Ani received her early training at the Susan Ina Dance Studio and Sudbrook Arts Center in Baltimore, MD, while performing both contemporary and classical roles in the Baltimore Youth Ballet. She received a scholarship to study with Alla Sizova at the Kirov Academy while training with ABT, Boston Ballet, and Richmond Ballet. Prior to Orlando, she performed with companies in New York while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Purchase Conservatory. Featured roles include Twyla Tharp’s Sinatra Songs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia and The Nutcracker. Ani is celebrating her 10th season with Orlando Ballet.
Like many of his D.C. Casineros family, Paul Cassens was introduced to Cuban music, dance, and culture through Jim Lepore at George Mason University.
He performs, choreographs, and teaches with the D.C. Casineros and Azucar, the GMU Salsa Club - where he was introduced to Rueda de Casino by Digna Rodriguez. Paul performs regularly throughout the Washington D.C. region, and at national and international events.
In 2016 the D.C. Casineros had the privilege of performing with the Rueda Allstars and Maximo Estilo in Santiago de Cuba at the spectacular “Todos Estrellas”. In 2018 he was asked to become the head of the D.C. Casineros Instructor Committee, and in 2019 was the invited to be first non-European member of That’s What She Said - an international group of Rueda de Casino dancers.
With a background in music, Paul enjoys playing and studying Afro-Cuban and Western music. He lives, drums, and dances in northern Virginia.
Aaron Jackson received his formal training in New York City at the School of American Ballet. He attended a number of summer intensives on full scholarship including Joffrey Ballet School in New York, Pennsylvania Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, and The School of American Ballet where he trained year round. He joined The Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2000 where his repertory included performances in China at the Shanghai Dance Festival. In 2001 Jackson joined The Washington Ballet where he danced for eight seasons. While a full time Company member, he began his teaching career at The Washington School of Ballet Summer Intensive and the Jones/Haywood School of Dance. In 2006 he joined the summer faculty of The Berrend Dance Centre/Olney Ballet Theatre where he is currently a teacher, choreographer in residence, and rehearsal assistant. His career also includes choreographic projects with The Washington Ballet Studio Company and The Washington Ballet Trainees. He has taught master classes at the Musical Theater Center in Rockville, Maryland and participated in a choreographic project with the Phillips Collection. Jackson has also established himself as a guest teacher in the U.S. and internationally. Recently he served as guest teacher and choreographer at City Youth Ballet in Johnson City, Tennessee. He has served as a guest instructor at Tanz Akademie and Tanzwerk 101 in Zurich Switzerland.
Audra Johnson (Corps de Ballet) began her training under the direction of Christine Taylor and Luba Guylaeva, and continued her studies at The New Jersey Ballet School, The Harid Conservatory, and Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education. She has danced with American Repertory Ballet and The Washington Ballet and featured in Twyla Tharp's Eight Jelly Rolls, Octet, and Nine Sinatra Songs, in works by Kirk Peterson, Susan Shields, Graham Lustig, Laurie Stallings, Harrison McEldowney, and Melissa Barak, as well as Jerome Robbins’s The Concert (Or, The Perils of Everybody). Her Balanchine repertoire includes Danses Concertantes, Gounod Symphony, Stars and Stripes, Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, Tempo di la Valse, Episodes, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, and Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fee. Audra joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in 2011.
Mr. Johnson has served as the Associate Artistic Director of DC Contemporary Dance Theatre (DCCDT)/El Teatro De Danza Contemporarea(TDC) since 2012. He is a teacher, educator, choreographer and performing artist. He graduated with honors from the University of KY with a degree in Public Relations. He started his professional dance career as a feature dancer in the opening/closing US Olympic ceremonies (Atlanta). He completed a six month National tour with the two time Grammy award winning music group “Arrested Development”. Further credits include: Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Estefan (White House performance) as well as the production teams of Michael/Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul to name a few.
