Program II

Here are a few photographs from performances of Kenneth MacMillan's Carousel Pas de Deux: Miami City Ballet Program II

(Curtain Call with Partner Chase Swatosh)

Photos by Daniel Azoulay


Nutcracker and Program II

Hi Ballet fans and followers,

My last update is dated back to September leaving me with quite a bit to catch you up on.  Rehearsals and performances have been flying by.  We are in the Midst of Nutcracker.  We have five performances of left to go before finishing the entire run.  The Company will then move into Program II.  Program II includes Balanchine's Serenade, MacMillan's Carousel Pas de Deux, Martins Calcium Light Night, and Robbins Glass Pieces.

Since I last updated you, Giselle concluded.  A  highlight throughout the run was performing in the Peasant Pas de Deux in Act I.  Photographs below.

In the coming weeks, rehearsals for Program II will be finishing up and the Company will move to the Arsht Center for the opening.  I am rehearsing Serenade, Carousel, and Glass Pieces.  This will be my first Jerome Robbins piece and am truly looking forward to be a part of that.  Once we open, I will be sharing stories and some backstage photographs when I can!


An Abstract Expressionism Performance Art Collaboration

Dear dance and art lovers,

I have recently embarked on a new collaboration with artist Jonatas Chimen from Brazil. We began discussing our collaboration about two years ago but, we never took action.  Two years later, we have created two pieces of artwork.  Both involve a dancer (being me) and an artist (Jonatas Chimen).  One piece is black and white and the other is in multiple colors.  The goal is to create something by combining our two worlds of art.  The approach is entirely improvisational which gives a sort of mystery to each painting.

The links are below.  I would love to hear what you think about the videos.

An Abstract Expressionism Performance Art Collaboration
Link: A Ballerina and a Painter Part I
Link: A Ballerina and a Painter Part II

Jonatas and Me



Season Update

First update of the season!  The company is well into rehearsals for the 2016/2017 season.  It is hard to believe this is already my third season.  We are setting George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 composed by Mozart.  Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 premiered in 1956 in Connecticut.  The ballet consists of five principal women, three principal men, and eight corps women.  Rehearsals are also under way for Jerome Robbin's Glass Pieces which opens in January for Program II.  Philip Glass musically inspires us in this work by Robbins.  I am looking forward to the performances especially since it will be my first Robbins piece in my career. 
FYI: During this point of the season, we spend our time rehearsing for our opening performances in late October.  Giselle is the first to arrive and runs through mid November.   


As promised, I will be sharing stories from my summer.  This year, I decided to travel more than normal.  Amsterdam was my first stop.  In May, I met my friend in Amsterdam.  She has been dancing with Het National Ballet for seven years now.  I was fortunate enough to take a couple classes with the company for fun.  When I was growing up, I had always heard about dance in Europe, but have not had the chance to experience it.  I met many of the dancers and had the chance to watch rehearsals as well.   This was thrilling.  We also traveled outside of Amsterdam to see other sections of Holland.  One stop we made was to the Keukenhof.  Just to give you an idea of the gardens..check out the photos I added.  The gardens show you multiple forms of tulips.  Fortunately, the tulips were in full bloom when I was visiting.  The other photos are from my visit to the ballet and around the neighborhood.  It was an incredible experience that I hope to relive again in my lifetime. 

NEXT UP: Exploring the Unknown


Off Season

Hello Fans!

I hope you are all enjoying your Fourth of July weekend with some BBQ and fireworks!

I am on a six week layoff in which I am traveling, spending time with family, and teaching.  I recently taught for Jarina Carvalho at Live Oak Dance in New Orleans.  Live Oak Dance held a three week summer intensive which included ballet, conditioning, contemporary, acting, nutrition, and pointe/variation classes.  The program finished up this past Friday with a small studio performance.  I really enjoyed teaching these wonderful students and pass on some of my knowledge!

Presently, I am writing my fourth article for 4dancer.org.  If you did not already know, I am a yearly contributor for 4dancers.  I write four articles a year talking about the season at MCB.   Be sure to check out my last three articles on their site or under my Videos and More tab to the right.  Writing for 4dancers is giving me the opportunity to share my story and give advice to future dancers.  Keep an eye out for my article on touring!

Thirdly, I traveled to California on a small vacation to visit family last week.  The entire week was filled with beach time, hiking, and a little ballet.  Before leaving for Calif, I did quite a bit of research on ballet studios in the area.  I ended up taking ballet at Ballet Arts in Westlake (thousand oaks area).  The class was an 1.5 hr pointe class taught by Helena Jones.  If you are ever in the area and are looking for a ballet class to take, this is it. 

