Company Dancers

2023 – 2024 Season Dancers

Click on an image to view each dancer’s bio.

AL Abraham Headshot
AL Bio:
AL Abraham (he/him), an artist from the Philippines, started dancing at the age of 10 with the Effie Nañas Dance Center and later joined the Cultural Center of the Philippines dance school. He is a graduate of Philippine High School for the Arts as a ballet major and holds a diploma in Creative Performing Arts from the University of the Philippines. Abraham was the recipient of the Jury award at the Korea International Modern Dance Competition, the 2014 Manolo Rosado Award and the 2016 2nd prize winner at the CCP Ballet Competition, Wifi body 2016 1st prize winner of Micheal Que’s Negatives to Positives, and Yokohama Dance collection finalist. In his professional career he has danced with Ballet Philippines, Alice Reyes Dance, and most recently with Springfield Ballet as a soloist. As a choreographer he has created 1x1x1x5, Kada Paningkamot which was featured at the young choreographers showcase and later became a part of the touring repertory with Alice Reyes Dance, and Tuloy Ang Pasok, a dance film which later became an annual Christmas production of Alice Reyes Dance. He is excited for his first season with the Oakland Ballet.

AL Abraham

Lawrence Chen Headshot
Lawrence Bio:
Lawrence Chen Headshot Lawrence Chen (he/him) grew up in Southern California, studying ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop from the age of thirteen under the care of Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky and their faculty. He went on to compete in the YAGP, placing in the Top 12 Pas De Deux in the New York Finals of 2014 as well as in the Top 3 soloist at regional venues for several years. At Pomona College, Lawrence obtained a BA in chemistry with mathematics, took on collegiate ballroom, and performed as a principal dancer for the Inland Pacific Ballet under the watchful eye of Victoria Koenig. In addition to dancing with the Oakland Ballet Company, Lawrence teaches ballet and tutors high school STEM subjects. At OBC, he has performed the deer dance in Graham Lustig’s Luna Mexicana and in the title role of The Nutcracker as well as featured roles in new works by choreographers Seyong Kim, Shiori Kamijo, Grayson McGuire, Caili Quan, Megan and Shannon Kurashige, and Phil Chan, a co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface. Lawrence received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an individual for his work in OBC’s 22-23 season and is a contributing choreographer to OBC’s Angel Island Project. This is his third full season with the Oakland Ballet.

Lawrence Chen

Karina Eimon Headshot
Karina Bio:
Karina Eimon Headshot Karina Eimon (she/her) is from the Bay Area and trained with Ayako School of Ballet. Under the tutelage of Ayako Takahashi, she placed in the top three of YAGP SF for five consecutive years. In 2014 during her senior year of high school, she was invited to compete in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, where she was offered a trainee contract with Ballet Memphis. From there, she joined Milwaukee Ballet II then danced with Colorado Ballet. Karina joined Oakland Ballet in 2019 and has performed the Princess in Phil Chan’s Ballet des Porcelaines, featured roles in Jangala, Luna Mexicana, and The Nutcracker, as well as works by Benjamin Briones, Seyong Kim, Alyah Baker, Sean Dorsey, and Bobby Briscoe. Passionate about sharing her love of dance and movement, Karina is a ballet teacher and certified GYROTONIC® instructor.

