballet in 2007. After eight seasons performing principal and featured roles he joined the Kansas City Ballet as principal for two seasons. His repertoire includes principal roles in John McFall’s Jupiter, Tealia, Firebird, and THREE, The Nutcracker, Christopher Hampson’s Sinfonietta Giocosa, Helen Pickett’s Petal & Camino Real, Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes, Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade, Principal Man in Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, Paris in Ballet De Monte Carlo’s Romeo et Juliette, American Ballet Theatre’s Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas, Principal Man in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and The Royal Ballet Wayne McGregor’s Eden/Eden.
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. She is very thrilled to be joining Oakland Ballet for the 2017 Nutcracker production, and excited to see what the future holds.
Katherine Stewart received her formal training at Professional Ballet School in Belmont, California. There she studied ballet with Carmela Zegarelli Peter and Zoltan Peter, as well as contemporary with Tanya Bello. In college she performed as a guest artist for Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and worked with independent choreographers in the Santa Barbara area. Since returning to the Bay Area, she has had the opportunity to perform with Menlowe Ballet and Oakland Ballet. She is very excited and honored to be back for her third Nutcracker with Oakland Ballet.