REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR. See below.
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR. See below.
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."
~ William Arthur Ward
Brett Raphael, Director
Ballet 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Pointe, Adult Beginner & Intermediate Ballet
Mr. Raphael founded Connecticut Ballet and Connecticut Ballet Center. He has taught all levels of ballet, pointe, pas de deux, and repertoire since 1981. He has served on the faculties of Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Harkness House in New York City, and Purchase College along with guest teaching at conferences and residencies in New Orleans, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Maryland. He was chosen by George Balanchine at age ten to receive a Ford Foundation Scholarship to the School of American Ballet, studying intensively under Stanley Williams and Richard Rapp. He subsequently studied with Hector Zaraspe, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Leon Danielian, Errol Addison (in London) and performed with the touring ensemble, Stars of American Ballet. With Connecticut Ballet, he danced leading roles in classic full-lengths as well as contemporary works by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Lila York, Danny Buraczeski, Anna Sokolow, and Milton Myers. He has choreographed sixteen original works for Connecticut Ballet along with stagings of the full-length Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Coppèlia, Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Brigadoon and an original ballet, La Belle Otero. In 2000, his ballet, Blue Light, won second prize in the St. Sauveur Choreography Competition in Canada. Mr. Raphael’s choreography was recently shown at the Tel Aviv Festival in Israel.
Adult Intermediate Ballet
Christina Fagundes Turner began her twenty-five year professional career with San Francisco Ballet in 1982, after placing as a finalist at the 1982 International Ballet Competition. In 1985, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to join American Ballet Theatre and appointed her as soloist in 1989 where her repertoire included principal roles in the 19th century classics as well as works by Macmillan, Tudor, Ashton, Kylian, Tharp, Morris and Lubovitch. In 1999, she was a founding member of Suzanne Farrell Ballet, dancing the gems of the Balanchine and Bejart repertoire in addition to guesting with international companies. Ms. Turner began her teaching journey at Ballet Etudes as a pre-professional director and resident choreographer for over 15 years. She has her own private studio and has assisted ballet and musical theater students to achieve their professional goals with contracts in major classical ballet companies and acceptances to several top-tiered colleges. Ms. Turner graduated summa cum laude with a B. F. A. from Fordham University and is a certified ABT teacher.
Primary, Ballet 3a, Ballet 3b/3c, Ballet 4/5, Pointe, Adult Beginner & Intermediate Ballet Instructor
Fall 2021: Miss Eve has accepted a six-month appointment as
visiting professor of dance at
Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Ms. Chan received her ballet training at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She then performed with the Hong Kong Ballet as Demi-soloist and was appointed as one of three resident choreographers by former artistic director, John Meehan, in 2007. She holds an MFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase, where she taught Ballet and Pointe classes in the Conservatory of Dance and Introduction to Ballet classes through the School of the Arts. As a choreographer, her works have been presented in festivals and events in New York, including Spring Rhapsody at the Skirball Center (2013), CounterPointe at the Astor Fund Arts Center (2012), TRANSLATE at Dixon Place (2012), Novas and Nocturnes at the Rose Theater, Lincoln Center (2012), WestFest Dance Festival at the Cunningham Theater (2011), and Fall Movement at the Centre for Performance Research (2011). She was Ballet Mistress with Mystic Ballet for the 2013-2014 season and for Connecticut Ballet for the past five seasons. In 2021, she created her fourth ballet, The Open Road, for Connecticut Ballet.
Primary 2, Ballet 1a/1b, Ballet 2b, Body Conditioning
Nicole began her training at the age of six under the tutelage of her mother, Lydia Madarang Gaston. A scholarship grant to Ballet Philippines Summer Dance Workshop paved the way to an apprenticeship to the company. Among the many roles she played were Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Lisa in Ang Pilya, William Morgan's adaptation of La Fille Mal Gardee, multiple solo roles in full-length ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. After a decade with Ballet Philippines, Nicole moved on to Hong Kong Ballet to dance for two years. In 1993, she came to the United States, dancing with various companies, including Bay Ballet Theatre in Tampa, Florida, Connecticut Ballet, and Ballet New York in Sea Cliff, Long Island.
Nicole also performed in the musical, The King and I, at the Westchester Broadway Theatre and the Sacramento Musical Circus where she danced the role of "Eliza,” the "Fan Dancer" and "Little Topsy" in the ‘Small House of Uncle Thomas’ ballet within the musical. Nicole joined the Connecticut Ballet Center faculty in 2007.
