Colorado Ballet Announces 2020/2021 Season Dancer Roster

August 19, 2020

DENVER, CO (August 19, 2020) – Colorado Ballet welcomes two new Soloists to the company for the 2020/2021 Season. The company also adds five dancers to the Corps de Ballet, promoting four from Apprentice positions, and promotes five dancers from the Studio Company to Apprentice positions in the main Company. In addition, Colorado Ballet recognizes the retirements of long-time Principal Dancer Chandra Kuykendall, Soloist Tracy Jones and Corps de Ballet Dancers Arianna Ciccarelli and Tyler Rhoads.

In addition, Colorado Ballet and the Raydean Acevedo Colorado Ballet Academy are excited to announce that six pre-professional students have been hired to join the Studio Company.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome new dancers to our company and to celebrate promotions within the company ahead of our 60th Anniversary Season,” states Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “We are grateful for the 30 years that Principal Dancer Chandra Kuykendall spent with our Academy and Company. Her artistry is very moving and it was a joy to be a part of her journey as a professional dancer. We wish her and our other retiring dancers the very best for their future endeavors.

For the entire 2020/2021 dancer roster, please visit our website.

New Dancers

JENNIFER GRACE, Soloist – Originally from Bozeman, Montana,Jennifer comes to Colorado Ballet from Tulsa Ballet where she was a Soloist and performed works by choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, Derek Deane, Ben Stevenson, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Wayne McGregor and Alejandro Cerrudo. Jennifer was Pointe Magazine's August/September 2018 Cover Star. Learn more.

JONNATHAN RAMIREZ, Soloist – In 2010, Jonnathan joined the Tulsa Ballet where he performed numerous soloist and principal roles over ten consecutive years before joining Colorado Ballet. He is originally from Cali, Colombia began his training at the age of 8 at the Colombian Institute of Ballet, Incolballet. Learn more.

JESSICA PAYNE, Corps de Ballet – Jessica is from San Clemente, California and joined Tulsa Ballet’s second company in 2015. She was promoted into the main company the following year, where she continued to dance until joining Colorado Ballet. Jessica graduated in the spring of 2020 with her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. Learn more.

Apprentices promoted to Corps de Ballet

LIAM HOGAN - Liam grew up in Houston, Texas where he began his ballet training at the Houston Ballet Academy and completed his training at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. Following graduation with accolades in modern dance, Liam spent a year with the Washington Ballet Studio Company. Liam joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2018, was promoted to Apprentice in 2019 and then to Corps de Ballet in 2020. Learn more.

ARIEL MCCARTY - Originally from Allen, TX, Ariel began dancing/ballet at the age of three. At the age of nine, she began training in Dallas at Texas Ballet Theatre. Ariel continued her training with Colorado Ballet Academy’s Pre-Professional program. In 2017, she was promoted to Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company and then to Apprentice in 2018. Ariel was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in 2020. Learn more.

ALEXANDER ROY – Alexander received his training from the Chicago High School for the Arts. In 2016, he joined The Joffrey Academy of Dance as a Trainee on a full scholarship. He then joined Atlanta Ballet as a Second Company member in 2018. During his first season with Colorado Ballet, he performed Demi Soloist and Corps De Ballet roles such as Red Man in Lila York’s Celts, as well as Russian and Warrior in The Nutcracker. Learn more.

ALEXANDRA WILSON – Alexandra was born and raised in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and began training with Colorado Ballet Academy at age 9. At age 16, Alexandra accepted an invitation to train full-time on scholarship with the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. She joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2017 and was promoted to Apprentice in the Company in 2019 and then to Corps de Ballet in 2020. Learn more.

Studio Company Dancers promoted to Apprentices

CATHERINE AOKI – Catherine is from Los Angeles and spent her later training years in Colorado Ballet Academy’s Pre-Professional Program. She was selected to join the Colorado Ballet Studio Company in 2018 and was promoted to Apprentice in the Company in 2020. Since joining Colorado Ballet, she had the opportunity to perform in a variety of works including George Balanchine’s Serenade, Fernand Nault’s Carmina Burana and Michael Pink’s Peter Pan.Learn more.

SHERIDAN GUERIN – Sheridan was born in Ft. Worth, Texas and began her training at age 12. In 2017 Sheridan was accepted as a Studio Company member at Oklahoma City Ballet where she had the opportunity to perform in ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Little Mermaid. In 2018 Sheridan went on to join Atlanta Ballet’s school and had the opportunity to perform in Yuri Possokhov’s world premiere of The Nutcracker. Sheridan was then hired as a studio Company member for Colorado Ballet’s 2019/2020 season and promoted to Apprentice in 2020. Learn more.

EVER LARSON – Originally from Chicago, Illinois, started ballet at the age of two. She was a student at Ballet Society of Colorado Springs before relocating to Denver to attend Colorado Ballet Academy's full-time Pre-Professional Division. Notable performances while at Colorado Ballet Academy include Odette in Swan Lake and Giselle in Giselle. Ever joined Colorado Ballet's Studio Company in 2019 and was promoted to Apprentice in the Company in 2020. Learn more.

