Victorian State Ballet gave me the chance to rediscover my love for ballet. Elise May has been contracted with VSB since they launched in 2015. With industry experience across a wide variety of different genres and plenty of life experience behind her Elise is a valuable artist and enjoys bringing her roles to life on stage. Working hard and developing over the years with the company performing great roles such as ‘Leading Wilis’ Giselle, ‘Girlfriends’ Don Quixote and ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ Nutcracker Elise May progressed from Soloist to Senior Artist and recently promoted Principal Artist. Elise looks forward to continue growing throughout our exciting 2019 seasons.
William is a former graduate of the Macdonald College, Sydney. William joined the Victorian State Ballet in February 2017 and has since moved his way up the ranks with his outstanding performances in the company’s classical ballet and contemporary repertoire. The highlights of William’s rapidly developing career include his portrayal of Conrad in VSB’s Australian preview premiere of Le Corsaire in May 2017, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, The Prince in Cinderella, and
Count Drosselmeyer and Sugar Plum Grand Pas De Deux in the Nutcracker.
Senior Artist Alana Puddy was born in Melbourne, Australia and trained at the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet under Christine Walsh. In 2012 Alana was accepted into Queensland Ballet’s Professional Year under the direction of Francois Klaus and Robyn White, where she had the opportunity to perform in the company’s productions such as Don Quixote, Classical Celebrations and Sleeping Beauty. In 2013 Alana performed in Melbourne Dance Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland then joined Mystic Ballet II performing an expert of Lauren Edson's Sun and Steel at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, G.R.A.B season, The Nutcracker Spectacular at Foxwoods Casino and Snow White. She then returned home to join Victorian State Ballet performing soloist roles in productions such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Cinderella and Magic Toy Shop.
Born in Victoria and raised in Perth, Cieren started dancing at the age of six with Kavanagh Irish Dancing Studio. Following six successive state champion titles Cieren turned his focus towards other dance styles. He joined the John Curtin Collage of the Arts dance program in 2012 during his tenth year of academic schooling. His full time classical training began in 2014 at the Terri Charlesworth Ballet Institute where his studies continued until 2017 when he joined the Victorian State Ballet as a company artist. His favourite roles include Basilio in Don Quixote, Lankendam in Le Corsaire, and the Prince in Victorian State Ballet's Snow White. Cieren was promoted to soloist in 2017.
Elise’s love of dance began at the age of 3 when she attended the Sharon Lawrence School of Dance. Although being trained in jazz, tap and ballet, by the age of 9 Elise felt her calling was classical ballet and she auditioned to attend the Australian Ballet School where she remained training in the Russian Vaganova method until she graduated at 18 years of age with a Bachelor of Classical Ballet. During her time at the Australian Ballet School she was awarded two scholarships of Excellency and toured Australia with The Australian Ballet Regional Tour. Some of the highlights of her dancing career were performing in The Australian Ballet’s Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake and Peter Wright’s Nutcracker. At 18 she travelled around Europe and upon her return she joined the Victoria State Ballet and was promoted to Soloist end 2017.
Sera Schuller commenced her training in Queensland at Suncoast City Performing Arts Centre. After receiving her Diploma in Dance Elite Performance, Sera was selected to compete in the 2013 Prix de Lausanne prestigious ballet competition in Switzerland. She returned to Australia to train at Suzanne Way Classical Coaching where she danced as one of the eight finalists in the Sydney McDonalds Ballet Scholarship. In August 2014 she accepted a Pre-Professional position at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada. After 2 years of Full-Time training in Canada Sera moved back to Australia and was offered an Apprenticeship position with the Victorian State Ballet. She has now been promoted to soloist and is in her third season with the company.
Mia Claire Wallace started her professional training at National College of Dance in NSW where she obtained her certificate 4 and diploma in dance elite performance while also receiving dux of her year. Shortly after graduation she moved to Cannes, France to further her ballet education at ESDC Rosella Hightower under the direction of Paola Cantalupo. Since finishing her training, Mia has worked with Alberta Ballet in Canada as a member of their second company and in 2016 accepted a position at Victorian State Ballet. Mia is now in her third season with the company as a soloist. Highlights with the Victorian State Ballet include the leading role of Cinderella, Big Swans in Swan
Lake, Summer Fairy in Cinderella, Snow White and Walking Doll in the Magic Toyshop.
