The goal of the teachers at The School of Pennsylvania Ballet is to enable every student to achieve his or her goals as a dancer. We know that our students have a genuine passion for this art form, and we treasure the dedication that they bring to the studio every day. We also believe that the passion, commitment and joy of dance will spill over into all aspects of the lives of our students.
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.
Ana Alvarez Gonzalez, Stretch & strengthen Instructor
Ana Alvarez Gonzalez is an internationally respected Rhythmic Gymnastics coach for Bala gymnastics in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Her credentials and experience are considered as an extraordinary level, and of critical and particular importance to the U.S. Gymnastics Federation because they were in need of coaches at this level in order to compete on the world stage of Rhythmic Gymnastics. The United States has for years been a dominant force in most gymnastic disciplines; however, the field of Rhythmic Gymnastics is relatively new to U.S. gymnasts. Gonzalez is a Level 2 Judge, which is the highest level of Judge Certification in Spain, and also a Level 3 Coach, which is the highest level of Coaching Certification. Gonzalez has coached at the highest level of national competition in Spain, and founded her own rhythmic gymnastics club, which has quickly become noted and distinguished in the region of Castille y Leon. Gonzalez has a degree in Sports and Exercise Sciences. During her five years at the University of Leon in Spain, she studied how a healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health from cellular to whole body perspectives. My degree involves the study of areas such as Exercise Physiology, Sport Psychology, Anatomy, Biomechanics, and Kinesiology.
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.
Sarah Cooper, Instructor
Bio coming soon
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.
June Hines, Pilates Instructor
June Hines, graduate of The University of Oklahoma with a B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Dance, taught dance at first Mercyhurst College and then Allentown College now DeSales Universi- ty for a total of eleven years as an Associate Professor. June was certified in 1996 by Romana Kyrzanowska to teach Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. Working with danc- ers and physical therapy patients, she directed The Pilates Studio at The Pennsylvania Bal- let for seven years. June was also a faculty member of the Abington Arts Center from 1998- 2013 teaching Pilates. From 2010-2011, June taught Pilates at the Metropolitan Ballet Academy. At present June is teaching Pilates at the School of the PA Ballet. In 1997 June Hines Pilates was opened in Rydal and in 2006 the Doylestown location was opened. June is a Level 3 teacher trainer for Romana’s Pilates and teaches within her two studios.
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.
Alexander Peters, Instructor
Alexander Peters began his training at Nicole Swope’s Centre Dance of State College, PA. He continued his training at Deborah Anthony's Allegheny Ballet Academy under the guidance of Cristin Burwell, Cherie Noble, and Richard Cook. Mr. Peters was accepted to The School of American Ballet in Summer 2006 and attended as a full-time student from 2007-2010 as a recipient of the Andrei Kramarevsky Scholarship (created by Peter Boal). While at SAB, Mr. Peters had the privilege of participating in several New York Choreographic Institute projects, the annual SAB Workshops, and the 2008 Jerome Robbins Celebration with New York City Ballet. He participated in an international exchange program with the RoyalDanish Ballet after receiving a scholarship from the Danish American Society.
Following SAB, Mr. Peters danced with Kansas City Ballet under the direction of William Whitener where he performed several George Balanchine ballets including Mozartiana and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. He also originated the title role in the world premiere of Whitener’s Tom Sawyer .In 2011, Mr. Peters performed with Pennsylvania Ballet as a guest artist in Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée .He joined the Company as an Apprentice in November 2011 and was promoted to Corps de Ballet in April 2012 and to Soloist in June 2014. He has performed principal roles in The Prodigal Son, Allegro Brillante, George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM (Soldier, Tea, and Candy Cane) and in 2015 debued as Prince Siegfried in Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake.
His has danced featured roles in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck and Oberon),Jewels (Rubies), Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove, Matthew Neenan’s 11:11 (Poses), Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Robbins’ N.Y Export: Opus Jazz and The Concert, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, and Giselle (Peasant Pas de Deux). He has originated featured roles in Neenan's Beside them, they dwell. and La Chasse and McIntyre’s The Accidental.
Additionally, Mr. Peters has performed as a guest artist with Tom Gold Dance and Dance Theater of Pennsylvania and has been featured at both the Kansas City Dance Festival and The Vail International Dance Festival. In August 2013, he performed with BalletX at the Joyce Theater in New York City in works by Neenan and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
Mr. Peters was named a “Dancer to Watch” in Dance Spirit Magazine’s December 2009 issue and was featured as a "Dancer Spotlight" in the April 2013 issue of Pointe Magazine.
Mr.Peters is a recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Award and the 2010 Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise.
