Artistic Staff & Faculty

Miami City Ballet School

Staff & Faculty

MCB School Leadership

Lourdes Lopez
Chair & MCB Artistic Director

Arantxa Ochoa
School Artistic Director

MCB School Admin Staff

Jessica Bork
School Operations Manager

Manon Maher
Pre-Professional Division Manager

Pebbles Rainford
Housing Manager

Amanda Rodriguez
School Programs Manager

Giana Ruffa
School Administrative Assistant

Nathalia Silva Gomez
Front Desk Receptionist

Carmen Ramos
Front Desk Receptionist

School Inquiries & Information


MCB School’s Artistic Team

Artistic Leadership
Lourdes Lopez, Chair
Arantxa Ochoa, Artistic Director

Permanent Faculty
Kareen Pauld Camargo
Leslie Young Cheng
Alexander Iziliaev, Principal Faculty
Katia Carranza, Principal Faculty
Claudia Kuwana
Claudia Lezcano
Michaela Mann
Rosa Mercedes
Maribel Modrono
Herman Payne
Chase Swatosh
Carolina Torres
Durante VerzolaGuest Faculty
DeAnn Petruschke
Alex Peters

Marianela Castro
Juvenal Correa-Salas
Gladys Fariñas
Vivian Gonzalez
Yraima Menendez
Teresa Valdivia Egusquiza

Faculty Biographies


Lourdes Lopez, Chairman

Lourdes Lopez became Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet (MCB) in September 2012, bringing with her a nearly 40-year career in dance, television, teaching and arts management. As a Soloist and Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, she danced for two legends of the art form, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and raised in Miami by her parents along with two sisters. She began taking ballet lessons at the age of five, on the recommendation of a doctor. At the age of 11 she received a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet, (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, where she continued her ballet training in Miami during the year and then in New York during the summers. At fourteen, she moved to New York permanently to devote herself to full-time studies at SAB, and shortly after her sixteenth birthday, she joined the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet.

Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, her star rose quickly at New York City Ballet where she was soon dancing corps and soloist roles in much of the company’s repertory. She was promoted to Soloist in 1981 and Principal Dancer in 1984, performing countless featured roles including Violin Concerto, Firebird, Serenade, Liebeslieder Walzer, Divertimento No. 15, Symphony in C, Agon, The Four Temperaments, Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces, Fancy Free, In the Night, Four Seasons, and Brandenburg. Lopez’s great interest in children also found her writing and contributing to many of the company’s Family Matinee series.

Upon retirement, Lopez joined WNBC-TV in New York as a Cultural Arts reporter, writing and producing feature segments on the arts, artists and arts education. She was also a full-time senior faculty member and Director of Student Placement, Student Evaluation and Curriculum Planning at New York’s Ballet Academy East. She served on the dance faculty of Barnard College and guest taught at numerous dance institutions and festivals in the United States.

In 2002, Lopez became the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation, which works to educate the public about dance and to further the art of ballet, with a special emphasis on the work and achievements of George Balanchine. In this position, she oversaw the 2004 Balanchine Centennial Celebration, a worldwide festival honoring the choreographer and his legacy. Among the events that year was the symposium “Balanchine: Past, Present and Future,” which was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, and which was a collaboration among the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage Museum, and The George Balanchine Foundation. Lopez co-founded The Cuban Artists Fund, which supports Cuban and Cuban-American artists in their endeavors. She also co-founded Morphoses with Christopher Wheeldon in 2007 — a New York-based dance company aiming to revitalize dance through innovative collaborations with important artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film and fashion; and by inviting younger and broader audiences to engage in and actively experience dance.

In 2014 Lopez was elected to serve on the Ford Foundation’s Board of Trustees, marking the first time an artist was elected to serve on its board. In 2007 she received an award from the American Immigration Law Foundation honoring Cuban Americans for their accomplishments and contributions to American society and in 2011, she received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award for her years in dance. She has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Lopez is married to investment banker George Skouras. They are the parents of two daughters: Adriel and Calliste.


arantxa-schoolArantxa Ochoa, Artistic Director

Arantxa Ochoa was appointed Miami City Ballet School’s Artistic Director in June 2016.

