top of page

2016 Jury Panel

Julie Kent began her dance training with Hortensia Fonseca at the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended summer sessions at American Ballet Theatre II and the School of American Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 1985.


In that same year, Kent won first place in the regional finals of the National Society of Arts and Letters at the Kennedy Center. In 1986, she was the only American to win a medal at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, and she became a member of ABT's corps de ballet.


Kent starred in the Herbert Ross film “Dancers” in 1987 opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed a Soloist with ABT in 1990 and a Principal Dancer in 1993, the year in which she won the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto and was named as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People". In April 2000, Kent won the “Prix Benois de la Danse” which was held in Stuttgart. She is the only American woman ever to have won this prize.


Kent starred in the motion picture “Center Stage” (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner. In June of 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and later in the same year, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dance Magazine.


During Ms. Kent's long career, she has acquired a vast repertoire, dancing all of the major classical, dramatic and neo-classical roles. Her appearances as a guest include invitations from the Mariinsky Theatre, Teatro alla Scala, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Staatsballett, Australian Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Teatro Colon, Ballet de Santiago, and more. As well, she has created leading roles in ballets by choreographers John Neumeier, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Nacho Duato, Lar Lubovitch, Stanton Welch, James Kudelka, Jorma Elo, and others.


After a nearly 30 year career, Miss Kent retired from the stage in June 2015 as the longest serving Ballerina in American Ballet Theatre’s 75 year history. She was appointed Artistic Director of ABT’s Summer Intensive in August 2015. She is married to ABT Associate Artistic Director Victor Barbee, and they have 2 children.


Julie Kent

 American Ballet Theatre

 Director of Summer Intensives

Margaret Tracey

 Boston Ballet

 School Director

Margaret Tracey joined the faculty of Boston Ballet School in 2005 and was appointed Director in 2007. In that 

time, she has transformed this highly respected regional academy into one of the leading dance education 

institutions in North America. Since retiring from New York City Ballet in 2002, Tracey has become one of the 

country’s most admired and dedicated teachers and arts education advocates. Profiled in a 2009 issue of Dance 

Teacher Magazine and recognized by the Jerome Robbins Foundation in 2011, she has been instrumental in 

designing a curriculum that emphasizes comprehensive ballet training and overall excellence along with a well-

rounded approach to dance study. Her stature in the dance world has brought BBS extraordinary access to the 

study and performance of choreography by both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Drawing on her 
teaching experience, studies in psychology, and ties to community clinicians, Tracey instituted a comprehensive Wellness Program at Boston Ballet School. She also established Next Generation, a year-end performance showcasing Pre-Professional Program students, in collaboration with the New England Conservatory, which has become an annual highlight that spotlights the School as a leader in local and regional arts education.

Tracey has 
further distinguished the School by fostering pre-professional exchange programs with the Royal Danish Ballet and the National Ballet School of Canada and building strong cooperative relationships with such local institutions as Lasell College, Endicott College and Northeastern University.

Born in Pueblo, Colorado Tracey began ballet 
studies with her mother, Nancy Tracey, at age six. In 1982, she was accepted as a student at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB). At SAB, she was the recipient of an Atlantic Richfield Foundation scholarship (1982-85) as well as a Princess Grace Foundation award (1985-86) that cited her “exceptional promise and dedication to excellence.”


In 1986, Tracey joined the NYCB corps de ballet, launching a celebrated 16-year stage career. A principal dancer from 1991 until her 2002 retirement, she excelled in the Balanchine repertoire, appearing frequently in such core works as Apollo, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Coppelia, Serenade, Symphony in C, Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?, among others. She was also featured in a range of Robbins’ ballets, including Afternoon of a Faun, The Four Seasons, and The Goldberg Variations, and created a role in the choreographer’s Ives, Songs (1988).She originated roles in works by Richard Tanner, William Forsythe, Ib Andersen, Trey McIntyre, and NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, including his Les Petits Riens, Fearful Symmetries, Zakouski and his production of The Sleeping Beauty, in which she appeared both as Princess Aurora and Princess Florine.