Janae was born in Perth WA and commenced her dance training from the early age of 18mths. She was accepted as an ITP student with the Australian Ballet School at the age of 10yrs. At the age of 14 Janae was accepted into the full time classical ballet program at the Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy where she moved to Sydney and trained for 3 yrs. Following a successful ballet tour to Europe / UK in 2017, Janae accepted an offer to train at the Hochschule Fur Musik Und Theater Ballett Akadamie in München Germany in 2018. Janae was awarded the BBM Youth Award which also enabled her to train in the UK whilst overseas. Janae’s performance highlights include Top 8 of the Senior Scholarship Section 400 at the Sydney Eisteddfod and performing Aurora Act 1 at the Opera House, the role of Clara in the Sydney City Youth Ballet Nutcracker 2015 & 2016 & performing the Les Sylphides Pas de deux in Together Live SCYB with SYO Philharmonic. In January 2019 Janae moved to Melbourne to commence her contract with the Victorian State Ballet.
Tynan was born in Newcastle and trained with the New Zealand School of Dance until his graduation in December 2014. In 2013, Tynan represented NZSD at the Assemble'e Internationale hosted by Canada National Ballet School, taking top honours at the Alana Haines Australasian Ballet Awards and appeared as a guest artist at Auckland's Tempo Dance Festival. Subsequently in 2014, Tynan was invited to join Sydney Dance Company for the Sydney season of Interplay. Following his graduation from NZSD, Tynan joined Royal New Zealand Ballet for the seasons of Don Quixote and Salute in 2015. He was further invited to perform with RNZB on their international tour of the United Kingdom and Italy. In 2016, Tynan joined Melbourne City Ballet as a Company Artist and was then promoted to Soloist in 2017 where he had great success in many lead roles including Romeo, Basilio and Dracula. Tynan joined VSB as company artist in July 2019 and looks forward to a wonderful future ahead.
Nana Yamamoto was born in Japan and began her ballet studies at Ballet Studio Reverance. She then furthered her training with an advanced diploma of dance at The National Theatre Ballet School in Melbourne Australia with Beverly Jane Fry. Her awards include First prize at both the Ballet Com Nagoya in Japan and Tallinn International Ballet Competition in Estonia. Nana has performed with National Ballet of Ukraine Kiev coached by Victor Litvinov and Estonian National Ballet coached by Thomas Edur. Career highlights for Nana include Kitri in Don Quixote, Giselle in Giselle, Black Swan in Swan Lake, Gulnare in Le Corsaire. Nana is very excited for the coming year working for the Victorian State Ballet Company.
Lee began his training in his home town of Sydney, Australia. He started dancing full time with Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy until his graduation in 2016. The following year he moved to Mannheim, Germany to further his career in dance at Akademie Des Tanzes (ADT) under the direction of Frau Birgit Keil where he trained for two years. Graduating in 2018 with his bachelor certificate. During his time at ADT he was fortunate to perform, solo role Les Bourgeios at several performances. Lee then relocated back to Australia in July 2018. In September 2018 Lee was offered a company position with the Victorian State Ballet Company for 2019.
Aimee Hodgkinson joined the Victorian State Ballet in 2017. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, Aimee started her training at aged five and in 2013 she was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance. She furthered her training in 2016 with the Anneliese Gilberd Academy. In 2017 Aimee debuted in the Victorian State Ballet’s The Magic Toyshop as the Cossack Doll and attained further roles such as, Odalisques in Le Corsaire’s Pas De Trois, and Cygnets from Swan Lake. Her repertoire also includes, Sir Kenneth Macmillan’s Concerto with the New Zealand School of Dance; Michelle Cassar De Sierra’s Cinderella, Snow White and The Nutcracker with the Victorian State Ballet.
