Founder and Director Mr. Jean-Hugues Feray, (Photo: Steven Caras) a native of France, began his dance training at nine years of age. The following year, he auditioned for the Paris Opera Ballet School at the Paris Opera Ballet where he was one of six boys chosen out of the 250 that applied for admission. Jean-Hugues studied with the school for 5 years and went on to attend the National Conservatory of Paris. He graduated from the conservatory with a first prize in Ballet awarded by a unanimous jury decision. This was the highest Ballet Award a student could receive, enabling Jean-Hugues to choose from several contract offers in European Companies.
THE TEACHING STAFF
Liana Damiano (Ballet/Rehearsal Assistant) has been dancing since she was three years old and grew up with tap as her main technique in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As a child, Liana participated in tap and jazz competitions receiving high recognition. She continued her tapping in West Palm Beach, Florida under the excellent instruction of Kelly Kinard-Zeltmann, where Liana advanced quickly in her tap skills.
Liana began her intensive ballet training with Joan Miller at Palm Beach Ballet Center in West Palm Beach. She received incredible training from Lorena Jimenez, Kurt Putzig, Tracy Mozingo, Stacey Downs, Denis Wayne, and other notable staff. While at Palm Beach Ballet Center, Liana performed in full length ballets such as La Bayadere, Don Quixote, A Christmas Carol, and Sleeping Beauty with her favorite performing role as the Bluebird pas de deux with James Applewhite from the National Ballet of Canada.
As a former student of Bak and Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Liana continued dancing with exceptional training in ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary under the direction of wonderful choreographers and teachers such as Jean-Hugues Feray, Jan Hanniford, Martha Satinoff, Maria Konrad, Billy Bell, Margo Sappington, and many more associated with both schools. While in high school, Liana was selected to perform with The Palm Beach Opera’s The Tales of Hoffmann on the mainstage of the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Liana continued her passion for dance during her attendance at the University of Florida by joining Floridance, a student run dance organization. Floridance gave Liana the opportunity to choreograph on herself and others, teach classes, and learn about the lighting and staging side of putting on a performance. She also danced at Pofahl dance studio, associated with Dance Alive National Ballet, under the instruction of Ulises Daza.
In May 2018, Liana graduated from UF with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in dance.
Yumelia Garcia (Guest Artist in Residence - Ballet), after retiring from Joffrey Ballet in 2014, Garcia has not let the grass grow under her feet. A recent graduate with honors in Communication from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she continues to make guest performances, from Florida to Alaska. Ms. Garcia continues her close collaboration with the Jacksonville Symphony this holiday season as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, after stunning performances in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella during Jacksonville’s 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Ms. Garcia was included in the Chicago Sun-Times best performances of the year 2015, for Day of the Gypsy at the Harris Theater, a ballet created by Gordon Pierce Schmidt. She recently worked in New York with Kathryn Posin Dance Company and Meredith Monk in a commissioned ballet for the Harkness Dance Festival in Manhattan. Yumelia has taught for Joffrey Ballet’s teaching workshop in San Antonio, TX, Joffrey Academy in Chicago and continues to teach and coach in ballet schools across the country, from Buffalo, NY, to Los Angeles, CA.
Yumelia Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her professional training at the Escuela de Ballet Gustavo Franklin (Vaganova school). Graduating with honors, Vicente Nebrada invited her to join the National Ballet of Caracas at the tender age of 15, and promoted her to soloist one year later. Ms. Garcia began her U.S. career with Heinz Pohl at Ohio Ballet, and soon thereafter she joined Milwaukee Ballet and became principal dancer. In her tenure with Milwaukee Ballet, Kathryn Posin created Scheherazade on Garcia, and she performed the classical principal roles of Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and Carmen, a breath-taking performance elevating Garcia to a Milwaukee favorite. Garcia later moved on to Ballet Florida, where she was featured in contemporary and classical works, including Cleopatra, by Ben Stevenson. In 2009, Ms. Garcia was invited by Ashley Wheater to join Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she hit the stage to critical acclaim in principal roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Most notably, her performance in Ashton’s Cinderella was featured in Point Magazine as one of the “Best Performances of the Year 2010,” and the Chicago Tribune included her as one of the best dancers of the year for 2010 and 2011.
Yumelia Garcia's remarkable versatility, technical prowess, and intensity have given her extensive experience with works by choreographers that include Alonzo King (Jazz, Tap) has been dancing since age 3 growing up in her mother’s dance studio in Pennsylvania. Amy has studied tap, jazz, ballet and gymnastics. She has and continues to study Ballroom dancing. Continuing her dance classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, she has taken classes with Germaine Salsburg, Frank Hatchett Charles Kelly and Nicole Hockenberry. She has performed in Ohio at the Ameriflora event and New York City with The Broadway Dance Centers concert dancing the jazz choreography of Frank Hatchett. She has also performed the choreography of Germaime Salsburg. Now residing in Florida she is happy to share her love of dance., Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Jean Paul Comelin, Mark Godden, George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Jimmy Gamonet, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor, Robert Joffrey and Val Caniparoli.
