A native of New Jersey, Ms. Clark is Founder and Director of New Jersey Ballet and New Jersey School of Ballet. She performed classical and contemporary ballet with American Ballet Theatre and toured with that company throughout North America, Scandinavia, Europe and Africa. Additional ballet company credits include the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Radio City Ballet, and as principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet and New Jersey State Opera. Miss Clark's professional credits also include many Broadway musicals and television shows, most notably as assistant to the choreographer for the Bell Telephone Hour. She is a founding member of ArtPride New Jersey, served two years on the President’s Council on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center, and five years on the Advisory Board of Channel 13. Miss Clark was honored with a New Jersey Pride Award for her contribution to the arts, and was recently named to the President’s Small Business Advisory Council. Miss Clark attended Rutgers University.
A Kennedy Center honoree, Mr. Villella is perhaps the greatest American premier danseur ever. Among his accomplishments are Emmy Award winner, star of New York City Ballet, guest artist with the Bolshoi, performer at President Kennedy's Inaugural, and first American to guest with the Royal Danish Ballet. In 1968, the Bell Telephone Hour's salute to Villella became an Emmy Award-winning special. His Harlequin - A Patchwork of Love, the first ballet ever commissioned by an American TV network, resulted in Emmy Awards for the show and for Villella as choreographer, producer and star! He is a former member of the President's Council on the Arts and a past recipient of the prestigious Capezio Award. Mr. Villella founded Miami City Ballet in 1985 and has served as Artistic Advisor to New Jersey Ballet Company since 1972.
Toni Ann Auriemma
Ballet Boutique Manager
A graduate of the Perm Ballet Academy, Russia, Ms. Bogdanova was a principal dancer with the Russian National Ballet Company, Moscow, dancing leading roles in the full classical repertory including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and others. She has the title of Honored Artist of Russia and has won acclaim in many countries including the U.S. when famed ballet critic Anna Kisselgoff praised her work.
Ms. Bodganova is Ballet Mistress to New Jersey Ballet Company.
Carolyn Tener Brown
Ms. Brown studied ballet at New Jersey School of Ballet and joined American Ballet Theatre at the age of 19 performing corps then soloist and principal roles for 7 years. Her Broadway, film and television credits include Hair, All My Children, The Sopranos, various PBS programs, Carousel, Brigadoon, Fame–The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles and a principal role in The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Brown trained at New Jersey School of Ballet from the age of 7, originated the role of Clara in New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker at Paper Mill Playhouse, and continued in many student and Company roles before joining ABT.
A New Jersey native, Rachel studied at the New Jersey School of Ballet before being awarded a full scholarship to the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton. Upon graduation, she was accepted into Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's graduate program. She has danced professionally with the Gainesville Ballet and is currently with New Jersey Ballet Company. Rachel has been teaching all levels of ballet for the past three years.
Peter Di Bonaventura
Mr. DiBonaventura's credits include several years as principal dancer with Cleveland Ballet where he danced principal roles in numerous ballets including Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Coppelia, Balanchine’s Apollo, Midsummer Night’s Dream and the standard classical pas de deux. He also guested many times in Caracas with ballerina Zhanda Rodriguez. Choreographer Fleming Flindt invited him to Denmark to film his Lucifer’s Daughter, a ballet to celebrate the Queen of Denmark’s 25th Anniversary. Most recently, he was a principal dancer with New Jersey Ballet and with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Leonid Flegmatov graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography in 2001 and joined the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts GITIS as a soloist. His repertoire includes principal roles in such ballets as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Futile Precaution. Leonid was awarded a prize in the First International Chabukiani-Balanchine Ballet Competition in 2001. He has toured in Europe, Asia and the United States. He has danced with Miami City Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, International Ballet Theater, and Grand Rapids Ballet Company. A member of NJ Ballet in 2007-2008, he rejoins the company for the 2011-2012 season.
Ms. Girshov trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Leningrad before joining the Kirov Ballet where she rose quickly through the rank to become principal ballerina, dancing leading roles in Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, Carmen and many others. Tours with the Kirov took her to the Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, Africa, New Zealand and Cuba. She was choreographer and director of the Special School of Classical Dance in Leningrad where she taught all levels of ballet.
