Faculty & Staff
Arantxa Ochoa, School Director
Arantxa Ochoa the radiant principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet for 11 years was born in Valladolid, Spain. In October 2012 she retired from the stage to take on a new role as the Principal Teacher of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet and master lecturer at the University of the Arts. In September 2014 she became director of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ochoa took her first artistic steps as a rhythmic gymnast. At age 11, she moved to Madrid to study at the Centro de Danza with Victor Ullate, she continued her studies at the Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo and three years later she was accepted in the prestigious School of American Ballet, in New York. She studied with some of the best international teachers of the moment, Stanley Williams, Marika Besobrasova, William Burhman, Truman Finney, Suky Schorer and Adam Luders. Ochoa spent three years at Hartford Ballet before joining Pennsylvania Ballet in 1996.
Her versatility as a performer and her great interpretive maturity has gained her recognition from critics and audiences and allowed her to dance every major role, from the greatest works of classical tradition, to modern and neoclassical choreography. The New York Times wrote about her. “Ms. Ochoa beamed like Audrey Hepburn. When a ballet is in the hands of performers this good, you can sit relax and bask in its beauties”.
Some of the ballets in her repertoire included: Giselle, including Odette-Odile in the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Swanilda in Coppelia, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardee, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, and thetitle roles in James Kudelka’s The Firebird and Marius Petipa’s Giselle. Her extensive repertoire of Balanchine ballets included the leads in Apollo, Agon, Bugaku, Ballo Della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Divertimento 15, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Theme and Variations, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Western Symphony and Who Cares? Ms. Ochoa has also danced leading roles in William Forsythe In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Jerome Robbins The Concert and In the Night; Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room and Sinatra Songs; Peter Martins Fearful Symmetries and Waltz Project.
Ms. Ochoa had the opportunity to participate in many galas and festivals throughout Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, The Stars of the New York Ballet in London, the Sintra Festival in Portugal and the Northwest Phalen Tanz in Germany. In 2012 she was awarded ambassador of Valladolid’s Teatro Calderón. For the past 15 years, Ochoa has being a guest teacher in numerous colleges and schools. She has been invited to give dance conferences, master classes and summer courses in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Spain.
Amy Aldridge, Instructor
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Amy Aldridge is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and had the privilege of studying with Alonzo King, Jacques d’Amboise, Melissa Hayden, and Arthur Mitchell. Ms. Aldridge began her dance training at the School of Richmond Ballet and continued with The School of American Ballet and the Boston Ballet School.
Ms. Aldridge rose through the ranks at Pennsylvania Ballet to a promotion to Principal Dancer in 2001. Ms. Aldridge has performed principal roles in numerous works, including The Taming of the Shrew, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal gardée, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, and Square Dance. She has also performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Allegro Brillante, Theme and Variations, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Apollo, Who Cares?, and Ballo della Regina. In addition, Ms. Aldridge has created original roles for Dwight Rhoden’s 2x7, Trey McIntyre’s Plush and Cantilena, Matthew Neenan’s Keep and At the border, and Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella.
Ms. Aldridge has appeared internationally as part of the Sintra Festival in Portugal, the Northwest Phalen Tanz Festival in Germany (with choreographer Kevin O’Day) and with the Stars of New York Ballet in London. In May 2004, she performed as a guest artist with New York City Ballet dancing Tarantella as part of the George Balanchine Centennial Celebrations. She has also appeared with BalletX in Matthew Neenan’s Broke Apart, Jorma Elo’s Scenes View 2, and at Jacob’s Pillow in Summer 2006.
Valerie Amiss, Instructor
A native of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, Valerie Amiss began her dance training at the age of eight under the direction of Sue Millington at the Regency Ballet. She continued her training with Victor Moreno and Alexei Yudenich from 1985-1987, and at the age of 12, she began studying at the Pennsylvania Ballet School. At the age of 15, Ms. Amiss spent a summer studying in Saratoga Springs, New York, with members of the New York City Ballet, including Peter Martins, Heather Watts, and Jock Soto. She received an apprenticeship with Pennsylvania Ballet in 1992, and became a full member of the Corps de Ballet in 1993. In 1994, she was nominated for the prestigious dance accolade, the Princess Grace Award. In 1995, she performed at the Algur H. Meadows Award ceremony honoring choreographer Paul Taylor. In the summer of 1995, Ms. Amiss performed with the Chautauqua Ballet Company, directed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride. She also performed at the St. Bart’s Music Festival in 1997. Ms. Amiss was promoted to Soloist at the Pennsylvania Ballet in August 1999, and during that summer, she represented the company at the Sintra Festival in Portugal. In 2005, she performed at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, dancing Pas de Trois, Pas de Quatre, and Lead Czardas in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. That same year, Ms. Amiss performed at New York’s City Center, dancing in Matthew Neenan’s11:11 and Carmina Burana. She also had the privilege of performing twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as performing at a Rock School benefit with Susan Jaffe and Nicole Hlinka.
