Andrew Brader was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, and began his training with Karen Hebert and at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts with Jan Miller and Miguel Lopez. He attended The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, on full scholarship and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, also studying privately with Susan Jaffe.
Invited to join ABT as an apprentice, Mr. Brader danced with the company at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, and then joined the Houston Ballet performing in ballets by Stanton Welch, Ben Stevenson, John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan and George Balanchine. He danced with the Los Angeles Ballet for four seasons, performing principal roles in George Balanchine's Agon, The Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Serenade, Kammermuzik No.2, Lar Lubovich's The Evangelist, Bournonville's Napoli Pas de Six, and original works by Josie Walsh, Sonya Tayeh, Olivier Wevers, and Melissa Barak's Scrying, presented as the first dance installation performed at NYC's Modern Museum of Art.
Mr. Brader was a Lester Horton Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Performance and winner of the Habich-Corey Emerging Choreographer award.
He spent two seasons with BalletMet Columbus before joining Stadt Theater Chemnitz as a Soloist in Chemnitz, Germany. Mr. Braden danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2014-2018 under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, and has taught for Complexions’ intensives, as well as Joffrey Ballet School summer intensives.
Mr. Brader has performed on the stages of The Metropolitan Opera House NYC, The Kennedy Center DC, The Music Center Los Angeles, The Tel-Aviv Opera House Israel, The Odessa Opera Ukraine, The Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg and The Kremlin Palace Moscow, Russia. He has danced alongside international dance stars in the galas of Laguna Dance Festival, World Ballet Competition, City Dance Gala DC, The Golden Swan Gala, and The Monterrey International Ballet Gala Mexico. Mr. Braden has appeared in music videos for Jill Scott and music legend Nile Rodgers, and has also worked as a model for Los Angeles Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and New York Men’s Fashion Week.
Ms. Cobb is the Founding Director of BAM Ballet Academy & Movement. Read her bio here.
Kenneth Easter trained and performed with San Francisco Ballet and the Boston Ballet early in his career. He was a principal dancer with Miami City Ballet prior to joining ABT in 2003. His repertory with the Company include a Step-Sister in Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, Bottom in The Dream, the Young Soldier and the Old Soldier in The Green Table, Mother Ginger in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Puss-in-Boots and a Fairy Knight in The Sleeping Beauty, Trinculo in The Tempest and roles in Black Tuesday, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Sechs Tänze, Sinfonietta, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and workwithinwork. He was featured in two ABT film projects, Swan Lake and Don Quixote, and appeared in the movie Black Swan with Natalie Portman.
Mr. Easter guest teaches throughout the world and has been a guest instructor for ABT’s Summer Program. Recently retired from ABT after dancing with the company for 13 years, he appeared during that time in nearly every ballet in the company’s repertory. Mr. Easter has been the Children's Ballet Master for ABT's The Nutcracker since 2016 and has also served as the Children's Ballet Master for ABT's productions of Whipped Cream and Harlequinade. He is certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Addison Holmes' training includes: Royal Academy of Dance, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet NYC (scholarship), Austin Ballet (scholarship), and Mignon Furman’s American Academy of Ballet (scholarship). Ms. Addison has several credits with ballet world renowned ballet companies, including Texas Ballet Theatre, where she performed in several full length classical ballets. While studying for her BFA on scholarship at Southern Methodist University, she performed in several pieces (ballet, modern, jazz) and was the only female freshman cast by guest artist Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros for his trio piece “Tango Tonto”. During her competitive years, Ms. Addison was awarded several prizes and scholarships (Edge, Steps, BDC) including Grande Prize for American Academy of Ballet’s Performance Awards ballet competition in NYC. Addison has worked in LA, Europe and NY, and danced in various shows, industrials, commercials, film, TV and music videos.
She currently works in Southern California as a represented dancer, dance convention teacher and judge in both America and Canada, and ballet director for Shannon Mather’s Mather Dance Company.
