OKC Ballet Announces New Dancers, Promotions

OKC Ballet Announces New Dancers, Promotions within Company

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 24, 2017 – Artistic Director Robert Mills announces new dancers and promotions within the company for the 2017 – 18 Season.  This illustrious collaboration of artists represents 6 countries around the world.

“We receive a tremendous amount of inquiries from dancers around the world wishing to audition for Oklahoma City Ballet.  We are fortunate that I can be highly selective in choosing the dancers I take into the company.  I look forward to working with this talented group of artists during our upcoming season,” said Artistic Director Robert Mills.

New to the company are Courtney Connor Jones and Jonathan Batista who will be joining as Principal Dancers, and new corps de ballet members are Zachary Artice and Sam Jones.

Ms. Connor Jones, originally from Huntington Beach, California joins the company from Cincinnati Ballet where she spent the past eleven seasons rising to the rank of First Soloist.  Mr. Batista is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has been a leading dancer with several companies across North America including Miami City Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet.  Zachary Artice, originally from Modesto, California joins the corps de ballet most recently from Ballet West and Sam Jones, originally from South Bend, Indiana, joins the corps de ballet after five seasons with Cincinnati Ballet.

“We have also promoted three of our current dancers,” says Mills.  “Second year company member Jefferson Payne has advanced from Corps de Ballet to Soloist, plus Mayu Odaka and Carrie Ruth Trumbo, who began as apprentices in the company, will now be members of the Corps de Ballet.”

These additions and promotions join returning principal dancers Miki Kawamura, Ronnie Underwood, DaYoung Jung, and Alvin Tovstogray, returning soloists Amanda Herd-Popejoy, Autumn Klein, Walker Martin, and Amy Potter, and Corps de Ballet artists Seth Bradley, Paige Brown, Sarah Jane Crespo, Daina Gingras, Claire Glavin, Daniel Hardman, Arianna Lawson, Dave Naquin, Joe Seaton, and Rayleigh Vendt.  There will be four returning apprentices:  Mickayla Carr, Lori Hernández, Alexandra Schooling, and Deshawn Marshall.

The debut of a new “Studio Company” and additional apprentices will be announced after the completion of the company’s six week Summer Intensive program that begins June 5th.

To read complete biographies and for season information, visit www.okcballet.org/company/artists/