Ms. Amiss has had the pleasure of performing many principal roles in George Balanchine ballets including Marzipan lead, Dew Drop, and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Odette in Swan Lake, Act II. She has also performed featured roles in such works as John Butler’s Carmina Burana, Paquita, Giselle, Lilac Fairy, Blue Bird, and Pas de Trois in Janek Schergen’s The Sleeping Beauty, Bianca in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, Summer Fairy and Spring Fairy in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Bomb Squad Girl in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum and Swan Lake, Alvin Ailey’s The River, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night and The Concert, and Balanchine’s Bugaku, Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Scotch Symphony, Valse Fantasie, Western Symphony, Raymonda Variations, Pas de Trois in Agon, and the Waltz Girl in Serenade.
During her dancing career, Ms. Amiss taught numerous ballet and pointe classes inseveral summer sessions at the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She has been a guest instructor at many New Jersey and Pennsylvania dance schools, including Lionville School of Dance in Lionville, Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley Dance Academy in Colmar, Pennsylvania, Roseann Bruna School of Dance in Mantua, New Jersey, Dance Arts in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Kathy Henkel School of Dance in Washington Township, New Jersey. For the past seven years, Ms. Amiss has been the co-ballet mistress for The Academy of Ballet NJ in West Berlin, New Jersey.
Ms. Amiss retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet in June 2007 and resides in Mantua, New Jersey, with her husband, former Pennsylvania Ballet Soloist Edward Cieslak and their son, Adam, and daughter, Lily.
Alexei Borovik, Instructor
Alexei Borovik was born in Russia and began his ballet training at age 10 at the Perm Ballet Academy. Upon graduating in 1979, he was invited to join the Perm Ballet Theatre. His reputation quickly established itself, and in 1982 he was elevated to Premiere Dancer.
Mr. Borovik was awarded the Second Prize at The Artistic Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1984. In 1987, he won the Gold Medal at The Sixth Concourse International Ballet Festival in Peru and was honored with a decoration as “Merited Artist of Russia.”
A highly sought-after guest artist, Mr. Borovik has made numerous appearances internationally and throughout Russia. In 1997, he toured China with “The Stars of the American Ballet.” He has also toured Europe and Asia with “Stars of the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet.” In 1992, Mr. Borovik was named Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet.
His extensive repertoire includes principal roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, The Taming of the Shrew, and others. Along with the leading roles in the classical repertoire, he has been featured in many George Balanchine ballets: Apollo, Rubies, The Four Temperaments, Tarantella, Serenade, Theme and Variations, and Stars and Stripes. Mr. Borovik has also danced in such diverse pieces as Hans Van Manen’s Grosse Fugue, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk, and he has created roles in many new ballets.
In June 1997, Mr. Borovik had the prestigious honor of being invited to return to his homeland of Russia to appear as Principal Guest Artist in The Perm Ballet Theatre’s productions of Don Quixote and Giselle in celebration of their 125th Jubilee. Mr. Borovik retired as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2006.
Laura Bowman, Instructor
Laura Bowman began dancing at the age of three in Raleigh, NC. She trained with the Raleigh School of Ballet, where she studied under Ann Vorus and Mary LeGere. Her training was supplemented by summer intensives with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Houston Ballet School. Ms. Bowman completed her training during the 2000-2001 Season with The Rock School for Dance Education under full scholarship.
Ms. Bowman became an Apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet in August 2001 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in September 2003. Since joining the Company, she has danced the leading role in Agnes de Mille's Rodeo and has been featured in Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto, the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake, Margo Sappington's Rodin, Mis En Vie, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Raymonda Variations, Kevin O'Day's Quartet for IV, Paul Taylor's Company B, Matthew Neenan's 11:11 and Penumbra, Jerome Robbins' N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz and The Concert, Jiri Kylian's Forgotten Land and Petite Mort, and William Forsythe's Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Ms. Bowman has also originated many roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon, Matthew Neenan, David Fielding, and Meredith Rainey.
In addition to her work with Pennsylvania Ballet Ms. Bowman has performed with Carolina Ballet and Ballet X, and in 2010 was cast as a Dancer in the Academy Award Winning Movie Black Swan. She has performed in the International Ballet Festival of Miami, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, and most recently the Vail International Dance Festival in Colorado. Ms. Bowman has taught for schools throughout Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and New Jersey.