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Guimaraes graduated from the University of Rio de Janeiro with a degree in dance. Her early ballet studies were with Russian dancer Tatiana Leskorva and Ismael Guizer in Brazil. Ms. Guimaraes later joined the Nina Verchinina Contemporary Ballet and Jazz Company in Rio de Janeiro. She has taught all levels of Ballet, Jazz and Modern in Brazil. After relocating to the U.S., she was on the dance faculty at Oakland University in Michigan teaching all levels of Ballet, Jazz and Modern. She also teaches Tap and Brazilian.
graduated from the famed Perm State Academy in Russia and went on to become principal dancer with the Perm State Ballet Theater Co. He toured intermationally with Stars of the Kirov and Bolshoi, and won a silver medal in the International Ballet competition in Russia. He was noted for the role of Espada in Don Quixote, performing with ABT principal Nina Ananiashvili. Joining New Jersey Ballet Company in 1995 as a principal dancer, he performed principal roles in the company's extensive repertory, including Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Romeo & Julet, Who Cares?, Death and the Maiden and Belong.
Raeman received his training from the School of American Ballet and attended Indiana University where he studied under Violette Verdy. He was a principal dancer with Festival Ballet of Providence, Rhode Island, and performed with North Carolina Dance Theatre and St. Louis Ballet. He is currently a member of New Jersey Ballet Company where his roles include Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty, the Cavalier in Nutcracker and Swan Lake, among many others. He has taught at the French Academie of Ballet in New York and at New Jersey School of Ballet.
Ms. Kojima-Noa was born in Japan and studied with Bolshoi and New York City Ballet principals Valentina Kozlova and Leonid Kozlov. Ms. Kojima-Noa joined New Jersey Ballet as an apprentice during the 2001-2002 season and became a full company member in 2004. Her repertoire includes Nutcracker, Giselle, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty and Flames of Paris. Ms. Kojima-Noa has taught all levels of ballet for several years.
trained at the famed Bolshoi Ballet in Russia. Upon graduation, he appeared as a soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet and also the Moiseyev Dance Company, performing numerous classical and character roles. In the U.S., he has appeared at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center with the Don Cossak Company and also has extensive teaching experience in folk dance and ballroom.
Mr. McRae began his training in San Francisco when he was 9 years old and continued at New Jersey School of Ballet. He became an apprentice to New Jersey Ballet Company at age 16. While attending Point Park College, he performed for 4 years with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. A member of NJB for 15 years, he danced numerous solo and principal roles and often returns to the stage in memorable character roles such as Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty. He is a member of the boards of Dance/New Jersey and ArtPride New Jersey and NJB’s Assistant Artistic Director.
Risa trained at the Royal Ballet of Flanders and at ballet academies in Japan. She danced solo and principal roles with the Teatrul Ballet Sibu, Romania, the Constanta National Opera Ballet and the Timisoara National Opera Ballet. Her principal roles include Don Quixote, Paquita, Nutcracker, Chopiniana and La Vivandiere. She has won medals in several international competitions. Most recently, she took the bronze medal in the Kozlova Competition in New York and a Gold Medal at the World Ballet Competition in Florida.
Ms. Noa-Pierson began her training locally, joining the New Jersey School of Ballet at age 8. At 11, she performed the coveted role of Clara in NJB’s production of Nutcracker at Paper Mill Playhouse. Ms. Noa-Pierson studied on scholarship at the Pennsylvania Ballet, dancing numerous roles. She joined NJB in 1999. Ms. Noa-Pierson is noted for her work in such diverse works as For Ella and Flames of Paris, among others. She scored a major triumph as the Cowgirl in the company’s 2007 revival of Rodeo.
Ms. Sabovick-Bleich joined New Jersey Ballet in 1981 and performed as soloist and principal until 2004. A strong classical dancer, she excelled in roles that demand the elegance of the Sylvia pas de deux, the bravura virtuosity of the Stars & Stripes pas de deux and the feistiness of the Cowgirl in Agnes deMille’s Rodeo. Ms.Sabovick-Bleich toured with the Pavlova Celebration Ballet, Kozlov and Friends and International Ballet Stars. Her teaching experience includes ballet and pointe classes at all levels.
Patricia studied ballet at American Ballet Theatre and at New York's Dance Circle, under noted master Alfredo Corvino. She has also studied Jazz and Flamenco and peformed with Dance Circle Company in New York. Her credits include over 20 TV shows and numerous movies. She is a graduate of Montclair State University and is certified in Arts Administration by New York University. Her teaching credits include the Wein Center for Dance, New York City, and the Governor's School of the Arts.