CATHERINE MCGREGOR – Catherine was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida where she began her training at the age of five. In 2016 she was offered a scholarship to attend the HARID Conservatory year-round in Boca Raton, Florida. After graduating from the HARID Conservatory in 2018, she was offered a Studio Company position with Colorado Ballet and was promoted to Apprentice in 2020. Learn more.

JACOB RAY – Jacob was born in Irvine, California and moved to Michigan at an early age. He began his dance training at age eight at the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. He spent summers training at intensives such as American Ballet Theatre in Irvine and The Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York on full scholarship, receiving an invitation by academy teachers for full-time study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. In 2019, Jacob joined the Colorado Ballet Studio Company and was excited to be promoted to Apprentice in 2020. Learn more.

Retiring Dancers

CHANDRA KUYKENDALL has been a part of Colorado Ballet for 30 years, training at the company’s Academy in her youth, and spending 22 seasons dazzling Colorado audiences in the main Company. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2007 and performed leading roles like Giselle in Giselle, Odette in Swan Lake, Dryad Queen in Don Quixote and, for many seasons, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Chandra was named a Legend of Dance by The Dance Archive at the University of Denver this month. Chandra is now working full time at her ballet school in Centennial and spending more time with her two young boys. Watch this biopic on Chandra and her career: Artist & Attitudes: When a dancer retires.

TRACY JONES joined Colorado Ballet in 2013 and was promoted to Soloist in 2017. She was born in Cork, Ireland, and started dancing at the age of five with Ballet Theatre Ireland. At 11, she trained and performed at The Royal Ballet School in London and then joined the English National Ballet as a Corps de Ballet member. Some of her favorite roles and works at Colorado Ballet have been Mercedes in Don Quixote, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fancy Free and Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade. Her journey in ballet will continue as she works with the American Guild of Musical Artists as a business representative and continues to teach.

ARIANNA CICCARELLI joined Colorado Ballet in 2013 as a Studio Company dancer and was hired as a Corps de Ballet member in 2016. She is from Bristol, Connecticut and began dancing ballet at age 12, studying in the pre-professional resident program at The Nutmeg Conservatory for The Arts. Some of her favorite roles and works at Colorado Ballet were Generosity Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling, Clara in The Nutcracker and one of the four little swans in Swan Lake. Arianna earned her BA while dancing full time and will now attend the University of Denver to work towards getting her MA in Sport and Performance Psychology.

TYLER RHOADS joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2014 and was promoted to a Corps de Ballet dancer in 2016. From Midland, TX, he trained at Midland Festival Ballet and later went on to train on full scholarship at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL. Some of his favorite works he performed were Kylian’s Petite Mort and Tharp’s Brief Fling. Tyler will begin his legal education at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York this fall.

All 2020 performances of Colorado Ballet’s beloved production of The Nutcracker are canceled, along with the 2021 production of Ballet MasterWorks. Giselle, originally slated to take place in October, will replace Ballet MasterWorks, moving all performances out of 2020. See the full announcement on our website.

With the cancellation of The Nutcracker and Ballet MasterWorks, as well as the postponement of Giselle to April 2021, we are dependent upon fundraising as our primary source of income for the remainder of 2020. Considering this extreme need, we have launched the Relief and Recovery Fund. With a fundraising goal of $3 million, this fund will help to cover a significant portion of the loss of ticketed revenue, allowing Colorado Ballet to retain its world-class dancers and staff and emerge from this crisis as the strong company it has become over the past 60 years. Please consider donating today.

Subscriptions on sale soon | Single tickets for The Great Gatsby will go on sale December 1

The Great Gatsby | February 5 – 7, 2021
Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The Wizard of Oz | March 5 – 14, 2021
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Presenting exceptional classical ballet and innovative contemporary dance through performances, training, education and community engagement, Colorado Ballet continues to inspire and grow an increasingly diverse audience base in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 60 years of excellence.As a world-class professional company, Colorado Ballet presents 55 performances annually to sold-out audiences in the 2,000 seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company’s 32 professional dancers and 21 studio company dancers come from all over the world. Colorado Ballet’s The Armstrong Center for Dance, a 35,000 square foot building, boasts eight state-of-the-art professional dance studios and amenities for the professional Company. Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet performs classical ballet masterpieces, full-length story ballets and its critically-acclaimed repertory production Ballet MasterWorks, featuring varied works from neoclassical ballets to world premieres. The Raydean Acevedo Colorado Ballet Academy serves over 1,200 students from toddlers to seniors each year. Colorado Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement programming serves under-resourced students, teachers, families, people with disabilities and lifelong learners, reaching more than 35,000 contacts in 300 schools and organizations annually. For more information please visit COLORADOBALLET.ORG.