At age 7, Christie began her dance training at Juliana’s Academy of Dance (JAD) and, after competing at Dance Masters National Competition, decided to focus on ballet. She progressed rapidly and, during her initial Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) competition, qualified for the New York City Finals. She continued honing her technique and, at age 17, her association with YAGP culminated during the NY Finals where she was awarded 1st place in the Classical Dance Category.
Christie received additional training including summers attending American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet intensives and one year at The Rock School for Dance Education.
Returning “home” to JAD, Christie and Valentina began the search for the company which best suited her talents and objectives. During this process, Christie auditioned for Miami City Ballet (MCB), fell in love with the company, and, following graduation, attended their school. In 2008, she became a member of MCB’s Corps de Ballet and continues there today.
“Ms.V took me under her wing when I was little girl. We worked on classical variations and contemporary dances. We selected summer programs together, prepared audition videos, and watched numerous ballet productions.
“I am a ballet dancer now; but, I still come back just to visit and talk with or help her teach classes. I know I always have her support and love.”
At age 7, Maria began training with Valentina and, at age 11, competed in YAGP’s Chicago Semi-Finals receiving the Hope Award and then taking the Bronze Medal during the NY Finals.Maria received further training when, at age 13, she attended The Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C. on scholarship and spent the next two years refining her technique.
Then, after attending a Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive, Maria was accepted into their residential program and spent the next 3 years completing her training. During this time, Maria danced solo roles in performances on the Bolshoi Main Stage.
Currently, Maria is performing as a soloist with Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet Theatre and in 2013 was awarded Moscow International Ballet Competition’s 3rd Prize.
“Valentina is like my second mother. She taught, first of all, great discipline which is one of the main principles in the ballet world. She didn’t just teach me great ballet technique. She taught me basic principles of life. Valentina is and will always be my first teacher, second mother, and friend.”
“When I stepped into my first dance class at age 10, a career in dance was the furthest thought from my mind; but, four years later during a Complexions Contemporary Ballet performance at the Music Hall, I began to dream of a professional dancer’s life and of Complexions as home.
“Valentina advised me to focus on my ballet training. Taking her words to heart, I switched my focus from competition dance to ballet technique applying myself fully. I went on to attend The Rock School for Dance Education; Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Trainee Program; and The Ailey School, Official School of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Independent Study and Scholarship Programs.
“During these years, I also attended many summer intensive programs including American Ballet Theatre; Planet Dance; The Rock School; Kirov Academy of Ballet; Ellison Ballet; Joffrey Academy of Dance; and The Ailey School.
“Through it all, my goal never changed. Now, as they say, ‘The rest is history.’ During the 2012- 2013 season, I performed with Complexions as an apprentice touring within the United States and abroad. And, next season, I’m thrilled to have the privilege of continuing my education as a full company member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
“I must admit, I began dance training merely to further my career as a musical theater professional. However, when my love of theater was replaced with a love of dance, Valentina recognized potential, nurtured my tentative steps down this unfamiliar path, and provided mentoring in a loving, caring yet firm manner. If it weren’t for Valentina, I doubt I would be dancing with my dream company today.”
Read more about Casey here.
Trainee in Ballet West .
Trainee in BalletMet.
Trainee in Joffrey Ballet.
Forest Ballet Academy.