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Nicole Assaad

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Nicole Assaad started dancing ballet at age 8 at the Patel Conservatory. After a year, she moved to All American Classical Ballet School in Tampa, Florida where she received training from Julio Montano and Gisell Durand. She won many awards and scholarships from many competitions such as the Youth America Grand Prix, American Dance Competition, as gold medalist and a recipient of the Fernando Bujones Award, and World Ballet Competition, receiving the bronze medal in the final round.

At age 15, she moved to New York City to study with the Gelsey Kirkland Academy under a full scholarship. At age 16, she joined the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company, performing various roles, such as “Marie” and “Sugarplum” in The Nutcracker, “Columbina” in the Flames of Paris, “Kitri” in Don Quixote, Diamond and Charity fairy in the Sleeping Beauty, along with many other roles. 

At age 18, she joined the Hong Kong Ballet’s corps de ballet under the direction of Madeleine Onne, where she performed in many productions such as Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, Pinnochio, Carmen, Lady of the Camelias, and many other original productions that toured in Canada, the US, Macau, and Mainland China. 

 

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Jesús Chapa-Malacara

Jesús Armand is from Monterrey, México, and grew up in Kansas City. He started his training with the New Haven Ballet while studying at Yale, and continued at The Ailey School, Peridance and Studio Maestro. After college, he went on to dance professionally in New York, where he cofounded MIMA Productions, an international cultural exchange dance project.  In collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation and the American Embassy in Pakistan, Jesús produced and performed in Hamza, and original work by Marco Pelle, during a one month residency in Islamabad.  He’s also danced with New Generation Dance Company (Dardo Galletto), The Love Show (Angela Harriell), and Christopher Caines Dance Company. 

Outside of dance, Jesús works as a mixed-media artist and is the creator of the internationally acclaimed photo series “Dance Prints.”  Other media include video, graphic design, software design and sculpture.  His work has been featured in solo and group shows in galleries in New York, Seattle, New Haven, and Concord MA. 

With an extensive background as a non-profit professional in the US, Spain and Israel, Jesús is also taking a development lead at Tampa City Ballet, working to promote TCB around Tampa and secure its future through cultivating sponsorships and partnerships. He holds a BA in political science from Yale. 

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Lital Gelman

Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida

From a very young age Lital has always found herself immersed into the dance world. Growing up in both the commercial and concert scenes, her background and training ranges from styles such as modern, contemporary, and ballet to hip-hop, tap, and jazz. Lital continued to take her dance experience to a more professional level by attending performing arts high school, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Throughout her experience there, Lital was selected in audition-based pieces working with professional choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Christopher Huggins with assistant Levi Marsman, and Stefanie Batten Bland. During her time there, she was also awarded in choreography, technique, and jazz dance.

Lital has furthered her studies by attending the University of South Florida’s (USF) Dance program, which she had the experience to work and perform choreographic works from choreographers Robert Moses, Christian Denise, Gierre Godley, Michael Foley, and Jeanne Travers. During her junior year, Lital took her studies to a world-based perspective by attending the USF Dance in Paris Semester Abroad Program. During those four months, she worked with professionals such as Maurice Causey, Nathalie Pubellier, Heidi Weiss, and Nadine Beaulieu in choreographic workshops across Europe.

Lital began to take a deep interest in her own style of dance and choreography during her time at USF. Her very first original choreographic work Trepidation, was selected to represent USF at the American College of Dance Association, and was also chosen to premiere at its final gala performance. Lital continues to choreograph among several local studios and just recently concluded her second work Nacham Shuvb., a solo work created and based off her religious background and Jewish beliefs.

Shortly after graduating with her BFA degree, Lital signed the 2018 fall season with Tampa City Ballet, directed by Paula Nunez in Tampa, Florida. As Lital continues to teach and dance professionally, she also remains working hard to discover her own movement language through personal experiences and comprehension of human conditions.

