Barry Kerollis was born in Philadelphia, PA. He trained at the Chester Valley Dance Academy in Lionville, PA and on scholarship at the Kirov Academy of Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Mr. Kerollis began his career in 2003 with the Houston Ballet. In 2004, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, WA, where he continued to dance for seven seasons. Barry currently works as a freelance dancer based out of Philadelphia.Mr. Kerollis has danced Puck in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, the Don Quixote pas de deux in the Arabesque Festival gala, Cassio in Duran’s Othello, and leading roles in works by Balanchine, Dove, Forsythe, Gibson, Ketley, Kylian, Morris, Robbins, Stroman, and Tharp. He has performed in New York at the Guggenheim Museum for their Works and Process series and at the Joyce Theater. Barry has performed in a gala for First State Ballet Theatre’s Arabesque Festival and at the Vail International Dance Festival. As a freelance artist, Mr. Kerollis has worked as a principal guest artist with Rochester City Ballet. He has also worked with American Ballet Theatre, Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware, Ballet X, and Avi Scher and Dancers. He is featured in dance documentary; Dancing Across Borders, dance book; Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear, Jordan Matter’s blog for New York Times Best Seller; Dancer’s Among Us, Bob Rizzo’s instructional dance video; Ballet with Style, and maintains his own blog documenting his work; Life of a Freelance Dancer. In 2001, he was selected as a finalist in the Youth America Grand Prix competition. Kerollis teaches master classes around the country and is an aspiring choreographer. His work was most recently performed in the Philly Fringe Festival. He was commissioned to create a work for Seattle’s “Men in Dance” festival and has created four works for Pacific Northwest Ballet and it’s school in the company’s annual choreographer’s showcase.
Member of Jean Ruddy Dance Co. and former Dancer with the Washington Ballet & The Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet.
Principal dancer with The Pennsylvania Ballet
Certified Pilates instructor
Tara Madsen Robbins
Tara is originally from Sussex, New Jersey and currently resides in Philadelphia. She has been an active Performer, Choreographer and Educator in the Greater Philadelphia region since 2006. Ms. Madsen received her MFA in Performance & Choreography from Smith College. Ms. Madsen danced with the professional modern company Tania Isaac Dance for 4 years until founding her own modern dance troupe. Ms. Madsen’s choreography had been performed in Philadelphia, New York, Greece, Italy, Scotland and Spain. She currently teaches in the DeSales University Dance Department.
Lauren graduated with a degree in modern dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has performed with the Washington Reflections Dance Company, Amy Marshall Dance Company NYC season, with Philadanco and is currently a principal dancer and rehearsal director at the Rebecca Davis Dance Company.
A native of southern New Jersey, Gabriella Yudenich began her dance training at The Rock School for Dance Education. She also trained under the guidance of her mother, Barbara Sandonato, who was the first dancer hired to be a member of Pennsylvania Ballet in 1963. Ms. Yudenich attended The School of American Ballet under full scholarship. She also completed summer sessions at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The School of American Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, and performed with Dances Patrelle in New York City, dancing soloist roles in the Yorkville Nutcracker. Ms. Yudenich performed with Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew before becoming the first member of Pennsylvania Ballet II. As a member of Pennsylvania Ballet II, she performed in lecture demonstrations throughout the region, as well as in the Company's full-length productions. She became an Apprentice in September 2003 and was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in September 2005. Ms. Yudenich has performed in many classical and contemporary ballets including Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake and Polyphonia, Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, Matthew Neenan's Carmina Burana, and many pieces from the Balanchine repertoire, including Who Cares?, The Four Temperaments (Choleric), and Agon. Her lead roles include Myrta in Giselle, Lilac Fairy and Diamond in The Sleeping Beauty, and Sugarplum Fairy and Dewdrop in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™. Yudenich was promoted to Soloist in 2007. Ms. Yudenich is a true product of Pennsylvania Ballet history. Her mother, Barbara Sandonato, was a star member of Pennsylvania Ballet throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, and her father, the late Alexei Yudenich, was also a leading member of the Company during that time.
As a principal dancer with the Kansas City Ballet for 16 years, Jody had the honor of performing some of the greatest works of the 20th Century. She was hand picked by Alvin Ailey to perform as a guest artist with his company The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Jody also performed and was the Associate Choreographer and Community Chorus Director with Kansas City's Starlight Theatre in addition to performing with St. Louis MUNY Opera, Atlanta Theatre of the Stars and Houston's Theater Under the Stars. As a choreographer she has staged original works for Kansas City Ballet, Delaware Dance Company, West Chester Dance Theatre in addition to choreographing musicals all over. Jody was honored to be nominated for a Philadelphia Theatre Alliance Barrymore Award for her choreography for the New Candlelight Theatre's 2007 production of CHICAGO. She has been on the faculty at The Rock School since 2003.
Valerie Amiss Cieslak
A native of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, Valerie Amiss began her dance training at the age of eight under the direction of Sue Millington at the Regency Ballet. She continued her training with Victor Moreno and Alexei Yudenich from 1985 to 1987, and at the age of 12, she began studying at the Pennsylvania Ballet School. Ms. Amiss received an apprenticeship with Pennsylvania Ballet in 1992, and became a full member of the Corps de Ballet in 1993. In 1994, she was nominated for the prestigious dance accolade, the Princess Grace Award. In 1995, she performed at the Algur H. Meadows Award ceremony honoring choreographer Paul Taylor. Ms. Amiss was promoted to Soloist in 1999, and during that summer, she represented Pennsylvania Ballet at the Sinatra Festival in Portugal. In 2005, she performed at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, dancing Pas de Trois, Pas de Quatre, and Lead Czardas in Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. That same year, Ms. Amiss performed at New York’s City Center, dancing in Matthew Neenan’s 11:11 and Carmina Burana.
Ms. Amiss has had the pleasure of performing many principal roles in George Balanchine ballets including Marzipan lead, Dew Drop and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Titania and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Odette in Swan Lake, Act II. She has also performed featured roles in such works as Carmina Burana, Paquita, Giselle, Lilac Fairy, Blue Bird, and Pas de Trois in Janek Schergen’s The Sleeping Beauty, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Bomb Squad Girl in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Christopher Wheeldon’s Continuum, Alvin Ailey’s The River, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night and The Concert, and Balanchine’s Bugaku. Ms. Amiss retired from the Pennsylvania Ballet in June 2006 and resides in Mantua, New Jersey, with her husband, former Pennsylvania Ballet Soloist Edward Cieslak and their son, Adam, and daughter, Lily.