Friday, October 21, 2016

                                                 Soloists and principals of the OKC Ballet
                                                     Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma City Ballet                        

At 47 dancers, Oklahoma City Ballet is the largest company the organization has known since its founding in 1962 by world-famous ballerina Yvonne Chouteau. The company announces the addition of 19 new
company artists and apprentices for the 2016-2017 season at downtown OKC's Civic Center
Music Hall.

This illustrious collaboration of artists represents 21 states and 9 countries, and includes 4 native Oklahomans. 

“We receive an enormous amount of inquiries from dancers wishing to audition for Oklahoma City Ballet.  I am fortunate that I can be highly selective.  Happily my annual recruiting efforts through our National Audition Tour have yielded some amazing talent this year.  I look forward to working with this talented group of artists during the entirety of our upcoming 45th anniversary season,” said Artistic Director Robert Mills.

New to the Corps de Ballet roster are Dave Naquin of Cowpens, South Carolina, and Jefferson Payne of Quito, Ecuador.  Naquin trained at Ballet Spartanburg and University of North Carolina School of the Arts before joining the Grand Rapids Ballet where he danced leading roles in numerous ballets.  Payne studied at Boston Ballet School working his way through the school to eventually dance with the company as a trainee.  He then went on to spend two seasons with The Minnesota Ballet, where he danced principal and soloist roles in various ballets.     

“We have also promoted four of our current dancers,” says Mills.  “Amanda Herd-Popejoy and Walker Martin have advanced from Corps de Ballet to Soloist, and Claire Glavin and Devin Larsen, who started as apprentices in the company, will now be members of the Corps de Ballet.” 

Rounding out the company are 16 new apprentice dancers:  Taylor Arel (Olathe, KS), Rosemary Brandley (El Reno, OK), Mickayla Carr (Arlington TX), Ethan Epstein (Newton, MA), Juliana Gallant (Cambell, CA), Bethany Green (South Bend, IN), Lori Hernandez (San Diego, CA), Rebecca Hickson (Cleveland, TN), Kirsten Kemp (Corpus Christie, TX) , DeShawn Marshall (Denver, CO), Alana Morgenstern (Boca Raton, FL), Simon Pawlak (Ruidoso, NM), Alexandra Schooling (Lancaster, PA), Anna Severson (Waunakee, WI), Carrie Ruth Trumbo (New Smyrna Beach, FL), and Sophie Williams (Willow Street, Pennsylvania). 

These additions and promotions join returning principal dancers Julio Concepcion, Miki Kawamura, Yui Sato, Ronnie Underwood and Alvin Tovstogray, returning soloists Milena Garcia, DaYoung Jung, and Amy Potter, and Corps de Ballet artists Seth Bradley, Paige Brown, Sarah Jane Crespo, Daina Gingras, Daniel Hardman, Arianna Lawson, Autumn Sicking Klein, Joe Seaton, Gerald Pines, Rayleigh Vendt, and Richard Walters.  There will be six returning apprentices: Petra Biro, Paola McCormick-Quintero, Mayu Odaka, Erikka Reenstierna-Cates, Hayley Tavonatti, and Emily Thompson.

To read complete biographies and for season information, visit  

Courtesy of the Oklahoma City Ballet

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