Sarah Jones began her dance training under the direction of Heidy Balance at a very young age. At 16. she began her apprenticeship with the California Ballet Company and was promoted to Corps de Ballet shortly after. Ms. Jones performed in many full length classic ballets including Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Coppélia. She had a featured role in Wayne Davis’ Souvenir de Florence, performed as a Guest Artist in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Juneau, Alaska, and danced the Swan Lake pas de trois as her final performance.
Since leaving the stage, Ms. Jones has been able to devote more time to her true passion of teaching. Ms. Jones graduated from New York University, earning a Master of Arts in Dance Education, with an emphasis on the American Ballet Theatre Pedagogy.
She is certified in American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary through Level 7, and currently teaches at the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School in Costa Mesa. Ms. Jones has also served as the Children’s Ballet Mistress for ABT’s Nutcracker since 2016.
Meet Our Amazing Guest Faculty
Nilas Martins, joining us as Guest Faculty for our 2021 Spring Advanced and Intermediate Intensives, was born in Copenhagen and received his early dance training at the Royal Danish Ballet School. As a student, he performed with the Royal Danish Ballet in such works as John Neumeier’s Romeo and Juliet, August Bournonville’s Konservatoriet, A Folk Tale, and Napoli; and Glen Tetley’s Firebird. In 1984, he moved to New York and enrolled at the School of American Ballet.
In September 1986, he became a member of New York City Ballet. In 1991, he was promoted to the rank of soloist and in 1993 to Principal dancer. In New York City Ballet, Mr. Martins danced numerous featured roles and worked closely with choreographers: John Alleyne, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Boris Eifman, William Forsythe, Peter Martins, Trey McIntyre, Kevin O’Day, Jerome Robbins, Susan Stroman, and Richard Tanner, among others.
Mr. Martins' film credits include “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast of Ray Charles in Concert, “The Nutcracker” released in 1993 by Warner Brothers, “Dance in America” telecast of “Dinner with Balanchine,” where he danced the role of Apollo with Isabel Guerin, Paris Opera Étoile, “Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100” where he danced ‘The Man I Love’ from "Who Cares?" featuring Wynton Marsalis.
Mr. Martins‘ teaching resume includes Armitage Gone! Dance, BalletMet, Boston Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Harvard University, Indiana University, Joffrey Ballet School, Miami City Ballet, National Ballet of China, NBA Ballet (Japan), New York City Ballet, Novosibirsk Ballet (Russia), NYSSA Summer Intensive, Princeton University, Royal Danish Ballet, School of American Ballet and Washington Ballet.
Mr. Martins was one of ten fellows selected from both domestic and international applicants, to study under Michael Kaiser as a DeVos Institute of Arts Management fellow at the Kennedy Center from 2010–11.
Since 1996, Mr. Martins has been a Répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and stages ballets for companies and schools domestically as well as internationally. In addition to his work with the Balanchine Trust, Mr. Martins' stagings include works from the August Bournonville and Peter Martins repertoire.
Jared Nelson began dancing professionally at the age of 14, becoming an apprentice with the Sacramento Ballet and graduating to principal dancer with more than a dozen original works choreographed on him by director Ron Cunningham. He left California to dance for the Washington Ballet in 1999, then joined the Boston Ballet in 2005. Mr. Nelson is the former artistic director of California Ballet.
Veronika Part is a Russian ballet dancer and a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Part has taught in schools across the U.S., and is a juror at Youth America Grand Prix.
Luciana Paris (Virtual)
Luciana Paris is a Soloist Dancer with American Ballet Theater, with whom she has danced since 2001.
An accomplished teacher as well as a world-renowned ballerina, Ms. Paris was designated a Certified Teacher by American Ballet Theatre in 2012. In addition to teaching at American Ballet Theatre, she has taught in Buenos Aires, Misiones, Córdoba, San Juan, and with American Ballet Theatre, American Academy of Ballet, Charm City Ballet, and Central Park Dance since 2016, as well as at Estudio Fabrica de Arte Fundación Julio Bocca.
Ms. Paris has performed as a guest artist worldwide. Guest appearances include performing Le Talisman pas de deux with Kleber Rebello at the Ballet Now Gala 2015 (Los Angeles); the Nutcracker pas de deux and Liam Scarlett's With a Chance of Rain at the 5th International Buenos Aires Ballet Gala; and the Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene pas de deux with Marcelo Gomes at the 20th Anniversary Fire Island Dance Festival.