Karina Eimon

Picture & Bio Coming Soon
Florrie Bio:
Florrie Sésé Geller Headshot Florrie Sésé Geller (she/her) began her training with Marcia Dale Weary and faculty at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She continued her education at Next Generation Ballet with Ivonne Lemus and directors Peter Stark and Philip Neal, performing Aurora and Giselle in their full-length productions. At the YAGP semi-finals, she was awarded the gold medal and danced in the Final Round of YAGP at Lincoln Center, placing in the Top 12. She was awarded the Gillian Murphy Scholarship to UNCSA by Susan Jaffe and Gillian Murphy as well as scholarships to the School of American Ballet’s summer term, and San Francisco Ballet School. She continued her professional training with Wilhelm Burmann and Magaly Suarez. At 18, Florrie joined Cincinnati Ballet, dancing Princess Florine in Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty, Jiri Kylian’s Sechs Tanze, and works by Sarah Van Patten, Myles Thatcher, Adam Hougland, Kirk Petersen, Septime Webre, and Victoria Morgan. In 2019, she represented the USA at the Beijing International Ballet and Choreographic Competition. She originated the role of Arsinoe in Heather Malloy’s Cleopatra with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and performed the Black Swan pas de deux with Rochester City Ballet. Florrie has been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine and the podcasts Becoming Ballet, and Dancer Talks. This is her first season with Oakland Ballet.

Florrie Sésé Geller

Alexander Griffith Headshot
Alexander Bio:
Alexander Griffith Headshot Alexander Griffith (he/him) comes to Oakland Ballet from Rochester City Ballet, with over a decade of training from Charlotte Ballet. He also attended Northwest School of the Arts where he received several nominations and honors. Some of his early roles include Fritz and the Nutcracker Prince in Charlotte Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker, as well as Jean Pierre Bonnefoux’s Gopak in Act II. Other favorite pieces from his time in Charlotte include the Blue Bird variation from Sleeping Beauty and Albrect’s variation from Giselle. As a professional, Alexander performed as Quint in Salvatore Aiello’s Turn of the Screw at the Rochester Fringe Festival. With Rochester City Ballet, he danced Cavalier, Russian, Rat King and Dr Stahlbaum in the Nutcracker as well as Francois in Mark Diamond’s Moulon d’Paris, and Jared Allen’s Into the Blue. Now, he is tremendously excited for the opportunity to dance with Oakland Ballet where he hopes to continue his artistic growth and provide a positive contribution to the company.

Alexander Griffith

Logan Martin Headshot
Logan Bio:
Logan Martin Headshot Logan Martin (they/them), is a trans non-binary individual from Silverdale, WA. Logan trained at Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy and has danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet West. In 2017 they stepped away from performing to honor themself and to focus on their mental health. They returned to dance in January 2022, performing as a guest artist with various companies and schools in the Salt Lake City area. Logan joined Oakland Ballet Company with excitement in Fall of 2022 and has performed the Cavalier in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker, the Sorcerer in Phil Chan’s Ballet des Porcelaines, Duet from Exquisite Corpse by Phil Chan, Guardians by Graham Lustig, Boots by Grayson McGuire and Shiori Kamijo, and Club LC by Bobby Briscoe.


Logan Martin

Jazmine Quezada Headshot
Jazmine Bio:
Jazmine Quezada headshot Jazmine Quezada (she/her) 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. Jazmine attended American Ballet Theater’s New York summer intensive in 2011 followed by the Joffrey Chicago International summer dance intensive on full scholarship. In 2016 she moved to San Francisco to continue her training on scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School. There she performed with the San Francisco Ballet in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and in the leading role of Grace in Helgi Tomasson’s Meisten Mozart. Since joining the Oakland Ballet in 2018, she has performed the role of Luna in Luna Mexicana, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker, Frida Kahlo in Viva la Vida, Elaine Kudo’s Duet and Phil Chan’s Quartet from Exquisite Corpse, created roles in works by Caili Quan, and Megan and Shannon Kurashige, and appeared in the dance films Brief Encounter, In Plain Sight, and What I See


