Ballet Virginia is a full-time, professional ballet company in residence at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. Ballet Virginia performs both traditional classical and contemporary works. Our dancers are open to new ideas and are a part of our Ballet Virginia family. Not only do they perform, but they also teach classes in the academy and mentor our aspiring talent. Company members gain hands-on experience in marketing, cross-training, grant writing, lighting, costume design, and choreography. We are excited to launch our 2019-2020 season with an amazing roster of talent, and a repertoire that is filled with well-known favorites and brand new creations. We are honored to build this dream with a gifted group of company members.
Isabel Cary joins Ballet Virginia from The Washington Ballet. Her performance credits there include featured roles in Swan Lake, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Serenade, Sleepy Hollow, and The Nutcracker. Previously, Isabel performed soloist roles with the ABT Studio Company, including ABT’s Met season, after completing her training on scholarship at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School ABT. A California native, Isabel began her training at the Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo and then continued with Ion Beitia in Barcelona, Spain. She went on to participate in summer intensives on scholarship at many well-renowned ballet schools such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Walnut Hill and The Rock. She also studied on scholarship at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Isabel taught ballet and contemporary dance at The Dance Extension in Connecticut and is currently on faculty at Ballet Virginia. We are honored to have Isabel as a founding member of our company!
Madison Elizabeth Case
Madison Elizabeth Case joins us from Charlottesville Ballet, Manassas Ballet Theatre, and Stavna Ballet, where she performed roles such as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swan Corps and Neapolitan in Swan Lake, and a Princess in Firebird.
Madison, a native of Kentucky, began her training in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern at The Dance Centre of Elizabethtown under the director of Sherry Barnard. She also trained at Allegro Dance Theatre and the Fleur De Lis Academy. Madison has also performed in numerous musical theatre productions and graduated from the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts as a dance major in 2014. In 2015, she moved to Chicago to dance with Ballet Chicago where she had the opportunity to train under Daniel Duell and performed excerpts from Balanchine’s Serenade, Who Cares, and The Nutcracker.
Madison is thrilled to begin her first season with Ballet Virginia and we are excited to have her as one of our founding members!
Sage Engle-Laird joins our company from Ballet Tucson and Alabama Ballet, where she apprenticed in a wide range of ballets, including Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Swan Lake, La Fille Mal Gardée, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and other works by Balanchine, Septime Webre, and Stephen Mills. Sage was honored to be awarded the Butler Fellowship at Ballet Austin after graduation. Sage began her training at the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education, where she danced the role of young Marie in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. She continued her training with Sara Knight at the SLK Ballet School in New York City, as well as summer programs with Ballet Austin, Oklahoma City Ballet, English National Ballet, Houston Ballet, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in NYC.
We are excited to have Sage as a founding member of our company!
Daina Gingras joins us from Oklahoma City Ballet, where she was a corps de ballet member featured in such works as Matthew Neenan’s Exurgency, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Brian Enos’s Speaking in Spheres, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and works by Robert Mills including Our Private Rooms and The Means to Fly. Daina began her early training in her hometown of Rutland, VT and continued at the HARID Conservatory of Boca Raton, FL where she graduated valedictorian of the class of 2010. She went on to study on scholarship under Ethan Stiefel and Susan Jaffe at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she was featured as Sugar Plum Fairy in Ethan Stiefel’s The Nutcracker and as Odette in Swan Lake. She also performed principal roles in both Paquita and George Balanchine’s La Source, as well as soloist roles in works by James Kudelka and Susan Jaffe.
Daina also had the privilege of teaching and choreographing at Oklahoma City Ballet’s Summer Intensives and The Pointe Dance Academy. She has won multiple choreography and Judge’s Choice awards at regional competitions for her contemporary choreographic works. We are thrilled to have Daina as a founding member of our company.
Colin Jacob comes to us from multiple seasons with Columbia City Ballet, where he was a Demi-Soloist prior to joining us as a founding company member here at Ballet Virginia. Colin began dancing at the age of 17 in Cleveland, Ohio. His career took him to Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he later graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Concentration in Ballet Technique. He has been a finalist at Youth American Grand Prix multiple times and has performed in the Young Medalist Gala in Miami, Florida. Colin spent summers training with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah prior to joining Columbia City Ballet.