With NYCB, Tracey toured in Europe and Asia, appeared in the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series, and danced the Marzipan Shepherdess in the 1993 film of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. As a stager, she has set Martins’ Zakouski on the Royal Danish Ballet and Bavarian State Ballet and his Fearful Symmetries on Pennsylvania Ballet. In addition, during her tenure with Boston Ballet, she has staged a number of Balanchine works including Concerto Barocco and Symphony in C for the Company, and Scherzo a la Russe, Scotch Symphony and Raymonda Variations, as well as Robbins' Fanfare, for the School’s annual Next Generation performance.


Claudio Munoz

Houston Ballet II


Houston Ballet

Ballet Master

During his career as a dancer, Mr. Munoz filled Principal roles in Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and New York, with a variety of choreographers including John Cranko, George Balanchine, Ivan Nagy, V. Bebrada, A. Rodriguez, W. Dollar, Layres, Ben Stevenson, and Ronald Hynd, (in whose work, Rosalinda, he partnered the esteemed Russian ballerina Natalia Makarova). Mr. Munoz was also involved in other forums for dance, such as Zarzuela, television, musical comedy, and opera.


In 1989 he founded the Chamber Ballet of Santiago. Mr. Munoz has taught classes and seminars in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and the United States. He has worked as an instructor for the Ballet Nacional de Chile, Ballet de Santiago, Ballet Nacional de Peru, and schools in Asucion, Peru.


The dancers Mr. Munoz has coached have won the silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson (1990) and third place in the Shanghai International Ballet Competition (1995). In 1996, Mr. Munoz was awarded “Best Teacher” at the Interdance Competition in Asuncion, Paraguay. He has coached students for the Prix de Lausanne who have won six medals in the past seven years.


Mr. Munoz joined Houston Ballet Academy as Ballet Master in 1999. As HBII Ballet Master, Mr. Munoz is responsible for the artistic leadership, teaching, choreography, curriculum syllabus development, and supervision of all HBII students to promote the studio performance of Houston Ballet. He has staged a ballet for Ben Stevenson at Florida Ballet, and also staged Stanton Welch’s work at Cincinnati Ballet and Tulsa Ballet. In addition, Mr. Munoz coaches students for the Prix de Lausanne (winning six prizes in the last seven years) and Beijing International Ballet Competition. Currently he serves on the jury and a teacher in the Junior Ballet Competition Japan Grand Prix, and in the Youth American Grand Prix (Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Europe, and New York). As a teacher, he has taught around the world from Canada, Argentina, Australia, Europe, all over Latin America and the United States.

Peter Merz

Peter Merz has choreographed over 40 original ballets across the USA and internationally. His award-winning 

choreography relies heavily on classical ballet, but is informed by his passion for contemporary dance forms. As 

a performer he worked with the Dayton Ballet, the Louisville Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet. In 2002, Peter 

served as the Artistic Administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. In 2004, Peter 

joined the faculty of Point Park, where he is an associate professor of dance and Head of Ballet. In 2014, he 

returned to the USA IBC to create an original work for the competitors to perform at the Awards Gala. He has 

served as a judge and Master Teacher for Youth America Grand Prix. Peter is also in demand throughout the US 

as a master teacher, and is known for his enthusiastic and encouraging approach to ballet training. He has twice 

been named Outstanding Choreographer by the Youth America Grand Prix, and was also honored to be named 

Outstanding Teacher by that organization in 2014.


In Summer of 2015, Peter Merz was appointed the Academy Director of Ballet West.

Ballet West
Academy Director

Ms. Grundvig began her ballet training in her hometown of Davis, California, and with Marguerite Phares in 

Sacramento, California. Additionally, she spent summers on scholarship with San Francisco Ballet School.  At 

the age of 17, Ms. Grundvig joined the North Carolina Dance Theatre. She continued her performing career as 

a soloist with both the Tulsa Ballet and the Boston Ballet.  She has guest taught at many schools, both nationally 

and internationally, in addition to touring nationally to audition students for the annual summer programs of 

Boston Ballet and PBT. Ms. Grundvig directed the ballet department of the Washington Academy of Performing 

Arts in Seattle prior to being appointed Director of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in August 2005. Since 

starting at PBT, Ms. Grundvig has been part of a leadership team that has managed to increase total school 

enrollment by more than 30%.

