LILY OJEA LOVELAND- principal
Lily Ojea Loveland is a graduate of Ballet Palm Beach Academy, and has danced professionally with The Alabama Ballet, Hosanna Sacred Arts and New Orleans Ballet Theater. Her favorite roles include Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Marzipan Lead in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Giselle in Giselle and Queen Esther in For Such a Time as This: The Story of Queen Esther. Lily is certified under the Petrinovic teacher training program (Revolutionary Principals of Movement) and has taught ballet for the Alabama Ballet School and Ballet Palm Beach Academy. She is also a mother to two beautiful children!
STEVEN MELENDEZ- principal; sponsored in part by Jay and Nancy Parker
Steven Melendez was born in New York City and started his ballet training as part of the LIFT Scholarship Program at Ballet School New York at the age of 7. Later, he studied at the School of American Ballet and attended summer intensive programs with the San Francisco Ballet Academy, Houston Ballet Academy and Kaatsbaan International School.
In 2001 Steven joined New York Theatre Ballet as an apprentice and in 2006 was promoted to principal. While there, he performed leading roles in works by Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Butler, Agnes DeMille, Donald Mahler, Antony Tudor, and others. In 2004, while dancing with New York Theatre Ballet, he graduated from the American Ballet Theater Studio Company Associate Program. He toured extensively as a guest artist with Ballet Concierto in Buenos Aires and as a principal with Vanemuine Theater Ballet Company in Tartu, Estonia.
A protégé of David Howard, he received a diploma at the 5th Rudolf Nureyev International Ballet Competition in Budapest, Hungary, was a recipient of the Van-Lier Fellowship, and was a 2012 Clive Barnes Foundation Award Nominee.
JOSEPH GATTI- Guest Principal
Joseph Gatti began dancing at the Orlando Ballet School in Florida and continued his training with Vadim Fedotov and Irina Depler. Joseph danced with Orlando Ballet as an apprentice 2001-2003 under the direction of Fernando Bujones. In 2003 he was coached by Orlando Molina for the Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition in New York were he was awarded the Gold Medal and a Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London. Upon graduating with honors he received the 2004 Dame Ruth Railton Award for Excellence in Dance. He joined the American Ballet Theater Studio Company for the 2004-2005 season.
In 2005, he became the first American Male Dancer to win the prestigious Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition. Joseph was nominated as best male dancer for the 2006 Benois de la Danse in Moscow, Russia. In 2007 Joseph was coached by Magaly Suarez for the first World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida, where he received the Gold Medal. At the Dance Open Ballet Festival in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Joseph received the “Mr. Virtousity” Award in 2013 and ” Best Pas De Duex” in 2014. He was also chosen to be featured in a video entitled “The Male Ballet Dancer” presented by master teacher Finis Jhung.
Joseph has performed as a Principal Guest Artist with companies across the globe and is a former Cincinnati Ballet and Corella Ballet Principal Dancer and former First Soloist with Boston Ballet.
Brittany Bonefas, of Lake Zurich, IL, got her early training at Barrington Dance Academy. Brittany recently graduated with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy and a minor in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, she performed classical repertory as well as original works by students and faculty. Her favorite roles include Bluebird, Raymonda Pas de Dix, Fairy Doll in The Nutcracker and Peasant Pas de Trois in Boca Ballet Theatre’s Giselle. This is Brittany’s first season with Ballet Palm Beach. She would like to thank her family, friends and teachers for their support.
Danielle Glynn of Saint Petersburg, Florida, trained with Florida West Ballet and at the Academy of Ballet Arts. Danielle attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, graduating with a BFA in Performance and Choreography in Dance while dancing in the Kansas City Ballet corps de ballet. After graduation, Danielle danced with the Montgomery Ballet and the Albany Berkshire Ballet. Danielle joined BPB in 2015 and enjoyed dancing soloist roles such as Spring Fairy in Cinderella and Big Swan in Swan Lake.
Arim Kim was born in Daegu, South Korea, and started ballet at the age of thirteen. After graduating from Goyang Arts High School, she went on to train professionally at the Korea National University of Arts. Arim graduated having been taught the Baganova technique by professor Kim Sunhee. Arim Kim has performed with CMR Ballet and Incheon City Ballet, with performances such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Cinderella.
