CLEVELAND, OH (July 22, 2019) – Verb Ballets under the direction of Producing Artistic Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson and Associate Artistic Director, Richard Dickinson, MFA welcome five new dancers to the company. The contemporary ballet company based out of Cleveland, Ohio is currently comprised of dancers, apprentices and trainees that hail from all over the United States and as far as Japan. Meet them below.
Hunter Hoffman is a first generation American raised by his Cuban family and born in Miami, Florida. He is a recent graduate of Mercyhurst University and prior trained at the Mencia Pikeiris School of Dance and the Miami Youth Ballet. Hunter had the opportunity to work with The Mercyhurst Dancers, Lake Erie Ballet, New World Connection, and Ballet Concerto. Hoffman has joined Verb Ballets as an apprentice for the 2019-20 season.
Noe Iwamatsu was born in Japan and began her ballet training at Prendre Ballet Studio in Japan. She moved to London after acceptance to the Central School of Ballet where she graduated with honors with a BA in professional dance and performance. She performed with Ballet Central, the junior company of Central School of Ballet, and toured the United Kingdom. Most recently, Noe was a trainee with American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. Iwamatsu is excited to join Verb Ballets as an apprentice for the 2019-2020 season.
Verb Ballets welcomes Julie Russel, born in China and raised in Cedar, Michigan. Julie spent summers training at Washington School of Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, and Cecchetti Council of America. Julie graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May of 2019 with a BFA in Dance Performance and BA in Environmental Sustainability. She has most recently also performed with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in Chicago. Russel has joined Verb Ballets as an apprentice for the 2019-20 season.
Originally from Ohio, Ashley Forché received her dance training from BalletMet. Ashley moved to Tennessee for her senior year of high school to be a trainee with Nashville Ballet. She began pursuing a business degree through Belmont University following graduation while simultaneously continuing to dance with Nashville Ballet. Last season, Ashley was a trainee with Oklahoma City Ballet. Forché joins the company as a trainee for the 2019-20 season.
Elizabeth Schaeffer was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan before returning home to New Hampshire at the age of eleven. Schaeffer graduated from Belhaven University in Mississippi where she received awards for outstanding artistic and scholastic achievements. She most recently danced professionally with Ballet Hartford in Connecticut. Schaeffer joins the company as a trainee for the 2019-20 season.