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Jury Panel Archives





Garrett Anderson began his training in Walnut Creek, California, under the direction of Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre. He continued to study on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, and then in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s professional division.


In 2001, Garrett joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and in 2005 was promoted to soloist. During his time there he danced works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson, Yuri Possokov, Christopher Wheldon, Jerome Robbins and Mark Morris. After seven years in the company, he left to join the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium, as a first soloist, under the direction of Kathryn Bennets. There he toured extensively throughout Europe and the world, dancing works by renowned choreographers including William Forsythe and Marcia Haydée. In January of 2011, he returned to the United States to dance with Trey McIntyre Project for their touring season, before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. During his five seasons with Hubbard Street he danced the work of Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Alejandro Cerrudo, Nacho Duato, among others.


In 2016, Garrett became Chair of the Dance Department at New Mexico School for the Arts, where he created curriculum, taught, choreographed, and staged existing works including pieces by Alejandro Cerrudo and Penny Saunders. He has since performed three seasons with SFDanceworks, for which he was named one of the year’s outstanding male performers by Dance Europe. 




Oğulcan Borova was born in Turkey and recognized as the First Prize Winner at the 3rd National Rotary Clubs Dance Competition.  His awards include a Bronze Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition, Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition, Gold Medal at the Seoul International Ballet Competition, and High Achievement Recognition from the Dokuz Eylül University, where he studied in the conservatory’s dance department.

From 2011-2015, he danced with The Joffrey Ballet, where he danced principal roles in the productions such as Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Prodigal Son, and The Nutcracker.

He returned to Cincinnati Ballet as a Ballet Master in 2015 and worked closely with Artistic Director Victoria Morgan.  Following successful five seasons with Cincinnati Ballet, he pursued his career by joining the National Ballet of Finland as a Ballet Master in 2020, under the direction of Madeleine Onne.

Borova was appointed head of the Studio Company and Trainee Program in 2022.




Phillip Broomhead was born in London, England and received his ballet training at the Royal Ballet School where he joined the company in 1981. He was promoted to soloist in 1983 and to principal dancer in 1986.


While dancing with the Royal Ballet Mr. Broomhead’s classical repertoire included several leading roles including Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, the Prince and the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Albrecht in Giselle, Solor in Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadere, and Benvolio in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. Mr. Broomhead’s contemporary repertoire included principal roles such as the Rubies Pas de Deux in George Balanchine’s Jewels, Richard P. Arnold in Ashton’s Enigma Variations, the White Couple in Ashton’s Les Patineurs, and many more well-known roles.


He has performed in Ashton’s A Birthday Offering, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen; Sir Frederick Ashton’s Daphnis and Chloe to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday; and many other royal galas.

Phillip joined the Houston Ballet as a principal dancer in January 1991. In 2003 Mr. Broomhead was also appointed to the position of Ballet Master for the Houston Ballet in addition to his performance responsibilities as a principal dancer. In 2004 he retired from the stage and assumed his position of Ballet Master for the Houston Ballet on a full-time basis.


In March 1991, while on vacation in Washington D.C., Mr. Broomhead attended a Royal Ballet performance of Anthony Dowell’s Swan Lake. The Royal Ballet’s principal dancer sustained an injury during Act I and he finished the performance partnering Darcey Bussell as his Swan Queen. This performance won him worldwide critical acclaim. Mr. Broomhead has appeared as a guest artist with some of the world’s leading companies including the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Scottish Ballet, and the Yugoslav Ballet. He has also appeared as a guest artist with many regional ballet companies in the United States. 

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Cheryne Busch received her extensive dance training in South Africa in the Royal Academy and Cecchetti methods of ballet. As a Performing Arts Graduate, she was the recipient of the esteemed Dancers Guild Scholarship, further enhancing her choreographic and performing career. Ms. Busch was commissioned to create works for the National Eisteddfod and Concours de Ballet in South Africa. She is an accredited Examiner on the board of the National Society of Dance Teachers in South Africa, and holds an International certification from the Royal Academy of Dance in London. She was the Director of two ballet schools in South Africa for twenty years, before immigrating with her family to the United States.