Creative, PreBallet, Primary 1, Ballet 2a
A recent arrival from her native Venezuela, Carla joined the Teresa Carreno Ballet Company in Caracas in 2018, rapidly ascending thru the ranks. In addition to corps de ballet parts, she was given soloist and principal roles such as Giselle Act II, Don Quixote and Corsaire Pas de Deux, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. In light of the very real difficulties facing everyday people in Venezuela, she was able to come to the United States to further her career with the help of extended family in Miami. She made her debut with Connecticut Ballet in the Fall of 2020, and has appeared with the company's Digital Dance Series and Ballet Under the Stars.
This is her second year on the faculty of Connecticut Ballet Center.
She also serves as Assistant to the Director.
Lyrical 1/2, Teen Lyrical
Jenna Garecht has extensive experience in the performing arts, having over twenty years of dance experience. She is an alumna of the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, graduating in 2016. In addition to her training at RCD, Jenna studied ballet extensively under former New York City Ballet principal dancer, Maria Calegari. She has performed many roles in The Nutcracker (with several companies) as well as performing Coppelia (with the Caleco Ballet School). In addition to ballet, Jenna rigorously studied jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, hip hop and lyrical. With a number of musical theatre companies, she has performed roles in Anything Goes, The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Bye Bye Birdie and Sweet Charity. Jenna is a recent graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, graduating with a Bachelor’s in History and Masters in Secondary Education, as well as with a certificate in Special Education. During her time at QU, Jenna was an active dancer/choreographer for the Quinnipiac Dance Company. She is committed not only to the art of dance, but also to "teaching the next generation about the beauty, joy and self-expression dance can possess."
Ballet 1a/1b, Ballet 2a
Maia Khelashvili trained in her native Georgian Republic and holds a diploma from the V. Chabukiani Choreographic School. She was a member of the State Ballet of Georgia under ballerina Nina Ananiashvili from 2002-2008. She is a certified Pilates instructor, has taught ballet in Turkey and United Arab Emirates, and has coached elite rhythmic gymnastic students from 2018 to the present. This marks her second year on the CBC faculty.
Ballet 3a, Ballet 3b, Ballet 4/5, Adult Beg. Ballet
Mr. Kilfoil began his training in Long Island, New York, and then at the School of American Ballet with Stanley Williams, Jock Soto, and Damian Woetzel. He went on to study with Francois Perron, Patricia McBride, and Edward Villella in New York City, and with Violette Verdy and Goping Wang at Indiana University. Since then, Raeman has enjoyed a busy performing career, first as a soloist with North Carolina Dance Theater, then as a principal with Festival Ballet Providence and most recently, with Connecticut Ballet. Career highlights and favorite roles include The Prince in Swan Lake, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, and Ugly Step Sister in Cinderella. A New York City native, he also performs with an eclectic group of small NY-based companies, including EMOTIVES contemporary dance, Ballet for Young Audiences, and Sarah Berges Dance. He currently teaches open classes at Peridance in NYC. This marks his third year on the faculty of Connecticut Ballet Center.
Character Dance Instructor
Miss Sheptalova studied at Moscow Classical Ballet Academy under Gennady Lediakh. She completed her bachelor’s degree in theater history and journalism from the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts, formerly known as GITIS. She danced as a corps de ballet member and demi-soloist with Russian National Ballet and Moscow Festival Ballet with whom she toured nationally and internationally. Since coming to the United States, she has performed with several companies in the metro NY region and now teaches at Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, JKO School, and Hariyama Ballet in New York City. This is her fourth year on the Connecticut Ballet Center faculty.
Horton Modern Dance Instructor
Miss Ayaka Taniguchi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of five, she began ballet training at Studio Benus. As she continued her training, she studied pointe, jazz and Gyrokinesis. She studied pointe work and modern dance privately under Luis Villanueva, improving greatly under his training. Ayaka went on to study Lester Horton Technique with Mitsue Miyake at Hip Dance Arts Entertainment in 2012. She received a scholarship to attend Alvin Ailey School and studied intensively at Ailey from 2013-2016. During that time, she also attended the Winter Intensive at Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Her teachers have included Manuel Vignoulle, Matthew Rushing, Hope Boykin, Carlos Dos Santos, Saya Harada, Ronni Favors, Sean Aron Carmon and Elizabeth Roxas. She joined Saya Spring Dance Theater in 2015, worked with I KADA Contemporary Dance Company and Judah International Dance Theater during 2016-2017, Grind Arts Company in 2017 and worked with New York Theatre Ballet during the 2017-2018 season. Still very much a working professional dancer, this is her fourth year on the faculty of Connecticut Ballet Center.