Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company 2022/23 Dancers
Meet the dancers of the 2022/23 Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company!
The 2022/23 Training Company dancers join us from around the world! We are thrilled to welcome six new dancers to the Training Company for this season.
Keeley Clark started dancing at the age of two in Jefferson City, Missouri. She began seriously training with Amanda Buchana at age 13 and went on to continue pre-professional training at Dancers’ Alley and Mareck Center for Dance in her hometown. She has attended multiple summer intensives including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Mareck Dance, and Sarasota Ballet. Her previous repertoire includes Les Pantineurs and The Nutcracker.
Hannah Gonzalez was born and raised in Burr Ridge, Illinois. At the age of three, Hannah started dancing with Salt Creek Ballet under the direction of Zhanna Dubrovskaya and Sergey Kozadayev. Hannah trained with Zhanna Dubrovskaya, Sergey Kozadayev, Medina Irsalieva, Ludmila Lupu, and Vera Zhukova for twelve years, building her foundation in Vaganova-trained, classical ballet. In 2012, Hannah began training under the direction of Jennifer Grapes at Hinsdale Dance Academy in Hinsdale, Illinois. Hannah danced principal roles such as Myrtha in Giselle and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She competed in the Youth America Grand Prix Regional Competition and advanced to the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York, New York at the age of 16. She trained with Diana Stetsura, Jennifer Grapes, Darren McIntyre, and Marcella Ducsay until her completion of high school. As a young dancer, Hannah attended summer intensives at The Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater. After attending The Joffrey Ballet’s International Summer Intensive, Hannah was invited to join the highest level of The Joffrey Academy under the school directors Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev at the age of 17. Hannah was able to train under Anna Reznik, Alexei Kremnev, Victoria Fornelli, and Ludmila Lupu. Hannah decided to continue her education and training at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah with the draw of having coaches affiliated with Ballet West, along with continuing her education in another field. After suffering major injuries in the spring of 2016, Hannah had to undergo four left foot surgeries in a span of three years. After almost three full years of recovery and rehabilitation, Hannah was able to return to the stage to perform in Giselle re-staged by Jay Kim and Christopher Alloways-Ramsey. Hannah also performed in neo-classical and contemporary works such as Melissa Bobick’s original piece “Press Against the Glass”. She completed school with a B.F.A. in Ballet Performance and an Honors B.S. in Political Science, Pre-Law. After graduating in the summer of 2021 amidst the pandemic, Hannah returned back to Chicago, Illinois to train under her previous coaches from The Joffrey Ballet- Anna Reznik, Alexei Kremnev, and Ludmila Lupu, for the 2021/2022 season. Hannah also continued to train with her dearest mentor and coach, Marcella Ducsay, who has trained Hannah privately for the past ten years. After receiving professional invitations to join ballet companies in both Spain and Italy, Hannah has decided to stay in Chicago for the 2022/2023 season to train under Maray Gutierrez and Victor Alexander at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. She is excited to see what new opportunities this year brings.
Kaelen Gouveia began dancing at the age of 16 under the direction of Desire Cremer at Aiea High School on the island of Oahu. Here he learned the foundations of classical and modern techniques while being a member of the Aiea High School Dance Repertoire Company. Kaelen then attended Towson University where he learned from notable individuals Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, Runqiao Du, Catherine Horta-Hayden, Vincent Thomas, Nicole Martinell, Caroline Rocher-Barnes, Susan Mann, and Alison Seidensticker. At Towson, he studied classical ballet, modern, Horton, jazz, pointe, and partnering techniques as well as choreography. For three years of his time at Towson, Kaelen was also a member of the Towson University Dance Company. While in the company he performed the work “Monkey Mind” by Xiang Xu as well as various other works choreographed by his professors. One such work, “Looking Bach” by Vincent Thomas, offered him the opportunity to perform at the Baltimore Theatre Project. Along with this Kaelen also had the pleasure of performing at the 2019 American College Dance Association at Seton Hill University. Last summer Kaelen attended the Alonzo King LINES Summer Intensive and in the following winter the Mark Morris Gaga Winter Intensive. As of May 25, 2022, Kaelen earned his B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from Towson University.
Mian Hirasawa started ballet at the age of 3 at a local studio in Miyagi, Japan. She studied ballet at Un Univers until she was 17, after which she quit dance for three years. While studying economics at Yokohama National University, she started ballet again at the age of 20 at the Kawakuri classic ballet studio. She won a competition in Japan and she participated in the International Dance Experience, the summer intensive program of the Ruth Page School of Dance in Chicago, IL. She has performed repertoire such as Odile from Swan Lake, Medora from Le Corsaire, Aurora (rose adagio) from Sleeping Beauty, and Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote. A new member of the Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company for the 2022-23 season, she is also one of two recipients of the Lauren Anderson Scholarship.
Alicia René Kenefic is a Baltimore based dancer, choreographer, and yoga instructor with a passion for creating healing through movement. Their formal training in ballet and modern dance began at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and now they are excited to join the Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company for their 2022-2023 season. In 2022, they graduated from Towson University with a BFA in dance performance and choreography, where they also taught yoga and meditation. They have performed the works of Vincent Thomas, Glen Allen Sims, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Runqiao Du, and Alison Seidenstricker. They also choreographed original pieces, including “On the Edge” (2019), “The Break” (2020), “metamorphosis” (2021), and “Stale Shoes” (2022).
In addition to their work at Towson, they have had the honor of creating a number of community-based works in collaboration with artists from Baltimore and around the world. They believe that movement is a powerful tool for empowerment and are uplifted and inspired by the solidarity that occurs when communities come together in the spirit of dance. In 2021, they directed “Dance for Jade”, an interdisciplinary film project made to honor the life of the late ballerina, Jade Kothe. They also directed a dance performance in collaboration with Baltimore Ceasefire’s Celebration of Life event in 2018.
Alicia René Kenefic began teaching in 2019 as a ballet instructor with Raynfall Dance Studio. In April 2021, they received their Yoga Alliance RYT200 hour certification, and completed training in a trauma sensitive approach to children's yoga. They have enjoyed sharing the practice of yoga with their community both at Towson University and with Baltimore youth at the iCARRe Resource Center, and recently began practicing one on one assisted stretching with StretchLab Lakeview in Chicago.
Oscar Uribe Zapata was born in the city of Mérida, Yucatán in México. He started his training in the arts at the age of eleven with a concentration in theater, and his formal dance training did not begin until he was fifteen years old. Oscar has trained primarily in ballet and contemporary at “Per Lei” Academia de Danza in his hometown, but has training in additional disciplines as Hip Hop, Jazz, and Tap. Oscar looks forward to continuing his dance education in Chicago as he joins the Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company for its 2022-23 season, as a Lauren Anderson Scholarship recipient.
The 2022-2023 season will provide unique performance opportunities for the Civic Ballet Training Company dancers, while opening doors for endless creativity and artistic exploration. In October 2022, the CBTC presents a new work by Chicago choreographer Kia Smith, developed through her residency as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. December will bring several performances of “Ruth Page’s The Nutcracker” annual production. In winter 2023, Adrián Marcelo Sáenz, a choreographer and dancer from the Stara Zagora State Opera in Bulgaria, will work with the dancers on new choreography. In addition to other events and performances throughout the season, the year will conclude with an End-of-Season performance at the prestigious Ruth Page Festival of Dance at Ravinia, the site of the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, and an important Ruth Page Center arts partner.