TESSA BARBOUR, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, trained at Alwin School of the Dance before studying abroad in Warrington, England on a scholarship awarded to her at the Cecchetti International Competition. She has danced with New Mexico Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, and San Diego Ballet. Her favorite past performances include George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasy and Javier Velasco’s Seven Beauties. Since joining Smuin in 2016, Barbour has performed works by Val Caniparoli, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Trey McIntyre, Helen Pickett, and Amy Seiwert.
IAN BUCHANAN hails from Fairfax, California, where he trained with Dance Theatre Seven. He has danced with Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Rochester City Ballet, and Alberta Ballet. Buchanan has performed works by Jiří Kylián, Stanton Welch, Ma Cong, Ben Stevenson, Wen Wei Wang, Aszure Barton, Jean Grand-Maître, Julia Adam, Denise Clarke, and Leiland Charles. Buchanan joined Smuin in 2018.
MENGJUN CHEN, a native of Wenzhou, China, trained at the Beijing Dance Academy and Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Beijing Dance Academy, he joined Milwaukee Ballet where he performed major roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Dracula and La Boheme. Chen also performed contemporary works by Matthew Neenan, Gabrielle Lamb, Ma Cong, Amy Seiwert and Val Caniparoli. In 2014, he was a finalist in the USA International Ballet Competition. Chen joined Smuin in 2015.
TEREZ DEAN, originally from Hudson Valley, New York, received her training at the prestigious School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. In 2005, she joined the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, dancing a wide range of contemporary and classical works. Dean joined Smuin in 2008 and has been featured in works by Jiří Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett, Amy Seiwert, Ma Cong, Adam Hougland, and Michael Smuin. While dancing full time, she received her BA through the Saint Mary’s College LEAP program.
ERICA FELSCH is a fifth-generation San Francisco native. She trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the San Francisco Ballet School, dancing in many company productions with San Francisco Ballet. She has performed with many companies, including Colorado Ballet, Ballet Arizona, the National Choreographers Initiative, Madison Ballet, Nova Ballet, and Sierra Nevada Ballet, where she performed the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Felsch joined Smuin in 2012.
VALERIE HARMON, born in Lompoc, California, began her professional career with State Street Ballet. She joined Milwaukee Ballet in 2008 after completing The Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II Program. There she performed Odette in Michael Pink’s Swan Lake, Marie in The Nutcracker, Wendy in Peter Pan, Mina in Dracula, and Prayer in Coppélia. Harmon has also enjoyed dancing works by Cameron McMillan, Mark Godden, Timothy O’Donnell, Mauro de Candia, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Petr Zahradníceki. Harmon joined Smuin in 2016 and has enjoyed dancing in works by Amy Seiwert, Val Caniparoli, Helen Pickett and Garrett Ammon.
NICOLE HASKINS, originally from Venice Beach, California, trained at Westside School of Ballet; dancing professionally with Sacramento Ballet and Washington Ballet before joining Smuin in 2013. Some of Haskins’ favorite roles include Liberty Bell in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Alice in Ron Cunningham’s Alice In Wonderland, Lucy in Michael Pink’s Dracula, Edwaard Liang’s Wunderland, Amy Seiwert’s Broken Open, Michael Smuin’s Hearts Suite, and Helen Pickett’s Petal. An accomplished choreographer, Haskins has created on companies across the country and is honored her choreography is a part of Smuin’s 25th season.
ROBERT KRETZ, a native of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, studied at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary. From 2006-2014 Kretz danced for Boston Ballet, originating roles in Jorma Elo’s Carmen/Illusions and In On Blue, and Helen Pickett’s Tabula Rasa. He performed featured roles in Jiří Kylián’s No More Play, Wings of Wax and Tar and Feathers, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free. In 2014, he performed for Twyla Tharp Dance in New York City. Kretz joined Smuin in 2015.
PETER KURTA, originally from Marietta, New York, trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The Rock School for Dance Education before joining Tulsa Ballet II. With Dayton Ballet, he performed Dracula in the world premiere of Dracula: Bloodlines, as well as works by Jessica Lang, Gina Patterson, and Nicole Haskins. He was a member of both BalletMet and BalletMet II, performing corps and soloist roles in Edwaard Liang’s The Silence Between…, James Kudelka’s Man in Black, and in ballets by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and George Balanchine. Kurta joined Smuin in 2018.