Idael German (Ballet), a native of Cuba graduated from the National School of Ballet in Havana. The following year he joined the Ballet Santiago de Cuba. In 1991, he was invited to join the Ballet Nacional Founder and Director Mr. Jean-Hugues Ferayde Caracas in Venezuela under the direction of Vicente Nebrada where he was a principal dancer. He also danced in Italy with Ballet Teatro de Torino.
In 2000, Idael joined Ballet Florida under the Artistic Direction of Marie Hale. For nine seasons, he performed works by leading and celebrated choreographers, and has brought life to many roles from Marie Hale’s The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Spring Waters which are among his favorites.
Mr. German was also a resident artist with Ballet Palm Beach. He is a well known teacher throughout the area and dances as a guest artist.
Olivier Pardina (Ballet) a native of France, was inspired by his father and begins training under his watchful eyes before moving to Paris to continue his studies with the Master Teachers of the Paris Opera. At age sixteen, after replacing (at the last minute) an injured Principal Dancer at an International Dance Gala, he is promoted to Principal Dancer with the Nice Opera House (France). At age twenty, he won the first prize in a National Ballet Competition organized by the French television and he was offered a contract by celebrated choreographer Maurice Bejart. Between the ages of sixteen and thirty two, Pardina performed as Principal Dancer with various prominent European Ballet Companies and toured extensively as a guest artist, and as ambassador of the French culture abroad.
During his years as Principal, Pardina performed around the world the leading roles of the Grand Ballets of the repertory as well as contemporary pieces. He wass chosen by renowned choreographers to perform their work; amongst so many others: Birgit Cullberg in the Ballet Miss Julie alternating with Rudolf Nuryev’s and Hans Van Manen in the Ballets Songs without words, Five Tangos and Septet Extra. During a tribute to French choreographers, he was chosen by Serge Lifar to perform his production of Suite en Blanc and by Marcia Haydee to perform a filmed production of Serge Lifar’s Phedra. He was invited by the RAI, the Italian TV channel, he performed in a film production of Romeo and Juliet with the Roma Opera House and he was selected by Moses Pendleton, creator of the Momix and Pilobolus Dance companies to perform his world premier creation of the role Pulcinella.
During the final years of his stage career while performing with the Nancy Opera House, Rudolf Nuryev’s selected him as his understudy and to take over several of his roles. Pardina received a standing ovation after replacing him at the Coven Garden in London in the role ofPetrouchka during a tour of the show “Hommage a Diaghilev”.
As a recipient of the teaching degree awarded by the French government, he was called upon by Rosella Hightower to evaluate the level of the National Conservatory of Dance. He was later appointed as Artistic director and Principal Teacher of the school of the Nice Opera Ballet.
In 1991 after years of performing on stage, Pardina moved to Florida and dedicates his full time to nurture the next generation of dancers where he was a teacher with the Harid Conservatory for many years. His students have won major prizes at national and international Dance competitions. Many of his students are now Principal Dancers with renowned Ballet Companies in the United States and overseas. Mr. Pardina is still very active as a jury member, and as a guest teacher for national and international Ballet competitions notably for the New York City’s finals of the Youth America Grand Prix. Amongst his many guest appearances he taught at the Rock School in Philadelphia, the Orlando Ballet School, the San Francisco Ballet School, and he was invited by American Ballet Theatre, the Teatro de Rio de Janeiro and the Cordoba Ballet Company (Argentina) to teach the company dancers.
In 2013, Olivier Pardina was appointed Principal Teacher of the Pre-Professional division of the Miami City Ballet School.
Risselle Alexandra Portuondo (Contemporary, Modern, Neo-Classical) began her dance training in West Palm Beach, Florida at The Academy of Ballet Florida, and boasts a history of 21 years of dancing. She graduated from The Boston Conservatory in 2014 where she received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance. She has performed along with the professional company of Ballet Florida in works to include Marie Hale's The Nutcracker. She has also performed as Violeta's consciousness in Palm Beach Opera's rendition of La Traviata.
Throughout the years she has intensively studied Ballet (Vaganova, Cecchetti), Modern (Graham, Horton, Paul Taylor, Cunningham, Limon), Laban technique, Release Technique, Improvisation, Jazz, and Tap.
While in Boston, Risselle performed in Jose Limon’s Psalm, Tommy Neblett’s La Giornatta Homicida (Deadly Day), Cathy Young’s Zero Cool, Twyla Tharp’s Eight Jelly Rolls, Francesca Harper’s A Root in Liberty, Karole Armitage’s Rave, Doug Elkins The Night Before Luxemburg, and in Billy Rogan's and Tracy Mozingo’s Reflections.
