MEET THE DANCERS
Ariana Serrano is from Hermosa Beach, CA and trained in classical Vaganova technique with Olga Tozyiakova of Perm Ballet School. Ariana was awarded in the top 24 senior classical category at the Youth America Grand Prix 2013-2017, and also competed in the Tanzolymp International Dance Festival Berlin in 2014 and 2016. As a trainee at State Street Ballet she performed roles such as the Mirliton soloist (Nutcracker) and Paquita in the trainee performance of the Paquita Grand Pas. At USIB she has had the pleasure of performing soloist roles in the Nutcracker (Mirliton, Snow, Waltz of the Flowers), as well as Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), and Helena (Midsummer Night’s Dream).
Demi - Soloist
Katherine started dancing at a local studio in her hometown of Lexington, VA when she was twelve years old. She spent her summers training at the Richmond Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet. Katherine continued her dance education under the direction of Tauna Hunter at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. While there, she studied with notable guest artists including Laura Alonso, Virginia Johnson, Nilas Martins, and others. After college Katherine danced as a soloist with Connect the Dots Dance Company in Washington DC, as well as freelancing and teaching. In 2019 she joined USIB as a Second Company Member, was promoted to First Company in 2020, and is currently a Demi-Soloist. Since joining the company, Katherine has performed soloist roles including Paquita (title), Dark Princess in The Little Mermaid, Arabian in The Nutcracker, and Bathilde in Giselle. In addition to dancing, Katherine is a teacher at Wilmington School of Ballet and the YMCA.
First Company Member
Destiny Gorcie has trained extensively with the Royal Academy of Dance at Mount Airy Performing Arts Center in Maryland. She has also studied under the tutelage of instructors from Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Ballroom Dance in Frederick, Costa Mesa Dance, Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, Roanoke Ballet Theater, and most recently with Ballet Aresko in Lynchburg, Virginia. Destiny attended the Joffrey Ballet School’s six week Summer Intensive program. Throughout the years, Destiny has passed Royal Academy examinations through Grade 8 with merit and distinction, and competed in both ballet and ballroom styles of dance. Her passion and love for dance has shown her that with faith, dedication and support, any dream is attainable; and she strives to consistently share these principles with everyone around her. This will be Destiny’s fourth season with USIB, and she is ecstatic to be a part of the dream and mission that is the foundation of USIB.
First Company Member
Madeleine Pautier of Lancaster, Pennsylvania began her ballet training under Viktor Yeliohin followed by master teacher Adrienne Thornton Dellas. She was selected to participate in the Kennedy Center Master Series, and subsequently moved to New York to continue her education with celebrated teachers Edward Ellison and Erin Forrest at Ellison Ballet. Madeleine attended summer programs at the Princess Grace Academy, ABT NY and BalletMet. To continue with her Vaganova training, Madeleine trained with Marianna Lobanova at the Kirov Academy of Ballet. While at Kirov, Madeleine distinguished herself as an artist when her piece Eleutheromania created for the Kirov Collaborative caught the attention of dance critic, George Jackson, who wrote “Pautier warrants watching as a choreographer.” Her choreography was also showcased at BalletMet where she completed her preprofessional education as a Trainee. While at BalletMet, Madeleine performed in Coppelia, Paquita, and George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Madeleine began her professional career with Ballet Theatre of Maryland where she danced for four seasons and was promoted to Demi-Soloist. She has performed internationally, dancing the Swan Lake Pas de Trois variation in Beijing. Madeleine has appeared on stage in Giselle, Swan Lake, and Don Quixote inThe Florida Classical Ballet Summer Gala alongside international stars Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro. During layoffs, Madeleine continues her professional training with Magaly Suarez at The Art of Classical Ballet, and teaches ballet, yoga and fitness classes to students of all ages and levels. She is a degree candidate at Harvard University’s Extension School and enjoys spending time with her dog Marley. Madeleine is excited to dance with USIB for the 2022-23 season!
Second Company Member
Isabella began her dance training at age 3 with Hilton Head Dance School under the direction of former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Karena Brock. While she was here for 15 years, she was also taught by Jamal Edwards and former Fosse Dance Captain, Kathleen Watkins. While training, Isabella attended summer intensives at University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Carolina Ballet. While with Hilton Head Dance School, she had featured roles in performances such as Paquita, Stars and Stripes, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. She began dancing with USIB in 2021 and has performed notable roles such as Dew Drop and Spanish lead in The Nutcracker and Carmen in A New Beginning. Isabella is very excited to be dancing with USIB for another season.