New Zealand born, Julia completed her full-time training with Canterbury Ballet. In 2014 she competed with Canterbury Ballet on an international stage at the New Prague Dance Festival. The following year, she performed a variation from the Swan Lake Pas de Trois at the Alana Haines competition in Wellington; she also enjoyed performing on the Coca Cola Christmas in the Park outdoor stage, at the 298 charity gala event, and as a part of the annual Christchurch Body Festival. The highlight of her graduating year was a regional tour of New Zealand’s South Island with the Aotearoa National Youth Ballet’s production of La Bayadère, in which she had the pleasure of dancing the roles of Gamzatti and the Shades Pas de Trois. Julia joined the Victorian State Ballet in 2017.
Originally from Queensland, Henry moved to Melbourne to start his full-time training at The Australian Ballet School at age 14. Two years later, he moved back home to finish his education at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, before moving to Sydney to train at the Tanya Pearson Academy under the direction of Lucinda Dunn OAM. After graduating, Henry danced with Melbourne City Ballet in their 2017 and 2018 seasons, touring extensively across the country. Joining Victorian State Ballet in early 2019, he has enjoyed performing rewarding and challenging roles such as Rothbart (Swan Lake) and Hilarion (Giselle).
Corps de Ballet
Maggie de Koning
Maggie began her dance training at the age of six. At the age of ten she was accepted into level one at the Australian Ballet School, where she continued her dance training for the next 9 years. Whilst there, Maggie was given the opportunity to perform with the Australian Ballet Company in Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. After finishing her time at the Australian Ballet School, Maggie then joined the Victorian State Ballet pre-professional program and is now in the corps de ballet. Maggie is looking forward to performing with the company.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Tristan began his dance career early participating in the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He trained at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS) on a full-time dance scholarship, then full time at Dance World studios in Melbourne before completing three years of ballet study at the National Theatre Ballet School under the directorship of Beverly Fry. In 2016 Tristan joined The West Australian Ballet as a young artist and returned to Melbourne to perform with the Australian Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Sydney season of The Sleeping Beauty. Tristan joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in January 2018 and then Melbourne City Ballet. Tristan performed the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice in wonderland and the role of Ali from Le Corsair on the night of the Companies closure. Tristan recently joined the Victorian State Ballet.
Samantha is a dancer whose passion and talent lie within the realm of traditional classical, neoclassical and contemporary dancing. Known for her hard working and motivated attitude, alongside her positive and perky personality, she works well with others and always commits fully to whatever task she has before her. In 2017 she finished her degree at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts graduating with a Bachelor of Dance. Performing is always a highlight for Samantha in which she excels. Samantha successfully auditioned for the Victorian State Ballet Pre-Professional Program commencing 2018. She has been trained by and performed the choreography of the likes of Kim McCarthy, Paulina Quinteros, Andries Weidemann, Danielle Hunt, Terry Simpson, Aidan Munn and Oliver Toth. This is Samantha’s first year as an apprentice with the Company.
Born in Brisbane Australia, Rebecca started ballet at the age of seven in Mosgiel, New Zealand. By the age of ten Rebecca was competing in competitions around New Zealand in a variety of dance genres. At age eighteen Rebecca moved to Brisbane to commence further study at the Queensland University of Technology. Here Rebecca studied contemporary dance as well as a range of other modern dance styles. In 2017 Rebecca graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Performance endorsed with Distinction. In 2018 Rebecca joined VSB as a pre-professional artist and later joined the corps de ballet. Rebecca looks forward to the wonderful experiences VSB has to offer.
Viola Zihan Ning was born in Hunan, China and began her professional ballet training since she was 12 years old. She trained with the Affiliated School of Liaoning Ballet Company from 2005 to 2011 finishing with the Advanced Diploma in Dance. After her graduation, Viola continued to study her B.F.A. (Ballet Performance) at the Beijing Dance Academy from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, Viola joined the National Ballet of China in Beijing and has performed in various classical and
contemporary ballet repertoire including Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Nutcracker, La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, The Crane Whisperer and Dunhuang. After working for nearly 4 years in Beijing, Viola moved to Melbourne in late 2018 and joined the Victorian State Ballet in 2019.
