Guest Faculty

Sara Adams

Sara Adams

Sara Adams was born in Dennis, Massachusetts, and began her dance training at the age of six at the Mid-Cape Ballet Academy.  She later studied at the Boston Ballet School, before taking a summer course at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, during the summer of 2003. 

She enrolled as a full-time student at SAB from 2003 to 2008. She became an apprentice with NYCB in June 2008 and became a member of the corps de ballet in September 2009. In February 2017, Ms. Adams was promoted to soloist.

Ms. Adams was a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise in 2007.

Abigail Bushnell

Abby Bushnell is from Cohasset and started her ballet training at the Boston Ballet School. Her ballet career continued to Houston Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Semperoper Ballett in Dresden, Germany, the Slovak National Ballet and she is currently in her fourth season with the Czech National Ballet in Prague, Czech Republic.

Abigail has performed repertoire including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, and repertoire from choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, and John Cranko. Abby is returning this summer to teach at South Shore Ballet Theater for her fifth summer. Despite the difficult circumstances lately, it is so important, and so fortunate that we are able to get back in the studio and continue our art form.

Anaïs Chalendard

Anaïs Chalendard started to train with Carole Bentolila in Roanne as a student of Max Bozzoni, étoile and teacher at the Paris Opera school. Anaïs moved to Marseille and continued her training under the instruction of Dominique Khalfouni at l’École Nationale de Danse de Marseille Roland Petit.

After graduating with her Baccalaureate in economics and political science, she received her first professional contract at the age of 17 with the Deutsch Oper am Rhein under the direction of Youri Vamos. After a season, she was asked to join Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, under the direction of Vladimir Malakov. After several years, Chalendard moved to Karlsruhe to join the Badische Staatstheater, under the direction of Birgit Keil, where she became a principal dancer. There, amongst other leading roles, Chalendard premiered Terence Kohler’s Anna Karenina as well as Gamzatti in his version of La Bayadère. She also enjoyed dancing in the creation of Ray Barra’s Carmen as Carmen and many other choreographic workshops by Renato Zanella, David Bombana, and Terence Kohler. At the end of her last season, she received the opportunity to dance Juliet in Sir Kenneth MacMilan’s Romeo and Juliet.

Chalendard finally joined the English National Ballet in 2008 under the direction of Wayne Eagling, where she was promoted to first soloist following performances in Manon and The Dying Swan. She has also appeared in guest performances organized by Carlos Acosta and choreographed by Adam Hougland, dancing a pas de deux (Young Apollo) especially created for her and Junor de Oliveira Souza. In 2009, she received the “Emerging Dancer Award” after dancing Nikiya’s Death from La Bayadère.In 2012, Chalendard appeared at the Nureyev Festival in Russia as Giselle with principal dancer, Jozef Varga from Het National Ballet, and as Odette/Odile in Derek Dean’s Swan Lake with English National Ballet.

Chalendard has been listed as one of the “100 Best Dancers in the World” by Dance Europe Magazine. In June 2013, she was invited to dance Erik Brühn’s La Sylphide with Friedemann Vogel, principal with the Stuttgart Ballet, and Rolando Sarabia, international guest artist, at the Teatro dell Opera di Roma.

Chalendard joined Boston Ballet in 2013 as a Second Soloist, was promoted to Soloist in 2014 and Principal in 2016. She has performed as Gamzatti in Florence Clerc’s La Bayadère, as well as in several works created by Jorma Elo and Yury Yanowsky. She has also danced the role of 2nd Aria in Balanchine’s Violin Concerto, in the lead role of La Gaité Parisienne as the Glove Seller, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette/Odile in Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake, Marguerite in Val Caniparoli’s The Lady of the Camélias, and Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet.

Chalendard has been invited to dance at the World Ballet Competition Star’s Gala in Orlando. In addition, she has served as a jury member at the World Ballet Competition and has taught summer intensives with Dance Theater International, Allen Conservatory, and Boston Ballet School. In the coming year, she will be a guest artist at the Mozart Woche in Salzburg, Austria.