Ms. Busch was invited and graciously accepted an offer to join Houston Ballet in 1998. While on faculty, she has taught Master classes and conducted teacher training workshops locally and abroad for numerous Summer Intensive courses and competitions. She coached the Maccabi dancers to gold medal status in the US and served as an artistic consultant and guest teacher for performing art schools in Houston. Ms. Busch taught master classes and served on the jury of YAGP in the USA, CDC in California, and the Japanese Grand Prix in Tokyo.


She received her floor barre certification in New York and studied character dance at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. She has created character dance repertoire for the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive, as well as for Studio Series performances for HB11. In her role as the Upper School Principal, Ms. Busch is dedicated to recognizing, recruiting, coaching and rehearsing dancers in the upper school and Professional Program.

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Serving as the 2024 Compulsory Coach

Anaïs Chalendard trained with Carole Bentolila in Roanne. Herself a student of Max Bozzoni étoile and teacher at the Paris Opera school. Anaïs then moved to Marseille and kept dancing under the tuition of Dominique Khalfouni in the École Nationale de danse de Marseille Roland Petit.


She got her first professional contract at the age of 17 with the Deutsch Oper am Rhein under the direction of Youri Vamos, after graduating her baccalauréat in economic and political science. She then got an engagement with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin directed at the time by Vladimir Malakov.


Few years later, Chalendard joined the Badische Staatstheater under the direction of Birgit Keil, where she became a Principal. Chalendard joined the English National Ballet in 2008 under the direction of Wayne Eagling, where she was promoted to first soloist following performances in Manon and The Dying Swan. In 2012, Chalendard appeared at the Nureyev Festival in Russia as Giselle with Principal dancer Jozef Varga from Het National Ballet, and as Odette/Odile in Derek Dean's Swan Lake with English National Ballet. She has been listed in the “100 Best Dancers in the World” by Dance Europe Magazine. In June 2013, she was invited to dance Erik Brühn's La Sylphide with Friedemann Vogel, principal with the Stuttgart Ballet, and Rolando Sarabia, international guest artist, at the Teatro dell Opera di Roma.


Chalendard joined Boston Ballet in 2013 as a Second Soloist, and was promoted to Soloist in 2014 and Principal in 2016. In 2019, Anaïs was invited to dance with Kammer Tänzer Flavio Salamanka during Mozart festival In Salzburg. And has also guested as Princess Aurora in Maina Gielgud’s production of Sleeping Beauty with Joburg Ballet. She retired from the Stage in the role of Giselle in October 2019 in a special and last guest appearance with Joburg Ballet.

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In 2015, Maurice Brandon Curry was appointed Executive Artistic Director of Eglevsky Ballet.  He is the seventh artistic director in the history of the organization and the first to hold both titles.  


Mr. Curry began his initial training with Ned Williams and continued at the School of American Ballet, where he studied with Andrei Kramarevsky, Stanley Williams, Richard Rapp, and Antonina Tumkovsky.  Subsequently, he trained with Ann Brodie, founding artistic director of Columbia City Ballet.  As a dancer, Mr. Curry appeared with New York City Ballet and danced with Carolina Ballet, Kaleidoscope Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal, and DancEllington.  In addition to his BFA in Choreography, Mr. Curry holds a degree in Digital Filmmaking and Multimedia. He is a sought-after consultant with dance studios, colleges & conservatories across the country on matters of policy, programming, and curriculum.    


His work as an educator has been recognized by many international organizations as he is a frequent guest instructor throughout the world.  Mr. Curry was the Chairperson of the Dance Division at Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.  He was also the Director of Educational Programs at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC,  where he was also a member of the faculty.  


Mr. Curry’s ballets are in the repertoires of international ballet companies, academies, colleges, and performing arts high schools.  In 2016, new works by Mr. Curry were added to the repertoires of the Alabama School of Fine Arts (where he was the resident guest artist) and the Columbia Ballet Collective at Columbia University in NYC. He has achieved major success as a director and choreographer in both the concert, musical theater, and commercial dance worlds working with many notable dance luminaries,  recording and media artists.