Mr. Johnson started his teaching career in the Washington, DC area in 1999. His challenging and energy-charged classes have been defined as “unique”, “Inspirational” and “motivating”. His classes serve as a tool to educate and further develop students’ technical and artistic proficiency. Mr. Johnson is still very active as a professional student and performing artist. He has trained and performed with The Lexington Ballet, Alvin Ailey (school), Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Classical Repertoire Dance Theatre (CRDT) and DC Contemporary Dance Theater. Mr. Johnsons work as been presented and taught in China, Germany and the US. He served as the Interim Artistic Director of Georgetown University Dance Company (GUDC) and former adjunct Professor at American University. Currently, Mr. Johnson is on faculty at Joy of Motion Dance Studios, Catholic University, National Cathedral School (NCS) and The Washington School of Ballet(TWSB).
Erica Rebollar was born in Madrid, began studies at Washington School of Ballet, and completed her MFA in choreography at UCLA. As an undergraduate student, she received ACDA’s national award in choreography. With the founding of RebollarDance in 2003, Erica Rebollar created a modern dance collaborative where multi-genre artists can make innovative work.
Rebollar produced her first show in 1999 at Seattle’s Mime Theater. She was a 3-time Lester Horton Award nominee in Los Angeles. Awarded the prestigious Mabou Mines Suites residency program in NYC, Erica showed evening length works at PS 122 and St. Mark's Church. She was a recipient of Joyce Soho’s A.W.A.R.D show, performing at Judson Church, DTW (NY Live Arts), DNA, TPAC, and the Flea.
Upon relocating to DC, RebollarDance has received funding from the Art Council of Fairfax County, Kennedy Center’s LDCP grant, Culture DC’s Mead Theatre Lab Program/CityDance at Strathmore, and space grants from American Dance Institute and Dance Place. The company has performed numerous evenings at Dance Place, VelocityDC/ Harman Hall/Shakespeare Theatre, Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, ADI, Atlas, Roundhouse, and Jack Guidone Theaters.
Nominated for two Dance Metro DC Awards, RebollarDance has been twice highlighted as a Season Pick in City Paper and Washington Post with features on WAMU radio, FOX 5, and NBC news shows, along with a feature in the “Arts and Power” issue of DC Magazine/Modern Luxury. Hailed as “exactly what the District needs”, RebollarDance received the 2013 Dance Metro DC Award for “Excellence in Choreography” and the 2016/17 recipient of the prestigious Pola Nirenska award for “Outstanding Contributions to Dance”.
Erica was recently Visiting Artist and Lecturer of Dance at University of Maryland – Balimore County and is now dance faculty at George Washington University. For more information and crucial donations, visit rebollardance.com.
Tamás Krizsa, of Hungary, is in his 11th season with The Washington Ballet. Krizsa graduated from the Hungarian Dance Academy with honors in 2002. During his school years, he was offered scholarships to the International Summer Course in Budapest, Elmhurst School for Dance and Performing Arts in England, North Carolina School of the Arts Summer program, Miami City Ballet School Summer Dance Program and American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive. During this time, he also performed in Japan, Germany, the United States, Latvia and Hungary. After finishing school, Krizsa danced for Columbia Classical Ballet, Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre, Budapest Ballet and Ballet Theater Hagen in leading roles, including Oberon in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince in Cinderella, Albrecht in Giselle among others. Some of his favorite roles with The Washington Ballet include Siegfried inSwan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, Tom Buchanan in Great Gatsby, Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián. In 2000 he received an award from the Hungarian Dance Academy and in 2001 received the Hungarian Dance Academy’s Maria Keresztes Memorial Prize. In 2006 and 2007, Krizsa was named Best Young Dancer in the Northwest Region of Germany. In 2014 won the gold medal in duet and silver in choreography category at VKIBC in New York. Krizsa is also a recipient of the 2015 Washington Awards.