Allegra Kirksey-Curtis was born in Maryland, and began her love for dance at the age of 2. From then on she danced all genres. At the age of eight her love for ballet grew, so she attended Ballet Arts Academy. She later studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, Harid Conservatory, City Dance Conservatory and Maryland Youth Ballet. Allegra attend YAGP in 2015 were she was 5th in variations in Denver, CO and attend summer intensives like ABT New York, San Francisco Ballet and Joffery Ballet in Chicago, Il were she became a trainee were Allegra was able to take part in, Serenade, Don Quixote, and Winning Works
Tyveze Littlejohn is a 2011 graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and apprenticed with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, he toured throughout Mexico with Ballet Eddy Toussaint de Montreal. For the past two years Tyveze danced with the Lexington Ballet where he danced leading roles Giselle and The Nutcracker. He also danced in Nicaragua’s International Ballet Gala where he also worked with children with disabilities. Tyveze joined BPB in 2015, dancing the title role in Gatsby.
Jake Lowenstein was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Ballet Met Columbus. Jake trained on full scholarship for two years in the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet. While at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Jake had the opportunity to perform with the company as a Shark in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story. He also trained for one year on full scholarship with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Graduate Program. He spent three seasons as a company member with Ballet Idaho. He spent the following three seasons with The Lexington Ballet. While with the company he performed the roles of Hilarion in Giselle, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Jake is very excited to be joining Ballet Palm Beach for the 17/18 Season.
Aaron Melendrez graduated from Cuba’s Escuelas Nacionales de Arte in 2011. Before joining Ballet Palm Beach, he also danced with Laura Alonso Ballet in principal roles for Giselle, Dracula, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote. With Ballet Palm Beach, he has danced the Prince in Cinderella and Arabian in The Nutcracker. This is his third season with Ballet Palm Beach.
Madeleine Miller grew up in Palm Beach County and began her ballet training with Ballet Palm Beach Academy at age five. In 2011 Madeleine moved to Columbus, Ohio for two years to be a part of Ballet Met’s Pre-Professional Program, and she was given opportunities to perform and tour with the company’s Nutcracker. Madeleine returned to Ballet Palm Beach in 2014. Her favorite roles while performing with BPB are Cinderella in Cinderella, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Myrtha in Giselle.
Adriana Salazar is a graduate student of both Ballet Palm Beach Academy and Dreyfoos School of the Arts. This is her third season with the company. She is also a college student at Palm Beach State, with goals of becoming a speech pathologist, specifically working with autistic children. Her favorite roles include Columbine Doll and Military Doll in The Nutcracker; Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty; and fall fairy in Cinderella. She has been a part of Ballet Palm Beach Ambassadors trips to Russia, Croatia, Bosnia, Paris, and Cuba.
Sarah Wilson of Columbus, Ohio, received her training at BalletMet Columbus and danced with BalletMet as a company trainee. Before joining Ballet Palm Beach, she spent a year in the Richmond Ballet trainee program. Ms. Wilson has enjoyed performing works by numerous choreographers such as Gerard Charles, David Nixon, Lynne Taylor Corbett, Maria Glimcher, Christopher Bandy, and Malcolm Burn. With Ballet Palm Beach, Sarah created the title role in Smith’s Snow White. Sarah would like to thank her family, friends and teachers for their endless love and support.
Kayla Kotko is from Miami, Florida. She trained at Ballet Etudes, Florida Arts and Dance Company under
the direction of Loretta Miller, and the St. Lucie Ballet under the direction of Rogelio Corrales. She received
a 2017 international scholarship to Italy and was a guest artist at ballet fest for Muñecos, a Cuban classical
ballet. She attended Richmond Ballet’s 2017 Summer Intensive. This is her second season with Ballet Palm Beach.
Shannon Murray started her training at Ballet Palm Beach Academy at the age of 4. She attended the Ballet Ambassadors outreach programs to Russia, Croatia, Cuba, and Hungary. She is a graduate of Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Ballet Palm Beach Academy and is currently enrolled at Palm Beach State College and BPB’s Trainee program.
Tiffani Weckerly of Nashville, TN trained at the Centennial Youth Ballet with Kathleen Callaghan and Matthew Christensen and at the Vanderbilt Dance Program with Jennifer McNamara and Thomas Shoemaker. Additionally, she spent a year dancing in the Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s student ensemble, performing in Cinderella and The Nutcracker. This is Tiffani’s second season with Ballet Palm Beach and she would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support.