BV Blog

Congratulations to our Dancers – Summer Intensives

Many of our BVII and Upper School students auditioned and were accepted into renowned pre-professional summer dance programs. Ballet Virginia is proud of our students’ recent accomplishments. Congratulations and we hope you have a fantastic experience!

BVII dancer Cora Metzfield


BVII Students
Marlee Brown –Joffrey Ballet School NYC (partial scholarship), attending Nashville Ballet (partial scholarship)
Sydney Caggiano – Carolina Ballet, attending
Elizabeth Denton – Cincinnati Ballet, attending
Lauryn Hedelund –Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, attending Joffrey Ballet School NYC (partial scholarship)
Cora Metzfield – Houston Ballet (full tuition scholarship), attending American Ballet Theatre (NYC)
Gabriella Miyares – The Washington Ballet, attending
Iana Niknezhad – Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater (NYC)
Mary Schmidt – The Washington Ballet, attending
Olivia Levy – Boston Ballet attending, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet


Zoey Pham, Hayden Howard and Gabriella Miyares in Sleeping Beauty

Level 5/6
Lila Bauer – Sarasota Ballet (partial scholarship), attending, International Ballet attending, Royal Ballet, attending
Emily Lewis – Collage Dance, attending
Clare Heffernan – Ballet Magnificat, attending
Zoey Pham – The Washington Ballet, attending

Celebrating our Ballet Virginia 2022 Seniors

We are so proud of you all and have truly enjoyed watching you grow up! It’s been a year of growth and excitement and you all have danced through it with grace and positivity.

Read on to get to know these impressive young people.



Ema Amuial

I was accepted at  Old Dominion University, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Christopher Newport University. I will be dancing with Ballet Virginia’s company as an apprentice along with attending TCC with a guaranteed transfer to any Virginia College (probably UVA).

Ema has danced many roles in Ballet Virginia productions including The Songbird Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty” as well as performing with professional company.



Elizabeth is in the front performing in Sleeping Beauty.
Elizabeth Denton

I was accepted academically at Butler, University of Arizona, and Texas Christian University. I was accepted academically and for dance at George Mason, Shenandoah, and UNCSA. I will be attending UNCSA.

One of my favorite memories from Ballet Virginia was the Nutcracker. From the audition to the closing show, the entire experience was so incredible. The entire rehearsal process was a huge learning experience for me and the week of performances at the theater was so fun. It was my first full length ballet performance and it could not have gone more perfectly. I have loved all of the performances I’ve done with Ballet Virginia but the Nutcracker really stood out as my absolute favorite. Aside from performances, Ballet Virginia has been the most welcoming and supportive environment I could have imagined. I feel like I have learned so much while I have been here and I have so much appreciation for all of my teachers and other dancers.


Sofia Romulo

Sofia is definitely a dancer and a scholar. She was accepted (with scholarship) to ODU ($24k), VCU ($32k), JMU ($40k), UVA, UCLA, UCSD, Virginia Tech, and Earlham ($148k). She has chosen to attend University of Virginia.

Sofia started dancing with Ballet Virginia at an early age. Her roles throughout the years, included the Rat King and Russian Lead in “The Nutcracker” and Tweedle Dum in “Alice in Wonderland”.





Katherine Shillito

I was accepted at University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Temple University and Old

Dominion University. I will be attending University of Virginia.

A special memory that I have from Ballet Virginia would definitely be when the entire company decided to sing the chorus to the snow scene of Nutcracker during one of our Nutcracker dress rehearsals. I also have many special memories from the long Saturdays spent at Ballet Virginia rehearsing for First Pointe with my friends and teachers.

Katherine began dancing with Ballet Virginia at age four. She has been a part of our annual “Nutcracker” since she was six. Her roles include Mouse, Clara and Gardenia. She has danced soloist roles in many of our spring ballets including The Crystal Fountain Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty” as well as dancing alongside our professional company dancers in contemporary works.

























-Compiled by Lisa McCarty








“Season Opening” starts off Ballet Virginia’s 21/22 performance season!

Ballet Virginia is excited for our upcoming “Season Opening” mixed repertoire performances on November 7th at 2 PM and 6 PM at the Virginia MOCA Museum Theater. The company will perform contemporary and classical works. This professional group of talented artists continues to raise the level of dance performances in Hampton Roads.

“It’s exciting to work with such an amazing group of diverse dancers from all over the country. The range these dancers have from their ballet to contemporary skills will bring so much artistry, passion and fire to the stage! Along with dynamic new works, I think Hampton Roads will be proud to call us their professional ballet company.” says Lydia Roberts Coco, Ballet Virginia’s professional company artistic director and choreographer.

Our “Season Opening” will showcase works by Ms. Coco, a former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater principal dancer and sought-after choreographer. The feature work will be set to Ravel’s musical masterpiece, “Bolero”, and include all ten company members in innovative and mesmerizing choreography. The performances will also feature choreography by Ballet Virginia’s artistic directors, Suzanne Lownsbury and Janina Michalski who will add members of Ballet Virginia’s second company (BVII) to their works.

The Virginia MOCA Museum Theater offers an intimate setting with easy access from I-264 as well as on-site parking. The contemporary art museum is located at 2200 Parks Avenue, near the Virginia Beach oceanfront resort area.

The upcoming season, Ballet Virginia’s 14th, also includes a collaborative performance of “Bolero” with Symphonicity on October 17th at the Sandler Center, seven performances of “The Nutcracker” from December 15th to 19th at the Sandler Center, “Truth and Beauty” winter repertoire at Zeiders American Dream Theater on February 4th and 5th plus February 6th at Norfolk State University and “Sleeping Beauty” on April 9th and 10th. Live orchestra accompaniment from Symphonicity is planned for all public performances of “The Nutcracker”.

Tickets for Ballet Virginia’s “Season Opening” are on sale at EventBrite.

Registration for Summer is Open