Martha Chamberlain, Instructor
Born and raised in Media, Pennsylvania, Martha Chamberlain began her dance training when she was five years old at theMedia Fellowship House. She went on to study with Donna Muzio, Paul Klocke, and Cherie Noble at West Chester’s Dance Center, The School of American Ballet’s Summer Program (1985-1988), and The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. She is a graduate of Friends Select School.
Ms. Chamberlain joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in the fall of 1989 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet three months later. She was promoted to Soloist in 1997 and to Principal after her premiere as Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet in March 2000.
Ms. Chamberlain danced several leading roles with Pennsylvania Ballet including Cinderella in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Katherina in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, Juliet in Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppélia, Myrtha in Giselle, Dewdrop and Sugarplum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and Helena and Divertissement Pas de Deux in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Western Symphony, Serenade, Apollo and “Rubies”from Jewels; Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove and In the Upper Room;and Paul Taylor’s Company B and Arden Court. She created roles for many choreographers including Trey McIntryre, Jessica Lang, Jorma Elo, and Matthew Neenan. During her career Ms. Chamberlain had the opportunity to dance internationally in Portugal, England, Germany., and Scotland. She retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2011 after dancing with that company for 21 years.
Ms. Chamberlain has designed costumes for many years. Among the choreographers she has collaborated with are Christopher D’ Amboise, Matthew Neenan, Meredith Rainey, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Jorma Elo, and Nicolo Fonte. She is also the founder and proprietor of Chamberlain Goods, a dancer wear company specializing in custom made leotards, tights, and warm-ups.
Lauren Fadeley, Instructor
Lauren Fadeley was born in Orlando, FL, where she began her dance training at age four. She trained at the Orlando Ballet School and the School of Performing Arts in Florida, along with summer intensives at The Rock School for Dance Education and The School of American Ballet. In 2000 at age 15, after attending SAB for three consecutive summers, Ms. Fadeley moved to New York City to study there full-time.
Once completing a year at SAB, Ms. Fadeley was invited by Peter Martins to join New York City Ballet. While there, she performed in numerous works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Mr. Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon. After two years with New York City Ballet, Ms. Fadeley decided to further her academic and dance education by attending Indiana University. While at IU, she performed principal roles in Serenade, Sonatine, The Nutcracker, Spring Waters, Cinderella, Who Cares?, Paquita, Napoli, and Allegro Brillante. In May 2007, she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an outside field in Kinesiology.
Since joining Pennsylvania Ballet in fall 2007, Ms. Fadeley has originated featured roles in Peter Quanz' Jupiter Symphony, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Requiem for a Rose, and Matthew Neenan's Pampeana, Keep, At the border, Beside them, they dwell, and La Chasse. She has performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania, Divertissement Pas de Deux), Emeralds and Diamonds from Jewels, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ (Sugarplum Fairy, Dewdrop), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Striptease Girl), Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Serenade (Waltz Girl); Giselle; Coppélia; Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain (Pas de Deux); and Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan (Wendy).
Ms. Fadeley also has performed featured roles in The Four Temperaments (First Theme, Third Theme, Sanguinic), Agon (Pas de Deux), Ballo della Regina, Messiah, Kazimir's Colours, Cinderella (Summer Fairy), Octet for Strings, Five Tangos, La Sylphide, Barber Violin Concerto, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land and Petite Mort, and William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite (Pas de Deux 2), The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, and In the middle, somewhat elevated.
In March 2011, Ms. Fadeley premiered as Odette/Odile in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake. She was also one of 14 Pennsylvania Ballet dancers who performed in the Academy Award-winning film Black Swan. She has appeared as a principal guest artist with Carolina Ballet at An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, NC in 2012 and with BalletX at the Vail International Dance Festival in 2012 and at The Joyce Theater in New York City in 2013. Ms. Fadeley was promoted to Soloist for the 2011-2012 Season and to Principal Dancer for the 2012-2013 Season. She is married to Principal Dancer Francis Veyette.
Jessica Gattinella, Instructor
Born in San Rafael, California and raised in Philadelphia, Jessica Gattinella began her dance training at the age of six with the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet where she had the privilege of studying under Nina Fedorova, Gloria Govrin, Olga Kostritsky, Adam Luders, and Yvonne Patterson. Ms. Gattinella furthered her training by attending summer programs at the School of American Ballet and New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York.
As a Trainee with Pennsylvania Ballet, she performed such ballets as Paquita, Rubies, Stars and Stripes, The Four Temperaments, Christopher d’Amboise’s Just One of Those Things, as well as George Balanchine’s Swan Lake at The Kennedy Center in 1994. After graduating Cum Laude from Philadelphia’s Friends Select School in 1995, Ms. Gattinella joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an apprentice in 1996 and was promoted to Corps de Ballet in 1998. During her ten year career, she performed in over twenty of George Balanchine’s ballets, with featured roles in Agon, The Nutcracker, Raymonda Variations, Theme and Variations, and Who Cares? Ms. Gattinella also danced featured roles in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Margo Sappington’s Rodin, Mis En Vie, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Kevin O’Day’s Quartet for IV, and Matthew Neenan’s Le Travail and 11:11.
