Marieli and her ballet instructors have taught dance around the world and across the country . Their perspective reaches beyond our community inspiring our students to beauty and grace beyond the classroom.
Born in Ft. Worth, Texas, Ms. Barfield began her training in Ft. Worth with Gayle Corkery and continued at the Etgen Atkinson School in Dallas. At the age of 14, she began studying during the summers at the School of American Ballet in New York City and by the age of 16, she move there to study exclusively. Ms. Barfield joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1984, was promoted to Soloist in 1987 and to Principal in 1990. Her repertoire includes a wide variety of classical roles including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Myrtha in Giselle, Vera in Robert Weiss’ full-length production of Winder Dreams, Les Sylphides, the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella and Juliet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet. On June 12, 2004, she gave her last performance as a professional dancer as her favorite role of Odette/Odile in Christopher Whealdon’s Swan Lake.
Since leaving the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Barfield has been busy teaching at Bryn Mawr College, The Performance Garage at Jeanne Ruddy Dance, The South Jersey Ballet School and with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Outreach Program. She has been a guest teacher for the Chamberlain Ballet in Plano, Texas, the Country Day School in Ft. Worth, the Brandywine Ballet and the Dance Theater of Pennsylvania. Ms. Barfield also taught ballet classes at the University of Las Vegas during the 2007 Spring semester.
In addition to Ms. Barfield’s extensive ballet training and experience, she has studied Pilates since 1979 and in recent years completed a 2-year advanced teacher training seminar with her mentor of 20 years, Karen Carlson. She is certified in all apparatuses and mat and is currently an instructor here at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas. Ms. Barfield’s portrait by Still Life Photography by Alexander Devora. Please read Ms. Barfield’s full Bio.
Currently a Principal Dancer with Ballet San Antonio, Sarah Pautz, began her training under Mayra Worthen and continued at the Houston Ballet Academy on full scholarship. She graduated with distinction in 2005 from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance. Ms. Pautz has danced with Houston Ballet II, Tulsa Ballet, Bejart Ballet Lausanne and the Ballet de l’Opera National de Bordeaux. She has performed soloist and principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote, the Dying Swan, Flower Festival in Genzano, Joffrey’s Pas des Déesses, Balanchines’ Valse Fantasie, Serenade and Concerto Barocco, Black Swan Pas de Deux, Bluebird Pas de Deux, Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Thaïs Pas de Deux, Nutcracker and Coppelia, as well as numerous contemporary roles. She has appeared in two festivals in Paris, France and has toured extensively throughout Spain, Italy and France. Ms. Pautz is currently in her seventh season with Ballet San Antonio and third season as a Ballet Instructor here at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
Currently a Principal Dancer with Ballet San Antonio, Mr. Jayson Pescasio began formal ballet training at age 10 under Brezhnev Larlar and Pamela Ortiz-Bondoc at the Teatro Baile de Cavite, where he performed its classical and modern repertoire. He danced the lead in Larlar’s Filipino ballets such as Pananakop and XIII Martyrs.
While attending De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, his dance training extended to include folk dance and neo-ethnic dance, and he became a member of the Filipinescas Dance Company, headed by Leonor Orosa-Goquinco and Manolet Garcia. Mr. Pescasio received the Award for Outstanding Achievement and Exemplary Performance from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.
In 2005, Mr. Pescasio joined Ballet Philippines as an apprentice, where he trained under Noordin Jumalon and Jeffrey Espejo. As a guest artist for numerous productions of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Dance School, he performed lead roles such as Siegfried in Swan Lake, the Prince in Cinderella and the Poet in Les Sylphides. After becoming a member of Ballet Philippines in 2006, Mr. Pescasio danced in many pieces choreographed for the company by Alden Lugnasin and Bam Damian. In 2008, under the directorship of Alan Hineline (Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet) and Max Luna III (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), he was chosen to perform the role of Franz in the Philippine premiere of Hineline’s Coppelia. In 2010, he was a member of Nashville’s Dance Theatre of Tennessee. In 2011, Mr. Pescasio joined Ballet San Antonio as a Soloist, and was promoted to Principal following the 2012 production of Gabriel Zertuche’s Dracula. In October 2013, Mr. Pescasio received critical acclaim for his role as the Jester in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella – “He greets guests at the Prince’s ball, enlivens the proceedings and beguiles the audience with his powerful, abrupt jumps – maybe five or six feet off the ground – and general bouncy vitality”- San Antonio Express-News.
As a Principal dancer, Mr. Pescasio is currently in his 4th season with Ballet San Antonio. This is Mr. Pescasio’s third season as a Guest Instructor here at the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
Ms. Simmons studied ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England for 12 years. She was awarded a Fine Arts Scholarship from Royal Academy of Dance and the Duke of Edinburgh Award in classical and modern dance. She began her professional career performing in Hong Kong, Lido de Paris, France and the United States. Ms. Simmons has taught ballet at the University of Nevada and Nevada Performing Arts Academy. In 1984 she began teaching for the Mayra Worthen Ballet School and assisted in the first performance of Ballet San Antonio. Ms. Simmons is the Children’s Rehearsal Director for Ballet San Antonio. This is her third season as Ballet Instructor at The Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
Rose Mary Forte
Rose Mary Forte began her dance training at Capital Area Dance Theater in Enola, PA. She later joined the pre-professional program at Cumberland Dance Company. Ms. Forte has performed at regional festivals and received a variety of awards, including the Monticello Award for Best Performer. During high school, she performed in La Bayadere with the Kirov Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House. In 2004, she participated in the Cultural Dance Festival in Germany.