She was guest artist at the Dance Open Ballet Festival 2013 (St. Petersburg), partnered by Herman Cornejo in Alexei Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas; performed The Black Swan pas de deux at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveur 2013 (Montreal); and Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite at the Roberto Bolle and Friends Gala at the New York City Center in September 2013, performing Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite.
Ms. Paris portrayed the principal role of Nikiya, partnered by Cory Stearns and with Herman Cornejo as Solor, in a full-length production of La Bayadère in Argentina in August 2013; and performed the Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene pas de deux at the Brandon Ballet Gala in November 2013. She also has danced as a guest artist for Buffalo Ballet's Nutcracker production.
In 2017, Ms. Paris was invited to participate in the Australian Ballet Gala, Chile Gala of Ballet Stars, Danzar por la Paz en Buenos Aires, and others, and in 2018, she was given the Extraordinary Dancer Award by FINI Dance Festival in New York.
Ms. Paris is a founding member with Ms. Cobb and Mr. Luján of the highly successful virtual Dance Compañía summer intensive, which was attended virtually by students from all over the world.
A southern California native, Shannon Quirk began her training with Orange County Regional Ballet and continued her studies at UC, Irvine earning a BFA in Dance Performance. While there, she performed featured parts in William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite and In The Middle Somewhat Elevate, and original works were created on her by Jodie Gates and Molly Lynch. Upon graduation, she joined Pasadena Dance Theater.
The following year, she was invited to join Madison Ballet, where she was honored to perform principal roles during her seven seasons with the company. Ms. Quirk has performed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Donizetti Variations, Elegié, Four Temperaments, Serenade, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, Who Cares?, Diana and Acteon Pas De Deux, Christopher Wheeldon’s The American, This Bitter Earth, and W. Earle Smith’s Cinderella, Dracula: A Rock Ballet, and The Nutcracker.
She has had the pleasure to be a guest performer with Avant Chamber Ballet, Detroit Dance City Festival, UW Madison’s Dance Department 90th Anniversary Celebration and Summer Solstice Invitational, and ICMOVEMENT Project, based in Washington D.C. She is currently in her second season with Ballet Tucson.
Zak Ryan Schlegel
Zak Ryan Schlegel is a performer with Shen Wei, educator at The Joffrey Ballet School, founder of the bimonthly dance salon CONGRESS, and co-artistic director of AXIOM Dance Theatre, he is a three-time Outstanding Choreographer of the Youth America Grand Prix, New York Times calls him “a star” and Wall Street Journal said he is “eye-catching & effortless”. His choreographic work has been presented from The Juilliard School in NYC to Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA. His extensive research of Eastern and Western movement traditions adjacent to the philosophical tenets of observation and questioning largely inform his technical vocabulary, arresting language and physical study of identity.
In 2020, Mr. Schlegel returned to the U.S. from company membership of Italy’s Spellbound Contemporary Ballet led by Mauro Astolfi. Zak creates an evening length, experiential sound bath “Liminal” with Jonsi and Alex Somers of Sigur Ros, has collaborated with Floria Sigismondi and danced the works of Jean-Guilliame Weiss, Ryan Heffington, Yin Yue, WIFE, Kitty McNamee, Nina McNeely and Jennifer Backhaus. He received formative training from Rafael Bonachela at Sydney Dance Company, Danielle Agami, Lucas Crandall, has participated in Gaga research with Ohad Naharin in Tel Aviv, Israel and holds a BFA from Chapman University.
He can be seen in video, print and television with Britney Spears, Sigur Ros, Vogue Italia, MIKA, Fitz and the Tantrums, Years & Years, Sam Sparro, The Pierces, Japanese Breakfast, Lexus, Prius, Sleep Number, FLAUNT and OUT Magazine.
Mr. Schlegel practices the act of query as the primary motivation of understanding—where mortal repetition and shifting layers become the central geometry of being.