Press Release: Ballet Pensacola is pleased to welcome 16 new professional and student dancers to its 2011 – 2012 performing company. The dancers, who have local connections and international credentials, will perform in productions, including “Dracula,” “The Nutcracker,” “Freedom Dance” and “Clue.”
Kayla Bartlett, of Longview, Texas, joins Ballet Pensacola after one year as a trainee with Ballet Austin, studying with Michelle Martin and Stephen Mills. Additionally, she has studied with Miami City Ballet School and the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia.
Tyler Day, of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, has most recently been a member of Atlantic City Ballet. Day has trained and performed with Alberta Ballet and was a member of Ballet Ouest de Montreal and Ontario Ballet Theatre.
Ya Meng Lin comes to Pensacola from Beijing. She has trained at Beijing Dance Academy, Kirov Academy of Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has participated in Youth America Grand Prix and was a Top Finalist of the Senior Division in 2007. Lin also won the Outstanding Performance Award at the 8th Peach and Plum Cup Dance Competition in China.
Debi Janea Marshall, who has danced with Ballet Pensacola since age 9, has been promoted to the position of soloist. Marshall attended the International Ballet Competition in 2006 and has danced numerous roles with Ballet Pensacola.
Pensacola-native Dustin Simmons will also begin his debut season as a soloist with the company. Simmons has danced in “The Nutcracker” and in Christine Duhon’s “In the Upper Room.”
Erin Lapaglia, of Austin, Texas, is returning for her second season as a soloist. Samuel Joseph Mounce, of McAllen, Texas, joins Ballet Pensacola for his third season. Kristen Springer, of Atlanta, Ga., is returning for her fourth season.
In addition to the professional dancers, there are local student dancers who are part of the company. Ensemble members are Hailey Bates, Amanda Clayton, Marissa Frangione, Rachel Kincaid, Sarah Kincaid, Abigail Rodgers, Deniece Wade, Bridget White. Newly promoted Apprentices are Jazzmene Bernard, Rebecca Kincaid, Tarra Talbert, and Diane Wade. Returning Youth Ensemble members are Lana Bell, Emily Bougher, Skylar Boyles, Alexis Fonacier, Claire Harrison, Katelyn Kincaid, Kasey Page, and Elisabeth Wright. New Youth Ensemble members are Elizabeth Ames, Katy Cauley, Aeyah Fisher-Miller, Miyana Fisher-Miller, Lauren Hagy, Louise Harris, Maggie Heckler, Shana Kilcawley, Angel Mitchell, Savannah Tatum, and Jane Tomlinson.
The 2011 – 2012 Patsy Hill Merit Scholarship was awarded to Bridget White.