Maurice Brandon Curry has served on the board of directors for (a company directed by Andrew Palermo and Taye Diggs), the Bangor Ballet, DANCER magazine, and the Mark Stuart Dance Theater. Currently, Mr. Curry serves on the advisory board of the Young Choreographers Festival.  Recently nominated to membership at the International Dance Council (which is sponsored by UNESCO)  Mr. Curry proudly serves on the Alumni Committee on Diversity and Inclusion at his alma mater, the School of American Ballet.  


His former students have danced or are currently dancing with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ballet San Jose, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Cincinnati Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and on Broadway, in film, and on television. 

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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. 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.




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 79%.

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Christopher Hird is from England and studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabi before training at The Royal Ballet School. He toured Europe as part of a company headlined by the internationally acclaimed ballerina, Sylvie Guillem. After retiring from the stage, Hird worked as the Assistant to the Director of the British Ballet Organization, and later as Assistant to the Development Manager at The Royal Ballet School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Roehampton and a Diploma from Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program.


Hird joined Boston Ballet School in 2003 and was promoted to Artistic Manager in 2009. He was a main teacher for students in the Pre-Professional and Classical Ballet Programs as well as being part of the Senior Leadership Team. Hird has staged ballets for the School including Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, Les Rendezvous and La Fille mal Gardée. Hird was also a Children’s Ballet Master for Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker.


In 2013, Hird was appointed Head of Adult Programming. He has led the artistic vision for the redesign of the program as well as been instrumental in developing and enhancing the adult students’ engagement with Boston Ballet.


Hird has served on the international jury of the Japan Grand Prix in 2008 and 2010, the Surrey Festival of Dance (Canada) in 2007 and 2008, the Goiania Dance Festival (Brazil) in 2012 and 2015. He has been a guest teacher for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Canada’s National Ballet School, Cecchetti Council of America and Harvard University.


The Sarasota Ballet appointed Christopher Hird as Director of Education and Principal for the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory in July 2016. 

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Davit is an acclaimed performer and dance educator, and was appointed Director of School of Philadelphia Ballet beginning with our 2022/2023 season. He previously served as Co-Artistic Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet Academy for five years, preceded by over a decade as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet.

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Karapetyan received his training at the Armenian School of Ballet and the Schweizerische Ballettberufsschule in Zurich, Switzerland. His extensive experience includes 12 years as a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, and six as a soloist with the Zurich Ballet. Karapetyan served on the jury for Prix de Lausanne in 2018, and has been a guest teacher with San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet and more.

Davit has performed principal roles in Helgi Tomasson’s 2004 Nutcracker (Nutcracker Prince and King of Snow), Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Prince Gillaume), John Cranko’s Onegin (Onegin), among others, and created principal roles in Helgi Tomasson’s On a Theme of Paganini, Caprice, and On Common Ground.

“Throughout his career, Davit has continually distinguished himself both as a performer and a teacher of ballet’s next generation. His wide range of experience, depth of knowledge, and passion for ballet education make him the ideal candidate to lead the School boldly into the future.” – Philadelphia Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella.




Tamara King is an experienced teacher and dedicated dance educator. Originally from Albuquerque New Mexico, King began her training with Suzanne Johnston, Soili Arvola, and Leo Ahonen. King has been involved with Boston Ballet for more than 40 years since she was a scholarship recipient at Summer Dance Program in 1981.


King danced professionally in numerous classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works. Over the course of her dancing career, she danced with Louisville Ballet, Ballet West, and Boston Ballet. She danced a variety of principal, soloist, and corps roles in ballets such as The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Concert Barocco, Allegro Brillante, and more. 