In 2006, Ms. Gattinella retired from the stage to start a family and she and her husband are now proud parents of a son and daughter. After her retirement, she taught for Pennsylvania Ballet’s Outreach Program, Brandywine Ballet, and worked as a rehearsal assistant with BalletX.
In 2008, with the help of her mentor and repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, Sandra Jennings, she too began staging ballets for The George Balanchine Trust. Ms. Gattinella has staged Serenade, Valse Fantaisie, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux for Oklahoma City Ballet, Butler University, Brandywine Ballet, and Metropolitan Ballet Academy. She has also taught at University of the Arts, staging excerpts from Matthew Neenan’s 11:11.
Alexander Iziliaev, Instructor
Born and raised in Sterlitamak, Russia, Alexander Iziliaev began his ballet training at age 11 at The Perm Ballet School. Upon graduating in 1992, he won the Moscow International Competition and the Perm Competition. That same year he traveled to the United States and joined the Hartford Ballet. Immediately cast in principal roles, Mr. Iziliaev also originated many roles in Kirk Peterson ballets, and he continued his training with Truman Finney.
In 1995, he was invited by Peter Martins to join the New York City Ballet. There his extensive repertoire of featured roles included George Balanchine’s Tarantella, Allegro Brillante, and The Four Temperaments; and Peter Martins’s Fearful Symmetries. Mr. Iziliaev also originated roles in Kevin O’Day’s Badchonim and Richard Tanner’s Schoenberg/Wuorinen Variations.
Mr. Iziliaev joined Pennsylvania Ballet in September 2000 as a Principal Dancer. His roles with the Company included Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppélia, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prince Ivan in The Firebird, Frederick in Dracula, and James in La Sylphide. He has also danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Agon, Serenade, The Nutcracker and Western Symphony. Mr. Iziliaev has also performed in Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk; and has made numerous international appearances in London, Paris, Scotland, Brazil, and throughout South America. Mr. Iziliaev retired as a Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2011.
Jon Martin, Instructor
Currently teaching with the beginning/elementary levels at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Mr. Martin worked and trained with such notable teachers as Ruth Page, Harold Lang, Dimitri Romanoff, Jacqueline Hepner, Jilliana, Robert Rodham, Lupe Serrano and Gloria Govrin. He has been invited to work with such companies as San Diego Ballet, California Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet.
Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.
A California native, Francis Veyette began his dance training at age 10 at Dance Arts in Visalia, CA. He also studied at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica and took summer sessions at The School of American Ballet in New York City and The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Mr. Veyette joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in 1997 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in September 1999. His featured roles included Candy Cane and Tea in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Titania's Cavalier in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In August 2003, Mr. Veyette joined Kansas City Ballet under the artistic direction of William Whitener, where he danced for two seasons. His featured roles included the principal couple in Balanchine's Square Dance and Theme and Variations, Cavalier and Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker, the Husband in Jerome Robbins' The Concert, the principal couple in Paquita, and the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle. He appeared as a guest artist for Pennsylvania Ballet on three occasions during the 2004-2005 Season, before returning to the Company for the 2005-2006 Season as a member of the Corps de Ballet. Mr. Veyette was promoted to Soloist for the 2007-2008 Season and to Principal Dancer for the 2011-2012 Season.
Mr. Veyette’s principal roles include Prince Siegfried in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, the Pas de Deux in George Balanchine’s Agon and Diamonds from Jewels, Colas in Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée, Franz in Coppélia, and Pas de Deux 2 in William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite. In 2012, Mr. Veyette danced the role of Count Albrecht in Giselle opposite former Principal Dancer Arantxa Ochoa in her final series of performances. He has created featured roles in Jorma Elo’s Pulcinella, Benjamin Millepied’s This Part in Darkness, and several Matthew Neenan ballets including 11:11, As It's Going, Penumbra, and Pampeana No.2.
In addition, Mr. Veyette has made guest appearances with Massachusetts Youth Ballet, Westside Ballet, and Festival Ballet Theatre. He appeared in Japan during the summers of 2002 and 2004, dancing Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Giselle, and Le Corsaire. He also has had the opportunity to work with cutting-edge choreographers as a guest artist with Matthew Neenan and Christine Cox's BalletX and has created several of his own works for both Shut Up and Dance and Kansas City Ballet's "In the Wings" program. Mr. Veyette is married to Principal Dancer Lauren Fadeley.
Ainsliewear, The official leotard of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.