Ochoa is one of the most celebrated ballerinas in the history of Pennsylvania Ballet. She joined in 1996 as a corps de ballet member, was promoted to soloist in 1999 and to principal dancer in 2001. In October 2012, after 16 years with the company, she retired from the stage to take on a new role as the principal teacher of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet and master lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

In September 2014 she was appointed director of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. Under her leadership the school gained national and international attention for training and educating outstanding classical ballet dancers.

Ochoa was born in Spain and took her first artistic steps as a rhythmic gymnast. At age 11, she moved to Madrid to study at the Centro de Danza with Victor Ullate. She continued her studies at the Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo, and three years later she was accepted into the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York. She studied with some of the best international teachers of the moment – Stanley Williams, Marika Besobrasova, Suki Schorer, Wilhelm Burmann, Truman Finney and Adam Luders.

Her versatility as a performer and her great interpretive maturity gained her recognition from critics and audiences and allowed her to dance every major role, from the greatest works of classical tradition, to modern and neoclassical choreography. The New York Times wrote about her, “Ms. Ochoa beamed like Audrey Hepburn. When a ballet is in the hands of performers this good, you can sit, relax and bask in its beauties.”

Some of the ballets in her repertoire included: Odette-Odile in the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Swanilda in Coppélia, Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, and the title roles in James Kudelka’s The Firebird and Marius Petipa’s Giselle. Her extensive repertoire of Balanchine ballets included the leads in Apollo, Agon, Bugaku, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No. 15, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, Theme and Variations, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Western Symphony and Who Cares?. Ochoa has also danced leading roles in William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Jerome Robbins’ The Concert and In the Night, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room and Nine Sinatra Songs, and Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries and Waltz Project.

Ochoa had the opportunity to participate in many galas and festivals throughout Europe, including the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, The Stars of the New York Ballet in London, the Sinatra Festival in Portugal and the Northwest Phalen Tanz in Germany. In 2012 she organized a Gala of Stars to perform in Spain where she was awarded ambassador of Valladolid’s Teatro Calderón.

During her tenure as director of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, she taught Intermediate and Advanced levels and oversaw all aspects of the training of the school. She carefully constructed an eight-level curriculum, adding a pre-professional level comprised of students chosen from the School’s most advanced level. Under her guidance, interest to train in the school grew immensely and the turnout to the National Summer Audition Tour tripled. Ochoa raised funds for student scholarships and established The Herbert and Joyce Kean Scholarship Fund for Boys to provide full-tuition scholarships for boys ages 8 through 17. She produced an annual performance showcasing the whole school, a yearly highlight, where the students had the opportunity to dance works by George Balanchine such as Serenade and Raymonda Variations.


Principal Faculty

Alexander Iziliaev, Student & Pre-Professional Division

Born and raised in Sterlitamak, Russia, Alexander Iziliaev began his ballet training at age 11 at The Perm Ballet School. Upon graduating in 1992, he won the Moscow International Competition and the Perm Competition. That same year he traveled to the United States and joined the Hartford Ballet. Immediately cast in principal roles, Mr. Iziliaev also originated many roles in Kirk Peterson ballets, and he continued his training with Truman Finney.

In 1995, he was invited by Peter Martins to join the New York City Ballet. There his extensive repertoire of featured roles included George Balanchine’s Tarantella, Allegro Brillante, The Four Temperaments and La Sonambula; and Peter Martins Fearful Symmetries. Mr. Iziliaev also originated roles in Kevin O’Days Badchonim and Richard Tanner’s Schoenberg/Wuorinen  Variations.