Melissa Chapski

Melissa Chapski was born in Medfield, Massachusetts. In 2015, she graduated from the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program in New York City under the guidance of Erin Forrest and Edward Ellison. That same year, she was awarded a gold medal at Indianapolis International Ballet Competition and YAGP’s Boston regional, and a contract to the Dutch National Ballet’s junior company at YAGP Finals where she placed top 12.
Melissa danced two seasons in Dutch National’s junior company followed by three seasons in the corps de ballet. She has appeared as a guest artist in galas in London, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, China, America, and The Netherlands. The galas include two for YAGP; one in Tampa, Florida in 2018, and the other in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2016.
Another gala was the performance in the interlude at Prix de Lausanne where Melissa danced a duet from Hans van Manen. Melissa’s repertoire includes Hans van Manen’s duet ‘Trois Gnossiennes’, demi-soloists in George Balanchine’s Symphony in 3 Movements, Pas de Cinq in David Dawson’s Giselle, the 6 brides in Swan Lake, and Little Red Riding Hood in Sleeping Beauty. She is now dancing with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich after joining the company in April. Melissa was also featured as ‘Emma’ in the movie High Strung: Free Dance and has done ad campaigns for Huawei Mobile, Nikon Europe, Discount Dance Supply, Capezio, and Russian Pointe.

Lauren Gemelli

Originally from Norwell, MA, Lauren is a New York City based performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She received her early training from Children’s Ballet Workshop in Hingham and the Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education.
She received her BA from Manhattanville College in Dance & Theatre, concentrating in acting and directing.
Since then, Lauren has collected many, many stamps on her passport — touring the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe multiple times. 
Onstage highlights include working with the legendary Hal Prince in his final production of CANDIDE with New York City Opera, Broadway national and international tours of CHICAGO: THE MUSICAL and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, 20+ regional productions across the US, and over a dozen New York benefits for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
She made her principal understudy debut as Velma Kelly in CHICAGO at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC during its sold-out run in 2017. 
Locally, she has performed with Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New Bedford Festival Theatre, Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, Ocean State Theatre Company, Theatre by the Sea, Metro Stage Company, and Trinity Repertory Company.
Her continuing education includes work with the Verdon/Fosse Legacy, under the leadership of Nicole Fosse, which is dedicated to the careful preservation of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s work.
With nearly 20 years experience as a guest teaching artist, Lauren has led a variety of master classes and intensives for students across the US. 
As a choreographer, Lauren has created original staging for COMPANY and set the original Broadway choreography for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, both for Manhattanville College. As an associate and dance captain, she has assisted on regional productions of A CHORUS LINE, 42ND STREET, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, GUYS & DOLLS, and DAMN YANKEES.
She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and The American Guild of Musical Artists. She is represented by ATB Talent and Citizen Talent.

Rie Ichikawa

Rie Ichikawa started her ballet training in Nagano, Japan, under the direction of Teruyo Kurashima. After winning gold medals in Japanese competitions in 1990 and 1991, she decided to leave Japan to study in the Arts Educational London Ballet school in England in 1992. She has won the Markova Award (1994) in London England.  In 1995 she was recommended to go to study in Houston Ballet under the direction of Clara Cravey and Steve Brule. She joined the top class of Houston Ballet School and was soon offered a position in Ballet Arizona under the directorship of Michael Uthoff in 1995. He molded her talent, gave her many opportunities, and then promoted her to principal after only one year. After 4 years with Ballet Arizona, Rie was hired as a corps de ballet dancer with Boston Ballet under the direction of Anna-Marie Holmes in 1999. Since the arrival of Mikko Nissinen in 2001, she has danced most of the soloist  parts in all the major classical ballet productions and contemporary ballets. Her artistic highpoint to date has been performing the soloist role in Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura.  Outside of her dance career, her greatest achievement and joy comes from her two beautiful children from her husband and former dancer Peter Freedberg.

