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  • Christopher Ellis – Orlando Ballet, 2004-2007; Colorado Ballet, 2007-present

  • Peter Franc – Houston Ballet 2005-2012; Principal, Oregon Ballet Theatre 2016 - present

  • Luis Gonzalez – Houston Ballet II, Joffrey Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Sarasota Ballet

  • Anastacia Holden – Joffrey Ballet, Embarc

  • Naomi Hergott – Colorado Ballet Studio Company, 2011-2013; Cincinnati Ballet II

  • Alexis Matthesen – Charlotte Ballet 2012-2014, Saint Louis Ballet 2014 - present

  • James Sciarrotta – Nashville Ballet II, 2009; Georgia Ballet, 2010-present

  • Sarah Cordia Smith – Nashville Ballet II, 2010; Nashville Ballet, 2011-present

  • Lindsey Stephens – Nashville Ballet II, 2011-present

  • Kathleen Thielhelm – The Joffrey Ballet, 2004-2009; Bejart Ballet, 2009-present

  • Colette Tilinski - Nashville Ballet

  • Justin Urso –Texas Ballet Theatre, Company - 2004-2010, Company Mgr/Asst. to the Artistic Director


Principal Dancer, Nashville Ballet


As soon as she joined NB2 (Nashville Ballet 2) in 2010, Sarah Cordia became an important part of Nashville Ballet’s Outreach & Community Engagement program as well as the company’s regular performance season. Sarah quickly advanced to become an apprentice with Nashville Ballet in 2011, then joined the full company in 2012. 


Since joining the company, Sarah has performed as Snow Queen in Nashville’s Nutcracker, and held the principal roles of Cinderella, and of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.


Before joining NB2, Sarah trained with Maniya at MBT as well as Christina Hampton, Roscoe Sales, Orlando Molina and John Magnus. While at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, she earned the Young Artists Merit Scholarship from the National Endowment of the Arts. (photo credit Nashville Ballet)

Sarah Cordia
Peter Franc


Principal Dancer, Oregon Ballet Theatre

Joined OBT in 2015 | Principal since 2016

Peter Franc received his early ballet training with Atlanta’s Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, the Louisville Ballet School, and graduated from the Houston Ballet Academy. He then joined Houston Ballet, rising to the rank of demi-soloist. Notable performances include works by Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, Hans Van Manen, and Stanton Welch.


He continued dancing 3 seasons with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, featuring in a variety of contemporary work by choreographers Jorma Elo, Nicolo Fonte, Cayetano Soto and  Alejandro Cerrudo. He joined OBT as a soloist in 2015 and was promoted to principal in 2016.

(photo credit Oregon Ballet Theatre)

Joffrey Ballet:


Luis Eduardo Gonzalez is originally from Bogota, Colombia, where he grew up before moving to Atlanta, Georgia.


He began his training at a very young age primarily from the continued direction of MBT director Maniya Barredo, former prima ballerina of Atlanta Ballet. Mr. Gonzalez has received the Star Student award at Regional Dance America’s SERBA, took third place at the Regional Youth American Grand Prix competition in 2008, first place pas de deux at the American Ballet Competition in 2013, and was selected to compete as the only representative of Colombia in the 2014 Jackson International Ballet Competition.


Gonzalez began his professional career with The Houston Ballet II. At 18 he joined Orlando Ballet and was with the company for three years before moving to The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago in 2015. In 2019, Gonzalez returned to the Orlando Ballet and also holds the position of Resident Choreographer here at MBT.

(photo credit Richard Finkelstein, at 2014 USAIBC)



Luis Eduardo Gonzalez
Anastacia Holden

Joffrey Ballet, Embarc

Anastacia Holden joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2005 following two seasons as an Arpino Apprentice. 

While at the Joffrey, she enjoyed performing in many classical favorites and contemporary ballets and was honored to dance in numerous works by Joffrey co-founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.

In 2010, Holden ended her time at Joffrey to turn her energies to helping students outside ballet with the foundation of the non-profit organization Embarc, a three-year program that providing community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success.

(photo credit, Joffrey Ballet)

stacia holden clara_edited.jpg
Alexis Matthesen

Saint Louis Ballet:

Alexis began her training with MBT and after graduation joined Charlotte Ballet's second company, going on to become apprentice.  As of 2014, Matthesen became a member of the Saint Louis Ballet and has danced many featured roles in her time there, including Gen Horiuchi: Don Quixote, The Nutcracker(Soldier Doll, Lead Spanish), The Sleeping Beauty (Princess Florine, Violente), Swan Lake (Four Little Swans), Amore Mio, Haydyn Cello Concerto, La Reve, La Vie, Passage

George Balanchine: Serenade, Western Symphony, Who Cares?

Alexis has also danced Brian Eno's "Bloom", "Oasis" by Tom Gold, "Mispacha" by Miriam Mahdaviani, "Love's Ennui" by Francis Patrelle, and Michael Uthoff's "La Fontana".

Colette Tilinski


Bejart Ballet Lausanne

Kathleen began her dance training with Jean Wolfmeyer in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and continued her education at the Virginia School of the Arts. She then moved to New York and joined the Joffrey Ballet School and also at Metropolitan Ballet Theater. She was a member of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago for nine seasons and went on to join the Béjart Ballet Lausanne as a company member in 2009. She has taken part in ballets of choreographers such as Sthan Kabar-Louet, and Alonzo King, and danced lead roles in works by Maurice Bejart and Gil Roman.

She is also known in film for her work in Robert Altman's The Company, and features in two films by Aranxta Aguirre Ballet Bejart Lausanne au Palais Garnier, and An American Swan in Paris.



Nashville Ballet

Colette began her training at MBT at seven years of age where she remained under the tutelage of Maniya Barredo until graduation.  During that time she danced lead roles in Coppelia (Swanhilda), Paquita, Swan Lake (Odette), Nutcracker (Sugar Plum, Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Clara), Graduation Ball, and numerous contemporary pieces performed at SERBA & RDA festivals. Colette spent summers on scholarship at Joffrey Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Patel Conservatory while also working with numerous internationally acclaimed instructors through MBT guest instruction.


Upon graduation in 2017, she joined Nashville Ballet II and was promoted to the main company within one year of her arrival.

(photo credit Richard  Calmes)



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