King launched her teaching career at Walnut Hill School for the Arts before returning to Boston Ballet in 2001. She was the Principal of the Summer Dance Program and was promoted to Principal of the Newton Studio in 2004. During her tenure, the Newton studio has become the hub of the Classical Ballet Program, and offers a carefully constructed ten-level curriculum, seven state of the art studios, and a building designed entirely on the Principles of Universal Design. She has established strong ties with institutional partners throughout the city of Newton, including relationships with the New Phil Harmonia Orchestra and Newton Cultural Alliance. King sat on the Board of Directors for the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce and launched a partnership with Lasell College, where she resided on the Advisory Board of the Humanities Department. 

King is also a talented choreographer and guest teacher. She has choreographed four ballets that are shown by advanced-level students yearly, including Alice in Wonderland; Never, Neverland: The Adventures of Peter and Wendy; Seasons; and Cakewalk. King has guest taught for the American Ballet Theatre JKO School, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Harvard University, and the University of Utah. In addition to her teaching, she also serves as a juror for the prestigious Japan Grand Prix competition in Tokyo, Japan. 

In 2020, King was promoted to Principal of Boston Ballet School where she oversaw faculty, curriculum, and operations for the Classical Ballet Program at the Boston and Newton studios and Summer Dance Program. She was promoted to Associate Director of BBS in 2023. In this role, King will advance her leadership in programming and faculty development to cover all BBS programs, including the Professional Division at Walnut Hill School for the Arts.



Alexey Kulpin is a graduate of the University of Culture and Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ballet methodology and choreography. In 1998, he was the Grand Prix winner at the Muse of St. Petersburg Ballet Competition.

As a professional dancer, Mr. Kulpin has performed soloist and principal roles in both classical and contemporary ballets in Russia, Israel, and the United States. He danced professionally with St. Petersburg State Opera Ballet, St. Petersburg State Male Theatre by Mihailovsky, Ballet Israel, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater, Stars of St. Petersburg Municipal Theater of Music and Dance, and Krasnoyarsk Dance Ensemble. His roles included Basilio in Don Quixote; James in La Sylphide; Prince Ivan in Firebird; Spirit of the Rose in Le Spectre de la Rose; Swan Lake Pas de Trois; and the male leads in Tarentella and Maurice Bejart’s Trik Trak.

Mr. Kulpin specializes in teaching classical ballet, male and female variations, and character dance. His teaching career includes the Ballet Israel School, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet, and Charleston Ballet Company, where he taught company classes and served as director of the Charleston Ballet Young Artists Group. Most recently, he served as principal ballet teacher for Northern California Dance Conservatory. He has staged classical variations and choreographed solos for performance and ballet competitions. Mr. Kulpin joined The HARID Conservatory’s faculty in August, 2016.

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Kate Lydon is an alumna of both American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet. She has assisted with teaching the National Training Curriculum, both at ABT and for the Masters degree in pedagogy offered through the New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.


Lydon has been on faculty at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, New York Summer Intensive and Young Dancer Summer Workshop, and also teaches class for ABT’s Main Company.


Lydon currently acts as Editor at Large for all of Dance Media’s publications including Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher, and served as Editor in Chief of Dance Spirit for five years. Lydon also serves on the Board of the Dizzy Feet Foundation.

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Steven joined Ballet Memphis in 2004 as a dancer and has created more than 30 works for Ballet Memphis, including his first full-length ballet, Wizard of Oz as well as Soul Selects Her Own Society, Confluence, I Am, and Peter Pan. Other new ballets for Ballet Memphis include Carnival of the Animals, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, and Dracula.


Steven also has choreographed many original works including The Lovely Story of Us, which was performed in Helsinki, Finland, at the International Ballet Competition, and two of his works, Being Here With Other People and Confluence, have been performed at the Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis. His works also have been performed at Organizacion Para La Artes in Guatemala and at other venues around the nation including the Joyce Theater in New York and the Alabama Dance Festival.


His first ballet, What Your Soul Sings, premiered at Ballet Memphis’ Interiorworks. He was a 2016 National Arts Strategies Senior Management Institute fellow as well as a fellow in the 2016 Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in Salzburg, Austria. Steven, who is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, joined the Company after completing his training at The Ailey School in New York City. He retired from the stage in 2016.