Risselle is also a Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, and Zumba teacher. Before Risselle left for Spain to dance she taught at Paris Ballet and Dance, Palm Beach Dance, Rhythm Gymnastics, and Ballet Atlantica. This year she will be teaching dance at several schools including The Kings Academy and Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Martha Satinoff (Ballet) trained in Oklahoma, began her career as an apprentice with the Hartford Ballet, and went on to dance with the Maryland Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Eglevsky Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and Princeton Ballet. She worked with Frederic Franklin, Edward Villella, Natalia Makarova, Dermot Burke, Finis Jung and performed in works by Balanchine, McMillan, Tudor, Ailey, and John Butler. She directed the Charleston Civic Ballet School while dancing with her husband’s company, DanceSouth.
After her performing career, Ms. Satinoff earned her degree in education from Edinboro University. Combining her experience as a performer, ballet teacher, and general educator, for many years, Ms. Satinoff was the head of the dance department at Bak Middle School of the Art has been dancing since age 3 growing up in her mother’s dance studio in Pennsylvania. Amy has studied tap, jazz, ballet and gymnastics. She has and continues to study Ballroom dancing. Continuing her dance classes at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, she has taken classes with Germaine Salsburg, Frank Hatchett Charles Kelly and Nicole Hockenberry. She has performed in Ohio at the Ameriflora event and New York City with The Broadway Dance Centers concert dancing the jazz choreography of Frank Hatchett. She has also performed the choreography of Germaime Salsburg. Now residing in Florida she is happy to share her love of dance. Ms. Satinoff’s classes are influenced by her work with great teachers and choreographers along with the repertory she danced.
Her ballet classes emphasize the tradition and customs of ballet while using imagery, dynamics, and joy of movement. She enables her students to develop strong technique with musicality, a sense of line, andBe prepared It's going to be a great summer! pride in being a part of dance as an art form. She continues to further her studies by attending workshops at IADMS, FDA, and currently serves on the board of FDEO.
Martha Purl Satinoff is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Marisa Fiore Severen (Ballet), an ABT Certified Ballet Teacher, BASI certified Pilates (specialization certification for Dancers) began her training with Shery Gilbert at Laguna Dance Theatre/Laguna Ballet in California in 1987 and received a BA in Theatre & Dance with an emphasis in Dance Performance from Chapman University in 2004. She is certified by the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in the Primary through Level 5. Marisa is a Body Arts & Sciences International (BASI) certified Pilates instructor with a specialization certification in dance and is the founder of Laguna Corps Pilates in 2006.
Marisa’s performance repertoire includes leading roles in Laguna Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Laguna Ballet Repertoire along with original works at Chapman University. She was selected for 3 years to perform in the “American Celebration”, Chapman’s largest fundraising gala and performance.
Marisa developed a passion for teaching early on and focused her continued education in Ballet, Pilates, and Broadway Jazz to teach young dancers in the pre professional setting. She began her professional career as a choreographer for Laguna Ballet’s full length productions in 2003.
Marisa’s family relocated to Jupiter, Florida in April of this year and has continued to work remotely managing LDTs Social Media/Website, and guest teaching for Laguna Dance Theatre in California. She is thrilled to join the Paris Ballet & Dance Family!
Abigail Simon (Guest Artist In Residence - Ballet) began her early ballet studies began at Ballet Hispanico, and the West Side Academy of Ballet in Santa Monica. She trained at The School of American Ballet as well as programs in Kaatsbaan and Chautauqua, the Royal Ballet in London and the Joffrey Program in New York.
She has performed with American Ballet Theatre prior to dancing for ten years with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet in principal roles including The Merry Widow, Tarantella, Night, Kettentanz, Reflections, and many other featured roles. Simon has worked with such renowned choreographers as Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon, and Benjamin Millepied.
After performing as an actress off-Broadway at the La Mama Theatre in Stig Dalager's Count the Hours, she was invited on Broadway to perform a specially choreographed solo by Gillian Lynne celebrating Phantom of the Opera as Broadway’s longest running show. In 2014, Abigail signed as an Ambassador/Capezio artist and now routinely models internationally, and is recognized as an international guest speaker, teacher and ballet coach.
This past spring Abigal Simon reprised the role of Louise to critical acclaim in Houston Grand Opera’s production of Carousel directed by Rob Ashford. She appeared in the 2014 season with the Lyric Opera as a principal dancer in Capriccio with Renee Flemming. In recent years, she has performed throughout America in more than 30 productions of The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other recent roles include Juliet in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (Vienna).
THE ADMINISTRATION STAFF
Karen Manucy - (Administrative Director, Performance Logistics Coordinator)
Please, meet the many incredibly talented and renowned guest artists who have appeared with Paris Ballet and Dance - right now!
FACULTY & STAFF