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Deisha King

Hometown: Plantation, Florida

Deisha A. King is originally from Plantation, Florida and received her early training from On Your Toes and Dance Attack. She is a 2018 graduate with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of South Florida where she was awarded talent-based grants. Deisha has had the fortune of working closely with and performing works by Robert Moses, Alex Ketley, Gesel Mason, Alonzo King, Kara Davis, Gierre Godley, Kevin Iega Jeff, among others. She has performed at the Beijing International Dance Seminar in Beijing, China and has attended summer programs at the American Dance Festival, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, and Step It Up on scholarship. Deisha is an advocate for community engagement in the arts. Currently, she is developing an educational outreach project in which she will conduct a series of dance workshops with children and youth in various underserved schools and community organizations.

 

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Marcus McCray

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

Marcus McCray, a native of Tampa Bay, started his formal dance training at the end of his senior year in high school in PCCA at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Fl.  He then left Tampa Bay to attend the New World School of the Arts’ BFA program in Miami, Fl. One of his professors (Peter London) had a dance company in Miami that Marcus was a part of from his freshman year until his senior year at NWSA in Miami. He graduated in the spring of 2015 and the very next day after graduation, Marcus was flown to Coyoacan, Mexico to work with the acclaimed Mexican Choreographer and Director Tania-Perez Salas for her North American tour. After that contract ended, Marcus was granted a full scholarship to attend Alonzo King LINES Ballet summer program, from which he was honored to be invited to stay in the year-round Professional-Training program.

While in California at LINES Marcus was a founding member of a dance troupe called MudWater, where they mixed the disciplines and styles of street dancers (Aka Turf dancers) and Ballet dancers from LINES BFA and Training Program to collaborate and create groundbreaking new works that was presented all around the SF Bay area. The troupe was later featured in the San Francisco State of the Arts Magazine. After completing year and a half of training at LINES, Marcus was hired as a guest artist with Philadelphia’s Ballet X. After leaving Ballet X, Marcus free-lanced in New York City for nearly a year before returning here to his beloved home town. Marcus is happy to be back and working here in Tampa.

 

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Lily McCrossin

Hometown: Sharpsburg, Maryland

Lily McCrossin grew up in Sharpsburg, Maryland where she began her dance training at the Inwood Performing Arts. Growing up, Lily dedicated her summers to training on full scholarship with Ballet Austin, The Orlando Ballet School, and Joffrey Ballet School. She continued her dance studies at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, where she was awarded talent-based grants and a departmental scholarship. 

   During her time at USF, Lily participated in the 2018 American College Dance Association's Southeast regional conference, where she performed her self-choreographed solo. She has also traveled to China to perform works choreographed by Paula Nuñez and Jeanne Travers at the Beijing Dance Academy. Lily graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts from USF in the spring of 2018.

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John Paul Miecznikowski

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

John Paul was born in Tampa, Florida. He started his dance training with Hip Hop and other styles. At the age of six, John enrolled in America's Ballet School under full scholarship until his graduation in 2017. John Paul has danced several roles with ABS and TCBII, participating in many ensemble compositions and dancing numerous classical productions.

John trained under the tutelage of Paula Nunez and Osmany Montano up until he was 18 years old. He participated in many competitions as soloist and part of the ensembles, like YAGP and American Dance Competition. He was chosen as TCBII dancer for the past three years.

John has danced several classical roles including The Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Dr. Coppelius in Coppelia, and danced numerous classical and contemporary pas de deux both with ABS and TCBII.

 

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Justice Rodriguez

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Originally from Miami, Florida, Justice Rodriguez began his dance training at Miami-Dade Community College. While training at MDC,Justice had the opportunity to work professionally with Momentum Dance Company under the direction of Delma Iles. After graduating with an Associate of Arts in dance, Justice moved to Tampa, Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance and choreography with the University of South Florida.

