Verb Ballets welcomes new dancers and trainees for the 2017-18 season

CLEVELAND, OH - Verb Ballets welcomes new dancers to the company and announces company promotions and the official launch of a Trainee Program. The contemporary ballet company based out of Cleveland, Ohio is currently comprised of nine dancers and three trainees from all over the United States including Puerto Rico as well as Mexico.

Verb Ballets is pleased to welcome Mariana Pérez to the company. Pérez was born in Chiapas, Mexico and she started dancing at the age of four. She trained at Ballet Clasico de Tapachula and Royal Ballet Center before moving to New York City to continue her training at the Joffrey Ballet School. After two years as a trainee, she performed nationally and internationally with the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. She is the recipient of the Verb Ballets Shah Capital Aspiring Dancer Fund for the 2017-18 season.

Verb Ballets is pleased to announce the promotion of Kelly Korfhage to full company member. Korfhage is a native of Cleveland and joined Verb Ballets last season as an apprentice after dancing with Kansas City Ballet’s second company, KCB2, for two seasons. She began her training under local teachers Joanne H. Morscher and Ana Lobe. She furthered her dance education at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music as a Corbett Award scholarship recipient, and graduated cum laude with a BFA in ballet performance.

Verb Ballets is happy to welcome Michael Escovedo back this season. Escovedo is from Colorado and started competitive gymnastics at age five. After training and competitive successes within the USAG gymnastics program he began studying ballet to improve his gymnastics routines. Escovedo then went on to train at Ballet Nouveau Colorado. At the age of 15, he moved to New York City to train with The School of American Ballet. After his graduation from The School of American Ballet in 2014, Michael joined Verb Ballets. He has choreographed two company works on Verb Ballets.

Verb Ballets is happy to welcome Antonio Morillo back to the stage after an injury last season. Morillo is from Florida and performed with the Patel Conservatory’s Next Generation Ballet as well as Tampa City Ballet prior to coming to Verb Ballets in 2016. He received his Associate of Arts in Dance Performance from Valencia College and his BFA in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida.

Verb Ballets announces the official launch of its Trainee Program, aimed for students ages 17 and older who are preparing for a professional dance career. The Trainee Program seeks to develop young aspiring professional dancers into professional dancers through a carefully and individualized study plan. Students are selected to participate in the Trainee Program by audition. Trainees participate in company classes and rehearsals while having the opportunity to
perform with Verb Ballets during the season and work with guest choreographers. Trainees also work with the company dancers in educational and community outreach activities throughout the year. The personal attention and guidance provided by Producing Artistic Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson and Associate Director, Richard Dickinson, MFA will help prepare each student for their dance future. Trainees who are invited back for a second year and complete two consecutive years of study in this program will receive a certificate of training upon completion of their second year. This is a tuition based program.

For the 2017-18 season Verb Ballet welcomes Sabrina Lindhout, Jocelyn Magons and Lexy Lattimore to the Trainee Program.

Sabrina Lindhout is from Mansfield, Ohio and started training in dance at the age of four at Opus II Dance Studio. She is returning for a second season as a trainee. Prior to that she danced with Ashland Regional Ballet, a pre-professional company and attended summer studies at Magnus (Joffrey) Midwest Dance Intensive, School of Orlando Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and studied on scholarship as a trainee at BalletMet.

Jocelyn Magons was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and began her pre-professional ballet training under the direction of Christina Foisie at the University of Akron Dance Institute. She is returning for her second season as a trainee. Magons graduated from Miller South Middle School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron and is now a senior at Wadsworth High School.

Alexandria “Lexy” Lattimore is from Massachusetts and began training with Judith Keochoven at the Academy of Ballet Arts. Lattimore attended Duke University and has choreographed her own works, most notably for the 50th Anniversary of Black Students at Duke. After graduating, she danced with DSundanceX, a contemporary ballet company in Boston. Lattimore most recently moved from New York City to train with Verb Ballets.

Photos and dancer bios or interviews available upon request by contacting
Jen Garlando at jgarlando@verbballets.org

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