Jazmine Quezada

Jazmine Quezada Headshot
Augusto Bio:
Augusto Silva Headshot Augusto Silva (he/him) started his dance training at age seven in São Paulo, Brazil. He studied at Conservatorio Carlos Gomes and Especial Academia de Ballet, where he had the opportunity to perform notable works like Basilio in Don Quixote. His performance of James in La Sylphide earned first place in the largest ballet competition in South America, Festival de Dança de Joinville. In 2010 he was selected to represent Brazil at the USA International Ballet Competition, where he was awarded a contract with Nashville Ballet. There, under Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, Augusto worked as a Soloist performing the Jester in Cinderella, Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet and the title role in Vasterling’s world premiere of Peter Pan. During his time with the Nashville Ballet he had the privilege of working with Dominic Walsh, Gina Patterson, Christopher Stuart, Brian Enos, Heather Maloy, James Sewell, Christopher Wheeldon, and Graham Lustig. Since Moving to California in 2020 Mr. Silva has worked as a Principal dancer with San Jose Dance Theatre, Michael Pappalardo, Mark Foehringer, Linda Hurkmans, Ballet 22, and Opera San Jose. In 2022 Silva was promoted to Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Dance Theatre, creating new works for the company including a full length Dracula.


Augusto Silva

Ashkey Thopiah Headshot
Ashley Bio:
Ashley Thopiah Headshot Ashley Thopiah (she/her) received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. She began her dance training at the Christine Rich Dance Academy and furthered her training in summer programs at State Street Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. At Butler, Ashley performed corps, soloist, and principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. As a choreographer, Ashley has created two works for Butler University’s dance department, Jyoti and Ekta. Using both modern dance and Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance, she expresses the two distinct but intertwined aspects of her identity. During the summer of 2018, Ekta was performed in the National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland, across Prague, Krakow, Poznan, and Bratislava. Joining Oakland Ballet in 2019, she created the role of Coffee in The Nutcracker, as well as featured roles in The Birthdays, 4 Parts Jazz by Alyah Baker, Club LC by Bobby Briscoe, and Phil Chan’s Quartet and Seyong Kim’s Duet from Exquisite Corpse. She is a contributing choreographer to OBC’s Angel Island Project.

Ashley Thopiah

Nicole Townsend Headshot
Nicole Bio:
Nicole Townsend Headshot Nicole Townsend (she/her) was born in San Jose, California. She began dancing at age 2 and began formal ballet training at Ballet San Jose at age 7. Her training continued at City Ballet School in San Francisco. After a Summer Intensive on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Nicole was accepted into their Professional Division Program. While there, she had the opportunity to perform with the company in The Nutcracker. She joined the Second Company of Kansas City Ballet where she performed Devon Carney’s The Nutcracker, Michael Pink’s Dracula and Septime Webre’s Wizard of Oz. She was awarded a full scholarship to Paris Opera Ballet Summer Intensive, was a recipient of the American Friends of Paris Opera Ballet Scholarship, and studied at the Dutch National Summer Program in Amsterdam. Nicole joined Oakland Ballet in 2022 and has been seen as Marie in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker, Benjamin Briones’ Mixtecas, Graham Lustig’s Luna Mexicana as well as Phil Chan’s Duet from Exquisite Corpse. Nicole received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance for her work in OBC’s Rainbow Dances. This is her second season with the Oakland Ballet Company.


Nicole Townsend

Company PT

Charissa Chaban Headshot
Charissa Bio:
Charissa Chaban Headshot Charissa Chaban, DPT, OCS, ATC, NCPT is a Physical Therapist at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek and a former dancer with Oakland Ballet Company. She has worked the majority of her 20 year PT career in orthopedics and sports injury settings, with a love of working with dancers of all ages and experience. Having trained in and performed ballet as a child through professional level, and with her training in Pilates, she brings a focus on movement quality, control, precision, and stability into injury rehabilitation. She looks at each patient as an individual, and tailors their treatment to their own body abilities, functional needs, and goals. In 2012 she became PT board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.  She received her Pilates Rehabilitation Certification from Polestar Pilates in 2010.  And prior, in 2004, she attained her Athletic Training Certification through working with the athletes and dancers at UC Irvine.  Charissa received her BA in Dance and BS in Biological Sciences with a Physiology specialization from UC Irvine, her Masters in Physical Therapy from CSU Fresno, and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Western University of Health Sciences.

Click here to go to her website.

Charissa Chaban, DPT, OCS, ATC, NCPT