We are excited that Colin is joining us as a founding member of Ballet Virginia.
Corrick Jones has spent the last few years performing as a guest artist with various ballet companies throughout the U.S. including Nashville Ballet, Lexington Ballet, the Osage Theater, and various contemporary companies in metro Atlanta. He was a full scholarship recipient at Nashville Ballet (NB2), where he performed in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Leopard Tale, and other renowned productions. Corrick is an Atlanta native and began his training at the age of 7 at Ballethnic Dance Academy in East Point, Georgia. He then continued his training at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. Corrick joined us as a guest artist in the role of the Prince in Ballet Virginia’s 2019 production of Snow White.
Corrick’s love for dance stems from his desire to inspire others. He believes that his divine purpose as a dancer is to tell stories that open the hearts and minds of the audience members. We are excited to have Corrick join us as a founding member of Ballet Virginia.
Gerald Pines joins Ballet Virginia after six seasons with the Oklahoma City Ballet, where he performed many great roles including Hans, Russian, and Spanish in The Nutcracker, Hilarion in Giselle, Mr. Smee in Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan, Autumn Fairy Cavalier in Cinderella, and Shere-Kahn in Mowgli. He was also featured in such works as Stanton Welch’s Play, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Matthew Neenan’s Exurgency, Niccolo Fonte’s Left Unsaid, Margot Sappington’s Cobras in the Moonlight, and Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain, among others. Also during his time with Oklahoma City Ballet, Gerald had the privilege of teaching and choreographing on students of Oklahoma City Ballet’s Summer Intensive.
Gerald began his early training in his hometown of Princess Anne, MD before attending the Atlantic City Ballet School followed by the HARID Conservatory of Boca Raton, FL. He then joined Boston Ballet as a trainee for two years before accepting the position of principal dancer with Atlantic City Ballet where he performed throughout the community and taught within the school for three seasons.
Gerald is very excited to be joining Ballet Virginia this season and we are thrilled to have him as a founding member of our company.
Casey Shepard, a Virginia native from Chesapeake, joins us from Richmond Ballet where she performed as a trainee with the main company in productions such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Her featured roles there included dances in Puss N’ Boots, a trio variation from the Ballet Napoli, a Pas de deux in Realm of Light, and in An American In Paris.
Casey began her training at the Academie de Ballet in Chesapeake, VA under the direction of Arnora Hummel and Andrei Yemelianov, and was a competitor in the 2015 YAGP. She continued her training with renowned teachers such as Susan Jaffee (UNCSA Dance and Performing Arts program) and Anna Perkovskia of Stanislavsky Music Theater. While at Richmond Ballet, Casey trained under Malcolm Burn, Igor Antonov, Judy Jacob, and Stoner Winslett.
We are thrilled that Casey is beginning her professional career here with us at Ballet Virginia.
Julia Stewart is one of Ballet Virginia’s own guest artists and teachers, who came to us from Virginia Ballet Theater in 2017. She trained at Teatro Di San Carlo in Naples, The Kirov Academy in Washington DC on scholarship, and completed her classical ballet training at The Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools. During her time at the Royal Ballet School, she had the privilege of working with choreographers Wayne McGregor, Liam Scarlett, Matthew Heart, and many others. In addition, she received extensive private coaching from ballet master Laszlo Berdo, former CPYB teacher and associate director of Charlotte Ballet School.
We are excited to continue working with Julia as a founding member of Ballet Virginia.
Anthony Schweighardt started his professional career with Charlotte Ballet under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride, where he danced works by Dwight Rhoden, Mark Diamond, Ohad Naharin, Sasha Janes, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Balanchine set by Patricia McBride. Anthony has also danced as a Principal Artist for Ballet Tucson under the direction of Mary Beth Cabana. Anthony is a freelance choreographer and has set works on both Charlotte Ballet and Ballet Tucson. He holds certifications as a Balanced Body Pilates Instructor, a NASM Personal Trainer, Sports Enhancement Coach and Nutritionist, is an ABT certified Ballet Instructor, and is also certified in Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT).
We are honored to have Anthony join us as a founding member of Ballet Virginia.