Her repertory includes Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (Pas de Trios, Pas de Cinq, For Cygnets), The Nutcracker’s (Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen), Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fill Malgardee (Lisa), Cinderella (Autumn Fairy), George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Symphony In Three Movements (Turning Girl), Divertimento No. 15 Theme and Variations, Serenade (Waltz Girl), Apollo, The Four Temperaments (Sanguinic), John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew (Bianca), William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, Florence Clerc’s (La Bayadere (Manu, Three Shades), La Sylphide (Mazurka Girl), Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura, Symphony of Psalms, Petite Mort, Falling Angels, Helen Pickett’s Etesian, Eventied, Jose Martinez (Resonance) Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camelias Lambarena, Jorma Elo’s Plant to B, In on Blue, Break the Eyes. Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces, Mark Morris’s Up and Down, Drink to Me, Hans van Manen’s Black Cake and Yury Yanowsky’s Li3.

Rie has been a guest teacher at SSBT for the past three years, working with our Pre-Professional dancers.

Azusa Okamoto

Azusa Okamoto was born in Kyoto, Japan and began her training at the age of three with the Fukutani Yoko Ballet Studio. At the age of 16, she was offered a full scholarship to attend the Victoria Academy of Ballet where she graduated from the Post-Secondary Bridge Program earning a diploma in Classical Ballet. In 2017, Azusa was offered a contract with the Roxey Ballet. She has performed roles such as Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Arabian soloist in The Nutcracker, Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Michaela in Carmen, Dancer from Nixon in China, and Carmina Burana both with live choir and orchestra. In 2020, Azusa joined Utah Metropolitan Ballet. She performed Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Snow White in Snow White and La Coquette in La Coquette. Her awards include: First Prize at the 23rd Kobe Dance Competition, First Prize at the NAMUE Grand Final Ballet Competition, First Prize at the 26th NAMUE Ballet Competition, Second Prize at the 12th Osaka Prix Ballet Competition, Top 12 at the Youth America Grand Prix Seattle in both Classical and Contemporary in 2015-2016. First Prize at YAGP 2016 in the Ensemble category.

Carol Roderick

Carol Roderick

Carol Roderick recently retired as Director of Dance of the Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford, CT. She was an assistant professor of ballet and pedagogy at Colorado State University (Fort Collins) previous to coming to Connecticut. She has taught, coached, and trained students and teachers for professional companies, universities, and prestigious schools in the United States, Canada, Japan and and Europe.

She received her early training in Boston, and later at Butler and Indiana Universities. Her formal pedagogical training was with the late Jürgen Schneider (Bolshoi Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre) and Gabriela Komleva (Kirov/Mariinski Ballet).

She was a member of the professional division faculties of Boston Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The Harid Conservatory. She directed the Colorado Ballet School, Tulsa Ballet School, and Academy of Ballet Idaho. She was principal teacher of AIS Ballet in Kobe, Japan for two years. She was the Program Manager for the Bolshoi Ballet at Vail, and also served as ballet mistress for the Cleo Parker Robinson New Dance Ensemble in Denver, Colorado. For many years, she ran her own pre-professional training program in Denver – Classical Ballet Ensemble.

Ms. Roderick has also developed her own Teacher Training Program, which she presents annually at the Hartt Community Division and as a guest lecturer in other locations.

She has coached and prepared students for the Prix de Lausanne, Japan Grand Prix, New York International Ballet Competition and the USA International Ballet Competition, (Jackson), as well as local and regional scholarship competitions throughout the USA. She has been a guest teacher for many schools and companies, including The Harid Conservatory, Kansas City Ballet School, Boston Ballet, St. Paul City Ballet, Kumamoto Ballet (Japan), City of Osaka (Japan), and University of Utah.

