Principal Dancers

María Valencia-Alvarez
Born: Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico

María trained in Mexico at a young age in a variety of disciplines and dance styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, and aerial silks. She has won several national and international competitions and scholarships in Latin America and the USA (Idyllwild Arts Academy) and taught and professionally danced at Paty Geyer Dance Center. There she also danced as a soloist and choreographed for students ages six to adult. Her many performances include National Youth’s Olympics (Guadalajara, JA, Mexico), Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She also choreographed for The Magic Flute, Mascagni´s Cavalleria Rusticana, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (Snow Queen and Coffee), Lavinia Reid’s Snow White (Raven), Alice Reid’s Haunted House (The Lovers), Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s Swan Lake (Pas de Trois & Dance of the Cygnets). From 2013 to 2017, María taught in some of the most renowned studios in Edmonton, AB, Canada and performed in several international dance festivals. She is a certified teacher from the American Ballet Theatre, having completed the Teachers Training Program from Pre-Primary to Grade 5 Level of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She is thrilled to join the Ithaca Ballet Company for her second year and keep being an active member of the Ithaca dance community.

Ayla Naghsh
Born: Kingston, NY

Ayla has been dancing with the Ithaca Ballet for several seasons. She trained extensively with The New Paltz School of Ballet under Peter Naumann, with summers at SAB and NYSSSA. After getting her degrees in English and French, Ayla returned to ballet with a renewed enthusiasm and began teaching and performing again. She worked with Steps on Broadway under their incredible teaching staff. Ayla was featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 2017 Ithaca Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

Soloist

Dani Streever
Born: Atlanta, GA

Dani is a freshman in Cornell’s College of Engineering and is excited to join Ithaca Ballet this season. She has trained in different techniques over the years at schools and summer programs including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Chicago, Georgia Ballet, and Sarasota Cuban Ballet. Last year after high school, Dani turned down an apprentice position with Georgia Ballet to dance with Ballet Chicago’s Studio Company—where she had the opportunity to perform Balanchine repertoire including the lead Violin in Concerto Barocco, “My One and Only” (Turning Girl) variation and “Somebody Loves Me” (Five Girls) from Who Cares, Walpurgisnacht, Rubies, and many others. Other notable roles include Spanish lead in Ballet Chicago’s The Nutcracker, Dream Clara and Chinese lead in Georgia Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Paquita Pas de Trois, and Awakening of Flora. This past spring, she also appeared in FOX TV’s “Empire” as a ballerina for two episodes.

Senior Dancers

Ellie Derry
Born: Ithaca, NY

Ellie has danced with the Ballet Center of Ithaca for seven years and this is her fourth year in the company. Summer Intensives include Ithaca Ballet, Burklyn Ballet Theatre (2016), and Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive (2017). Noteworthy roles include Spiderosa in Haunted House, the Monkey in Babar the Elephant, Candy Cane, first-Corps Snow in The Nutcracker, Demi-soloist Forest Creature in Snow White, and Swan in Swan Lake. She will graduate from Ithaca High School in 2019.

Martha Erickson
Born: Ithaca, NY

Martha has danced at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for eleven years and this is her fifth year in the company. Summer intensives have been with the Ithaca Ballet and one summer at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Prominent roles include Lieutenant Mouse, Chocolate, and Clara in The Nutcracker, and one of the Cygnets (Little Swans) in Swan Lake.  She will graduate from Ithaca High School in 2020.

Vivian Fowler
Born: Chenango County, NY

Vivian started dancing with the Ballet Center of Ithaca when she was four years old. This will be her fifth year as a company member. Vivian has attended six summer intensives with Ithaca Ballet. Noteworthy roles with Ithaca Ballet include Skeleton in Haunted House, Fall Fairy and Handmaiden in Snow White, Lead Coffee in The Nutcracker, Tango and Moksha in WinterDance, Candidate Bride, Waltz, and Swan corps in Swan Lake, and with Myrtha in Giselle. Vivian was a guest dancer for The Chambersburg Ballet’s Nutcracker in 2017, performing as Chocolate and Demi Waltz. Currently studying at TC3, Vivian will graduate with her degree in Photography in 2019.

Avery Fowler
Born: Chenango County, NY

Avery has danced at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for the past five years. This will be his third year as a company member. His noteworthy roles include Marzipan, Party Teen, and the Prince in The Nutcracker and dancing in the promenade. He is a student at New Roots Charter School, and will be graduating in 2021.

Amelia Gair
Born: Ithaca, NY

Amelia has trained at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for four years and this is her second year in the company. Before she began at the Ballet Center, she danced at Tre Bella’s Dance Studio where she won many competitions in a variety of styles including contemporary, jazz, and lyrical. Noteworthy roles include Lieutenant Mouse, Snow Corps in The Nutcracker, Swan in Swan Lake, Forest Creature in Snow White, and a dancer in Frisson. Amelia attends Dryden High School and will graduate in 2019.

Anya Korfine
Born: Arlington, MA

Anya trained at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for twelve years. This is her fifth year in the company. Summer intensive experience: Danced with the Burklyn Ballet theater during summer 2016, Colorado Ballet intensive summer of 2017, University of Utah summer intensive summer of 2018, and Ithaca Ballet summer camp for eight summers. Noteworthy roles include Clara, Demi-soloist in Snow and Waltz in The Nutcracker, Princess in Firebird, baby spider in Haunted House, and a Jewel in Sleeping Beauty. Anya was homeschooled through middle school and is now a senior at Ithaca High School. She will graduate in 2019.

Kara Skrubis
Born: Rochester, NY

Kara grew up in Granby, CT, and moved to Ithaca in the fall of 2017. Kara has studied at the Hartt School and at Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. She is currently a senior dancer in Ithaca Ballet’s company. Summer intensive experience includes From Studio to Stage at the Hartt School, Bossov Ballet Theatre, and Neglia Ballet. Notable roles include Snow Corps, Swan Corps, and choreographing for Winter Dance. She is a senior at Ithaca High School and will graduate in 2019.

T. Rose Verhagen
Born: Ithaca, NY

T. Rose has been dancing at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for twelve years and has been a company member for five years. Summer intensive experience includes Ithaca Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, and Princeton Ballet School. Notable roles include Little Snow White in Snow White, Marzipan and Ballerina Doll in The Nutcracker, and a Petite Cygnet in Swan Lake.  T. Rose is currently homeschooled and graduated in the spring of 2018.

Lucy Williams
Born: Buckinghamshire, England

Lucy has trained at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for twelve years and this is her fourth year in the company. She has attended four summer intensives with Ithaca Ballet. Prominent roles include Chocolate, Demi-soloist Waltz, and Demi-soloist Snow in The Nutcracker, a Skeleton in Haunted House, a Misery in excerpts from Giselle, and a Handmaid in Snow White. Lucy will graduate from Ithaca High School in 2019.

Talia Yarborough
Born: Ithaca, NY

Talia has danced at the Ballet Center of Ithaca for eight years and this is her third year in the company. She has attended three summer intensives with Ithaca Ballet. Previous roles include Swan in Swan Lake, Wand Fairy and Forest Creature in Snow White, Side Tea in The Nutcracker and a dancer in Frisson. Talia will graduate from Trumansburg High School in 2021.

First Year Senior Dancers

Floor: Mia Lashley, Standing: Sophie Riedl (missing: Nuala Hill)

Apprentice Dancers

Standing (left to right): Ammon Kellmurray, Hannah Shvets, Leticia Smolka, Mia Ku

Seated: Sage Korfine, Lila Mohler