Marjorie Grundvig

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Co-School Director

Edward Ellison

Ellison Ballet
Founder & Artistic Director


Edward Ellison has traveled the world as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and ballet master. Companies he has taught for include American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He has been a guest teacher with The Juilliard School and Joffrey Ballet School, and continues to teach open classes at STEPS on Broadway. As a ballet master, he has worked for such companies as the Boston Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet and Alberta Ballet, as well as staging Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet's annual tour. 

With love and devotion to his students guiding his work, his approach is infused by study and close association with renown ballet masters and directors, such as Larisa Sklyanskaya, Helgi Tomasson, Irina Jacobson and Marius Zirra. He particularly credits his years of pedagogical study with Ms. Sklyanskaya for the depth of his artistic knowledge, as well as teacher courses at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Russia and the National Ballet School in Canada. A former soloist with the San Francisco Ballet and guest artist with many companies in the U.S. and abroad, Mr. Ellison's repertoire spans the great classical works of the 19th century to neoclassical and contemporary choreography of the 20th century and today. 

Mr. Ellison employs a combination of detailed technical insight — including precise verbal and physical guidance to ensure proper alignment, placement, strength and coordinaton of the body — and artistic vision to excite and advance the student's journey. “My work,” Mr. Ellison says, “is laced with the belief that my students are capable of achieving extraordinary results. The sky is the limit!”


As Founder & Artistic Director of Ellison Ballet, Mr. Ellison has crafted an intensive study program to meet the needs of gifted ballet students from around the world who wish to dance professionally. Both the Summer Intensive and the in-depth Professional Training Program offer a stepping stone approach to realize new levels of achievement. 

The classes emphasize development of strong classical ballet technique, the exploration and discovery of the student's full artistic potential, and individual attention from the ballet master.

Additional Teaching Staff

                     Former ABT Soloist





Yan Chen

Natasha Glos

Former Kirov Ballet Member

Orlando Ballet Principal (Seminole Campus)





Ms. Chen was trained at Shanghai dance school, China and San Francisco Ballet School. In 1987, she won the first prize at the Prix de Lausanne International Competition. She then joined The Washington Ballet. In 1993, Ms. Chen joined American Ballet Theatre and was promoted to soloist in 1994. As one of ABT’s most lyrical and versatile dancers, she has performed leading roles in Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Othello, Giselle, and Onegin, as well as works by Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, George Balanchine, John Cranko and others. Ms. Chen has performed as a guest artist throughout the world and has been invited to perform at many prestigious dance festivals. She also appeared in PBS Great Performance Program for television and video/DVD: “American Ballet Theatre Now.” In 2004, Ms. Chen became a faculty member with the American Ballet Theatre and has also been a guest teacher with Orlando Ballet since 1994. Ms. Chen lives in Orlando, and served as Ballet Mistress for the Orlando Ballet until 2014.

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. 