Florian is a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer who has worked extensively across three continents. Mr. Rouiller has an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, where he choreographed and performed the original productions Profondeur Inconnue and Wave while continuing extensive performance with local dance companies outside the university. Mr. Rouiller began his dance career with training at the prestigious John Cranko School in Stuttgart with a BFA, and performed with the Stuttgart Ballet in productions such as Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. Upon immigrating to the United States, he danced with Merce Cunningham Dance Company as an apprentice, Ohio Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Ballet International Eldar Aliev, Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas and Ballet Contemporanea de Caracas in Venezuela, as well as Goteborg Ballet in Sweden. Performing soloist and principal roles and working with choreographers such as Alonzo King, Jiri Kylian, Simon Dow, Robert North, Jorma Uotinen , Jean-Paul Comelin ,Lynne Taylor Corbett to name a few….He has also performed with many companies throughout the United States and taught extensively, including at the Kirov Academy in Washington DC, the Washington Ballet School, City Dance Ensemble, and other schools throughout the Washington DC area. In the DC area, he has performed with City Dance Ensemble, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Lucy Bowen McCauley, Karen Reedy. His piece Fragments was at the finals in the 2010 Korean Ballet competition and his Female solo Verge just won the 3 prizes at YAGP competition in 2013. He also won a 3prizes in the Men division 2015 at YAGP. Mr. Rouiller is currently teaching and choreographing in the DC area. This year he is teaching at Coppin State University, Baltimore Community College and Montgomery College. Fall 2013 Resident artist at UMBC. Currently he is working at Baltimore School of the Arts, UMBC, Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland and Coppin State University. Also he was a guest teacher at Towson University and David Elkins College. Summer 2015 Kirov academy in DC.
Maki Onuki of Yokohama, Japan, is in her 14th season with The Washington Ballet after one season with TWB’s Studio Company. Before joining TWB, Onuki danced with Goh Ballet in Canada under Choo Chiat Goh and Lin Yee Goh. She trained at John Cranko Ballet School under the direction of Tadeusz Matacz, and at Mika Sasaki Ballet Academy under Mika Sasaki and Mikio Ikehata. Additionally, she attended Boston Ballet’s summer program on scholarship. Onuki has performed in numerous classical ballets including Serenade, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Diana and Acteon, Carnival of Venice, La Sylphide, Romeo + Juliet, the Esmeralda pas des deux, The Sleeping Beauty, Flames of Paris and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Onuki has performed in contemporary works by Christopher Bruce, Edwaard Liang, Karole Armitage, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp and Trey McIntyre. She has received numerous awards including the 2010 bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and a MetroDC Dance Award for Outstanding Individual Performance for Wunderland by Edwaard Liang in 2011.
Alvaro Palau is from Cali, Colombia and received his training at the Colombian Ballet Institute as well as workshops in Cuba, in New York with David Howard, and at the Houston School of Ballet. Mr. Palau danced with The Washington Ballet for 10 years, National Ballet of Venezuela for two years and the Cali Ballet in his native Colombia for two years. Mr. Palau toured internationally with all three companies in addition to dancing in festivals such as the Havana Festival in Cuba; Festivals in Rome and Florence in Italy; the Umbrella Festival in South Africa; the International Festival in Miami, Florida; the AIDS Foundation in Austin, Texas; and performances at the White House and in the Memorial Day show in Washington, D.C. Awards include 1st prize Arts Competition in Colombia and BestClassical Dancer at Casa del Artista in Venezuela. His repertoire includes classical and contemporary ballets choreographed by numerous artistsincluding Balanchine,Forsythe, Duato, Tudor, Mark Morris and Tharp. More recently he has been featured in productions of the Washington National Opera, Colorado Opera, two short films by Jennifer Schwed, Carmen Tango with the Pan AmericanSymphony Orchestra, and Bowen McCauley Dance Company. He has performed and choreographed works for Gala Hispanic Theatre, Source Theater Idomeneo, and DanceLoft on 14th. Mr. Palau has taught numerous ballet outreach programs and summer workshops throughout the metropolitan area. He is currently dancing with Dana Tai Soon Burgess and teaching at Séber Method Academy as well as Catholic University of America. He is the founder and director of Washington Dance DC.