Born in Perth, Jayden completed his formal training at The Graduate College of Dance under the direction of Dawn Weller to further his studies in classical ballet as well as Spanish and contemporary. At age 16, Jayden was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) full time course and graduated at 17 with a diploma in Dance (Elite Performance). Jayden then successfully auditioned for the New Zealand School of Dance and moved to Wellington where he trained and graduated with a Certificate in Dance Performance: Classical Major in 2016. Jayden is now a company artist with the Victorian State Ballet and in 2017 was fortunate to perform in productions such as Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, Cinderella, Snow White and The Nutcracker. He is looking forward to performing and touring with company this coming year.
Lisa De Koning
Lisa started her dance training at the age of eight. At age thirteen Lisa was accepted with a full scholarship to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. During this time Lisa was selected to perform at Top Class Dance after receiving top marks for her VCE dance solos. After graduating VCASS in 2013 she was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Whilst at Joffrey Lisa was given the opportunity to learn and perform Joffrey classical repertoire from Joffrey company alumni. Lisa also performed in a Cunningham minevent and in Bill T. Jones’ ‘Power/ful.’ After graduating in 2016 Lisa performed with Ajkun Ballet Theatre. There she performed Carmen with the company and had a soloist role in ‘Brink’ by Ellen Sinopoli. In 2018 Lisa joined Victorian State Ballet as a pre-professional artist and is now an apprentice with VSB. Lisa looks forward to touring and performing with the company.
Originally from New Zealand, Courtney started her dance training at Dance Education Centre at the age of 4, where she gained her Solo Seal in BBO. After studying Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Tap for many years she decided to pursue a career in Ballet. She then moved to Australia to study Fulltime at The Australian Conservatoire Of Ballet where she completed her Diploma of Dance. Courtney’s highlights have been winning the Legacy Trust Award, getting nominated for PACANZ and making it through as one of the 12 Semi Finalists in NZ. She went on to join the Victorian State Ballet in 2017.
Clarabelle Jane Ling
Clarabelle trained under Renate Cumalkovs in Perth, Western Australia before she moved to Melbourne for the full-time 'Advanced Diploma in Dance' training at the National Theatre Ballet School under the directorship of Beverly Jane Fry. There, she danced soloist roles in Classical Ballets such as 'Pas de Quatre', 'Les Patineurs', 'Coppélia' and danced the principal role in her final year performance, 'Mermaid'. During the three years, she received the award for 'Most Improved Full-Time Student' 2015, the Jocelyn De Cardi award for 'Most Promising Full-Time Student' 2016, and the 'Diana Gibson AO Full Scholarship' 2017. She continued her training with Beverly Jane Fry at The Classical Studio in
2018, and joined the Victorian State Ballet in 2019.
Born in Melbourne in 2001, Hannah has trained under the guidance of Michelle and Martin Sierra in the Vaganova method, from the age of two. In 2013, Hannah was accepted into Melbourne Dance Theatre’s ‘Extension Program’. The following year, she was offered a place at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School but elected to continue her Vaganova training and remain at MDT. In 2016, she auditioned successfully for VSB’s ‘Pre-Professional Program’ and in 2017, completed her first year of full time training in a company environment. Hannah graduated from the Pre-Professional Program in December 2018 and has been offered an apprentice position with the Company commencing 2019.
Brooke began dancing at age 3. In 2013 at age 12 she commenced training in the elite/extension program at Melbourne Dance Theatre School of Excellence. There she was given the opportunity to dance student roles in Victorian State Ballet performances. She then went on to dance as a junior artist with the corps de ballet in VSB seasons throughout 2014. From 2015-2017 Brooke completed VSB’s pre professional program and in 2018 begins a VSB apprenticeship.
Jessica was born and raised in Melbourne. She first started dancing when she was five years old at Patricia Maundrell Dance Academy beginning with ballet and later jazz and tap. She also trained at Gotta Dance Studio and Melbourne Dance Theatre where she started doing contemporary and pointe. Her love for ballet continued after doing work experience at the Victorian State Ballet. She increased her training and was accepted into the Victorian State Ballet's Pre-professional program in 2017 and 2018. This year she is a trainee and it is her future goal to be a company artist with the Victorian State Ballet.