TESS LANE trained at South Bay Ballet in Torrance, CA, performing Robert Kelly’s Summertime at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MI. While apprenticing with Sacramento Ballet, she performed works by George Balanchine, Ron Cunningham, and Lila York. Lane joined California Ballet Company in 2013 and was featured in Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, The Great Gatsby, and Fluctuating Hemlines. She also danced in the National Choreographers’ Initiative in 2017 and 2018. Lane joined Smuin in 2018.
BEN NEEDHAM-WOOD, originally from Massachusetts, graduated from the University of Cincinnati before joining Louisville Ballet. Since joining Smuin in 2013, he has been featured in works by Val Caniparoli, Jiří Kylián, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Helen Pickett, Amy Seiwert, and Michael Smuin. His 2017 performance in Trey McIntyre’s Be Here Now was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award. An Emmy Award-winning choreographer (BaseBallet and BaseBallet: Into the Game), he has created works for Smuin, Louisville Ballet, and the National Choreographers’ Initiative. He is the first Artistic Fellow for Amy Seiwert’s Imagery.
MATTIA PALLOZZI, originally from Rome, Italy, trained at the School of Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma and the Accademia Nazionale Di Danza. As a student, he performed works by Vasili Vaionen, Ismael Ivo, and Wayne McGregor. In 2012, Pallozzi joined American Repertory Ballet, dancing in works by Gerald Arpino, José Limón, Mary Barton, Ann Marie DeAngelo, and Patrick Corbin. His repertoire with ARB also includes Romeo in Douglas Martin’s Romeo and Juliet, the Faun in Kirk Peterson’s Afternoon of a Faun, and Oberon in Martin’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Pallozzi joined Smuin in 2018.
LAUREN PSCHIRRER graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and apprenticed at Rochester City Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet. While with the Joffrey, she danced works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Pink, and George Balanchine. With Ballet Memphis, Pschirrer performed works by Matthew Neenan and Gabrielle Lamb. She also originated roles during the National Choreographers Initiative in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Pschirrer joined Smuin in 2016, and has performed in works by Val Caniparoli and Helen Pickett, and featured roles in Amy Seiwert’s Broken Open and Falling Up.
MAX VAN DER STERRE, a San Francisco native, trained with Damara Bennett and Henry Berg, then the School of American Ballet before joining New York City Ballet in 2005. While dancing with NYCB, he performed works by Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, and George Balanchine. At the New York Choreographic Institute, he collaborated with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Albert Evans, Jerry Opdenaker, Douglas Lee, and Timothy Harbour. He joined Alabama Ballet in 2012, performing works by Jiří Kylián, Twyla Tharp, Agnes de Mille, Frederick Ashton, and George Balanchine. Van der Sterre joined Smuin in 2018.
ERIN YARBROUGH-POWELL studied dance at the Interlochen Arts Academy. With Oakland Ballet, she performed the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the lead in Cinderella. In 2003, Yarbrough-Powell received the Isadora Duncan Award for her portrayal of Giselle with the Oakland Ballet, a role taught to her by Frederic Franklin of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. With Smuin, she danced featured roles in Amy Seiwert’s Revealing the Bridge, Michael Smuin’s Romeo & Juliet and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort. Yarbrough-Powell joined Smuin in 2003.
MAGGIE CAREY, a native of Dayton, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance from Butler University, where she performed works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, and Paul Taylor. Upon graduating, Carey performed as a guest artist with the Dayton Ballet. She spent two years with the Cincinnati Ballet Second Company, performing works by Victoria Morgan, George Balanchine, Ohad Naharin, and working with choreographers such as Garrett Smith, Nicolo Fonte, and Jennifer Archibald. Carey joined Smuin in 2018.
JONAH CORRALL, hailing from Coachella Valley, California, trained with the California Ballet Opera, where he performed in The Nutcracker as the Nutcracker Prince, Chinese, and Arabian. He has attended intensives with the Rock School and Pacific Northwest, Boston, and San Francisco Ballets. Corrall is a Studio Company member with the New Ballet (formerly Silicon Valley Ballet), performing in the San Jose Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and various contemporary works. An inaugural member of the Smuin/New Ballet Joint Trainee Program, Corrall is now an Apprentice with Smuin.