While training at USF, Justice had the opportunity to dance in original works by Michael Foley, Andrew Carroll, Jeanne Travers, Andee Scott, Robert Moses, and Alex Ketley. Justice also had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France as a part of the USF Dance in Paris Program; where he lived for five months studying various dance techniques, and worked closely with many choreographers such as Maurice Causey (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Nathalie Pubelier (Paris, France), Nadine Beaulieu (Rouen, France), and Heidi Weiss (Berlin, Germany) among others. Still exploring his everlasting fascination with dance, and the creation of dance, Justice continues to explore dance technique and his own choreographic voice.

 

 

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Claudia Suarez

Hometown: San Antonio de Los Altos, Venezuela

Born in Venezuela, Claudia began her ballet studies at the age of 5 at a local school and had additional training at the Central School of Ballet, London. Later on, she continued at Fundación Ballet de las Américas (America's Ballet School in Caracas) and Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet in North Miami, where she graduated in 2015. She has participated in numerous festivals in her country and twice at the International Festival of Ballet Schools in La Habana, Cuba; as well as taken different workshops at the English National Ballet School and the Royal Ballet School. In 2010, Claudia was awarded with the Silver Medal at the Caracas National Ballet Competition and among the Top Ten dancers at the Universal Ballet Competition, Senior Classical Division in 2015. In 2012, she won a scholarship to attend Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida’s Summer Intensive of Russian Technique, which she continued attending in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Claudia was a Trainee and later on, promoted to an Apprentice position with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, company to which she danced with for two seasons (2015-2017). Her repertoire includes various classical ballets like Don Quixote, Cinderella, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker; as well as many choreographies by Issaev like The Rite of Spring, Fuga con Pajarillo, Shostakovich Suites, Suite of Waltzes, Coppelia, among others. Claudia looks forward to keep improving her technique as well as exploring different styles of movement with Tampa City Ballet.

 

 

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Jaqueline Sullivan

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Jacqueline Sullivan is a dance artist based in Tampa, Florida. Sullivan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in modern dance from the University of South Florida in the Spring of 2018. Upon graduation, she began working with Tampa City Ballet, in addition to creating other works in the area. During her time at the University, Jacqueline performed in works by faculty members Jeanne Travers, Michael Foley and Andrew Carroll. She has also performed in guest artist pieces from Robert Moses, Alex Ketley, Kristin O’Neal, and Christian Denice. Sullivan has studied dance in Paris, France under the tutorage of Michael Foley, and has worked closely with world renowned artists from Berlin, Amsterdam, and Rouen in addition to Paris. Jacqueline is excited to be dancing with the Tampa City Ballet.

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Bhajhan Williams

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bhajhan was first introduced to the world of ballet in 2006 in his elementary school, he was five years old. He observed the Elevate Program from Brooklyn Ballet in a school assembly. He was hooked after participating in their six week program in school and was offered a scholarship to continue with his dance training at Brooklyn Ballet. He learned classical ballet with the company under the tutelage of Caridad Martinez and performed in many of their productions.

Dances Patrelle offered Bhajhan an opportunity to perform in their production of the Yorkville Nutcracker. He also performed in their production of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Ballet!

In 2011 and 2012 Bhajhan was invited to the Young Dancer Summer Workshop at the American Ballet Theatre. He was accepted into the JKO Children’s School and completed levels 4A, 4B and American Ballet Theatre Pre-Professional level 5. He has also danced with the French Academie of Ballet.

Bhajhan attended and graduated from the Professional Performing Arts High School in New York which has a partnership with The Ailey School, where he learned a diverse dance curriculum with a foundation in ballet and courses in Modern Horton, Jazz and West African dance. 

 

 

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Victoria Neukom

Victoria began fundamental training at her hometown studio “Blackwood Studios.” She began branch out and connect deeply with contemporary dance. Victoria involved herself in both the commercial and concert dance world. She auditioned for Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and proceeded to make her way to the top 30 of thousands. This journey inspired her to train in every style, including classical ballet, contemporary, ballroom, hip hop, and modern.