Dancers

Dancers 2017-11-06T14:22:13+00:00
Oliver-Paul Adams
Oliver-Paul AdamsDancer

OLIVER-PAUL ADAMS, originally from Stoke-On-Trent, England, trained at the Elmhurst School for Dance in Association with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, where he performed in classical works from Kenneth MacMillan and Peter Wright. Adams has performed with Slovak National Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and Diablo Ballet, dancing principal and soloist roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and works by Jiří Kylián and George Balanchine. He has also danced in contemporary works by Edwaard Liang, Septime Webre, Trey McIntyre, KT Nelson, and Post:Ballet’s Robert Dekkers. Adams has choreographed for Sacramento Ballet, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and the San Francisco Symphony. Adams joined Smuin in 2017.

Tessa Barbour
Tessa BarbourDancer
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. Barbour has performed in Balanchine’s Valse Fantasy and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux set by Philip Neil, as well as soloist roles in original works by Javier Velasco including Seven Beauties. Barbour joined Smuin in 2016.
Mengjun Chen
Mengjun ChenDancer

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 GiselleSwan LakeRomeo & JulietThe NutcrackerDon QuixoteCinderellaDracula 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.

Erica Chipp-Adams
Erica Chipp-AdamsDancer

ERICA CHIPP-ADAMS, originally from Lake Tahoe, Nevada, trained at The Harid Conservatory. In 2004 she began her professional career with Festival Ballet Providence, where she danced notable roles in Cinderella, Rodeo, Pippi, and various Balanchine ballets. Chipp-Adams joined Smuin in 2010, and has been featured in works by Jiří Kylián, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Trey McIntyre, and Michael Smuin. She is a summer guest artist with Sierra Nevada Ballet, where she has danced the principal roles in Giselle, Coppélia, Romeo & Juliet, and Cinderella. In 2017, she married fellow Company member Oliver-Paul Adams.

Terez Dean
Terez DeanDancer

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 has received her BA through the Saint Mary’s College LEAP program.

Erica Felsch
Erica FelschDancer
ERICA FELSCH attended the North Carolina School of the Arts before joining San Francisco Ballet’s pre-professional trainee program, where she performed in many company productions. Felsch danced with Colorado Ballet, Madison Ballet, Ballet Arizona and Sierra Nevada Ballet, where she performed the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.  She recently performed with the National Choreographers Initiative for the 2015 and 2016 sessions. Felsch joined Smuin in 2012.
Valerie Harmon
Valerie HarmonDancer
VALERIE HARMON, of 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. Her featured roles include Odette in Swan Lake, Marie in The Nutcracker, Wendy in Peter Pan, Mina in Dracula, all by Michael Pink. Harmon has also enjoyed new works by Cameron McMillan, Mark Godden, Timothy O’Donnell, Mauro de Candia, Petr Zahradnícek and Val Caniparoli. In 2011, Harmon performed with Dance Grand Moultrie at Summerstage in New York. Harmon joined Smuin in 2016.
Nicole Haskins
Nicole HaskinsDancer

Originally from Venice Beach, California, Nicole Haskins received her training at The Westside School of Ballet. She performed with Sacramento Ballet and Washington Ballet before joining Smuin in 2013. Some of Haskins’ favorite roles at Smuin include Helen Pickett’s Petal, Amy Seiwert’s Broken Open, and Michael Smuin’s Hearts Suite. An experienced choreographer, Haskins has created on Oregon Ballet Theater, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Richmond Ballet, and Smuin, creating three world premieres for annual performances of The Christmas Ballet, as well as Spring 2017’s mainstage premiere of The Poetry of Being. www.NicoleHaskins.com 

Dustin James
Dustin JamesDancer
DUSTIN JAMES, a native of Houston, Texas, received his training at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. After dancing with Houston Ballet II, he joined BalletMet Columbus, where he performed roles such as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Iago in John Butler’s Othello. At Dance Theatre of Harlem, his repertoire included George Balanchine’s Agon, Helen Pickett’s When Love and Ulysses S. Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven. He has danced with the National Choreographers Initiative and performed as a guest artist with Sierra Nevada Ballet. James joined Smuin in 2014.
Robert Kretz
Robert KretzDancer

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 PlayWings 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.

Ben Needham-Wood
Ben Needham-WoodDancer/Rehearsal Assistant
BEN NEEDHAM-WOOD, originally from Massachusetts, graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (magna cum laude) before joining Louisville Ballet. His standout performances included Romeo in Alun Jones’s Romeo & Juliet and Armand in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias. Needham-Wood has choreographed works for Louisville Ballet, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, and Smuin. He is the co-creator of BaseBallet with Weston Krukow, a dance documentary short which won a Northern California Area Emmy Award. Needham-Wood joined Smuin in 2013 and has been featured in works by Jiří Kylián, Trey McIntyre, Helen Pickett, Amy Seiwert, and Michael Smuin, among others.
Jonathan Powell
Jonathan PowellDancer
JONATHAN POWELL discovered his love for character roles with Memphis Ballet, dancing as The Writer in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an Ugly Stepsister in Cinderella, and as The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. With Smuin, Powell has performed in many works including Trey McIntyre’s Oh, Inverted World, Amy Seiwert’s Requiem and Michael Smuin’s Brahms-Haydn Variations, Bluegrass/Slyde and To The Beatles. Powell joined Smuin in 2010.
Lauren Pschirrer
Lauren PschirrerDancer

LAUREN PSCHIRRER graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and apprenticed at Rochester City Ballet (New York) and the Joffrey Ballet. While with the Joffrey, she danced works by Alexei Kremnev, Francisco Avina, Sir Frederick Ashton, Michael Pink, and George Balanchine. With Ballet Memphis, Pschirrer performed Matthew Neenan’s The Darting Eyes, Gabrielle Lamb’s I Am A Woman: Moult, and several featured roles in Swan Lake. She also originated several roles during National Choreographers Initiative in 2015 and 2017. Pschirrer joined Smuin in 2016, performing a featured role in Amy Seiwert’s Broken Open.

Benjamin Warner
Benjamin WarnerDancer
BENJAMIN WARNER is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where he trained at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts. He attended Indiana University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance. With Ballet Memphis, Warner performed works by Julia Adam, Mark Godden and Trey McIntyre. Warner also danced with Alberta Ballet, where his repertoire included Phlegmatic in The Four Temperaments, a soloist in Divertimento No. 15 and  A Forgotten Land by Jiří Kylián. Warner joined Smuin in 2016.
Rex Wheeler
Rex WheelerDancer

REX WHEELER, originally from London, England, trained at the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst School for Dance. After dancing with Birmingham Royal Ballet as a student, he performed with Slovak National Ballet and Sacramento Ballet before joining Smuin in 2015. A choreographer and a founding member of Capital Dance Project, Wheeler has created works for many organizations across the country including Sacramento Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and the New York Choreographic Institute.

Erin Yarbrough-Powell
Erin Yarbrough-PowellDancer

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.

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