Dusty Button


Boston Ballet






Dusty Button was born in South Carolina and began her dance training at the age of 7. At age 16, she moved to New York City to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, Button joined American Ballet Theatre's second company, ABT II, were she performed the lead role in Adam Hougland's Vanished. She completed her training with London's Royal Ballet School on scholarship, graduating with honors and was presented with the Dame Ninette de Valois bursary. While at The Royal Ballet School she performed lead roles in David Bintley'sGallantries and Natalie Weir's Unwritten at the Royal Opera House. She also performed with The Royal Ballet in Sylvia and The Sleeping Beauty. Button was awarded the bronze medal at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2006.In 2008, Button was invited to join Birmingham Royal Ballet where she performed principal roles in many ballets including David Bintley's Cinderella (Skinny, the evil stepsister) and Gallantries; Sir Peter Wright's The Sleeping Beauty (Temperament Fairy); Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room (Stomper); Kenneth MacMillan's Concerto (3rd Movement); Hans van Manen's Grosse Fugue; and the lead role in The Centre and it's Opposite created for her by Gary Stewart. Button joined Boston Ballet in 2012 as a corps de ballet member. She was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in 2014. Her featured repertoire with Boston Ballet includes Florence Clerc's La Bayadère (Gamzatti, solo Shade); José Martinez's Resonance; Alexander Ekman's Cacti; Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Fairy Godmother, Winter Fairy); Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (Dryad Queen); Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Snow Queen) and Swan Lake (Pas de Trois and Pas de Cinq); George Balanchine's Serenade (Dark Angel), Symphony in C (3rd Movement principal), Rubies (Tall Girl) and Emeralds (Lead Couple), and Coppélia (War and Discord, Summer variation); William Forsythe's The Second Detail, and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Jorma Elo's Plan to B, Close to Chuck (Reborn), Awake Only, and Bach Cello Suites; Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy); Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; Helen Pickett's Eventide; Lila Yorks Celts (Principal Brown Couple); George Balachine's Episodes (Five Pieces); and Jerome Robbins' The Concert (Wife).Button has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dance Europe, Dance Spirit Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Informa and many others. Button was featured on the 2015 Pointe Magazine cover where she was labeled as "A New Brand of Ballerina".Pointe also remarks, "onstage, Dusty defies categorization."She has been a guest performer with companies around the world including American Ballet Theatre, Japan's K Ballet, The Ace Awards, Broadway Underground, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Space Coast Ballet and Ballet Hawaii. She has choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet's BB@home series, as well as for various companies and organizations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.


Boston Ballet






Lasha Khozashvili

Lasha Khozashvili trained at the V. Chabukiani Tbilisi State Choreographic School from 1994 to 2002. He then joined the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre, where he was a leading soloist, and also appeared with the State Ballet of Georgia. Khozashvili joined Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 2010.Khozashvili's dancing has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "gorgeous" with "youth, charm and spontaneity gilding the choreography and making it seem inspired improvisation." Ballet Dance Magazine called him "the most sophisticated male in the [State Ballet of Georgia] company." He was awarded the Gilbert Albert and Nina Ananiashvili International Prize "Star" in 2008.Khozashvili took part in the State Ballet of Georgia's American tour in 2007 and 2008, and Japan tour in 2007. He also performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, dancing in leading roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and George Balanchine's Mozartiana and Duo Concertant.His repertory includes Alexei Fadeyechev's Giselle (Albrecht); Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée (Colas), and The Two Pigeons (The Young Painter); Nugzar Magalashvili'sLaurencia (Mengo, Frondoso) and 1001 Nights (Shahriar); George Balanchine's Serenade, Apollon Musagète, Western Symphony, Mozartiana, Duo Concertant, Chaconne, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; August Bournonville's The Flower Festival in Genzano; Trey McIntyre's Second Before the Ground; Stanton Welch's Green; Sergei Ratmansky's Dreams About Japan and Leah; Philip Kohen's Bizet Variations; Yuri Possokhov's Sagalobeli; Mehmet Balkan's Mevlana'dan Çağrı (Shems); and Helen Pickett's Layli o Majnun.Khozashvili has danced an array of principal roles including George Balanchine's Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Episodes, Theme and Variations, Serenade, Jewels,and A Midsummer Night's Dream; Florence Clerc's La Bayadère (Solor); John Cranko'sRomeo and Juliet (Romeo); Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Prince); Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Desire); Mikko Nissinen's Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried and Von Rothbart); Val Caniparoli's Lady of the Camellias (Armand); Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote(Basilio); Jiří Kylián's Bella Figura and Psalms; Wayne McGregor's Chroma; Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia; Jorma Elo's Bach Cello Suites and Elo Experience; Lila York's Celts; and José Martinez's Resonance.

bottom of page