She is known as a meticulous, skilled and inspirational teacher. She is also a knowledgeable and precise coach and stager of classical repertoire. Her students are known for their clarity and strength of technique, musical expressiveness, and beautiful movement quality. Many of her students have gone on to professional performance, choreographic, and teaching careers.

Donna Silva

Ballet Faculty

Donna Silva was born in New York.  Her initial training was under the direction of former dancer of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Lila Crabtree.  Ms. Silva experienced extensive, diversified training with Margaret Craske, Alfredo Corvino, and Anthony Tudor at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School; Valentina Pereyaslavec and Yurek Lazowski at American Ballet Theatre; and Robert Joffrey, Perry Brunson, Hector Zaraspe at the American Ballet Center/Joffrey Ballet.

Ms. Silva has danced throughout America and Europe with the Joffrey Ballet Company including a performance for President Johnson at The White House.  Following Joffrey Ballet, she served as principal artist (and taught) with First Chamber Dance Company of New York and Bern State Theater, Switzerland.  Boston Ballet invited Ms. Silva to appear in character roles in: Lady of Camellias (2004) and Cinderella (2005).  Her earlier performing experiences were with Manhattan Festival Ballet, Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company, and Carnegie Hall as a young dancer.  While in Europe (Bern State Theater) she appeared in West Side Story and On The Town.  She served on the Jury for the Prix D’Aarau Competition.

Ms. Silva’s comprehensive and considerable teaching experiences in Switzerland include Zurich State Theatre Ballet (Ballet Mistress, under Uwe Scholtz).  She was also invited to teach with the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brussels, Belgium.

Dance Academy Silva was founded and directed by Ms. Silva in 1985.  Her teaching and choreographed pieces continued to be in evident through 2014 even though she returned to the USA in 1993.  Her legacy has continued to provide excellent teaching/training with First Chamber Dance Company of New York, Cornish College (Seattle), Portland Ballet Company/School (Maine), and Boston Ballet School under the direction of Bruce Marks, Anne Marie Holmes, and Mikko Nissinen (1994-2007).  During this time, she recruited dancers and taught for the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Programs, recruited dancers for the Dance Program of Boston Conservatory (1995-2005), and choreographed several works for students at both programs.  Ms. Silva has also been a guest teacher for Robert Joffrey’s NY School Summer Program.  Following 22 years as Professor of Dance and four Most Outstanding Faculty awards, she retired from Boston Conservatory (1994-2016).

Currently, Ms. Silva is a certified Pilates instructor and part of the South Shore Ballet Theatre faculty.  Ms. Silva has highly contributed to the art of dance in America and Europe, continuing to be a driving force to this day.

Leslie Woodies

­­A former soloist with Boston Ballet under the direction of Founder, E. Virginia Williams, Ms. Woodies toured the US and Europe with Dennis Wayne’s DANCERS, and was a Guest Artist with New York Dance Theater at Lincoln Center. Her musical theater credits include: “Cassie” in A Chorus Line directed by Michael Bennett; Principal cover in On Your Toes directed by George Abbott; “Flo” in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with author/composer Rupert Holmes; and, created the role of “Kathleen” in Drumwright opposite John Cullum. Film work: Jolly, Echoes, A Chorus Line – the movie, Disney’s Aladdin, and Bender.

As a choreographer and director: California Music Theater, Long Beach Civic Light Opera, Lifetime, the Disney Channel, Paramount, Disney World, Brown University and Walnut Hill School. Ms. Woodies has received DramaLogue and Robby Awards, an IRNE Nomination, and the Dennett Distinguished Career Award. Leslie was pleased to accept an appointment to Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Visiting Lecturer in Dramatic Arts. A faculty member of: the Boston Ballet School, Boston Conservatory, and Emerson College. Director of What the Dickens for Deb Mason’s CYDP at the John Hancock Theater, and was the first Associate Artistic Director for Tony William’s Urban Nutcracker.