Mr. Iziliaev joined Pennsylvania Ballet in September 2000 as a Principal Dancer. His roles with the Company have included Oberon in A Midsummer Night’ s Dream, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppelia, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew, Prince Ivan in The Firebird and Frederick in Dracula. He has also danced principal roles in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Raymonda Variations, Agon, Serenade, The Nutcracker, Square Dance and Western Symphony. Mr. Iziliaev has also performed in William Forsythe In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk; and has made numerous international appearances in London, Paris, Scotland, Brazil and throughout South America.

Mr. Iziliaev has been teaching since 2000 and he has an impressive record as a ballet teacher and coach. He was a lecturer of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and he was in the faculty of Metropolitan Ballet Academy, Bowman School of Dance, Philadelphia Studio Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet School and Principal teacher of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet. He has been a guest teacher for, Koresh Dance Company, Sandonato School of Ballet, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, Ballet Workshop New England and Swarthmore Ballet Theater and Alvin Ailey.

Mr. Iziliaev has also taught master classes in Spain.


Reyneris Reyes, Student & Pre-Professional Division

Reyneris Reyes was born in Dimas-Mantua Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. He received his training at the Vocational School of Art in Pinar Del Rio and The National Ballet School in Havana. He received additional training at Cuballet summer dance program in Matanzas, Cuba, as well as with renowned teachers Ramona de Saa Bello, Berto Borges, Mabel Carillo, Adria Vélazquez, Magaly Suarez, Ana Julia Bermudez, Maria Cristina Alvarez, Josefina Mendez and others.

Reyes has danced for National Ballet of Cuba, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet and he joined Miami City Ballet as a principal dancer in 2010.



Kareen Pauld Camargo, Student & Pre-Professional Division

Kareen Pauld Camargo was born in Haiti, and came to the United States at the age of two. She grew up in New York, where she trained at the American Ballet Theater School, School of American Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem School and Workshop Ensemble, as well as attending the High School of Performing Arts. While a member of the DTH Ensemble, she had the honor of performing the dancing sections in Gershwins “Porgy and Bess” at The Metropolitan Theater Opera House in New York. She performed with The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company for several years, dancing works by Arthur Mitchell, George Balanchine, B. Nijiinska, Agnes de Mille, Geoffrey Holder, and many others.

Ms. Camargo moved to South Florida to join Miami City Ballet in 1990. She was a featured dancer in such ballets as Balanchine’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Raymonda Variations, Scotch Symphony, Four Temperaments and Agon; Jimmy Gamonet’s Transtangos; Lynn Taylor-Corbett’s Mystery of the Dancing Princesses, and Paul Taylor’s Three Epitaphs, Company B and Esplanade. After retiring from the stage, Ms. Camargo taught ballet at Miami City Ballet School from 1998-2006, and returned to the faculty in 2013. She was rehearsal and ballet mistress for the children in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ in 2005.

Ms. Camargo joined the adjunct faculty of New World School of The Arts in 2009, where she currently teaches ballet in the Musical Theater Department. In 2011, she joined the staff of The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, where she served the community of Miami Gardens, Fla. for three years as outreach coordinator and ballet instructor. She has been staging and rehearsing The Thomas Armour Youth Ballets production of The Nutcracker since 2008. Ms. Camargo has also enjoyed teaching as guest faculty at The Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Summer Intensive in New York and Detroit, and at The Tallahassee Ballet.


Leslie Cheng, Pre-Professional Division


Claudia Kuwana, Children’s Division

Claudia Kuwana was born in La Habana, Cuba. She began her career studying ballet at the Cuban National Ballet School at the age of nine, training with prestigious teachers like Fernando Alonso, Mirta Hermida, Ramona de Zaa, Loipa Araujo and others.

In 2005 she moved to Chile where she continued her training at Teatro Municipal de Chile School and later at Facultad de Artes at the University of Chile. In 2009 she graduated and was awarded with the title of best performer in Dance, in the same year she became a dancer at the Ballet de Santiago under the direction of Marcia Haydee. In 2010 she moved to the United States where she has danced with companies like Polaris Dance Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theatre and BalletMet.