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Mimmo Miccolis, born in Italy, is a neoclassical and contemporary teacher and choreographer at The Washington Ballet. He was the winner of the “Outstanding Choreographer Award” at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Finals 2015 in New York City, at the Indianapolis International Ballet Competition 2017 and at the YAGP Pittsburgh Semifinals 2016. In 2011, he was also a recipient of the BBC Performing Arts Fund in London, UK. In the last years several of his choreographic creations received awards in dance competitions across Europe and the US. 


Miccolis graduated from the Italian dance academies “Fondazione Niccolò Piccinni” (Bari) and “Balletto di Toscana” (Florence). As a dancer he performed in theaters and companies across Europe, the Middle-East and the United States. Since the start of his professional career, his work has been characterized as a blend of powerful versatility and theatrical range.


Most of Mimmo’s choreographic work focuses on social issues and have been performed in prestigious venues such as the World Bank Headquarters, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Forum and the House of the European Union in Austria, the European Commission Joint Research Center in Italy and the Bernie Grand Arts Center in London(UK). 


Selected credits include: (A)MORI (Milwaukee Ballet II), Dancing With The Future (commissioned by IIASA and Harvard University), FIRSTS and ICONS (commissioned by the Italian Institute of Culture and The Embassy of Italy), END (commissioned by the World Bank), WHO WHEN WHY (commissioned by Julie Kent for The Washington Ballet), AETERNA and WHITE (The Washington Ballet Studio Company), Contextual Matters and IN ALL (commissioned by the Economist Jeffrey Sachs), InDilemma, COURAGE and ENLIGHTENMENT 2.0 (commissioned by the IIASA and the European Commission), CRISIS, DEEP BLUE, UNDERWATER and HIGH TIDE  (The Washington Ballet Trainee Program), RIGHTS(?) (Bernie Grand Arts Center in London(UK) and LUST LOST LAST (LCP Dance Theatre). Miccolis choreographed also the rebranding music video for the Inter American Development Bank(IDB).

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Claudio Muñoz joined Houston Ballet’s Academy in 1999. Mr. Muñoz trained with numerous choreographers, including John Cranko, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, and Ronald Hynd. During his career as a dancer, he filled principal roles in Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and New York.


In 1989 he founded the Chamber Ballet of Santiago. Mr. Muñoz has taught classes & seminars in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and the United States. He has worked as an instructor for the Ballet Nacional de Chile, Ballet de Santiago, and Ballet Nacional de Peru. The dancers Mr. Muñoz has coached have won the silver medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson (1990), third place in the Shanghai International Ballet Competition (1995) and first place at the Prix de Lausanne (2010).


In 1996, Mr. Muñoz was awarded “Best Teacher” at the Interdance Competition in Asuncion, Paraguay. Mr. Muñoz has staged ballets for Ben Stevenson and Stanton Welch at Ballet Florida, Cincinnati Ballet and Tulsa Ballet.  Mr. Munoz is proud to have trained more than fifty percent of current Houston Ballet company dancers.  In 2016 he was awarded the Dance Teacher Award by Dance Teacher Magazine. 




Olivier Muñoz began his studies at the National Conservatory of Dance of Lyon, France, then attended the School of Rosella Hightower in Cannes. A laureate of Prix De Lausanne, Muñoz has performed and taught internationally.

After competing and medaling at Prix De Lausanne, he was offered his first contract with the English National Ballet, where he danced all the leading roles of the classical repertoire. During his performing career, Muñoz had many opportunities to dance as a principal guest artist in ballet companies all over the world. He joined the Cleveland San Jose Ballet as a principal dancer in 1986 where he remained until he retired from the stage in 2000.

Since then, Muñoz has taught widely as a principal teacher, guest master teacher, and coach at many schools, workshops, and competitions. He is a certified professor of dance from the French Ministry of Culture as well as an ABT affiliate teacher certified in all levels of the ABT curriculum. He has been a recognized coach for YAGP since 2011, was awarded Best YAGP Teacher several times, and has served on the panel of judges for YAGP and other major competitions for many years.