Ms. Forte graduated from Indiana University’s Ballet Program under the direction of Violette Verdy and received a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance and English Literature with a minor in Contemporary Dance. She danced professionally with the Chicago Ballet and was a guest artist with the Civic Ballet of Chicago. In 2007 Ms. Forte performed in a music festival in Rome, Italy. She is a certified Pilates instructor and ballet jazz, tap and modern instructor for students ages 3-18. She is the primary ballet instructor of the Studio of Dance in New Braunfels. This is Ms. Forte’s seventh season with Ballet San Antonio and third year as an Instructor at The Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
A native Texan, Ms. Wolf is originally from Corpus Christi. In 1977, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet from the University of Utah. Shortly after her marriage to her husband, Richard, Janice taught ballet and jazz for 5 years under the direction of Larry Roquemore, founder of what is now known as the Corpus Christi Ballet.
In 1985, Ms. Wolf moved to San Antonio and after the birth of their 3 daughters, she resumed her teaching career by starting a dance program at the Discovery School. The dance program was appropriately named, Dance with Wolf and became a prominent program offering for 13 years. During the last 10 years of that period, she also was a Principal Instructor for Connally’s Dance Workshop.
Having served on the Board of Directors for both the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet and the Ballet Conservatory of South Texas, Ms. Wolf has remained deeply involved in the local ballet community for many years. She has also been engaged in a wide variety of community activities including 10 years of service with the Junior League of San Antonio.
Lydia Relle started her training at Turning Pointe Dance Centre in Bothell, WA. Ms. Relle moved to Philadelphia to join the Rock School’s Rock Academic Program Alliance on scholarship. After two years in Philadelphia, she returned to Washington to continue training with Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, dancing in the school and one year in the Professional Division Program on scholarship. Ms. Relle trained in Portland under Damara Bennett, School Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She attended summer programs at the Rock School, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School and the Suzanne Farrell Program.
Ms. Relle’s professional experience includes apprenticeships with the Suzanne Farrell Company, Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Alabama Ballet. While with these companies Ms. Relle performed various roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter and the Wolf, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and George Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Bugaku and The Nutcracker. Among her biggest accomplishments were dancing the solo role of Arabian in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and the Pas de Deux in Roger Van Fleteren’s Be Major. This is Ms. Relle’s fourth season with Ballet San Antonio and second year as a faculty member of The Ballet Conservatory of South Texas.
Campbell performed as a student in the late Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Balanchine’s Serenade. She furthered her dance education at the Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts in Natick, MA with Michael Owen, Sydelle Gomberg, Samuel Kirkjian and Tamara King. There she was a member of the National Youth Ballet for two seasons. Ms. Campbell has attended several summer programs including the Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet.
Andrea Alshouse began her training at age 5 at Champion Studios in El Paso, Texas, under the direction of Andree Harper. She continued her training under Ingeborg Heuser with Ballet El Paso. Ms. Alshouse has attended several summer programs including Ballet Austin, Virginia School of the Arts, ABT Austin and Boston Ballet. In 2008 she joined Richmond Ballet as a trainee, where she performed Balanchine’s Four Temperaments and Rubies. She then joined Montgomery Ballet as an apprentice in 2009 under the direction of Elie Lazar. Ms. Alshouse has performed lead roles in ballets such as Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. This is Andrea’s fourth season with Ballet San Antonio.
Sally Turkel began her ballet training at Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina. At age 14, she was accepted to the residential high school ballet studies program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Turkel has danced with Houston Ballet II, Carolina Ballet, Houston Ballet and Stiefel and Stars. She danced professionally for five seasons with Denver’s Colorado Ballet. Here she performed a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles, including the Serenity Fairy and Puss and Boots in Sleeping Beauty, Little Swans in Swan Lake and Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. She considers herself fortunate to have worked with inspiring choreographers such as Stephen Mills, Michael Pink, Emery LeCrone and Stanton Welch, among others. In 2013 Ms. Turkel joined Ballet San Antonio. She has performed many roles including Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, the Sugarplum Fairy and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, and Gabriel Zertuche’s Valsa de San Valentino. Ms. Turkel was promoted to First Soloist in 2014.
Eryn Hanes-Colin received her early training at Pontecorvo Ballet Studios in Dayton, OH, under the direction of Barbara Pontecorvo and later danced with Gem City Ballet. After spending summers at Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Ms. Hanes-Colin spent a year with Ballet Chicago and performed with the Ballet Chicago Studio Company. She later danced with Nashville Ballet and Ballet Theatre of Ohio in Akron. This is Ms. Hanes-Colin’s sixth season with Ballet San Antonio.
Raul Christopher Riojas has been dancing for 20 years. He has performed at local theme parks and taught at several studios around the San Antonio area and Canada. He has also been on many tours as a back-up dancer and recently as the lead role, Michael Jackson, on “The Spirit of Michael Jackson Laser Tribute. Raul has choreographed for many local artists including an award winning solo performance. He established his own dance entertainment company, Body Language, in 1999 which performs Hip Hop, House, Break, Krump, Salsa, Bachata and other various Latin styles of dance. He has also performed for several awards shows such as the Pura Vida Music Awards and Premios A La Musica Latina, both presented by Univision. Thirteen years ago Raul began studying Michael Jackson’s dance style and is now well known as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Raul also has danced with the San Antonio Spurs Sports Entertainment. He is currently teaching for LA Performing Arts, Ballet San Antonio Academy, San Antonio Parks & Recreation Program, performs as Michael Jackson in a Michael Jackson tribute show with his company and plays the role of Michael Jackson in the laser spectacular show called “The Spirit of Michael Jackson.”