Together with dancing, Claudia always had a passion for showing her knowledge to students, making her teach in numerous schools around the country as a guest teacher, and locally in the places she was dancing, including Polaris Dance Theatre, BalletMet, competition studio North Pointe Dance Academy and numerous schools around Columbus Ohio. Claudia also had the pleasure to be a judge in international dance competitions.


Claudia Lezcano Anel, Children & Student Division / Adult/Open Division

Claudia began her training at the age of 7 in the Cuban National School of Ballet where she studied for 5 years. After leaving her country Claudia continued her training with The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami School, and her education at New World School of the Arts where she was also introduced to the world of Contemporary and Modern techniques. She graduated with Highest Honors in 2014 achieving a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Dance. Shortly after, Claudia joined the Florida Grand Ballet, and The Sarasota Ballet for 2 Seasons. In 2017 she returned to Miami to join Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami where she danced for 5 seasons and performed as guest Artist for NOLA Ballet, St. Lucie Ballet, Charleston Ballet, Ballet Vero Beach among others. Claudia is also very passionate about teaching, and she sustains her teaching career alongside with her dancing. She is currently a freelance artist and faculty member at New World School of the Arts and Miami City Ballet.


Michaela Rae Mann, Student Division / Children Repetiteur

Michaela Rae Mann began her dance training in her home town of Lakewood, New Jersey. She continued her studies for several years at the School of American Ballet in their children’s, intermediate and advanced divisions. During summers, she trained at San Francisco Ballet School, Miami City Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Rock School, and others along the east coast.
Following her graduation from SAB, she trained at Miami City Ballet School where she toured with Miami City Ballet performing Balanchine works. Since, she has found joy performing and teaching pre-professional ballet classes leading her to continue her studies through completion of her Bachelors of Arts degree at Georgian Court University and her Masters of Fine Arts degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, both in Dance.

She has since danced and performed all around the country, highlights including Satellite Collective (BAM), the Ashley Bouder Project, work on Justin Peck’s recent revival of Carousel on Broadway, and joined Twyla Tharp for her 50th anniversary tour. Ms. Mann has been a professor at several universities on the east coast and has been teaching professionally for over 10 years. She is thrilled to join the MCB family.


Rosa Mercedes, Student & Pre-Professional Division (Spanish Dancing)

Barcelona native Rosa Mercedes has been hailed by Jennifer Dunning in the New York Times as “sexy and hypnotically precise”. Dance Magazine praised her “virtuoso castanet work”, and Tobi Tobias in New York Magazine wrote “Mercedes is a delight, with lots of sparkle and tremendous elegance”. She has enjoyed an international critically-acclaimed career as a principal dancer performing throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Canada with companies including Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, Compañía Flamenca de Carmen Cortes, Ballet Español de Lucia Real y El Camborio, Ballet Español de Madrid, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Ballet Español Rosita Segovia and Duende Ballet Español, where she served as artistic director. She has also had an enormously successful career choreographing for opera, with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, Opera di Roma, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Michigan Opera Theatre, Palm Beach Opera and Florida Grand Opera.

Rosa Mercedes is currently a panelist for the NFAA Young Arts, where she has also served as a master teacher. Other places she has taught include Aspen Ballet School, Ballet Arts – Hennepin Center in Minne-apolis, Tampa Bay Flamenco Dance Company, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Escuela de Danza Rosita Segovia in Barcelona, Instituto de los Artes in Cancun, Mexico, Institute of Spanish Arts in Santa Fe, South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Zorongo Flamenco Dance in Minneapolis. She is currently on the faculty of Miami City Ballet School and the Harid Conservatory, where she has taught for over 10 years.