After teaching at the Maryland Youth Ballet for four years, Muñoz joined the Orlando Ballet School as their principal teacher in 2005 and fulfilled that role for 14 years. In 2018, he returned to the Maryland Youth Ballet, this time in the role of Artistic Director. Muñoz joined the Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School in August 2022.

Jessica Saund


Serving as the 2024 Compulsory Coach

Jessica Saund began her early dance studies with California Ballet, and continued her training on full scholarship at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. In 1996, she joined the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day. That same year, Ms. Saund took the Gold Medal in the junior division at the 2nd International Ballet Competition in South America.


In 1999, she was invited to dance with Le Jeune Ballet de France in Paris before joining the English National Ballet, where she remained for 5 years. In 2006, she entered American Ballet Theatre. 


Ms. Saund has performed in every full-length ballet in the classical repertoire. She has performed leading roles in the works of George Balanchine, Mikhail Fokine, Anthony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, and John Cranko, and has worked with and created roles for many of the greatest living choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, John Neumeier, kevin Mc Kenzie, Paul Taylor,Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Dwight Rhodes, Lar Lubovitch, James Kudelka, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky. 

Ms. Saund  worked for many years with her mentor and coach David Howard. In addition to performing as a guest artist with several U.S. ballet companies, Ms. Saund has modeled for Barney’s New York, Vogue, Glamour, YSL, Seiko, and Bloch Ballet in both print and television advertisements. 

Ms. Saund has been a guest teacher at ABT studio company, English National Ballet, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Arts NYC, and  through out London and across the US. 

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Dean Story is currently in her 21st season with Atlanta Ballet. She joined Atlanta Ballet after a professional dance career that spanned more than 20 years, including tenures with Joffrey Ballet, the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and ten years with Boston Ballet.


In 1996, in addition to her role as ballet mistress, John McFall’s vision and mentorship brought Sharon to her current position as dean of the Centre for Dance Education, which has rapidly grown to one of the largest dance schools in the nation. The Centre for Dance Education is nationally recognized for great accomplishments in its programs and community initiatives. Under Sharon’s direction, the Centre achieved accreditation with National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). Sharon is a member of the Board of Directors for NASD and is delighted to serve on many community and national boards.


Sharon received the 2015 Women Making a Mark award from Atlanta Magazine. She is committed to providing a noncompetitive atmosphere and access to dance education that is shaped by the community needs, is innovative, and inspires the commitment and excellence that are the trademarks of Atlanta Ballet. She is very proud of the dancers who have studied at the Centre for Dance Education and continue to share their experiences on stage in the Atlanta Ballet company and around the globe. She thanks her family for all their love and support during her career.



Born in Madrid, Spain, Maria Torija began her ballet studies with Lola de Avila, Luis Fuentes and Carmen Roche. At the age of thirteen, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study for three years at the School of American Ballet in New York.


After a short stint with the Ballet Nacional de España Clásico, in 1987 she began her 20-year career as a dancer with the Deutsche Oper Berlin ballet company, currently the Staatsballett Berlin. During her time in Berlin, Maria performed in solo and principal roles in numerous classic ballets, including works choreographed by George Balanchine.


She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ballet Teaching, and graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s and PhD in Performing Arts from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, in Madrid. She also has an extensive teaching resume. Beginning with the Opera Ballet of Deutsche Oper Berlin, she has served as a faculty member at the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz, Dresden. Maria has participated in seminars and has been invited to teach classes throughout Europe, Japan and Hong King and the United States. While on the  faculty of the Miami City Ballet and Miami City Ballet School, Maria taught dancing as well as classes on the history of ballet and other associated topics. She organized and conceived a popular program for the Open Barre at the Miami City Ballet, inviting the public to see a demonstration of the progression of professional ballet training. Maria became the Director of the BalletMet Academy in May 2017.

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