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2010 Jury Panel

Michael Owen

Michael Owen is Director of Ballet at Walnut Hill, which includes the Ballet Department and Walnut Hill Summer Dance. Mr. Owen studied with Marcia Dale Weary at the Pennsylvania Ballet School and continued his studies at the School of American Ballet. He is former principal danseur of American Ballet Theatre where he had a distinguished 26-year career. Owen has made guest appearances with companies across the globe, has appeared in television and film, and performed for every U.S. President from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton. As Director of Ballet at Walnut Hill for the past 12 years, Mr. Owen has meticulously moved the department into the forefront in excellence of training. In addition, he is an international master teacher with periodic engagements across the United States, including Hawaii, as well as in Canada, Japan, and China

Sayward Grindley

Sayward Grindley is the Education Director of the Sarasota Ballet.  She manages and oversees the Sarasota Ballet School; Summer Intensives, and Sarasota Ballet Trainee Program, which feeds into the Company. Ms. Grindley trained primarily with Galina Panova, of 26 International Ballet Companies; Joseph Carow, formerly with American Ballet Theatre; and Cindy Mancini, formerly with New Jersey Ballet.  She is the Head Dance Adjudicator for the Walker's Rising Stars Scholarship Competition for Pinellas County Education Foundation.  She is also a member of National and Florida Dance Educators Organization, National and Florida Dance Association. Ms. Grindley currently resides in North Port, Florida with her husband Eric, and has a baby girl on the way!

Franklin Gamero

Franklin Gamero. was born in Valencia, Venezuela. He began his studies with Nina Nikanorova, at the State Ballet School. In 1979, he performed with Ballet Teatro Teresa Carreno  as a soloist. In 1980, he was a Finalist at the IV International Ballet Competition, Celebrated at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and then he was awarded a full scholarship to study at the San Francisco Ballet School.  The following year he received a contract with Cleveland Ballet. In 1983, he became a Soloist at the Berlin Opera House, and two years later he became a first soloist with the Deutsche Opera Am Rhein in Dusseldorf. In 1987, he was invited to join Miami City Ballet, where he remained for seventeen years as the Principal Dancer. His experience includes leading roles in the classical, neo-classical and Balanchine Repertoire. Mr. Gamero has received numerous dance awards such as the "Orden Arturo Michelena", in Venezuela, The Key to the City of Baton Rouge, and the Honorary Mayor-President Proclamation, the Proclamation of Miami-Dade County by Mayor Alex Penelas, The Proclamation of Hialeah By Mayor Raul Martinez, and special award from the Jackie Gleason Theatre for his outstanding contribution to the Arts in Miami Beach. Mr. Gamero has performed for Israel's Prime Minister Isaak Shamir and Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill and Hillary Clinton with an invitation to the White House. In 2004, Mr. Gamero together with his wife Iliana Lopez, retired from the stage,  He has served as Artistic Advisor of the Teresa Carreno National Ballet Company  in Caracas, Venezuela , he has been a Judge at the American Ballet Competition, and has been a guest teacher with Ballet Gamonet, Miami City Ballet, among others.

Additional Teaching Staff

Natasha Glos

Natasha Glos is from St.Petersburg , Russia, and was a ballerina with Kirov Ballet Theater and St.Petersburg State Academic Maly Ballet Theater. She appeared in many Principal and Soloist roles along with Corps de Ballet in all of the major classical ballets in countries including: Russia , Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Japan. She has a Diploma of Professional Ballet Artist from the Graduate class of renowned Russian professor Irina Trofimova, pupil of Agrippina Vaganova. In 1992, Ms.Glos was awarded a Laureate Diploma First Category at the International Ballet Competition Riga, Latvia.  After moving to United States Ms.Glos was Ballet Mistress, coach and teacher for the Southern Ballet Theater company under the direction of Mr. Fernando Bujones and Mr. Petrutiu. 

Irina Depler

Mrs. Irina was born in Kiev, Ukraine and began her ballet training at the age of 12 at the Kiev Academy of Ballet in Ukraine.  Upon graduation at the age of 18, she was invited to perform with the Kiev National Theater of Opera and Ballet.  She was the first ballerina who earned a permanent position as the Principal Dancer at the end of her first year in the company, and held this title for 24 years.  For many years, Irina coached dancers for international events such as the Maya Plisetskaya Honorary Competition in Varna, Russia and the Serge Lifar Ballet Competition in Paris, France.  She is very proud of her Vaganova training.  She received training for three coaches throughout her dance career, who directly studied under Vaganova.  Irina has performed as Principal Dancer and Director throughout all Europe, Asia, North and South America.  She came to United States in 1997 and worked with the Orlando Ballet for 3 years as a Ballet Mistress and main coach in the Company.  At present, Irina is the owner and Ballet Mistress of Russian Academy, and Executive Director and founder of Russian Ballet of Orlando.

Sheri Metcalf

As a young adult Sheri moved to Los Angeles on a dance scholarship. While in L.A. her dancing and acting led her to become a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Some of Sheri's credits include A League of their Own, Color of Night, and Melrose Place. Sheri then traveled to the east coast to do a variety show called "Panache", where she held the position of dance captain. At the end of the contract she returned to Florida and made it her home base. Since then she has been performing and choreographing for industrials, commercials and television throughout the United States and South America. Some of her credits include BET's Vibe Awards, Gullah Gullah Island,  MGM, Universal Studios, Seventeen Magazine, Bell South Mobility, and Pepsi to list a few. She has worked with such artists as Donna Summers, The Village People, Bill Cosby, Ed McMahon, 3LW, Sisqo and tours with Denny Terrio from the T.V. show Dance Fever. Sheri has been a dance educator for several years and also travels nationally as a professional performer and guest artist. Through her travels and her studio Sheri's choreography has won several top billings.

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