Maribel Modrono, Student & Pre-Professional Division / Children Repetiteur

Has had a very productive career as a Principal Ballerina dancing for distinguished ballet companies in the United States such as Ft. Worth Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Miami City Ballet. She received high acclaim for her roles of George Balanchine’s ballets, Rubies, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, Apollo, Who Cares, Scotch Symphony, Allegro Brillante, and more. As well as the great Classical ballets such as Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle and Carmen. With her numerous achievements she also had the opportunity to dance for some great contemporary choreographers including Glen Tetley, Dwight Rhoden, Kevin O’Day, Twyla Tharp, Lynn Taylor-Corbett and Derek Deane.

In 2011 she was asked to join the Faculty of Miami City Ballet School. Ms. Modrono was also invited to be the Rehearsal Director for the children of Miami City Ballets production of George Balanchine’s, The Nutcracker. Every year she loves the thrill and the joy she encounters participating with the students and their full involvement dancing in Miami City Ballets Nutcracker.

Her enthusiasm for movement as a Dancer led her to achieve a full certification in Pilates with all the Apparatus. She shares her passion of Pilates with her students at Miami City Ballet School. She is enthusiastic on how this can help build a stronger and healthier way of life for each individual Dancer, as it did for her. She is also a certified Barre instructor.

It is a dream for her to be back home at Miami City Ballet. After enjoying a successful career with Miami City Ballet, there is no better gift than to pass it on and be able to share her knowledge and experience with her students.


Herman Payne, Student & Pre-Professional Division (Contemporary)/ Adult/Open Division

Herman Payne Juilliard graduate in Ballet, Herman Payne has appeared in a number of theatrical productions. A few of such include: the Aspen Ballet Company; the Second National tour and the International tours of Ann Reinking’s Tony Award winning show “Fosse”, choreographed and directed by Debra McWaters; the International tour of West Side Story, under the Direction of Joey McKneely; 9 to 5 on Broadway, choreographed by Tony Award winning Andy Blankenbuehler; The New York City Center Encore’s productions of The Wiz, choreographed by Tony Award winning, Andy Blankenbuehler; House of Flowers choreographed by Tony award winning Kathleen Marshall; Pajama Game, choreographed By Tony Award winning JOHN CARRAFA; THE ID of BOB, directed by HINTON BATTLE; and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, choreographed by LINDA HABERMAN, where Herman worked for 14 years (2000 – 2013).

In addition to Herman’s copious theatrical work on Broadway, internationally and with the Rockettes, he has spent many hours working in a completely different language of dance. He has performed in; Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Special; with Mariah Carey, Usher, Mya, Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, Deborah Cox, Thalia, Tony Moran, Lisa Lisa, Kevin Aviance, Love INC., and Camp LO, among others.

Herman has choreographed various industrials, and corporate events and has worked for a number of summer intensives, such as The Broadway Theatre Project, where he is now the CoArtistic Director with Debra McWaters, the Miami City Ballet, the Springfield Ballet, Performance Edge 1 and 2, The Theatre Arts and Minds, and The New World School of the Arts. Industrials Herman has choreographed and directed include such events as: LANA MARKS; Herbal Life; and The International Hustle and Salsa Competition Corporation.

Herman’s extensive and formal education in dance, other than Juilliard, is rounded out by his studies at; Interlochen School of the Arts, The Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, The Boston Ballet, and Jacobs Pillow. He is an ARTS winner, (Recognition and Talent Search which is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts), where he won the 2nd award level in Modern Dance and an Honorable Mention In Jazz Dance. He also received a 4 year partial scholarship to attend The Julliard School where he received his Bachelors in Fine Arts.

Ultimately, Herman’s Dance studies have made him far more than proficient In Ballet, Modern, Jazz, a Theatrical Approach to all types of Dance and Hip Hop / Jazz Funk . His work experience has made him one of the most popular choreographers and instructors in today’s dance world.

He is a Adjunct Professor at the New World School of the Arts, University of Florida and Miami-Dade Colleges, and a Resident Faculty member at the world-renowned Miami City Ballet school.