Eduardo Flores Ochoa
Eduardo was born in Mexico City and began to dance at the age of 5 at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. He continued his dance training at Academia De la Danza Mexicana in Mexico City, performing in the Sugar Plum Fairy Pas de Deux, Le Corsaire, and Sleeping Beauty. He was a INBA-UAM Prix Finalist in 1992 with the company En Dos Partes, with the piece XXY. Eduardo danced with Ballet Independiente from 2006-2011 and Ballet Clasico de Sinaloa from 2012-2016. His notable roles include Basilio and Spada (Don Quixote), Hilarion (Giselle), Sugar Plum Cavalier (Nutcracker), Prince Desiree (Sleeping Beauty), Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), and Conrad an Ali (Le Corsaire). Eduardo began dancing with USIB as a soloist in May 2022, performing Don Jose in Carmen and Espada in Don Quixote. Besides his work as a dancer, he also became a Capoeira professor in 2010. Eduardo has a passion for teaching and has taught ballet, contemporary dance, and capoeira.
First Company Member
Addie began dancing at the age of 3. She studied at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville and was a member of their award-winning competition team and ballet company, where she danced several soloist roles in the annual ballet productions. In 2022, Addie graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography and a minor in Graphic Design. Under the direction of Jennifer Deckert, André Megerdichian, Stephanie Milling, Hilary Krieger-Toth, and Olivia Waldrop, Addie performed several classic and contemporary works, as well as studied with guest artists, such as Pablo Ruvalcaba. While in school, Addie trained and guested during the Summer and in multiple USIB shows, performing corps roles in Giselle and Napoli, as well as soloist roles as Kitri's Friend in Don Quixote, a Sister in The Little Mermaid, and Lead Spanish in the Nutcracker. Currently, Addie also teaches at Studio A of Wilmington and works as an administrative assistant with USIB. She is excited to start her first full-time season
Alexander Wells Jackson
First Company Member
Wells Jackson is a Dancer and Choreographer from North Carolina. He began his training at 12 years old as a competitive dancer; winning awards for performance and choreography and holding numerous titles. Wells has trained under the instruction of Desmond Richardson, Abraham in Motion, Ballet X, Maree Remalia, Dena Rizzo, and the Joffrey Ballet School as well as being a founding dancer at USIB. Wells graduated with honors from Appalachian State University with a BA in Dance Studies and a minor in Theatre Arts in 2021. Wells’ passion is performance; he has danced roles such as Hilarion (Giselle), Drosselmeyer (Nutcracker), and The Mayor (Wizard of Oz). Furthermore, he has experience performing contemporary, hip-hop, African, tap, and modern styles of dance, in works choreographed by Appalachian State’s faculty and guest choreographer residencies. Most recently, Wells performed in USIB’s Nutcracker, the Cucalorus Dance Festival, FMD’s annual dance showcase, and OHTC’s GREASE! When not performing, Wells works as a dance instructor and an adjudicator for dance competitions. Wells is excited to return to USIB in 2023 and for the opportunity to perform with these talented artists.
Second Company Member
Amy was born and raised in Stockton, New Jersey. She began dancing at age 3 at a local studio where she trained in tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, and hip-hop. She received her formal ballet training at New Jersey School of Ballet in high school; after which she danced at Princeton Ballet School and was a trainee with American Repertory Ballet. She has attended intensive programs at New Jersey Ballet, American Repertory Ballet / Princeton Ballet School, and The French Academy of Ballet. Her performances include corps de ballet roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake. Amy graduated summa cum laude from Rider University and continues to tutor professionally. Amy began dancing with USIB as a second company member in September 2022. We are so excited to see Amy in her premiere with USIB in The Great Wilmington Nutcracker in December!
Second Company Member
Katharine Marianacci began her ballet training at Degnan Ballet Center in Northeastern Pennsylvania under the direction of Kristin Degnan-Boonin. As a dancer at Degnan Ballet Center, Katharine had the opportunity to perform many notable roles including Clara, Ice Princess, and Dewdrop Fairy in the Nutcracker, a Cygnet in Swan Lake, and Ariel in the Little Mermaid. Katharine has also served on the faculty at Degnan Ballet Center, teaching ballet technique and pre-pointe classes. Katharine attended summer intensive programs at American Ballet Theater and Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She also trained with E. Laura Hausmann at Lehigh University and Yu Hong at Pennsylvania Classical Ballet in Easton, Pennsylvania. In June 2022, Katharine was selected to compete in the Valentina Koslova International Ballet Competition Finals in New York City. She has also modeled for All About Dance and Discount Dance print catalogs and online stores. Additionally, Katharine earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wilkes University and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University. She continues to work as a Therapist and Career Coach part-time while pursuing professional ballet.