Next post: Amsterdam 



Hello Fans and Followers,

I am excited to announce the start of my third season with Miami City Ballet and my ninth as a professional dancer.

First off, I am so honored to be chosen for the 2016/2017 season brochure cover.  Below is the final photo.

Second, we begin our third week of rehearsals tomorrow.  Our summer session is four weeks before long before a six week layoff.  During my layoff, I will be teaching as a guest teacher in New Orleans, LA at Live Oak Dance.  This will be the first time teaching for Live Oak's summer intensive.  My week is filled with conditioning, ballet technique, and variations classes!  Be sure to check back for photos and footage here and on my Instagram @serenesam.

Photo by Oviedo Studios


15/16 Comes to a Close

Hello Fans,

I was away for a while but, I am back now with amazing stories and photographs from our recent tours.  First off, I just returned home from a three city tour where MCB performed 10 performances!
It was truly a dream to perform in New York City at the Koch Theater.  The company opened on Wednesday evening with a gala performance of Balanchine's Serenade and Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances.  Our other performances included Balanchine, Peck, and Tharp.  Check out reviews and articles on my right tab.  Secondly, in NYC, I had the chance to shoot with photographer Jonathan Taylor. www.jontaylornyc.com.  He is an up and coming photographer from Brooklyn who has made quite a name for himself in a short amount of time.  Check out his website for more information on his work.

(right) Bows at the Koch Theater (Lincoln Center) for Balanchine's Bourree Fantesque and Serenade

(below) Photograph by Jonathan K. Taylor


Dancespirit Magazine

Hello All,

I am thrilled to announce that I was chosen to be in the March 2016 issue of Dancespirit Magazine.  I am featured in The Dirt.   Each month a dancer from a different dance company or theater production is chosen to discuss a current work.   This particular interview covers my experience working on, the lover, Hermia in Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream.  I cannot say much but, we open the reimagined production on March 18th in Miami!



A Work in Progress

Hi Fans!

As the Nutcracker season comes to an end a new year approaches.  What are your resolutions for 2016?

Here in Miami, the Company is on its way to opening Program Two at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami.  The evening will be exciting and diverse full of Balanchine, Martin, and Tharp.  Our program consists of Balanchine's La Source, Martin's Barber Violin Concerto, and Tharp's In The Upper Room.  I am learning La Source and In the Upper Room  In the Upper Room has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  I used to sit and watch Boston Ballet rehearse it for weeks when I was training there. 
Be sure to check online of tickets at www.miamicityballet.org and here for performance photos!



Hi all,

The Company is taking a short break for the week of Thanksgiving.  After turkey time is over, the Company will return to begin the first set of Nutcracker performances in Naples, Fl.  This season I will be performing as the SugarPlum Fairy, Lead Spanish, Snow, Flower, Marzipan, and Party Parent.
After opening in Naples the Company travels to Ft Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach for a near total of 25 performances.  As it gets closer to performances, I will let you all know my casting for each show!

Program One came to a close last weekend in West Palm Beach with full audiences! I was fortunate to have the chance to perform in both Swan Lake and Viscera several times during the run in West Palm Beach.  Below are a few photographs taken by Daniel Azoulay of Liam Scarlett's Viscera and Balanchine's Swan Lake.


What's New

Hi friends,

The opening night of Miami City Ballet's 30th Anniversary is just around the corner!  We head to the Adrienne Arsht Center tomorrow evening to begin preparations for our performances this weekend!  I will be performing in George Balanchine's Swan Lake and am really looking forward to it.  The link to casting is below.  I'll be performing as a Swan on Friday and Saturday and as the Pas de Neuf Swan soloist on Sunday.  
Pas de Neuf

Since I last posted, rehearsals for Tharp's In the Upper Room and Taylor's Sunset have taken place.  It is thrilling to have the chance to learn Ballet Woman in Tharp's In the Upper Room.  I spent a good chunk of time watching rehearsals for it while working in school at Boston Ballet and now having the chance to learn it is incredible.  The piece showcases modern and ballet in a way that brings the two worlds together.  It is one of a kind in my opinion.  
Taylor's Sunset is also another amazing piece of work.   This piece comes across quite sad but, also displays happiness.  It depicts soldiers and their loved ones before going off to war.  It was great to work on it with Kate Johnson who was in the original Taylor cast.  Kate helped me work on the fashionable and sophisticated woman who flirts with the soldiers but, is quite picky.  I posted a link below discussing the piece more.

Recently I was asked to be a yearly contributor/writer for 4dancers.org.  I will write four articles a year discussing the season with Miami City Ballet along with past and present experiences.  The first article was published today and I am excited to share it with you!

