Alumni and Testimonials
Professional Dance Careers
Ballet Virginia alumni are dancing all over the world
- 2017/2018 Leo Ameika – Ballet West – Professional Training Division
- 2017/2018 Nicole Arsenault – Ballet West – Top level in the Student Division
- 2017/2018 Kyra Coco – Houston Ballet – Top level in the Academy, Full Scholarship
- 2017/2018 Lillian Hendrickson – Ballet Austin Butler Fellowship Program 2019/2020
- 2016/2017 Kellen Hornbuckle – Houston Ballet Corps de Ballet Member
- 2016/2017 Leah Upchurch – Ballet Virginia – Company Member
- 2015/2016 Caileigh Gold – Ballet Virginia Staff and Freelance Photographer/Filmmaker
- 2015/2016 Matthew Frezzell – San Diego Ballet – Company Member
- 2015/2016 Rebecca Ailstock – North Carolina School of the Arts, ballet major
- 2014/2015 Kayla McCabe – Atlanta Ballet Conservatory
- 2012/2013 Hayley-Ann Vasco – Ballet Theatre of Maryland
- 2009/2010 Jacquelyn Long – Houston Ballet II, Houston Ballet soloist
- 2009/2010 Emily Brennan – Nashville Ballet 2, Ballet Theatre of Maryland
- 2008/2009 Quincie Hydock – Richmond Ballet trainee, VCU joint BFA program
- 2008/2009 Janelle Jones – Alvin Ailey American Dance Center/Fordham BFA program
- 2008/2009 LeeAnn Walker – Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Ballet Virginia, Radford University
- 2008/2009 Caroline Lambert – BFA Music Dance Theatre, Brigham Young University
- 2008/2009 Kimberly Marcotte – Point Park University
Pursuit of excellence in dance can reach far beyond the stage. Our alumni and graduates have been accepted and honored in many ways including scholarships for higher education and continued education in dance.
- University of Virginia – Marianne Trimble, Alexandra Hennelly, Matilda Francis, Isabel Glass, Katherine Stauch, Sophie Cox
- University of Michigan – Megan Morford
- Hollins University – Brianna Berry
- Virginia Tech – Lexi Hennessy, Emma Barnett
- Virginia Commonwealth University – Grace Murden, Alicia Brown
- TCC/Radford University – Katie Orlino
- Belhavan University – Melody Stowe
- James Madison University – Kate Ross
- William and Mary – Sophia Perrotti
- George Washington University – Amber Clark
- Barnard University – Shenel Lambiro
- Penn State – Laura Morris
- Virginia Tech – Bryanna Vesely, Kaite Coerse, Paisleigh
- Northeastern University – Victoria Romulo
- Old Dominion University – Athena England, Caileigh Gold, Gianna Coco
- University of South Carolina – Eliza Dixon
Each year our talented dancers make impressive showings at summer intensive auditions. Annually, our dancers are awarded over $25,000 in merit scholarships for summer programs at these prestigious institutions:
Houston Ballet – English National Ballet – Summer Dance Company – Orlando Ballet – Ballet Met – Atlanta Ballet – Pacific Northwest Ballet – American Ballet Theatre NYC – Winston-Salem – School of American Ballet – Suzanne Farrell Company – Lexington Ballet – Ballet Theatre of Maryland – Ballet Arizona – Chicago Ballet – Carolina Ballet – Joffrey Ballet Chicago – American Ballet Theatre Young Dancer program – Boston Ballet – Nutmeg Conservatory – Cincinnati Ballet – North Carolina Dance Theatre – San Francisco Ballet – Richmond Ballet – Kirov Academy – Washington Ballet – Colorado Ballet – Kansas City Ballet – Oregon Ballet Theatre – Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre – Ballet Austin – Milwaukee Ballet – University of NC School of the Arts – Oklahoma City Ballet – Nevada Dance Theatre – Miami City Ballet – Ballet West – University of South Carolina Conservatory – Indiana University
Leah Upchurch – Ballet Virginia Company Member
- Joined BV age 5
- I learned what it was like to be taught by different teachers as well as the different methods they used to help us grow.