Durante Verzola, Student & Pre-Professional Division / Choreographic Instructor

Durante Verzola is a Filipino American choreographer and joined the faculty of Miami City Ballet School in 2022. Verzola’s first choreographic work, A Light Exists in Spring, was chosen by Lourdes Lopez to be performed in Miami City Ballet School’s 2014 Workshop. Since then, he has choreographed several works for Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Ballet Dallas, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Columbia Ballet Collaborative (Columbia University), Goucher College, School of Pennsylvania Ballet, Kansas School of Classical Ballet, Peabody Dance, Princeton University Ballet, Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, and MANNA’s Shut Up & Dance. Mr. Verzola was selected as the inaugural choreographer to lead Miami City Ballet School’s Choreographic Intensive during the Summer of 2017, as well as invited to participate in CPYB’s ChoreoPlan 2017. He is a winner of Joffrey’s Winning Works, which recognizes talented and emerging ALAANA choreographers. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Verzola has choreographed several works virtually, and completely remotely. He was invited to the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University for an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellowship with Miami City Ballet in the Summer of 2021. Verzola participated in the Fall 2021 Session at New York Choreographic Institute where he worked with the dancers of New York City Ballet. He has also had his work shown at Guggenheim’s Works & Process.

His work has been described as “sharp and witty…so vibrant it is almost like a celebration of classicism and vitality with non-derivative balletic language…he continues to present classical ballet vocabulary in unfussy, thrilling ways,” by Philadelphia Dance, and as “carefree, bringing show biz airs and ballet with a jazz bounce to the stage,” by Dance View Times. The Philadelphia Dance Journal praised him as “a choreographer on the rise, with a gift for designing space and succeeds at directing moving bodies [with] a sophisticated blend of theatrical flair and carefully crafted movements.”Explore Dance has praised him saying, “For a 20-something choreographer, Verzola startled with his inventiveness via straightforward balletics. This piece challenged with silky troupe configurations, unfussy classical artistry, and the fluency of phrase variations.”Theater Jones wrote, “Verzola’s vocabulary fell on the classical side of neo-classical, and the dancers rose to the technical challenge. The sequences were logical but playful, always deliciously musical.”

He has served as a guest faculty member at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Academy of Dance, Ballet Chicago, Peabody Dance, Philadelphia Dance Academy, Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, and Kansas School of Classical Ballet.

Mr. Verzola is from Lansing, Kansas, and most recently a dancer with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. He began his training with Marisa Paull and received his formal ballet training from the Kansas City Ballet School and Kansas School of Classical Ballet. At the age of 16, Mr. Verzola left home to train with the Miami City Ballet School on full scholarship. During his time there, he performed several ballets, including George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and Serenade. He has attended summer courses under scholarship at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In 2014, he was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet II. Verzola joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in 2016. His repertoire includes works by Balanchine, Robbins, Wheeldon, Keigwin, and Petipa.

Visit our Open/Adult Page to view Open/Adult Faculty & Bios


In Memoriam

Geta Constantinescu (Principal Faculty)

Geta Constantinescu was born in Romania. She performed numerous principal and soloist roles with the Company of State Opera and Ballet in Timisoara. In 1970, while touring in Italy, she defected to the West. She performed as a guest artist all over Europe and America. Ms. Constantinescu began her teaching career in New York. She was Ballet Mistress with Ballet Arizona, Manhattan Ballet of New York, Universal Ballet in Seoul, and the Hong Kong Ballet. She was also Lecturer with the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong.

While touring the United States with the Hong Kong Ballet, she was invited by Linda Villella to become a principal teacher at the Miami City Ballet School. Ms. Constantinescu has staged the third act of Sleeping Beauty and the pas de trios from the first act of Swan Lake for Miami City Ballet company, and with Edward Villella, mounted the full-length production of Don Quixote. For advanced students at Miami City Ballet School, Ms. Constantinescu produced her own production of Cinderella, and with her colleague Rafi Maldonado, created the original ballet Carnival of the Animals, both of which were performed to high acclaim at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

Ms. Constantinescu is a master trainer in the Gyrotonic® Technique.