David Tamaki began his formal training at New Jersey School of Ballet at age 7 and became a member of the NJB Junior Company in 1998. A year later he joined the company and during his career danced principal roles, which included the Champion Roper in Rodeo, the Prince and Trepak in Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet and Le Corsaire pas de deux to name a few. Mr. Tamaki is a ballet instructor for New Jersey School of Ballet and is a board member of Dance NJ. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California where he graduated summa cum laude and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Fundraising Management at Columbia University. Mr. Tamaki also leads NJ Ballet’s Dancing for Parkinson’s program, which provides free weekly dance classes to individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
Ms. Ukurchinova trained at the Moscow Academy of Ballet, Russia, and the national Academy of Ballet in Kyrgystan, receiving a degree in classical ballet and as an instructor of the Russian School of Ballet. Ms. Ukurchinova performed with the national Theatre of Ballet, Kyrgystan. Her repertoire included Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Carmen, Paquita and Nutcracker. She has taught all ages and levels of ballet, speaks three languages and is an accomplished pianist.
is a graduate of the famed Moscow State Academic Choreographic School in Moscow, Russia, and since 1988 has been featured in performances in Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Belgium, China, Mexico, Canada, Germany and Turkey as a principal ballerina with the Moscow State Classical Ballet Theatre. She has also won a Silver Medal at the Intermational Ballet Competition in Russia in 1991.
Mr. Wilder is known for his quick feet and solid, rhythmic style. He is a principal dancer for the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble under the direction of Deborah Mitchell. Mr. Wilder has studied with many accomplished artists including Deborah Mitchell, Jimmy Slyde and Savion Glover. He has worked with renowned composers Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Conti, J. Leonard Oxley and Nikki Denner.
Jennifer has an MA in Dance Education from New York University and a BA from Ryder College. Her training includes Broadway Dance Center, New York, and the School of American Ballet. She has appeared with the New York New Music Ensemble under the direction of Douglas Dunn and with Maurice Curry's Jazz Dance America. Nominated for outstanding choreography for the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Program, Ms. Ackermann is a member of Dance New Jersey.
Ms. Martin studied dance on scholarship at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center . She has appeared on Broadway in Guys & Dolls, Oh, Kay! and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and toured internationally with West Side Story playing the role of Anita. Regional theatre credits include Sweet Charity and Victor/Victoria, Peter Pan, as well as TV appearances on Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order: CI. Ms. Martin earned a B.A. in mathematics from Spelman College.
A graduate of Arizona State University with a BFA in Dance, her credits include Dance Arizona Repertory Theater Company, Temenos Dance in Phoenix, Arizona and Douglas Dunn and Dancers, NYC.
EDWARD VILLELLA is a Kennedy Center Honoree and perhaps the greatest American premier danseur ever. Among his accomplishments are Emmy Award winner, star of New York City Ballet, guest artist with the Bolshoi, performer at President Kennedy’s Inaugural, and first American to guest with the Royal Danish Ballet. In 1968, the Bell Telephone Hour’s salute to Villella became an Emmy Award-winning special. His Harlequin – A Patchwork of Love, the first ballet ever commissioned by an American TV network, resulted in Emmy Awards for the show and for Villella as choreographer, producer and star! He is a former member of the President’s Council on the Arts and a past recipient of the prestigious Capezio Award. Mr. Villella is founder and former Director of Miami City Ballet. He has been Artistic Advisor to New Jersey Ballet since 1971.
LESLIE BROWNE was born Leslie Brown (no "e") into a dancing dynasty; her parents, Kelly Brown and Isabel Mirrow, and brother, Ethan, all danced with American Ballet Theatre. Leslie began her training at age 7 in her father’s studio, and went on to the School of American Ballet, then joined New York City Ballet and later ABT. She sparked an explosion of interest in ballet when she appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Shirley MacLaine in the movie, The Turning Point (1977), for which she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Ms. Browne has also appeared in other films, on television and on Broadway in The Red Shoes. She danced with ABT for seventeen years and is currently following family tradition by choreographing and teaching ballet. In 1997, she was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award by the New York City Dance Alliance.
ALEXANDER BOITSOV received his ballet training at the Kiev School of Choreography. Upon graduation in 1970, he joined Donetsk Ballet and quickly rose to the rank of principal. He toured Europe, Japan, Israel, the Middle East and the United States with an extensive repertoire that included Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in Swan Lake, Solar in La Bayadere and Spartacus in Spartacus. In addition, he became an expert in Russian and Ukranian character dance styles. Since retiring from the stage, Mr. Boitsov has taught ballet at all levels. He is founder and Artistic Director of International Ballet Theatre, a company which specializes in Russian Repertoire.
NANCY RAFFA was born in Brooklyn and received her early training with the renowned Madame Gabriela Darvash. In 1980, Ms. Raffa became the youngest and first American female to win the Gold at the Prix do Lausanne in Switzerland. She subsequently joined “Makarova and Company” on Broadway and at 16, she became a member of ABT. She later became a principal dancer with Ballet de Santiago and Ballet National Francaise de Nancy. Ms. Raffa has twice been awarded a special teacher’s recognition from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and won a grant from the United States Information Services to act as a cultural ambassador and teacher in Honduras. She is a Ballet Mistress with American Ballet Theatre.