- I learned about what I can do in order to make myself stand out and be successful in my adult life as a dancer.”
Jacquelyn Long – Houston Ballet Soloist
- Joined BV age 4
- Ballet Virginia prepared me for a professional career in ballet by allowing me to have many opportunities to perform throughout the year.
- When I was first starting out with Houston Ballet my stage presence was one thing that helped me stand out and get to the Soloist position I have today.
- BV has faculty members who danced professionally and taught me basic corps de ballet work and stage vocabulary that some of my coworkers who didn’t have this had to learn about later.
- BV’s early teachings technically and their support since being a professional have been key to my success.
Bryanna Vesely – Podiatric Surgeon
- Joined BV age 7
- As I’ve been successful throughout my educational career and as I enter my professional one, I’ve brought with me the invaluable tools ballet has offered.
- Ballet reinforces the academic fundamentals such as math, time management skills, perseverance and dedication to one’s goals – all of which have been instrumental in my success.
Hayley-Ann Vasco – Maryland Ballet Theatre Company Member
- Joined BV age 3
- Because all of my BV instructors knew what it was like in the professional dance world, they were able to pass on skills that continue to help me succeed and even stand out in my career today. Being able to pick up choreography quickly and having the confidence to trust myself to try something difficult are just two of the skills I’m proud to have learned from my many years at BV.
Emily Brennan – Maryland Ballet Theatre Principal
- Joined BV age 8
- BV’s Artistic Directors and instructors taught me not only how to do ballet, but how to be a smart, confident, and well-rounded professional ballet dancer.
- Because they all had professional dance careers themselves, they truly know exactly how to prepare and properly train a student for a career as a professional dancer.
LeeAnn Elder – Roanoke Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer
- Joined BV age 10
- Ballet Virginia’s exceptional and versatile training well equipped me to have a long and successful career in the professional ballet world. All of the faculty taught and helped me produce solid and clean technique, helped grow my artistic side of dancing to improve my performance skills, and taught me life long lessons of how to work and flourish in any professional ballet company.
Nicole Arsenault – Ballet West Academy
- I began training with Ballet Virginia when it first opened in 2008. Throughout my 10 years with BV, I learned the skills for classical ballet technique and have experienced the art of performing. I have acquired the knowledge to collaborate and dance amongst others from around the country. Ballet Virginia has provided me with the skill set and intellect to be successful in the professional ballet world.
Grace Murden – Account Manager
- Ballet Virginia truly molded me to be who I am today.
- I am truly grateful for the time management, discipline, and confidence BV taught me and helped me gain over the 12+ years I did ballet within the organization.
Kellen Hornbuckle – Houston Ballet Corps de Ballet
- BV has prepared me for the life as a professional dancer by teaching me many things pertaining to ballet and basic life lessons. They have taught me how to have a great work ethic and self discipline to become the dancer I am today.
Kyra Coco – Houston Ballet Academy, scholarship
- I started ballet when I was 3 years old. BV has prepared me for the professional world by giving me tremendous performance opportunities with not only classical ballet, but also contemporary and modern works.
Shenel Lambiro – New York City Public School Teacher
- Joined Ballet Virginia in 2008.
- Graduate student at Teachers College of Columbia University.
- Ballet Virginia provided a safe, creative space for me to develop both confidence and a deep appreciation for ballet among a community of supportive, bright, diligent dancers and upstanding young adults.
- As a high school teacher, I realize now more than ever the benefits that a community of peers with like-minded values rooted in discipline, respect, and camaraderie can bring to a young person’s development emotionally, physically, and socially.
- BV supported me in learning how to overcome challenges, to manage time and stress in healthy and productive ways, and to conduct myself with poise, focus, and respect both inside and out of the studio.