Allison Pierce, Instructor
Originally from Mifflinburg, PA, Allison Pierce began her ballet training at the age of seven under Alicia Little at Enterline’s Dance Center. Ms. Pierce then continued her ballet studies at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet from 2005-2008. She also studied privately under Erin Stiefel Inch and Laszlo Berdo. Ms. Pierce supplemented her training by attending summer courses at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
In 2008, Ms. Pierce was accepted to the Houston Ballet Academy where she then trained for two years. In January of 2009, Ms. Pierce became a member of the Houston Ballet II where she performed with the Houston Ballet in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker, and Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere.
In 2010, she chose to pursue her academics while studying ballet at Indiana University. While there she performed in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and Who Cares?
Ms. Pierce joined the Pennsylvania Ballet II for the 2011-2012 season, was promoted to apprentice in 2014, and Corp de ballet in 2015. With the company, she performed in George Balanchine’s Ballo Della Regina, Jewels, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and A Midsummer Nights Dream, William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. After her four-year career with the Pennsylvania Ballet, she is now currently teaching for the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet as well as First Position Dance Arts.
Henry Roy, Modern Instructor
Henry E. Roy is a choreographer and teacher of ballet, jazz, modern, and ethnic dance. Roy began his training in St. Louis, Missouri, studying at the Katherine Dunham School in East St. Louis, Illinois, while attending Webster College in Missouri as a drama student. His dance training continued at the Alvin Ailey School in New York. Roy received his BFA degree in dance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He serves on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.
Roy is a former principal dancer with the Ballet Kloss, the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company, the Joan Kerr Dance Company, and Sybil Dance Company.
He has created works for Ballet Kloss Dance Company, Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company, Glassboro State Dance Company, the American Music Theater Festivals touring company production of Boboes, and the Arden Theatre's production of Guarding the Garden. Roy has conducted workshops as a guest teacher throughout the United States and abroad. He has been on the dance faculties of Bryn Mawr College, the University of the Arts, and the Shirley Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Martha Chamberlain, Guest Faculty
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.
Kyra Nichols, Guest Faculty
Kyra Nichols began her early training in Berkeley, California, with her mother, Sally Streets, a former member of New York City Ballet. By age 13, Ms. Nichols started spending her summers in New York at the School of American Ballet. She performed with Alan How- ard’s San Francisco based Pacific Ballet before moving to New York full-time when she was 15 years old.
She became an apprentice to NYCB in 1974 and quickly became a member of the corps de ballet. In 1979 she was promoted by George Balanchine to the rank of Principal Dancer. Her early years in the company were enlivened by the presence of George Balanchine and Je- rome Robbins, both of whom were choreographing on the Company. Kyra Nichols danced numerous leading roles in the company repertory, ranging from pyrotechnic displays of bravura skill in ballets such as Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto Number 2 and Stars and Stripes to more lyrical and dramatic roles such those in Liebeslieder Walzer and Robert Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze.In addition to her work with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, Ms. Nichols has worked with an extensive list of choreographers including, William Forsythe, Susan Stroman, Christopher Wheeldon, Peter Martins, Jacques D’Amboise, Robert La Fosse and Robert Garland.
During her career, Ms. Nichols has toured extensively. In 1981 she joined a small group led by Jerome Robbins that performed in mainland China as part of a US Information Agency effort to bring American culture to the Chinese. Over the years Ms. Nichols has performed all over the world, including Great Britain, Japan, France, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Is- rael and Italy. She has also appeared as a guest artist in various productions including Franco Zeffirelli’s La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. By special invitation she performed in Cuba as a guest of Alicia Alonso. With New York City Ballet dancer Gen Horiuchi Ms. Nichols led a group of dancers for a three week series of performances in Tokyo. Of course, her touring included sites all over the United States, from High School gym- nasium’s in Alabama to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Nichols has appeared on national television in Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes for the Lin- coln Center Special “A New York City Ballet Tribute to George Balanchine,” in Balanchine’s Serenade for a “Dance in America” program, and also in Mr. Martins’ Beethoven Romance for the “Dance in America” program, “Ballerinas, Dances by Peter Martins.” Ms. Nichols also appeared in the 20th anniversary broadcast of the PBS series “Great Performances” in Mr. Martins’ Not My Girl.
Ms. Nichols danced the featured role of Dewdrop in the film version of George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM, produced by Elektra Entertainment/New Regency Enterprises, and re- leased in November 1993 by Warner Brothers.
Kyra retired from New York City Ballet in June of 2007, after 33 years with the company. In recent years Ms. Nichols has been teaching and setting ballets.
Ms. Nichols lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, David Gray, and their two sons. On the odd occasion when she experiences free time, Ms. Nichols enjoys cooking and gardening.