Next up:  Jordan Matter Photography

Photo by Julian Duque


Inside My Dance Bag

Hi there,

Recently, I took part in an interview for 4dancers.org.  We discussed items I keep in my dance bag which carry me through my day. Below i added the link to the full article.
Personally, it I is essential to include comfortable items. Once class is over, rehearsals can range from 11:30-6:30.  It is easier to stay %100 with items that lift your spirit. Enjoy!



Hello followers,

We are well into the season here at Miami City Ballet.  So far, the Company has set Balanchine's version of Swan Lake, Peck's Year of the Rabbit, Bourree Fantasque, and Midsummer Night's Dream. Rehearsals and touring are underway.
Recently, a majority of the company were fortunate enough to travel to Chicago for three performances as part of the Chicago Dancing Festival.  Each performance was performed at a different venue throughout Chicago.  I traveled to perform Twyla Tharp's Sweet Fields at the Pritzker Pavilion.  Unfortunately, rain graced us with it's presence during the performance but, the large audience still gave us their amazing love and support.  Miami City Ballet also performed George Balanchine's Allegro Brilliante as part of the festival.

After coming back from Labor Day weekend, rehearsals for Viscera are beginning. This is one of the three works which open our season in late October. Keep an eye out for performance casting.

                            Daniel Azoulay: Sweet Fields



Hello Everyone!

For the past several months I have been working on writing an article for a dance website.  The website, started by the wonderful writer Ann Glaviano, is intended to share stories and reviews to help audiences and dancers learn more about the world of dance.
I share specific stories from my career so far while explaining the processes I take to become a certain character.
Please read the full article at https://noladancereader.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/like-peeling-back-an-onion-a-dancers-reflection-on-becoming/

Secondly, I was delighted to be chosen for "Photo of the Day" by Dance Spirit Magazine.  The original photo can be found at Dance Spirit Magazine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  This is the photo. It is during a performance of La Bayadere.  Taken by Melissa Dooley.  Thank you Dance Spirit!!



Hi Everyone,

It was long overdue to create a new website showcasing my career so far.
Visit the link below to see the final product.

I will still be updating my blog weekly to keep you informed of performances and rehearsals throughout the season.  All recent videos and photographs will be uploaded to my blog subscribe to my blog on the bottom right!

My contact information is found on both sites.

Thank you for supporting and following me!


A Midsummer Night's Dream


Installment two has began!

We start with Balanchine's A Midsummer Nights Dream!

For those of you who are not familiar with this ballet Midsummer Night's Dream is a two act ballet set to the beautiful music of Mendelssohn. The premiere was in 1962 and stands as the first evenly long ballet he created in the United States. 

The season began with a three week rehearsal period where we learned and rehearsed the ballet with Sandra Jennings. We spent the entire three weeks focusing on Midsummer.  It is interesting for me to have the chance to be a part of this ballet again. Back when training at Boston Ballet, this was the first ballet I was chosen to be a part of with the company. Revisiting it and exploring different roles now that I am older has been exciting. 
The entire ballet is now set and will to be put aside until February when it will be time to begin preparing it for the opening! The Balanchine version will be revamped with new costumes and sets utilizing the Florida setting.  As I learn more about the ballet's new look I will update you with the details.  Below is a photo of me in rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream.  

Make sure to share my blog with your friends.!!

Photos by Daniel Azoulay 

Be back soon!


On to the Next

Hello Everyone,

Season one has come to a close but, season two is around the corner.  It is hard to believe that we are beginning the 2015-2016 season soon.  As some of you heard a lot has taken place during my six weeks off.  I graduated from college, first, and foremost. It was exciting to have the chance to walk in my graduation.  I earned my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from University of Phoenix.  There were nearly 1100 graduates.  Secondly, I have been working on an article to be published online for a New Orleans dance site.  This will be my first acticle for the site and once published I will add the link for you.  Thirdly, I have had the chance to take a variety of ballet/pilates classes during my time off.
Be back soon!


Program IV

Program IV is well on its way with two more weeks of performances to go before the season comes to a close.  So far, four performances have thrilled audiences at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.  Now, after a week layoff, Miami is the next stop.  I have had the opportunity to perform in Balanchine's Raymonda Variations in the Harp Variation.  Balanchine's Raymonda Variations premiered in 1961 and is set to music by Glazounov.  The variation, I performed, is played entirely by the Harp.  When I first performed it on opening night, I felt as though I was dancing inside the music.  It was a feeling I never had before.  
This weekend I will have the chance to perform the variation once again at Friday's performance at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami.  Below, is a review by danceviewtimes of the performances so far.  I was astonished to find that I was mentioned for the variation! Also, there is are a few

 Photos by Daniel Azoulay
George Balanchine (George Balanchine Trust)


Closing Time

I just returned from my second international tour to Ottawa, Canada.  It was cold but, exciting.  Below are some pictures from the trip.  The dancers were given a good amount of time to explore the city while having the chance to taste all the wonderful food.


Program IV is around the corner with a mixed bill of Balanchine's Raymonda Variations, Robbins The Concert, and a Justin Peck world premiere.  To close the season, I will perform in Balanchine's Raymonda Variations. Make sure to check back for photographs!


Program III

Hi everyone,

We are well into Program III here at MCB.  This triple bill is pieced together by Twyla Tharp, Balanchine, and Alston.  The program opens with Allegro Brilliante, then shifts to Sweet Fields, and then closes with the American premiere of Carmen. This coming weekend we travel to West Palm Beach for our second weekend of Program III.  Only with Program III, this past week we traveled to Vancouver British Columbia for our first of two international tours this season.  The company performed five times at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in downtown Vancouver.  It was my first international tour, and I had an amazing time.   The performances consisted of Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements which is shown below, Balanchine's Serenade, and Balanchine's Ballo della Regina.  It was an all Balanchine production.  Audiences loved it because they rarely perform Balanchine in that area so they were thrilled.

   Tharp's Sweet Fields Program III, Photo by Daniel Azoulay


                                                   Vancouver Tour Photos:



Program II

Hello Everyone!

We are well into Program II which opened at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami last weekend.  The performance showcases three different pieces; Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements, Paul Taylor's Mercuric Tidings, and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs.  Each of these works gives the audience a different look into the dance world.  Next weekend we are off to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach for our second weekend of Program II.  I am working on getting some Mercuric Tidings photographs so keep an eye out.

                                                         Paul Taylor's Mercuric Tidings
 Symphony in Three Movements: George Balanchine

 Caught in a moment backstage before my second entrance in Symphony in Three Movements

Program III is well underway too! We are working on Twyla Tharp's Sweet Fields, Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, and Richard Alston's Carmen. 

Be back soon


Let it Snow!

Hi All,

For our third weekend of Nutcracker we are at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in downtown Miami. Audiences are filling up  as it gets closer to Christmas time! I hope you can join us for a performance before we move to West Palm Beach for our last 7 !

Recently, In Ft. Lauderdale , I debuted my performance of The Sugarplum Fairy with Miami City Ballet.  It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity.  I will be performing the role of The Sugarplum Fairy again on Tuesday December 23rd at 2:00pm at the Adrienne Arsht Center. 

Photos By Daniel Azoulay, George Balanchine Trust, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

We have five performances left:
Sunday 1:00pm Snowflake, Demi Flower
6:30pm Party, Flower

Tuesday 2:00pm The Sugarplum Fairy
7:30 Snowflake, Marzipan

Wednesday 1:00 Spanish Lead


Nutcracker Casting Update !

Hi All,

We just finished out first weekend of Nutcracker performance in Naples, Florida.
Now we will travel to Ft. lauderdale to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for 6 performances running December 12th through the 14th.  Two shows Friday, two Saturday, and two Sunday.

Casting: Friday 10:30: Lead Spanish
              Friday  7:30:   Party, Snow, Flower
              Saturday 2:00: Snow, Marzipan
              Saturday 7:30: Party, Lead Spanish
              Sunday  1:00: The Sugarplum Fairy
              Sunday 6:30:  Marzipan

I'll be back to update you on the next set of casting in a week.

Hope to see you there :)


Romeo and Juliet time!

Hi Everyone,

My newest headshot for Miami City Ballet is up! Check out the link below to see my photo and short biography.  Soon, our long bios will be up for you to read. 


In three weeks, we will be traveling to West Palm Beach for our last four performances of John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet!

Flashback: Scenes from Van Fleteren's Romeo and Juliet: My performance of Juliet in Alabama Ballet's Romeo and Juliet February 2014.

Be sure to check the headshot link above and I will be back soon with new photos and updates.



57 Day In!

Hi All,

I know I have been away for a while and I apologize for that! I am back now and excited to update you all.  I have been so busy in the studio rehearsing new works and enjoying my first time on stage with Miami City Ballet.
We opened Romeo and Juliet two weeks ago, and are in the process of traveling with that production. Also, we have a good start on Balanchine's The Nutcracker which opens after Thanksgiving!  I am learning and rehearsing lots of great things for the winter time and will let you know my performance casting when it gets closer.
For now be sure to check out my videos and photos found in my tabs section to the right ! There is lots to look at an explore on my blog!